Friday, September 16, 2016

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Third Eye: Beyond the Thriller

Third Eye means a lot to me not only because it's the kind of book that's scary, suspenseful, and hard-to-put-down (I don't write otherwise...boring is one of the worst sins a book can commit), but also because at its heart, it's a book about the unique bond parents have with their children. It's dedicated to the memory of my own mom and I like to think my main, character, Cayce, has the same parental qualities and capacity for love that my mother did.  

BLURB
Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and his lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed—he isn't sure which—with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl.

When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls' parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the "third eye."

Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple—dark and murderous—are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them.

"A riveting, nail-biting, thought-provoking, frightening thriller, this story is much more than an M/M romance--it's a brilliant tale worthy of recognition on the New York Times Bestsellers List...Don't miss the chance to read this book."
--Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews, December 2014 

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Friday, September 9, 2016

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: IM Instant Message? Or Instant Murder?

What Drove Me to Write my Serial Killer Thriller, IM


If you get an instant message from me, would you wonder why? Probably not, unless you knew that one of my most infamous thrillers was called IM, and that IM in the title stands for instant message, but that it could also stand for instant murder. And maybe you’d pause if you knew that IM is a book about a serial killer who uses the Internet to lure his victims.

But then again, maybe you wouldn’t. After all, what are the odds that someone who writes a book about a murderer who uses instant messages to charm his way into the homes of his victims, where he will ruthlessly stab them and perpetrate all sorts of horrors on their bodies would actually do something so heinous?

IM comes from that comfort zone we probably all have: that place that tells us, “It couldn’t happen to me.” People, in general, don’t expect to be murdered. That’s why scores of young men on gay internet hook up sites often brazenly invite strangers into their homes. They believe it “couldn’t happen to them.”

This belief is the impetus for IM. The internet has made it so easy for us to meet other people, especially for sex. Who needs a bar, a social club, or even a bathhouse to meet a sex partner? Today, we can order up a roll in the hay almost as easily as we can order a pizza. And have it delivered fast, hot, and fresh… The temptation is so great that many of us cast caution to the wind and never do the things common sense might tell us when contemplating an online hook-up, things like meeting in public first, getting the details on your potential suitor like name, address, phone number and conveying those details to a good friend, just in case.

Instead, many men, every day, open their homes up to complete strangers. Strangers who have no connection to them. Who, if they’re careful, would leave no pesky traces like motivation or other associations investigators might look for. The internet has made it easy to perpetrate the perfect crime.

Enter my killer, Timothy Bright, who looks mild mannered but who’s twisted and broken on the inside. He knows how easy it is to chat someone up online and gain admittance to their homes. It almost never fails.

And that’s just how it works in real life. I thought that was scary…and so I began writing.

BLURB

The Internet is the new meat market for gay men. Now a killer is turning the meat market into a meat wagon. 

One by one, he’s killing them. Lurking in the digital underworld of Men4HookUpNow.com, he lures, seduces, and charms, reaching out through instant messages to the unwary. When the first body surfaces, openly gay Chicago Police Department detective Ed Comparetto is called in to investigate. At the scene, the young man who discovered the body tells him the story of how he found his friend. But did this witness play a bigger role in the murder than he’s letting on?

For Comparetto, this encounter is the beginning of a nightmare—because this witness did more than just show up at the scene of the crime; he set the scene. Comparetto is on a journey to discover the truth—before he loses his career, his boyfriend, his sanity… his life. Because in this killer's world, IM doesn't stand for instant message… it stands for instant murder.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cover Reveal: DINNER AT JACK'S Coming in October


Note: The following post originally appeared on MM Good Book Reviews.


I’m excited to reveal the cover for my next novel, Dinner at Jack’s, with you today. Isn’t it gorgeous? I can say that because all the credit goes to amazing artist and cover designer, Reese Dante. I work with her on most of my books and I think she’s one of the best in the business. It’s like she can read my mind as far as knowing what will be perfect for each book.

Reese continued the look and feel of my other “dinner” books that combine food and romance (Dinner at HomeDinner at Fiorello’s for this one. If you look at each cover, you’ll see that our main love interests are positioned at the top, with some kind of artful food shot at the bottom. In case you’re wondering what the food is on the cover of Dinner at Jack’s, it’s gnocchi, little Italian dumplings that play a very important role in the story.

What I love about this one is the cool of the colors (most of the book takes place in winter) and the way the characters appear. Not only do they fit their general appearance, you get an idea of how they care for one another.

BLURB
Personal chef Beau St. Clair, recently divorced from his cheating husband, has returned to the small Ohio River town where he grew up to lick his wounds. Jack Rogers lives with his mother Maisie in that same small town, angry at and frightened of the world. Jack has a gap in his memory that hides something he dares not face, and he’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Maisie, seeking relief from her housebound and often surly son, hires Beau to cook for Jack, hoping the change might help bring Jack, once a handsome and vibrant attorney, back to his former self. But can a new face and comfort food compensate for the terror lurking in Jack’s past?

Slowly, the two men begin a dance of revelation and healing. Food and compassion build a bridge between Beau and Jack, a bridge that might lead to love.

But will Jack’s demons allow it? Jack’s history harbors secrets that could just as easily rip them apart as bring them together.

 Release date: 3rd October 2016

Pre-order: Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback

 EXCERPT
This gives you a small idea of how well that first meeting between our two love interests goes… And yes, I’m being sarcastic. But there’s definitely something there.

But it was his eyes which drew me, which rang the bell of familiarity. They were icy blue, so pale the irises appeared nearly translucent. Although most of Jack looked very weak, bedridden, as though a strong wind could lift him and carry him to Oz, his gaze on me was strong. There was something in those eyes I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but it made me nervous. Was it amusement? Disdain? A wish that I would simply go away?

Whatever it was, I had the odd sensation that Jack had the upper hand here, despite his wraithlike and weak appearance. I have to admit, I felt a little intimidated by him.

In spite of this, I forced myself to move toward the bed, my hand extended. “Hi, Jack!” My voice was full of goodwill, and I hope it didn’t sound too fake. “I’m Beau. Beau St. Clair. Pleased to meet you.”

Jack glanced at my hand as though I were holding out a piece of rancid meat and kept his hands under the quilt. I was so taken aback, I glanced down at the outstretched hand to see if it was dirty or if there was something unsanitary clinging beneath my nails. But my hands were clean.

Maisie stood near the doorway, fidgeting. “Jack,” she warned. “Don’t be rude.”

Jack glanced over at her and then rolled his eyes. “Yes, Mother.” He smiled big, kind of like a death rictus, and drew one hand out from beneath the covers. We shook, and I refrained from commenting that the handshake was akin to grasping a dead fish.

Awkward silence reigned. Finally Maisie—God bless her—spoke up. “Beau’s here to talk about maybe cooking for you a couple, three nights a week while I’m at work.”

“Got any experience?” Beau eyed me from the bed.

I nodded. “Graduated near the top of my class from culinary school, worked in several restaurants, going from sous chef to executive chef, before I started my own business as a personal chef.”

Jack sat up a little straighter, and as he did, I had that pang of recognition again, but I couldn’t for the life of me think how I might have crossed paths with this man.

“Wow.” He moved his gaze from me over to Maisie. “You win the lottery, Toots?” he asked.

She snickered. “Yes. Beau here is the first of many changes I’m making. Soon we’ll be moving into one of the mansions on Park Boulevard. I have BMWs ordered for both of us, silver for me and cherry red for you—if you can ever manage to get your sorry ass out of bed. The yacht is being custom-built.”
I looked at her, and she grinned at me. “But seriously, folks, Beau here is just looking for a little side job while he gets settled in his old hometown. Isn’t that right, Beau?”

I nodded.

Jack said, “So you work cheap?”

“I guess I do. Or would.” I shifted my gaze over to Maisie. “That is, if I get hired.”

Maisie laughed. “Oh well, you definitely have an edge over all your competition.”

“And who might that be?” Jack scoffed.

“Um, nobody.”

As much as I wanted to just disappear into the colorless bedroom walls and listen to the mother-son banter, I thought it was up to me to get things on track. “So Jack, tell me what you like to eat.”

He sighed and blew a strand of his pale hair off his forehead. “Brown sugar Pop-Tarts, Cheetos, beef jerky, and beer.”
I clapped my hands together. “Those are my favorites too!” I took some initiative and sat down at the very edge of the foot of the bed. “But I think we can save those for special occasions, like birthdays, House Hunters marathons, and the like.”

Jack asked, “What are you, some kind of smartass?”

“You got me. I’m also a great cook… and I specialize in good old-fashioned comfort food. I make a turkey meatloaf with chipotle ketchup that’ll knock your socks off. Ever had Italian wedding soup with escarole and little tiny meatballs?” I didn’t wait for him to answer. “If you haven’t, you’ll be begging me for it after one taste.” I rubbed my hand along the surface of the quilt, caught myself, and cut it out. “Fried chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, a killer mac and cheese—I use creamed corn in the recipe—weird, but you won’t believe how good it is. I do a wicked beer and beef stew, which I serve up with thyme beer bread I make myself.” I shrugged. “That’s just the start. You think you wanna try something out?” I glanced over at Maisie, who was smiling. “I could bring a little sample over tomorrow, and you see if you like it. If you do, maybe we can set up a more permanent arrangement.”

Ever have a feeling about someone you just can’t put your finger on? A bond your heart makes that your mind is saying “What the fuck?” to? That’s how I felt with Jack, even though he’d done nothing but glare at me the entire time I was speaking. Maybe I knew him in another life or something.

Pre-order: Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Blog Tour: New Release by Renee Stevens WIDE OPEN SPACES

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AboutTheBook

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TITLE: Wide Open Spaces 

AUTHOR: Renee Stevens 

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press 

COVER ARTIST: Maria Fanning 

LENGTH: 35,632 words 

RELEASE DATE: August 31, 2016 

BLURB: Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager. 

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups. 

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States. 


Excerpt   


Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.

An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.

Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?

He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.

“Devon.”

He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.

“Levi.” He hadn’t changed much. The goatee was new, but the shaggy black hair was the same. Devon kept his gaze squarely on Levi’s face, despite wanting to look him over completely. Not that he needed to. Levi had always been his exact opposite when it came to looks. Green eyes to his blue. Black hair to his blond. 

Slender and toned where he was more stocky and muscular. The only similarity was their height. Devon was no giant, but he was a little taller than average, and Levi was only slightly shorter than him.

“I wasn’t sure it was you at first.” Levi smiled, but Devon could still see the same hurt in his eyes as the day he left. “I thought you were never coming back here. At least that’s what you said when you left.”

There was no accusation in Levi’s voice, but Devon winced just the same.

“I never planned to.” He forced himself to shrug like it didn’t matter. “I tried to stay away, but the city is nothing like here. Too many people, too much traffic, and you have to drive quite a ways to be able to see the stars.” Devon shifted from foot to foot, and he opened and closed his hands at his side. “We don’t have to do this.” He motioned from Levi to himself and back. “In fact I’d understand if you hate me and want nothing to do with me.”

“I never hated you.” Levi sighed. “I understood why you left. Even if I wished you didn’t feel the need to.” Levi scanned him from head to toe. He smiled, but there was a sad quality to it. “You look good. When did you get back?”

“A few days ago.” Somebody reached around him, and he realized he was blocking the burrito section. He moved out of the way and motioned with his head for Levi to follow him. He wasn’t sure if he was happy or not when Levi complied. He headed to the fruit and vegetable department, knowing there was a spot near the bananas where they could talk without being in anyone’s way. He stopped by the display and turned back to Levi. “I wasn’t sure if you’d still be here.”

“You know me.” Levi glanced away for a second and then turned back. “This is home. Are you back for good?”

“Yeah. I learned I’m truly a country boy at heart.” He chuckled. “Guess I should have listened when you told me I’d hate the city.”

“You never were very good at listening.” Levi shook his head. “I should let you go before both of our groceries start thawing.”

Devon wanted to stop him but wasn’t sure it was a good idea. He’d never completely gotten over Levi. Devon studied his ex as he walked away. He was still slender, but he had more muscle tone than he had at eighteen. Levi stopped and looked back.

“Maybe we could get together sometime. Catch up over a few beers?” Levi’s voice was barely more than a whisper, like he wasn’t sure he was doing the right thing, but Devon heard him. “I’m sure we have a lot to talk about.”

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AuthorBio

Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties.  Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal.  When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can be usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of admin and Anthology Coordinator. 

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters.  Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works. When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. 

When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors.  She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby.  Once back at home, it’s back to writing.


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Winner’s Prize: No More Hiding ebook, Challenging Fate ebook, $10 Amazon GC.

Runner Up Prize: No More Hiding ebook.


TourSchedule



September 1: Author Dean Frech




September 7: BFD Book Blog

September 8: MM Book Escape

September 9: Louise Lyons




September 14: Prism Book Alliance

Friday, August 26, 2016

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: My Vampire Love Story BLOOD SACRIFICE



Blood Sacrifice is my only full-length vampire novel. It moves restlessly between present-day Chicago and 1950s New York City and the art scene in both times and places. It also asks deep questions about immortality, art, and love. And I like to think it's pretty scary!  

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BLURB

What would you give up for immortal life and love?

By day, Elise draws and paints, spilling out the horrific visions of her tortured mind. By night, she walks the streets, selling her body to the highest bidder.

And then they come into her life: a trio of impossibly beautiful vampires: Terence, Maria, and Edward. When they encounter Elise, they set an explosive triangle in motion.

Terence wants to drain her blood. Maria just wants Elise . . . as lover and partner through eternity. And Edward, the most recently-converted, wants to prevent her from making the same mistake he made as a young abstract expressionist artist in 1950s Greenwich Village: sacrificing his artistic vision for immortal life. He is the only one of them still human enough to realize what an unholy trade this is.

Blood Sacrifice is a novel that will grip you in a vise of suspense that won't let go until the very last moment...when a shocking turn of events changes everything and demonstrates--truly--what love and sacrifice are all about.

EXCERPT
Elise Groneman stares out the window, stomach roiling. What she has is like stage fright. She gets it every night, before she ventures out of her tiny Rogers Park studio apartment on Chicago’s far north side. It’s always been amazing to her that just a few minutes’ walk to the north is the suburb of Evanston and a different world; there, the streets are tree-lined and clean, the homes palatial, the condos upscale, the restaurants grand, and the stores exclusive. Affluence and culture preside. Yet here, on Greenview Street, one encounters abject poverty, crime, the detritus of urban desperation: tiny brightly-colored baggies, fast food wrappers, condoms, empty alcohol bottles, even pieces of clothing. The sidewalks are cracked, the grassy areas choked with weeds and garbage. Here in Rogers Park, the normal folks―the ones who travel on the el to work downtown every morning―stay inside, so as not to mingle with people like Elise, or the man outside her window right now, who’s screaming, “What the fuck do I care what you do, bitch? It ain’t no skin off my ass.” Elise glances out and sees the man is alone. A boy cruises by on a bicycle that’s too small for him. The bike is stolen; either that, or he’s a runner for some small time dealer, delivering and making collections. Sometimes, there aren’t many options for moving up the ladder.

But this neighborhood is all Elise can afford, and, unless she picks up more clientele soon, she may even be crowded out of this hovel she begrudgingly calls home. Once, she shared the place with someone else, but those days, for better or worse, are long behind her.

Elise moves to the window, attempting to obliterate memory by the simple act of staring outside. Dusk has fallen and the sky belies the earthbound life before her. The sun is setting, the sky deep violet, filtering down to tangerine and pink near the horizon. If she keeps her eyes trained on the riot of color and shape to the east, she can almost forget where she is.

But the denizens of Greenview Street make sure she stays reminded. They stroll the night in an attempt to escape the heat, the hot, moist air pressing in, smothering. They call to one another, using words she had barely heard, let alone used, back in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where she had grown up: nigga, motherfucka, homey. Fuck used as an adjective, verb, and ejaculation (but rarely, ironically, utilized in a sexual context). Snatches of music filter out from apartment windows. Cruising vehicles pass by, bass thumping hard enough to cause the glass in her windows to vibrate. She has picked up names of artists like Bow Wow, Def Soul, and Trick Daddy as she walks the streets. Elise puts a hand to the screen, testing the air. Will there ever be a breeze again? She wonders if her neighbors would recognize any of the names attached to the music she loves, names like Vivaldi, Smetana, Bach. Other music fills the street: arguments and professions of love shouted with equal force. Headlights illuminate the darkening night, which is also lit by the flare of a match here, neon there, and sodium vapor overall. The world glows orange, filling up not only the streets of the city, but the sky, blotting out the stars.

East of her churn the cold waters of Lake Michigan, and Elise imagines its foam-flecked waves lapping at the shores. She’d like to pad down to the beach at the end of Birchwood Street, kick off her sandals and run across the sand and into the water, its cold obliterating and refreshing. She wishes she had the freedom, but east is not her path. Her way lies south, to Howard Street, purveyor of pawnshops and prostitution.

Her destination.

Elise turns to survey her cramped apartment. Near the ceiling, industrial green paint peels from the walls to reveal other coats of grimy paint no color describes. Metal-frame twin bed, sheets twisted and gray, damp from sweat and humidity. Next to that, Salvation Army-issue scarred oak table, small, with the remains of this night’s meal, a few apple peelings, a knife, and a glass half filled with pale tea, darkening in the dying light.

It’s a place no one would ever call home. Elise’s apartment is utilitarian, a place to work, to sleep, to eat. It’s little more than shelter.

The only sign of human habitation is her work: huge canvases mounted on easels, bits of heavy paper taped to her drawing board. Much of her work is done in charcoal and pencil, but the palette of grays and black remain constant, whether it’s a sketch or a completed painting. Her subject matter, too, is always the same, although the variety of choices she has to explore is endless. Elise likes to draw intensely detailed renderings of crime and accident scenes, aping the cold, clinical detachment one might find in a book of crime scene photographs. Here is a woman, slumped beside a corduroy recliner, a gunshot ripping away half of her head (the blood black in Elise’s rendering), beside her, a half-eaten chicken leg and the Tempo section of the Chicago Tribune, folded neatly and splattered with her gore. There’s a man lying beside a highway, the cars a fast-moving blurred river. His head has been severed from his body. On the wall she has masking-taped a nightmare in quick, staccato slashes: a young woman strangled and left to lie in the pristine environment of an upscale public washroom, clean, shiny ceramic tile, untarnished metal stalls. Another woman, looking bored, checks her lipstick in the mirror. Near Elise’s floor is a small, intricately detailed drawing done in charcoal: two lovers lie in a bed of gore, the aftermath―one presumes―of discovery of their union by a jealous lover. The woman has a sheet discreetly covering her up to the neck. The man lies splayed out in a paroxysm of agony. And why not? His offending penis has been slashed from his body. Is that it on the floor beside the bed, a smudge of black, nearly shapeless?

Where is all the color? Elise herself wonders as she dresses for the evening. Color has been leached out of her world; it is getting increasingly difficult to be able to remember what color was like and thus, increasingly difficult to duplicate its varied hues on paper or canvas. Color, it seems, is but a hazy memory out of her past.

Enough of art analysis, she thinks. It’s her days she has designated to her art. Nighttime is when she prepares for her other job, the occupation that keeps a roof over her head. The job which perhaps is responsible for stealing the color from her vision.

Enough! Enough! Enough! she thinks. Put the introspection behind you. It’s time now, time to become a creature of the night, an animal doing what it must to provide its own sustenance.

She rummages in the apartment’s lone closet, pulling out one of her “uniforms,” clothing that helps identify her occupation as much a mechanic’s jumpsuit, or a waitress’s ruffled apron and polyester dress.

Tonight, she dons a short black skirt bisected by a wide zipper ending in a big silver loop. Over her head, she pulls a white T-shirt, tying it just above her waist. In combination with the low-riding skirt, it perfectly frames her navel. Elise pulls the skin apart and plucks out a piece of lint. She completes her ensemble with dark seamed stockings and spike heels. These are the tools of the trade as much as the brushes, sticks of charcoal, and pencils littering her space.

Elise flips back her long whiskey-colored hair, and leans close to the mirror. She lines her lips with a shade of brown, then fills in with glossy crimson. Cheapens her green eyes with thick black kohl. Elise pulls her hair back, away from her damp neck, and up, pinning it all together with a silver barrette adorned with the smiling face of a skull. Pentagram earrings. Tonight a witch, creature of the night.

Then she turns, hand on doorknob. The night awaits: exhaust fumes, traffic, the chirping of cicadas.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

BIG LOVE Wins the Gold!



The Florida Authors & Publishers Association (FAPA) recently awarded Big Love its highest honor: the President's Book Award Winner for Romance for 2016 (Gold medal). I'm so honored and thrilled that this book, very near and dear to my heart, was singled out for the distinction. 

Books were selected by a panel of sixty five judges, which included educators, librarians, and publishing professionals. Go to the website to see all the winners. And congrats to my fellow honorees!

BLURB
Teacher Dane Bernard is a gentle giant, loved by all at Summitville High School. He has a beautiful wife, two kids, and an easy rapport with staff and students alike. But Dane has a secret, one he expects to keep hidden for the rest of his life—he’s gay.

But when he loses his wife, Dane finally confronts his attraction to men. And a new teacher, Seth Wolcott, immediately catches his eye. Seth himself is starting over, licking his wounds from a breakup. The last thing Seth wants is another relationship—but when he spies Dane on his first day at Summitville High, his attraction is immediate and electric.

As the two men enter into a dance of discovery and new love, they’re called upon to come to the aid of bullied gay student Truman Reid. Truman is out and proud, which not everyone at his small-town high school approves of. As the two men work to help Truman ignore the bullies and love himself without reservation, they all learn life-changing lessons about coming out, coming to terms, acceptance, heartbreak, and falling in love.


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