Guest Author: Amy Lane

FallThroughSpringFS_v1Fall Through Spring

 Dane

 When we meet Mason Hayes, we realize right off he’s sort of a dork. He’s like a perpetually horny Fred MacMurray with a runaway mouth. But one of Mason’s redeeming features is his devotion to his brother, Dane.

Dane, we learn in book two, has bipolar, and we see—mostly off page—a depression spiral that throws Mason’s entire life into an uproar, and we root for Mason to not only make his romance work, but to get his little brother back. When Dane is whole and well, he’s a funny, warm, fiercely loyal part of Mason’s life.

I knew that seeing this character from a closer point of view—from the POV of the guy who wouldn’t get out of bed for a month, from the POV of the guy who loved him and kicked his ass out anyway—was going to be rough.

“Mental illness is the suck,” Dane’s love interest says at the beginning. “I’m sorry you have to deal with that. But I’m glad you’re here to game with me tonight.”

And that pretty much sums up how Clay and Mason has to deal with Dane—one up, and one down at a time.

Clay’s experience is mine—people I love dearly have been hurt by imperfect brain chemistry, and it’s our job to love those people through the highs and the lows, and know that the person we care about truly does balance out to a lovely human being in the middle. Upswings are exhausting, and downswings are worse—but as long as the person we love is in there, underneath the balance of medication and human being, the results of unconditional love are unconditionally worth it.

Dane has been grappling with his illness for years—his parents have helped him since his diagnosis, and his brother has taken on that role since he moved away from home. Falling in love hasn’t been on his agenda since his stay in the psych ward, when he originally balanced his medication, because he knows the seductiveness of putting his happiness in the hands of the wrong kind of person.

When Clay puts off their relationship because he’s the right kind of person, Dane is frustrated at first, and then hurt—but when Clay’s devotion sees the test of time through Dane’s absolute worst, Dane comes out on the other side with a fragile confidence. Anybody who can see him through the worst of what his illness has to offer is someone who, just might, come through for him as a lover and not just a friend.

Dane is just like Clay—a twined rosebush of good and bad, with enough thorns on the branches to make it impossible to sort them out.

Dane’s romance was never going to be easy. I know people wanted to see him fall in love—he’s funny and charming, and can be a laugh riot when he’s on an upswing. But just like Carpenter, if we’re going to love Dane, we need to love all of him—and know that the hard parts are worth it, because the person we’re loving is, at his soul, an amazing companion with a good heart.

I loved writing him—and I thought Carpenter was a good match. I hope people adore him like I did.

Blurb

 A Winter Ball Novel

As far as Clay Carpenter is concerned, his abusive relationship with food is the best thing he’s got going. When a good friend starts kicking his ass into gear, Clay is forced to reexamine everything he learned about food and love—and that’s right when he meets troubled graduate student, Dane Hayes.

Dane Hayes doesn’t do the whole monogamy thing, but the minute he meets Clay Carpenter, he’s doing the friend thing in spades. The snarky, scruffy bastard not only gets Dane’s wacky sense of humor, he also accepts the things Dane can’t control—like the bipolar disorder Dane has been trying to manage for the past six years.

Dane is hoping for more than friendship, and Clay is looking at him with longing that isn’t platonic. They’re both positive they’re bad at relationships, but with the help of forbidden desserts and new medication regimens, they prove outstanding at being with each other. But can they turn their friendship into the love neither of them has dared to hope for?

 Bio–

Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of growing children, a passelamy-lane-2 of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. Two of her books have received a RITA nomination, she’s won honorable mention for an Indiefab, and has a couple of Rainbow Awards to her name. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Y5FBXDB/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i2

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fall-through-spring-by-amy-lane-11443-b

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/mt/book/fall-through-spring/id1477239218

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fall-through-spring

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fall-through-spring-amy-lane/1133688923?ean=9781644057605

 

Guest Author: E.L. Croucher

Horned wing1Horned Winged Blessed

Blurb: Follow Joan on her adventure of discovery, as she learns the hard way that her post-apocalyptic utopia isn’t always full of rainbows and Merlot.

Yes, she lives on the nicer side of the settlement, as the daughter of the Mother Founder. But after a life-threatening attack on her home, she soon realises that many out there are against the Silver Party regime.

Horned Winged Blessed is the story of one girl fighting against a tyrannous government, elected to power amidst the unending chaos of World War III. Heavily enriched in their pagan values, the Silver Party are to thank for pulling Broken Britain up from the brink of a depression, but at what cost?

Will Joan decide to take down the Silver Party from the inside…

…or will she go on to fight alongside the rebel faction that allures her so intensely?

Excerpt:

“He said that you represent them… the enemy. There’s something about you, and I see it too.” She has no idea how right she is in this exact moment. It’s almost frightening.

“Maybe I don’t want all that though, did anyone ever consider that?”

“We don’t always get to choose what we stand for, Luna. I didn’t. I’m here, fighting this fight because I have to be.”

“You have to be?” I’m confused. What is she saying? “For Matthew?”

“No, not him. He means the world to me, that’s no secret. But no. Not him. Luna, look at me.” I submit and do as she says. We put our wine glasses to the side. “I didn’t go through what I did in the previous world to live as a stupid, suppressed ‘Blessed one’. No way. And neither did any of my other sisters. Do you understand me? I’m a woman. Not a trans woman. Not anything else. A woman. The minute I’m defined as a subcategory is the minute my identity stops being up to me. I haven’t fought to become who I am – and was always meant to be – just to have it dictated to me by a bunch of crazies.”

Suddenly she stands up, and walks over to my kitchen surface. One drawer after another, she searches for something. The wine is on the table, so it can’t be that. Then, she pauses when she finds whatever it is she’s looking for. A small dagger, given to me by a guy I could’ve fallen for, once upon a time. It stands for everything she stands for. For me, it’s a symbol of what could’ve been. A night’s warmth. A fleeting memory.

Amazon

rhdrAbout E L Croucher

E L Croucher is a young author, living in London. She started writing over two years, with her first novel The Butterfly on Fire, which she published on Amazon. Alongside her career as a writer, she works as a Japanese translator and interpreter for a well-known Japanese gaming company, after studying Japanese at university and living in Tokyo, Japan.
Her latest novel, Horned Winged Blessed is an ironic look into a world in which gender roles are swapped, and minorities are forced into labels that they did not choose. With a mix of feminist views and a pro-LGBTQ+ stance, E L Croucher writes to further her dream of a world free from prejudice, hate-crimes and bullying.

Follow her story on her website or find her on social media:

http://ELCroucher.com

@emi13230

 

 

Guest Author: Kristal Dawn Harris

red snowflakesForensic photographer, Dena Williams, has spent her life trained to see what others cannot. Vampire, Dimitri Kovac, has waited every Christmas for a miracle that does not come. In the Oregon wilderness, during a snowstorm, these two destined souls collide. Dena’s only hope of survival rests in a vampire with the heart of a poet. Dimitri only has five days to win a skeptical woman’s heart. As the Christmas tree lights burn brightly and the snow continues to fall, will Dena succumb to a vampire’s charms? With so little time, can Dimitri win her love?

Amazon

 

About Kristal Dawn Harris

Kristal Dawn Harris is an award-winning, American romance author. She loves romance of any kind, but paranorKristal Harrismal is her favorite. “The Rings of Faolan-Emeralds” is her debut novel published by The Wild Rose Press, Inc. She currently lives in Ohio (go Buckeyes!) with her husband. She’s been married 27 years and has two beautiful children. Kristal attended Miami University and finished a degree in Accounting Tech. If you see her out walking and notice she walks a little funny, it’s because she does! In 1999, Kristal was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome and now wears drop-foot braces on her feet and legs, but that’s okay. She’s a survivor and proud of it! Kristal loves spending time with her family, singing at church, coin collecting, swimming, the beach, the mountains, reading, crafting and anything with a darker edge to it.

LINKS

www.kristalharris.com

https://www.facebook.com/kristalharrisauthor/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://twitter.com/Kristal081670

https://www.instagram.com/kristaldawnharris/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18576974.Kristal_Dawn_Harris

https://allauthor.com/author/kristaldawnharris/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kristal-dawn-harris

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1CwONvZkbiKG2MS4Ygiqvg?view_as=subscriber

https://www.thewildrosepress.com/authors/kristal-dawn-harris

Guest Author: Don Travis

guest author don travisFirst, let me say thanks to Vicky at Sparkling Reviews for allowing me to guest post her blog to honor the release of my sixth BJ Vinson mystery novel, The Voxlightner Scandal. So thanks, Vicky, and thanks to Dreamspinner Press for publishing the work.

The novel’s blurb probably gives you a pretty good preview of the book:

No good deed goes unpunished, as investigator B. J. Vinson is about to discover.

Writer John Pierce Belhaven was murdered before he could reveal the name of another killer—one connected to the biggest scandal to rock Albuquerque in years. Two of the city’s most prominent citizens—Barron Voxlightner and Dr. Walther Stabler—vanished in 2004, along with fifty million dollars looted from Voxlightner Precious Metals Recovery Corp. It only makes sense that poking into that disappearance cost Belhaven his life.

But BJ isn’t so sure.

He’s agreed to help novice detective Roy Guerra reopen the old case—which the wealthy and influential Voxlightner family doesn’t want dredged up. But Belhaven was part of their family, and that connection could’ve led to his murder. Or did the sixty-year-old author die because of a sordid sexual affair?

I’ve selected a passage in Chapter 3 of the book to excerpt here. Following the murder of a local author named John Pierce Belhaven, BJ (our protagonist) and his partner Paul Barton, together with Detective Roy Guerra of the Albuquerque Police Department, have just finished interviewing Sarah Thackerson, Belhaven’s secretary and mistress. Now they go to the backyard of the Belhaven house to interview Spenser Spears, his lawn boy and reputed “bimbob.” Let’s see how it goes.

*****

Belhaven’s secretary and researcher returned to her work as the three of us went outside to confront a hard-bodied young man with a small birthmark. Already handsome, the strawberry imperfection on his left cheek rendered him sensual as well. Here was the lawn boy, except Spencer Spears was no boy. He was a man in his midtwenties… and knew it. Masculine grace rippled across his shoulders as he cut the motor, ran a hand through thick hair as dark as roasted coffee beans, and regarded us warily.

“Spencer Spears?” I asked.

He nodded. “That’s me.”

“Yard and garden look great.”

“You the water police?” He referred to water restrictions imposed by the city fathers for the duration of the drought. I shook my head and smiled at his joke.

“What are your responsibilities here?” I asked.

He looked around the large backyard. “Everything outside the house is mine. I landscape, mow, mulch, fertilize, and trim. I also repair things inside the house. Electrical, mechanical, masonry, that kind of thing. I’m pretty handy.”

“Do you live on the premises?” Roy asked.

Spencer shook his head, setting dark curls to dancing. “Nope. Have my own pad. But there’s a room in a little building out back where I sometimes rest my head when something keeps me here late. My place is down by CNM. Just off Morris on Lagrima.”

“Is this your sole place of employment?” I asked.

“Mostly. I go to school there. Central New Mexico, that is. I’ve got the GI Bill, but Mr. B.’s gig—plus a few other customers—keep me solvent.”

“What branch were you in?”

“Army. Rangers,” Spence said.

“How long did you serve?”

“Enlisted right out of high school and saw service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Decided that was enough. Time to start working on my education.” A smile played at the corners of his broad mouth. “The kind I could talk about.”

Maybe a blunt question might shake him. “Where were you on the night Pierce Belhaven died?”

“Wednesday’s a school day. Like I said I usually work on Thursdays. Thursdays and Mondays unless Mr. B. called me in for some special job.”

“Happen often?” Roy asked.

“Enough. This neighborhood was built in the fifties and sixties, so the houses take some TLC. Anyway on that Wednesday, I had two classes, went to my place and did homework, wrote a theme… at least got it started. I went malling for a while until beer o’clock, then met some guys at the Hogshead Tavern up on Montgomery.”

“I’m not up on the local slang,” I said. “What time is beer o’clock?”

“Got there about eight. We closed the place down at two.”

“Witnesses, I assume,” Roy said.

“Yeah,” Spencer answered. “Sometimes two, sometimes three. They came and went.”

“But you stayed.”

“Same table all night… except for pit stops. The Hog has the best craft beer in the state.”

“What was your and Belhaven’s relationship,” I asked.

He didn’t even blink. “Employee… employer. Friends. Sometimes even companions when he let his hair down and acted human instead of like a Voxlightner. They’re in a world of their own, you know.”

Recognizing a ploy, I pressed on. “Define companions.”

“Buddies. We’d hoist a glass or two. I’d sit and listen to him go maudlin when he overdid it. Put him to bed once in a while. Next day we were employee-employer again.”

“So he left you two hundred fifty grand for putting him to bed a couple of times?”

Spencer regarded me through milk-chocolate eyes. “Okay. Far be it for me to sully a dead man’s reputation, but he asked a little more from time to time.”

“Define more.”

He looked down his frame and spread his hands. “All of me sometimes.”

“Just to be clear, are you saying you were his lover?” Roy asked, his voice rising.

Spencer’s charming grin appeared again. “Don’t have an aneurism, man. No big deal. I already told you about it. But just on Thursdays and Mondays.”

“For five years?” I asked.

Spencer nodded. “Yeah. He picked me up in a bar—the Hogshead, as a matter of fact—and we fit so well together he wanted to meet again. We did, and it became a permanent thing. Why not? His wife was dead by then, his son wouldn’t talk to him, and his daughter lived in Grants with a husband Pierce couldn’t stand. The guy was entitled to some companionship, wasn’t he?”

I could see Roy was bursting to introduce Sarah Thackerson into the conversation. I preferred he didn’t at this point, but he was in charge.

“What about Ms. Thackerson?” he asked, his cheeks somewhat flushed.

“What about her? Oh. I see what you mean. She was his beard, I think the term is.”

“Are you saying she didn’t go to bed with him?”

“Sure she did. But I was the one who meant something to Pierce. She was merely his thing on the side.” He frowned. “Of course, he left her $250,000 too, so….”

We waited, but he didn’t pursue the matter further, although I could see from his eyes he was reevaluating the situation. After a brief grimace he smiled. “If he was playing around with Sarah, that’s all it was, playing around. Ours was the relationship that counted. Might sound strange to some ears, but Pierce loved me.”

“And you? Did you love him?” I asked.

“I was fond of him, and he knew it. I never tried to smoke him, and he appreciated that. Think he liked having a straight guy respond to him. Lots of gays do, I guess.” Spencer frowned. “Didn’t have any idea he was about to get the cosmic dope slap. Bummer.”

Paul must have heard my mental caution because he kept his mouth shut, although I saw his lips twitch.

“Anyway,” Spencer went on, “we had a good relationship. It satisfied both our needs.”

Paul broke his silence. “His emotional and your financial, I gather.”

Spencer smiled pleasantly at him. “Aren’t most unions based on economics? Husband works and feeds the kids, wife takes care of husband and family.”

Paul’s look turned dark, so I stepped in to avoid a confrontation. “That might be the way it worked in the last century, but not so much anymore. It’s more of a partnership.”

Spencer spread his hands. “That’s what I’m saying. Our partnership took care of everybody’s needs. The fact he loved me and I was fond of him was a plus, right?”

Paul and I left Roy to collect Spencer’s alibi witnesses and returned to the office.

*****

My publisher insists I furnish bio information for these things. My life is so uninteresting, I’m using the bio from my prior blog: I’m an Okie born and raised who rambled around Germany while in the US Army and Denver and Albuquerque while in the business world. A tubercular child, I grew up in the library of my small hometown rather than on the sports fields. So what else should I do but write?  I was a paint artist for a while—oils and still life mostly—but that didn’t scratch my creative itch like writing did. I put away the brushes and took up the pen… well, the computer. Finding myself widowed in 2009, I flirted with moving back to Texas where most of my family has resettled, but the pull of New Mexico proved too strong. Here is where I choose to be and here… I will remain.

I welcome contact by my readers, and the following are some personal links:

Website: dontravis.com

Email: dontravis21@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/donald.travis982

Here are buy links for The Voxlightner Scandal:

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-voxlightner-scandal-by-don-travis-11285-b

DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-voxlightner-scandal-by-don-travis-537-b

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Voxlightner-Scandal-Vinson-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07VL33P99

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-voxlightner-scandal-don-travis/1132632844?ean=9781640809260

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/the-voxlightner-scandal/id1473985039?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=H3ilDwAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-voxlightner-scandal

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4AxPDo

Let me close with another expression of gratitude to Vicky for hosting this guest post. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Author: K.D. Worth

THE LOST SOULS

The Grim Life: Book Three

LostSouls[The]FS_V1Teenage grim reapers Max and Kody are already dealing with being dead… and now they’re expected to save the world.

With the help of their guardian angel, Slade, and each other, Max and Kody have finally discovered the destiny God planned for them—help the lost souls languishing in purgatory back to heaven. But they’re still growing into their roles. Kody, the Healer, struggles to understand the power born of his empathy, and Max’s abilities as Protector suffer because of longing for his best friend… along with Slade’s dire prediction that Max will lose Kody. So many are depending on them, and they’ll have to summon all the love and faith inside them to face a mass school shooting and bring love and hope to those who need it most.

NOW AVAILABLE!

AmazonHarmony InkNook │ Dreamspinner │GoogleKobo

Special offer for a limited time:

The Grim Life: FREE and The Wounded Heart: only $.99

Enjoy this sweet excerpt exclusive for Sparkling Reviews!GrimLife[The]FS

EXCERPT:

“I love you, Kody,” I whispered.

Laying my hand on his chest, I conjured the light over his heart. Once more that sparkling glow emanated from my fingers, creeping and crawling out across Kody’s chest like a warm, glowing blanket. The more I gave to him, the more I loved him, the easier it all became. The power within me was almost as effortless to use as it was to love Kody.

Under my hand, Kody stirred.

I kept giving him my light, wrapping his heart figuratively and literally in a safe cocoon, filling him with my love. I could feel his body absorbing it, siphoning it all inside him. And just like the last time, the more he took, the stronger I felt.

“Kody?” I questioned.

“Hmmm?”

My stomach leaped. “You okay?” I said excitedly.

Those brilliant blue eyes opened, his face alight with my aura glowing over his heart. “Max,” he said happily. “You’re here.”

I let out a trembling cry. “Yes, of course I’m here.”

There was clarity in his eyes, no sign of pain or weakness. Raising his head slightly, he looked down at my hand where the light illuminated his chest. “How are you doing that? It feels… different than before.”

“I don’t know,” I said honestly.

“That’s good,” he said, dropping his head back heavily. “We always let our heads get in the way, don’t we?”

Bursting with a sudden need to touch him, I threw my arms around him and kissed him for all I was worth.

He responded at once, kissing me back and pulling me close.

The light I had created didn’t need my hands. It swelled between our chests, bright and luminescent.

I pulled back, breathless, and gazed at Kody. The aura brightened his face, and he looked so peaceful. I’d never truly seen him look so beautiful. Sure, he let his guard down and looked all sleepy and content after we made love. That I had once believed was my favorite way to see him.

But this?

This was truly breathtaking.

I caressed his face. “Are you really okay?”

His face scrunched, and he shifted me until I was lying between his thighs and on top of him. He stroked my back and smiled at me. “Yeah, surprisingly I feel perfectly fine. Actually, I feel good.”

“You scared me,” I said in a tiny voice.

“I kinda scared myself,” he admitted.

I kissed him again. “You’re really okay? You’re not keeping anything from me?”

Chuckling, he shook his head. “No, I don’t wanna do that ever again, Max. Honestly, I feel great. Like I finally know exactly what we’re meant to do. And that we can do it.”

“Yeah, you were awesome,” I agreed. I still couldn’t wrap my head around how amazing and brave Kody had been today. “I’m so proud of you.”

“I couldn’t have done it without you.”

We kissed again and the world slipped away.

THE LOST SOULS now available!

AmazonHarmony InkNook │ Dreamspinner │GoogleKobo

WoundedHeart[The]FS_v1Special offer for a limited time:

The Grim Life: FREE and The Wounded Heart: only $.99

K.D. Worth has always considered herself to have the heart of a teenager with an old soul. When not talking to the characters living in her head, she loves to hang out at her favorite townie bar, then go dancing and partying with her husband and friends. There is always music playing in her home, and if it’s too loud, you’re too old! On the flip side, K.D. enjoys spending time in her vegetable garden, canning the food she grows, and making homemade jams and jellies. She also is known to crochet washcloths and blankets for her closest friends and smiles when they tease her for her “grandmotherly” ways. These two different sides to her personality create a layered tapestry of life experience that brings depth and believability to the characters she writes. She loves to hear from her fans almost as much as she loves her cocker spaniels. You can find her on online here: FacebookTwitterBookbub 

For Vicky’s review of Lost Souls, go here