Category Archives: Guest Author

Manic Monday And Book Promo!


Long time no see! We are mostly settled in, meaning, we are unpacked and have most of the stuff put away and pictures up on the walls. The hubs still has to finish ‘his’ wall, and the ‘library’ still needs things on the walls (but those have yet to be framed so….)

As some of you know, the renters & rental management company were NOT kind to our house and we have a LOT Of repairs to do. Which would be fine if they had come one at a time over the last five years? But yeah, no, so, I’m job hunting which is taking the majority of my time so my writing & editing has taken a SEVERE backseat. I’m still doing it, but yeah, I need to find a job that will be a steady paycheck so…sacrifices have been made. I do have a short story coming out this month, the 17th, I believe. More about that later this week, maybe?

I can’t really tell you what I’m going to work on, because I haven’t exactly figured out which story/stories to prioritize when I do, I’ll let you know.

That all said, Congrats go out to my fellow author Lillian Francis who is self-publishing a novel that was originally published elsewhere, it has a GORGEOUS new cover, she’s doing a blog tour and everything!!! I’m copying her info below, go check it out.

Have a great Monday and I’ll hopefully see you later on in the week!


TITLE: Lovers Entwined

Lillian Francis

PUBLISHER: Finally Love Press

Meredith Russell

98,950 words

August 3, 2015

Ewan Matthews is one of Boston’s leading genealogy experts. When a would-be bridegroom comes looking for confirmation that there are no skeletons in his ancestral closet, Ewan considers turning the job down. Trey Capell is a jerk of the highest order and yet Ewan experiences an infuriating attraction that’s easy to justify. Trey’s exactly his type—a carbon copy of the man Ewan’s been looking for his entire life.

Harder to explain is the sense of recognition that leaves Ewan speechless the moment Trey steps into his office. Or the stomach-churning sensation at the thought of casting the job aside. Trey gets more appealing by the day, leaving Ewan struggling with forbidden desire for his client. Desire not helped by strange voyeuristic dreams that have started to haunt his sleep. Dreams that appear to be an echo of the past.

Purchase links for Lovers Entwined. 

Amazon US 
Amazon UK 

The price will be going back up to $3.99 at some point today it just depends on how quick each of the particular sites are, at the moment they all still stand at $2.99.

 photo Lovers Entwined Banner_zpsadbbhc13.png


Guest Authors: Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese on Midsummer

The May/December trope is one that Racheline and I keep coming back to. Sometimes, it happens almost accidentally; as cowriters, we are sixteen years apart in age, and having characters with a large age gap between them lets there be a character we each relate to. Sometimes, we do it more deliberately: We’re interested in how people navigate power dynamics within relationships, and how a couple navigates disparities in age, experience, and expectations.

In Midsummer, the May/December relationship between John and Michael is a little different than other age-difference stories we’ve written, because it is also a gay-for-you romance. Michael — who is twenty-five — has been out and proud since he was in high school. Forty-two-year-old John, on the other hand, has never found himself attracted to men until he falls in love and lust with Michael. He insists that his attraction for Michael isn’t some sort of mid-life crisis; although he totally gets why his friends accuse them of that.

As much as we enjoy writing May/December for the fun of watching a character teach another something awesome in bed, we also enjoy the negotiation and conflict that arise when two characters are so far apart in age. And in Midsummer, the gay-for-you dynamic interacts with the May/December dynamic in ways we really enjoy. On the one hand, John is seventeen years older than Michael, and has a great deal of experience with life, the world, and relationships. On the other hand, John is very new to being a part of the gay community, and has to learn how to navigate questions of his own outness.



John Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger.

They rush headlong into an affair which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.


Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry — Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) — from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world — Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web at

Connect with Erin & Racheline online:

Blog | Facebook Page | Erin’s Twitter | Racheline’s Twitter | Erin’s Goodreads | Racheline’s Goodreads | Erin’s Amazon Author Page | Racheline’s Amazon Author Page

Buy Links:

Amazon | AllRomance | B&N | Dreamspinner


Costume fittings and dress rehearsals means that John finally gets to see Michael costumed as Puck. The human characters are dressed contemporarily, in suits and cocktail dresses that become increasingly disheveled as the show goes on. The fairies, though, are dressed in greens and browns with crowns of strange wildness — thistles, cornsilk, and Queen Ann’s lace. Michael as Puck looks deeply inhuman, covered in leaves as if dragged in from the wooded grounds. For their first dress rehearsal, it takes all of John’s considerable experience and willpower to actually focus on the play and not Michael. As taken as Oberon is meant to be with Puck, he should actually be able to remember and deliver his lines.

“Whose idea was this?” he asks Michael afterward, catching him before he can change. Michael blinks at him with eyes done up in silver and green. John wants to devour him.

“Do you like it?” Michael asks, more distant and coy than usual, sliding his hands up John’s chest which, like his own, is bare.

All John can do is groan when Michael looks up at him from under his lashes. He stands on his tiptoes to kiss John briefly, and then vanishes. When he reappears he’s Michael again, in t-shirt and shorts, but John can’t forget the image of him transformed.

Fun Friday

WOW. Haven’t done one of these in a while /o\ Sorry for that. I’m going to go ahead and warn everyone now that from now until about August – posts will not be regular. I’ll try to stick to the M-W-F schedule in terms of DAYS that I post but I’m saying right now I won’t be posting every single M-W-F because we are gearing up for the end of the baseball season, the end of school, and our move. Throw in some writing deadlines on top of that and I’m going to be SUPER busy. I solemnly swear I will try to post at least once a week on one of those days. I know I’m overdue for a Reading Wed so that will probably be next.

In terms of fun, we took the kid (and the grandparents who were visiting) to see the Avengers Double Feature. Had a blast, the movie was awesome, and except for the fact that I worried that a particular character was going to die after a secret was revealed, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Went to see it a second time and enjoyed it more 😀

Also took the kid to see Home – HILARIOUS. So funny.

Hoping this weekend to pull of a double feature of Mad Max and Pitch Perfect 2…we’ll see.

For those of you wondering, I met my two deadlines \o/ – thanks for all the encouragement & cheerleading. I have more coming up. I’ll keep you posted. I have a guest post coming up on May 21 so be sure and stop by for that!

For now…have a GREAT weekend. Enjoy the weather.


Guest Author: Lillian Francis – Mince Pies And Their Unappealing Roots

Mince Pies and their unappealing roots

They appear to be the marmite of the festive period, you either love them or wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. But what exactly is a Mince Pie, why do we eat them at Christmas and why do they have that unappealing name.

Mince Pie

Photo by Lillian Francis

Is it a sweet or a savoury? These days very little mincing goes into a Mince Pie, most of the fruits used to make the mincemeat—another misnomer because the current version contains no meat unless beef suet is used—are small enough not to require chopping. Raisins, sultanas, currants, and many contain dried mixed peel, which I try to avoid because mixed peel is the worst invention ever. Spices, some suet and plenty of booze and the basis of the mincemeat is ready.

But what of days of old? Some reports have them dating back to medieval times, when the ‘Christmas Pie’, which was larger in size and oval (possibly to represent Christ’s manger) would have contained beef (for the wealthy) or suet, mutton, goose, or sheep’s tongue (for the less well off). It is thought this meat was then mixed with fruits and then spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, brought back by knights returning from the Crusades, were added. The fruit bulked out the protein, making it go further and the spices disguised meat that might be ‘on the turn’.

By the 1800s there were recipes for mincemeat which listed suet, fat, currents, peel apple, spices, brandy and sugar amongst the ingredients. This is remarkably similar to what we might use in homemade mincemeat today. Prior to this mince pies would have tasted like savoury pies heavily flavoured with fruit and spices with very little sweetness to them. The reason for this change could conceivably be contributed to the ready availability of cheap sugar from the slave plantations in the West Indies.

And by the time Mrs Beeton produced her legendary cookery book in 1861 only one of the mincemeat recipes she included actually listed meat in the ingredients. Her own opinion of the inclusion of meat in mince pies could probably be gauged by the fact that the traditional ‘meat-inclusive’ mincemeat was called simply ‘mincemeat’ whilst the meat-free version was ‘excellent mincemeat’.

As to why we only eat them at Christmas, the reason for that appears to have been lost in the mists of time. There are stories, of course. The aforementioned medieval shape representing Christ’s manger is one possibility. The trinity of spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves—have been said to represent the gifts of the Magi.

Then again Mince Pies were served at Henry V’s coronation. In April 1413. The event was said to have been marred by a snow storm, though.

But, two centuries later, they had become synonymous with festive celebrations sufficiently that they were reviled, along with all things Christmasy, by Oliver Cromwell’s Puritans. Although, apparently, the reports of them being banned during this time were greatly exaggerated.

Personally I think that it has more to do with the original Mince Pie being a winter dish. The lack of fresh produce in a barren season encouraged the use of autumnal fruits and dried summer produce. And as time has passed and lives became more prosperous the, now, rich, alcohol-laced pie (no wonder the Puritans didn’t like them), became a winter treat and when better to treat yourself than at Christmas time.

Like I say, that is my take on things, but I don’t claim to be right.

While researching this post I read that you should eat a mince pie on every day of the 12 days of Christmas and to miss one would cause bad luck.

Now that’s a custom I can get behind.

Join Dominic and Reagan as they take the first tentative steps to forge some sort of relationship over a mince pie or two in When Love Flue In.


A soot-haired chimney sweep, an exploding flue and an uncooked turkey. It’s an unholy trinity that may make all of Dominic’s Christmas wishes come true.

Dominic is celebrating his first Christmas since his divorce, and although he’s spending it on his own, he’s determined to have a traditional Christmas morning, including a roaring fire. Unfortunately, Dominic’s chimney is blocked, which is why Reagan, a soot-haired chimney sweep, is head and shoulders up Dominic’s flue. Dominic is just lucky the man had a cancellation on Christmas Eve.

Unable to take his eyes off Reagan’s low-slung jeans and enticing arse while Reagan sets about the hearth with rods and brushes, Dominic knows five years is a long time to be obsessed with the man who sweeps his chimney every Christmas. This year there’s nothing to stop Dominic from acting on his desires—except his own insecurities.

An exploding flue provides the opportunity for more than just polite conversation and could be the catalyst for a perfect Christmas. But Dominic will need to stop hiding who he really is before a special sweep can light a fire in his heart.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.

Cover Art:

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