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Vienna Valentine – Antonia van Zandt

Today I’m delighted to have the lovely Antonia van Zandt with me to talk about her latest release, Vienna Valentine, and a certain creature of the night…

Over to Antonia:ViennaValentine_ByAntoniaVanZandt_200x300

My latest paranormal erotic romance, Vienna Valentine, features a trio of werewolves. Well, with all the lush green pine forests that blanket so much of the Austrian countryside – not to mention the Vienna Woods themselves – you might expect to come across the odd shapeshifting canis lupus, mightn’t you?

In Austria, there are many old folk tales of werewolves, and I’m afraid that none I know of  contain such passionate and beautiful creatures as Magda, Jakob and Karl in my story. So, today I’ll share with you the strange and deadly tale of

The Werewolf of Neffer

The Neffer Werewolf

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Way back in the sixteenth century, in an old Austrian village called Neffer, there lived a woodcutter. One day, as he was out in the forest chopping wood to sell to his neighbours, he heard a gigantic crash. He looked behind him, but all he could see was darkness. Then he realised why. He raised his head and looked up. Towering above him was a massive wolf, standing on tiptoes,  paws outstretched ready to grab him. But most frightening of all was the demonic, slavering grin on its face.

The woodcutter set off and ran for his life. For hours he sped through the forest, while all the while, behind him, he heard the crashing of felled trees and huge, thumping paws that made the earth shake with every step.

When he finally reached the edge of the forest, he had left the village ten miles behind him. He fell to the ground, gasping for breath, his heart hammering in his chest. He dared to look behind him but could see nothing but the trees. He listened. No sound of trees falling or thudding paws.

But then he heard sounds that chilled his blood, turning it to ice in his veins.

The hideous, agonising screams of his fellow villagers.

Terrified to go back into the forest, the woodcutter made a long detour around it, to return to his village. The sight that met him there was horrific. The buildings were destroyed. Flattened as if trampled into the ground. And then there were his friends, neighbours, family. All lay dead, hideously murdered and torn apart by the fearsome beast, who, having accomplished his demonic work, moved on…

Old pic

You’ll be relieved to know that the Neffer werewolf makes no appearance in Vienna Valentine. Here’s the blurb:

On a hot summer night in Vienna, wolves dream of passion…

Escaping from a disastrous marriage, Nina comes to stay with friends in Vienna for a much-needed holiday. Love is the last thing she’s looking for, but when she sees the hot couple in the apartment below making love on their balcony, she can’t take her eyes off them. When they invite her to join them for a night of pleasure, how can she refuse? Captivated by the handsome, seductive Karl, Nina agrees and has the hottest sex of her life. It’s just supposed to be a bit of fun. A one-night stand.

But one night of passion with this gorgeous, mysterious man is not enough. There’s something unusual about him. But what is his secret? And why won’t he let her look at him when they make love? When she finally learns the truth, Karl’s life hangs in the balance, and Nina must leave, never knowing if she’ll ever see him again…

WARNING:  Vienna Valentine contains strong sexual themes, language and scenes. Strictly for broadminded, over 18s. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Vienna Valentine is available from:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca
All Romance eBooks

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

I love to welcome people to my blog and connect with them on Twitter and Facebook. Here are the links:

http://antoniavanzandt.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/antonia.vanzandt

https://twitter.com/AntoniavanZandt

(If you’d like to look at a website dedicated to Werewolves, here’s one: http://www.werewolves.com/)

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Guest Blog – Elin Gregory – On a Lee Shore

Today I’m handing my blog over to fellow Etopia Press author, Elin Gregory!

Many thanks, Kiran for allowing me space on your blog and time to talk about pirates, a subject very close to my heart.
Democrats, with a small ‘d’.
Some years ago the museum in which I work was short of an exhibition to cover the summer months. During a discussion with the curator I suggested that we do something to bring the kids in. “And what do you suggest?” she asked.
“Something everyone likes – like pirates. Everyone likes pirates.”

pirate-party

So much fun! I borrowed artefacts from all over and had a dressing up box. It was a hoot to see fully grown men putting on eye-patches and bandannas and sword fighting all around the gallery. We even had a pirate day – free to anyone in costume – and made hats and cutlasses, dug for treasure and let the kids walk a very low plank. For the 4 months of the exhibition we heard more giggling than ever before or since.
Of course, we also had people who pointed out what awful people pirates had been in real life – scum of the earth, cowardly thieves and murderers with poor personal hygiene – and all that is true but there were interesting social aspects to piratical history that we didn’t have the space or the means to cover in the exhibition.

slavery

Pirates were drawn from all walks of life, not just from amongst seamen. For quite minor crimes a man could be transported to the Caribbean as an indentured servant. Poor labourers or apprentices could be shackled to well-educated professionals. Some of the prisoners were political – supporters of the Duke of Monmouth or, later, of the Jacobite cause. In the cane fields it was the ability to swing a machete that mattered, not ones social standing. When the time of servitude ran out, or they escaped, they signed on ships as deck hands to try to get home, or as sailors. Some of them ended up as pirates – free men with a uniquely egalitarian idea of how the world could be made a better place – and some pirate crews began to organise themselves.

This was a time when birth was everything and it was sincerely believed that God decreed a man’s status. Yet in the early years of the 18th century pirates established a system of accountability for their own behaviour and for that of their officers. The captain, quartermaster, bo’sun and mates were elected by vote from the most able men available. Major decisions about the route they took or prizes to be attacked were made in the sight of the whole crew. In addition, ‘articles’ were drawn up – a list of rules to live by. Some of the rules concerned the safe running of the ship – limits to drunkenness, care to be exercised with naked flames – and some governed the division of treasure, laying down the shares of plunder each man could expect and promising retribution to anyone who tried to defraud the company. Other rules placed limits upon the power of the officers – the captain’s cabin, for instance, though nominally his, could be entered at any time by anyone in the company and if he gave orders that could place the company in peril the quartermaster could countermand him. All men were entitled to equal treatment, equal shares of necessities and, if injured while about their business, they would be compensated from the common fund at a rate suitable to their injury – an eye was worth 100 pieces of eight. When a new recruit joined, or was forced to join, he would be made to sign the articles to show he understood the rules and agreed to abide by them.

It was recognised that if these sets of articles with their signatures had fallen into the hands of the authorities it would have spelled disaster so pirates crews often came to an agreement that they would blow the ship and themselves up. Men who regularly toasted each other with “curse the King and all Higher Powers, and damn the Governor” preferred death at their own hands to trial and hanging.
Below is an excerpt from On A Lee Shore where democratic principles are weighed against good old common sense.
Find more of my thoughts about the Golden Age of Piracy on blogs belonging to Sue Roebuck, Trisram Laroche and Catherine Cavendish. Comment here or on their blogs for a chance to win a copy of “On A Lee Shore”. Each comment = one chance so the more the merrier.

Blurb: “Give me a reason to let you live…”

Beached after losing his ship and crew, and with England finally at peace, Lt Christopher Penrose will take whatever work he can get. A valet? Why not? Escorting an elderly diplomat to the Leeward Islands seems like an easy job, but when their ship is boarded by pirates, Kit’s world is turned upside down. Forced aboard the pirate ship, Kit finds himself juggling his honor with his desire to stay alive among the crew, not to mention the alarming—yet enticing—captain, known as Le Griffe.
Kit has always obeyed the rules, but as the pirates plunder their way across the Caribbean, he finds much to admire in their freedom. He deplores their lawlessness but is drawn to their way of life, and begins to think he might just have found a purpose. Dare he dream of finding love too? Or would loving a pirate take him too far down the road to ruin?

Obtainable here or here if you’re in the States.

Excerpt:
“How can a Captain rule a ship if every man of the crew knows as much as he knows and is privy to the workings of state?” Kit asked. “There needs to be a proper order.”
“Don’t see why,” Davy said. “We’re all men. You, me, O’Neill even though he’s Irish, Valliere even though he’s black, Lewis and Prothero even though they are mollies. We all deserve our say.”
“Indeed,” Saunders was there again. “Young Davy has grasped the great Athenian principles of democracy, which is a fine and wonderful thing on paper but falls down sadly when applied to flawed and sinful men. Take Denny for instance,” they looked across to where Denny was clinging to the rigging waving to the Garnet’s long boat. “Denny is a man, therefore he is entitled to his say. But would either of you agree to put Denny in charge of any great enterprise? Could he Captain a ship? Would you expect him to inspire men to exert themselves under terrible and dangerous circumstances? No of course you wouldn’t. He can just about be trusted to run an errand as long as it’s not a complicated one. So, although all hands are able to hear what is said, and speak their piece, we rely on our betters—for they are our betters—to decide what is best for the greatest number and to see us safely to port.”
“An’ if they don’t, we get to vote them out,” Davy muttered and Saunders nodded again.
“True—they remain in charge just as long as the hoi polloi are kept satisfied. As long as panem et circenses are forthcoming our Captain will remain the cockalorum. Now—if you gentlemen will excuse me—I have a crisis to attend to.” He hefted an empty bottle and went on his way.
~~
Many thanks, Kiran, for your hospitality.

It’s a pleasure to have you 🙂

Elin may be found on her website, blog and on Twitter and Facebook.

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Daniel deLoite Gives It To Me Straight (as if!)

Halloween – what better time of year to do something scary, I thought…I like being scared… don’t I?

Not too long ago I read and reviewed Dead Gorgeous by Daniel deLoite – I like my fiction dark and edgy – Daniel definitely makes me edgy… Dead Gorgeous wanders far enough into the shadows to make me want to follow… and I like what I found there.  Now that Daniel himself has stopped lurking in the shadows and is showing the world a little more of what he’s about (plus some sexy extras) I asked him if he’d take some time out to meet up – and I eventually got him to talk.

Kiran: Hi Dan, thanks for coming up for air for five minutes.

Dan: *wipes mouth on back of hand* No problem, Kiran.

Kiran: Shhh! Ahem… Now I’ve met you in the flesh, not just virtually, you seem more a man of action than of words… so, what prompted you to start writing? More to the point, what made you start writing ‘filth’ – a term you yourself use?

Dan: Because just about everyone likes filth, even if in public they say they don’t. The world is full of hypocrites, pretending to be oh-so-prim-and-proper while quietly gagging for a good shag with the milkman…

Kiran: You’ve seen my milkman?

Dan: I know religious Christians who go to church and blog about God and family, and at the same time (under a nom de plume of course) write about ménages, anal sex and BDSM. I wonder if they donate their books for the church Tombola? Look, I came across Tristram La Roche (no, not really, but I wouldn’t say no if he offered) and found his writing refreshing. Although I’m gay I didn’t read much gay stuff until I got a Kindle – not because I was too shy to buy it in the bookshop, which seems to be the excuse bandied about, but just because I wasn’t attracted to it. I read some of Alan Hollinghurst’s books but found his characters a bit middle-class wanky for my tastes. Really, I wanted to smack most of them. It wasn’t until I browsed the Kindle store that I realised how many writers were publishing stories about gay men. I use the term ‘writers’ quite loosely, by the way, having waded through some utter crap at the beginning…

Kiran: Good grief, once you start there’s no stopping you…

Dan: Ssh! I’ll forget where I’m coming from! I reached the point where I thought I would return to my old ways and not read gay books. So many of them were schmaltzy romances filled with pretty or androgynous boys mincing around and behaving like schoolgirls. *pukes*

Kiran: *hunts for tissues…*

Dan: I have never shared body fluids with people like that and don’t intend starting now. Then La Roche brought out another book which kept well away from the pink and fluffy, and then I found your Bedevilled which actually took my breath away – and not much has that reach these days, I can tell you.

Kiran: Bedevil, Dan…

Dan: Sorry, Bedevil. So, I thought I might give it a go. I had always been pretty good at stringing sentences together, although judging by some of the things I’d tried to read that wasn’t an essential requirement. It might be arrogant, but I felt I could do it better than a lot of those who were already putting their books out in the public domain, and at least as well as some. And another thing I have to admit, and I know this is a sensitive area, is that I was shocked when I first found out that the majority of M/M writers are women. I mean, WTF does a straight woman want to write about men sucking each other off for? I think Freud would have had something to say about it.

Kiran: Perhaps because sex is, well… sexy, whatever the gender of sexual partners?

Dan: Look, if that’s what gets them off who am I to say it’s wrong? I am all for freedom. I do wonder, though, if while they’re writing or reading about fictional gay men, their husbands don’t have to nip out to the gay sauna or cruising ground for quick relief. That would be really cool! Anyway, what I’m saying is, I’m a dick man and have as much interest in writing about women as screwing them. Now, stop interrupting!I was going to say that I got over that, up to a point. I do still feel a bit queasy – offended even – when 300 pounds of female flesh in a velour track suit starts cooing about how cute and lovely gay boys are. *takes a deep breath and dons hard hat* (*me too!*).  Anyway, you and La Roche did – do – a good job (and so do others, by the way, like James Lear, Erastes, J L Merrow to name just three) but I felt I wanted to go that bit further into the realms of real sweaty men and ignore the happy ever after.

Kiran: Don’t we all want to enter the realms of sweaty men…

Dan: Oh, I know all the places to find sweat, Kiran.

Kiran: I’m sure you do… 🙂 Sorry – I’ll shush!

Dan: You see, gay men are not all hairdressers or art dealers or dancers. In the real world that hairy-arsed gorilla operating the JCB at the top of the street could quite easily be a leather fetishist into nipple clamps and piss and addicted to dick.  Lots of men do have multiple partners, do have sex in public places, do like a bit of rough. So I thought I’d give it a go. And do I need to say that I quite like to shock?

Kiran: Erm, I think we’ve got that, Dan. Now, Dead Gorgeous – I loved it. What inspired you to write it?

Dan: I was overdue to write another short story when I realised Halloween was fast drawing near. I suddenly thought of all the schmaltzy trick-or-treat stories that would no doubt be showing up on the Kindle Store – you know with men dressing up, toffee apples and candy and that kind of thing.

Kiran: Ah… yes… have I mentioned Eden…my Halloween short…? *looks worried*

Dan: Don’t get me wrong, that’s fine if you like that sort of thing but for me Halloween is about ghosts and demons. Now, don’t kill me, but having read Bedevilled I figured I could do it, too. Eden? Don’t worry – I loved it.

Kiran: Bedevil, Daniel… BEDEVIL! *ahem – carries on* Your writing is very down-to-earth, very male – something that I like, personally. A lot of women read gay fiction. Do you keep that in mind when you write or do you aim fairly and squarely at men?

Dan: I write what I know, not for an audience. I suppose it was an experiment when I set out. I wanted to see if raw gay stories would sell. So many people said the big market was middle-aged women who want a romance with a happy ending. I fucking hate stories like that and just have no interest in writing them. Just as we humans can’t be alone in all of space, so I knew I couldn’t be alone in the Kindle Store.

Kiran: Most writers appear with a blog/website/twitter etc as soon as they start to publish. You were an elusive character for a while, with no online presence at all – not that I could find… and I tried… Was that a conscious decision or had it simply not crossed your mind? What finally made you join the social network?

Dan: I purposely didn’t do any promotion. I couldn’t believe that Twitter and Facebook were the driving factors in book sales (I mean, get real!) so I didn’t bother to join them. I just published. Dick has been an incredible success, far beyond what I could have imagined for a niche market short story. And what surprises me is how it sells in the USA. Maybe they like the title. Maybe they like it so much they’ll elect a Dick to the White House. Now that would boost sales! I have recently started a blog but only because I found that I enjoy sticking things on it, not because I expect it to help sales. I recommend taking a look. I’m pleased with the cottaging image I have to say. And I joined FB and Twitter really just because I do from time to time like to fan the flames if there’s something controversial smouldering.

Kiran: Really? I hadn’t noticed… *raises eyebrow*

Dan: I know my sales figures and I know those of some other authors who have all this internet palaver. Mine hold up well. So you can make your own mind up about the real impact of social networking.

Kiran: I assume from a few short stories you can’t yet be making a living from writing so what is your day job?

Dan: I’m a rent boy 😉

Kiran: What are you planning next?

Dan: I’m going to stick to shorts (that reminds me of the old Plunger Perkins story!).

Kiran: *intrigued*

Dan: Short stories I mean. I might expand to a novella if I get excited enough but I enjoy variety too much to be able to spend a year writing a novel (and I think a novel needs that time, sod this business of a novel in a weekend – it has to be shite). Smutty, sexy, dirty short stories about spunky men getting it on. One-handed reads I believe they are called. Maybe for my first promo I’ll give away Kleenex with each book?

Kiran: So that’s where the tissues went…  So, can I persuade you to get up to some more wicked games in the dark? (Literarily speaking of course)

Dan: Oh, I can assure you I need no persuading. I was once on Hampstead Heath…*gets back on knees*

Kiran: Oooer! Thanks, Dan – it’s been a pleasure having you

Dan: Ooh, matron! In your dreams, lady!

*checks still in one piece… and breathes again*

You can find out more about Daniel deLoite on his Blog

You can follow him on Twitter

You can find all of Daniel’s stories HERE

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Halloween Heat Interview – Antonia van Zandt

I’m excited to have new friend and fellow Etopia author, Antonia van Zandt on my blog, today. It’s been great to get to know a little more about another of the contributors to the Etopia Press Halloween Heat anthologies. Antonia’s short story, Serena appears in Halloween Heat Vol 3.

Kiran: Tell me – who or what was the inspiration for your short story, Serena?

Antonia: There is a painting in my house of a very beautiful woman, with black hair, emerald eyes and an enigmatic look. As you move about the room, her eyes seem to follow you. A bit spooky, but captivating.

 Kiran: What drew you to write erotic fiction?

Antonia:  A number of reasons, but one was a challenge to see if I could write good sex. It is not as easy as many people think!

 Kiran: What do your friends and family think of your writing career?

Antonia: My family don’t know. They would be shocked and probably disown me. Mind you, they don’t really approve of me anyway, so I probably wouldn’t notice much difference. But, best to be on the safe side. My true friends are very supportive – and some of them even contribute ideas!

Kiran: What would your perfect writing day look like? (Mine involves being shut in a darkened room with my characters)

Antonia: In my lovely quiet study, surrounded by books and paintings, the door slightly ajar to allow my cats to wander in and out. The phone goes to voicemail and it is peace, perfect peace until I am ready to say goodnight to my characters, switch off the laptop, feed my cats and curl up in my comfiest chair with a glass of Blaufränkisch.

 Kiran: You are holding an All Hallows Eve dinner party. Tell me the four sexiest fictional characters you would invite.

Antonia: One would definitely be Serena from my short story of the same name. She is sultry, sensual, strong and passionate. Another would be Karl from my latest WIP Vienna Valentine. He is a Hunk, but also compassionate and caring. Third would be Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights – but I would have the Timothy Dalton incarnation from the 1970 film as far as looks were concerned (certainly not Laurence Olivier!). Heathcliff was so mad, bad and dangerous to know – dark, swarthy, earthy and undeniably sexy. Lastly, The Sundance Kid (OK, I mean Robert Redford’s portrayal of him). I’ve always fancied riding off into the sunset with a gorgeous cowboy and I’d make sure he didn’t get shot!

 Kiran: What can we look forward to seeing from you next?

Antonia: Around Christmastime, a new novella called Seducing Amanda is coming out. This is creepy, atmospheric and as hot as a sizzling poker in mulled wine. I’m hoping Vienna Valentine will follow soon after, but I’m waiting to hear. You can rest assured there will be gorgeous people, lots of erotic fire and passion, all set against a background where things are never quite as they appear to be…

Serena

Marianne closed her eyes and luxuriated in the perfumed water, as it caressed every inch of her body. Soon her secret lover would be here. Soon it would be her fingers stroking her skin, probing deep within her, rousing her to new pinnacles of passion.

Serena. Even the sound of her name swept through her on a tide of ecstasy. On this magical night, all Marianne had craved would be hers. And now she need wait no longer. Framed in the doorway, stood a tall, slender woman with black hair and emerald eyes.

Serena had come for her and Marianne was ready.

Excerpt from Serena:

The scent of jasmine wafted up from the sea of fragrant bubbles and I stretched out my legs until they touched the far edge of the oversized bath, such decadent luxury made all the more exquisite by its rareness. I lifted my right arm out of the water, stroking its silky softness, then touched my breasts, their rosy nipples poking up through the water. My fingers traveled to the firm contours of my stomach and on down to my pelvis. I hesitated, longing to touch myself and start my arousal, but that would be cheating. Serena must do that. It was our way.

A little moan escaped my lips. So long since I had seen her, since I had felt her warm, vibrant body and rained kisses on her smooth skin. But I didn’t have much longer to wait. A rustling sound made me open my eyes. Framed in the doorway, there she was. My beauty.

Antonia van Zandt can be found on her website: http://antoniavanzandt.blogspot.co.uk/

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/antonia.vanzandt

And Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntoniavanZandt

Halloween Heat 3 is available from Amazon US and UK

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Clothes Maketh The Man? Costumes – Halloween Heat 1

Today I’m handing my blog over to Dianne Hartsock,  as she has a chat with Paul – one of the characters in her short story, Costumes, from the Halloween Heat 1 Paranormal M/M anthology.

Dianne: Hello! I’m glad you could make it. Come sit by me on the couch. Iced tea? Coffee? My name’s Dianne Hartsock, the author of the short story COSTUMES in the Halloween Heat Anthology.

*I motion to the young man in the chair across from us* This is my good friend Paul, the hero of my story, who’s kindly offered to talk about his terrifying experience in the attic. Paul, can you tell our guests a little about yourself?

Paul: *blushes at the word ‘hero’ and fiddles with his tie, looking adorable* Hi, I’m Paul, obviously. I’m a student at OSU working toward a journalism major with a minor in English Literature. Um… I live with my boyfriend Bennie in an apartment off campus.

Me: Thanks, Paul. *I sit back and take a sip of coffee, hoping to make him feel more relaxed* Are you ready to tell us what happened at Bennie’s aunt’s house? It sounds like it was frightening.

Paul: You could say that. *He looks at our guests and frowns, biting his lip*

Me: It’s okay. These are friends.

Paul: *nods but still looks uncertain. He clears his throat, takes a sip of water* Well, Bennie’s aunt passes away a few weeks ago and his mom asked him to go through her things before they had the estate sale. I’ve known Bennie’s family forever and wanted to help out. Besides, it would give us a chance to be alone, away from the noise of our apartment complex.

I wish now neither of us had gone. *Paul takes a hard breath and covers his face.*

Me: *I lean forward and touch his knee* It’s okay. I won’t make you go through it again. It’s all in the book. But I’d really like to know how you and Bennie are doing now.

Paul: *draws another deep breath and gives us a tentative smile* We’re good. Bennie doesn’t like to talk about it much. He thinks most of the bad stuff was a dream. He doesn’t want to believe he actually hurt me. And that’s fine with me. I wouldn’t hurt his gentle heart for all the world.

Me: And you?

Paul: I’m fine. Some nightmares. And sometimes I catch myself watching Bennie’s eyes, making sure…But I’m being stupid. Everything’s okay with us.

Me: Glad to hear it, honey. Thank you so much for sharing with us, Paul. I hope you and Bennie can put this frightening experience behind you. *I look at our guests* More tea?

Thank you Kiran for having me and Paul on your lovely site today and everyone for stopping by. You can read Paul and Bennie’s story in COSTUMES and you can find me at:

Blog: http://diannehartsocksalex.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/diannehartsock

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/diannehartsock

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4707011-dianne-hartsock

COSTUMES- Halloween Heat Anthology

There’s a presence in the attic, malevolent, waiting.  When Bennie’s aunt passes away he’s given the task of sorting her things before the estate sale. But the chore that should have been a pleasant visit to the past becomes a nightmare for him and his longtime lover, Paul, as the dark presence seeks a new home in them.  Their once gentle and sensual love turns to a dark passion, hard and rough and hurtful.  Paul sees the change, but will his love be strong enough to save them?

Etopia Press: http://etopiapressblog.wordpress.com/

Excerpt:

“Oh my God, Paul! You gotta see this.”

Paul chuckled to himself and smiled fondly. He lowered his lashes, thinking of Bennie’s creativity in bed that morning. It took all his effort not to moan aloud as he recalled his lover’s lips on his body, sliding over his dick—

“Paul?”

Paul had trouble tearing his eyes away from the stained glass window in the door. Such a strange door, set in the middle of the west wall of the attic, leading nowhere as far as he could tell. He tried the handle again. Locked. But unless there was a balcony he hadn’t noticed from the outside, one would step through it right into empty space.

He glanced across the room, through the dust motes, and caught his breath in sudden alarm. Sunlight streamed through the old glass of the window and splashed color over Bennie’s face: yellow, green, blue, with a slash of blood red across his tender throat.

Paul drew a troubled breath. “What is it, hon?”

Bennie waved him over, and the movement centered the splash of red over his heart. “Come see what’s in this trunk! Our old Halloween costumes.”

Paul swallowed the lump in his throat. He was being silly. The reflected light didn’t mean anything. Just because Bennie’s aunt had died in the house … He didn’t believe in ghosts. No fucking way. Still, he hurried to Bennie’s side and slipped an arm around his waist.

“Which ones?” he asked, looking down into the musty trunk.

“All of them, as far as I can tell.” Bennie started pulling out wigs and hats and scarves, a pirate shirt and a werewolf mask. “Remember this one?” he asked and giggled as he held up a pink tutu.

“Oh god, yes. I thought your father was going to have a seizure. What were we, ten?”  Paul rubbed the frilly skirt between his fingers. He’d grown up in the house next to the Ramseys, and he and Bennie were as close as brothers. Closer, when at fourteen they discovered it was more fun to sleep in the same bed than separately.

Bennie flashed him a look, light blue eyes dancing with mischief. Paul’s heartbeat quickened. Bennie’s hair fell in reddish-blond ringlets around his pale face. A few freckles brushed his checks, and Paul bent his head and licked them. He’d teased Bennie as a child that he’d wash them away one day with his tongue.  One night, in Paul’s room, Bennie had shown him where his other freckles were. Now he could never taste these without wanting the others.

Bennie quirked a brow. “Think it will still fit me?”

Halloween Heat 1 Paranormal M/M

Love Lies Deep by Tristram La Roche
Idle Hands by Reneé George
Costumes by Dianne Hartsock
Eden by Kiran Hunter
Set in Stone by Elin Gregory

To buy Halloween Heat 1, click on the links in the side bar. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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It’s Been Oh, So Quiet….

…but not for much longer – the nights are drawing in (here in the UK) and things will be going bump in the night more often as Halloween approaches.

Coming soon from Etopia Press – just the thing to warm things up on a spooky winter’s evening –  Halloween Heat… including my erotic short story – Eden!

Release date to be announced soon….

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M/M Author Interview – Elin Gregory

Today I’d like to introduce fellow Etopia Press author Elin Gregory. Elin’s historical novella Alike as Two Bees was released earlier this month.

Hello, Kiran. Thank you very much for inviting me to your blog today. Also for the interesting questions you have asked. Some of them have been quite tricky to answer. 🙂

Kiran: Tell me what made you want to be a writer. Why did you choose the genre you write?

Elin: I don’t think I ever made a conscious choice to be a writer. I’ve told stories all my life and started writing them down for the fun of it when I was small. It’s something I’ve always done. The BIG thing is that I’ve finally got a bit braver about showing the stories to other people. As for the genre, I’ve always written heroes rather than heroines and generally the hero had close and loving male friend with whom he had adventures. Finding work by people like Erastes, Alex Beecroft, Charlie Cochrane and Josh Lanyon was a huge inspiration.

Kiran: What do your friends and family think of your writing?

Elin: As long as shirts are ironed and food is cooked the family doesn’t mind it. The one friend I told about it was baffled and said that surely it was more interesting writing about women. But my friends online have been brilliant. Without their support and encouragement I would never have considered submitting a story anywhere.

Kiran: I’d love to know what inspired your latest release, Alike as Two Bees.

Elin: This was my inspiration:

I thought it might be fun to write about the person who might make something similar, about his problems and who might spark his interest.

Since the horses are so beautifully depicted I decided that the other protagonist should be a horseman. I like writing about men who have specific skills and I know a lot about Philon and Hilarion that I didn’t put into the story. I’m very fond of them both.

Kiran: How do you approach writing sex scenes? Do you find it difficult to keep them fresh?

Elin: I approach writing sex scenes with extreme trepidation. It’s not something I find easy and I know I’m not good at it so I avoid writing sex unless there’s some way in which it will enhance the plot or develop the characters. Even then I tend not to be very explicit. Sadly, anything with an M/M label is automatically classed as erotica whether there’s any sexual content or not, which puts one in the position of having to add at least a bit. Keeping it fresh is a huge issue because there’s only so many ways one can phrase the act. But I’m not worrying too much about it yet. I’m hoping that as the situation arises the differences in the characters involved will ring the changes.

Kiran: Do you have any plans to try your hand at writing in a completely different genre?

Elin: No plans for anything radically different in future. I expect I’ll stick with gay relationships, but I’ve tried a bit of everything over the years. Paranormals, westerns, fantasy. Even het romance, though that was a parody of Georgette Heyer. I haven’t tried sci fi because I’m not scientifically minded and I haven’t tried horror because I don’t like being scared. All the things I’m working on at present are historical but I do have ideas for a couple of contemporary stories. Basically, if I write one story to completion after another I think I have enough stories planned or partly written to last me ten years and more plot bunnies arrive every week. My mother would LOVE it if I wrote a story about a lovely old lady. Maybe Senior Citizen Romance is a genre I should try? I’m almost there myself. 🙂

Kiran: Who is your all-time favourite gay fiction author? Are there any new authors who have grabbed your interest?

Elin: Over the past month I’ve been delighted or moved or kept up late by Erastes, Josh Lanyon, R J Scott, Charlie Cochrane and J L Merrow. And that’s the problem. There are so many fabulous established authors that it’s taking me a while to catch up with the brand new ones. The new [to me] author I’m planning to read next is Charlie Cochet, who is writing noir mysteries. I love that whole feel – the mean streets down which a man must walk – and when the man has a secret about his sexuality so much the better!  I love stories with a strong plot so tend to go for mysteries or historicals rather than romances where the difficulties involved in a relationship is the whole of the plot. I’m anticipating a really good read in “The Amethyst Cat Caper”!

Kiran: What can we expect from Elin Gregory in the future?

Elin: Pirates! Eventually. I work in a museum and in 2010 I researched and mounted an exhibition about Welsh pirates and buccaneers. I decided not to let the work go to waste once the exhibition was over. Now I’ve got 95K words of a story set in the Leewards Islands in 1718 about a disgraced naval Lieutenant who falls into bad company. It’s been done a million times before but I don’t care. I’ve been having great fun with it. But I’ve got a mass of other things in the pipeline. Celts vs Saxons in 7th century Northumbria. A spy caper set in 1928 London.  A WW2 story about Dunkirk, the battle of Britain and the shepherding year. I’m doing a lot of background reading J

Thank you very much for having me on your site, Kiran, and for asking such interesting questions.

It’s been a pleasure getting to know about you and your writing, Elin.

And here is  Elin Gregory’s novella, Alike as Two Bees released by Etopia Press:

Horses, love, and the tang of thyme and honey…

 In Classical Greece, apprentice sculptor Philon has chosen the ideal horse to model for his masterpiece. Sadly, the rider falls well short of the ideal of beauty, but scarred and tattered Hilarion, with his brilliant, imperfect smile, draws Philon in a way that mere perfection cannot.

 After years of living among the free and easy tribes of the north, Hilarion has no patience with Athenian formality. He knows what he wants—and what he wants is Philon. Society, friends and family threaten their growing relationship, but perhaps a scarred soldier and a lover of beauty are more alike than they appear.

ISBN # 9781937976194

Word Count: 19,664

Heat Index: mildly spiced – korma rather than vindaloo

Alike As Two Bees is available from:

Amazon US, Amazon UK, All Romance, B&N, Kobo

Elin also has stories in these books (click on the images to find out more):

You can find out more about Elin Gregory herself here:

http://elingregory.blogspot.com

http://elin-gregory.livejournal.com

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003403011749&sk=wall

And on Twitter as @ElinGregory

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