Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking back...

2015 was difficult for me.

It started with me having to put down one of my cats, and worrying for my day job to the point I couldn't sleep at night. Once that settled, my grandmother, who helped raise me, got really sick and eventually passed away. Two days later, my ankle swelled up due to all the running around I had to do to organize the funeral and I ended up with my leg in a cast for almost 2 weeks. More stress at the workplace, followed by even more stress, and that brings us to December.

The only bright spot this year was February 8th, when I met my partner. I love you, babe, and thank you for being there for me through all these! I hope you will always be by my side.

With everything going on, it's no wonder my writing has been suffering. In 2015 I've published only 2 short stories, one was freebie for Goodreads' event, and  one for Wayward Ink Publishing - Chance Encounter. A novel, Nature of the Beast, has been contracted and will be released in 2016 by Wayward.

On a personal level, this has been a year of personal growth and development.  I feel older (well, duh!), wiser, perhaps a bit less rushed. Professionally, I seem to be in exact same place where I've started, and that sucks, so I will try to make 2016 the best both personal and carrier wise.

I will not make formal resolutions, but in the coming year, I will spend more time with my partner, and I will write more. Until June, I will have finished at least 3 books, with 3 more by the end of December. This means putting in at least 2000 words per day. That's a lot for me, so I will have to sleep less and use every free minute to work on the stories. But I hope I'll manage to do so, because, by the end of next year, I want to be able to say that I am a full time writer!

May 2016 be better for everyone and may all your dreams come true!
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Men in Uniform, A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology

MIU_Alt_Banner
Title: Men in Uniform
Authors: Eric Gober, CJ Baty, Alina Popescu, Kassandra Lea, Asta Idonea, Eddy LeFey, Lily Velden, Jim Dunaway, Carol Pedroso, Jo Tannah
Genre:  Gay Romance, Military, Contemporary, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publshing


Synopsis

Like your boys in blue keeping the… peace?
Hot firemen dealing with… heat?
Naval Officers getting in way too… deep?
Perhaps you have a ‘thing’ for marines…
Or do you prefer your Men In Uniform to belong in the future?
Another galaxy?
Another time?
Wherever your love of a uniform leads you, MEN IN UNIFORM has something for you.
Men In Uniform Cover

Buy Links

Don’t miss WIP’s Christmas Sale – 30% off all titles till December 24th!


Book Trailer

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/-rYD36JzhgM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Stories Included

IssueNo.1
Issue No. 1
ERIC GOBER
Come to a land…
Where epic battles rage…
Among monsters, superheroes, and a very sexy cop.
Love and war are funny business in Hollywood, U.S.A.
PinkertonManThe Pinkerton Man
CJ BATY
A blackmailer forced Stiles to leave his perfect life behind.
Along the way, he found a new friend, a job as a Pinkerton Agent, and murder.
Can Stiles find the murderer before he kills again?
ProtectTheExMission: Protect the Ex
ALINA POPESCU
Sean never thought his military career would ever have him babysitting his ex who Sean hasn’t seen in six months.
When best friend Tom finds out his younger brother Aiden is targeted, Sean drops everything to protect the man he still loves.
Can two former lovers survive a weekend alone in the woods, or will the threat from within be more devastating than the one from outside?
SparkInTheShadowsA Spark in the Shadows
KASSANDRA LEA
Love beckons Officer Warden Brooks to the shadows of a desolate place.
But his lover Tate Eldridge is so much more than a criminal, he’s a beautiful mystery.

HHHHHis Heart Held Hostage
ASTA IDONEA
When his father loses the battle against Hrafnaheim, Prince Darius finds himself a political prisoner.
Taken in chains to a dark and unfamiliar land, he begins to lose hope.
But then Captain Morten Gunnarsson of the Palace Guards is assigned to watch over him.
Now it is not just Darius’ body being held hostage, but also his heart.
EmperorsSlaveThe Emperor’s Slave
EDDY LEFEY
When the Draaduuri arrived on Earth many humans died.
Captain Timothy Kellerman’s family was among them
Now, a truce has been struck. He is the prize.
Crown Prince Yuuhaan has instantly bonded with his slave.
Can the prince keep his baser instincts in check long enough for Timothy to transform?
To become the next great hope of the Draaduuri and the human race?
YesYesYesYes! Yes! Yes!
LILY VELDEN
Go to Portsmouth, said my friends. It’s quieter. You’ll be able to write without distraction.
They obviously hadn’t met my mysterious and elusive neighbour, Finn.…
After all, what would a Friday night be without hearing Moaner, Gusher, or Squeaker screaming out their joy at being shagged senseless by the obviously talented Finn?
Come to think of it, what would a Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night be without it either?
Thank God for Mondays!
FirefighterMarineThe Firefighter and the Marine
JIM DUNAWAY
Apartment building fires are always tragic, even if everyone makes it out alive. But what happens when a person can’t make it out on their own?
Brave firefighters must risk their lives in order to rescue trapped people.
Lieutenant Kenny Whitfield is one such firefighter. Brave and somewhat reckless. 
Lance Corporal Steve Martinson is one such person in need.
When Kenny and Steve meet face to face in the hospital, well…
BlueKnightBlue Knight
CAROL PEDROSO
Franc has resigned himself to yet another year of pain and humiliation in order to complete his on ship training.
Then along comes Zyph, with his sexy blue skin and probing questions…
Will he be Franc’s Blue Knight?
RoyalGuardianThe Royal Guardian
JO TANNAH
Warrior and Dragon Seek to Destroy Those Who Had Dared Harm Their Prince.


Giveaway

Prize: $10 WIP Gift Card

Excerpt

“Greetings, Lord Commander Militant Garr.” King Arzhur’s voice was modulated, but the depth of emotion in his words sent shafts of fear through Lando, and the implications of the new rank did not escape his notice. The king looked like a man destroyed, and Lando’s heart skipped a beat. He braced himself, mind rushing through several scenarios, all of them involving his prince.
“Greetings, Your Majesty,” he said, thankful his voice did not betray his fear. “I am at your command.”
King Arzhur nodded. “Get to the palace immediately, Lord Commander. Your prince needs you.”
“Permission for a space conduit, Your Majesty.” If Kallen needed him, he should get back the quickest way possible.
“Done. The coordinates have been sent to Tanis. Get here as fast as you can.” Lando saw his king reach out before the monitor dimmed, signaling the end of their communication.
Lando stood. “Get us home, Tanis.”
“Yes, Lord Commander,” the Indigo Artificial Brain replied through the ship’s speakers. “On your mark.”
Lando did not miss a step as he strode onto the bridge. Before him was a bank of three curved-panel displays ringed by switches mounted at his eye level. There was a joystick for when moments in flight would make reaching the screen difficult or if Tanis were somehow, improbably, incommunicable or incapacitated. The monitors came alive. Lando strapped himself into the captain’s chair and gripped its arms to brace himself. “Mark.”
At his command, Tanis turned the scout ship so it paused and lingered in midspace until the magically produced space conduit appeared before them. The conduits made space travel easier,
safer, and faster, but at present only four technomages—all within the royal family—were strong enough to open them. The two most powerful were the king and Prince Kallen. The others were distant cousins.
The conduit opened before them and, in a flash, the Prawler sped through the gaping hole, back to Oryon. The gate closed with finality in a swirl of purple miasma. - Royal Guardian



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Shade’s Champion by Cheryl Headford

Author Name: Cheryl Headford

Book Length 214 Pages

Book Name: Shade’s Champion

Release Date: 18th December 2015


Cover Art by: Kellie Dennis: Book Covers by Design






Shade has been kept in the dark for eight long years. Now he’s facing a world that terrifies him. A world that seems to hold no place for him.

When the authorities are unable to find a home for Shade, Penny, reluctantly accepts him into the secure school she manages, despite thinking it’s the wrong place for him. Penny fears for his safety among the other troubled children. In an attempt to forestall the disaster she predicts will happen she appoints one of them as his champion.

Dory, an engaging seventeen year old with mental health issues, is proud to be chosen as Shade’s champion and throws his heart and soul into the job. In doing so he is forced to face the thing he fears most – his own emotions.

An unexpected friendship begins to grow into something more, until a spiteful act tears them apart and leaves them broken.

When Dory falls ill, Shade is forced to face his demons and struggles to find the strength and courage he needs to fight for the right to love, and to be there for his champion when he needs him most.










 





Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and menagerie of three cats, a dog and a dragon. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close.

Immersed, as always, in the world of fantasy, she maintains a burning desire to share the stories and these days it’s in the form of books which all contain her spark and unique view on life, the universe and everything.






And now a quick peak inside Cheryl's newest release...



THAT EVENING, Dorien had more appetite but still found he couldn’t finish a meal without feeling sick. He’d have to work back up to it. 
“You’re looking brighter tonight, Dory. The fresh air did you good.” 
“Yes. Max?” 
“Yeah?” 
“What will happen when I’m eighteen? Will I be able to leave then?” 
“Is that what you’ve been thinking about? I’m sorry, Dory, I don’t want to crush you but it’s best you get the picture straight right away. This place is for kids from ten to eighteen. Care orders last until you’re nineteen. That means we’ve got another year of the pleasure of your company. Unless, of course, Dr. Blake assesses it appropriate for you to move on before then.” 
Dory’s heart burst with pain. “A... a year?” 
“Maybe not. I know Dr. Blake is really pleased with your progress. If you keep working hard you might be able to move on before that. It’s up to you, really.” 
“No. No, it’s not. Nothing is up to me. My entire life is controlled by someone else. And they say I have control problems.” 
Suddenly, his stomach roiled and he ran for the bathroom.  
Dorien sat on the floor in the bathroom and rested his hot head against the cool china of the toilet bowl. He’d never felt so ill in all his life. His stomach hurt and his head throbbed. The arms that clutched his stomach were trembling, as was the rest of him, and worst of all, there was a terrible weight in his chest that made it difficult to breathe. Emotional pain eclipsed the pain in his stomach and head tenfold. 
Closing his eyes, he must have drifted, because he could swear he heard Shade’s voice, and felt his arms around him. “Shade,” he whispered, then jolted fully awake at the knock on the door. 
“Dory, are you okay in there?” Penny’s voice came through the door from a long way away. 
“No. Leave me alone.” 
“Dorien, are you making yourself sick?” 
“No. It’s doing it all by itself.” 
“Can I come in?” 
“No. Leave me alone.” 
“Dory, I’m coming in.” 


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Broken Prince, Mismatched Eyes by Layla Dorine

broken-640
Title: Broken Prince, Mismatched Eyes
Author: Layla Dorine
Genre: Gay romance, fantasy, historical
Length: Novel
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing


Synopsis

All of his life, Caden DeMott’s mismatched eyes have made him the target of superstition and scorn. Though he is the son of a nobleman, he’s been allowed to run free over the hills and moors, mostly ignored by his family. No one ever thought to inform him that he had been betrothed since infancy, until the day his fiancĂ©, Prince Rhys Gwyther arrived to marry him.
Rhys is the prince of the small island country of Mauritania, a land rich in gems, rose oil, and pearls, but poor in skilled artisans and seeds to grow crops. In order to further cement the trade route to the mainland, he’s been sent to marry a man he’s never met, and bring him back to Mauritania. Unfortunately, an accident years before has left Rhys with a lot of emotional baggage and very little trust in strangers.
But trust is exactly what Caden and Rhys are going to need if they are to make a life together, and help unravel the mystery of who’s been smuggling valuable gems and pearls off the island. Add in the realization that Caden’s stepmother, Mildred and her island representative, Maxwell, have been importing inferior goods for years, forcing Mauritania to become more dependent on them, and trust becomes even more difficult.
Caden possesses the knowledge to finally allow Rhys’ father to unravel the plot to ruin Mauritania, but only if the king and his son are willing to put their faith in Caden’s loyalty to his new home. Something that is difficult to do after Caden is accused of cheating on his marriage vows to Rhys with his guard, Luc. Will Rhys believe him innocent? Or will their marriage be over before it truly has a chance to begin?
BrokenPrinceMismatchedEyes_600x957

Buy Links

Don’t miss the WIP Christmas Sale! 30% off all titles from December 4 to December 24.


Giveaway

Prize: $10 WIP Gift Card


Excerpt:

Rhys turned, his mother by his side, to take in the sight.
“Why, he’s positively beautiful, and what delightful dogs. You must be very pleased,” the queen said to her son, her arm linked with his.
Rhys turned to her and gave a halfhearted smile. “He’s stubborn as hell.”
The queen threw her head back and laughed. Caden and Kendric looked to see what she’d found so amusing.
“Caden, come here,” the queen invited, holding out her other hand.
Caden went to her and took her hand gently, bowing over it.
“Oh, pish posh,” she said, pulling her hand from Rhys’ arm so she could reach up and hug Caden. “I’m no more interested in formalities than my husband is. I am Anwen, unless the foreign wind bags are visiting, and then we’ll all be ‘Lord-ing’ and ‘Your Majesty-ing’ each other half to death.”
Caden tried to choke back a laugh and failed, his eyes lighting up with joy and merriment.
Anwen smiled, her own eyes alight with glee. “I’m glad to see you share a love for laughter, Caden, because I do so love to laugh.”
Even Rhys was grinning, though he had eyes only for Caden.
“Now, Caden, Rhys tells me you’re stubborn as hell. Well, I have just one thing to say to that....” Anwen began, then paused dramatically. “Good. It’s about time he learned there are those who can be even more stubborn than him.”




About the author

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.
Layla Dorine can be found at:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Men in Uniform, A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology - Cover reveal

Men In Uniform Banner

Synopsis

Like your boys in blue keeping the… peace?
Hot firemen dealing with… heat?
Naval Officers getting in way too… deep?
Perhaps you have a ‘thing’ for marines…
Or do you prefer your Men In Uniform to belong in the future?
Another galaxy?
Another time?
Wherever your love of a uniform leads you, MEN IN UNIFORM has something for you.
Men In Uniform Cover

Pre-order Links



Book Trailer




Stories Included
Issue No. 1
ERIC GOBER
Come to a land…
Where epic battles rage…
Among monsters, superheroes, and a very sexy cop.
Love and war are funny business in Hollywood, U.S.A.
The Pinkerton Man
CJ BATY
A blackmailer forced Stiles to leave his perfect life behind.
Along the way, he found a new friend, a job as a Pinkerton Agent, and murder.
Can Stiles find the murderer before he kills again?
Mission: Protect the Ex
ALINA POPESCU
Sean never thought his military career would ever have him babysitting his ex who Sean hasn’t seen in six months.
When best friend Tom finds out his younger brother Aiden is targeted, Sean drops everything to protect the man he still loves.
Can two former lovers survive a weekend alone in the woods, or will the threat from within be more devastating than the one from outside?
A Spark in the Shadows
KASSANDRA LEA
Love beckons Officer Warden Brooks to the shadows of a desolate place.
But his lover Tate Eldridge is so much more than a criminal, he’s a beautiful mystery.
His Heart Held Hostage
ASTA IDONEA
When his father loses the battle against Hrafnaheim, Prince Darius finds himself a political prisoner.
Taken in chains to a dark and unfamiliar land, he begins to lose hope.
But then Captain Morten Gunnarsson of the Palace Guards is assigned to watch over him.
Now it is not just Darius’ body being held hostage, but also his heart.
The Emperor’s Slave
EDDY LEFEY
When the Draaduuri arrived on Earth many humans died.
Captain Timothy Kellerman’s family was among them
Now, a truce has been struck. He is the prize.
Crown Prince Yuuhaan has instantly bonded with his slave.
Can the prince keep his baser instincts in check long enough for Timothy to transform?
To become the next great hope of the Draaduuri and the human race?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
LILY VELDEN
Go to Portsmouth, said my friends. It’s quieter. You’ll be able to write without distraction.
They obviously hadn’t met my mysterious and elusive neighbour, Finn.…
After all, what would a Friday night be without hearing Moaner, Gusher, or Squeaker screaming out their joy at being shagged senseless by the obviously talented Finn?
Come to think of it, what would a Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night be without it either?
Thank God for Mondays!
The Firefighter and the Marine
JIM DUNAWAY
Apartment building fires are always tragic, even if everyone makes it out alive. But what happens when a person can’t make it out on their own?
Brave firefighters must risk their lives in order to rescue trapped people.
Lieutenant Kenny Whitfield is one such firefighter. Brave and somewhat reckless. 
Lance Corporal Steve Martinson is one such person in need.
When Kenny and Steve meet face to face in the hospital, well…
Blue Knight
CAROL PEDROSO
Franc has resigned himself to yet another year of pain and humiliation in order to complete his on ship training.
Then along comes Zyph, with his sexy blue skin and probing questions…
Will he be Franc’s Blue Knight?
The Royal Guardian
JO TANNAH
Warrior and Dragon Seek to Destroy Those Who Had Dared Harm Their Prince.

Giveaway

Prize: $10 WIP Gift Card


Northern Lights by Asta Idonea - not to be missed!!!

Title: Northern Lights
Author: Asta Idonea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 1 December 2015
Genre: Short Story / Contemporary / Holiday-Themed
Pages: 25


Buy Links

Blurb
A dream romantic vacation to Iceland to see the Northern Lights turns into a nightmare when James’s workaholic boyfriend, Richard, again insists on putting his work first. After a call from Richard’s office, an argument ends with the couple splitting up for good. Not only has Richard left James, he’s left him abandoned to explore the park alone, where James quickly gets lost. But just when things seem darkest, the Solstice works its magic, and James finds the guiding light he needs. Or it finds him.

Excerpt
“NO. NO, Bob, listen to me. Bob, listen to me. Yes. No. Yes. Bob. Bob. Calm down.”
I turn off the tap, shake my hands over the sink, and reach for towel as I listen to the one-sided conversation drifting through from the next room. I don’t really know why I’m surprised. It’s not as if this hasn’t happened a hundred times before. Richard and I will make plans, and then that damn phone of his will vibrate, emitting the inane, grimace-inducing ringtone I’ve never been able to stand, and everything will unravel.
Richard and I met at a Christmas party five years ago, just before he started his job at Robert Preston & Associates. To date, that was the one and only Christmas we’ve managed to spend together. Every year since, something work-related has called him away. He does his best to make it home for dinner on my birthday, which falls during the holidays, but even that is touch-and-go. Some years I’ve ended up celebrating alone, surrounded by fast-cooling, half-eaten slices of pizza and a pile of empty beer cans.
For months I’ve been begging him for this overseas trip. We’ve been going through a tough patch, and I thought spending the holidays together—without interruptions, just the two of us—would go a long way toward healing the rift. I’d held out hope that the distances involved would grant us some measure of security, that the fact that we were out of the country would make Bob think twice before dialing. But it appears I was wrong.
Audio Excerpt
https://soundcloud.com/nickijmarkus/northern-lights-mm-short-story-by-asta-idonea-excerpt

Author Bio


Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theater, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
Website: http://www.nickijmarkus.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus