Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Au revoir from the Babes

Well, folks, it saddens me to say this, but as of today, Babes in Boyland is officially retired. We’ve had a great run for a couple of years, but we’re all busy and we all have our own blogs to run, so this joint venture has to come to an end. We’ve been honored to have so many other authors come visit with us, we’ve thrown quite a few big contests, and who can forget about good old Tattoo Tuesdays and Music Mondays? We had a blast, but it’s time to say good-bye. Or, rather, see you around. ;)

We’re leaving all the old posts up just in case anyone wants to go through and check them out. We had some great guest posts by some amazing people and it would be a shame to take them down, so the blog will indeed live on, but it'll no longer be active. If you’re interested in keeping up with MJ, Melanie, or myself, you can find links to us below. Our websites also have links to where you can find us on various social media outlets. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc. We’re around. Come find us and keep in touch.

It’s been fun. Lots of love and happy reading!

Party on, friends. Be excellent to each other.

Piper


Find us at:

htp://www.melanietushmore.co.uk

http://mjoshea.com

Monday, September 30, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: "Writing Gay Romance" by Tara Lain

Hi everyone. I’m Tara Lain and I write The Beautiful Boys of Romance. Most of my books are LGBT including my new release, F.A.S.T. Balls. Sometimes people ask me with wide eyes how I ever came to write MM romance. Did you know the average reader of MM romances is a heterosexual female between 20 and 60? So, I do know my audience. Plus, I’m married to the love of my life and he’s a guy, so I know a lot about making love to a man! LOL.

I got interested in writing gay romance after reading some terrific books -- most of them written by women. As with a lot of people, I was surprised that women both wrote and read a majority of gay romance fiction but I loved it. From book one, I was hooked. Gay romance takes away any of the sexual roles and traditional stereotyping that accompany a lot of traditional romance. For someone who likes to play with gender roles and turn stereotypes on their head, gay romance is a perfect place to do it. In my popular book, Fire Balls, one hero is a tiny, flamboyant painter who also happens to be a black belt in karate and a dominant in bed. Another hero of mine if big hunky JJ who looks like a football player. But he’s more queen than quarterback. In my new book, F.A.S.T. Balls. my two heroes are hunky firefighters but one of them is a total homophobe who considers himself straight. It’s challenging to write a character going through that kind of self-realization while simultaneously falling in love. I hope you enjoy F.A.S.T. Balls. There’s an excerpt below!
 


Excerpt:


Straight nodded and positioned himself at the foot of the stairs.

Mick tested each stair before he applied weight. One gave way but he jumped to the next.

Heat searing now. He bent double and moved like some round-backed animal up three more stairs to what would have been the top if much had been left. Damn. Where was he?

He pressed against the only wall not burning and sidled his way down the hall to what must have been the bedrooms. It seemed like it took a year of inching but he got to a door frame and looked in. On the far wall, he saw what was left of a single bed like for a kid.

Holy God!

The floor of the room was mostly missing. Burned through.

He leaned forward. No. No, God. Lying on the floor a story below was a firefighter. It had to be Jerry. Crumpled like some bad voodoo doll or something. His breathing apparatus stuck out from under a burning board. The caved-in floor had caught fire to the fabrics in the room and a huge blaze was consuming a couch and fallen floorboards only feet from his head.

No!

Mick pressed himself against the wall again and forced himself to go slow. If he died, so did Jerry. When he finally got back to the stairs, he ran down, with charred wood cracking under his boots. He hit the ground, pointed his arm, and ran toward the hall to the back of the house on the first floor. He rounded a corner and staggered back. Flames licked up the walls on both sides like an arc of fire. He crouched real low and burst through to a short section of hall barely burning. Straight volleyed through beside him.

Then he stared.

The space ahead must have been a family room. Now it was pure inferno. He knelt and peered under the fire. Yes, Jerry’s body lay beyond a wall of flame. Mick’s heart and head disconnected. One wanted to leap headfirst through the flames and grab that fallen body in his arms. But the firefighter’s brain calculated. There was a chance of slipping through the burn low and on the right side.

Straight knelt beside him. Mick pointed at the area and mimed his going through. He reached for the RIT Bag in Straight’s hand. The man pulled it back and shook his head. What the hell? Mick used his extra reach to grab the bag and pull. Straight pulled back.

Mick screamed through the speaking diaphragm. “What the hell?”

Straight peered into Mick’s mask. “Our chance. Leave him.”

What? “No way.” He waved his arms wildly.

“Your father’s mission. One less fag.”

Mick stared at him. Every ounce of blood felt frozen. Everything he’d been taught stared through his mask. Discriminate…judge…despise…hate…and finally kill.

The scream came from somewhere he’d never been. Some place in his soul that had never seen light before. “Ahhhhhhhhhh!”
 
 

Blurb:

F.A.S.T. — Firefighter Assist and Search Team


Firefighter and surfing champion, Jerry Wallender, looks like a hero to the world, but he can’t see it. He keeps falling for these intellectual guys who end up making him feel dumb and unneeded. On top of that, Mick Cassidy, super-gorgeous firefighter and total homophobe, makes Jerry’s life miserable with his slurs. Then one day Mick’s nice to Jerry and, at the Firefighter’s Ball, Jerry offers a helping hand and ends up with a hand-job. What the hell is going on?

Mick Cassidy is great with fighting fires and solving math problems but rotten with people. Raised by a gay-hating preacher, Mick’s carefully constructed world of gay bashing starts to crumble when he meets Jerry, the nicest, kindest man he’s ever known. Mick’s never wanted a woman and can’t stop thinking about sex with Jerry. In fact, he can’t stop doing it. Does that make him gay? And if he’s gay, what happens to his whole life? A hook-up between sweet Jerry and mean Mick might be total disaster — or the smartest idea Jerry ever had.

 

Buy Links:



 

Book info

Title: F.A.S.T. Balls

Author: Tara Lain

Genre: MM Romance

Publisher: Etopia Press

Formats: ePub, Kindle format, Pdf

ISBN: 9781940223353

 



Author Bio:

Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly male/male and MMF ménage, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her unique heroes. In fact, her readers say her tagline, Read the Beautiful Boys of Romance, about sums it up. Her first romance novel was published in January of 2011. She’s now on book 21. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards.

Some people call Tara “the Balls girl” in honor of her best-selling MM contemporary romance series, Balls to the Wall. Readers send her suggested titles for her next Balls book! Three of the Balls books, Volley Balls, Fire Balls and Snow Balls, were on the Amazon list of the top selling 100 gay romances in 2012.Tara also has a popular paranormal series called the Aloysius Tales and an award-winning ménage series titled Genetic Attraction.

In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm, and she carries her promotional instincts into her writing career as well. She lives with her soul-mate husband in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

Stalk Me Links:

Website:              http://www.taralain.com

Blog:               http://www.taralain.com/blog


Twitter:               http://twitter.com/taralain

FB Page:         http://www.facebook.com/taralain

 

Tour Giveaway Rafflecopter:



Friday, September 27, 2013

Goblins Giveaway by Melanie Tushmore




Greetings, dear readers. I’m going to tell you a little about my new Goblins book. 

Check out the end of this blog post for details on the GIVEAWAY!






Goblins Book 1 comprises two stories:
Wulfren & The Warlock, and Quiller & The Runaway Prince.


When I wrote the first story (Wulfren & The Warlock) for Less Than Three Press, I’d intended it to be a stand alone, a one off. But as the world of Goblins –and their elvish cousins– sprang to life, I continued the tales. There will be more to come, but we decided to release them in pairs.

After Wulfren –who is quite a wistful and romantic character– I had a great burning to write a story for his older brother, Quiller; the goblin prince who seemed the most carefree and cheeky. Quiller’s preferred form, or spirit animal, is a rook. All the goblins have animals that they transform into, whether fully or in very subtle ways, that compliment their personality.



I’ve always loved surrealist qualities in art and fantasy; something that makes you look twice, or can look a little scary. My goblin boys are only sometimes human, the rest of the time they exhibit other-worldly qualities, subtle shape-shifting movements that can reflect their moods and tempers. From King Raedren’s snake-like hair, to the youngest goblin prince, Wulfren, hissing like a cat.

When I thought of Quiller, I had in mind a tall, graceful, and flighty sort of character.



Quiller is going about his own business, being a goblin, when a human youth stumbles into his path. The year at that point is 1648, the start of the second English civil war, and also in the very last stages of the age of witchcraft. What were the humans wearing, then? I scoured through paintings like this one, Smokers In An Interior:



And welcome to a huge kink of mine; pretty young men dressed as cavaliers (of which I shall delve into more …chuckle… in my very last Goblins blog post next week).

Quiller the goblin is able to transform himself into a human form, and in a darkened forest where he meets the human, perhaps he’d look something like this:




But being in a human form does not mean understanding humans as they are, as Quiller is about to find out.



Excerpt

The rider's foot caught in one of the stirrups as he fell, and he cried out in pain. "Midnight!" he shouted, as the beast stamped its hooves. "Stop, stop!"
"Oh dear!" the birds called. "Stupid human!"
The rider managed to free himself, and fell to the ground in a heap. The horse snorted, shaking its head, then stamped a few paces away. "Midnight!" the rider called. He shifted on the ground, trying to stand. His ankle blazed in pain; I could feel the rush of hot energy from where I sat watching. His anguished cry echoed through the trees, and the birds continued to laugh. He sat still on the forest floor, clearly stunned and unable to move. His hat had been lost, revealing a head of long, russet red hair. "Oh, no," he murmured. "No. God … God, please. Please, help me."
I hadn't heard many humans speak. To me, their voices sounded thick and heavy. This voice, however, sounded light and different. I simply couldn't help myself as I answered, "What is wrong, human?"
The rider looked about in shock, trying to see who had spoken. "W-Who's there?"
"You asked for help, did you not?"
He still couldn't work out where the voice had come from. Perhaps my dark feathers made me hard to pick out in the gloom but, honestly, were humans really this stupid?
"Y-Yes," he said. "God, who are you?"
In a dramatic display—because how could I resist?—I flew down from the tree in front of him and changed into my human likeness. My legs lengthened and I stood on the ground with human feet. My wings changed into arms, my feathers smoothed into pale skin. My beak shrank into lips as I smiled at him. "Whatever I am, you may call me a god if you wish."
His eyes bulged as he stared at me. "But y-you're a m-man."
I grinned, flashing my teeth. "Man, no. Male? Certainly. Would you rather me a female, human?"
"W-What?" He leant back, trying to shuffle away. I dropped forward and crawled over him. He stilled, blinking at me with large blue eyes.
Tilting my head, I stared in wonder. Never had I seen eyes like these before. I pulled back a little, taking in more of the human, close up. His face was hairless, like mine, but creamy and smooth.
Mmm. What would he taste like? I flared my nostrils, scenting him. His lips quivered, and I could smell his breath as he exhaled. He had eaten sweet meats not long ago, and drunk wine. The smell of his skin was even more enticing, damp with human sweat. The scent of fear was strong. There was something else, too; a deep, irresistible smell resting below his skin, in his blood. I longed to sniff more, to lick and taste him.
I quirked a smile. "You smell interesting."
"W-What?" he squeaked, like a timid mouse. He blinked at me, wary, unmoving. I let my gaze rove over him, from the long red hair that framed his pretty face, down to the clothes that held his slim body. I wanted to press my face against him and smell more. 
"How is your injury?" I held his eye as I moved back.
"I-I'm fine," he said, trying to move away. A sharp wince and he stilled again.
"Come, come. Don't be shy. Let me see." I moved to sit by his injured ankle, lifting it gently in my clawed hands. Oh dear, claws. I'd forgotten about those. I willed my claws to retract; I was clearly too excited. Carefully, I removed the riding boot from his foot.
He gasped, wincing again. "It hurts."
"Yes, I'm sure it does." I glanced at the empty boot I now held, and gave into the temptation to sniff it.
"Excuse me!"
I grinned at him. "Yes?"
"What do you think you're doing?"
"Smelling your boot. Very interesting."
His lips pursed, and colour rushed to his cheeks. He looked deliciously indignant. I had to admit, it was a good look on him. I chuckled to myself, setting his boot aside. "Let me have a look then." I examined his foot, then his ankle. The pain came from there, but it was only a minor sprain.
"Nothing broken," I said, lowering his foot. "Easily mended." I rose and strode off, looking amongst the brush.
"Wait! Where are you going?"
"Looking for plants. Have patience, human." I located thistle-wood, linlem, and doc leaves, cradling them in my arms. I walked past the human, throwing him a smile as I approached his horse.
"What are you doing?" he demanded. "Don't touch my horse!"
"Your horse is injured," I said over my shoulder. "I'll tend to him first."
"What? The horse first?"
"Yes."
He muttered something in response. I grinned, amused that he was so put out. A haughty tone had entered his voice, replacing his fear.
Interesting.
To make the medicine, I had to chew the linlem and thistlewood, grinding the plants to a paste in my mouth. Not terribly pleasant. Then I spat the paste onto the doc leaves. "This will help," I whispered to the horse. It understood, and waited patiently, letting me rub its lower hind leg; a sprained muscle, not as bad as the human's injury. With rest, it would recover soon.
With the horse seen to, I gathered my plants and returned to the human. He glared at me, his jaw set. He probably wished the look to be intimidating. As the blood pumped around his body, it gave off more of that delicious smell.
"Why, human," I teased. "You're pouting."
His eyes narrowed. "I am not, sir. And I insist you address me properly."
"Oh?" I stuffed linlem and thistle-wood into my mouth, chewing as I spoke. "And what should I call you?"
"My name is Cashel."
"Ah." I spat the plants into my hand, holding his blue gaze as I reached for him. He winced when I touched his ankle, but otherwise made no sound. Such a stoic little human. He pressed his lips together as I massaged the plant paste into his skin. The tendons and sinews underneath shifted with my touch, and I had to mind my claws, which had grown long again. I didn't want to scratch him, not yet.
The plant juice mixed with my spit cooled the inflammation as I rubbed his foot. "Cashel." I grinned, trying out his name on my tongue. "Is that better?"
"That's enough now." He glared, pulling his leg back. "Tell me who you are."
I let him pull away, raising an eyebrow as I studied him. "Hmm." I grasped the doc leaves. "Hold still, human."
"I told you, my name is—"
"That's not your name."
He stilled at my words. I finished binding his ankle, then looked up at him.
"Y-Yes, it is."
"Oh, no." I cocked my head. "No, that's not your name." I would've been able to spell you, otherwise.
He stared back at me, silent.
"Hmm. You're very interesting, human. You smell so heady and strong. You sound different. You're not from here, are you?"
"I-well, no, I'm-But it doesn't matter where I'm from!" The colour rose in his cheeks, and I could smell the blood heating him. I inhaled deeply, closing my eyes.
"Mmm. I want to lick you."
"What?" He all but shouted, shuffling back over the ground. "No! Get away from me! What the devil are you?"
I crawled after him, smiling. "You won't get far, human. Not with that swollen ankle."
"Stay back!" he ordered, his eyes blazing defiantly. "Stay back, or so help me—"
"Ah." I stilled in surprise. "You're a royal."
The angry expression was wiped clean off his face. I knew instantly that this human would be a terrible, terrible liar. "What?" he croaked. "N-No, I'm not."
"Mm, yes, you are." I bent forward again, scenting him. "Who are you? A prince of humans?"
"What? No, don't be ridiculous! I'm-I'm not— " He swallowed, then asked quietly, "Are you going to kill me?"






Blurb:

In the 17th Century, the ancient sprawl of Epping forest is bursting with magic and those who go unseen by human eyes: the elves who rule the summer court, and the goblins who rule the winter court. It is said that if a human catches the eye of one of the fey, they are either doomed or blessed.

Wulfren & the Warlock

When Wulfren wakes from a strange dream of a human captor with long silver hair, and grey eyes, his brothers tell him they rescued him from a warlock, and take Wulfren back home to the goblin king's palace. But Wulfren isn’t so sure the matter is that simple. Why was he missing so long? What are the strange dreams of the beautiful man with the silver hair? Dalliances with humans are severely frowned upon, especially by Wulfren’s father, but Wulfren is willing to risk the scorn of his family to find the human who haunts his dreams.

Quiller & the Runaway Prince

After a hard winter, Quiller is sent deep into the forest on a family errand, and is surprised when a human stumbles into his path. Quiller swoops in to pester him, perhaps even eat him, but there is something special about the human: his scent is royal, though he protests that he is not, and soon Quiller finds himself agreeing to help the human with his troubles—in exchange for a kiss.




Melanie’s website

Melanie’s twitter
@melanietushmore




!! GIVEAWAY !!


For one lucky reader to be in with a chance of winning a free ebook copy of Goblins Book 1, all you have to do is comment here and complete the sentence: 

‘ Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook! ’


Please leave your name, and write your email address like so: name [at] hotmail dot com
Drawing will take place on Monday 30th Sept, at 6pm London time.
Good luck, and may the best goblin win!



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Guest Post: Blind Dating for Readers by Tia Fielding

Want to date me?

Okay, not really, but kind of. Let me get to the point here before I send you running.

I was trying to come up with a similar experience to trying out a new author or maybe a new book from an author whose books you don't love but like enough to try again. Then it hit me; blind dating!
For me the experience is like someone telling me they've set me up with a colleague or a friend I don't know, someone I might have seen in passing or heard nice things of. Just like in people, experiences with books are subjective.
Your BFF might adore person they set you up with. They might've raved about them to you for weeks before you said yes and well, your BFF is your BFF for a reason. They have a good taste in choosing friends, at least? That's what you're telling yourself when you step into that café and find the person waiting for you there.
Much like a cover of a book, appearances don't necessarily tell you much. The person who looks like a hippie might actually be a very seriously taken musician or a grass root politician, or the other guy/girl who dresses like a mortician who used to be an accountant in a past life, yeah, they're kinky as sh*t. So you take your time, as long as you can, to figure out what this person is about. Sooner or later you begin to wonder what the hell was your BFF thinking.
Did she not know about their strange thing for *insert oddity here*? Didn't she notice how weird the person smells? Really? You try to stay polite for ten more minutes before making an excuse and dashing out of the café like a madperson.
Later, when your BFF calls and asks you about the date, what will you tell her?

Much like when you tried to read a book your friend loved but you wanted to add to your did-not-finish pile before you get to the third chapter, we come to the question "What was wrong with it/him/her?" Nothing, necessarily. The person, exactly like the book, just wasn't right for you.
Will you go and tell your BFF the book sucked, that she had a bad taste and you were never trying another one of her suggestions and please, please whatever deity you believe in do NOT let her set you up again? Probably not. But you're going to be cautious for a while, shying away from blind dates/new authors just because it was so unpleasant the last time.

Will you eventually take another plunge? I sincerely do hope so.
You never know who you're going to find.

So what was the last M/M book from a new-to-you author you read? Go Like my Facebook page and let me know! Within a week, I'll randomly choose two people who get an eBook each from my back catalogue. All you have to do is check in at http://www.facebook.com/authortiafielding!
Author bio's get boring when you see them a few times, so I'm just going to leave a few links here and hope you click on them!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortiafielding



 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Guest Post: Cornelia Grey Devil at the Crossroads




Hello, BiB, and thank you so much for having me!

My paranormal novella Devil at the Crossroads was just released by Riptide Publishing, and I’m glad to have the chance to chat a little about how this story was born. And, at the end of the post, there’s also a juicy giveaway for all lovely readers...!

I will be making a few stops over the next few days – you can keep track of the blog tour here :)!


Check out the GIVEAWAY info at the bottom of this blog post!



The Sound of Music


I absolutely cannot work in silence.

I don’t know why, but I never could. Even as a kid, I always had trouble focusing on just one thing, and always needed a second something in the background to keep me focused. For instance, I used to keep the television on, albeit very low, as I read my comic books; conversely, I used to leaf through the comic books or play tetris as I watched something on the telly. Even nowadays, I can’t sit still and focus on the television – I need to knit, or potter around the room tidying up, or aimlessly surf the web on my phone.

My trick for focusing on studying, instead, was – and still is! – playing a DVD on repeat for hours on end. Not ‘normal’ television – I get irked by all the loud commercials, and get distracted by all the different programs – but a movie that I’ve already seen many times and that I know by heart. That way, I don’t need to focus on what’s going on on the screen – I know it already – but I have a familiar buzz going on in the background that somehow helps to keep me focused. Without it, I just drift off and start thinking about anything and everything except the task at hand.

As for writing, instead, I love a musical soundtrack – but again, I pick a few familiar tunes and repeat them on a loop, accurately choosing one for each scene, according to the atmosphere I have in mind. This accomplishes a few things. I don’t get distracted by the changing songs; my atmosphere doesn’t get ruined by a song that doesn’t match; and the repetition of that one familiar tune helps me focus. But most importantly...  one of the great banes of a writer’s existence is having to stop writing in the middle of a promising scene because of time constraints (time is a tyrant, as we say in Italian!), and having to pick up the next day with the risk of losing track of what was going on. 

Putting on my headphones and starting the loop again helps me dive right back in the frame of mind connected to that particular scene. The music reminds me of what I was thinking and how I was feeling as I worked on it, and it makes it a lot easier to keep a consistent tone throughout the scene instead of switching according to the day’s mood.

So, what were the songs that influenced me while writing Devil at the Crossroads?

One of them was Born Under a Bad Sign by Jimi Hendrix . He is one of my top favorite musicians of all times, and of course he had to be included in the soundtrack of a blues story!


This was the more ‘chilled out’ bit of soundtrack, not too emotional or melancholic. It reminds me of the ironic smirk that is so typical of the character of Farfarello.


For the sadder, more emotional scenes – the quiet ones, as in Chapter Four – I immediately defaulted to the wonderful Janis Joplin. Summertime is one of the most moving tunes I know, and I felt it was just perfect for what Logan was going through.




For the more energic scenes, instead, I resorted to something a little more modern. I wanted something strong, harsh, but melodic at the same time; I wanted something screamed that might be in tune with Logan’s frustration. So I picked Best of you by the Foo Fighters, which is one of the few modern bands I really enjoy.





I hope you enjoyed this little selection! Thank you so much for stopping by. And I’d be happy to know what songs you think would make a nice soundtrack for this story, so – lay it on me :)!

Cornelia xxx







Blurb:
The devil covets more than his soul ...
Six years ago, Logan Hart sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest bluesman of all time—and now the devil has come to collect.
The irony is that Logan squandered his gift. High on fame, money, and drugs, he ignored his muse and neglected his music. And despite managing to escape showbiz in a moment of clarity, it’s too late to redeem himself. All that’s left is to try to go out with some dignity. Alas, the prospect of an eternity in Hell isn’t helping much with that goal.
But Farfarello, the devil who bought Logan’s soul, isn’t ready to drag him down to Hell quite yet. He’s just spent six years working his ass off to whip a bluesman into shape, and he refuses to let that—or the opportunity for more sinful pleasures with Logan—go to waste. 

You can read an excerpt and purchase ‘Devil at the Crossroads’ here!

Cornelia Grey's links:


And also on 
[Twitter
[Blogger
[Facebook]




!! Trivia Contest !!

Attention, dear readers – this release comes with a trivia contest, and the winners will receive a free ebook of their choice from my backlist!

There are three easy questions, whose answer can be found reading Devil at the Crossroads. Keep an eye for the answers as you read the story, then email me the answers at corneliagrey [at] yahoo [dot] com – do not leave them in the comments, remember, you don’t want to make life too easy for the competition ;)!

The deadline for the contest is September the 30th.

I will randomly select two readers among those who emailed me replying correctly to the three questions. The winners will be officially announced on my blog (as well as emailed!) and they will receive a free ebook of their choice from my backlist!

Ready for the questions? Here we go...

1)      What is the model of Logan’s guitar?

2)      Throughout the story, three spider tattoos are mentioned. Where are they located?

3)      Farfarello happens to mention a future birthday of Logan’s. Which birthday is that?



Good luck! And remember, email me your answers by September the 30th to be entered in the contest :)!





You can read an excerpt and purchase ‘Devil at the Crossroads’ here!