Monday Meets (Special Edition): Thianna Durston

Welcome Thianna Durston to a special edition of Monday Meets:


If You Can’t Take The Heat:

Series: A Steel Door series / Dallas Fire & Rescue series crossover

Steel Door, Book #2

Can it be read as a standalone – Yes or no: Yes

Cover Artist: Thianna Durston



Austin Reynolds always wanted to be a firefighter but an accident when he was 18 killed that dream. Life as a chef, creating wonderful spicy food, fills that void. His monthly visits to feed the hungry firefighters and paramedics of Station 58 help as well. On one of those visits, he meets someone and is instantly attracted.

FBI agent Conrad “Rad” Strauss is on the hunt for a serial killer who tortures and then burns his victims alive. While he rarely finds time for activities outside of work, the need to fulfill the dom side of him takes him to a BDSM club where he and Austin find they have more than firefighting in common.

As their attraction heats up, so does the pressure from the killer known as The Artist. For he has his eyes on Austin and unless Conrad can stop him, his lover is about to go up in flames.


Excerpt :

The restaurant was busy, but the attached bar had seating and a menu. Once they were ensconced in a booth, Austin shook off the weird feelings and focused on the hot guy seated across from him. “Glad you wanted to get some food. Your nightly texts are killing me.”

Conrad grinned at him. “Just want to send you off to la-la land with something tantalizing.”

With a snort, Austin almost replied when their waiter walked up. After ordering a couple beers and their food, he said, “Considering I have to use my hands to get rid of the tension…”

Leaning forward, Conrad whispered, “If we develop a D/s relationship, boy, you won’t be doing that without my okay.”

Austin gulped and his heart sped up. Just knowing that Conrad could put him on orgasm restriction was thrilling… and horrifying all at once. He didn’t want to be denied. So why was his cock all hot and bothered?

As if he could read Austin’s mind, Conrad smiled and leaned forward even more. “You like that idea. Of that little piece of control given up to me. Don’t you?”

Unable not to, Austin nodded. “Yes,” he finally managed to get the breath to say.

“Good boy. I’ll reward you for that.”

Ah hell, dinner was going to be torture. Austin wanted to take a trip to the bathroom to rub one out, but didn’t feel like he should without asking. And he wasn’t sure if Conrad would say no as they didn’t have any kind of contract between them. But he kind of hoped he would.



Author bio:

Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.


Social links:

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Monday Meets: Tinnean

Hey everyone. Help me welcome  Tinnean to my blog. Vampires, black swans, and match-making agencies. What’s not to love? I’m definitely putting this one on my TBR list.

Guest Author: Tinnean


The story of The Black Swan

Late last fall, the list dad of a Facebook group I belong to announced a call for a vampire anthology. I’d contributed Blue and Green Persuasion, a sci fi story, to Foolish Encounters, which commemorated the group’s first anniversary, and I hoped to be a part of the new anthology as well. However, the call came with the proviso that the vampires weren’t the sort Bram Stoker wrote about.

It took some thinking, but I came up with the idea of a matchmaking agency for vampires. Because everyone needs a little love, don’t they?

While doing research, I learned about the black swan, an individual who wasn’t a vampire but who was close to one. Then there was the Golden Circle, consisting of individuals who formed a vampire coven. That coven included black swans, vampires, and kitra—those who were not only vampires but donors as well.

Never one to avoid fiddling, however, I reworked the black swan into someone who would protect his vampire during the day. Then I decided that, while in this universe being a black swan was genetic, not every child born into a black swan family was a black swan.

Okay. *rubs hands together* I’ve got the terms. I’ve got the basic plotline: boy meets vampire, boy can’t have vampire, boy creates the Golden Circle Matchmaking Agency so his vampire will have a companion. I’m ready to get writing.

The word limit was 15k, and I had about ten months to whip it into shape. Duck soup, right? Um… not quite, but not for the reason you might think.

The story moved along quite well, even considering the left turns at Albuquerque it decided to take from time to time. The problem was it kept moving along, until the word count topped 43k.

Well, that was obviously too long for the anthology, so another story had to be written for it. That story was about some of the secondary characters from They Come By Night, a vampire novel I wrote for Dreamspinner. The new story mentions the Golden Circle Matchmaking Agency. And the “Spanish vampire” who was “such a nightmare?” He also appeared in They Come By Night.

Meanwhile, The Black Swan still was at loose ends until I contacted JMS Books, and it found a home there.

So come along and meet Gabe Granger and Remember Littlebury, and the other black swans, and follow them through the corridors of time.

One final note: if the name Gabe Granger sounds familiar, this Gabe is the great-great-grand of Granger, who cross-dresses in the Spy vs. Spook and Mann of My Dreams series.

I do love me some crossovers.😉


Gabe Granger gathers intelligence for George Washington, even after he’s bitten by a vampyre in the service of the British. Remember Littlebury, his longtime friend, stays with him as his black swan, keeping him safe from sunlight and getting messages to General Washington.

After the war ends, they continue working for the fledgling government through one conflict after another. When Gabe loses Remember at the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s ready to give up, but his country still needs his services. And there are many black swans for him to choose from. None are any more fortunate than Remember, and one by one they’re killed in various wars.

All Noah Poynter wants is to be a black swan, and he’s devastated when his pop tells him he’s just a normal. In spite of everything, Gabe and Noah become friends. Is there any hope for the two of them?


Chapter 1

The war between the former colonies and England had been raging for almost three years, and now, once again, it was early autumn. The leaves had turned to red and gold, and had started to fall.

Gabe Granger made his way cautiously through the forest. He had been sent out to reconnoitre the British encampment about twenty miles to the north. One of his greatest accomplishments was his ability to retrieve information with no trouble at all. In addition, he was a good tracker, one of General Washington’s best.

That was why he couldn’t understand how anyone could sneak up on him without his being aware of it.

And even though the night was moonless, it seemed as if a shadow flowed around him, blotting out the stars.

“You’re quite attractive for a barbarian,” the owner of the shadow murmured. And while the voice was feminine, French, cultivated—the grip was as powerful as any man’s. “Shall I make you even more so, my pet? Would you like to belong to me forever?” She didn’t give him the chance to say no. She twisted his head and the pain came as a shock as she sank her fangs into his throat.

He’d heard of these creatures of the night. Even the Tuscaroras, who had raised him for a time after his parents had been killed by renegade white men, had tales of them.

Gabe had always been able to depend on his body. Now he was frightened by how easily she seemed to overpower him. He couldn’t even cry out for help.

He felt her draining the blood from his body, and he knew the best he could hope for was to die. The worst was for her to complete what she was doing and have him return as one of the undead.


Gabe would have whimpered in relief, but not a single sound could get past his lips.

The suction at his throat ceased, but the woman didn’t remove her fangs. It hurt.

“You know we have need of him as a spy. Will you make him your childe?” This voice was male and was equally cultivated, although it was British.

The woman withdrew her fangs but her lips remained fastened to his throat and she stroked her tongue over the wounds she’d made in his neck. In spite of himself, Gabe felt his prick harden. Oh God, what was wrong with him?

She raised her head. “A colonist? A Yankee? No.” Scorn filled her words, and she tossed him aside. “Besides, his blood isn’t in the least what I would want to sample again.”

“Did you hurt him? I told you I needed—” The Redcoat spat out a curse, and Gabe realized the woman must have left. “Stupid Frenchwoman, wasting food. Just like her queen.”

Gabe had the impression the man objected more to her nationality than to her sex.

The man cut his wrist. “I don’t have time for the entire procedure, little Yankee. This will have to suffice. Drink.”

Gabe didn’t know what the man was talking about, but the scent of blood was intoxicating. He latched onto the wrist that was offered to him and began to work the wound to obtain what he needed.

“I know you were General Washington’s spy.” The man chuckled and stroked Gabe’s hair with his free hand. “You’ll spy for me now, won’t you, little Yankee?”

Gabe froze. “What?”

“Washington won’t want you—no normal person will. You’re too dangerous. He won’t be able to trust you around his men. But I? I’ll give you free rein—feed from all the Yankee soldiers you’d like. You’ve stopped drinking.” There was a frown in his voice. “Continue. Once this melding is complete, you’ll belong to me. You’ll do whatever I ask of you.”

“And that includes betraying my country?”

“You’re British.”

“I’m American.”

“Don’t be tiresome.” He nudged Gabe’s lips with his wrist. “Do as I say.”

“I won’t.” Gabe shoved aside the arm and spat out the blood.

“Then die, foolish Yankee.” The voice had grown so cold, Gabe couldn’t prevent a shiver from running down his spine. The Englishman tossed Gabe aside much as the Frenchwoman had, and then Gabe was alone in the forest.

He wanted to weep. He’d failed in his mission. Soon it would be sunrise; he was going to die. From what he had learned, he knew the sun’s rays would melt the flesh from his bones. He sank back onto the bed of leaves and felt his heart stutter and slow. But he was a loyal American. He would not feed on men who trusted him—trusted that he’d find the information that would get them through another battle.

He prepared to meet his Maker…

No, goddammit, he wasn’t going to lie down and die like a… a Macaroni. He could hear the faint scrabbling of some small creature—possibly a squirrel or a raccoon. He’d find it and drink its blood.

He launched himself at it and only succeeded in hitting his head against the tree.

Face it, Gabe. You were born under an unlucky star. Except when it came to having a good friend like Remember Littlebury. And thank God, Remember wasn’t here. Vampyres could be unpredictable, and did they even recall who their friends were? Could Gabe trust himself not to attack Remember? No, this was for the best. Gabe was ready to die if he must, but being unable to say goodbye to Remember… It sorrowed him greatly.

About the Author:

Tinnean has been writing since the 3rd grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn’t survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.

It was with the advent of the family’s second computer – the first intimidated everyone – that her writing took off, enhanced in part by fanfiction, but mostly by the wonder that is copy and paste.

While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters and has been published by Nazca Plains, Dreamspinner, JMS Books, and Wilde City, as well as being self-published. Recent novels have received honorable mention in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Rainbow Awards, and two of the 2014 submissions were finalists.

A New Yorker at heart, she resides in SW Florida with her husband and two computers.

Ernest Hemingway’s words reflect Tinnean’s devotion to her craft: Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.

She can be contacted at:


Live Journal:

Twitter: @tinneantoo


Amazon Author Page:

Tinnean's earlier works can be found at:

Buy Links:

JMS Books:,qgy9W3



Barnes & Noble:



Monday Meets: Alice Archer

Welcome Alice Archer to my blog today!

Everyday History, by Alice Archer


Interview with Alice Archer

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? 

A combination. When I started Everyday History, I didn’t know how to write a novel. I knew how other people wrote novels, but then it was just me and my laptop in a room with the door closed, and all that theory had to be translation into some kind of action.

I went for the smorgasbord approach. If a method appealed to me, I tried it. I experimented. A lot. If something didn’t work, I ditched it and tried something else. If something sort of worked, I teased out the bit that was working, kept it, and tossed the rest.

I used logic to decide on an experiment, then intuition to decide if it was working. False starts came and went. I finished the novel, but also learned a lot about how I write a novel. I’m building on that foundation, doing more experiments, as I write another novel.

What did you edit out of Everyday History?

A novel in progress feels like an organic, pulsing entity with a life of its own. As its devoted herder, I’m tasked with lopping off options.

At one point, there was a decent-sized section, between Everyday History’s main climax point and the epilogue, in which Henry and Ruben got to know each other again in real time. Although it was cut from what I now think of as “the real version,” writing that ill-fated section helped me deepen and align the personalities of the main characters and then infuse that knowledge into the final version of the story.

What were you like at school?

Quiet. Mousy. If I raised my hand to speak, the entire class would look at me in shock. Well, my memory has probably embellished it, but that’s how it felt.

Art and English classes were my favorites. In my senior year of high school, I decided I was bored with being such a good student and wanted to experience being a bad student. I informed my art teacher in advance, so she wouldn’t be upset, then did all my work but didn’t turn in a major assignment. I got a D, as previously arranged. The next semester I did extra work to pull my grade back up.

Massive nerd.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d say, “Sweetie, the only person who knows how you write a novel is you. That means the only way you’re going to discover how to do it, so you can have the utter and complete joy of doing it over and over again, is to practice. Don’t wait. Start practicing right now.”

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Buying eleventy-trillion novels to read. I’ve learn so much about writing from reading.

Why did you choose the excerpt below?

This is a scene in which Ruben takes a time-out to assess the results of his experiments.


Everyday  History

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Novel length: 90,116 wordseverydayhistory_bookcover_dsp

 Book Blurb

Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert to a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. After months of persuasion, he scores a dinner date with Henry Normand that morphs into an intense weekend. The unexpected depth of their connection scares Ruben into fleeing.

Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. The articles seduce Ruben with details from their weekend together and trigger feelings too strong to avoid. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.



If Ruben didn’t know better, if he viewed his own tale as an outsider, it might look like the story of him falling in love with Henry.

That thought makes him excuse himself and head to the bathroom.

Door closed, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, Ruben takes stock.

But I don’t do love. Not the kind that presumes a future. He’s never been that kind of guy. “Sorry,” he always says when someone falls for him. “Love would get in the way of sex.” No amount of pity-me eyes or I-could-be-the-exception pleas ever made him want to change his tune.

Okay, that could be because, until recently, it was always women who wanted more. Maybe love would be different for me with a man. Over the past six weeks Ruben has fended off two I-could-be-the-exception pleas from guys, and neither of them remotely tempted him to consider changing his policy… but they weren’t Henry.

All along Ruben had considered his thing with Henry to be about the thrill of sex with a man. Couldn’t it still be about sex? Henry is older and, Ruben assumes, more experienced than any of the other guys he has fooled around with so far. So maybe sex with Henry is so satisfying because of Henry’s experience. And his exceptional skills as a teacher.

The crux of the matter is the siren call of the learning curve. Because of the proper education Henry is giving him, Ruben feels a new confidence. He’s looking forward to giving the playing field of men another shot back at school. In fact he can hardly wait. He remembers a few of the hot, out gay guys he hasn’t had the confidence to approach. They’d better brace themselves.

Let’s review. I’m an eighteen-year-old male. I’m newly aware that I’m mostly gay. I recently moved away from home for the first time. I attend a large university, full of people my age who are also naturally hopped up on hormones. Is this a description of someone ready for commitment? No. I think not.

Case closed.

With an adjustment for gender, he renews his old policy—Sex, please, hold the love—as his new policy. Pretending anything else would be dishonest. Promising anything else would be cruel.

Ruben slaps his thighs, stands, and nods decisively to himself in the mirror. He gives himself a lecherous grin to seal the deal, remembers to flush the unused toilet, and heads back to the living room.

Sales links:

Dreamspinner Press,



Barnes & Noble,



About Alice


Alice Archer has messed about with words professionally for many years as an editor and writing coach. After living in more than eighty places and cobbling together a portable lifestyle, she has lots of story material to sort through. It has reassured her to discover that even though culture and beliefs can get people into a peck of trouble when they’re falling in love, the human heart beats the same in any language. She currently lives near Nashville. Maybe this move will stick.


Monday Meets: Sarah Madison

Hey all,

Welcome Sarah Madison to my blog!

Guest Author: Sarah Madison


Available now on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited! The bestselling M/M contemporary romance about second chances and lost loves, set in the exciting world of competitive sport horses. If you can’t get enough of the Olympics and you love horses, this book is for you!

Fool’s Gold by Sarah Madison



Eight years ago, Jake Stanford had it all: a spot on the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team and the love of his life, Rich Evans. A tragic accident wipes out everything in the blink of an eye. Hard work and sacrifice get him another shot at Olympic Gold, but only if he puts his past behind him and agrees to work with Rich again.

Bound by secrets he cannot share, Rich was forced to give up Jake eight years ago. Now he has a second chance to help Jake realize his dreams. But the secrets that drove them apart haven’t changed, and Rich must face them or risk losing Jake forever.


As though sensing Rich’s intense perusal, Jake shifted with a stifled groan as he tried to move and was pulled up short by unexpected pain. Repressing an urge to poke Jake with his cane like some grumpy old man, Rich decided that as Jake’s coach, he had every right to approach the bed. He leaned down so he could speak without startling Jake into moving suddenly.

“Hey,” he said quietly. “Go slow, and stop if you feel any sharp pain.” He stretched out his hand to touch Jake but thought better of it mid-action. His hand flapped awkwardly like a bird trying to decide where to land, and he withdrew it abruptly.

“Did someone get the number of the bus that hit me?” Jake grunted as he inched himself up in stages onto his elbows, and Rich tried not to think about how similar it sounded to the noises Jake had made during sex. Too similar. That was a memory he’d have to shake from his head now.

Jake hissed when he put his right elbow down, and he turned within the covers, winding them around him in a tangle as he rolled onto his back to avoid putting more weight on his arm.

“It was the 4:10 from Kryptonite,” Rich said. “Nonstop express.”

When Jake rolled over, Rich retreated to a safer distance. No matter what he did, he had to maintain some degree of propriety, even if that meant not acting completely naturally around Jake for now. In another lifetime, he would have sat on the bed until he made sure Jake was okay and could shift himself without help. Now it was too much like fondling an open bottle of whiskey when he’d sworn off all hard liquor.

Jake chuckled and then winced as he tried to sit up. He let himself fall back to the bed. “You’re going to have to go on without me. See that the mail gets through. Warn the sheriff. Tell Annabelle….” His message to “Annabelle” went undelivered. Jake covered his eyes with one hand, while letting the other fall dramatically to his chest.

His lightly furred chest. The one Rich wanted to lean down and map every inch of with his lips, committing the taste of skin, the firmness of muscle, and the scent of him to memory once more.

“If you can joke about your imminent demise in the desert, then you can’t be as bad as all that.” Rich’s voice was crisp. How like Jake not to have the slightest inkling how very tempting he was, sprawled out on the bed like some sort of centerfold model. “Pizza’s on the table. I’m headed to the drink machine for some soda. Want anything?”

When he didn’t answer, Rich glanced back. The light of amusement had gone out of Jake’s eyes, leaving them with that bleak, feral-cat expression Rich knew all too well. The one that said he didn’t expect anyone to fill his empty dish anyway and that was fine by him. Rich held his ground, his hand on the doorknob. He wouldn’t give in. He couldn’t. This was what was best for both of them.

“Nothing for me, thanks.” Jake made to sit up, pulling back the covers to free himself from the bedclothes.

Remembering Jake’s naked state, Rich ducked his head and hurried out the door.



Sarah Madison is a writer with a little dog, a large dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she’s not out hiking with the dogs or down at the stables, she’s at the laptop working on her next story. When she’s in the middle of a chapter, she relies on the smoke detector to tell her dinner is ready. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy.

Sarah enjoys placing hot men in hot water to see how strong they are—like teabags, only sexier. This motto allows her to play in a wide variety of genres, from FBI guys to shifters, with some WW2 fighter pilots and and space adventurers tossed in for good measure.

Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. The Boys of Summer won Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Sixth Sense series was voted 2nd place in the 2014 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Mystery series, and 3rd place in the 2105 PGR Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series.

If you want to make her day, e-mail her and tell you how much you like her stories.

You can find Sarah around the web on




Twitter: @SarahMadisonFic






Waiting for Patrick Blog Tour: Wrapping up

Hey there.

So, today is the last official day of the tour. Waiting for Patrick will go on sale tomorrow. But, you still have until tomorrow at 5PM to comment on any of the blogs listed below. I’ll check everything one more time at 5PM tomorrow and then draw and post the winners on all of the blogs. Here are the updated links that take you directly to my article on each blog.

      Date Blog Name   Blog Owner Blog Address
September 1st Bike Book Reviews Becky
September 2nd Drops of Ink Anne Barwell
September 2nd Snow’s Untangled Threads and Musings Snow Tigra
September 3rd Antonia Aquilante Antonia Acquilante
September 3rd The Story Struggle and Beyond Ki Brightly
September 4th Thianna Durston Thianna Durston
September 4th Unconventional Love Stories Charley Descoteaux
September 4th Misadventures of the Heart Heloise West
September 5th Sandra Bard Sandra Bard
September 5th Tempest O’Riley Tempe O’Riley
September 6th Jackie Keswick Jackie Keswick
September 7th Chaos in the Moonlight K-lee Kline
September 8th Grace R. Duncan Grace Duncan
September 8th Brita Addams Brita Addams
September 8th Cryselle’s Bookshelf Chryselle
September 9th Emotion in Motion Elizabeth Noble
September 9th MM Good Books Review
September 10th Jacob Z Flores Jacob Flores
September 11th Andrew’s Blog Andrew Grey
September 12th Nicki J Marcus Nicki Marcus
September 12th Rainbow Gold Reviews Marc Fleischhauer
September 13th PD Singer PD Singer
September 14th Our Story LGBTQ Historical Fiction Christopher  Moss
September 15th Renee Stevens Renee Stevens
September 15th Purple Rose Tea House Charlie Cochet
September 15th Open Skye Book Reviews
September 15th The Novel Approach Reviews Lisa (Novel Approach)
Throughout the tour Book Trailer on You Tube Lex Valentine

Monday Meets, Special Edition: Charley Descoteaux


Welcome Charley Descoteaux for a special edition of Monday Meets (Monday was full and she needed a spot between September 12 and 19 <g>).


The release date for Safe House, Buchanan House: Book Four, is coming soon! To celebrate, Dreamspinner has created a bundle sale—Pre-order Safe House and get Tiny House (Buchanan House: Book Three) for $0.99! The sale runs September 12 until release day—September 19!

This is a true series so to get the most out of it I recommend to read the books in order. With that in mind I’ve stocked a Rafflecopter with two chances to win the first book in the series, Buchanan House. Visit any stop on my tour between September 12th and October 1st to enter!


SafeHouseFS_v1Safe House (Buchanan House: Book Four) by Charley Descoteaux

It’s never too late for a new beginning…

Kyle Shimoda is an asshole magnet, has been for as long as he can remember. At forty-seven, he doesn’t see much chance for improving his luck in love. His friends who run Buchanan House, a gay retreat on the central Oregon coast, know he wants to find “someone nice” to settle down with, and they set him up with Officer Brandon Smith. Kyle has a turbulent history with law enforcement, but he can’t deny his attraction to the buff cop.

Brandon has been a police officer in Lincoln City almost since the day he graduated from high school over thirty years ago. He’s cultivated the facade of a serious, disciplined law enforcement officer, but beneath his overdeveloped chest beats the soft heart of a drama queen. A cancer scare shifts Bran’s focus from finding a serious relationship to having as much sex as he can—putting his goals squarely at odds with Kyle’s. If he can’t find the courage to be honest about his feelings for Kyle, the happiness they’ve both been searching for could slip through their fingers.


Read Chapter One at the Dreamspinner store to meet Kyle. Meet Brandon in the excerpt below.


Chapter Two

Brandon barely paid attention as he drove between the cemetery and the apartment he shared with two roommates. He’d hoped to find a voice mail from the doctor after the funeral, but no such luck. He did find one saying the new guy, Dylan, had called in sick, and Brandon was expected at work within the hour. He would have been happier to stay at the cemetery and talk with Paulie a little longer. And Kyle. Bran had met Kyle before, but they hadn’t spoken. He had noticed then how handsome Kyle was, and he was even more striking with his hair longer, framing his high cheekbones and full, sensuous mouth. His silky black hair looked so touchable.

This isn’t getting me to work any faster.

At least work will be a distraction.

He hurried home and changed into his uniform. His quick spot check in the bathroom mirror turned into a lingering appraisal. Brandon ran an open hand over his chest, not to smooth the impeccable fabric of his uniform shirt, but to reassure himself that nothing had changed. He grimaced at his reflection, thinking a little less gray and a little more brown in his hair might be a nice change.

Brandon shivered as he recalled the MRI he’d endured three days prior, which had revealed a suspicious lump in his chest. Forty-seven minutes in a tiny tube while the machine hummed and took pictures of his breast and lymph tissue. Just thinking about the way it had felt to lie there made him shiver—it was worse than the needle biopsy he’d had the following day. With every inhale his shoulders had brushed the walls of the tube on both sides, and less than halfway through he’d had to talk himself out of fleeing. He wasn’t a tall man—something that had bothered him throughout his life—but until that day he had taken pride in his body, in the bulk he’d cultivated without sacrificing speed or agility.

During that forty-seven minutes, he would have been happy to trade his broad shoulders for a smaller frame.

Since I’m making empty wishes, I might as well make one for a better-looking face. A face that could attract a handsome young guy like Kyle instead of scaring him half to death.

Bran’s stomach roiled at his own thoughts, and he resolved to not even think the word death again until—unless—he had to. He was tempted to forgo shaving the sandy brown stubble from his face but fell back on the habit, hoping for the comfort a routine could provide, and reached for his electric razor.

Everything seemed to be happening so fast. Less than a week ago he’d gone in for his yearly physical, and now he was waiting for the call that would tell him whether he needed to make another appointment for that week or next year. In the interim he’d been squeezed into a tube and had a biopsy. And relived the worst time in his life over and over, the time when he’d learned about his father’s diagnosis.


Pre-0rder Safe House at the Dreamspinner store and get Tiny House for $0.99! Sept. 12-19:


Enter Sept 12 – Oct 1!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Three winners! Prizes: One signed paperback of Safe House (US Only); one ebook copy of book one of the series, Buchanan House; one backlist book (any ebook except Safe House)



Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.


Rattle Charley’s cages:

Dreamspinner Author Page:


Series: Buchanan House
Book Number: 4
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Pages: 200
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase



Monday Meets: J Leigh Bailey

Welcome J Leigh Bailey to my blog today.

Monday Meets Guest: J Leigh Bailey

Thank you, Brynn, for letting me stop by today to help celebrate the release of my upcoming LQBT Young Adult book DO-GOODER (releases September15!).


So, every author gets asked at one time or another, “Where do you get your inspiration?” Answers vary. Partly, most writers are observers, so by watching human interaction, we get a feel for people, and we ask ourselves, “I wonder why they…?” But I’m going to tell you a secret—a lot of writers, me included, get our inspiration from our own lives. Now, you might be asking yourself, what in the world does a thirty-something woman know about being a gay teenage boy who is kidnapped by mercenaries in an African country. Truthfully, not much.

But, I, along with many other authors I know, channel our own experiences and emotions into our books. Sometimes it’s a very subtle thing (Isaiah shares my random phobia about not wanted to walk in grass or water if I can’t see my feet). Sometimes it’s a bigger characteristic. In my New Adult book FIGHT TO FORGIVE (Carina Press, April 2016), one of the characters shares my almost debilitating fear of confrontations. Granted, for that character, I make it a little worse, and make it cause a lot more trouble as a result, but by making him overcome his panic at confrontations, it helped me develop strategies for myself in dealing with conflict. By getting to know him, I was able to step back and address the issue almost clinically. It was about him, after all, and not me. I could be rational about him, while at the same time giving myself an outlet for the anxiety I carried around with me.

I did the same thing with DO-GOODER. Not the external plot. I’ve never been to Cameroon, let alone been kidnapped by mercenaries determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction. But I do have a father I have felt estranged from periodically.   And his abandonment (which is what it felt like when I was a teenager) left me with a lot of resentment and anger, things I had trouble expressing. But I was able to make Isaiah face what he saw as his father’s abandonment, and he was able to express his frustration and rage. Writing him was cathartic in ways I didn’t even consider as I wrote the story.

Here’s the thing, though. I didn’t start out writing a book so that I could explore my daddy issues. I was writing an adventure story with romantic elements. It was fun and exciting. It wasn’t meant to be therapy. But in the end, it sort of was. Because I was able to distance myself from my feelings, I could look at the situation objectively. I was able to also get an understanding of Isaiah’s father’s actions (and, in turn, my own father’s actions).

In the end, I suspect an author’s inspiration is 1 part observation, 1 part questioning, 2 parts author emotions and experiences, and 3 parts pure imagination.  And, maybe best of all, writing is cheaper than therapy (equally painful, though)!

Do you every pick a book because something about it resonates with your life experiences or emotions? Or do you avoid storylines and characters that hit too close to home?  *Commenters will be entered to win a grand prize basket that includes the cookbook The Soul of New Cuisine: A Discover of the Foods and Flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson; National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife; Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti; Fun Swag!



I admired Henry’s Zen calm. Sometimes he stood, sometimes he sat, but always he was still. He didn’t fidget or pace or rock in place (all the things I did). He didn’t stare at the water jug, but I’d bet big bucks that he knew exactly how much liquid remained. I looked away from the jug. One glance and my parched mouth and throat tingled with thirst.

“MacGyver.” The name popped out.

Henry looked up, asking his question with the motion of his eyebrows.

“You know, that old eighties TV show?”

“Sorry.” Henry shrugged. “I didn’t watch much television, especially shows that aired more than a decade before I was born.”

I waved that aside. “The show’s about this guy—”

“Let me guess. A guy named MacGyver?”

I rolled my eyes. “Ha-ha. Yes, a guy named MacGyver. He always seemed to be in these crazy situations—I have no idea why—and always managed to get out of them by some clever invention he made out of random stuff on hand. Like, you know, a watch, a fart, and a paper bag, and he creates this explosive device that takes out an entire military bunker, giving him barely enough time to save the girl or the hostages and derail the evil plot or whatever.”

“So you think MacGyver will come and save the day?”

“Don’t be an ass. But we should totally MacGyver this situation.”

“How? We have, literally, the clothes on our backs and a jug of water. I’m not sure even MacGyver could rescue himself or anyone else with so little.”

“That’s not the point. He… he was smart. We may not be able to use our wits”—my wits were well on their way to being scrambled eggs—“to rescue ourselves, but maybe we can figure out what’s going on. What’s in the canisters? Who are these guys? What side are they on? Does it matter what side they’re on? You know, information that might come in handy down the line.”



No good deed goes unpunished, and for seventeen-year-old Isaiah Martin, that’s certainly the case. The gun he was caught with wasn’t even his, for God’s sake. He only had it to keep a friend from doing something stupid. No one wants to hear it, though, and Isaiah is banished—or so it seems to him—to live with his missionary father in politically conflicted Cameroon, Africa.

However, when he arrives, his father is so busy doing his good deeds that he sends Henry, the young, surprisingly hot do-gooder with a mysterious past, to pick up Isaiah and keep him out of trouble. Even while Isaiah is counting down the days until he can go home, he and Henry get caught in the political unrest of the region. Kidnapped by militant forces, the two have to work together to survive until they are rescued—unless they manage to find a way to save each other first.


Get your copy at:

Harmony Ink–ebook

Harmony Ink–paperback

Dreamspinner Press–ebook

Dreamspinner Press–paperback



Barnes and Noble–ebook

Barnes and Noble–hardcover




j leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.

You can find her at:


HTML Link to DO-GOODER book trailer: