Community 2018—Excerpt from The Family We Make by Kaje Harper (Enter to win an e-book!)

Hi readers! This month in the “Community” series, Romance Across the Rainbow is happy to feature Kaje Harper. Here you can find some information about her book, The Family We Make, but don’t miss our thoughtful and fun interview answers here. And yes, there’s a giveaway—comment here or following the interview to have your name in the hat for the random draw. You can win an e-book of your choice (even this one) from Kaje’s backlist!

At seventeen, Rick Albright left his home, his parents and even his old name, rather than pretend to be straight. But being on his own was hard. When his big brother Sam found him, and insisted on giving him a place to stay, he didn’t resist too long. Living with Sam is better than fighting just to survive, but it’s not easy to find his balance in a simple, small-town life, after his time on the streets.

Travis Brinkerhoff finally managed to come out in college, his second year anyway. It was the one bright side to losing his baseball scholarship and jock status. But without money for tuition, second year came to an abrupt end. He’s back in his small Minnesota hometown, and back in the closet. Travis feels like he’s trying to fit into a life he’s outgrown. If he’s going to survive, he has to figure out a way to be his own man, maybe even have his own man, without losing the family he loves.

When he left the Marines, Sam Albright wanted nothing more than to find his missing younger brother. Mission accomplished. Now he’s got an independent, possibly traumatized, openly gay young man on his hands, a girlfriend in a war zone overseas, and parents he has to lie to in order to keep the peace. Keeping it all together won’t be easy, but Sam has never backed away from a challenge.

This book follows the first free novella, The Family We’re Born With, but can be read as a stand-alone.

Buy the Book:

Excerpt!

Keith reached for the shovel, Rick leaned on it to keep it planted, and Keith shoved him off hard. Rick staggered backward, hit the fence, and the gate popped open. Quick as a flash, a small beige dog leaped out and bounded toward the woods. All three of them yelled, “Hey! Tiny! Come back here!” and “Come, boy!” but the dog disappeared into the nearest stand of trees.

“Fuck!” Keith stared after it. “Look what the hell you did.”

“Me?” Rick said. “That’s your fucking fault, you slimy crotchwaffle!”

Travis vaulted the porch rail, yelling at both of them, “Who cares. We have to catch it!” He ran after the dog, doing his best to sprint through the deep snow. Rick fell in beside him, keeping up despite his shorter legs. Keith called after them, “You guys go after the dog. I’ll get the owner and the truck, and go around.”

“Fuck him,” Rick panted, as the snow got deeper. “Fuck his smelly turdface mouth.”

No thanks. Travis staggered as his foot caught in some hidden weeds. Rick grabbed his arm and yanked him back upright. They both were forced to slow down. “Man, that dog’s fast,” Travis muttered.

“That’s a whippet. Born to run.”

“Huh.” They were into the trees, and the dog was still out of sight. At least with the snow, its tracks were clear. “Not furry enough to be wandering in the snow though.”

“No. Really not. Damn his whitetrash ass.”

“The dog?”

Rick shot him a look that was clearly not amused.

The ground under the trees was uneven, and there were unexpected deeper hollows. They floundered after the dog, following the trenches that marked its bounding progress. Suddenly Rick grabbed his arm. “Over there.”

The dog stood under an evergreen, where the snow only reached halfway up its slender legs. It stared at them, one forefoot raised, its ears tipped sideways like little signal flags.

“Here, Tiny,” Rick crooned in a soft voice. “Here, boy.” He held out his hand. “Come and get the treat, Tiny.”
Travis whispered, “Do you really have dog treats?”

Rick said in the same deep, soothing tone, “Do I look fucking psychic? Come on, boy. Nice invisible treats here.” He crouched lower.

The dog took a couple of steps toward them, its nose snuffling, its breath clouding the still air.
“It’s shivering,” Travis said. “Poor puppy.”

“Come on, you dumb knobgoblin,” Rick crooned.

“That’s hobgoblin,” Travis pointed out softly.

“Not to me. Come on, Tiny. Nice frog liver treats with sauerkraut, right here. Nice pickled pigeon feet. Come on, Tiny. Come. Come, you stupid-ass biscuit-gobbler.”

Slowly the dog crept closer, taking a step at a time, and then freezing again. Rick waved his hand back and forth. “Yeah, that’s the way. Trav, you don’t have a fucking candy bar or stick of gum or anything, right?”

“No, sorry. And don’t call me Trav.”

“You think you can wait to argue semantics till we catch this hairy twatwaffle?”

“Um. Sure.” He shivered too, but not from cold. That crooning voice, the hint of Texas in the vowels, the way that Rick looked all soft and worried, made him feel strange. And not in any way he wanted to think about. He spoke clearly, trying for a quiet command. “Come, Tiny. Come, boy.”

Clearly he had the wrong voice for this, because the dog jumped backward a step.

Rick practically sang, “Nooo, boy. Gooood boy.” The dog stopped again, looking at him. “Come on, mutant rat. The big scary guy is going to shut up noooow.”

Travis held his breath as the dog crept nearer, and nearer.

“He’s wearing a collar,” Rick lilted quietly. “Grab the little bastard that way, aren’t you a good boy, goooood boy.”

Tiny stretched his neck out, sniffing toward Rick’s hand. Travis gathered himself to get that collar. Suddenly a crow flew up from a tree, with a loud caw. The dog jumped a foot in the air and two feet sideways. Travis’s hand closed on thin air. The dog took another leap past them, and they both grabbed for it, but neither of them made contact, except with each other. The dog dodged away, vaulted a fallen log and was gone, while he and Rick collapsed in the deep snow in a tangled heap.

“Fuck,” Rick grunted. “You’re heavy. Get off me.”

“Trying.” Travis shoved his right hand into the drift to brace himself and sank past his elbow. Something hard under the snow rasped against his wrist, and he dropped lower onto Rick. “Why don’t you move?”

“Because your damned hip is in my crotch,” Rick grunted. “The last guy who pinned me like this at least bought dinner.”

“Screw you.” Travis was suddenly aware of the lean body under him and the muscled hardness of Rick’s legs against his thighs. Rick’s sunglasses had come off in the fall. His eyes were dark, mostly brown but with little hints of gold in them, and they met Travis’s, widening slightly. Travis blinked hard. “Here, wait.” He twisted, his knee slipping in the snow, which only brought their hips together more. He gasped a breath, tugging his arm out of whatever branch had it in a death grip under the snow, and felt his groin press against Rick’s.

Rick looked up at him with a nasty grin, bucked his hips up, and said, “You’re liking this a bit too much for a straight boy.”
Travis hauled off with his free hand and hit him.

About the author:

I get asked about my name a lot. It’s not something exotic, though. “Kaje” is pronounced just like “cage” – it’s an old nickname.

I was born in Montreal but I’ve lived for 30 years in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, where the mosquito is the state bird, and where winter can be breathtakingly beautiful. Minnesota’s a kind, quiet (if sometimes chilly) place and it’s home.

I’ve been writing far longer than I care to admit (whispers – forty years), mostly for my own entertainment, usually M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, historical, SciFi…) I also have a few Young Adult stories (some released under the pen name Kira Harp.)

My husband finally convinced me that after all the years of writing for fun, I really should submit something, somewhere. My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing four novels and three freebie short stories in that series. I was delighted and encouraged by the reception Mac and Tony received.

I now have a good-sized backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published, including Amazon bestseller The Rebuilding Year and Rainbow Award Best Mystery-Thriller Tracefinder: Contact. A complete list with links can be found on my website “Books” page at https://kajeharper.wordpress.com/books/.

I’m always pleased to have readers find me online at:

Website: https://kajeharper.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KajeHarper
Goodreads Author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4769304.Kaje_Harper

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Filed under community, Contests, featured authors, GLBT YA fiction, just a category

Community 2018 — Author Kaje Harper on rainbow YA and more (and a giveaway!)

As promised, Kaje Harper visits the blog today! Read on for an interview both fun and thoughtful, and comment below for a chance to win an ebook of your choice from Kaje’s backlist—an opportunity you won’t want to pass up! Click for a post about Kaje’s book, The Family We Make.

Hello Kaje, and welcome to Romance Across the Rainbow on sylvre.com. I’m very pleased to feature you and your work as part of my 2018 series on community. It’s a tough road, these days, being involved in the community of rainbow-friendly “book people.” We’ve seen hard-won human rights erode, and it seems like books with LGBTQIAND (very long acronym, so from now forward I’ll just say “Q,”) characters and content are getting flagged and picked on by everyone from readers on Goodreads to major booksellers. It’s easy to get discouraged, and without support from one another some of us might easily unravel. For this series I’m looking for people who exemplify support among us, those who go out of their way to uphold us in our interwoven Q book community—the warp threads, if you will. I’ve seen you in that role, and I’ll want to talk some about that, but I visited your website and checked out your bio, and I’d like to start with a few questions about you as an author and a human (not necessarily in that order).

Kaje says: Thanks so much for inviting me to be on this bog. (And wow, for including me among the warp threads.)

Q: From these pairs, choose which make your happier: (Note Kaje’s choices are in bold type.

All of them?

Sunshine or Old trees
Wildflowers or Crystals
Sexy humans or Wild horses
Laughter or Sleep
Cat noses or Dog tails
Long books or Walks in the woods

Q: You’ve been writing a long time, but your first publication of a M/M story was 2011. Before being published, what were you writing? What was the theme of the first mature story you remember writing, and why did you choose that theme?

A: I wrote my first M/M novel in 1974, when I was 14. I’d read The Persian Boy by Mary Renault and was deeply affected by the love and loss, and the intrinsic unfairness of the way a gay love story was considered less valid and viable than a straight one. Although my family was quietly committed to equality and social justice, I wasn’t at that time aware of LGBTQ family members, or the specific issues they faced.

After the Renault story, I began reading both non-fiction and fiction with LGBTQ people in them (of which there was not much that didn’t end sadly.) I’d been writing novellas as a young teen, but I was driven to give two gay men a love story that had a deservedly sweet, secure, and happy ending. I wrote (but didn’t try to publish) all sorts of stories in many genres over the subsequent years, most with gay main characters.

Q: Are there authors within the community of Q writers who significantly influenced your own writing? Particular books? If so, who and why?

A: Besides The Persian Boy, I was inspired by Patricia Nell Warren’s The Front Runner. I read both books when I was a teenager. Both shone with their portrayal of love between two men that was human and deep and undeniable, set against a society that devalued, demeaned, denied, and destroyed it.

I read very little genre M/M for the first few decades I was writing it (and no slash fanfic, although I wrote some in those pre-Internet days.) I read other books with gay and bi characters (like Diane Duane’s The Door Into Fire or Tany Huff’s The Fire’s Stone, or Michael Nava’s Henry Rios mysteries.) Then when my husband began pushing me to publish, I had just read and loved James Buchanan’s M/M mystery Hard Fall. The characters and story felt like the kind of thing I was trying to write, and my first submission was to James’s publisher, MLR press.

Q: Ever since I started sylvre.com, I’ve asked every featured author this question. What are the hottest 50 words you’ve ever written. Feel free to fudge on the word count, and to define “hottest” according to your own lights.

A: Wow. Sex scenes are not my forte. I mainly want the heat to convey important things about the characters or story. Maybe this one, from Learning Curve, the 4th book in the “Life Lessons” series. (And I’m fudging a lot on the word count)

“Yeah, oh yeah!” Mac shook so hard he almost threw Tony off him, coming in hot, slick spurts over Tony’s hand. Tony fucked him through it, not slowing, until Mac’s gasps became whimpers. Then he moved his hands back to Mac’s hips, straightened to watch the force of his paler body driving against Mac’s big, dark frame in that mirror. And came, in uncontrolled, shaking pulses, deep inside Mac’s ass.

Afterward, they stood there, trembling, as the color ebbed from their foreheads and necks, and muscles twitched and relaxed. Mac’s back was sweaty and warm under Tony. Tony slipped free and Mac grunted, bringing his legs together stiffly. Tony planted a hand on his spine to keep him bent over, though.

“Look in that mirror,” he whispered. “There. That stunning, big, dark man, and that smaller guy. That’s you and that’s me. And that’s fucking hot and gorgeous and just about perfect. That’s as gay as an Easter parade, and still completely about two real men. Your family can throw insults, and they can shun us, but they can’t make that less than fucking perfect.”

He waited, his gaze boring into Mac’s in the mirror, until Mac nodded. Tony took his hand away.
Mac turned and hugged him, leaning over to bury his face in Tony’s neck. “You, um, undo me. Every time.”

Q: You live in Minnesota and you love it, I see. Are the people in your life—family and community—aware that you write rainbow-friendly books? If so, do you find people to be accepting and supportive? Is Minnesota in general a forward-looking state in terms of human rights and protections?

A: Minnesota’s a good state for LGBTQ rights and human rights, in the Midwest. We were the first state to reject a one-man-one-woman amendment by popular vote. Obviously it’s far from uniform across the state. We have a relatively liberal urban population, and more conservative outstate one. Some of our schools have significant issues with homophobia, but there is more access to LGBTQ support and resources here than in many states. Our Medicaid and ACA plans must cover trans health procedures, including surgery, which many states don’t.

Most people in my life know what I write, including my husband, kids, brothers, friends, employer, and coworkers, parents of kids’ friends, and random folk like bank tellers if they asked when I deposited my Amazon checks. If they don’t, it’s because the topic hasn’t come up. Part of my supporting the community is being out and visible about it, from the bumper stickers on my car to discussing the books I write.

But I’m also relatively safe in doing so. My family is liberal. I’m white, het, married, and middle class. If it had cost me my job, I have the skills to find another. I have occasionally had someone preach at me over my bumper stickers (and once threaten me, after Trump won the election), and I’ve disconcerted the occasional friend or acquaintance, but not more than that. I’d never pass judgment on someone who’s not in the same position, and chooses to keep it quiet. I’m lucky, and I know it.

Q: You have written a few YA books and are a moderator in the Goodreads YA LGBT books group. How did that role come about? Why did you decide that group was an important place to spend your time and effort? How important is it that we support and promote Q YA books, those (especially the youth) who read them, and the authors who write them? Is there anything you believe people can do to get these books into the hands of young people, and do you think it’s important to target only Q youth as potential readers, or should that target readership be broadened to include all young readers? Please explain your answer.

A: The group began as an M/M YA offshoot of the M/M Romance group, when an underage gay boy really wanted to join that one and couldn’t. The M/M mods ran it first, and I joined – I’ve always read YA. At a time when they were very short of help, I volunteered to co-moderate. Real-life demands for the others made me the most active moderator for the last few years (although Sammy does what she can, given family and health crises she’s had. May she finally have a good year to come!) We now have 7100 members.

I think YA LGBTQ books are vitally important. They give those teens and the people around them, including their peers, real, positive, and varied depictions of the lives of young people who identify as gender and sexual minorities. For many of our older members (and we have all ages from 13 to “older than dirt” as one guy said) books were their first view into a world where people like them were normal and accepted and could expect full lives. Many cite Mercedes Lackey’s Magic’s Pawn as the first time they saw a gay boy as a hero, and gay love shown as something good.

Even today, despite online images, and real life role models, books have an important place Some teens still tell us that reading a YA story was their first chance to see people like them celebrated (especially our small-town and international teens.) Some found their identity and words for the feelings they were confused by in the pages of a book, (particularly some of our gender-questioning teens.)

Another factor is that, while there are now quite a few out celebrities, and porn of all kinds is easy to find, neither of those address important issues of day to day life of an LGBTQ teen. Things like dating, coming out, relationships, the role of sex, family issues, school issues – all of those may be found more easily and relatably in fiction.

Sex ed in schools often does not cover non-hetro relationships. Porn says nothing about real sex beyond (often idealized) mechanics, and yet sadly, that’s the model for some of our teens on relationships. Group members say they turned to fiction for the parts beyond “insert tab A in slot B.” While YA should not have erotic sex on page, it can and does cover a lot of the important parts of emotions, joys, and consequences of LGBTQ relationships, including sex.

I think it’s important that straight, cisgender people have access to those stories too. I love the rising popularity of books like Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and its movie, Love, Simon, and fantasies like Carry On, or The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Those stories make readers more open to the rainbow of people around them. We’re seeing trans prom queens and kings, and out gay teen couples, and I think that real teens are benefiting from open representation everywhere, including books.

Getting more books into teen hands is a goal with many approaches. Reviewing, discussing, buying, and voting for these books helps. Last year in the open “Goodreads Choice” awards with millions of members, there were more than 15 YA nominees with either primary or secondary LGBTQ characters. Requesting them at libraries helps. My group has done book drives for teen libraries of several sorts, including school Gay-Straight Alliances. We also have free short stories posted monthly, and link free books, sales, and discounts.

I think we still need more diverse stories. We’re particularly short of stories that feature POC main characters. Minority teens are among those most short of role models and accurate pictures of lives like theirs. We also could use more stories of bisexual, transgender, non-binary, and asexual teens. Looking for and supporting own-voices authors is important.

But I’m heartened by the progress being made, including more stories for middle schoolers and even kids, and the ways they can bring change. One Wisconsin school class was planning to read “I Am Jazz” about a trans girl, and bigots forced them to cancel. Following the cancellation, organizers arranged a reading of the book at a library nearby. The lead organizer, said she was hoping for about 15 people to show up. The reading instead drew almost 600 from the local community in support. Books can make a difference.

Q: In your online presence, you often choose to speak up for accuracy when a misleading story (or “fake news”) is posted, even when (or perhaps especially when?) the stories would, if they were true, support the “left,” which is where we expect Q support to be strongest. Tell us, if you will, about why you do that.

A: We’ve all seen photoshops (like Emma Gonzales ripping the constitution,) and audio pasted on video (like Bernie Sanders entering to a homophobic song.) These techniques are getting more sophisticated all the time. It’s incumbent on us, if we want our kids to survive the next century, to do our very best to find facts, support fact-checking organizations, and to take down lies even if they appeal to us. It’s been shown that Russia, among others, has been working to divide opinion by formulating lies to appeal to both sides. Opinion manipulation is a fast-growing science and social media right now is our training ground, learning to fact-check and double-check and not let ourselves be suckered in.

I check progressive stories and memes more, because I know my own confirmation biases. I want those to be true, and with my friend base, I see far more of them. But I also fact-check my small number of conservative online friends. They are well-meaning people too, and it’s scary to realize how easy it is to convince people of lies, given enough authority behind the story, or enough appeal to how it’s written.

We must not condone or make important decisions based on lies. These days, with the line between satire and news razor thin, and so many news sources, it can be hard to tell. I’ve pulled down a few stories that I shared myself, that I later checked further and debunked, or found were shaded beyond truth.

I’m sure I sometimes come off as officious, fact checking others – people say “it could be true, what’s the harm, it’s typical anyway.” Some are grateful, but some are annoyed. But as a scientist, I think checking the facts and ethics of the views I support is part of being a responsible, ethical adult.

Q: What do you have coming up for readers?

A: I just rereleased a fantasy novella – Gift of the Goddess – about a man who’s determined to rescue his kidnapped lover, and as a last resort, petitions the Goddess on his lover’s behalf. He’s not expecting an answer, particularly the one he gets.

I’m editing an indie novel about a gay man with seven cats and Crohn’s Disease, and a bisexual veterinarian. I’m also in edits with Dreamspinner Press on a novella in their “States of Love” series about two small-town young men in the city, one a college student, the other a failed dairy farmer. And I’m really hoping to get the third Tracefinder book back on track soon.

(Kaje Harper May 2018)

Thank you Kaje, for visiting Romance Across the Rainbow, for your insightful answers, and for a pleasant chance to get to know you. I hope you’ll visit again! And readers, thank you for being here as always and don’t forget to comment below for a chance to win an e-book of your choice from Kaje’s backlist.

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Filed under authors, community, Contests, Interviews, just a category

Meredith King on Book Blogging with a Community Mindset

Hi readers! Romance Across the Rainbow is back with a second guest blog in the Community series for April. This short but insightful article is from blogger and reviewer Meredith King. Meredith is a writer too—pen name Davidson King. Read on down the page for a bit about those books! Welcome, Meredith!


The LGBTQA community is home to so many, including myself. Over four years ago I started a blog, Diverse Reader. It’s purpose was to promote and review LGBT books, and to have guests posts and spotlights that centered on authors, artists, and LGBTQA.

Through the years Diverse Reader grew and with it, so did the expectation and message. Each book reviewed helps this community flourish. In the four plus years I’ve been doing this I’ve seen the productivity grow and the once small span of people reading them expand.

Voices in this community are vital and so I opened the floor to all who wanted to speak about their work or themselves in my Saturday Author Spotlight. Interviewing authors in this community has taught me and so many a lot. With the bi-weekly feature TC Talks, author TC Orton talks about his writing, being a gay man in this community and the world, likes, dislikes, and being HIV positive in 2018. He has been remarkable, and I have seen people gravitate to his wise words.

When I published my own books, I was able to take all I’d learned and loved in this community and push it out there with a creative twirl.

Voices help this community and knowledge makes it grow. Diverse Reader, I feel, is a beacon that shines a light bringing people in and guiding them to safe shores.



Snow Falling

After running from a past destined to kill him, Snow has been hiding on the streets.

Tell nobody your name.
Tell nobody your secrets.
Trust nobody!
These are the rules of the streets.

His entire life changes when he saves an eight-year-old boy from a violent end. Christopher Manos is one of the most powerful crime bosses in the country.

Don’t ask anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.
Secrets can get you killed.
Trust nobody!
These are the rules he lives by.

When his eight-year-old nephew disappears, he never expects the boy’s savior to end up being his own. A man with a dangerous past and a man with a dangerous future find love amidst murder and mayhem. But with Snow’s life being threatened at every turn, will Christopher’s best be enough to prevent Snow Falling?

Released: November 28, 2017
Available on Amazon and KU
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2r32mm1


Hug It Out

Riordan Darcy has spent the last fourteen years building a name for himself as a notorious assassin. He travels the world taking the lives of some of the worst humanity has to offer, leaving his signature on every victim.

Riordan becomes unhappy and withdrawn from the world after a job goes horribly wrong and he makes the decision to get out of the life he was forced into, so long ago. When his meddling, older sister gives him a birthday gift that’s impossible to refuse, his plans to leave his life of crime take a backseat when he’s forced to protect the life of a veritable stranger.

When professional hugger and TLC provider, Teddy Harris, is offered a month-long companionship contract, he’s hard pressed to turn it down. Cuddler by day and a video game reviewer by night, Teddy’s need to make people feel loved and cared for is what drives him. When he meets Riordan Darcy, professional challenge and personal temptation collide, making it nearly impossible for him to endure a whole month with the gorgeous, enigmatic man without falling head over heels in love.

When a mole is discovered within Riordan’s organization, relationships are compromised, and people’s lives are in danger. Time isn’t on their side, and they discover answers can’t always be found by hugging it out when someone is hell-bent on eliminating each and every one of them. Can Riordan and Teddy survive long enough to fall in love, or will they die trying?

Released: March 28, 2018
Available on Amazon and KU:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2HwZlVu


About Davidson King:

Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.

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Filed under guest authors, just a category, M/M romance

On Community: Author Pierce Smith writing emotions as shared human experience

Hello! Some of you know Dani (from Love Bytes) was going to be my feature this month, but that dear woman has a lot going on, so she’ll be with us at a future date. I’m pleased to present instead a guest post by author Pierce Smith. Pierce, thanks for being here, and welcome to sylvre.com’s Romance Across the Rainbow blog!

How Exploitation of Emotions Works in the LGBTQ & Straight Communities and Affects My Writing

Scientifically we evolved in a system which makes each and every human who ever existed in the past, is existing now, or will be in the future, a unique being. So how we can expect that we all are alike and can be framed in one narrow category: STRAIGHT. Yes! I call this ‘STRAIGHT’ community, which was never categorized or identified unique, to be narrow compared to the L G B T Q on this planet. Because S (for straight) represents only one category, and LGBTQ in the acronym represents five different communities which are all equal parts of our society.

We don’t need to, and never have needed to, name call them, categorize or distinguish between them, label them differently and make different laws for them. They are like us, the same as a few of us don’t like curd and others love eating curd! See the person sitting next to you is also different to you, perhaps only in their eating habits and not in sexual preferences.

If you date back in history you can find out oral and anal sex were forbidden too, and how slowly it went through each parliament gradually changing and relaxing the laws. The same with LGBTQ laws. We are witnessing history in making. Be proud and make people around you feel proud alongside you.
We need to understand that every human experiences the same range of emotions and so does anyone within the named groups. All my books are based on the same themes and the same sets of emotions which control the relationships.

In my Enrapture series (three books published so far with HFN combined together) When a third entity (I call it entity because it’s not human in the unlikely event you haven’t read the books yet) came between Noah and Ethan. The sensitive guy becomes jealous and became the overprotective, though too weak to fight with daddy figure, Noah. Ethan took other measures to show how much he loved Noah and what he could do to keep the relationship alive. The emotions outraged among demons and demon hunters, and among people traveling from the past.

Writing from the negative point, I had two devilishly handsome professors, in Bait, who were involved with a young teenage student Cody, for their own pleasure and amusement. The book doesn’t become negative until halfway through the book and thereafter leaves the reader upside down, cursing and abusing professors at whom they were previously throwing kisses. Life happens and so does the ending, too often.

Finally and the most exotically written was in Berlin to Bern where again, a young guy was entrapped during a mysterious train journey and unknown Masters took command over him, for the whole night.

Enrapture Series—Click to Buy Now

Enrapture: Noah Series (book 1)
#Free on #KindleUnlimited #KU

On their first Halloween eve, together things didn’t quite go as planned for two very passionate and horny men. Noah waits anxiously and impatiently for Ethan to get home from work to start their night of sexy fun. Noah discovers a man is watching him through the window across the street. When Ethan phones to let him know he’s caught in traffic, the fun starts with phone sex. Shortly after, a masked Ethan arrives for the Halloween night of fun. But a knock at the door later has left Noah wondering who he just made love to. They find themselves dealing with a few twists in this debut book of an erotic m/m series. It’s one-night tale with twist and turns, with lust wrapped in suspicion. A hot read will be having you beg for more!
GET YOUR COPY $2.99
Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EYZBC58
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36685110-enrapture
Enrapture: Noah’s Tryst
A sexy and spicy sequel to our sizzling saga ENRAPTURE the passionate story of Noah and Ethan. Someone has been suspiciously sinful, but who can blame him? A libertine of a spooky spirit leads our lusty lads, Noah and Ethan, into licentiousness by a libertine of a spooky spirit.
Driven by Noah’s desire to protect his partner, Ethan, from this depraved demon, Noah enlists the talents of a Paranormal professional to solve his elemental problems and we meet the mysterious Marvel but is he a Master or Masquerade? Friend or Foe? Or is he a specialist or spurious?
As they deal with despondency and despair, testosterone and tears in determining their destinies to be loyally loving and tenderly together. Resentment runs rampant and as the intensity increases, it adds fuel to the fire. Will the deceit be discovered before it destroys? Will they be rewarded with retribution or repercussions? Will the truth be triumphant and the visitor vanquished?
Amazon Link:
USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XH69N87
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34516883-enrapture

Enrapture: Noah’s fate
#Free on #KindleUnlimited #KU

Ian, the sinister shadow, has been haunting our heroes, Noah and Ethan. He reveals himself before Noah as an Angel trapped in Earth’s realm, after being banished from the Heavens with Lucifer aeons before. He tries his best to seduce, provoke, and manipulate Noah to bring him around to his side. He is desperate to return to his Heaven, but the cost is beyond anyone’s expectations! Noah eventually discovers Ian isn’t alone; there comes his entire gang of malicious monsters, devious devils and his merciless Master. Together they can induce nightmares and manipulate human minds. Noah understands their games and stands strong, but how long can he survive? Once again he stands at the indecisive point where he finds he may lose everything he values. On the other hand, Marvel is busy practicing his secret cult empowering himself with the Celestial Powers which can only be obtained once in a millennium. Thereafter he expands his Army and keeps many secrets from Noah and Ethan. On the final front, Monsters were able to scare and seduce Ethan to bring confusion into their relationship. Fighting alone on all fronts, Noah manages to make a deal with the Monsters. But what is the deal and who will be victorious? Can true love survive?

Amazon USA: a href=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0743L82J4
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36685124-enrapture

BAIT

Cody has had enough of living with his wealthy, controlling, and disapproving parents, so when the time comes to choose a university, he picks one as far away as possible from his hometown and arrives in New York. The naïve boy soon finds himself embroiled in a whirlwind affair with his tutors. Secrets abound. Will they be discovered? Will Cody ever find the happiness he is looking for or will it all end in tears?

This is a M/M story that contains some dark scenes, deals with #depression and #suicide.

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078RLX5QV/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37779582-bait

Berlin to Bern
#Free on #KU #KindleUnlimited

What would you do if you were entrapped in a hidden unnamed cabin on a train from Berlin to Switzerland?

A closed lavishly decorated room which oozed sex and liquor from all over the world. What would Robin do if one after another, lecherous men entered in their official dress and made him kneel before them?

What could Robin have done?

Robin moaning, grunting, pleading, serving, and gratifying their dark hunger.

A short biographical story based on Robin – of course, his name has been changed – when once he hurriedly boarded the train to go to his first ever job interview. The sin he had no ticket. Rascal, the ticket inspector, offered, that instead of payment, he could spend the night in a hidden compartment.

Rascal came for him when the other passengers on the train were asleep and when finally Robin was sleeping in the embrace of Rascal, a shadow knocked at the door. Or was it shadows?

Robin had no idea this night would never end while learning the true art of submission.

This dark longing is buried in the deepest corner of all our hearts.

It is a contemporary gay (MM, M/M, queer) romance with strong BDSM (bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism & masochism (S&M) ) themes, many explicit scenes and no cliffhanger.

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B4CVWVP/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38821281-berlin-to-bern

About Pierce Smith:

Pierce Smith, aka PS, has been writing since his childhood. He is a young, single, sexy author who lives alone in the countryside; somewhere on the Planet Earth. He always gets lost in a fantasy/paranormal world of ghosts, shape-shifters, aliens and more. Most of the time his imagination, intuitions, dreams, and his love for them, drift him away. He is into paranormal mysteries and hot erotic scenes. PS is a lover of food, coffee, and hot people. PS discovered that fantasizing is addictive and once you have a taste of it, you can’t get rid of it. Thus, escaping from the reality, he writes few short stories. Sadly, most of them go unpublished. He is planning to include them on his blog and share them through his Newsletter. On the advice of his friends, PS started writing long epic novels and self-publishing. PS does his job seriously; does a hell lot of research before putting anything into his books, and interacts with the community around him, a lot. He enjoys his characters (in every possible ways) before putting any of them on the paper. He lusts after them so that his readers can experience the same intensity in the characters. He loves talking a lot and flirts openly, enjoying the company of others.

Stalking Sites:

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Forgiveness! Grace Duncan’s blog tour, with an excerpt and a giveaway!

Hi readers! Sylvre.com’s Romance Across the Rainbow Blog is happy to welcome back author Grace Duncan. This visit, she’s brought an excerpt on the Forgiveness tour! Be sure you read to the end to enter the giveaway and check out the other tour stops.


Nine years ago Eric Joyce went wolf when his chosen mate broke the bond, and he hasn’t walked on two legs since. Convinced he lost his friends when he ran out on them, he cut himself off from the pack. But a surprising visitor prods him back down the mountain, and he finds himself welcomed warmly.

Ben Arellano grew up in Texas with a human Catholic mother who didn’t understand a thing about wolves—and didn’t try to learn. He spent his whole life being told his wolf was a demon that needed to be exorcised, surrounded by a wolf pack made up of good ole boys who had no tolerance for his Mexican ancestry or his bisexuality. When he’s given the opportunity to relocate to an accepting pack in Pittsburgh, he jumps at the chance.

When Eric and Ben meet for the first time, neither is ready for it. Where Ben expects rejection, Eric is convinced yet another mate will leave, break the bond, and put him through the same hell all over again. Can they get past their reservations and have a happily mated life?

Buy links:

Released March 20, 2018 from Dreamspinner
Cover by Reese Dante


Ben didn’t need his preternatural senses to know she was there. Despite how quiet she was trying to be—or, at least, he assumed she was trying—he still heard her crying. He was pretty sure their human neighbors heard her.

He focused on packing the few things he had left into the last box. He closed it up, ignoring the sniffling, and picked up his overnight bag. After checking the toiletries bag, he turned around to go back to the bathroom.

“Jesus—”

“Ben, Mamá. Why can you not at least call me by the name I prefer?” he asked, deliberately speaking in English.

“I named you Jesus for a reason!”

Ben sent up a prayer to Diana for patience, though he wasn’t entirely convinced she was there. He wasn’t convinced any god was there. “You also named me Benjamin—Ben—for a reason. You’ve told me more than once what mi abuelo meant to you.”

She scowled at him. “Of course he meant a lot. But—”

“Mamá, I don’t believe in that. Just… never mind. Excuse me.” He slipped by her into the hall, then down to the bathroom and retrieved his toothbrush as she followed him. After stowing it in his toiletries bag and tucking the bag back in the overnight case, he turned to her one more time.

“I still do not know why you have to go so far away. Somos familia!” She took off in a long string of rapid-fire Spanish that he tuned out—the same arguments she’d been giving him for months, since he’d made the decision to move to another part of the country.

“Mamá, this is exactly why! You could never accept me. Nothing I do makes you happy! Every time I even mention my wolf—”

She crossed herself, making him roll his eyes.

“—you cross yourself and tell me I’m going to hell for not exorcising him.”

“It is a demon in you, Jesus!”

“Ben.”

She ignored that.

He sighed. “It’s not a demon. He is part of me. We’ve been over this more times than I can count. If it’s not my wolf—”

She crossed herself. Again.

“—it’s because I did not go to medical school. Or I did not marry the girl you picked out for me. Not that I’m even ready to get married, Mamá.”

“You could have been a doctor!”

“I wanted to play my guitar! That was not good enough. I did go to school, but even accounting was not good enough!”

“I do not know why—”

“Never mind. I’m not going to keep fighting with you, Mamá. This is why I have to go. I cannot keep doing this. I need to go somewhere that I can be myself. Even the pack here is not as welcoming as I would like.”

“Jesus Benjamin Arellano!” she shouted.

“Alicia! That is enough.”

Ben took a breath and sent a grateful look at his papá. “Papá. I cannot—” He spread his hands and shook his head.

“Let me take the last box. Do you have everything?” Papá asked.

“Yes, this is it.”

Mamá started crying again. Ben ignored her—again—and picked up his overnight bag, then followed Papá through the house to the driveway. He stowed the bag on the floor of the passenger seat next to his backpack, then shut the door and turned back to Mamá. “Te quiero, Mamá. You know that. But I need space to be me.”

“But… so far.”

“The pack in Pennsylvania needs an accountant. They’ll welcome me—all of me.” He shrugged a shoulder. “Maybe I’ll meet my destined mate there.”

“Je—Benjamin….”

“Let him go, Alicia,” Papá said.

She shook her head. “I do not understand how you can hurt me like this!”

Thank you so much to Lou for giving me space today! I hope you enjoyed this excerpt.
(You are so welcome, Grace.—LS)

About Grace:
noh8Author Bio:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter giveaway and visit the other tour stops!

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Thanks for stopping by, Grace and readers!

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Excerpt from Sharita Lira’s new release—Caught in the Crossfire (PROTEKT book 3)

To wrap up sylvre.com’s feature for March—all about Sharita Lira, author and strong supporter of diversity and all things community—here’s an excerpt from her new release, Caught in the Crossfire Enjoy, and if you haven’t already seen the info about her two March 2018 releases and the in-depth interview, be sure to check out those posts!


Chapter One

Babysitting a spoiled pop star? What kind of assignment is this for a skilled person like myself?” Newly recruited PROTEKT agent, Tryst Olivares grumbled to himself as he eyed his instructions from his boss, Wes Moreland. He hated them, and only wished to get this first task out of the way before the real deals came into play… or perhaps he wasn’t, since he had ulterior motives that went against everything he’d taken the PROTEKT oath for.

No matter.

By the time his new “friends” got a load of what hit them, he’d be paid handsomely, lounging around on the beaches of St. Tropez with drink in hand along with plenty of tight asses to take pleasure in.

Despite his name, Tryst didn’t do long term relationships. He figured he was too young to be committed to only one lover. In most of his twenty-eight years, Tryst preferred to have a wide selection of partners to sample as if his love life was some all-you-can-eat dinner buffet. In his mind, why settle when you could have all the men when you want at any time?

No question, Captain Kimball Emerson, the leader of PROTEKT caught his eye, but he had an American bulldog for a man, who more than made his presence felt during their first meeting. Then there was Devlin Crawford and his hot husband Aiden Moriarty, his fellow agents who in a past lifetime, he wouldn’t have minded having in his bed. Yes, PROTEKT was full of hot men, unfortunately none of them available.

Too bad.

Tryst would have loved to add all three to the few notches remaining on his proverbial belt. Tryst loved variety and never allowed anything but another man’s commitment to stop him from jumping into bed with someone. He had to have some kind of morals, even if they meant nothing to him. Besides, his mother always berated Tryst about not following the Lord’s word and the one command he decided he’d follow would be adultery.

Never mind, murder, stealing, and lying.

Didn’t everyone do that just to survive?

In this dog eat dog world, only the people who did things underhandedly would be left standing. So Tryst chose to do everything else but steal someone else’s man. More than God, Tryst believed in Karma and he thought if he wanted to live happily, he’d better not test the bitch.

With his favorite drink in one hand and the tablet containing the instructions on where to meet the spoiled pop tart in the other, Tryst leaned back into the leather sofa at his new digs Wes gave him. Tryst had to say Wes’s attention to detail as well as the lengths he went through to care for his agents impressed him. In the few days he’d been in PROTEKT, he was awed by the manner in which the organization was run. From top to bottom, PROTEKT had ironclad leadership, teaching their agents how to spot and solve problems, as well as man-to-man combat. They thrived on picking the kind of people who wanted to take justice into their own hands.

“Dios mio.”

If only there was a way to make his employers happy, but unfortunately, that would never occur. There were certain things he loved about both and wished he could merge them into one to be completely fulfilled. Perhaps this was yet another reason why Tryst decided to stay single because indecisiveness had always plagued him.

Saddened by that blunt realization, Tryst sipped from his glass again, tasting the sweetness from the liquor on his taste buds. He wasn’t sure exactly what it was, considering that before he’d joined the organization Tryst’s regular poisons were tequila and beer.

Regardless, he’d thoroughly enjoyed the flavorful liquid and relished in its tastes even though he’d been told not to indulge himself too much for fear of losing focus. After all, the time for operation revenge was on the horizon and according to his “actual” boss, he’d better not screw up or it would mean his untimely death.


Buy the book here:

Thanks for sharing your writing and your thoughts, and letting us celebrate your March releases with you. Congratulations on those! I’ve loved having you on the blog—please do come by again.

Thanks, Readers!

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Feature interview: Sharita Lira on writing, diverse characters, community, and being a metalhead

(Readers, before you get into the interview, I just want to remind you to check out the other parts of the feature. Go here for info on Sharita’s new Michael Mandrake books, and here for an excerpt from Caught in the Crossfire.)

Hello, Sharita! I’m happy to welcome you as a featured author in my sylvre.com, Romance Across the Rainbow, 2018 “Community” series. Your support for the community of GLBTQ+ writers and readers is strong, and I do want to talk about that, but let’s start with a few questions about you and your writing.

Q: Just to break the ice, let’s start with something sort of standard for the author interview…. Oh, never mind that. How about this: What family member was the most influential, in terms of your eventual choice to write fiction, as you were growing up? How? What were their favorite things to read? Please feel free to define family according to your own lights—no limits.

A: Thanks for having me, Lou and for the kind words!

Honestly no one. (laughs) I come from a family of squares. It wasn’t until I joined the Erotica Readers and Writers Association that I was encouraged to write. My Durannie (Duran Duran fans) fanfic group encouraged me to publish so that’s as close as I can get to “family” who influenced me.

As far as books growing up, I read the classics as well as VC Andrews Flowers in the Attic. I loved romance early. Read some of grandma’s boring HQN and later, Jackie Collins as well as Fern Michaels.

Q: I admit to being intrigued by your bio. In particular, you name yourself a metalhead and say heavy music inspires your writing. As a founding member of the zine FourteenG, you’ve got some credentials! What first piqued your interest in heavy metal? How is it an inspiration for your stories? Do you have particular books you’d recommend to readers interested in seeing this theme reflected or explored in your writing?

A: Thanks for reading my bio! (laughs) What’s interesting is, I didn’t start out a metalhead. As a matter of fact, I didn’t start listening until I went to High School. I mean, my only exposure to heavy music was Def Leppard and Journey! (laughs) But when I attended an all-black high school, I met my metal tribe. Yes, an all-black (African American) High School. There were 3 white kids in our school and none of them liked metal. Go figure.

As far as what piqued my interest, I’d say the fashion, then the music. I’ve always loved men in makeup! (winks) And then, heavy guitar caught my attention. Once I graduated, I carried that all the way through adulthood. Although I love New Wave and most 80’s, I’ll always be a metalhead.

Inspiration? I have several playlists on my Spotfiy with old school metal or industrial music. Many times the harder it is, it fuels my paranormal work while some of the more soulful metal might be used for a rock and roll romance, or a contemporary with some angst. One example is my Immortals Series under Michael Mandrake. I listened to a lot of Opeth while doing Immortals, especially this last book I’m about to release entitled Calisto’s Quest.

As far as books that reflect the metalhead in me, check out my Wretched Series. Although The Wretched is about to be reworked, you can check it out in raw form on Amazon. It’s not a romance, but it’s full of drama and angst surrounding a fictional Heavy Metal Band.

Q: You say you always have stories waiting to be written, and your website upholds that claim. Writing under several pen names, your publications number at least dozens. Approximately how many books do you write in one year? How do you produce such high-quality books when writing top speed?

A: LOL Thanks for those compliments. Some are short while others are long. My busiest pens are Michael and BLMorticia so a lot of times, Rawiya gets the scraps. ☹ Veronica is new, and I’m about to release my second book with her.

As far as how many I write? I’d say anywhere between 12-15, but some don’t get published that year. I’ve slowed down on the self-publishing because its costly. I’ve also learned not to write long series, even though Immortals is 6 books. (oops) :/

High Quality? Maybe because I agonize over the stories all the time. I try to put out the best product I can in a timely fashion, but if the story doesn’t end well, or doesn’t sound right to me, I hold it until I can redo it.

I’ve written a large amount of novellas which is why I can produce a little more. Nowadays, both of the busy muses want War and Peace type books so it’s harder to release more, which is okay because readers prefer longer works anyway. 😊

Q: Michael Mandrake, Rawiya, BL Morticia, and Veronica Bagby—all of them are you, and each one has a distinct “author brand.” Is any one of these your “favorite”? How do you go about the process of determining “who” needs to be the author of a new story idea?

A: You wish to get me in trouble, right? 😀 Michael is my favorite, but BL is a very bossy bitch who likes to grab the spotlight. Michael loves a complex plot and he’s a lot more formal and long winded. I love writing paranormal with Michael because we always develop some twists together.

However, BL is the boss. She gets her way about 60 percent of the time because she’s my metal muse. Because I love writing musicians into romance, I’ll usually be in favor of writing her books first.

As far as brand, I’m not sure I can even call it that. I suppose style is part of brand, but at times they crossover. BL and Michael especially. 😊

I usually decide by flipping a coin. KIDDING. No, I usually know right away what muse is to write what story. If it’s a story with lots of plots and subplots, its Michael. Heavy on Angst and comedy is BLMorticia.

Q: Writing, as mentioned, under four pseudonyms, your character loves and liaisons certainly qualify as “across the rainbow.” Your stories, both erotica and romance, are invariably sexy. This leads me nicely to the question I’ve asked every author ever featured on sylvre.com: Give us, please, the fifty sexiest words you’ve ever written. Define “sexy” any way you want, and you can fudge a little on the word count.

A: Oh boy! Um… squirms in chair Let’s see… I’ll do Calisto’s Quest because its coming out soon, but 50 words? Ugh! It’s a tad over and I’m not sure this is the sexiest, but I had this doc open!

Despite those feelings of guilt, I attacked Valios’s mouth with all the fire and passion I could muster. I ran my hands all over his body, tweaking his nipples and pinching his abs. We tangled tongues furiously, making us both breathless.

“Calisto! I want you!

“Yes. I want you too!” I covered his lips with mine, sucking his tongue as if it were his hardened length.

Q: Not surprisingly many, if not all, of your books feature people of color. Tell us, if you will, about moving in your writing from one skin to another, so to speak, and about characters who are different from one another in background find common ground. How much or how little do you feel you have to reflect a difference in culture (wealth, status, race, religion, values, etc.) when writing your characters? Are differences a major source of conflict in your books? A major stimulus for attraction?

A: Really good question!

I do love opposites attract stories, and one is usually so different from the other, that its hard to believe they might click. When I have two or more characters falling in love, I try to get into each one’s head to tell me how they’d feel about that other person. How they could relate in some way, because all people are unique as are characters. I try to find some common traits beyond the, we’re all human, thing. I kind of interview each character and say, Seth what do you like about Malakei? (Seth and Malakei are characters from my rapper/rocker book) There has to be something else in common other than being human. They might like the same music, food, or traveling, or hate the same things. I usually write out a character ARC for both people and find their motivations. If they’re similar, I can match them.

Then there are times when they don’t necessarily match but the attraction is there. Hence, Where There’s Smoke. I had 3 very different men and they decided to be together because of attraction. Once they got to know one another, it worked. There’s more to it, but I can’t reveal the main plot. Lol.

I do like to point out differences in culture. This could be something as simple as the way they talk or their families around them. This all influences characters and what they’re makeup is. And yes, differences are a major source of conflict and its not based on their cultural or race differences. Its usually class, status, or something else a lot smaller because writing an IR book where it is just focused on racial differences would be boring in my opinion.

Q: The fact that you write characters from all walks, across the spectrum racially as well as in the expression of gender and sexuality, reflects your stance as what I’ve called a “warp thread”—a support—in the woven tapestry of the GLBTQ+ readers and writers community. Though you clearly stand against hate and public policies that produce and promote it, when I see you on social media, it always seems to me that, inside the community, you would rather bridge the gaps between people than choose a side. Do you feel that is an accurate statement? Is it a day-by-day, moment-by-moment choice, or does it more reflect your core?

A: You’ve been paying attention to me. Lol
(Note from Lou: I’m not a stalker, really. It’s for the blog, that’s all!)

Yeah, I am that type of person. I’m not confrontational, and if I can avoid it, I do. Anytime you have a difference of opinion its always better to discuss it than jump to conclusions. I try to understand both sides of the argument, especially when it comes to matters of culture and race. Though I don’t stand for intolerance of any kind, I’d try to teach that person, why that doesn’t fly. And if they don’t agree, that’s fine, but yeah, I try to get people together. We need more togetherness in this world. Being on different sides hasn’t solved anything.

Q: A point of controversy at times within the community has been whether people should write outside their own gender, sexuality, or race. Some authors have said they are afraid of being offensive if they write characters from different racial or cultural backgrounds than their own. Would you be willing to share with us your stance, thoughts, or advice on the subject?

A: I’ve always said to do the research. I feel you can research cultural or gender differences just as you can for a doctor, cop, or a lawyer. Of course, talking to someone that’s part of that marginalized group helps more than everything, but you also shouldn’t take it as gospel. Not every ¬¬¬¬______ is the same. You can fill in the blank as far as what person.

For example, the controversy with Amy Lane about the “dark chocolate monkey of love.” Although I wasn’t personally offended, I know the negative connotations behind calling a black person a monkey. I’m black and never do it. On the other hand, describing someone’s skin like a food. Like saying coffee or honey. I don’t see an issue, but some do.

If an author decides to write outside of their spectrum, the best thing to do is ask for help. Read things on Quora or Reddit. Find people from that marginalized group. Use Youtube, everything you can. But don’t make stereotypical statements. That’s just a no no.

Q: You are part of a thoroughly fabulous idea called Queer in Color. Please tell us about that project—how it got started, who’s involved, what we can do to support it, anything else? Do you have any other projects promoting the reflection of the true diversity in GLBTQ+ people?

A: Thanks. It started with me and author Christa Thomlinson. Both of us wanted to do something to highlight books with characters of color. Through a survey in the multicultural queer group I run on FB, we gathered a small group of volunteers to help. Christa and I discussed doing a newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and the website as a landing page. We started that late last fall and officially “opened” in November.

Of course with any venture there will be some kinks. The site isn’t as comprehensive as Queeromance Ink, but it doesn’t need to be. We are specifically looking to highlight books with CoC as well as spotlight authors of color. We do it all as volunteers and because this isn’t a paid venture, the amount of help has dwindled a little too. We make the best of it.

Q: What’s coming up, Sharita? Anything exciting in your author world you’d like readers to be on the lookout for?

A: Well, I have two releases coming under Michael this month. Caught in the Crossfire is PROTEKT book 3 and Calisto’s Quest is Immortals book four. Readers can read more info at Michael’s website. *smiles*

Also, for Veronica, a cougar IR called Teacher’s Pet.

BL is busy writing a small paranormal novella with a musician, but it is going to a publisher. I’m sure she’ll have a release soon enough!

I can’t thank you enough for letting me interrogate you here on sylvre.com, Sharita. I wish you the best in all your future endeavors. Please come back to visit again!

Thanks so much!

About Sharita Lira:

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blockquote>
Romance and erotica author Sharita Lira believes that love conquers all. Writing sexy stories of people who might be complete opposites, but somehow make a lasting connection that often leads to a happily ever after.

Happily married and mother of two, Sharita never allows complex plots to deter her from writing the story. Inspired by heavy music, attractive people she’s seen in person and on the internet, Sharita always has a tale on her brain.

In addition to being a computer geek and a metalhead, Sharita loves live music, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She’s also a founding member and contributor to the heavy metal ezine FourteenG.

For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com, and if you’re a fan who would like exclusive updates on her writings and chances to win prizes, sign up for the newsletter.

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March “Community” feature: Sharita Lira (Here with two Michael Mandrake releases this month!)

I’m happy to feature Sharita Lira, an extraordinary author, in my “Community 2018” series here on sylvre.com Romance Across the Rainbow. Check the exclusive interview for her in-depth answers to questions about her writing and her active role as a proponent of true diversity in the community of LGBTQ+ writers and readers. Oh, and don’t miss an excerpt from new release, Caught in the Crossfire. First, though, here’s a little about her two recent releases, both under pen name Michael Mandrake. (About that, Sharita is a busy writer, and has four, count ’em, four pen names! See the interview to learn why and how…)


Caught in the Crossfire is book 3 of the PROTEKT series:

Musician Bastien Desmarais is thrust into danger, but he’ll have a chance at love—not once, but twice.

Tryst Olivares aka Domingo Macaya was hired by PROTEKT to guard superstar Bastien Desmarais because of threats he’d received. However, Domingo has an ulterior motive. Instead of following through on his PROTEKT assignment, he has other plans that don’t involve the popular entertainer.

Normally independent of security, Bastien sees this move to hire a bodyguard as a hindrance, but he’ll make the best of it. Why not have fun, especially since Tryst has the look Bastien appreciates?

In the midst of searching for a world-renowned felon, Claudius Peltier is very busy. But even this mission can’t deter his infatuation with Bastien. After years hiding his true self, Claudius won’t turn down the opportunity to be something more than the singer’s number one fan.

Three paths cross, leading them all down a very dangerous road. If they can survive this mission to catch a dangerous criminal, they can survive just about anything.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and homophobia.

Genre themes:
Erotic Romance, Gay, Menage and multiple partners, Multicultural
Buy the book:


Calisto’s Quest is coming March 31, book four in the Immortals series:

A battle between good and evil or does love conquer all?

For centuries Calisto and Valios had been frenemies, growing up in the ranks on two different sides. Over a mortal year ago, Most High granted Calisto one wish. A night with Valios, the Dark Lord’s son. By doing this, he thought Calisto would get over his fascination with the demon. However, Calisto developed feelings for the Soul Catcher that would never disappear.

Valios had lost out on true love in two instances, so he created a harem for himself to forget the pain. Though Valios has feelings for Calisto, his loyalty to his fathers Luci and Death must be upheld or he’ll face the wrath of both. Because of this, he’s kept his distance, ignoring his desire for one of High’s most prominent angels. Nothing, not even the commitment he seeks, is more imprtant than making his parents proud.

Once Calisto and Valios realize their emotions for one another run deep, they make plans to have children, which runs the risk of enraging their families and bringing punishment to both.

Calisto and Valios are long time rivals with a chance of gaining something more. Will they bypass it in order stay loyal to their respective sides?

Warning: Rough sex, violence, and MPreg. Relationships that others might find objectionable.

Click here for more info about Calisto’s Quest and a snippet!


Michael Mandrake’s author bio:

Michael Mandrake pens complex characters who are already comfortable in their sexuality. Thorough these characters, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media.

To find out more please visit Michael’s website.
(Michael Mandrake can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and Ello.)

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Cover Reveal! *Forgiveness* by Grace R. Duncan

Welcome Grace R. Duncan, revealing a fabulous Reese Dante cover for Forgiveness!
ForgivenessFS_v1_smaller

Ben’s love can help Eric find the forgiveness he needs… if Eric can accept it.

Nine years ago Eric Joyce went wolf when his chosen mate broke the bond, and he hasn’t walked on two legs since. Convinced he lost his friends when he ran out on them, he cut himself off from the pack. But a surprising visitor prods him back down the mountain, and he finds himself welcomed warmly.

Ben Arellano grew up in Texas with a human Catholic mother who didn’t understand a thing about wolves—and didn’t try to learn. He spent his whole life being told his wolf was a demon that needed to be exorcised, surrounded by a wolf pack made up of good ole boys who had no tolerance for his Mexican ancestry or his bisexuality. When he’s given the opportunity to relocate to an accepting pack in Pittsburgh, he jumps at the chance.

When Eric and Ben meet for the first time, neither is ready for it. Where Ben expects rejection, Eric is convinced yet another mate will leave, break the bond, and put him through the same hell all over again. Can they get past their reservations and have a happily mated life?

Release Date: March 27, 2018
Buy links at Dreamspinner Press:

e-book: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/forgiveness-by-grace-r-duncan-9470-b

Paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/forgiveness-by-grace-r-duncan-9471-b

Excerpt:

She smelled funny. Or rather, she didn’t smell like anything he recognized. She looked human, but she didn’t smell human, which confused him. And she walked across the forest floor in her bare feet.

He tilted his head as she approached, trying to figure out the puzzle. She wore simple dark pants, a plain tunic-like top, and had a bow slung over her shoulder with a quiver of arrows on her back. Instinct told him, however, he had nothing to fear from her.

She knelt in front of him, her long dark hair spilling over one shoulder, and reached out to brush her fingers over his head. “My poor lost wolf,” she murmured, tilting her head in a mimic of him, considering him. “I understand your pain, but you are not ready to be wolf all the time. You have more to do in your human form, and you need your pack. My wolves aren’t meant to be alone, not like this. It is time—past time—for you to return to your pack and those who love you.”

Even though the soft touch soothed him, he whined quietly, not liking the words. He’d left for a reason. There was nothing for him back there. He’d turned his back on them. They wouldn’t want him now.

“Oh, Eric, that’s not true,” she said, shaking her head.

Eric. He’d forgotten that name, perhaps deliberately, years ago. He shied away from the reminder of the human side of him, away from the echo of old pain.

“They miss you, more than you know. And there are others now. Others who will understand you in a way you weren’t understood back then.” She laid a hand on his head, and his eyes slid closed.

An image floated into his mind of a house at the edge of a stream, near a waterfall. The scent of someone very familiar joined the image, and Eric whined again. He didn’t want it, that scent, didn’t want to acknowledge he missed it. Didn’t want to think about what he’d been missing.

The image changed to an open field, a red pup leaping at him. It nipped at his ear, knocking him over. He nipped back, growling softly, as he got to his feet to retaliate.

He pushed the image away. That time was gone. He’d forgotten the path back to them, didn’t want to remember how to get there.

She spoke again, more in his head than out loud. “You remember. You’ll find it. You know where that is. Now go, my lost one. And be lost no more.”

Eric opened his eyes. She was gone. He looked around and sniffed the air, but there was no trace of her. He lay down and put his head on his paws, trying to make sense of what had just happened.

But he knew, even if he didn’t want to accept it. He knew what he needed to do. He just didn’t know if he could make himself do it.

“Go,” she whispered in his mind, and with a sigh, Eric stood and made his way hesitantly down the mountain.

 

noh8About Grace:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

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Interview with J. Scott Coatsworth—author of the M/M sci-fi series, the Oberon Cycle

Welcome Scott, and congratulations on the release of Lander. Having you on the blog has given me a reason to take a closer look at your work—something I confess I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I have to say I got drawn in—so much so that I read Skythane instead of doing a number of other things I had on my to do list. I’ve got a few questions that arose from my reading, but let’s start with a few more general facts.

Q: Please tell us three of your favorite things about being a writer. We all get discouraged from time to time—when that happens, what keeps you writing? ame three books, novels, that you could read over and over again—the books that make you want to be a writer, too.

A: So first off—Larque on the Wing—a fabulous magical realism tale about a housewife who wanders into the gay part of town and finds out she quite literally has a gay man inside of her. In this world, there’s a man who can bring to the outside who you really are on the inside. This book showed me what could be done with magical realism and a rainbow palette.

My second—Daughter of the Empire, by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts. OMG this book is good. It tells the story of a daughter of a powerful family who returns home after the rest of her kin are slaughtered, and is forced to take control of the family business. The world is a feudal society that mirrors Japanese culture, and the twists and turns are fantastic, as is the ending. Plus there are two more after this one. A master class in plot-driven sci fi/fantasy.

Finally, Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern. I am a huge fan of Anne McCaffrey generally and the Pern series in particular, and this one pulled all my heart strings – an epic tragedy that seamlessly combines sci fi and fantasy in a beautifully realized world.

Q: If you couldn’t be a writer, what profession would be your first choice, and why?

A: Hmmm… I always wanted to be an astronomer, until I found out how much math it required.

I’ve always loved space and sci fi, so astronaut would be my second choice. 🙂

Q: Among your characters, who is your favorite, and why?

A: My favorite character? But I love them all! But if I had to choose… probably Mael from “The Great North.” He’s so strong and sure of himself – he comes from a society where there’s no issue with folks who are gay or lesbian or any other part of the queer rainbow. Plus there’s the whole death and reincarnation thing (spoiler)…

Q: In a throwback to a question I used to ask authors for every feature—what are the fifty hottest, sexiest words you ever wrote? Okay, you have some leeway here. It can be less than fifty, but not many more, and “hot” and “sexy” can be defined any way you want.

A:From “A New Year”:

Finn pulled him down into a bed of moss, hungrily, and they kissed with a passion that unleashed Heath’s lust like an uncoiled spring. He pulled off his shirt and unbuttoned his jeans, and Finn shirked off his own clothing. Heath nuzzled Finn’s neck, and was soon lost to an animal passion that surpassed anything he had ever experienced in his bedroom with his own hand and a box of tissues in the dead of night.

I may have cheated and gone over. Just a bit.
(That’s perfectly all right, Scott.)


Q: You do have stories in other genres, but is sci-fi your favorite? If so, what in particular makes that true? Who are your sci-fi author heroes—the writers who made you fall in love with the genre? What new sci-fi favorite authors are on your current reading list?

A: I have three loves – sci fi, fantasy, and magical realism. Most of my stories fall under at least one of those categories, and sometimes several. Sci fi/fantasy has been a favorite of mine since I used to raid my mother’s sci fi bookshelf – McCaffrey, Asimov, Clarke, Anderson, Bova, Tolkien, and many more.

I love being a part of bold, amazing, fully realized worlds that are so different from this one, and others that seem like they might just be a heartbeat away. Give me starships, elf magic and planet-wide terraforming, and I’m in bliss. Put them all together successfully, and I’m in awe.

I have very little reading time these days, but I love me some Angel Martinez. And though he’s new, OMG, Peter Hamilton. If you are a hard-core sci fi butt and you haven’t read Hamilton… * shakes head *

Q: You are one of the administrators of the Queer Sci-fi website, an associated Facebook group, and a critique group. Can you give us a little history? Was this your brainchild? What do you most want people to know about QSF?

A: LOL… yeah it was. I started writing when I was in elementary school, and sent off my first book in my mid-twenties, but I didn’t write queer characters then. When I came back to writing in my mid-forties, I knew it had to be different this time. My new stories exploded with rainbows, and I wanted people to share my newfound freedom with. I found some good groups in Facebook, but none was quote what I wanted – a group that was truly inclusive of all kinds of speculative fiction and all kinds of people across the queer spectrum.

So Queer Sci Fi was born.

Not long after, I managed to convince Angel to come run it with me, and then we added Ben Brock, who has become our reviews guru.

The site’s watchwords are diversity, safety and fun – we work hard to foster an atmosphere where everyone can hang out together and rub elbows with others who are different, without feeling sidelined, disparaged, or made to feel invisible.

Q: The names and creatures in Skythane and Lander draw on Irish or Celtic mythology. What drew you in that direction? How extensively did the ancient figures of Oberon and the fey influence the worlds you created, or the stories you set within them?

A: LOL… it was an accident, actually.

I wrote the first three scenes of what eventually became Skythane in the mid-nineties, and then put it back on a shelf. It had no direction, no outline, no particular place it was going, and it joined a bunch of started stories that I’d never finished.

Around 2014, I pulled out the scenes to take a look at them. The image of the half world against the stark backdrop of space stuck with me. And the name – Oberon.

I did some research, and ran across Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’ Dream” – where King Oberon and Queen Titania are two of the many characters in a play that includes faeries, a magical forest and a love potion that makes people do crazy things. And Skythane was born.

I had gotten about halfway through, but then in November, 2015, I made it my NaNo project, and wrote the whole thing in one month. Of course, it took a few additional months to rework it and clean it up, and then Dreamspinner bought it and the rest was history.

Just for kicks, here’s the first scene I ever wrote of the story in all its misspelled glory. It still appears in the current book, with a few alterations:

Raindrops rolled off the plas screen in crazy patterns, the drops skidding across the slick surface in a wind-whipped frenzy. Xander lay on his back, head thrown back, watching them with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil. His chest heaved slowly up and down, his breath easing out of his lungs with silent ease, his whole posture and demeanor speaking of ease.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, seemingly relaxed muscles and redolent pose, his heart beat at a thunerous pace, and his mind raced for answers that seemed to just as quickly slip beyond his grasp.

The trick he’d brought home worked enthusiatically, his warm hands lain upon Xander’s thighs, his warm mouth evident elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep musk of him, slipped a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousseled hair, watching the rain increase to a thunder on the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimering light, combining and recombining and running quickly out of sight.

Despite himself, he felt himself rising quickly to climax; despite his detachment, his mind was drawn up like the tide in the swell that seemed to radiate from his cock and balls down through his toes, up along his spinal cord.

Lightning flared suddenly in the wet-black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed, and Xander came at the same time, his body crying out in joyous release. He shuddered, shivered and shuddered again, feeling for just a moment on the crest of the wave, in a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, white hot fire.

In the short moments afterward, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness, missing the pain that had taken up residence inside him these last few weeks.

When he opened his eyes, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant. Xander pushed himself up, off the bed, and took a fifty out opf his wallet, handing it to the trick with a dismissive gesture.

“I can do more…” the man said, but Xander shook his head.

“You’ve done enough. Now get out.”

The trick shot him a dirty look, but hurried out of the flat, slamming the door behind him. Xander looked after him in disgust. This was what he’d sunk to, bringing home tricks for a quick blow?

He stood against the long window, his lithe form silouhetted in the darkness of the plas, touching the cool surface with his hand, and tried to remember where things had gone so horribly wrong. The city spread out below him, thousands of amber lights in strings along the main causeways. In the distance, he could make out the Molokais, their peaks just a sharp-toothed wall of darkness at the edge of the world. Above them, the stars swam in the deepest night, thickest overhead, neither of Oberon’s two moons yet up to challenge their dominance of the night sky.

Turning his back on the night, he stared around the flat, glaring at the unmade bed as if it were to blame for his indiscretions. “Light,” he said, and the dim glow increased to something approaching daylight. “Candler, Deca Seven, Play.”

He eased himself down onto the center of the bed, and Candler Dalias’son was floating there before him, his beautiful gossamer wings extended on either side of him. Camber looked down at him, his amber eyes filled with concern. Xander drank in his beautiful face, the glow of his skin. “Xander, what’s wrong?” Candler reached out a hand toward him, and Xander reached out to touch his fingers, but his own hand closed in thin air.

“Candler, I miss you so…” he started, but his voice cracked. It was still so hard, even after all these weeks…

“Javier’s going out country next week,” Candler said, oblivious to him. “I’d like to go with him…”

“End play,” Xander said, and the thing that wasn’t Candler disappeared. Out country… he’d forgotten… “Oh Candler, why did you have to go?”

He sank down into the bed, exhausted with grief, and fell into a dark and dreamless sleep.

Q: The story descriptions tell us a little about the main characters in Lander. What secondary character do you think is most important to the story? What do they bring to the tale?

A: Hmmm. Depends on how you define secondary. Alix – the Lander the title refers to, starts as a secondary character in Skythane, but comes into his own in “Lander.” But I’d have to say Morgan. This little guy revealed himself to me in Skythane and I didn’t really know what or who he was, but he’s become central to the story. You learn a lot more about him in Lander, and he will be pivotal to “Ithani,” the last book in the trilogy.

Q: Let’s talk about themes. What would you say is the primary theme of the Oberon series? The theme of Skythane? Of Lander? I assume book three is at least well underway. What will be the theme of Ithani?

A: Change. On a macro scale, the change of the world and the species and breeds of people and aliens. And on a micro level, the way the characters themselves, especially our everyman Jameson change.

Q: To wrap up, Scott, what’s in store? Do you have a date (tentative or otherwise) for Ithani’s release? What other works do you have in progress? Any events you’d like your readers to know about? Anything else you’d like to say?

A: So many questions!

Yes – Ithani should be out in February 2019. 🙂 I am about 16k into it at the moment.

And yes, I has plans!

The sequel to “The Stark Divide” – “The Rising Tide” – is in edits, and will release in October, and the final book in that trilogy, as yet unnamed (but it might be “The Shoreless Sea”) will be out in October 2019.

This year, I also plan to get into self publishing with a vengeance, with my blog serial “The River City Chronicles” hitting the shelves in English and Italian in the spring, an anthology of some of my shorter works in the fall, and the fourth Queer Sci Fi flash fiction anthology, “Impact.”

Also, sometime this year, Mischief Corner Books should be coming out with the three volumes of the serial that appeared on their blog titled “Marionettes in the Mist” – I wrote it along with Angel Martinez, Toni Griffin and Freddy MacKay.

After that, who knows?

Thanks so much for having me!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You are very welcome, J. Scott Coatsworth, and I can’t thank you enough for allowing sylvre.com to host you on your tour for Lander. The exclusive excerpt was an unexpected gift, and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to answer my nosy questions. I wish you all the best with Lander and with everything you’ve got sizzling. I hope you’ll visit again someday.

Readers, thanks for being here. Comments are welcome, and we’ll try to answer any questions.

Find out more about Lander in this post: Featured Author, J. Scott Coatsworth—New Release Lander, book 2 of the Oberon Cycle
And wet your appetite for Scott’s writing here: Exclusive excerpt from J. Scott Coatsworth’s *Lander*

And here’s where you can find a number of of J. Scott Coatsworth’s books.

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Filed under Book tour, featured authors, Interviews, just a category, M/M romance, Sci-fi