Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Eli Easton. Thanks, Eli.

To know more about Eli Easton, check out her website, elieaston.com, or find her on Twitter  (@EliEaston). Her latest literary triumphs are How To Walk Like A Man and Midwinter Night’s Dream.

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1) Do you have any cherished holiday traditions from growing up you continue with your family today?

Having lots of family around, cooking a big Christmas meal, and hopefully taking a walk in the snow.

2) Cookies: bake up a storm or hoping to get them as gifts from others?

I would normally get them from others, but I’m on a new vegan diet this year so I’ll have to make my own recipe!

3) Are you dreaming of a White Christmas or tropical getaways?

White Christmas, definitely.

4) What is your favorite word?

Hmmm. Infinite?

5) Dream gift from any store, at any price: what one item would you get for your household?

God, I don’t know. Maybe a really hip small RV to take camping.


 

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s EliEaston_Road_bw.jpgdaughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author. As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story.  She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time.  She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens.  All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing. You can email her at eli@elieaston.com.

 

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Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Andrew Grey. Thanks, Andrew — and happy birthday!

To know more about Andrew, check andrewgreybooks.com or find him on Facebook and Twitter. His latest literary triumph is Eyes Only For Me, available here.

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1) If you could have any five guests (historical, famous, etc) at your Thanksgiving table who would it be?

Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison.

2) Cranberry: Relish or jellied?

Definitely relish.

3) A nice brisk walk or a nice long nap to follow a big meal?  Actually both.

I’d go for a walk and then take a nap.

4) What is your favorite word?

Butthead. The one time my mother was speechless was when she was getting on my last nerve and I told her she was being a butthead.

5) What do you hope to be thankful for in 2016?

The continued health of myself and my family.


Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Andrew GreySince then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

 

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guests are Kieran and Theo. Thanks, guys.

To know more about Kieran and Theo, get Put A Ring On It by K.A. Mitchell, available from Dreamspinner Press. You can find out more about K.A.–and her other books–on her website and Twitter.

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1) Are you going to adopt… a pet?

Kieran raises a brow, and Theo tries to control a shudder at the idea. Kieran gets a mischievous smile. “What about a snake? I think they’re clean. And you don’t have to feed them often.”
Theo says, “They eat and don’t use a toilet. And they shed.”

2) Most comfortable: Preppy or grunge?

Kieran jerks a thumb at Theo. “This guy? Are you looking at him?”
Theo pulls his slacks at the knee. “Because you own so very much flannel?”

3) Champagne brunch or diner breakfast?

Theo says, “Cover your ears, Kieran.” He leans in to say confidentially, “Kieran would think it’s champagne for me, diner for him. But the truth is, now that he’s had it he loves good champagne. And I don’t like to drink in the morning. There’s something incredibly comforting in a diner breakfast.”
Kieran says, “You don’t whisper very well, Theo. The truth is,” he and Theo exchange a look, “he’s right.”

4) What is your favorite word to say to each other?

Simultaneously they say, “Shower?” and then laugh.

5) Where are you going to spend your golden anniversary?

“Take it, baby,” Theo says.
Kieran looks a little embarassed. “Hawaii,” he admits at last.
Theo leans over and kisses him for a long time.

Um, guys? Is it warm in here or is it me?


Kieran Delaney-Schwartz — adoptee, underachiever, and self-professed-slacker IT guy — lives his under-the-radar life by ringthe motto: Don’t try, don’t fail. His adopted siblings are all overachievers thanks to his driven, liberal parents, but Kieran has elected to avoid disappointing anyone by not getting their hopes up. He’s coasting through his early twenties when he’s hit head-on by Theo. The successful decade-older Broadway producer sweeps him off his feet for a whirlwind thirteen months that are pretty sweet, until it all comes screeching to a halt on Valentine’s Day, with an unexpected proposal via an NYC Times Square flash mob. Now everyone wants in on the wedding, except the grooms.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! Today’s guest is Lynn West. Thanks, Lynn.

Lynn West is an actual living and breathing person. You can find proof on Facebook. She is Editor in Chief at Dreamspinner Press and its imprints Harmony Ink Press and DSP Publications.

Dreamspinner Press


1) As a kid, what did you fantasize as your dream job?

I wanted to be an archaeologist. One of my first “research projects”—if you can call it that—in grade school was on a job, and that’s the one I drew out of a hat. I immediately fell in love with Egyptian mythology, pyramids, mummies, the whole nine yards. That love expanded out into any world mythologies I could find material on. Aside from the science fiction books I read at home, this fed my love for reading stories, especially love stories. Lots of love stories in mythology, ever noticed?

2) Macaroons or macarons?

Macaron. I am allergic to coconut, so most macaroons are a bad idea, and in my head, ROON = BAD. But I adore cookie sandwiches, and Elizabeth knows better than to let me go into a bakery in Europe. I guess I didn’t have a good foreign baking education, because I didn’t even know “macarons” were a thing until a few years ago when I visited London. I particularly like jam-filled.

3) Do you believe more in fate or coincidence?

Alas, to the woe of many friends, I am far too pragmatic to believe in fate and thus find myself resigned to a somewhat suspicious acceptance of coincidence. I suppose that makes my life in romantic fiction quite ironic, doesn’t it? Star-crossed lovers and all that. Perhaps that’s what makes me a better editor. I can focus on the story itself and not get caught up in the swell of violins, consuming humid heat, twinkling stars, and gasping lovers… no, not really. I’m still just as fascinated and entertained by stories about fate. But in real life, I definitely lean toward believing more in coincidence—or the fact that people twist coincidence in their favor.

4) What is your favorite word?

Unfortunately, I really can’t answer that one. I’ve had a love affair with words in multiple languages my entire life, and there’s no way I can pick one. (Although cafuné comes close. It’s Brazilian Portuguese for “tenderly stroking someone’s hair.”) But I can absolutely answer the opposite: What is your most hated word? And this really is a thing: my editors all know. I seriously—very seriously—considered outlawing use of the word totally in any Dreamspinner Press publication. Luckily, it’s not very popular in gay romance and has mostly been relegated to the realm of purple prose, although you can bet anytime one of my senior editors finds it, they bring it up during department meetings, just to taunt me with it. Curious yet?

Turgid.

5) Which Wonder of the Ancient World would you visit in its prime?

Top of my list would have to be The Great Pyramid of Giza, to feed my eternal love for anything ancient Egyptian. The artwork, the tombs, the poems and stories and epics written on the walls, no wonder the Egyptians believed some souls would stay entombed there forever to watch over the dead. Plenty to read!


Lynn West is one of the founders of Dreamspinner Press and was one of the first two editors employLynn Wested by the press in January 2007. She was named Editor in Chief in January 2009. She has edited the work of more than a hundred authors, including many of the bestsellers in Dreamspinner’s catalog. Before and during the early years of Dreamspinner, Lynn worked as a professional editor in fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and technical writing and was a fiction and nonfiction author, a public relations writer, and an award-winning print journalist before that, thus racking up twenty years of publishing experience as of January 2014. She holds a bachelor’s degree in modern languages and a master’s degree in management, as well as a variety of advanced educational and training certifications.  All that boring stuff aside, Lynn’s love of reading and writing comes thanks to a dissolute youth spent devouring Science Fiction Book Club tomes from her dad’s bookshelves. Her nickname is the Wicked Witch West, though her flying monkeys (staff) insist that “wicked” is a good thing in gay romance.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guests are Ryan and Zavier. Thanks, guys.

To know more about Ryan and Zavier, nab Demon of Mine by Rayna Vause, available from Dreamspinner Press. You can find Rayna–with more of Ryan and Zavier, and her other projects–on Twitter and Facebook.

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Ryan: Ok Zav, just a few more questions to answer.
Zavier *holding up a hand to stop Ryan*: I’ve already answered questions. No more.
Ryan *sitting next to Zavier whacking his thigh*: Come on, it will be fun. There’s only 5. Besides we already agreed to do it.
Zavier: You mean we were volunteered?
Ryan *glaring*: Zavier.
Zavier *sighing*: Ok let do this.

Ryan: Question one, ‘What’s the best part of the day?’ Hmm… Dinner time. No matter how busy we get, Zav and I try to eat dinner together as much as possible.
Zavier *nodding*: I can agree with that. I love having that time near the end of the day just to sit and eat and be us.
Ryan *smiling*: Sometimes you’re so sweet.

Zavier *hunching*: Moving along. ‘What is the first thing you notice: Eyes or smile?’ Oh, this one is easy. *smiling at Ryan* It was your beautiful green eyes.
Ryan *smirking*: I thought it was my body.
Zavier *shrugs*: Well this time it was, but body wasn’t an option.

Ryan: Question three, ‘Morning bird or night owl.’ I like morning, but you’re a night owl.
Zavier: Byproduct of my job as a demon. Most of my business got done in the middle of the night. You get into a pattern.
Ryan: Makes sense.
Zavier: I do that on occasion.
Ryan *nudging Zavier with his elbow*: A very rare occasion.
Zavier *snorts*: Watch it buddy. What’s the next question?

Ryan: ‘One word to describe you current relationship.’ I’d have to go with Happy.
Zavier: Good word, I’d agree. *linking hands with Ryan*

Ryan *smiling*: Last question. ‘What would you do with a no strings attached second wish?’ That’s a tough one all things considered, I’m a little leery about wishes.
Zavier: Well I know what I’d do. I’d get a phone with teleportation capabilities. I miss teleportation. I miss it so much.
Ryan *rolling eyes*: You need to get over that. Flying is not that bad.
Zavier: It sucks large and it’s so slow.
Ryan: Alright you. Let’s go get you a little cheese to go with that whine.
Zavier: Just so long as it’s not soy cheese. *wandering off toward the kitchen*
Ryan *sighing*
Zavier. *shakes his head*

Thanks Elle for having us today! It’s been a blast.


Climbing the corporate ladder can be hell… DemonofMineAs a collections demon, Zavier grants his “clients” one wish in exchange for their souls. His job sucks, but once you make a deal with Corporate South, they own you. The trouble is, Zavier’s not a very good collections demon, with his tendencies to spurn authority and find loopholes to help deserving clients out of their contracts. He’s under scrutiny from the head of his department, who would quite literally like to see him burn. He just needs to close a simple deal to get upper management off his back. Instead, he meets Ryan. Ryan is desperately searching for a way to save his dying sister. He doesn’t believe in magic and demons, but he’s out of options. Zavier’s not what he expects in a demon, and even more unexpected is the strong sense of familiarity—very intimate familiarity. While trying to free Ryan from his contract, Zavier discovers secrets unscrupulous even by South standards. Exposing them could cost Zavier everything, but it might be Ryan’s only hope. [Amazon || Barnes&Noble || All Romance eBooks]

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Damon Suede. Thanks, Damon.

To know more about Damon Suede, check out damonsuede.com or see what he’s up to on Twitter (@damonsuede) and Facebook. His anticipated upcoming release is the romantic suspense Pent Up, and will be available fall 2015. Damon’s other titles are all available here.

BadIdea


1) Which mystery of the world (Stonehenge, Voynich Manuscript, Amelia Earhart, etc) do you want the explanation for?

Fabulous question! Actually, I love a good impenetrable mystery because solutions tend to leech all the magic and irony out of a paradoxical situation. Subjects like Jack the Ripper, the Pyramid complex at Giza, the Knights Templar, the Man in the Iron Mask… much as I’d like to know the dirt, I’d hate to snuff out the wild, weird suppositions they’ve inspired.

So, my answer probably isn’t very sexy, but it’s the truth: what I’d love to know is the fate of Aristotle’s POETICS II, especially if that explanation could put a copy in my hands. A historical and literary mystery with practical application. LOL

THE POETICS give Aristotle’s thoughts on Tragedy (aka stories with sad endings), which basically established the form of pop culture in the west for a couple thousand years, but we have less than fragments hinting at his discussion of Comedy (stories with happy endings). Scholars have theorized and attempted  to extrapolate, but that one book would have (and could still) change the course of world literature. And made my job easier. 🙂

2) Malta or Gozo?

Gozo, definitely. I have a friend from Sicily that raves about it. BY all accounts, a beautiful place with a crazy history although a bit warmer than I prefer as far as a vacay spot. Maybe I could just doze all day and live nocturnally.

Hell, if it was good enough for Calypso it’s good enough for me.

3) Bread and butter or toast and jam?

Bread and butter. Oddly enough, growing up down south I HATED butter. But while I was living in Europe, My then-bf had a flat in Vienna and used to get the freshest butter. I’d never tasted anything like that. That’s when I realized how nasty most processed US food can be. And the Austrians take their bread seriously.

Once I knew how bread and butter was supposed to taste, I obsessed about it with the zeal of the converted. Jam is great, but usually too sweet. I was one of those weird kids who scraped the icing off my cake. To this day, when I’m in a rural area or anywhere near fresh dairy, real bread and butter is a must.

4) What is your favorite word?

Eek. Tough. No way to narrow it to one. As you well know, I’m kind of a freak about language. How about three?

Slumber. Porphyry. Connotation.

For me the meanings and the sounds of words get tangled up. For those three, I love the meaning and the sound because of the way they reinforce each other.

5) What one object/work from The Met would you take to have as your own?

A Tiffany painting called “On the Way between Old and New Cairo, Citadel Mosque of Mohammed Ali, and Tombs of the Mamelukes.” At the moment, I think it’s on loan to the Brooklyn Museum, but it’s a real stunner…a beautiful, complicated, lush landscape that I’d love to be able to look at every day. I love that period of Gilded Age orientalism, when oils have just about reached the outer limit of realism and fantasy. It’s so big and over the top, I’d have to build an enormous Second Empire room just to hold it. Note to self: buy Gilded Age mansion, stat.

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Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. DamonThough new to romance fiction, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Mary Calmes. Thanks, Mary.

To know more about Mary Calmes, check out her website here or her blog here. Her latest release is Sultry Sunset and is available at Dreamspinner Press.

Forging The Future


1) Best Halloween costume as a kid?

I used to watch Emergency! when I was a kid, (which tells you exactly how old I am), and I wanted to be a fireman so bad and live at Station 51 with the guys that I dressed up like a fireman three years in a row.

2) Sweet or unsweet iced tea?

It depends on the restaurant I’m in. If they serve flavored tea, raspberry, mango, peach, then I would probably get that but as a rule, unsweetened is what I chose 9 times out of 10. It’s funny though, now that I live in the South, I’m spoiled with tea as an option. When I was in Orlando for the DSP workshop back in March, I asked for tea at a restaurant and nope, they had none. That’s crazy. I’m so used to my options being sweet or unsweet that I take it for granted.

3) High peak observation deck or cave tour?

Before visiting Mammoth Cave last summer I would have said observation deck but now I’m definitely a cave tour person. Interestingly enough, Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system in the world and it’s in Kentucky where I live now. It was incredible, we were hundreds of feet underground, with lanterns, and in the fall you can take a boat ride on the underground river. I’m a cave geek now, it’s wild.

4) What is your favorite word?

Splendid. It’s a great word and not used nearly enough.

5) You get to design your dream beach house. Which beach will this house front, and what has to be inside?

My dream beach house would be on the island of Capri on Marina Grande harbor and therefore would be technically more villa than house. I’d need my family, my cats, friends to visit, my computer, all my books, WiFi, NetFlix, wine (red), my Keurig, my electric kettle for tea, and a fabulous interior decorator who would make the whole place look good enough to be in Architectural Digest. Sounds fabulous, I’m ready to go. 🙂


Mary Calmes lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and two children and loves all the seasons except summer. Mary[1]She graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. Due to the fact that it is English lit and not English grammar, do not ask her to point out a clause for you, as it will so not happen. She loves writing, becoming immersed in the process, and falling into her work.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guests are Matt and Evan. Thanks, Matt and Evan.

To know more about Matt and Evan, check out the Faith, Love, & Devotion series by Tere Michaels. Book six–the final book–of the series is now available from Dreamspinner Press.

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1) What’s your favorite time of day?

Matt: Bedtime!
Evan: My quiet time in the car, going to work.
Matt: Liar.

2) If you weren’t able to live in NYC where would you put up with being instead?

Matt: Westchester.
Evan: Maybe New Jersey.
Matt: Now you’re just trying to get a rise out of me.

3) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Evan: Police commissioner.
Matt: Spoiling our grandchildren and shooing boys away from my goddaughters.

4) What word best describes you?

Matt: I get to pick for Evan. I like stalwart.
Evan: That’s unsexy.
Matt: Hot ass stalwart is too many words.
Evan: Matt is incorrigible.

5) How many times do you say “sorry” before it’s too many?

Matt: This problem can be solved by never saying sorry.
Evan: Or by apologizing via other means.
Matt: He means blowjobs.


Reeling from the recent death of his wife, police officer Evan Cerelli looks at his four children and can only see how he fails them. His loving wife was the caretaker and nurturer, and now the single father feels himself being crushed by the pain of loss and the heavy responsibility of raising his kids.faithfidelity
At the urging of his partner, Evan celebrates a coworker’s retirement and meets disgraced former cop turned security consultant Matt Haight. A friendship born out of loneliness and the solace of the bottle turns out to be exactly what they both need.
The past year has been a slow death for Matt Haight. Ostracized from his beloved police force, facing middle age and perpetual loneliness, Matt sees only a black hole where his future should be. When he discovers another lost soul in Evan, some of the pieces he thought he lost start to fall back in place. Their friendship turns into something deeper, but love is the last thing either man expected, and both of them struggle to reconcile their new and overwhelming feelings for one another.
Fast forward a couple of years (and books) – Matt and Evan are continuing to live their lives together, with new careers and career paths, more teenagers than you can shake a stick at and a host of friends who need constant care and feeding.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Hayley Peterson. Thanks, Hayley.

To know more about Hayley Petersen, check out her Instagram (hayleypetersen). Her ongoing triumph is co-running Dreamspinner Press’ and DSP Publications’ well-oiled social media machine, and her efforts can be seen at DSP’s website and Facebook.

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1) If you could own five acres of land anyplace in the world, where would they be?

A private island somewhere in the Pacific with beautiful sandy beaches. That, or part of Disney World.

2) Go out dancing or stay in with board games?

Board games for sure.

3) Candy floss pink or agate brown?

Both!

4) What is your favorite word?

I don’t know if it’s my favorite word, but I do say “geez louise!” A LOT in pretty much any circumstance. Otherwise, my favorite would be oishii which means delicious in Japanese. My Bachan (grandmother) and I always say it over meals together and it was probably the first Japanese word I learned as a child so it holds a lot of memories.

5) Dreams come true in less than ideal settings sometimes–awkward time or awkward place, for example–has this happened to you?

Absolutely! This is actually my favorite story to tell because it makes me so happy. I moved to Manchester, UK from Vancouver, Canada a couple years ago to try my hand at working in theatre production (stage management, sound design, etc.) and was working in a restaurant to pay the bills while working a few theatre gigs. While I had some good times and friends at the restaurant, the environment was less than pleasant at times and not exactly what I wanted to do as a career.  In addition, after working a bit of theatre, I was beginning to realize that I didn’t want to make a career out of it as I thought I had so I was feeling a bit stuck.

One evening I was working my usual dinner shift when Elizabeth North, Ariel Tachna, and all of the lovely DSP badasses walk in for a table after a long day at the UK Fiction Meet. I ended up serving them and we seemed to hit it off. They ended up coming back 2 days later and I was able to serve them again. Things ended up going so well that in the end, Elizabeth offered me a job with DSP. I learned 2 things that night. 1. Dreams come true when you don’t even expect it. For example, this job. And 2. Giving nice customers extra Sticky Toffee Pudding always pays off. 😉


Hayley Petersen is the Social Media Assistant for Dreamspinner Press and Media Coordinator for DSP Publications. She Capturehas been with DSP since 2013 and it’s possibly the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Manchester, UK and has slowly developed a fondness for tea, savoury pies, and Eton Mess.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Amy Lane. Thanks, Amy.

To know more about Amy, see what she’s up to on Twitter (@amymaclane) or join her Facebook group Amy Lane Anonymous. Her latest literary triumph is Immortal, a sort of brutal fairy tale and a sweet heartwarming romance (both at once!), and is available here.

Immortal


Hey all! I’d like to thank Elle for inviting me to Friday Fun Five, and to ask her, “Hey– what’s the deal with making me crave pie. That’s no fair at all!” And here they are– my answers to the Fun Five!

1) If you could yarn-bomb anything at all in the world, what would you knit encase?

The Avengers building.

2) Trail ride: Horses or three-wheelers?

You are far more likely to find me on the back of a magic carpet than a horse or a three-wheeler.

3) Cake or pie (and what kind!)?

Pie. Chocolate and banana cream.  Either or. All is right with the world.

4) What is your favorite word?

Any combination of swearwords is all win for me!

5) You can visit any historic architectural wonder in its prime–where do you go?

The Temple of Artemis– because it was completely destroyed and we need more kickass women models 😉


Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. momcommissionV3She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.