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 Shae Connor. Thanks, Shae.

To know more about Shae Connor, check out her website, shaeconnorwrites.com, or see what she’s up to on Twitter (@shaeconnor). Her latest literary triumph, Nobody’s Son is available here.

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 1) Are you good with needles (knitting, cross-stitch, embroidery that is).

My first thought was hypodermic needles, and the answer there would be a big no, LOL! I used to do a lot of cross-stitch, but I haven’t picked up a needle in years. I sewed some when I was younger, too, but I’ve never picked up a knitting needle.

2) Christmas Music: before Thanksgiving, only after Thanksgiving, or never at all?

My family has a tradition of listening to Christmas music on November 1, so we can hear it at home before we hear it in stores. Other than that, though, I don’t start listening to it on purpose until after Santa appears at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That’s my “official” start of the holiday season!

3) Eggnog or mulled wine?

Eggnog, especially in a latte and/or spiked with Buttershots.

4) What is your favorite word?

Recalcitrant. I just love the way it rolls off the tongue. Eclectic is another favorite. 🙂

5) With a limitless budget to spend the winter holidays in any other country, where will you go and what will you do?

Ireland. I’ve always wanted to go, and being there during the holidays would be extra special. I’d hit the usual tourist spots: Dublin, Waterford, Galway, the Ring of Kerry, Blarney Castle—as many as I can fit in. My family traces back to the southwestern part of the country, so I’d want to spend as much time there as possible.


Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisicalShaeConnor_Pic2 government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can email her at shaeconnorwrites@gmail.com.

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 guest is Skylar M Cates. Thanks, Skylar.

To know more about Skylar M Cates, find her on Facebook and Twitter. Her latest literary triumph is A Guy’s Thanksgiving, available here.

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1) Do you make sure to follow any superstitious practices about anything–just in case?

Just telling my family I love them before we part for the day.

2) Hot mulled cider or cold hard cider?

Hot mulled cider (even though I live in Florida, drinking the hot stuff lets me imagine some cold weather).

3) Tons of fluffy pillows or one flat pillow only?

Fluffy (although my dog might steal them!).

4) What is your favorite word?

This one is too hard for me to select. I used to like decadent and loquacious for their sound. For meaning? Love!

5) If you could live for one day as a famous person from the past, who would you be?

Walt Whitman


Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. skylarSkylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is DeAnna C Zankich. Thanks, DeAnna.

To know more about DeAnna C Zankich, follow her blog or see what she’s up to on Pinterest and Facebook. Her most recent literary triumph is Honey in the Rock, the first in her Arabesque series, available here.

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1) Is there a song you will always rewind to hear again once it’s played?

I’m a child of the ‘70’s and one song that reminds of happy times as a kid is “Follow You Follow Me” by Genesis. It would be worn out on my iPod if it were possible to do that. And lately, I’ve been obsessing over the theme song for the Starz series ‘Outlander’. The composer, Bear McCreary, rearranged a Celtic folk song into something purely magical. It evokes not only Scotland (which has always called my soul and person), but also the deep wanderlust at the core of all explorers. I play that song to death.

2) Live for a year in the Elizabethan Age or the Gilded Age?

Definitely Elizabethan. The history of the time was exhilarating and I just know I would rock those dresses.

3) Soup or sandwich?

Soup that eats like a sandwich.

4) What is your favorite word?

Detritus. Come on, it’s a great word.

5) Which Greek God fascinates you the most?

Demeter. I’ve played with her traditional description as the goddess of the harvest in my book series. Where the original intent of her worship was about agriculture, I tweak that meaning into referencing the harvest of one’s personal growth.  There’s a secret sexual society in my story who are on a mutual path of self-discovery; they use Demeter as their emblem.


DeAnna wrote her first story when she was nine about an evil stray cat who liked to shred laundry.deanna zankich From there, she experimented with acting, singing, journalism and modern dance, but always came back to her first passion–writing. She’s written three novels but the first one will likely be the last published. She’s a TV nerd and a reluctant, fidgety reader, but once a book hooks her, she plows through ravenously. Her literary heroes are Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McInerney, Tartt and King — she loves ghost stories but fears the dark. DeAnna is a long time resident of West Hollywood, California who really wishes she had freckles. She has a BA in Creative Writing/Novel from CSU Long Beach, and studied writing at Cambridge University in the UK. That’s probably where she became such an incurable Anglophile. Arabesque and its cast chose her as their storyteller almost fifteen years ago and the project has been a labor of love ever since.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Jacob Flores. Thanks, Jacob.

To know more about Jacob Flores, you can follow his musings on his blog, at his website dedicated to the Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge or become a part of his social media network by visiting Facebook and Twitter. Also find him on PinterestGoodreads, and connect via GooglePlus.

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1) Is there a movie you always have to watch if you flip past it on TV?

OMG. I have so many movies I do this for. Alien, Shawshank Redemption, The Color Purple, and Gone With the Wind are just some of my must-watch movies. Whenever they’re on, I stop whatever it was I was doing to watch. Alien remains my all-time favorite though. It still gives me goosebumps when Ripley realizes she’s the only one left alive on the ship. Of course now that I’ve talked about it, I’m gonna have to go watch it.

2) On a road trip, do you stop and see all the sights or is it pedal to the metal?

It’s pedal to the metal for me. I don’t like stopping at all. The problem is I am in love with a man with a bladder the size of a peanut. He has to stop every thirty minutes it seems. Our drive from San Antonio to San Diego took forever, but I wouldn’t want to make that drive with everyone else. He’s so lucky I love him and his small bladder.

3) Band camp or space camp?

Space camp! I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to go to space camp when I was a kid. Do they even still offer it? If they did, I’d sign up. Going into space has always been a dream of mine.

4) What is your favorite word?

Turgid. Hahaha! Sorry. I just had to go there, partially because I know so many in our community hate that word, none more than Lynn West, our wonderful Editor-In-Chief at Dreamspinner. I’ve teased her that I’m going to write a novel titled A Turgid Man is Good to Find.

Seriously though, it’s hard for me to choose one word, but if I had to choose one it would be munchkin because that’s what I call my daughter. She’s the most important person in my life, so any word associated with her is my absolute favorite.

5) Do you have any hidden talent that’s come to the rescue in unexpected ways?

Well, yes. I won’t go into too much detail, but I’ll tell you this: I can do some pretty amazing tricks with my tongue that have served me well over the years.


Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. Tharp-Flores--(1179)__06_12_13At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world. Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his daughter. They both represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.

Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Clare London. Thanks, Clare.

To know more about Clare London, check out clarelondon.com or see what she’s up to on Twitter and Facebook. Among her literary triumphs is Dancing Days, available here.

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1) Are there any commercial jingles from your childhood you still sing?

For mash, get Smash. It’s that bit in the advert where the little aliens say “then they smash them all to bits!” Cracks me up every time. Will anyone know what I’m talking about? LOL

2) Sun worshiper or shade seeker?

Shade seeker. I’ve never managed to build a sexy tan! I just burn within seconds like a French fry, go scarlet and painful, then fade to less white.

3) Penguins or Golden Crunch Creams?

I thought you meant the birds Penguin for a moment LOL.Golden Crunch creams, definitely. The combination of crunch and soft filling… yum.
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4) What is your favorite word?

Indefatigable.

5) If you had a wand that could only cast one spell, what would it be?

I’d love to ask for world peace or tolerance across all of humankind, I’m just not sure how it’d roll out logistically, human nature being what it is. Does that sound defeatist?! Let’s go for it, regardless! Or I may just have a shamefully selfish day, and ask for a Lottery win LOL.


Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant. clarelondonheadshotShe’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing, while friends say she’s just fickle. But as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters. Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home.

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 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.

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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! Please enjoy this Best of Friday Fun Five post featuring B.G. Thomas, Mary Calmes, Lyla Bellatas, Heather K, and lyric apted. Thanks, everyone!

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1) B.G., are there any words you always misspell when you’re writing?

“Mispell” (misspell). No seriously. And “experiance” (experience). I don’t know what the problem is with the word but I can’t get it.  And I type “jsut” (just) almost every single time! Arrrrgnhhhhh!

2) Mary: 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) Lyla: Hostess or Drake’s Cakes?

Drakes except I haven’t had one since I was in elementary school. I used to love Ring Dings and those CoffeeCakes. Unwrapping a Ring Ding was such a sensual act. All that chocolatey goodness in a compact tin foil wrapped package that was surprisingly weighty. Yum.

4) What is your favorite word, Heather?

That’s a tough one. I have the mouth of a church lady (a Jewish church lady??), so I never curse. I just feels wrong to me! My favorite word would probably be… love? I like “love.”

5) lyric, you have developed the ability to talk to animals but only one species. Which?

I want to say something horribly interesting, but in fact I’d have to say house cats. I live alone with my beloved Isabella and it would be nice if we could have an actual conversation. Though I fear it would consist a lot of her asking why I wasn’t feeding her Right Now and me apologizing.


friday fun five teaFriday Fun Five is a weekly feature hosted by Elle Brownlee where she poses a different batch of five fun questions to various people in the writing world.