A Dear Friend and Honorary Unicorn Pal - Thanks to Lorraine!

We have met so many amazing authors in this past year. So. Many.

We have read so many great books in this past year. So. Many.

We have had so many ridiculous chats in this past year. So. Many. Too many? NAH!

Plus, we have met some fellow readers who follow the blog who we are proud to call our friends. We know we aren't a blog of mega proportions, we aren't game changers. We are just a bunch of like minded goofballs who want to talk books with fellow like minded goofballs. Badass goofballs, but goofballs nonetheless. We asked one of our most loyal friends and now Honorary Unicorn to share some thoughts about BMBR, so without further babbling on my part, I'm going to pass the mike to our very awesome pal Lorraine . . . .


It's only been 1 year? Well they certainly say time flies when you are enjoying yourself and this stable of thoroughbreds certainly proves the point. They have succeeded in making me "dirt poor" in one year! Why? I hear you asking, well the answer is really simple - their amazing ability to forage through the fodder and bring the most delectable delights to the table.

 This year, through the blog, I have found some truly talented authors and amazing books that I would never have found on my own. The list goes on and on, but the books/authors that immediately spring to mind, are delights such as "Assimilation, Love and Other Human Oddities" (Lyn Gala), "Punch Drunk Love" (Nico Jaye), "Game On" (Olley White), "Eat, Knot, Love" (Pandabomb), "Ten in the Bin" and "Sixty Five Hours" (N. R. Walker) and don't even mention my TBR list - I said don't mention it (I'll just say that it is extensive and leave it at that).

One of the strong selling points of the blog (unlike so many others) is that they tell you straight - the good, the bad and the ugly. They don't cowtail to authors or peer pressure, they tell it as it is, which is just so refreshing and the reason I keep going back again and again. I salute the blog and wish them many happy returns.


THANKS LORRAINE!!! We truly appreciate you appreciating us and always look forward to your comments. We are honored to call you friend.

So, the plan was for our artiste in residence to craft your unicorn persona, technical difficulties beyond her control forced us to change our plan (her super fancy doodle thingy broke). But, I did find this awfully cute little sweetie who fits your unicorn self so well. Lorraine, your unicorn self is:

ETA: Apparently I'm a lying liar who lies, Natasha was able to fashion a unicorn for Lorraine using her mouse :D. She claims it to be the crappiest thing ever, but we love all her art and who doesn't want an original Natasha Snow unicorn in whatever medium it is created in . . . .SO . . . .


TULIP DARLING FOAL!
Tulip is a little bossy boots. She is a darling horse, spotted like a Dalmation, and she protects children from bad dreams.



Look at you! You're adorable!
Thanks again Lorraine, you're the best! Kick your hooves up and enjoy a clubhouse cocktail on us! You are among friends, goofball friends, but friends through thick and thin.

Anniversary Celebrations: Author Visit and Give-Away: Anyta Sunday


I'm fangirling hard today (Lorix) because one of my favourite ever authors is in the clubhouse. Our July AOTM, Anyta Sunday, has stopped by. And with her she brings exciting things...I squeed when I read it! I'm just going to sit in the corner and fangirl away quietly while Anyta takes over...

Dear Boy Meets Boy Reviews,

You ROCK!

Congrats on a successful year, and all the best for the years to come. Thank you for inviting me back to share in the celebrations.

I have five free electronic copies of rock to give away to readers of this lovely blog. Additionally, I penned a little scene from Jace’s point-of-view. His side of the story is begging to be unleashed . . . below is a snippet.

Hugs,
Tulip Sparkle Head
(Anyta Sunday)

You rock too!!! *wiggles excitedly for the next bit*

Jace


Thick green moss clings to a gnarled tree. I lean against the trunk and slide until my ass hits its roots and silver ferns swipe over my knees. Cool and damp, and hidden from the rest of my family.
I fumble between the grooves of tree roots, fingers skating over bark and dirt. A stone. Need a stone.
Need a reason to stop hiding.
A reason to man-up and apologize.
Shit.
I knock my head back against the trunk. Dickweed was apt.
A gray pebble peeks out under my shoe. I kick it closer and whip it into the stream as if it the splash will erase the memory of Cooper frowning and spinning away.
Rocks aren’t stupid. I didn’t mean it. Just that . . .
I toss another pebble.
Didn’t help.
“Shit.” The word fogs the air and stretches toward the moss-carpeted soil, toward the babbling creek, toward Annie and Cooper searching the brush for dry kindle.
Distant laughter curls through sparse wood: Mum and Dad. I imagine them at the bonfire pit, Dad on his knees cursing as he tries to light a fire.
My fingers comb over a hard stone. I lift it. The brown is deep, surface rough, but spherical is interesting, right?
I close my hand around it as footsteps approach my side. Annie emerges from behind a sprawling branch, cradling an armful of kindling. Her loose hair snags on one of the twigs.
She spots me and startles, almost dropping her load. “Jace!”
“Annie.”
Her surprise clouds into a glare.
“Yeah-yeah,” I say. “I’ll apologize.” I open my hand and show her the rock. “See? Not stupid.”
“Why’d you say it then?” Annie asks.
Because those damn rocks are haunting my sleep. Gray, brown, blue . . . green. Green flecked with hazel, one slightly brighter than the other . . . “’Cause I’m a dickweed.”
Annie peers at the stone, draws nearer, and inspects it. The edges of her lips twitch—am I forgiven? “Tell him it’s from the bottom of your heart.”
The soft crumple and pop of moss, and Cooper rounds Annie, hugging even more twigs. His gaze narrows on me—a scowl mirrored with a tight shot of something curling in my stomach. Twig ends poke his chin as he speaks. “From the bottom of his heart?”
Annie laughs and pushes between us. Foliage sways as she cuts a path toward the camping ground.
Cooper watches me. Dusk tunnels through the canopy of leaves above us; pockets of warmth highlight the copper strands in his blond hair and the side of his firmly set lips.
My throat is tight, and I choke on a cough.
Flailing for words, I hold out my hand toward him and the stone rolls on my palm.
He glances toward it, then back at me.
“Sorry, Coop.”
He opens his mouth to say something and closes it again. His gaze darts once more to the stone. A grin lights his face and suddenly all those pockets of burnt amber light are pooling in my stomach.
A relieved breath lightens me.
The moss around us catches and softens his snort. “I accept your apology,” he says, and with a pointed look at the stone, “but you can keep the turd.”
“Turd?” I frown. Roll the brown stone—“Shit!” I fling it into a silver fern.
Cooper backs away, hooting. “Exactly.”
I scramble to my feet, wiping my palm against the mossy trunk. “Think that’s funny? Wait till I get my hands on you, see you laugh then!”
I lunge at him and Cooper snickers again, stumbling backwards, dropping his twigs.
He dodges my outstretched hands and hesitates, glancing from my hands to the twigs between us.
With a grin, I leap. Cooper falls back into a bed of moss and rolls with the downward slope toward the creek. I pounce again and he shrieks, his chest contorting with hiccupping chuckles.
My foot catches on a protruding root and this time my hands plummeting toward him is no joke. Angling my fall, palms skid either side of his head but my chest thumps against his.
Bouts wrack through his body and echo in mine, urging me to laugh harder, harder, harder. “Shit, I’m sorry.”
“Did . . . both those,” he says in snatches against my neck.
Our bodies shift as I lift my weight. I pause, looking at Cooper with his eyes squished shut, cheeks flushed, lips curled.
He opens his eyes and blinks. He cocks his head, laughter subsiding, and my heart bangs against my chest as his gaze roots deeply—
I scramble away. Away from what started this whole thing.

Away from his green eyes flecked with hazel, one slightly brighter than the other . . .

Wow, wow, wow...Thank you so much Anyta Sunday!



Igneous.

When Cooper’s parents divorce, he finds himself landed in Week About—one week with his mum and one week with his dad.
Only, it’s not just his dad he has to live with. There’s Lila, too: The other woman, the one who stole the rock-solid foundation of his life. 
And then ...
There’s Jace. Lila’s son. Lila’s smug, regurgitated-fish-scale-blue eyed son. 
All Cooper wants is to have his family back the way it once was, but there’s something about this boy that promises things will never be the same again. 

Sedimentary.
Resisting the realities of his new life, Cooper and Jace get off to a rocky start. But rocky start or not, after hundreds of shared memories together, they forge something new. A close ... friendship.
Because friendship is all they can have. Although it’s not like they arereal brothers...

Metamorphic.
But how does that friendship evolve under the pressures of life?


As Anyta mentioned, she is offering up some copies of Rock (IMO, one of the very best books out this year). In Rock, Cooper collects rocks, they are a very important part of his life. So, what we're asking you today is, what hobbies do you have? Five - yes FIVE - winners will be chosen at random one week from today. The competition closes at midday GMT on Saturday December 6th. 

To enter please leave a comment on this blog post telling us about your hobbies and let us know your name and a means of contacting you (e.g., email, Twitter handle, link to Goodreads account, etc.) 


A winner will be contacted no later than December 10th, whom we will have selected using a highly scientific "names in a hat" method (or, you know, an internet randomiser).


Good luck!!

To find out more about Anyta Sunday, visit her Goodreads page.

Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit: Ashley John



Today we are welcoming to the blog, author Ashley John. Ashley is the writer of the Surf Bay series (among others) and is so incredibly busy we are delighted he managed to stop by for a visit! We welcomed him into our bar, gave him a caffeine free cocktail and set about interrogating, er, questioning him. Here is what he had to say... 


What are your favourite M/M themes?
I'd have to say relationships and love. I know the majority of M/M books revolve around these themes, but it's something I've found myself writing about a lot. I always find myself writing about love that doesn't come easy, because I don't see love as being easy. Relationships take a lot of work to get to a good place, and sometimes, the path isn't always so clear to get there. This is a theme that I've explored in all of my book so far, because that's what comes naturally to me. I often get asked why the characters don't get together half way through the book so they can be happy for 150 pages without any conflict, but would that be any fun to read? In my Surf Bay series, 'tough love' is a theme I've explored a lot. Charlie and Oliver in the first book (Lost & Found), didn't have an easy start to their relationship because Charlie was confused about his sexuality and that led to the conflict between the characters. In the second book (Full Circle), Porter and Kane have already been in love once when they were teenagers, but as 35 year old adults, their lives are very complicated and they need to work through a lot to get to a good place. In the future, I'm planning on writing some lighter stories with a comedy angle, but for now, I'll stick with the 'rocky road', but maybe that's because I like putting my readers through the mill


What books do you consider Desert Island Keepers?

A survival book? Is that a cop out? In all honesty, I'd probably say the Harry Potter series, because reading them stirs a lot of nostalgia for me. I read the first book when I was 8 and the final book when I was 15, so I can tell you exactly where and what I was doing in my life when I read each book. Plus, they're so damn long, it would keep me occupied as I starved to death. In all seriousness, I'd be terrible on a desert island.


What's your go-to tasty beverage?

I'd like to say coffee, but I recently quit because it was messing up my skin. I was becoming so dependent on it to write, so I decided to go cold turkey to get away from the delicious stuff (3 weeks clean, *wipes away tear*). Now, I like to drink green tea and water (how dull, right?). Of course, if I'm in a bar, I'm partial to cider or a nice dry white wine. One of the tastiest drinks I've ever encountered is a cider that tastes like Toffee Apples, made by Brothers. It's perfect for this time of year, because it's like drinking pure syrup!


Do you have any secret talents? Inquiring minds want to know!
I can get my leg behind my head (cheeky wink). I also draw and paint when I get the chance. I've been an artist since I was a young child, but I'm always switching up my medium. This time last year I was painting and drawing everyday, but now I'm pouring my creativity into writing. People who are eagle-eyed may have noticed some of my portraits and painting tucked away on my Facebook page fb.com/ashleyjohnart. I can also lick my nose (a not so cheeky wink).

If you had to choose to be one magical beast, what would it be and why? (You don't have to say unicorn...but we won't say neigh either). 
I'd probably be something with wings. Maybe Pegasus? I can be quite a lazy person and I imagine it doesn't take as much effort to flap my way to the fridge.

Who's your favourite porn star?
I don't even need to think about this one. Colby Keller! He might not be the most conventionally good looking man, but there's a rawness and passion to him that is irresistible. He sends this little gay boy weak at the knees.

Do you have author envy? Whose words do you read and think, "GAH, I wish I wrote that!"?
This is probably going to be a lame answer, but I honestly don't. Whenever I read, I put my reader head on and I get lost in the story. I've developed tunnel vision when I'm working on a book, because If I don't focus on what I'm doing and I start focusing on what everyone else is doing, I'd get very lost very quickly. There are a lot of amazing writers out there, especially in the M/M genre, so it would be so easy for me to be consumed with jealousy, but I'd never get anything done. Some authors that I've read recently have been Amy Lane (I love how funny her characters are), Ella Frank (I love the chemistry she creates) and Catherine Bybee (because her books are so sweet and light).

Any new projects you're currently working on?
Lots! I'm currently working on my first M/F romance story (Unlikely Love), which is available for pre-order now. I'm slightly nervous about it, because it's my first venture outside of M/M, so I have no idea what I'm doing there! I'm also working on the third Surf Bay book, Saving Michael, which is coming out just before Christmas and is also available for pre-order. Michael is a character that divided readers in Full Circle, so I'm looking forward for the chance to explain a few things about him and his life. So far, we've only seen the drunken rage, not the person beneath it all. 2015 is going to be a good year for me. I already have a lot planned in the first quarter, so I'm going to be insanely busy! I won't give too much away yet (because I'm very likely to change my mind), but I think I'm going to rest the Surf Bay books for a few releases to focus on some complete standalone M/M books. I've had a M/M romantic comedy planned for a while which I want to write, and I have some other ideas floating around that I'm toying with. Looking at the bigger picture, there are going to be AT LEAST 6 Surf Bay books, with a possibility for more, so that's very exciting (and terrifying). I'm going to be a very busy boy!

Harry Potter and Colby Keller (um, that's not a suggestion btw) this author gets our vote!! Thank you so much for popping by Ashley, we look forward to reading Michael's story (Lorix is VERY anxious, she's pretty sure there is a sad messed up person under the bully he'd become!!) 

To find out more about Ashley, visit his goodreads page.

Author Visit & Giveaway with Lisa Freaking Henry!

THE LISA FREAKING HENRY! 

Who wrote Dark Space and Mark Cooper and Bliss and Tribute and… LISA HENRY!!!!!!

She graciously agreed to our silliness and in honor of her latest, Brandon Mills versus the V-Card… (which she's giving away BTW)




What are your favorite M/M themes?

I am a sucker for hurt/comfort. Also, Gay For You, even though I’m not a fan of the name. I prefer to call them Out For You. And anything with a first time in it is usually a winner for me. Basically, if I can find an M/M book where the MC is a virgin who identifies as straight, then gets hurt, falls for his male rescuer and realises he wants sexy times with him, I’ve won the lottery. 

Oh, and if at some point that MC can also be a rentboy…awesome! 

What books do you consider Desert Island Keepers?

Okay, well I’m going to list some of the books that I lugged paperback copies of to GRL to get signed by the author, because I think risking excess baggage fees like I did shows real dedication to these books: 

Aaron, by JP Barnaby. I have only read this book once because it made me cry. One day I’ll work up the courage to read it again. 
Under the Rushes, by Amy Lane. It’s steampunky goodness! And it’s Amy Lane! Those are two of my favourite things. 
Release, by A.M. Sexton. I love this book so much! Like ridiculously a lot, because it doesn’t end the way you think it’s going to. So good!  
Calling the Show, by J.A. Rock. Okay, so I didn’t lug this one all the way to Chicago. I stole a copy from J.A. while we were sharing a room at GRL and made her sign it for me under threats of violence.  

What's your go-to tasty beverage?

Since it’s getting into summer here, how about the nicest drink in the world? I don’t think it has a name. It’s kind of like punch, but for incredibly lazy people. You’re welcome. 

You take one bottle of Midori, one bottle of vodka, one bottle of lemonade, and one bottle of pineapple juice. Mix and drink cold. It is so, so nice! 

Do you have any secret talents? Inquiring minds want to know.

When I’m drunk, I can play pool like a god. Or at least I think I can. I also speak fluent sarcasm. Also, when I was in San Francisco recently, my friend Kate taught me how to make paper cranes. I’ve already forgotten how, but I’d like to count it as a secret talent that I had for at least an hour one night. 

A secret talent I always wished I had was the ability to draw and paint. And then I figured that it was okay if I didn’t have those talents, because I can write, and it would be unfair to be greedy about it. And then I saw some of J.A. Rock’s paintings, and I immediately hated her because they’re so good. J.A. knows how much I hate her. I tell her at least a few times a day. It’s an important part of our relationship. 

If you had to choose to be one magical beast, what would it be and why? (you don't have to say unicorn...but we won't say neigh either)

As much as I love unicorns (who doesn’t?) I’m going to have to go with the griffin: the creature with the head and forelegs of an eagle, and the backend of a lion. I like them because they’re quite scary when you think about it, but also incredibly majestic. The kind of mythological creature you know could rip you apart in a heartbeat if you saw it, but hopefully won’t. I’m not sure what it says about me that I would chose to be something so terrifying and murderous. At least, I don’t want to explore it in depth. Next question! 

Who's your favorite porn star?

Is this the sort of place where if I don’t say Colby Keller I’ll get in trouble? Yeah…he’s nice and all but I’m going to go for Jake Bass. Because of his cheeky, cheeky smile. And a lot of other filthier reasons. 

Do you have author envy? Whose words do you read and think, "GAH, I wish I wrote that!"?

I get this all the time. Usually whenever I read something by Alexis Hall. Hello, Glitterland. I actually stopped reading Glitterland for about two months when I got to the last few chapters because I didn’t want it to be over. But the one story that gave me the most amount of author envy in the last year (and I’m counting it as this last year since it was rereleased) was When You Were Pixels by Julio Alexi Genao. I love this so, so much and can’t wait for more stories set in this world. The writing blew me away. Just incredible. 

Any new projects you're currently working on?

At the moment I’m still slogging away at the sequel to Dark Space, and J.A. Rock and I are writing the third book in our Prescott College Series. It’s tentatively titles Liam McDermott versus Authority. We’re also working on another book in the Boy series, and it’s so exciting to catch up with Derek and Lane after so long and see what they’re up to. Hint: kinky stuff. They’re up to kinky stuff. They are always up to kinky stuff. 

I’m also writing a short companion piece to Bliss, with Heidi Belleau. 

Oh, and did you guys read the fantastically creepy Kraken by M. Caspian? I’m also working on a project with her, and it’s shaping up really nicely!  




I don't know about you guys but I just imploded. No worries. I'll be back to normal soonish.

Ms. Henry is giving away an ebook of her latest to one lucky commenter. Leave your email address with your comment. The winner will be picked at random December 5th.


Brandon Mills cover and blurb :

Smart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, and his brothers at Phi Sigma Kappa, he’s slowly coming out of his shell. But when he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him.

Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched.

When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, their mutual attraction grows. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition--and their relationship--heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.


I'd like to thank Lisa for helping us to celebrate our first anniversary in a way I think only (possibly) she could truly appreciate… 

You're the bestest!

Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit: Lyn Gala


Today BMBR is pleased to invite Lyn Gala back into the clubhouse. Another firm favourite,  Claimings, Tails and Other Artifacts divided the clubhouse when we picked it as our March book of the month, and as all good books do, inspired discussion between us. Not every book is to be loved by everybody - but you know you're doing something right if readers are passionate about citing their views. Thank you for joining us Lyn, now over to you and the questions...

Happy birthday to everyone at the website, and thanks for inviting me to be part of your celebration.  With so many long-time review sites closing their doors, it’s wonderful to see new sites find support and acceptance.  So, since you guys had some questions, I have some answers.


What are your favorite M/M themes?
I know a lot of authors have favorite themes in books, but I like a wide range, both in M/M and in mainstream literature. I am the strange person that will read Shakespeare (and mentally make new romance stories for Sebastian and Antonio from Twelfth Night) and then go to Lisa Henry’s Dark Space.  I will go from Dusk Peterson’s Main Street Leather, which is BDSM in small town America to Brad Vance’s more stylized “reluctant submission” stories.  I like it all.  I like M/M that has almost no sex, like A.M. Riley’s Son of a Gun to Joey’s Hill much more sexual books (M/M and F/M).
I guess that’s a long winded way of saying that I’m a reading whore, willing to sell myself to the nearest good story. I think that’s one of the reasons why I write in so many different genres.


Any new projects you're currently working on?
I always have more ideas than I have time to write.  Most of my writing is done in summer, which is why you see my releases come out in waves. Right now I have two projects coming up. Dreamspinner has their new DSPP press that focuses on gay genre stories.  I’ve rewritten my science fiction Desert World Books (which needed tightening up) and added a third. Shan and Temar are softer characters.  Shan starts the series as a priest, and Temar is a nineteen year old na├»ve kid.  In the course of the first two books, they both grow up and grow closer.  Book three is going to focus on two much harder characters who have suffered more.
Loose Id has one more manuscript that is coming out.  Right now it’s called Clockwork Pirate.  Beche is a pirate, a lover of technology, and an escaped slave who had been forced to work on a Caribbean plantation after slavery was technically outlawed (but no one paid attention to the law). He has a grudge against the upper classes and goes out of his way to capture one and ends up with Margrave Alex, a second son who never expected to inherit anything.  Because Alex is homosexual and the younger son, he wasn’t trained to handle the business of a failing noble family. Add in lots of clockwork technology, not one but two engineering geeks, Beche’s “found” family in the form of his two brothers in arms, Alex’s birth family in the form of two sisters who don’t fit the Victorian mold, and finish up with Beche’s traditional African beliefs about gender where whether one is a man or woman doesn’t depend on genitals, and it’s a mixed up epic of over 100K words.  I might even blow up a few things.  What’s the point of having engineering geeks if you can’t blow stuff up?


What books do you consider Desert Island Keepers?
Oh, I have too many to count.  I could never limit myself, so I either have to take a whole library or avoid getting stuck on any desert islands.  My only limitation is that I really don’t enjoy the Russians.  I mean, I can appreciate Dostoevsky, but I sure don’t enjoy him.  Anything else I can enjoy, even if I’m enjoying having a MST3K moment making fun of it.


What's your go-to tasty beverage?
Hot chocolate with cayenne pepper… hands down! In New Mexico, we like everything hot.


If you had to choose to be one magical beast, what would it be and why?
Unicorns are pretty awesome, but honestly, I’ve always felt myself drawn toward the fox.  I love the Teumessian Fox and the kitsune shows up in a number of my fanfic stories, with one original character in my NCIS/Atlantis crossover choosing the name for herself.  I would have used Plathubis, but as much as I love the story of the storm fox that teaches hunters to have some respect for their prey, that’s just a horrible name.  Really horrible.


Do you have any secret talents? Inquiring minds want to know.
I’m pretty handy around the house.  Shoe molding, stucco repairs, painting… I’ve got that shit down. 


Who's your favourite porn star?
Here is where I hang my head in shame.  I don’t watch any.  Sorry.  Whether it’s two guys or a guy and a girl, watching porn is very low on my list of things I ever want to do, and f/f porn is generally written in a way to appeal to men… not women.  It just doesn’t rock my boat.


Do you have author envy? Whose words do you read and think, "GAH, I wish I wrote that!"?
I admire a lot of writers, but I can’t say that I ever wish I had written any of the books I love.  I have so many of my own ideas rolling around in my head that I don’t have room for anyone else’s.

Thank you Lyn so much for coming back to visit us. I'm definitely going to have to try hot chocolate and cayenne pepper!

To find out more about Lyn Gala, visit her Goodreads page.

A Special Thanks to Boys in our Books, a review of Another Place in Time and a Giveaway!

During our anniversary celebration Boy Meets Boy Reviews would like to give a HUGE shout-out to Susan and the gang at Boys in our Books. When we were in the planning stages still trying to get BMBR up and going, Susan graciously shared info they'd gathered, connections they'd made and valuable lessons they'd learned when starting their blog. The information she shared with us saved us a tremendous amount of research time and the insight was invaluable.

As a thank you and an acknowledgment of Susan's kindness and generosity we are giving away a copy of the BioB sponsored anthology, Another Place in Time. All proceeds of this anthology go to AllOut.org, an amazing nonprofit Fighting for equality for the LGBT community worldwide. If you haven't already, check out this amazing anthology (we did, see Ann's & Lorix's reviews below) and leave your info in the comments for a chance to win a copy. If you can't wait, and we don't blame you, and buy your copy now or if you've already purchased this amazing book, register anyway. If you're name is chosen give us the name and email address of a friend and we'll send it to them as a gift from you!


Welcome to another place in time...where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.

This collection of short stories was birthed because a sworn "I don't like historicals" reader fell in love with what have become some of her favorite books by most of her favorite writers. Surprisingly, they were all historicals. Determined to make others feel the love, these authors were asked to contribute small tastes of how amazing historical storytelling can be.

Included in this anthology:
"Office Romance" by Tamara Allen
"Introducing Mr. Winterbourne" by Joanna Chambers
"The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh" by KJ Charles
"Unfair in Love and War" by Kaje Harper
"Carousel" by Jordan L. Hawk
"Deliverance" by Aleksandr Voinov

Along with a foreword written by Alex Beecroft, enjoy these original short stories that make up "Another Place in Time".

All proceeds from the purchase of this anthology will be donated to AllOut.org in celebration of LGBT History Month, October 2014.

Ann

This is just yet another reason why we love our Stallion. While herding the cats that is us, trying to plan pretty much anything (apologies to our Calendar Queen and Organizer Extraordinaire Sunshine), Justin reminded us that we had other people to thank and being that it is the month of Thanksgiving and our anniversary, what better time than now! I absolutely loved every story in the anthology. I'm an unapologetic slut for all things historical, so I launched on it to review. Thanks again to Boys in our Books, this is amazing and y'all done good!

Office Romance by Tamara Allen

Sweet, subtle and simple. I loved the language, this is a perfect example of why I love reading historical stories. The language had me visualizing the setting, the characters and the mood so well. Casey had me completely charmed with his brave face and sunny attitude in the face of all he was dealing with. Of course, you don’t know any of that when the story begins, you have an inkling that more is there, but that comes later. These two have lived through the horror of war and now are asked to metaphorically battle it out in the office. Their story is beautifully constructed and I could feel the tension they were dealing with in the face of office cutbacks. They’ve both had enough of fighting and I loved how their attitudes evolved when they got to know one another. Foster is deeper in self-preservation mode, so it took him a little longer, but Casey was a perfect balance for him. It ended on a positive and realistic note for the time and I couldn’t have been happier for Casey and Foster.

Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers

Fencing and fawn colored breeches FTW! I love the setup for the HEA on this one. Love it! Adam is so very stoic and strong while Lysander is so much more than his pretty package. Adam is surprised at the unexpected humility and heart of Lysander and it was so sweet reading their courting. Which it totally was. Of course it wasn’t to either of them at the time, but once you get to the end and think back on all the little “moments” of their day, you can see it plain as the bulge in a pair of breeches. The “moments” are what made this story for me. The little sweet and innocent things, like when they get swoony from using their “given names” and the dance lesson. Oh, the dance lesson! They were only together one day, but it was insta lust/love done right.

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles

“On the morning of his destruction, Lord Gabriel Ashleigh woke up with Satan’s own head.”
I fell in love with the first sentence and the love affair continued throughout the story. Lord Gabriel’s life is in ruin because he’s a spoiled pretty boy with no thought beyond the next party. He’s given one chance of redemption by a not-so-friendly adversary. Yes please! This one really did the “is he?” or “isn’t he?” thing well. I love that tension before one of them finally says SOMETHING and puts all their cards on the table, in this case, literally. There was a decent amount of backstory that explained Webster’s attitude well and Ash’s overall cluelessness. Without it, Webster wouldn’t have been a particularly likable character, but with it, I could sympathize and connect with him. I wanted him to win this. It also ratcheted the sexual intensity up a few zillion notches. Supremely sexy and really quite sweet in the end.

Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper

This one was both painful and beautiful to read. It read true, it read hopeful and hopeless in the turn of a page. This is the longest offering in the anthology and I’m so glad. These two characters had a lot of story to tell and to have any less for them would have been wrong. Both Warren and Stefan have lived a lot of pain before they meet. Warren is a pretty open book and I really respected his strength and attitude. Stefan is treated with both caution and callousness at the hands of the townspeople. He’s Swiss, but his accent is thick and Germanic plus he looks the epitome of the blonde and blue eyed ideal of the German army. During war time this is a dangerous description and Stefan is a man sage beyond his years. He deals with the harassment with a stoic patience that belies his loneliness.

The anger and frustration Warren felt on Stefan’s behalf was noble and his protectiveness was quite sweet. Stefan has a trunk load of secrets and as the two become closer and move from being convenient to one another in the stress release department to something more, it’s obvious something has to give and Stefan’s story has to be told. And good gravy, what a story. It really gave the war a face. The effect on the young soldiers, regardless of what side they fought on is heartbreaking no matter what role they played in battle and this story captured that perfectly. Thank God for the epilogue, it was a complete necessity to finish Warren and Stefan’s story. This is one that will stick with me. Perfectly done and highly recommended.

Carousel by Jordan L. Hawk

Loved it! Loved it, loved it, loved it! I was so excited to start this. I’m such a huge fan of this series and every little nugget I can get about Whyborn and Griffin I am on like Christine on a mummy. This was soooooo creepy and Jordan Hawk writes creepy soooooo well! She can take a sweet and innocent childhood memory and in a brief sentence horrify the hell out of you with it. The absolutely charming repartee between Whyborn and Griffin is perfectly swoony and balances the story just right. Given that most of the time, their tales are told from Whyborn’s perspective, reading from Griffin’s view reminds why he will always be at the top of my list of book boyfriends.

Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov

Knights and chivalry and honor and sin, what a great setup. I loved this story, it was a frustrating struggle that I can only hope will end as well as Guy demands it to. William is a hot mess of confusion and given the time period and where he’s committed his allegiance it’s no wonder. Fate drops his former lover Guy into his world and everything William thought he had pushed beneath his holy robes comes rearing back to life. His story was told so well I could feel his torment and I really need more of their story. It ends on a very cautious, but realistic HFN. Anything else would not have read true and I have to respect that the author ended it there. There is a lot more story there to tell and I would love to read it.

Lorix
What a beautiful anthology. My, what a beautiful anthology. Huge kudos to Susan for organising this and to the authors, and everyone else who had a part in making it happen. I have to say I ADORED this book. I loved the fact that all the stories were set in different era's - it wasn't all the era of the Ton, England with Lords and ...well Lords I guess dancing and making merry. 

When I read the foreword by Alex Beecroft I was so excited, she was talking about an area I'm very familiar with and, related or not, it made me want to read it even more. And none of the stories disappointed. 

I'd be hard pushed to choose a favourite - in fact, I don't think I can. I didn't read the Jordan Hawk one, simply because, though I've read book 1, I've still to read the rest of these books and didn't want to spoil them! 


The others though - well they were all amazing. From different times and different countries they all have in common love against the odds. Truly wonderful love stories that break and mend the heart in a few short pages. Such a treat to have such a wonderful bunch of authors in one anthology. Thank you everyone for producing this. xx


For more info on Another Place in Time, check it out over on Goodreads!

***a copy of this anthology was provided to us for an honest review***


To enter to win and ebook copy of Another Place in Time, please leave a comment on this blog post and let us know your name and a means of contacting you (e.g., email, Twitter handle, link to Goodreads account, etc.). Or the contact info of the lucky person you would like to gift to.

The giveaway is open until 10:00PM (Pacific time) on 12/04/14. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner whom we will select using a highly scientific "names in a hat" method (or, you know, an internet randomizer). Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner.

Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit and Giveaway: Renae Kaye


Today we have the lovely and talented Renae Kaye visiting with us.  Let's see if she reveals any of her dirty little secrets, shall we?

Hi Renae!

Hi guys! Thanks for hosting me here today, and hey! Congrats on the anniversary. *happy dance*

One thing you need to know about me, is that I’m hyper and crazy. It’s like you need to cut the caffeine off for me or something. I guess that shows in my writing, because you really need to read my books with a sense of humour. My aim in writing is to make the reader smile and hopefully laugh out loud several times.

(And I know I’ve succeeded in that – I’ve had several people tell me they’ve received strange looks when reading my book on public transport. Apparently the snorts and giggles attract attention.) *gasp* LOL!

So lovely Jenni Lea has sent me along a bunch of silly questions to answer. *rubs hands together* Great! Let’s get started.

What are your favorite M/M themes? 
Oooh! I really love the opposites attract type stuff.

You want to draw me into a book? You make the jock fall for the geek. Line up the serious older guy in the sights of the younger not-so-serious one. The prince and the pauper. The twink and the bear. Rawr…

What books do you consider Desert Island Keepers?
Oh my holy schmoly! What a hard question! But consulting my kindle and my paperback library, some of the most re-read books I have are (in no particular order):

Wes & Toren by JM Colail
Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy
Social Skills by Sara Alva
Too Stupid To Live by Anne Tenino
Ethan Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless
Muscling Through by JL Merrow
When One Door Opens by JD Ruskin

What's your go-to tasty beverage?
Coffee. I drink coffee. Lots of it.

If I’m at home, it’s just instant stuff. If I’m out it’s a cappuccino. (Ummm – froth!)

Do you have any secret talents? Inquiring minds want to know.
Secret? You mean apart from me writing m/m romance?

Hmmm – how about the fact that I can knit? I have 100’s of knitting books and patterns, and lots of wool stashed under beds waiting to be used. I’ve taught myself to knit without looking at my hands, so I can watch TV or hold a conversation while knitting. If I go anywhere that I expect to be waiting for ages (ie waiting for the doctor or a long car trip), I’ll take my knitting bag and get some more done on my project.

In my novel The Shearing Gun, Hank’s uncle spins his own wool and knits. My mother does this, which is where I got the knitting bug from. We used to have special sheep on our farm that my mother was breeding up for hand spinning. I still remember the names of the sheep, even though they are in their sheepie heaven. I can pull on a jumper that Mum made me and think: this wool was Stripey’s/Ella’s/Lilly’s.

My father (before his death) also used to spin his own thread, but he preferred to use the wool for felting or French knitting.

Several of my sisters also knit.

I remember when my father was terminally ill in hospital, we would just come and sit by his bedside for hours, so that one of us was always with him. We would visit around our work and kids’ schedules. One day, my mother, sister and I all happened to be in the room at the same time. Dad was sleeping, so the three of us sat in silence, the clicking of our needles the only sound. The doctor entered and was shocked to see three women sitting in silence, each knitting their project.

(I’m still not sure if he was shocked because three women could sit in silence, or that three women were doing an activity that is not commonly seen these days. I suspect the former… LOL).

If you had to choose to be one magical beast, what would it be and why? (you don't have to say unicorn...but we won't say neigh either) 
Do you know what? I love the calmness of the ocean and the beauty beneath the water. I’m not really sure what animal it is, but I’d love to be a large non-predatory sea creature who glides through the water like I’m flying.

I don’t want to be a mermaid, because they have the need to be in a social setting. I want to be like Loch Nessie – solitary, calm, alone in my own space.

This may sound anti-social, but I come from a ginormous family. I have two small children. I cherish silence and time alone.


Do you have author envy? Whose words do you read and think, "GAH, I wish I wrote that!"? 
Hahaha – of course! Mostly I look at authors in awe of how they’ve built themselves up. I think that is when I get starry-eyed. I watch them in action, or read their latest offering, and I applaud their success in doing something we all love.

But the authors I sit and stare at with longing?

JL Merrow is a favourite of mine for coming up with something that sits half in the box, and half out of the box. I love contemporary novels with a bit of humour, and JL gives me this. Her stories are simple love stories, but with something you don’t always find – a character who is not your “average” character. This is my favourite type of character, and the one I write mostly about.

Cardeno C. is an author who I love to fall into stories by. Emotional and satisfying are the words that come to mind when I think of Cardeno’s stories. I’ve yet to work out whether it is the poetry of the words on the page, or the beautiful scenarios Cardeno paints. I try to read the book with an analytical mind, but end up being swept up into the story and forget I’m trying to learn a craft.

Any new projects you're currently working on? 
I’m currently working on an unnamed WIP that is a spin-off from The Blinding Light. Someone asked me about Davo, Jake’s friend, and my mind took off racing. The story I have so far starts about three weeks after The Blinding Light finished, so you get to see Patrick and Jake’s first weeks as a family.

I’ve also started, but not progressed much (I’m about ¼ of the way in) on a spin-off from Loving Jay. I hope to have them both finished or near to finished by the end of the year.

Now **shameless promo plug coming up**, my newest release is OUT TOMORROW. Yes, I’m super excited (get off the caffeine, Renae) and bouncing off the walls.

It’s called Safe in His Arms and is really a beautiful story of two men, so hurt and running from their pasts, meeting and realising that all they ever need is in the arms of the other.

Blurb: In the late-night quiet of the caravan park shower room, Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines. He’s not looking for anyone, but when Casey offers, Lon doesn’t turn him down. 

Welcoming the young man in his big, hairy arms, Lon provides a safety to Casey that he has never known, and Casey wants to stay forever. Still reeling from the breakup of his family years ago, Lon’s not sure he’s ready for the responsibility of the comfort and security Casey craves. 

But perhaps Lon can risk opening his heart again and hoping for a brighter future. Casey has some pretty big skeletons in his past to deal with. And Lon wonders what Casey will do when he finds out how badly Lon failed at protecting the ones he loved eight years ago. 

I really enjoyed writing this one, and I hope the readers enjoy it too. Lon and Casey are two men who nearly broke, but have come back with greater strength. I just want to wrap them up in cotton wool and keep them safe, but instead I put their story down on paper for everyone to enjoy.

To the BMB Team: Thank you for having me on your site. It was great fun to be here and I hope the readers enjoy my newest offering.

How to contact Renae:
Email: renaekaye@iinet.net.au 
Website: www.renaekaye.weebly.com
FB: www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9
Twitter: @renaekkaye
 


As a prize for having to sit through all these answers, I’m offering one lucky reader an eBook of their choice from my backlist:

The Blinding Light  (check it out on Amazon)
The Shearing Gun (check it out on Amazon) 

Good luck!

To enter to win, please leave a comment on this blog post and let us know (1) your name and a means of contacting you (e.g., email, Twitter handle, link to Goodreads account, etc.) and (2) what's your Desert Island Keeper.

The giveaway is open until 10:00PM (Pacific time) on December 4th. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner whom we will select using a highly scientific "names in a hat" method (or, you know, an internet randomizer). Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner.