Monthly Archives: November 2012

Elves and Coffee with Anna Zabo – plus a giveaway!

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CONTEST NOW CLOSED AND WINNERS ANNOUNCED HERE

Crossposted from kayberrisford.com

I’m thrilled to welcome to the site, Anna Zabo! Anna’s Loose Id novel, m/m paranormal Close Quarter, was published last week. Not only is she offering one lucky commenter/emailer a free copy of Close Quarter she’s blogging about a couple of things very close to my heart…

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Two things have a tendency to show up in my fiction: Coffee and elves. Well, not necessarily elves, but beings along those lines—beautiful, immortal, and magical beings. My debut m/m paranormal romance Close Quarter features a fae and quite a bit of coffee. I could wax on about coffee, but that’s not as much fun as fae.

I like exploring the edges of ageless living—and the pitfalls, because it can’t be all fun and games, and even powerful beings have their limitations.

Silas quint is a forest fae. He’s also a vampire hunter and he’s been sent to destroy a flock of vampires on a transatlantic cruise. And now he’s stuck in the middle of the ocean, away from his element. He’s not happy with the situation.

Then, a rather brash American named Rhys upends a tray of drinks all over him. He’d be downright cranky if Rhys weren’t so very interesting and quite beautiful… for a human.

Rhys sees right through Silas’s fae glamour. Which is a bit of an issue, since Rhys also notices that no one else sees the things Silas does. Like feel him up at one of the ship’s bars. Silas might not be able to tap into his elemental energy, but his libido works just fine.

In this excerpt Silas has invited Rhys to dinner to tell him what he really is, since he can’t hide the odd happenings. Rhys doesn’t take the news so well, at first.

Excerpt:

Rhys cleared his throat. “Silas? What are you doing to me?”

Silas answered with the truth. “Nothing.”

“Then what are you doing to everyone else?”

He couldn’t help but smile at that. “Merely showing them what they wish to see.”

Rhys laughed. “What are you, then? Some sort of magician?”

“No, not a magician.” He picked up his glass and drained the last of his scotch. Set it back down. “I’m one of the fae.”

Once more, Rhys went taut with shock. “Fae. You mean like a fairy?”

“Well, I don’t have wings. Nor do I fly about trailing pixie dust.” Silas stroked his thumb over the top of Rhys’s hand. “And I am a bit longer than five inches.”

Color drained from Rhys’s cheeks. “You’re serious.”

“Very.”

Rhys opened his mouth to speak again, disbelief clearly etched on his face. Fortunately the food arrived, providing Silas with a respite from questions.

He did have to give up Rhys’s hand to eat. Pity, that. He missed the touch of Rhys’s skin. Best to leave him be, for a time. He knew from having watched the man this past hour or so that Rhys needed to work things through in his mind.

Dinner conversation was nonexistent until Rhys spoke again. “Um, I’m not your servant for the next seven years, am I?” There was a clip to Rhys’s voice that was hard to interpret. Sarcasm, perhaps.

“Thomas the Rhymer. You know your classic tales.” Impressive, though Silas suppressed a shudder. Seven years bound to another’s will? He would not wish that on anyone. He had lived that, for far more years than seven.

Silas toyed with one of the shrimp on his plate. Rhys had gained back the color in his face, and splotches of red marred his neck. “No. I cannot bend your will to me. There is no Elfland beyond a river of blood to which I can take you. I am as much of this world as you.”

“I suppose that’s good. I’m not sure I’m ready to believe in magical worlds beyond this one.” He looked up at Silas. “What do you really look like?”

There was that clip again. Silas set his fork down. “You see me as I truly am. You ask why no one else reacts to me. To everyone else, I am not quite as arresting.”

He seemed to mull that over for a time. “So whatever you’re doing doesn’t work on me.”

“It doesn’t seem to, no.”

“Why not?”

Silas studied him. Oh, there was skepticism there. Perhaps anger as well. And why not? But the creeping awareness of truth lurked deep inside the man. “That’s what I’m trying to find out.”

HE HAS TO be lying. Rhys repeated that over and over in his head. Silas had to be lying, because the truth was impossible. Fae? Did Silas think him an idiot? Play with the ignorant rich boy’s mind for some kink? This had gone too far.

He latched on to the anger. Fae? No way in hell. “That’s a convenient dodge.”

Silas shrugged. “It’s the truth.”

What an asshole. “You don’t know what makes me so superspecial as to see through your illusions?”

“Glamour,” Silas said. A touch of annoyance crept into his voice. “And I have an idea but no proof.”

“You’re so full of shit.”

Finally the anger Rhys had witnessed that afternoon spread over Silas’s expression. “Am I?” It was every ounce a challenge.

“Yes.” Rhys pushed back his chair. Kissing a guy was one thing; people could ignore that. He took a deep breath and then shouted as loudly as he could. “Hey! Everyone! This guy says he’s a fucking fairy!”

The conversations in the room didn’t even dip. No one turned. Dishes clinked; servers moved. It was as if nothing had happened at all.

Oh hell. Rhys felt his whole body grow warm. He looked down at Silas.

“Are you through?”

Rhys sank to his chair. “Holy shit.”

A quirk of a dark smile formed in the lips of the man—the fae—on the other side of the table.

“That can’t be real. You can’t be…” Oh fuck. Silas’s looks, his passion and strength, that no one else on this entire ship wanted to jump the man—as crazy as it sounded, the explanation fit. Except maybe—

“I’m not being punked, am I?”

Lines of consternation appeared on Silas’s forehead. “I don’t even know what that means.”

Oh. “Tricked. Pranked.”

“No.” Silas rose and towered over the table. “Do you require more proof?”

He was afraid to say yes. Afraid to say no as well. “What are you going to do?”

“I haven’t decided.” He rounded the table and looked down at Rhys. “Truth is, I could lay you out on the table, strip you naked, and fuck you senseless, and no one would bat an eye. In the end, our waitress would simply come over and offer us dessert.”

Rhys’s mouth went dry. His whole body felt like fire. “You’re not going to…” Silas knelt.

“No.” Silas grasped the leg of Rhys’s chair and pulled it sideways. “The china’s too nice to simply push to the floor. I have another idea.” He reached for Rhys’s belt and unbuckled it.

His objective became blindingly obvious.

“Silas!” Rhys hissed his name. “You can’t!”

“I can. I will.” Silas looked up. “Unless you tell me to stop.”

Scroll on for more info, and a chance to WIN a copy of Close Quarter

Blurb: On a transatlantic cruise to New York, sculptor Rhys Matherton struggles to piece his life back together after losing his mother, inheriting a fortune, and finding out his father isn’t his father after all. He spills a tray of drinks on a handsome stranger, then he finds himself up against a wall getting the best hand-job he’s ever had. And for the first time in his life, he feels whole.

Rhys enjoys the company of Silas Quint, but for the eerie way no one pays attention to them even while they kiss in a crowded bar. Silas explains he’s a forest fae able to glamor the room around them—and more importantly, that he’s on the cruise to hunt vampires. Rhys thinks Silas is full of it, until he discovers vampires are real, and he’s part of the main course.

Silas Quint can’t be distracted by a human lover, even one as lovely as Rhys. Stuck in the middle of the ocean, he has barely enough of energy to hunt the vampires he’s been sent to destroy. Rhys is full of the one thing Silas needs needs most—the element of living plants. Only sucking energy from Rhys would make Silas as soulless as the creatures he hunts. How can he keep Rhys safe, without becoming like the very monsters he hunts?

Buy it now :)

If you would like to win a copy of Close Quarter, please leave your email in the comments, spelling it out to e.g. katy2222@gmail.com would be katy2222 at gmail dot com.

Alternatively, email me at kayberrisford@yahoo.co.uk, with “Anna Contest” in the title line and you will be entered. No emails will be retained for any other purpose, and the winner will be chosen by random selection software and announced on kayberrisford.com by 1st December.

All commenters and entries to contests over the next month will also be entered in a draw to win a copy of my new m/m paranormal, Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone and a $15 Loose Id voucher.

Thank you :)

Bio: Anna Zabo writes erotic paranormal romance and fantasy. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think. A lover of all things fae, she finds the wonderful and the magical amid the steel and iron of her city.

You can find her online at annazabo.com, on Facebook, and on twitter as @amergina, where you will also find her other not-so-secret identity.

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Tiger Tiger Release Celebration and NaNoWriMo

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Join me today at the Noon and Wilder blog, Taurus and Taurus, for a look into the publishing process.  We’ve signed the contract for TIGER TIGER with Samhain Publishing, to be released in July of 2013.  Curious about how the publishing process works?  Stop by and check it out.


“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
– E.E. Cummings

My links: Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | LinkedIn | Pandora

Knoontime Knitting:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Ravelry
Noon and Wilder links: Blog | Website | Facebook
Team Blogs: Nightlight | The Writers Retreat Blog | Beyond the Veil | LGBT Fantasy Fans and Writers
Publishers: Samhain Publishing | Torquere Press

Check out BURNING BRIGHT, available from Samhain Publishing.
Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.

Check out “Taking a Chance“, part of the Charity Sips 2012 to benefit NOH8, available from Torquere Books.
Watch for TIGER TIGER, coming July, 2013, from Samhain Publishing.

 

Fairies and forest fantasy with Blaine D. Arden – plus an e-book giveaway!

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CONTEST NOW CLOSED AND WINNERS ANNOUNCED HERE

Crossposted from kayberrisford.com

I’m thrilled to welcome to the blog – Blaine D. Arden! Blaine was kind enough to answer a few little questions all about her awesome self. Plus, if you leave a comment at the end of this post, you can with any one of her back catalogue of fantasy m/m romance.

Okay, I was a fan of Blaine’s as soon as I saw these lovely covers, and I bet I’m not alone!

Q. Hi, Blaine. Tell us a little about your background and who you are. How long have you been writing?

Hiya *waves* I’m Blaine, a purple haired, forty-something, writer of gay romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes and the colours black, purple and red, who sings her way through life.

I was born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, a city I never quite managed to leave, and now am not so sure I want to leave, unless it’s to move to the UK after my husband’s retirement. I spent most of my rather sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with my Barbies.

Over twenty-two years ago I married a very patient man who’s given me space to grow, is my staunchest supporter, and doesn’t mind me bringing home strangers for sleep-overs. We have two sons and a foster son, aged 17(almost 18), 21, and 19, and a ten year old cairn terrier named Kendra.

I’ve been writing since my early teens, though I’ve been telling myself stories for a lot longer than that. They always helped me sleep. Being a bit of a hoarder, I still have a box or two with stories that I wrote when I was younger—all hand written, of course—including my very first gay fiction.

Q. Many of your stories have fairytale and fantasy themes-I’m desperate to read The Forester. What drew you to the woodland realm?

Magic, I guess. I’ve always been fascinated by magic, and magic does so well in forest surroundings. Also, I tend to shy away from electricity in my stories. I’m not even sure if that’s a conscious decision, but I like the idea of having candles—or glowing crystals—as a source of light, and a nice open fire or stove, and doing the dishes by magic. It’s romantic, basic, but I don’t think it has to be primitive. And that’s where my magic comes in again. I just love the idea of magic being something you use in every day chores, instead of just trying to save damsels in distress.

Q. What is your top source of inspiration?

Good question. My brain, I think. Because no matter what I see, read or hear, it’s my brain that sparks the connection, and swamps me with ideas and images at the drop of just one word. I have a very vivid imagination. J

For example: I participated in the Hurricane Sandy Relief Auction, where a number of authors auctioned off stories for the highest bidder. The moment I read the word dragons when my winner contacted me, an idea immediately came to me. Even though I’m working on a NaNoWriMo project—and I’m editing another project—I found myself penning down information on my three main characters on paper, including their races, what sort of persons they are, etc. It’s like, once the floodgates are open, I can’t close them again.

Q. Tell us about a typical writing day in the life of Blaine Arden.

I have typical days? Do any of us?

Anyway. On weekdays, my husband alarm rings at 06:15, and depending on how warm my bed is and how awake I am, I get up somewhere between that and 07:00. I do laundry, because the washing machine and dryer are the attic right next to our bedroom. When I get downstairs, my husband will have just finished breakfast, and is about to take the dog out for a walk, and I fire up my laptop to check mail, twitter and whatnot. Then I’ll make my omelette and do some cycling on my exercise bike, and I’ll be watching some TV while I’m having breakfast—keeping one eye on my mail and twitter, of course. Not always in that order, and yes… sometimes I forget about breakfast and the cycling, because I can’t tear myself away from twitter.

I tell myself that I want to start work between 09:00 and 09:30, but depending on how focussed I am, it may be later, but I will be working at ten. Upstairs in my office, where my computer is, and I’ll be away from the email and twitter on my laptop. Unless I have an appointment in the morning, then I’ll stay downstairs and work there until I have to go—packing up either e-reader or laptop to take with me. And twice a week I pack everything up and move to ‘t Warnshuus, a local community centre, where I’ll be writing my morning away—and observing people while doing that.

Lunch means watching a TV series, and again, keeping an eye on my mail and twitter. I tend to stretch lunch out a bit, so I’ll be back to work an hour later—again, unless I have an appointment somewhere.

Who cooks depends on mood, who’s more tired and what’s for dinner, but we’ll be having it together with our kids while watching something on TV that we all like, and make fun of while we watch and eat. I know, not the standard dinner conversation, but it works for us.

Evenings, I do whatever I want to. If I had appointments during the day, I’ll be doing some writing, otherwise, I’ll be twittering, chatting or just plain browsing. Except on Mondays, because I have choir practice then.

Jeez, my life sounds boring…

Q. Any WIPs that you’d care to tell us about?

Like any author, I have a couple of those ;)

– I’m working on The Forester Two—I know, very lame working title—the sequel to The Forester, which came out last December, that I’m editing so I can send it to my critters. In this second part of the Forester trilogy, a boy is kidnapped, and Kelnaht, Ianys, and Taruif are, still, anxiously awaiting for Taruif’s sentence to be reduced (in a nutshell).

– My NaNoWriMo project is all about faeries and corporate espionage. It’s about Wisc—a faerie visiting his great uncle in a human city called Kirroj. Wisc has always been taught that technology and magic don’t mix, but when a case of mistaken identity garners him the interest of a faerie thief and a security agent, Wisc learns that his magic might be the key to solving the case.

– And then there’s the story I’ll be writing for the winner of my Hurricane Sandy Relief Auction. I’ve only just created the characters for that, and I have a world for them to play in, but I don’t have much more than that, yet. But it will have a dragon called Buttercup.

I have many more ideas, inlcuding The Forester Three, and even a couple of finished first drafts that I can play around with, when I’m done with the ones I mentioned.

Q. Do you believe in fairies?

Yes, though, I’m sad to say, I haven’t seen one yet. Well, except in Lady Cottington’s pressed fairy book. But it isn’t the same, is it?

Maybe not quite ;) But I think your writing day sounds far from dull, and thank you for tellins us about all your exciting forthcoming projects.

Blaine’s books are available at Storm Moon Press, Amazon, and Are

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Please scroll on for an excerpt from The Forester and a selection of titles from Blaine’s back catalogue – any of which you can win by leaving a comment here on this blog! Read the rest of this entry

Where We Come From: the Influence of Our History, Either Immediate or Long-Gone

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“I am a part of all I have read.” —John Kieran

As we approached the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of family. Our theme, “Where We Come From: the Influence of Our History, Either Immediate or Long-Gone” seems less about external events and more about my personal history, at least as I read it today.

We received news on Thursday night of the death of a family member under tragic circumstances. As each of us wrestles with this news in our own way, I struggle with two things: what do I say to my sister-in-law, whose mother is lost; and why does this news hit me, personally, so hard? I have never met the woman and yet I mourn her.

I mourn for her family and for the aftermath of her death. Again, I am reminded that our family history affects each of us, daily, in subtle yet profound ways we may not even be aware of in our waking lives.

I don’t talk much publicly about being an Anorexia survivor. But in the wake of this week’s stressful events, I was reminded of my own fragility. I like to think it’s the angel of my sister-in-law’s mother, brushing my shoulder and reminding me of all the abundance for which I have to be grateful. We have so much, particularly if we are reading this on the internet.

Our history influences us – trauma and healing – and we can choose to focus on the one or the other. They are parallel realities. If you are in trauma today, I urge you to seek help. Ask a counselor, call a friend, speak to a minister. Don’t suffer in silence. Life is so ephemeral, and we are, after all, all in this together. If history teaches us anything, it is that silence is poison. It is only by embracing our past and understanding it can we move past it. Those who ignore history, after all, are doomed to repeat it.

Thank you for visiting today and for supporting our blog. We are grateful for your readership.


My links: Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | LinkedIn | Pandora

Knoontime Knitting:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Ravelry
Noon and Wilder links: Blog | Website | Facebook
Team Blogs: Nightlight | The Writers Retreat Blog | Beyond the Veil | LGBT Fantasy Fans and Writers
Publishers: Samhain Publishing | Torquere Press

Check out BURNING BRIGHT, available from Samhain Publishing.
Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.
Check out “Taking a Chance“, part of the Charity Sips 2012 to benefit NOH8, available from Torquere Books.
Watch for TIGER TIGER, coming soon from Samhain Publishing.