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Meet the Character… Sara Barnsby from A Race for Love

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Categories: Breathless Press Authors, Interview, romance, Tags: , , , , ,

araceforlove_200x300I’m so excited about the Easter weekend.  It’s not just the chocolate… although, in fairness, the chocolate is a big part of it.  The real excitement lies in spending quality time with family, hanging out, lazy mornings, long leisurely lunches that stretch through the afternoons and for times when we all need to just have some alone time, there are the delicious new releases from Breathless Press this week!
Speaking of which, I was chatting to Ann Black about her new book, A Race for Love and we decided that it would be a lot of fun for you to meet the heroine of the book, Sara Barnsby, so without further ado… let’s find out what makes Sara tick!
Hi Sara and welcome to the Breathless Blog!  Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you came to the attention of your author?
Hi Domino, thanks for having me here.  Hmm… what brought me to Ann’s attention?  I’d have to say my independence and strong will!

Sounds like you’re my kind of girl.  Feisty and independent! So what was it that drew you to your mate?
That’s easily answered… His strength and it doesn’t hurt that he’s really good looking *grin*

Nothing wrong with that!  So here’s a bit of naughty fun, we’d love to know where was the wildest place you seduced your partner?

I’m not sure I should be telling, but it can’t hurt… it was in the stable.

I have to confess, I find there’s usually way too much hay for me to really enjoy a stable, not that I’ve ever tried it… oh, um, so… Boxers, briefs or commando on a man?
Are you blushing Domino??  I’d have to say briefs
I wasn’t blushing, it’s just a bit warm here *grin*  Moving along, if your partner wants to seduce you, what’s one sure fire trick they can play?

Sigh… Kissing my neck.

I love that one too… Ok, fair’s fair, touching what part of your partner’s body do you know would drive them partner wild (in or out of bed)?
I run my fingers across his chest…

Hmm… Here’s a great chance for you to rat Ann out.  What was one of the most embarrassing things your author did to you in this story?
en she had Sheik Akir hit on me!

That sounds intriguing… I can’t wait to find out more.  Finally, before you go, is there anything else you would like to add?

I’d just like to encourage you women everywhere to follow their dreams – even ones that are in a man’s world!
A huge thanks to Ann for allowing her heroine to come out and chat to us today.  Now is the time to go and order your copy… simply click on the cover above or visit www.breathlesspress.com
Until next time…
Domino xx
Blurb
Sara struggles to find her place in the fast-paced world of Thoroughbred horse racing, but
will the arrival of a new trainer cost her everything she’s worked for?

Fast horses, strong personalities, and the thrill of mixing business with pleasure fill Sara’s
world as an exercise rider. Her real desire, though, is to ride her favorite stallion, Cat, to victory
in a race. There are two problems with this dream. The first lies in the fact she is a woman who
wants to be a jockey. The second is a new, sexy horse trainer named Carter.
While Sara struggles to stay focused on her dream, Carter fights to prove his past doesn’t
define his present. Will a tornado, a wounded jockey, a rich rival, and a horrible accident ruin
everything, or can Sara cross the finish line in A Race for Love?

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Categories: Fresh Blog, romance, Tags: , ,

Sometimes, if I’m really well-behaved, Domino lets me hang out with some of our authors just for fun!  Ok, I kid, we love to hang out with them regardless of how well-behaved we’ve been.  However, earlier this week, I was really pleased to be able to catch up with Sheri Velarde and she told me a really heart-warming story.  I felt it only right that she be allowed to share it with you all herself and so I asked her to write it up.  It’s stories like these that make us even prouder of what we do than we usually are.  So, without further ado, here is Sheri…

As romance writers I am sure most of us have had someone scoff at us and put down our particular genre of writing. I personally don’t let it bother me, I just think to myself how little said person knows about writing or the romance genre. If you know anything you know that this is a darn hard genre to write, especially love scenes, those things need to be choreographed better than a war scene! That is why I was thrilled to hear this next story about how powerful romance writing is as a whole while I was working ye ole day job at my local art and history museum.

I was having a rather bland and tough day at work when I struck up a conversation about books with a museum guest in our gift shop. I mentioned that I personally owned half of them it seemed since I have a book addiction, but that I rationalized it since some of them I used for research being a writer myself. She asked what I wrote and said predominately romance novels, explaining that I love being able to write fantasy, paranormal, historical, etc. all in one genre. As it turned out she is an English professor at our local community college and she decided to tell me the following story.

C2405One of the assignments she gives in her classes is to write about your own literacy, how reading and literature personally affects you. Recently she had an Iraqi War veteran in her class who asked if he could write his paper on why he liked to read romance novels. This was the summary of what he had to say. When he was stationed in the Gulf he tried to get his hands on anything and everything he possibly could to read. Eventually he ran out of books and one of his nurse friends offered him some of her romance novels to read. At first he scoffed, he was a manly man in the army, but having nothing else to read he consented. He found that not only did the books provide him with a way to pass the time, but that he actually enjoyed them immensely. He said that he liked how there were conflicts, but that they were mostly resolved toward the end and that everything ended on a happy note. This made him feel better and less stressed than other genres he had been reading during the war. For the rest of his tour he only read romance novels to keep his moral up and he still reads them to this day.

I, for one, found that to be one of the most life altering stories I have heard about the power of books in general and the power of romance in particular. It made me feel even better about myself as a romance writer and it made my bad day at my job brighter. It solidified for me that our writing really touches people, making their days better because of our words. Reading, and writing for me, is a form of escapism and I for one am proud to write stories with love and happy endings in them.

Sheri Velarde/Kelly Ryan

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Raising the Curtain on Spencer Dryden

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Categories: Breathless Press Authors, Interview, New Releases, Tags: , , , , ,

BLISS_200x300I love to be around at the beginning of things and there’s nothing quite like being there when a first time author and so it makes me very happy to introduce ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Spencer Dryden, author of ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Bliss, to you all today.  So let me tell you a bit more about him.

Some men are born great, others strive for greatness; still others have greatness thrust upon them. Spencer Dryden is none of these men. In fact, he is so unimpressive, he leaves no footprints on newly fallen snow. He was trained in fiction writing on the job with the many sales reports he produced for his managers, winning the coveted “keep your job contest” three years running. His expense reports are still considered masterpieces of forgery by the bankruptcy trustee of his former employer. He lives an unremarkable life in a suburb of a northern city. His friends and family would drop dead in horror if they knew of his secret life as a writer of erotica. He hates the family cat but still loves to pet his wife.

You see… I knew you’d LOVE him!!!  Spencer, thanks so much for joining us.

Hi Domino, thank you for having me here.  It’s all very exciting.

I’m so glad to hear that!  So tell us, what’s your favorite thing about writing?

I can sleep with any woman I want and my wife doesn’t mind. Pretty good for an old guy.

That’s not a bad deal to have and I can certainly see the appeal. Here’s a tricky one… would you be able to tell us what your favourite book is?

Catch-22.  One strange thing about my writing career is that I have never been a reader, not even comic books as a kid. I also slept thought English Composition. My editor worked overtime scrubbing the stains on the fabric of the English language in my manuscript.

Oh dear, Spencer, are you serious??  No reading?  I may have to have a serious hot chocolate to get over that *grin*. Ok, how about we move on to the next question… what do you do to clear your head when you need to get away from writing for a while?

In real life I am a handyman for hire. I love DIY stuff. In fact, many of my short stories are about handymen seduced on the job—something that has never happened to me, thank goodness. I’m also a foodie. I love cooking and eating.

Thank goodness?  I like the idea of having a handy man for hire… but I digress.  Now that we know how you clear your head, how about you tell us what you do on a Friday night to unwind after a long week?

Cocktails and pleasant conversation with my wife. We have been married for 25 years, and we are still lovers and friends. She is kind enough to let me play in this litter box of fiction, provided I wash my hands when I’m finished.

I think I’m liking your wife quite a bit!!  Here’s an interesting question, your favorite hero and why?

The late Steve McQueen. He radiated cool, calm confidence especially in the movie Bullit (You can tell I’m an old guy by that choice.)

Steve McQueen is an awesome hero to have!  I’m not sure that it’s an old guy choice, I think it’s a good taste choice.  So are you ready for the lightning round “old guy”?

Watch yourself Domino, I was born ready!!

Favorite song?
“Money Changes Everything”-Cyndi Lauper

Band?
The Beach Boys (Jeez, now I’ve really dated myself)

Genre of fiction?
Erotic Romance

Movie?
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. In one of my unpublished novellas, I pay tribute to this masterpiece by redoing two memorable scenes using the dialogue nearly word for word.

Color?
Blue as in denim. Almost any day you can find me in my Canadian tux .

Food?
Anything on the grill except liver.

Beverage?
Jack Daniels on the rocks.

Candy?
M&Ms

Television show?
I know I’m going to date myself here. Have Gun, Will Travel. In more modern times it is the kids cartoon “Beast Wars” that I watched with my boys every day.

Book store?
Are there any left? Barnes and Noble.

I want to thank Spencer for taking the time to join us today.  He’s a real delight to hang out with and there was way more to our chat than I could possibly include here… including a reference to sheep, but my lips are sealed.  Now it’s time for you to go and pre-order your copy now to help Spencer to have a great first book.  Simply click on the cover above or visit our site www.breathlesspress.com

Until next time…

Domino xx

Excerpt

Dr. Rachel Morissey touched Christina’s arm gently and handed her another tissue.

“Mrs. McArdle, I’m a sex therapist and not a family doctor. I find that I need to speak about sex bluntly in order to get through people’s resistance.” She searched Christina’s eyes to see if she was tracking. It had been a hard first session. Taking the first steps in breaking down resistance, confronting demons, bringing up painful personal memories always brought tears.

“Sexuality is a hard discussion topic for couples. I don’t mean to diminish your pain, but so far it’s like so many others. When you’re young, sex may be clumsy, but quantity is a quality all its own. So is time. Now you’re thirty-five, a working professional mother of young twins, with an at-home husband. You’re both living in a different world from your parents, and there are a lot of demands on your time that sap sexual energy. In this phase of life, you have to be much more intentional about sex.” Dr. Morissey paused again, waiting for Christina to process. “Lying in bed in the dark, waiting for your husband to initiate sex, isn’t a good strategy for fostering intimacy.”

Christina wiped away another nagging tear.

“But there’s something else I need to explore,” said Dr. Morissey. “I am wondering if you were ever raped or sexually abused?”

“Why? Is that important?” asked Christina.

“Very. It often creates problems with intimacy years later. You seem almost fearful of sex.”

Christina hung her head. “I was nearly raped once,” she whispered.

“So you were assaulted.”

“I guess.”

“Mrs. McArdle, I’m sensing a lot of guilt here. Physical contact without your permission is assault. It’s another person’s crime, not yours. You said nearly raped. What happened?”

Christina shuddered as she recalled the forbidden memory. “We had a boy in our neighborhood that was a bully to the boys and terror to the girls. Nobody would do anything about him. Our parents told us to stay away. But he would hide out and grab girls, rip their clothes off, and grope them. It happened to many of my friends.”

“How old were you then?”

“Eighth grade.”

“Did he actually do forceful penetration on any of his victims?”

“You sound like the police now.”

“It’s an important distinction, especially with a minor perpetrator.”

“No. He didn’t.”

“What happened with you?”

“I was taking a shortcut home across the athletic fields one evening. No one was around. He jumped out from between the outbuildings, threw me down to the ground, and jumped on top of me. I tried to fight, but he had his hand on my throat.”

Christina unconsciously reached for her throat and pulled on her necklace.

“Sometimes I can still feel him squeezing my throat,” she said through closed eyes. “I couldn’t breathe. I tried to scream but couldn’t. He was pressing down on me with his crotch between my legs.”

“Were his pants on?”

“Yes, but he was humping me like some kind of animal.”

Christina gasped as if she were going to scream. “Finally, he leaned down and put his cheek next to mine. I was hysterical with fear, that’s why I did it.”

“Did what?”

“I bit off a big chunk of his ear.”

Christina rolled forward, put her head between her knees, and sobbed.

“Now we’re getting somewhere. What happened after that?”

Christina rose up, brushing away tears with a clenched fist. “He ran away screaming and told his parents that I had attacked him.” She had to stop to catch her breath. “The police came to our house and asked me a lot of questions. Nothing happened to him. I got suspended from school. Can you believe it?” The rage faded to sorrow. Christina wept softly again. “I got so much grief for that, Dr. Morissey. Did I do right? I was just so scared and desperate.”

 

 

 

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The Naming of Us

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Categories: Author Tips, Fresh Blog, Writing, Tags: , ,

1783950528_1372155321The other day Domino did a great blog on the naming of things and she touched on some great issues.  After I read it, I started thinking about another side of the name game when it comes to being an author.  The naming of ourselves.  I can picture you shaking your head and wondering if I hit mine on my chill day yesterday, but I can assure you that I did not.  I am talking about the age old question of real name vs. pen name.

You see, this is a question which is debated in forums and on message boards all over the internet, it is a question which almost every first time writer will ask at some point and no matter what you decide, the answer is always very personal.  It also differs from genre to genre, but for authors of romance, there are a bunch of questions that go through your head.  If you think answering this is easy, then you are very fortunate.

Here is the dilemma…

  • Would I want my boss to know that I write romance books?
  • What will my friends say?
  • I don’t really want my day job and my writing to bleed into each other.
  • My colleagues won’t take me seriously if they find out about this.
  • My Grandma will have a heart attack!
  • My career makes it inappropriate for me to be seen to be writing these books.
  • I’m a guy.  ’nuff said.

These may sounds like dumb reasons to you and let me assure you there are LOADS of reasons why people find themselves considering using a pen name rather than anything even resembling their own name.  Everything from daughters of strict church ministers, to self-employed women who have worked hard to build a business and a personal reputation, to wives and Mom’s who simply wouldn’t want their kids to find out that they write erotic fiction.

The downside of writing under a pen name is that you can’t really brag about your first publishing contract or your 10th or your 50th and you certainly can’t brag about awards that you win.  It can be a really hard secret to keep.

The upside is that you can create an alter-ego that suits you.  A person that has a dream history, interesting life and may even be a different sex to you.  It allows you, in the case of an author who becomes more well-known, to enjoy your private life in happiness and anonymity, without bleeding into family time or business.  It allows you to be famous in fiction, for fiction and yet, unchanged at home.

Another reason to have a pen name is if you are going to write across genre’s.  After all, if Barbara Cartland had suddenly thrown out a couple of murder mysteries, you wouldn’t have given them a chance, but she could have done so under a name like Bud Seger for arguments sake.  Equally, when JK Rowling wanted to try her hand at something new, a pen name (however short lived in its anonymity) allowed her to do that without pre-conceived ideas of what you would find inside that book.  Some of our authors write young adult novels in addition to their erotica and it’s far better to have separate persona’s for that!

Either which way you look at it, you should pick a name you like, one that will be memorable and easy to spell for your readers and one that you will be proud to “wear” for years to come.  As with the naming of characters, a lot of the same suggestions apply.  Don’t try to be too clever about your pen name.  Look into availability of websites and blogs before setting it in stone.  Also, see how many other authors are out there with an identical name and what genres are they writing in.  Having someone else out there called Dominic Lane isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact, if the other Dominic gets great reviews and is searched for a lot, it could lead people to you who wouldn’t necessarily find you otherwise.

Just be careful that you don’t just copy a name for the wrong reasons.  Find a name that means something to you, a name you love.  After all, you may be stuck with it for quite some time!

Chat again soon,

Dominic

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Unplugged

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Categories: Author Tips, Fresh Blog, Writing, Tags: ,

5050158_origYou’re going to think this is a bit odd… but from time to time I like to have a day that is silent.  Not necessarily without speech or sounds, but rather a day that is technology free.  I don’t turn on the TV or any music.  My phone is on silent next to my bed and I don’t answer the door if I can help it.  I unplug from the matrix as Domino puts it.

That’s probably a great way of looking at it.  We’ve become so dependent on technology, the internet, exterior forms of entertainment, that we’re fast losing the ability to enjoy our own company or hold a focused conversation with a fellow human being.  You see it in restaurants and coffee shops all the time, people sitting at tables with friends (we presume), yet all of them are clutching their phones and frantically checking everything in case something happened in the last 2 minutes and they missed it.

We come from a time before cellphones, before pagers even.  A time where being away from your home meant that someone had to leave a message and wait for you to get home and hear it and return their call.  Now, we’re all about Instagramming our lunch, Tweeting our shopping habits and Facebooking our emotional issues of the day.  We’ve even turned books into an instant gratification product thanks to eBooks!  Don’t get me wrong, I love that side of things, but you get the general idea.

So, every now and again I feel the need to just stop and step back and reconnect with the real world.  Actually talk to someone or go outside and really look at my surroundings.  It’s a shocking theory, but I feel like it helps me to really recharge, especially on weekends.  As writers, we spend so much time with technology and social media that we can burn out.  Taking a well-earned break makes a world of difference!

So, I’m writing this on Saturday (in case you were wondering), and Saturday is full of chores so that I can really relax tomorrow.  Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Chat soon,

Dominic

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The Naming of Things

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Categories: Author Tips, Fresh Blog, Writing, Tags: , ,

It never ceases to amaze me how many baby name books I own.  Consider if you will that I have no children currently, nor any particular plans to have children in the near future and you will understand that to many of my friends, this is akin to a vegan owning a recipe book devoted to steak.  The answer of course is staring them in the face.  I write.  I invent people.  People need names.

However, I confess that sometimes I find the names that are considered commonplace and “normal” to be just a little too prosaic for my needs and then I have to go “off the reservation” as it were.  I find myself Googling to see if the word “saviour” is a nice name in a foreign language or perhaps if I took two usual names and joined them?  It can be a frustrating exercise, but after all, things must be named.  So here are a few of my tips as a reader and a writer.

  • Naming your Characters
    Simple is better.  Your reader doesn’t want to have to remember that the Hero is Count Juan Pedro Alonso Salvitore VI or perhaps even Sh’riek’Noat’elmona… By all means introduce them in this manner as it tells us more about that character, but then give your reader something they can remember, like simply Juan and Noa.
  • Naming your environment
    If you are using a real world setting for your story, then your problem is solved (although you then have to be accurate and respectful, but that’s a different blog).  If you are setting your story in “My Town somewhere in the USA”, or on a different planet or alternate universe, then you can invent whatever you want.  However, here too it’s important to think ahead to the reader.   Additionally, if you name a town on earth, think about the names of real places and why they work.  Hope Springs.  Chicago.  Cape Town. Thinks that end in -ville are always handy *grin*
  • Pronouncing your Names
    You may know how X’lta-Zu’lxa sounds in your head, but to your reader it’ll be unpronounceable and skipped over.  Even taking a normal sounding name like Sarah and spelling it “Xera” or “Cerra” or “Serrah” will make it difficult for your reader to be sure what it is that you had in mind, so don’t be surprised if you talk to a fan and discover that they thought the Heroine was called Zeera (Xera) or Keira (Cerra).
  • Appropriate or not?
    We live in an era that has seen some pretty strange names and some strange influencers like singers, movies and TV shows.  One thing to bear in mind though is whether a name is suitable as a name.  You could never call a character Fridge Davis or Television Jones (nicknames don’t count, we’re talking birth certificate, parents from hell, years of therapy here), and while you could call a character Hoover Williams, people would probably be thinking of cleaning house.

    Additionally, if you’re writing historical romance, you cannot have someone named Aurora or Britney or Dave.  It’s easy enough to find out what names where being used during the period of time you’re writing in and having a more period appropriate name will certainly go a long way towards keeping your reader hooked.

Consider if you will, that you want your fans and readers to talk about the book, tell their friends, get them interested.  Online is easy enough, they can type the names (possibly hopelessly misspelled) but they cannot sit at book club and talk about it if they spend 20 minutes arguing over how to pronounce something or if the details are so unpronounceable as to make it impossible for them to even begin to talk about it.  You also don’t want them talking about the wonderful Regency romance they were reading which was ruined when Shannon or Kiki answered the door.

Anyway, that’s my 5c for what it’s worth.  I’m off to go and Google popular names of the 1800s again!

Until next time…

Domino xx

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Meet the Character… Lily Anders

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Categories: Breathless Press Authors, Fresh Blog, Interview, New Releases, paranormal, Tags: , , , , ,

Some of you will note that we posted a link to this blog on Tuesday, but we had to change hosts and unfortunately this post was lost.  However, we loved Lily so much that I’m recreating it here for you today!

UndertheSatyrMoon_200x300You may remember that we chatted to Rebekah Lewis in January about the print release of book one in this series, so when I saw that book two of the Cursed Satyroi was being released this month, I was very excited.  To do something different, I asked Rebekah if I could interview her heroine from Under the Satyr Moon, Lily Anders and this is the brilliant result!

Hi Lily and welcome to the Breathless Blog.

Hi Dominic and thanks for having me.  It’s a bit strange to be out of my book, but you’re making me feel very welcome.

I’m glad to hear it!  I’m looking forward to sharing you with our readers and finding out what makes you tick.

Fire away!

Well, for starters, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself and what got you in the crosshairs for your author?

Apparently I am a nymph, and nymphs are the only way to make a satyr human again. I feel so used! (just kidding…kinda)

“Apparently” you’re a nymph… I’m guessing you’ve taken Rebekah’s word for this?  It’s not a bad gig especially as I hear your satyr isn’t bad… So what drew you to him?

Literally, his panpipes. That’s not a euphemism.

I’m glad you sorted that out because I was battling to picture that *grin*.  So a little naughty fun, where was the wildest place you seduced your partner(s)?

In a creek?

Are you asking or telling?  Are you holding out on us?  Judging from the look on your face, you’re not telling are you?

Nope *grin*

Ok, so here’s an easy one (even though I won’t answer it myself)… Boxers, briefs or commando on a man?

As long as they make him look sexy, I am not choosy. The wrappings come off.

That’s a good way of looking at it.  So if your partner wants to seduce you, what’s one sure fire trick he can play?

He knows he looks amazing nude. He uses it to his advantage constantly.

That’s a very good way to distract someone… not that I’m speaking from experience you understand *cough*.  Moving on… What is the one place on your partner’s body that you know will drive them wild-in and out of bed?

Any part I want it to be. I drive him wild in general…

I like a confident woman… uh… nymph.  Now’s a chance for you to rat Rebekah out.  What was one of the most embarrassing things she did to you in Under the Satyr Moon?

Hmmm…I think Ariston got the worst of it, though waking up naked on top of a naked satyr was pretty mortifying…

I’ll bet!  Is there anything else you would like to add?

*studies nails* Ariston is mine, ladies. Mine. Lust all you want, I don’t care. But hands off.

I’d like to thank the feisty Lily for joining me today and thanks to Rebekah Lewis for making it happen.  It’s time for you to go and order your copy by either clicking on the cover image above or visiting www.breathlesspress.com

Chat soon,

Dominic

Blurb

Under the Satyr Moon a curse was wrought, and under the same moon shall it be reversed…

…if the Fates allow.

A freelance photography job goes downhill fast when Lily Anders’ boyfriend dumps her and disappears from the campsite, leaving her stranded in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Feeling lost, heartbroken, and afraid, Lily follows a mysterious melody through the wilderness. She never would have guessed the source of the music would reveal that legendary figures of Greek mythology really existed, and she could be one of them.

Ever since he was cursed, Ariston has only wanted one thing—to be human again. He has searched the globe for a nymph to free him, but over three thousand years of failure has pushed him into a life of solitude. Ariston believes he’s finally found the salvation he’s longed for when he catches Lily spying on him in the forest. Unfortunately, he has to convince her to like him first.

What seems to be the Fates bringing them together in time for the Satyr Moon proves to be an elaborate scheme with macabre intentions. Dionysus has sent Ariston’s estranged brother, Adonis, to ensure the curse cannot be broken, and nothing tosses cold water over the flame of seduction like a twin seeking vengeance.

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Getting closer to… Pelaam

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Categories: Author Spotlight, book feature, Interview, M/M, New Releases, Tags: , , , , ,

BreathoftheFeatheredSerpent-200x300Welcome everyone, we’re here with the exciting Pelaam, author of Breath of the Feathered Serpent.  Pelaam lives in clean, green New Zealand and writes gay male romance and erotica across time and space. She’s a foodie, a wine buff and an Art Historian. Thank heaven’s for the miracle of Skype for enabling this interview!

A big Breathless welcome Pelaam.  It sounds to me like you have a pretty well rounded field of interest.

Thank you for having me Dominic.  I do have a wide range of interests.  I find that they don’t only make for a fuller life, but also for a more interesting resource for writing.

I agree.  You may not need to stick to writing what you know any more, but having a wide range of experiences certainly helps.  Speaking of writing, what would you say is your favorite thing about the process?

Creating the world for my characters. Whether it’s fantasy, sci-fi, or a Steampunk world, I love giving free rein to my imagination.

I would have to agree.  That’s one of my favourite parts too… the ability to play God if you will.  This is always a tough question… Do you have a favourite book?

My all time favourite is a Dean Koontz: “Watchers”

Dean Koontz huh… that’s a bit removed from fantasy or romance.  So what do you do when you reach an impasse and just need to clear your head?

I confess, it’s still word related.  Scrabble. I love words, and play against the computer.

It may be word related, but it’s not writing, so it still gives your mind the opportunity to relax and stop trying to make a story work.  So we know that Scrabble helps you clear your head, now tell us what  you do to unwind after a long week?

A meal out with my partner, followed by a couple of drinks in a favourite bar. I can people watch as I unwind. Perfect.

It does sound perfect!  I think anything done in the company of people you like is great at the end of the week.  Here’s a nice easy one.  Your favourite hero and why?

I like a hero with an imperfection such as Sherlock Holmes with his addiction/attitude, but if I’m put on the spot for just one hero – it would have to be Dr Who.

I think that flawed heroes are easier to relate to.  Are you ready for the speed round?

Of course! *grin*

Favorite song?
I have two at the moment – ‘You and I’- Lady Gaga and ‘Roar’ – Katy Perry

Band?
ZZ Top

Genre of fiction?
Fantasy

Movie?
That’s a toughie. I love the fantasy/sci-fi films of the 1950s and 1960s.

Color?
Red

Food?
Mac ‘n’ cheese

Beverage?
Dry white wine

Candy?
Dark (bitter-sweet) chocolate

Television show?
Masterchef

Book store?
Don’t have one. There are only a couple in the town where I live, so I get my books via Amazon.

A huge thank you to Pelaam for taking the time to chat to me.  It’s been really great and there’s so much of our chat that has to be left out… we’re a naughty combination!  Now it’s time for you to go and order your copy by either clicking on the cover image above or visiting our website at www.breathlesspress.com

Chat soon,

Dominic

Excerpt

Adam smirked and then looked at the other rider who’d dismounted. To Adam’s surprise, it wasn’t another woman as he’d assumed. The young man had the same lean build and auburn hair as his sister, but as he came closer, the masculine angles of his face were clearly visible, as were the lush, full lips that made Adam lick his own, suddenly dry ones.

He stared at the youth. In his time, Adam had bedded, or been bedded by, more men than he cared to count, let alone remember. He’d become jaded, and he knew it. But there was just something about this man that piqued his interest. Adam was quite certain that in a month, a year, or even a decade from now, if he lived that long, he would remember the plaid-shirted, beautiful young man.

The stranger came to stand by his sister. “That’s Charlie. Or it was.” He looked from Madison to Adam and back again. “You fellers find him?”

“That’s right, Mister…” Madison waited for a name.

“Elijah. I’m Elijah.”

“Did he discuss coming here with you?” Ellen asked, looking at Elijah. “I saw the two of you talking together.”

“Nope. Not with me. He said he wanted to have a word with Uncle and see you about something. He never mentioned anything about riding out here.”

Adam pursed his lips. It seemed to him that a whole heap of attention was focused on one dead cowpoke. But then again, not many ranch hands ended up dead from allegedly bad water on a supposedly deserted ranch. More surprisingly was the disappointment he felt realizing that Elijah might have been the last man to see Charlie alive. That made him a potential suspect.

“Well if it’s all the same to you, Sheriff, Adam and me will be getting along and head into town. Maybe we’ll see you tomorrow, Miss Ellen. We’re short of funds right now and hoping to find some ranch work.” Madison tipped his hat to Ellen, who remained stone-faced.

“Given we’ve lost Charlie, we could do with some help, Sis,” Elijah said.

“Maybe. But the final say will be Uncle’s. Don’t forget that,” Ellen said. “Let’s go. We need to let him know what’s happened. If you fellers are thinking of calling ’round, make it before noon. Uncle likes to take a nap in the afternoon, and we never disturb him when he’s resting. I take it you’ll take care of the remains, Sheriff? Or maybe you will, Mr. Carter. Another one of your charitable acts.” Not waiting for a reply, Ellen headed toward her horse with Elijah a step behind.

Walking towards their own horses, Adam watched the twins from the corner of his eye.

“She’s a fiery one,” Madison muttered. “Must be the red hair. Pretty enough though.”

“Yes, he was.” Adam realized his slip too late to censure it.

by

Fighting Fear

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Categories: Fresh Blog, Writing, Tags: , ,

Fear.  We’ve all experienced it.  For some, it’s the fear of spiders or snakes, even mice.  A tangible thing that can send us running for the hills.  For the record, my particular fear is cockroaches.  If I see one in the house, I cannot rest until it is dead.  No simple capture and release for a cockroach.  NO, it cannot be afforded the same courtesy as spiders and mice, beetles and moths.  Cockroaches must die and I turn into an irrational person hell-bent on annihilation.

For some, it’s the fear of not fitting in to the image that “society” has deemed to be the “right” one.  They fear not having the right look, clothes, accessories, hairstyle and opinions.  The need to fit in and conform, to belong, is so strong, that the fear of not doing that is a genuine fear.  It can paralyse you.  It is not wrong to want to fit in, to find your place – don’t get me wrong – but there is a point at which I would suggest that  you first need to find out what you would like your place to be before trying to find it.  It just may be that your inner Goth would by far rather be a proud outer Goth.

Another fear – and one that can be extremely debilitating – is the fear of personal failure and ridicule.  The fear that we will never be good enough at any one thing.  The fear that no matter how hard we try, or how much we want to succeed, that we just won’t.  It is this fear that I want us to work on conquering.  You see, it is this fear that will whisper to you that you couldn’t possibly write a book.  Whisper that you don’t have the talent to see your name in print.  Whisper that you will be the laughing stock of your friends.

It is also this fear which causes us to be ashamed of our dreams and ambitions, convincing us that people will laugh at us, judge us.  They’ll never understand.  In our case, the fear whispers that people will judge you because you write “those” books.  How can you show your face at family gatherings?  Tell your friends?  And anyway – who said YOU could write a book.  Oh, you already started… well, whispers fear, you’ll never finish and it’s pointless anyway.

Fear is an evil little bastard.  It lives inside all of us and for good reason.  We need it to survive in the world.  A healthy fear of being squashed will remind us to look both ways before crossing the road.  Internal fears are also useful.  They tell us when we are attempting something that has the potential to be truly great.  Something that has the potential to push us out of our comfort zones and into the future.

After all, you may not get published and even if you do, you probably won’t be the next Stephanie Meyers or E L James (sorry), but what fear doesn’t want you to realise is that you’ll still have written a book.  You’ll have achieved something fear said you couldn’t do and then you’ll know that fear is really quite powerless over you!

The choice YOU have to make is whether you’re going to put fear up in a mansion or consign it to the smallest hut at the bottom of the metaphorical garden of your life.

Until next time…

Domino xx

by

Nailing the Male

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Categories: Fresh Blog, Writing, Tags: , ,

Get your head out of the gutter.  This post isn’t going to be what you think it is.  No, really.  It’s actually going to be very innocent.

I had an email yesterday from an old family friend who has a job writing freelance for a magazine and his alter-ego is a woman.  To be honest, I’d read a few of the articles before he confessed that it was him and I loved them.  I was curious though as to how he’d managed to nail being a woman so perfectly in his column.  After all, there were no clues (and still aren’t, hence my reluctance to give him away) that the writing talent behind the words was male.   He confessed that he struggled at first and then decided to approach the issue as if he was asking some of his best female friends for their advice or opinion.  By reading women’s mags and allowing himself to “think like a woman”, he found that he was able to find his inner feminine voice.  His email to me was to ask for a few tips on stockings, garters and heels and while I replied, it got me thinking about writing a convincing male voice when you’re a female author.

Men and women are very different.  Not just physically or emotionally, but psychologically as well.  I’m sure you’ve seen that great post going around on social media right now about the difference between men and women?  Woman points out that they’ve been dating for 6 months, man starts thinking about taking car for a service, woman is convinced man is upset that she is clingy, man has no clue that woman is blowing mole hill into Everest.  It’s actually really entertaining, precisely because it is so relatable.

When you’re going to be writing a male character, it’s important that you don’t do his thinking with your female brain.  You need to put yourself into the shoes of some of your male friends and if necessary, ASK them about situations.  When a guy says that you look great, he usually just means that you look great.  Men also aren’t going to notice that your dress has tiny lace trim and exquisite hand detailed beading.  They’re going to notice that the dress hugs every curve of your body, that your breasts are peeking at the deep V-neck and that the skirt flares when you turn suddenly, offering a glimpse of your upper thigh (and in my case, garter belt).  So when you’re writing a scene from the male perspective, don’t mention how cute that dress is.

Also, think about all the men in your life.  How many of them will curl up on a sofa and share their feelings?  Probably none.  That means that it’s not realistic for your lead male to just blurt it all out there or want to talk it out.  You may be writing fiction, but as we’ve covered before, it has to make sense and no-one is going to believe in a character that doesn’t behave the way the men we’ve met would.  I’m not suggesting a Neanderthal approach (me Tarzan, you Jane, grunt, grunt), but as women, we usually have to work at it to hear the words we love.

Finally – for today – base your male lead on people you’ve met in your life.  Incorporating characteristics, traits, mannerisms etc that you have witnessed for yourself will help to make your character 3 dimensional and therefore infinitely more lovable.

What are your tips for writing believable male leads?

Until next time…

Domino xx

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