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Friday, May 29, 2015

Unalloyed Love: a story of love, death and redemption


Hello everyone, 
Carson here to give you that monthly heads up to what you'll see this month.  I've decided to kick off Vampire Month a little early since we didn't have anyone posting this last posting day of May. If you like reading about the sexy, dark princes of darkness, you'll want to come back often during the month of June. The vampire stories you will see will run the gambit from sweet to erotica and all the subtle stops in between. Come back often and tell a friend what you read here!

~*~

As I am writing this blog post, a pair of ice-blue piercing eyes watches me from an old painting on the wall. I have been drawn to this portrait since my childhood. My mother painted it when she was but a girl, so the portrait has always been around ever since I remember. When I was a kid, I spent hours watching the young man whose pale somewhat sad face emerges from the shadows. He watches back and he is waiting. When I was a teenager, I wrote a short story about this portrait. Some twenty years later, that little piece expanded into Unalloyed Love, a two-part tale of love, death, and redemption.

An excerpt:
Nobody danced laska anymore. And still its passionate, seductive tune caressed Kemen's ears. He heard the violins and spinets and lutes playing it for him and Ferran. He saw every detail of the candlelit ballroom where he hadn't laid his foot for three hundred and fifteen years. He held his Ferran's hand as they together whirled in the middle of the room. Bright candlelight everywhere, reminding him of the light of day. Tall windows between him and the night outside... and the dusk inside him. He fought it then, the coming darkness. It seemed possible when he felt his lover's breath under his palm as the steps of the dance brought them together in a loose embrace. Four forceful steps forward, four back. Leading and being led. Ferran's lips opened ajar in desire for him. The scratchy feel of his brocade doublet. Its sheen like moonshine entrapped in silver cloth. His warm breath on Kemen's cold lips. Mint and hazelnuts in its waft. The squeeze of his hot hand. Seduction spanning time and space.
There were sunsets when Kemen felt and saw every moment of their last dance. In his feverish sunset dreams, he still had his Ferran. In them, he wasn't Emptiness. Yet. And then he woke up and was who he had been for three hundred and fifteen years.
Now Ferran's green-blue eyes watched him only from an old painting. They seemed to be alive and always on him. Every night.
Every night Kemen sought another trace of life in his lover's pale face that hadn't lost anything of its allure for three hundred and fifteen years. But there was none. Even the gleam in his eyes was just an echo of the bygone painter's skills mingling with Kemen's impossible dream. The colors of the portrait had darkened over the centuries and the canvas had acquired pitiful cracks, and memories couldn't be relived.
***
Even as I sit here and just re-read these words that I have read so many times before, it makes my eyes smart. For me, this is the pain of immortality concentrated in a couple of paragraphs. If you suspect that my writing is darker than the standard of romances, you're right. My novels always have a strong romantic drive and portray sizzling passion vividly, but aren't classical romances. They're a mix of gay historical fantasy, romantic suspense, dark romance, and sensual drama. I believe that love is stronger than death but rarely walks straight paths – that's mirrored in my books too. The men who are together in the beginning of the tale, may not be together at its end. They may find their true love much later in the course of a story than in a classical gay romance. Also, unlike in clear-cut modern romance, I don't avoid the theme of death in my books. The stories usually have moments that make me cry while I write them. They tend to leave you with a bit of ache around the heart, like most unforgettable love stories in the history of humankind do. I don't promise HEA endings, but right and hopeful ones.
Sounds good to you? If it does, I'm glad you've read your way through to this point. Without more ado, here are the book blurbs for Unalloyed Love Part 1&2.

Unalloyed Love Part 2 book blurb:
Amedee’s and Viktor’s world is spinning in a wild whirlwind that buffets them without mercy. On the run, faced with lack of resources and pain stemming from the clash of Amedee’s stubborn bravery with Viktor’s perceived cowardice, they conceive a dangerous plan. Amedee will get sold as a pleasure-slave, Viktor will collect the payment and will help him escape from slavery as soon as Amedee gains his master’s trust.
Disturbed by their desperate intentions, High Demon Belial keeps them both under his protection. Subtle it must be as he is bound by his liege lord’s command to allow them to reach their destiny.
Fate is upon their heels when constant hardship awakens a dormant ability in Amedee’s soul. In his dreams and nightmares, he sees the past. As his visions grow more intense and vivid, it becomes clear that a part of him lives in a bygone time. Another life, with another man. With the man who buys him as a pleasure-slave.
Count Kemen Morgan has never left the past. Possessed by the lost soul of a High Priestess of Endingale’s cult, he has never died. Patiently, he has been waiting for his lover’s return for three hundred and fifteen years. When his impossible dream comes to its fulfillment, fear and hope war over his soul. Hoping for the new dawn with Amedee, he lives his days in dismay that he shall be his lover’s doom as he was three hundred and fifteen years ago. The High Priestess sprawling in his tormented mind has not lost any of her then bloodthirst.
The new constellation grants Archangel Endingale a perfect opportunity to destroy all three men in one act. To her, Amedee, Viktor, and Kemen are but pawns in a cruel game they cannot win.
Will her machinations succeed or will love triumph over death? What will Belial learn about the power of Love, the strangest god of all?

Want to find out? You can get your copies here:
If you'd like to be posted about new releases in the series, subscribe to my newsletter: http://www.ciarandwynvil.com/

Thank you, Carson, for having me and Unalloyed Love at your place today.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In honor of those who risk so much to protect us



My debut novel with Dreamspinner Press, Everything Changes, features two very damaged heroes.  It’s the story of Jase and Carey, close friends who have served alongside each other in a hostile foreign country, fighting a relentless and brutal enemy.  Together they survive, and even though Carey has more visible injuries, Jase is wounded just as badly in his psyche and heart.
Carey Everett is an amputee, having lost his right leg due to an insurgent explosion while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan.  After his injury he endured several surgeries and underwent painful physical therapy, spending months in a wheelchair.  Eventually he was fitted for and learned to walk again on a prosthetic leg.
Jase DeSantis was the combat medic for Carey’s unit, and during the course of his military service he saw and experienced many horrors of war, including seeing his best friend grievously injured right in front of him.  Jase was able to save Carey’s life, but suffered years of guilt for not being able to save his leg.  Added to that was witnessing the brutal deaths of two honorable, brave men during a vicious battle with insurgents.
Carey was scarred on the outside, Jase on the inside.  Jase is fighting an ongoing battle with PTSD – a battle that’s become more debilitating with each passing year.  Carey was able to find emotional healing through helping other wounded veterans, work that gave his life meaning beyond pain and disfigurement. 
What would happen if these intense, life-changing experiences and the feelings that resulted turned friendship into love?  What if one of them had never in a million years imagined himself falling in love with another man?   Living with a disability, coping with PTSD and friendship catching fire are the main themes of Everything Changes. 
As an Air Force brat and Navy wife, I’ve been steeped in military culture almost my entire life.  This background gave me a lot of material to work with, and when I heard this line from a song that I love, “When it’s just me and you, who knows what we could do, if we can just make it through the toughest part of the day,” the story for Everything Changes was born…friends who indeed make it through the toughest part of the day and find love on the other side. 
A little bit more about me:  I’ve been a romance reader almost my entire adult life, a voracious reader of m/f historical romance.  Discovering m/m romance was like coming home, the readers and authors I met at GRL in 2013 and through online interaction feeling like “my people” from day one.  I had never dreamed of writing anything myself until something happened off-page in one of my most beloved m/m book series, something I couldn’t let go of and had to see happen.  So I wrote the story myself, and I posted it on Tumblr.
I won’t say that piece of fanfic was overwhelmingly received or changed my life, but I discovered an outlet for my love of romance and for certain book characters who had become precious to me.  When NaNoWriMo rolled around, I thought, “Why not,” and on November 1, 2013, I opened a Word file and started what eventually became Everything Changes.
Working with Dreamspinner Press has been a wonderful, positive experience, and I can’t speak highly enough of everyone I’ve been fortunate enough to meet, authors and staff alike.  I’m looking forward to GRL 2014, where I will be appearing as a supporting author.  If you are there, please come find me.  I’d love a “hi” and a hug!



Excerpt: (slightly NSFW)
Carey’s mouth fell open, and heat rushed through him as Jase kicked the clothing off, pushing it aside with his foot. He held his arms out to the side, grinning impishly at Carey.

“Well?”

“Damn,” Carey breathed. “You’re beautiful, Jase.” With his eyes he traced Jase’s body from head to toe, the lean muscles, ridged abdomen, pecs topped by prominent brown nipples. His cock was framed by a trimmed mat of pubic hair.

“You keep looking at me like that, this ain’t gonna last long,” Jase growled. Carey smirked, then twirled his finger in a turn-around motion.

“I feel like a piece of meat,” Jase grumbled good-naturedly, but turned in a slow circle. Carey’s mouth watered as he took in Jase's broad shoulders and muscular back, tapering in a perfect V into slim hips and high, round buttocks. Carey was a little bemused at how looking at another man’s body was revving him up, but it was. It was just… Jase. Carey already knew how beautiful he was on the inside; now he knew how stunning he was on the outside too.

Using his support leg and his arms, he pulled himself to the edge of the bed and sat up, crooking his finger at Jase.

“Come here.”

Jase’s eyes flared hot, and he took the few steps necessary to reach the edge of the bed. Carey reached up slowly and moved his hands onto Jase’s hips, stroking over the hipbones lightly before tugging him forward to stand between his legs.

“I just want to touch you,” he said hoarsely. “Is that okay?”

Jase smoothed Carey’s hair back from his forehead, his fingertips achingly gentle. “Touch me,”
he said simply.

Melanie Hansen contact info:

@MelJoyAZ (Twitter)

Buy Link:


Monday, May 25, 2015

The Mayhem of falling in Love



Love is an all encompassing emotion that overcomes you whether you are ready for it or not. Just ask my heroes in my latest release Wicked Defense (Bonds of Justice, #4). LOL. These two vastly different men find themselves caught in love’s sights. Spencer West and Craig Scott—my heroes—from the outside seem vastly different. Spencer is a police detective grounded in the reality of everyday and with a set of values that are his. While Craig is an artist seemingly lost in his creativity. He seems eccentric and harmless…but there are hidden layers to him. Layers that Spencer sees and wonders at. These men have the commonality of going after what they want and integrity. Spencer is there for those he cares about and will do anything to protect them. Craig is there for those he cares about and will do anything to protect them. I've deliberately stated that twice because it is very true about both men.   

Each man has their own views on things. Spencer doesn't expect or want a relationship. With his profession he's been through a few things that could lead to more but doesn't because they could not handle what he does. Craig throws him by his flirtation and not taking no for an answer. Craig is weird but oh so fascinating. LOL. Poor Spencer doesn't know what he is about to experience. Craig on the other hand is free spirited but with layers. He wants Spencer and is determined to have him. :) 

Wicked Defense (Bonds of Justice, #4) takes you on a journey of these men and how they come together. It starts with a flirtation that becomes deeper when Craig's life is in danger. But Spencer quickly realizes that Craig isn't just the lost in the clouds artist. Craig is a man who isn't about to sit by and just let someone protect him. These men's personality are different but they fit each other. They are about to take a journey on the mayhem of falling in love.

 Enjoy the excerpt from Wicked Defense!

Wicked Defense
By: Talia Carmichael
Totally Bound
Available Now
ISBN: 9781784302290
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Bonds of Justice – Book 4
Length: Novel
Format: E-Book
Buy here - https://www.totallybound.com/author/talia-carmichael#books







“You look like you want to touch.” The sensual, raspy timbre came from his left. 
Spencer hadn’t heard anyone approach—he’d been so focused on the painting. Even now he couldn’t look away to acknowledge the person speaking. “I’m not sure. I can’t decide if I want to touch it or take a lighter and burn it. It makes me…”
“Now, now, you can’t just stop there,” the man spoke again. “What does it make you…? Fill in the blank.”
At the demand, Spencer wondered who the man thought he was, telling him to do something. For some reason, he decided to humor him. “It makes me feel like an emotional punching bag. Like I’ve taken some major blows but am better for it. Very deep, and I think I like it.” 
“You sound surprised.” The man moved closer. “Didn’t you like the other paintings and sculptures in the show?” 
“They were also very emotional. Makes me wonder about the artist and what hell he lived through to come up with this. I wonder how he’d even let anyone see all these pieces that reveal so many personal things about him. It’s either very brave or crazy.” Spencer crossed his arms over his chest. “But that doesn’t really answer your question. The other stuff was fine but not my thing. Now this one is…” He stared at the painting again. “Fucking awesome.” 
“Your enthusiasm at the painting pleases me,” the man said.  “Why would you care?” Spencer turned and lowered his head slightly, narrowing his eyes as he spotted The Watcher. “Hey, why were you staring at me earlier?” 
“I was staring at you a lot earlier than that. It just took a while for you to find me.” The Watcher smiled widely. “It became sort of a hide and seek for me to stare and see how long it would take you to notice, then be out of sight so you didn’t know who it was. That is, until I let you see me the last time. You have very great instinct and almost caught me a few times. Are by chance in law enforcement?”
“I’m a Detective in the Hollisville Police Department.” 
“Where do you work out of?”  “The Harris Street station. Why?”
 “I might just come looking for you.” 
It sounded like a warning as well as a caress to Spencer. He frowned, not sure what to make of The Watcher. He was even sexier up close. 
“Why were you playing hide-and-seek so I wouldn’t see you were watching me?” 
“Because I wasn’t sure what to do about you, Detective.” The Watcher cocked his head to the side, studying him. “You’re an anomaly and I wondered why you were here. An artist showing doesn’t seem like your thing.” 
“It’s not. I’m here because of my friend Mercer.” 
“Ahh… Mercer. He is such a fascinating man. Great character to his face. Now if I could convince him to let me paint him… No, I would make a bronze of him to capture that strength and vitality.” The Watcher smiled. 
“I’m going to assume that you’re Craig Scott—the artist the show is for—the one who molested Mercer the first time you saw him.” Spencer chuckled. “It was as amusing as hell when he told us the story.” 
“From the familiar way you speak of him, I’m thinking you’re one of the best friends he’s mentioned.” Craig put his hands behind his back and smiled again. “I’ve met Dominic, but not any of the others who Mercer calls best friends.” 
“If you go around the room, you’ll get to meet them.” Spencer gestured around.
“Maybe later. For now, I’m having a fascinating conversation with the most intriguing man.” 
“Me?” Spencer laughed. “You’re full of a load of shit.”
“No, I’m not.” Craig moved closer. “I am intrigued. You didn’t try to blow smoke up my ass about my paintings. The one you loved is called Freedom and that, along with the one to be revealed soon, are my favorites. Yeah, I know as an artist I should love all of them equally, but this and that”—he pointed at the painting they stood before and the one that was covered—“showcase all I wanted to portray in this show. And, Detective, I’m both brave and crazy. You would do well to remember that. I feel deeply and when I do, look out. Nothing stops me.” 
“Why does that seem like a warning?” 
“Oh it’s not. It’s a promise.” Craig widened his eyes. 
“Stop flirting with me,” Spencer said firmly. 
 “Oh good, you picked up on what I’m doing, Detective. I was worried for a moment you might have missed it.” Craig’s eyes twinkled. 
“You’re flirting with me, yet calling me Detective. Why aren’t you calling me by my name?” 
“As soon as you tell me your name, I’ll call you by it.” Craig moved closer still. “And if you’re lucky, maybe even scream it as you fuck me.” 
“Wow, we go from meeting to fucking. You move fast.” 
“When I see something I want…” Craig shrugged, a lazy yet graceful gesture.
“Well I might see something I want, but I like the foreplay of it—the seduction leading up to the sex.” Spencer couldn’t help the grin on his face. 
Craig might be intrigued by him but Spencer’s curiosity was piqued, and he wanted to know more about Craig. 
“I can do that too, Detective.” Craig moved another step. “I’m good at adapting. It’s one of my many talents.” 
“I’ll make note of it.” Spencer took a deliberate step toward him. 
Craig’s eyes widened, then a smug smile curled his lips. 
And my name is Spencer.”

Copyright © Talia Carmichael, 2014.
All Rights Reserved.
Buy here - https://www.totallybound.com/author/talia-carmichael#books


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Bio: Talia Carmichael is a romantic who believes that family, no matter if it is by blood or those you choose as family, is integral to who you are. She is an author who writes sexy stories in a variety of genres. She believes in creating stories that encompass all that falling in love or lust entails, from the highs of that first blush of attraction to the lows of not knowing if you can make your coming together as a couple work, and then finally to the acceptance of the reality of making a life together. It's all about the journey.
Among her books you'll find contemporary, futuristic, fantasy, and paranormal settings with M/M themes that will have a happily-ever-after. Her books are passionate, intense, and real… to fill the craving. Check out more about Talia at http://taliacarmichael.com  or  http://taliacarmichael.com/blog. Contact her at http://taliacarmichael.com/blog/contact
or check her out on facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Talia-Carmichael/247134751977720. Twitter:  https://twitter.com/taliacarmichael