Monday, August 12, 2013

Man Candy Monday: Country Boys

This week for Man Candy Monday, I decided to go country:) I'm a southern gal, so I'm a sucker for a man in boots and a cowboy hat. I hope everyone has an amazing Monday:)





I love the arm and shoulder tats!!

This man is in need of a HEA! 


His eyes are so stunning. 

A little country boy menage, anyone? 


Monday, July 29, 2013

Man Candy Monday! Hugh Jackman


In celebration for the release of the new Wolverine film, the first ever Man Candy Monday goes to...Hugh Jackman. I hope you have a great Monday;)














Sunday, July 28, 2013

LHNB: Finding the Time

My Love Has No Boundaries story, Finding the Time has now been posted! I am honestly nervous and excited to forever to meet Memphis and Jake. I loved the prompt and picture I chose.

The picture.

This is what first got my attention. I love how comfortable this couple seems to be. When I saw it, I knew it would be an established couple theme. I love established couples. I feel like the reader really gets a more in depth or rounded story.


The prompt.

Dear Author,

They have been together for several years and very comfortable with each other (as shown in the picture ;)). But lately, work and life in general made them see each other less. The picture is shown where they were finally had free time together. Even though one of them was tired, he still made an effort to be close to his boyfriend by napping on him.

I would like the story to be a slice of life with some background on how they met. I would like them to be in their thirties and act like it. More of a story of how the couple makes efforts to spend time together.

Preferably, no misunderstanding or miscommunication.

I would like that when you get to know them, you knew they will be together and have a HEA.


Sincerely,

Pete



I really hope Pete enjoys Memphis and Jake as much as I did. I fell so in love with J&M that plans for the  novel already underway. 

If you would like a chance to read Finding the Time, log on to the M/M Romance site and enjoy. There are hundreds of free reads, waiting for you!!  



http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1425778-finding-the-time-by-summer-michaels-7-27#comment_79382985

Friday, July 19, 2013

Guest Host and Giveaway:Roger Kean

Hi everyone! You are in for a treat today!! A few years ago, when I started to become a ‘real author’ I joined a critique group. Along the way, I have met some amazingly talented authors. One of them is none of other than Roger Kean. Roger’s work has always floored me. He might blush, but I honestly believe his work should be on everyone’s shelves.

Roger’s latest piece, Gregory’s Story is now ready for its debut. Without further ado, I leave you in Roger’s capable hands. I hope you enjoy!!

MORE A COMPANION THAN A SEQUEL
Roger M. Kean, author of Goodreads M/M Romance and Queereaders March 1013 Book of the Month “A Life Apart”, plunges again in the burning deserts of the Sudan.

Gregory Hilliard wants to discover his father’s fate, deep in the Sudan, at the hands of Dervishes 15 years before. Attached to General Kitchener’s army in 1897, he goes to defeat the Mahdist fanatics with his friend and lover, the Ja’alin Zaki. Gregory faces a tragic and at the same time life-enhancing mystery with its roots in far away England… and one which might yet rip the two lovers apart.


My new novel, “Gregory’s Story” can be read as a standalone novel, but it’s much richer treated as following on from “A Life Apart.”

I had completed work on “A Life Apart”—the story of Edward and Richard Rainbow—and put it aside to let it rest for a bit before starting final edits. That’s often when you see missed opportunities and do small, perhaps even quite large, rewrites. As it happened I always had the notion of bringing the two Rainbows back for a second outing, but the more I thought about the possible sequel the more I wanted one or two new main characters as the focus, and so Gregory Hilliard sprang to life in my mind, with Edward and Richard as secondary players in the adventure. Gregory, I decided would have a father who had disappeared during the massacre of British officers commanding Egyptian troops in 1883 at the battle of El Obeid, and a mother convinced his father still lived. Gregory had a quest as soon as he was old enough—discover his father’s true fate.

I started to rough out the first few chapters of Gregory’s early life, how he ended up being born and brought up in Egypt, of his first encounters with the Ja’alin Arab boy Zaki and how they came to be lovers… but I needed a link between the two novels. And then it hit me! I went back to when Gregory was about four, worked out the timings, and created a terrible accident where the child would have met his death were it not for the timely intervention of the handsome teenaged Trumpeter Smith, really Edward Rainbow, at the time a runaway from his English family.

Of course, that meant going back to “A Life Apart” at the very last minute and writing the same scene from Edward’s point of view. And that was my link between the two novels; and off went “A Life Apart” for publication.

That incident in the crowded streets of Cairo is crucial to the development of the early plot for “Gregory’s Story,” especially in his affinity for the now much older Edward (they both had somehow “lost” their fathers) and later for Edward’s “brother” Richard. Young Gregory is also drawn toward Edward at a more basic, sexual, level—although he barely acknowledges it—which creates another dynamic in the plot development and which has an important role to play later on.

In “A Life Apart” I explored the endless problems faced by two young men in love with each other in a Victorian-military setting, an era and situation in which homosexuality was a forbidden subject and any men caught in the act, or even accused of it, faced long prison sentences with hard labor. The fate of Oscar Wilde at the time is telling, and it gets a mention in “Gregory’s Story,” but for Gregory and Zaki there is an added complication. Not only must Gregory hide his sexual inclination and his love for Zaki, he must also face the extreme prejudice of his white peers, who regard all Egyptian and Sudanese as an inferior species, and with whom a relationship beyond master and paid servant is impossible, abhorrent, disgusting.

However, what I found fascinating in writing Gregory was that he feels himself more an Egyptian than a stiff upper-lipped Englishman. He strides two countries, two utterly different societies, and that makes his take on life infinitely more interesting. Nevertheless, it strains his relationship with Zaki because the two do have to play-act according to the white rules—Gregory the white officer, Zaki the black servant boy. The only redeeming aspect of this English colonial imperialism is the two boys’ relationship with Edward and Richard Rainbow, two men who know what it is to live a continual lie in order to preserve the purity of their love for each other. And both older men have more than enough experience to know the value of deep friendships with the native people.

So “Gregory’s Story” is often a satire on British imperialism as much as it is an action-adventure set in a very real history as the Anglo-Egyptian army slowly moves up the Nile in 1897–98 to crush the Mahdist rebellion that had brought down General Charles Gordon at Khartoum in 1885, the setting for “A Life Apart.” And ultimately the mystery of the fate of Gregory’s father plunges him into a situation where he must decide whether to accept his station in life and in so doing lose Zaki forever.




EXTRACT

CHAPTER 2
A Cairo Street Arab, September 1896

Gregory envied his friend Zaki’s exile down in Habibah al-Suef’s shady yard below. But his own sentence would soon be commuted when Habibah and his mother finished their gossip and then he could run off to the shooting range for an hour’s practice with pistol and rifle, and then to the exercise yard he and Zaki frequented. Gregory turned his head from the overhanging oriel where he sat cross-legged on the window seat. The sun angling in through the glass panes burned his left thigh below the hem of his khaki shorts. His neat dress, European for the visit instead of the loose and comfortable djellaba he’d rather wear, had begun to cling uncomfortably from sweat forming under its tight confines. Across the wide room his mother spoke in quiet tones with her pupil. In truth Habibah no longer required his mother’s tuition and the regular afternoon visits were expressly for the exchange of gossip, just about every morsel of which bored Gregory. His sharp hearing picked out the familiar words in Habibah’s elegantly accented English.

“He is such a handsome boy, Mistress Anne. How proud you must be.”
Habibah always started this topic in the same manner. The objective was simple: by contrast with Gregory’s esteemed wonderfulness, show up Zaki.

“I never will understand it. A Ja’alin as well. Cairo teems with more suitable companions than…”

She’ll be waving her hands now, lost for words. He switched his gaze and glanced down again. Zaki had stirred and started chatting with the woman who looked after the household laundry. He looked up suddenly. Gregory raised a hand, waved, and received a cheery all-white-teeth-in-black-apple-cheeks grin in return, which caused him to shiver pleasantly. The woman offered Zaki a corner of her musallah. Gregory caught the faint call of the muezzin > from… the Mosque of Ibn Tulun was probably the nearest. As the adhan rang out over the streets, to be joined in a musical wailing wave by other muezzins near and far, Zaki oriented himself and bowed his head to the prayer mat, his tightly coiled hair like the pile of a black Berber carpet. Gregory knew well the tight nap of Zaki’s hair and mentally ran a hand over it with a renewed shiver, and from his eyrie joined his friend in prayer. He was used to performing the rak’ahs which made up the full salah, although he did not pray five times a day as prescribed (and to be honest, neither did Zaki observe all of them).

His mother greatly disapproved of him “aping” the Muslims. “You are a Christian,” she berated him after finding him forehead to a musallah with Zaki. On that occasion Nabila had chased the “nasty Ja’alin heathen” from the house—like Habibah, though eons apart socially, Nabila was a Copt. He found the whole business odd, since his mother also insisted that the god of the Christians (she graciously included the Copts), the Jews, and the Muslims was really the same being. When he interrogated Zaki on this, his expert on Islamic affairs shook his curly-knotted head and said he’d have to ask. A day later he reported what a local imam told him, that both of them were ahl el-kitab, along with any Jews.

“People of the Book,” Gregory translated, no wiser really, but he assumed it matched his mother’s assertion.

Unbidden, his mind side-slipped from the sublime to something baser. He laughed to himself at what Nabila and Habibah al-Suef might think if they knew what he and Zaki got up to when out of sight of censorious adults. Rather a lot more than praying together. While it was the son of a French stockbroker who initiated Gregory into the secrets of sex not so many years before, it was Zaki’s precocious uninhibitedness which transformed the purely mechanical into something wonderful, something which only they shared. At first they pleasured each other by fondling and rubbing, although a deep instinct told Gregory what they were doing should be kept secret from anyone else, especially grown-ups. But as they matured toward adolescence, they soon discovered how to make the strange and wonderful sensations stir in belly and groin and then explode like going for a desperately needed piss only… well, so much stronger a feeling. And the resulting emissions, enjoyed together, cemented their feelings in a way that made Gregory go fuzzy inside whenever he thought of Zaki, and which Zaki returned in all manner of ways: by looks, private touches of shoulder, hip, hands, gently tapped heads, even feet when they sat side by side on a high wall, legs dangling.

Looking down at Zaki in the yard, he grinned and unconsciously squeezed his cock. Loose-limbed but so elegant in his economic movements, just a glimpse of Zaki’s dark smooth-skinned legs whenever he hitched up his djellaba made Gregory feel breathless with a strength of excitement he didn’t know how to express. Yes, French and English snobbishness perfectly mirrored Habibah’s high-born Egyptian disdain, for Gregory’s white peers frowned on his friendship with Zaki and were often as vocal in their disapproval. He simply shook it off.

In fact years ago he’d shaken off several of the expatriate children of his acquaintance after Zaki came into his young life. The Ja’alin boy’s bubbly and irreverent sense of humor appealed to Gregory. It wasn’t long before Zaki mattered to him much more than any of his European friends did. But in that, even as youngsters, Gregory innately understood that his close friendship with a native would never be simple or easy; would never be really accepted by his white acquaintances in whom his mother put such store. But what could he do? The first moment those big, round, dark eyes glinted happily when Nabila introduced them and Gregory initiated the smiling, he was smitten.

His few European friends were all transitory anyway, here one day, moved on with their parents’ important administrative roles the next. And they all hailed from big places like Paris or London or Berlin, cities which meant nothing but which they used to lord it over him by calling him an Egyptian fellahin. Little Gregory shrugged it off and made out that he was proud of being a Cairene—which he was, really… at least when the others used it as a tease. Sometimes, on his own, the taunts stung and he never felt like the tormentors were real friends. Zaki was so different. Within weeks… no, if he thought about it, perhaps only days… of being in each other’s company, Zaki became an essential part of his life, and it thrilled Gregory when Zaki responded as though he felt the same. Were they not always able to win the staring game against Gregory’s itinerant cronies? This English lad, that French boy, none could withstand Zaki’s unblinking gaze and had to break away first with growls of irritation. Gregory could engage Zaki’s dark eyes and they would stare into each other for ages before bumping noses to end the session. Gregory also won the staring game against the European boys as well.

“Kite-eyes,” Zaki labeled themselves. “Able to pin the prey and kill at a distance.”

Even when the others made it plain they didn’t want Zaki to “stick around,” he still hovered and looked out for Gregory. One day, one of the older boys—whose father had come to Egypt for a year in some snooty capacity—teased him for being an Egyptian babu. “I say, Hilliard, what school are you put down for when you grow up?” he’d asked in the nasal accent Gregory associated with all the English gentry in Cairo.

“I don’t know.” The question puzzled him because he learned stuff at home.

The worthy’s face contorted into a mock-incredulous sneer. “You must know what place your pater has booked for you in England, surely?”

“I’m prob’ly staying here.”

The bully shoved his face in Gregory’s and aped his words. “Oh, prob’ly, hey? Can’t even speak proper English, you dirty fellah-heen!”

This conversation ended abruptly when Zaki head-butted the boy in the stomach and sent him sprawling.

The truth, he told himself without any feeling of regret, was that he felt more an Egyptian than he ever did an Englishman. When alone, Gregory and Zaki played on the small lawn in his mother’s shady court, wrestled and fought as boys will, and rolled together on the coarse grass the part-time gardener struggled to tame. Gregory loved to snuffle in the crook of Zaki’s lean neck and breathe in the smell of him—warm, like rice newly cooked in coconut milk and citrus from the fruit he handled every day. They wriggled together and inhaled the different scents of sun-blushed skin.

As they turned thirteen and fourteen Zaki became everything and Gregory’s social life with other whites dwindled. As with the haughty sons of temporarily expatriate fathers, so it was with girls. He began to question his feelings for Zaki. Intense, warm, fuzzy, comfortable. They understood each other at a deep level, heightened by their mutual fluency in the Ja’alin dialect, which excluded others even more than his friendship with a Sudanese boy did. The word love had popped into his mind on several occasions for what they did in private. He wasn’t at all sure whether love described his feelings for Zaki… should it be more, or less? In the few English books his mother deemed suitable for his age, any mention of love suggested the emotion was only appropriate between a boy and a girl. But he knew hardly any girls to challenge this. Egyptians kept their women of any age hidden fast away, and the Europeans weren’t much different. There was, of course, Rose Something-Or-Double-Barreled-Other. He wondered why Europeans always had to have so many names.

“You’ve got two,” Zaki pointed out.

“That’s nothing compared to, to… Sir Charles Frederick Mallord Clifton-Wellbury,” he retorted, naming a luminary of the foreign powers governing Egypt’s fortunes… or lack of them.

“Well, I’m simply Zaki, but the imam who berates me for being a wicked person is Alhajji ibn Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd al-Rahman.”

Gregory had met Rose Something-Or-Other on a few occasions at children’s parties, when she regarded him briefly with a blank face. Once, she poked her tongue out at him when she thought no one was looking. Gregory didn’t know what to make of this, but he was certain he had no feelings for her like he did for Zaki. And now they were all older (she was due to return to England at any time, he overheard his mother saying) he was no clearer. They had passed in the street on a couple of occasions, she under the protection of her governess, he with Zaki. He thought he detected a glint of interest as she sailed serenely and silently by, the slightest hint of polite recognition before turning up her snub nose at his native dress and companion.

His thoughts drifted reluctantly from Zaki to the conversation behind him. Habibah was moving into full steam…

“But, Mistress Hilliard, Anne, I mean… A Ja’alin, a Nilotic native of deepest Nubia!”

Gregory sensed the Egyptian gentle-lady’s shudders. But, as always, his mother’s calm, amused voice cut across.

“Nubian, he may be, but Zaki has his good points, Habibah.”

“Well, I’m sure as Gregory’s mother you know best, but it offends my sensibility to see a… a black native consorting with your handsome son.”

Handsome?



As if allowing us to read his work was not amazing enough, Roger has offered up two copies of Gregory’s Story. To enter for your chance to win, leave a message along with your email address. The contest will run from Sunday July 28 thru Sunday August 4th, 9pm EST. The winners will be chosen randomly. 


Thank you so much Roger, for stopping by and giving everyone a chance to win your work! You are an amazing writer. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Way To Your Heart: Summer Michaels


When I heard Less Than Three was celebrating their four year anniversary, I jumped at the chance to participate in some way. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to LT3. Sasha, Megan, and Sam all took a chance on me when they accepted Substitute Heart. Because of that chance, I get to call myself a published author :) I still squeal like a five year old when I say or type those words.

So what’s the way to the heart of Summer Michaels?

My heart can easily be reached by a breathtaking country drive. I live right outside of Lexington Kentucky. I’m surrounded by beautiful horse and cattle farms. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons. The farms are so beautiful those times of the year. Also that’s when Keeneland opens and nothing says Kentucky, like horse races. 





Another way to my heart is reading. I love, love, love to read! My husband joked the other day when he went to the library with me about how I was the number one draft pick when it came to the library. I know all my librarians by name and vice versa. I live in a small town, so my library will often order books for you if you ask…I just so happen to ask a lot. My library currently has no male to male material. It is my hope to turn that around! ;)

I read everything I can get my hands on! My current favorite M/M reads are: Bareback by Chris Owen, King Perry by Edmond Manning, The Heart of Texas by RJ Scott, and Look Away Silence by Edward C. Patterson, just to name a few. With all of these books, I couldn’t put them down. They made me want to become a writer, maybe not just a writer…a writer that touches reader’s hearts. Each of these authors moved me. Their characters stay within my heart as I write. 

The last and final way to my heart, is my family. I would'nt be the author/writer I am today without them. I have four wild and crazy kids who keep me on my toes. They teach me every day what it is to love unconditionally. They teach me to be strong and still believe in myself. My 7 year old will often come up to me, give me a bear hug, and tell me she is proud that I’m an author. That means the world to me.

When I completed Substitute Heart, I had my husband read it. I’m always nervous to have anyone read my work. I pour my heart into my stories. When he was finished, he cried and said he was so proud of me. To have my families blessing and encouragement is beyond amazing. 

In honor of Less Than Three’s Anniversary, I am giving away two copies of Substitute Heart. All you have to do to enter is tell me what your favorite M/M book is. Be sure to leave your email address as well. I can’t wait to hear from you all! :) The giveaway will end April 16th

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

T.T. Kove Blog Tour and Giveaway!



Today I would like to welcome, T.T. Kove as she makes a stop on her Blog Tour! T. T. Kove is the author of Winter LoveVixen, and Desert Fire

In Winter Love, Armas made his exit by leaving for Japan, so naturally that’s where he is when Sakura Kiss begins. I, as an author, has always been interested in Asia, and Japan in particular. It’s a very foreign place to me, but one that I would very much like to visit one day.

Setting the book in Japan required a lot of research, as I’ve never been to Japan before. Never been to Asia, period. The Japanese culture is quite different from what I’ve used to as a Scandinavian, and I hope some of the differences between the two cultures shows in the book.

This is not a book about different cultures though, but rather a book about starting over in an entirely new, foreign location. Armas’ decision to move to Japan didn’t stem from his interest in the country, because he frankly didn’t have any previous interest in it at all. All Armas wanted was to get far away from Helsinki, Finland, and taking a job offer halfway around the world achieved that. 

*** THE BOOK ***


Sakura Kiss

Memories of a brutal attack have left Armas afraid—of people, of intimacy, of admitting his sexuality. But shortly after arriving in Tokyo on business, he ventures out for a drink … and wakes up in the morning in a strange hotel room after a night he can only vaguely remember, though all his memories are surprisingly sweet. In a panic he flees, determined to leave the whole night behind him and get back to a life that is comfortable, familiar. His plans are ruined when his one night stand proves to be the CEO of the company that has brought him to Tokyo, and a man determined to help Armas overcome the dark in which he's living.

You can purchase Sakura Kiss at Less Than Three Press!

***EXCERPT ***
Armas' eyes shot wide open and he sat up in bed with a start. "Ohh!" He gasped as pain shot up the small of his back and through his head, and he doubled over on his side for a moment to wait for it to subside.
The covers pooled around his waist, and he looked down on himself. He was naked. A hand went back to cover his tailbone as he glanced around the room with wide eyes. It was a hotel room. And he was in a double bed, where the covers on both sides were rumpled.
His head throbbed painfully, and as he shifted and felt the pain in his bottom, memories from the night before came back to him. Drinking at a bar in Tokyo's famous gay district, meeting a striking Japanese man dressed in a perfectly tailored suit, and then ... leaving with the man, kissing him, and ... "Oh no," he whimpered. He'd slept with him. And not only that, but he'd bottomed. Was I willing? Did I really sleep with him by my own free will? Or was I ... Armas couldn't even think it.
The sound of the shower registered, and he glanced at the partially closed door leading into the bathroom. Someone was in there, probably the guy from last night. The guy with the black, slanted eyes, who had made love to him so gently ... Definitely willing then, he thought, but that didn't help. Panic rose and he jumped out of bed, not caring about the pain in his back as he scrambled to gather his clothes and get dressed.
He patted his pockets, made sure that he had his wallet, and then left the room. He didn't care that the door slammed after him; the man would know he'd left when he got out of the shower anyway.



I will be giving away one copy of Sakura Kiss to a lucky commenter. All you have to do is comment with a valid e-mail address and your preferred ebook format. The giveaway ends Sunday April 7th, and the winner will be chosen using random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Thank you so much, T. T. Kove for stopping by. Please don't forget to leave your comment and email address so you can be entered to win your copy of Sakura Kiss! Thank you all for stopping by and good luck!

Summer


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Interview: Less Than Three Publishing

Being a new author, I often find myself wondering which publication best fits me as a writer. I have also wondered  how certain publishers got their start in their genre, and who the people running the show are. So I decided to create a blog post for publishers of the QUILTBAG genre and find out more about them. You see, I love this genre! I want to see all of us become successful and take over the publishing world as we know it;)

Today I would like to introduce the staff and creators of Less Than Three Press




How did Less Than Three come to life?

Megan: Samantha called me one day and said 'we should start our own company'. We had been complaining more and more often about the stories we read and wanted to publish the stories we liked. So we did. Somewhere in that mess, Sasha was crazy enough to volunteer to help us, and we've been a trio ever since.

Sam: Megan and I liked to spend a lot of time chatting about books and publishing (still do, really). What we liked, what was annoying us, what we liked to see more of. Somewhere in the middle of one such conversation, the words "we should just start our own company" were spoken. What probably should have been taken as a flippant comment turned into a year's worth of researching the various aspects of publishing and starting a business.

When it got down to the point when we were done with the researching and actually ready to start setting up shop, Megan emailed me and said she'd been poking around and eventually asked Sasha for help on formatting the site. Honestly, Sasha was probably the best thing to happen to the LT3 idea.

Sasha: Post-college, I was doing a lot of flailing around trying to figure out WTF to do with my life. Writing and reading had been a big part of my life to that point, and I absolutely love and adore working with website formatting/programming (when it cooperates ;3) and when M started talking about starting a company with Sam, I totally threw myself in head first. (No regrets! ;3)

 Who are the faces behind LT3? (You don't have to post pictures, just names, titles, and relation to one another would be fine)

Samantha M Derr: Managing Editor, CFO

Megan Derr:  CEO, Marketing, author

Sasha L. Miller:  Webmaster, Customer Service, author

Samantha and Megan are sisters, Megan and Sasha are roommates.

What has been the hardest part to starting a publishing company?

Megan: The hardest part of starting was just starting—paperwork, setting everything up, learning how to do all the little behind-the-scenes things. For me, the hardest part now is being so up front and out there. I'm an introvert at heart, happiest hiding away writing or reading. Being in the spotlight is hard on a good day, terrifying on a bad one. I still think I have the easy part, though :3

Sam: Definitely in the beginning it was all the paperwork and just trying to get everything off the ground. For me personally, that especially applies to the contracts. Now it's the money management and budgeting and making sure everyone gets paid on time. Well, and still the paper work. All the pertinent paperwork and legal docs inevitably find their way to me for filing and safe-keeping.

Sasha: Making the website robust and easy to use. I'm not a classically trained web programmer; it's something I sort of fell into sideways. I've got bits and pieces of design knowledge, programming knowledge, and usability knowledge, but filling in the gaps and making everything –serials, book markets, paperbacks, everything – has been a continuous learning process. 

What has been a highlight for each of you?

Megan: I love working with other authors, be they brand new to the game and eager to learn the ropes, or a veteran author who decides to give a small press a whirl. Otherwise, for all I get overwhelmed, I do enjoy all the people I've met and chat with who I wouldn't know otherwise.

Sam: I'd have to agree with Meg on this one. I still get excited when I check the submissions folder and find a new submission was received sometime during the day/night. It's always awesome and it never gets old.

Sasha: Finding people who love to write and read the same stuff M, Sam, and I love to write and read! It's super awesome to hear from people who love what we publish. <3

Where do you see LT3 in the next 5 years?

Megan:  Ideally, thriving. We keep getting bigger and better, so in five years we'll probably have more full time staff and even actual offices, doing more cons on a regular basis, putting out books in multiple languages and even audio books.

Sam: More expanded. I'd like to see LT3 moved to actual office spaces, to be able to hire a full-time staff. To grow our repertoire to the realms of translated and audio editions. I'd really love for LT3 to be able to attend more cons. I like traveling and meeting the authors and readers who make LT3 possible.

Sasha: Kicking ass and taking names. :3 (M and Sam probably have this question covered. ;3)

What are some positive benefits for choosing a smaller publisher?

Megan:  It's much more personal. Authors aren't just emailed form after form and put through the cogs of a machine. We have our systems and patterns, but we're small enough that we connect directly with each of our authors, as much or as little as they want. We can spend more time on those who might need extra help, we're more easily able to accommodate special requests and try new things. It's not just numbers to us, we're very much about people—authors, the editors and artists we contract, the customers.

Sam: Again, I'll defer to Meg's answer on this. She says it best.

Sasha: Yep, M's answer covers it.


 Do you all have 'day jobs' as well?

Megan:  I do not. I quit my day job February of last year and ever since, LT3 has been my day job. 

Sam: For the moment, but I have plans to turn in my notice and quit sometime within the next two months. LT3 has grown a lot in the last four years. The expectations and amount of work required of me to meet them far exceed my ability to hold down two full time jobs. And at this point, I've out-grown the day job. There's not much more I can accomplish there without having to advance, and that's not really something I'm interested in.

Sasha: Like Sam, for the moment, but I've already given my notice and in June will be LT3 only!

  What are some of the genres you wish to see more of?

Megan: We wouldn't mind more contemporary, more mystery/thriller stuff. I have a fatal weakness for any and all cop stories, I'd love to have those at LT3. We've always been a home for fantasy, and want to keep that trend, but we're eager and happy to welcome all genres.

Sam: Western (specifically in the vein of Wild West—I'm not really a fan of the rodeo) and Noir.

Sasha: More cop stories! (I'm a whore for TV procedurals, no lie.) More sci-fi would be kick-ass, but I'm pretty much a fan of anything that's done well and is awesome.

 Serial Fiction: What is it and how can I sign up?

Megan:  Serial fiction is a love or hate kind of thing. Most people, I think, don't want to wait. They want their story all at once and none of this teasing-waiting crap. Others (like myself) don't mind being tortured. If you like being tortured, serials are for you! LT3 uses a format that has always been popular and works well online. Our key difference from most other serials is that the stories are complete before we ever start posting them, so readers are guaranteed the stories will conclude, rather than continue on forever with no idea if they'll ever end.
                               
Sam: I think the concept of running serials also came up during one of Meg and my phone conversations. Serial fiction seems to flip back and forth in terms of popularity. At the time we were discussing it, serial fiction was the red-headed step child. We knew we could do it and do it right and that it was something people would be interested in signing up for.

LT3's model breaks a story down into 10 – 15 page sections or chapters and posts them bi-weekly. At present, we have 5 serials running, though we'll be adding a sixth in April. Serials stories run the gamut from novel-length stories by a single author, to anthologies made up of stories by several different authors. One of our most popular —and permanent— serials is our Fairytales series.

Sasha: Also, you get a copy of the ebook at the end of the serial! So you don't pay for the serial and the ebook (that'd be silly), and if you don't have time (or like me, the attention span ;3) to read six stories at once,  you can follow one or two and then read the others when they're done.

If you've an inclination to try it out, you can sign up, right here:


What advice would you give to hopeful authors?

Megan:  Don't rush:  finish your first draft, let it sit. Polish it up. Send it to someone you trust, get their opinion, polish it some more. Send it to someone else, do it all again. Read submission guidelines carefully and obey them. Put effort into your summary. A lot of good stories get rejected by publishers because authors were impatient and sent in a first draft, ignored half the submission guidelines, and had a sloppy, typo-ridden summary. Be patient and don't rush. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing correctly.

Sam: Always read your contract before signing it and don't hesitate to ask questions about it if you don't understand something in it. It's important to understand what you're signing and what you're signing over.

Remember that editors are not your enemy. Getting back a manuscript covered in deletions/additions and generously peppered with comments from the editor does not mean you're a bad writer or that the story is bad. It just means it needs a good spit-polish and shine. No draft I've ever come across is perfect the first time through. There's always something. The editor is there to find that thing before your manuscript makes its way to the reader. Do not fear the editor—they're your last line of defense.

Sasha: Definitely check the submission guidelines, and read over your email/the form before sending it in. Your submission is your first impression, and you want to look good. ^__^

I wholeheartedly agree with M and Sam's advice – revise, but don't let revisions convince you your story sucks. Remember, too, that communication is your friend! If you're confused about edits or submissions or have a question about anything in the process, don't be afraid to ask questions. 


  
Less Than Three Press is celebrating their 4 year Anniversary!! Be sure to follow your Less Than Three favorite author on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and other social media sites for more info on giveaways and much more!

 Thank you so much Megan, Sam, and Sasha for allowing us to get to know you a little more. Thank you for all the hard work and dedication you do for the genre:) We look forward to more amazing reads from Less Than Three!



Friday, March 29, 2013

Serving Royalty Blog Tour

Good Morning everyone! Welcome to Summer's Point:) Today we are thrilled to welcome Ana Reese as she continues her blog tour. Without further ado, here is Ana!


Serving Royalty Blog Tour – Being Bossed Around by Your Own Characters


Hello all! First off, huge thanks to Summer Michaels for letting me babble over here today about my first publication, Serving Royalty- Through the Door, the first in a trilogy about a young nobleman, Jonas Hall, forced into servitude and prostitution and finds himself at the center of a rather dangerous royal scandal.


I’ve heard several times that there are writers who plan it and those who pants it. I am a planner. Trouble is, things don’t always go according to said plan. Take trying to give Jonas a man he could fall in love with.
 
When it comes to writing characters the reader will fall head over heels for, it’s a hit or miss. Because everyone has different things they are attracted to, so for myself, I have to put out of my mind what kind of person I would like. Now, my intended person may or may not be Jonas’ ‘type’. His original love interest turned out a bit … differently than I’d expected. And thankfully Noel, our scheming prince of Cor, was there to step in. These are the sorts of things that don’t always show up until after I start writing.

I like to think that outlining/scripting is my strong point. It let’s me quickly work my way through most, if not all, of the story and I can plan chapters, even estimate the length. Until it bites me in the ass and Jonas decides that ‘no I don’t like that man, he’s an idiot. Now, that guy over there? He’s hot.’ And before I know it Jonas is pissing off the wrong people and accidentally seducing someone else. My husband always thinks I sound a bit mad when I start going off about how certain characters won’t do like I want.

“They’re your characters, write them how you want to.”

“But that’s not how it WORKS!”

*sigh*

We are their story tellers. Sometimes I get reminded of that when I hit a groove and am typing along, then BAM! Things are said or done that weren’t in the first outline. All I can do is go along with it, and thankfully, this love interest issue that came up made everything else come together much better than in the original plan.


EXCERPT

"Who is that?"

"Walters is the biggest pain in my ass, and a creepy little man to boot. But, he knows his young fellows like nothing else. Takin' into account his past choices, you'll be snapped up by him right quick."

"Doing what exactly?"

The chef's face closed off quickly, and she took a slow step towards Jonas. "Would it matter? You're looking for good paying work, you'll have it. One o'the hardest jobs here too. Not that you'll get any real respect for it."

Jonas stared down into her beady dark blue eyes, his stomach playing host to a flurry of butterflies. "I can't leave. I need something."

"Anything will do?"

He hesitated, but nodded in grudging acceptance. "Yes."


Giveaway!

If you would like a chance to win a free copy of Through the Door then 
follow the link and drop a comment!

Through the Door is also available for 
purchase at LT3.

Thank you all for stopping by! Thanks again to Summer for having me!


~Ana

Thank you so  much Ana for stopping by! Good luck with the rest of the blog tour and congratulations on your latest release!

Be sure to stop by Ana's blog for your chance to win!

Have a great day everyone!
Summer Michaels

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finding King

Today I'm so excited to bring you the amazing, Casey K. Cox. I can't tell you enough about how much I love this woman. I think we can all be thankful for the ocean that separates us, if we lived close there would be a lot of wine consumed;)

Hitting the shelves today is Casey's new book, Finding King. Finding King is the first installment of the Sci-Fi trilogy in The Breaker series. If you are a fan of Sci-Fi, Jade Archer, or Mark Alders, then this series is right up your alley. After I read it, I needed more! I can't wait to see where this series is going to lead. ~clears throat~ Get to writing Casey!!

Ms Cox was gracious enough to sit down and chat with me about her writing process and the world created for Finding King. I hope you guys enjoy! Don't forget to pick up your copy today!! 



In Finding King, we meet a flight crew of ALEM's. Could you tell us more about ALEM's?

ALEM stands for Artificially Life Enhanced Mammals. It basically means that through genetic
manipulation certain biological characteristics in the human genome have been enhanced. It started back in Earth’s history, as man prepared for space exploration. The enhancements were designed to make the long space flights less wearing for the crew. Genetic hybridisation increased muscle and bone density, improved lifespan and eliminated the propensity for disease. The ALEM also have accelerated learning and expanded brain capacity. It wasn’t long before the government agencies who designed the programmes decided the superhuman guinea pigs were too much of a threat to their own cosy lives. The procedures were outlawed and the ALEM exiled to various outer colonies, one of which—Rexalon—became the home planet for the new species. The initial ALEM teams set up business manufacturing superhuman soldiers to sell to the highest bidders.


How did this world come to you?

I think it’s been with me for a long time. I’ve always had a fascination with genetics, right from the
days of watching Brave New World back in the 80’s, which was a TV mini-series take on Huxley’s
short story. I also remember being intrigued by the concepts in programs like Logan’s Run, and
books by Greg Bear, Asimov and Arthur C Clarke. And of course, I’ve always been a sci-fi fan. As a
writer, I like the idea of science trying to make things better, but the reality turns out to be a very
different story with corruption and greed tipping the balance.

 Jessie had a lot of issues to deal with when he was finally discovered. Will we see more of what happened to him in this next story?

There will be snippets of Jessie’s journey in the next one, but the second story is really concentrating
on the development of different characters. I don’t want to say too much about it at this stage :P

What are your plans for this series? You already have us hooked! We need more!!

Three definite stories. The series is called The Breaker, and as such focuses on different
crew members in each episode as well as telling a larger story across the series. Whether there will
be anything to come after the Trilogy, I can’t say at this point. It’s up to the muse.


Have we seen the last of Traygo? 

Very unlikely. He’s the bad guy, lol.

What are Erlins and Drows? Will we see any in the future books?

Erlins and Drows are humanoid races with slightly different skill sets to humans (or ALEM). Erlins are skilled architects and builders.

On the short side, with thick, heavy limbs, and very strong, with brilliantly creative minds. Think Cro-Magnon. Drows are tall and heavily muscled, better for security and fighting. They are also excellent for interspecies breeding, one of the few species in the Galactic Council that can be used to incubate any of the local humanoid races. We will definitely see more of them.

You have a change to win a copy of Finding King over at The Armchair Reader until 4/01, you don't want to miss out!

Casey K. Cox is also the author of Be My BoyDropping a Stitch in Time, and The Rise of Alec Caldwell

You can purchase Finding King at Less Than Three Press and  All Romance Ebooks

Thank you so much Casey for stopping by and allowing us a little glimpse inside Finding King. Now everyone needs to rush out and purchase a copy:) Have a great day everyone!

Summer

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gotta Have Faith

Today, my daughter Faith turns seven years old. It is honestly hard to believe. Seven years ago, my husband and I were relaxing at our home when we got a phone call that changed our lives. My cousin had given birth to a baby girl, born addicted to drugs. The state stepped in and took the child away. After a year, we were awarded guardianship of our little bundle of joy. Faith is a force to be reckoned with. She runs on full blast until she closes her blue eyes at night. She is not the daughter of my body, but she is the daughter of my heart. I could not imagine my life without her. She taught me how to be a mother and love unconditionally. 

Today for Playlist Monday, I picked George Michael's Faith. Upon hearing this song for the first time, my Faith swore up and down this song was hers. I hope you all enjoy! Happy Playlist Monday:)


Monday, February 25, 2013

Interviewing Isabella


Welcome to Summer's Point! I'm always thrilled when I get the chance to interview other authors. I love hearing what inspires them and what inspires them. Today I'm grateful to bring you Isabella Carter! This talented author will need to be on your To Read shelf quickly. Without further babbling from me, here is Isabella Carter. 



About You: The Person

Where do you call home?

I've lived in Maryland around the Baltimore-Metropolitan area all my life apart from the four years I went to school on the eastern shore.

Do you have any siblings?

I have one older brother who lives on the other side of the country. We're complete opposites so it's strange when we get together. He serves in the military currently, like the rest of my family has at some point. I'm the odd person out since I've never served.

Favorite place traveled?

In college, I went to Japan for four months for study abroad. It was my first time away from home, so it was terrifying, but it was so much fun. I went to Jpop concerts and to a hot spring. The best part though was the complete immersion in another culture. And I think it's better when you get the change to travel to another culture to experience it rather than just hearing it. Because when you hear about it, you only hear the good parts, the idealized parts. But being there, you have a chance to learn all the bad parts and fall in love with them as well.

Besides writing, what do you do in your free time?

I spend a lot of time reading of course, romance and a large amount of young adult fiction (more than I'm comfortable admitting). Last year, I learned how to knit with the help of a coworker. I make a lot of scarves since I'm too scared to try anything harder. I love RPGs, so whenever one comes out, I play like mad. I'm also an online gamer. I started on Final Fantasy XI, went through a World of Warcraft phase, did a bit of Guild Wars, and right now I occasionally play Star Wars while waiting for FFXIV to come out. My father encourages the gaming the same way my mother encouraged my reading so I always have a partner in crime, which makes gaming all the more fun. (My dad encourages a lot of my bad habits actually)

I also work with computers for both fun and profit. I was lucky enough to find a day job in something I like doing.

About You: The Author

What was the first book you ever published?

My first story accepted for publishing was a story for Less Than Three's serialized anthology Something Happened on the Way to Heaven which came out on the same day as Shadow (Feb 20th). My first ebook however was a part of the Kiss me Quick Collection, a cute little story about a clerk that's had enough of his rude neighbor.

What made you decide to write in the MM genre?

When I was younger, I read every romance novel I could find and after a while, I tired of the dynamics in them. I discovered yaoi fanfiction and spent hours reading. When I started writing again, it seemed only natural that I'd write MM. I still write hetero as well, and I love writing F/F when the urge hits me.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

A lot of my inspiration began in tabletop gaming. My drug of choice was World of Darkness and between tabletop and Live Action, I've played nearly all the games. I used to run them as well, which seriously tested my creativity. In a story, you have some reasonable ability to predict what your characters will do, but you can never guess what the dice will roll and of course, what your players will do. More than once, I had players ignore critical plot evidence, or take the game down a completely different track. I had to be ready to roll with the punches. And with live action, there were the costumes of course, and the props. You'd be surprised what we could do in a night with fifty dollars and the dollar store.

I love listening to music as well, and when I'm running on empty, sometimes a picture (Like the one I found for Phoenix Knight) inspires an entire story in my head. And sometimes, it's just the things I see. When I first started writing Shadow in the Winter of 2011, I had just adopted the cat I hadn't planned to adopt (It was a two for one special). His behaviors amused me so much I wanted to write a character that utterly baffled his human with that same behavior.

Who or what influences your writing?

Of all the things I've given up and been terrible at, there's always been one aspect I'm luck in, and that's picking good friends. I have one friend in particular who pulled me into gaming, then showed me the long stories she wrote about her characters and talked me into writing my own. After college, she challenged me to write small dirty fanfiction drabbles with her (That will never see the light of day). For her birthday, I wrote her a silly fairytale that she loved and I kept going. Most times, if I'm writing, I bounce my ideas off of her. She's the one who bullied me into submitting my first story as well as the one who yelled at me when I considered not submitting Shadow.

What current WIP are you working on?

Right now, I'm about to get into a new project about a witch and a demon. I'd say more about it, but these stories never end up where I plan them, so we'll see where this one goes. So far though, there's a dead body in an alley, and that's good enough for me.

I just finished writing The Dragon Slayer which is contracted with Less than Three. It's one of my favorite types of stories actually, about a prince that finds his courage. Also, it has dragons, so that's hard to beat. It's a sequel to The Phoenix Knight, but it's pretty easy to read without ever having read that story. (Since I know how some people feel about the female parts even though I, as its author, think it's an awesome story)

A Bell Jar Moment you will never forget as an author?

Originally, I went to college with dreams of being a writer. I took part in a freshman creative writing seminar and I thought it would be the best thing for my writing. It was and it wasn't. My teacher told me in far kinder words that I wasn't suited to be an author. As this had been my dream for years, I was understandably broken. I didn't write again for nearly four years.

But as bad as that experience was, it taught me a valuable lesson about dealing with criticism. And it taught me that sometimes, you really can't please everyone.


 ~*~
Giveaway

There's also a giveaway! You can enter a giveaway for an ebook copy of Shadow of a Dream at my blogThe giveaway runs until midnight, February 28th.


Blurb:
Solving a murder is never an easy matter, even when circumstances are ideal. For Basil, circumstances are far from ideal. Because the murder is far more complicated than at first it seems, and before he can even begin to solve it Basil must contend with a council that refuses to listen to him, a partner he despises, and a thief who is a temptation that Basil cannot seem to resist …

Stop by Less Than Three PressAll Romance Ebooks, and Amazon to purchase your copy of Shadow of a Dream. 

Isabella has been gracious to give us a small preview of Shadow of a Dream! Enjoy!!

 Excerpt:

The Duke of Rutland was shorter than Basil had expected, but there was something about him that demanded obedience. He also looked quite young for his age, his hair full and dark with nary a line on his face. Rutland stood there and studied the both of them. For a moment, Basil thought he might have decided they weren't enough to investigate his robbery, but then Rutland nodded politely at the both of them and stepped fully into the room.

Two men entered behind him:  only one of them resembled the Duke so much that Basil immediately knew he was the Duke's son. He wore his dark hair as short of his father's, though his gaze wasn't anywhere near as intuitive. However, Basil was far more intrigued by the other man who stood next to the Duke.

Whereas the Duke and his son were dressed in the muted colors that were common among the nobility in St. Michaels, the other man's dress made it obvious that he was from Augustine. His pants and coat were a deep purple and his waistcoat was light blue. The handkerchief and tie were an amethyst that matched the earring dangling from his ear. His coat hung past his waist, the sleeves wide and edged with lace.

But it was the hat that made Basil stare in a mix of wonder and horror. The wide-brimmed hat covered his eyes from sight and matched the purple of his earring. A lily sat daintily on the side. The Duke was speaking, but Basil couldn't tear his eyes away from the hat. He'd heard such objects were completely normal in Augustine, but he'd never seen such an article of clothing before. He half wanted to reach out to see if the flower was real.

As if sensing Basil's stare, the man shifted and now Basil could see his face. He was pretty, though his features were far too fine to make him handsome. He was trouble. Basil could see that in the slight smile on his face, the kind that looked as though he were laughing at a private joke no one else would understand. His eyes danced with mischief, and he winked at Basil before turning his attention back to the Duke.

"—my son has taken an interest in the affairs of late and thus will be joining us." The Duke was saying, "This is Mirza Delano from the Royal Academy in Augustine." He gestured to the pretty man in the hat. "My nephew."

Delano's mouth spread into a full smile as he held out his hand to a startled Alexander. "How lovely to meet you." Alexander didn't respond as he shook Delano's hand. He seemed to be just as distracted by the hat, and at least Basil wasn't alone in that. He held his hand out to Basil and Basil took it tentatively. "You may call me Mirza."

"Mirza? That's an odd name." Up close, Basil could smell the lily, which meant it was definitely real, but how had Delano gotten it onto his hat? And why had he done so?

"I was named for a friend my parents met on one of their adventures." The handshake was over and still Delano had not let go. His thumb brushed over the sensitive skin on the back of Basil's hand, turning the simple handshake into a caress that seemed far too intimate. Basil wanted to yank his hand back, but he found himself enjoying the warmth of human contact. Especially the way Delano's touch made him exceedingly aware of his body's reaction. Delano's eyes met Basil's once more, and Basil could see the answering interest. "And your name is?"

"Mirza!" Rutland scolded before Basil could decide whether or not to answer.

Delano released his hand with a quick laugh, "My apologies, Uncle. You were being far too slow with the introductions."

Rutland's smile was tolerant, "Please excuse my nephew. He was raised in the wilds."

"My parents would not appreciate that sentiment. They spent quite the fortune to tame me."

"All of it wasted." Rutland shook his head sadly and Delano laughed, the delighted sound filled with a magic all its own. 


As always, thank you all for stopping by! A special thanks to Isabella Carter for opening up and allowing us to enter her world. Don't forget to enter your chance to win Shadow of a Dream!