DreamspinnerPress

[Guest Post] Safe House and Tiny House Bundle Sale

Label-back-redI want to thank Charley Descoteaux for stopping by to tell us about her upcoming release of Safe House, and the Tiny House bundle sale. I had read both books and I highly recommend them. Don’t miss the chance to get your copies.
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The release date for Safe House, Buchanan House: Book Four, is coming soon! To celebrate, Dreamspinner has created a bundle sale—Pre-order Safe House and get Tiny House (Buchanan House: Book Three) for $0.99! The sale runs September 12 until release day—September 19!

This is a true series so to get the most out of it I recommend to read the books in order. With that in mind I’ve stocked a Rafflecopter with two chances to win the first book in the series, Buchanan House. Visit any stop on my tour between September 12th and October 1st to enter!

Pre-0rder Safe House at the Dreamspinner store and get Tiny House for $0.99! Sept. 12-19: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/safe-house-by-charley-descoteaux-7536-b

SafeHouseFS_v1Safe House (Buchanan House: Book Four) by Charley Descoteaux

It’s never too late for a new beginning…

Kyle Shimoda is an asshole magnet, has been for as long as he can remember. At forty-seven, he doesn’t see much chance for improving his luck in love. His friends who run Buchanan House, a gay retreat on the central Oregon coast, know he wants to find “someone nice” to settle down with, and they set him up with Officer Brandon Smith. Kyle has a turbulent history with law enforcement, but he can’t deny his attraction to the buff cop.

Brandon has been a police officer in Lincoln City almost since the day he graduated from high school over thirty years ago. He’s cultivated the facade of a serious, disciplined law enforcement officer, but beneath his overdeveloped chest beats the soft heart of a drama queen. A cancer scare shifts Bran’s focus from finding a serious relationship to having as much sex as he can—putting his goals squarely at odds with Kyle’s. If he can’t find the courage to be honest about his feelings for Kyle, the happiness they’ve both been searching for could slip through their fingers.

Read Chapter One at the Dreamspinner store to meet Kyle. Meet Brandon in the excerpt below.

Chapter Two

Brandon barely paid attention as he drove between the cemetery and the apartment he shared with two roommates. He’d hoped to find a voice mail from the doctor after the funeral, but no such luck. He did find one saying the new guy, Dylan, had called in sick, and Brandon was expected at work within the hour. He would have been happier to stay at the cemetery and talk with Paulie a little longer. And Kyle. Bran had met Kyle before, but they hadn’t spoken. He had noticed then how handsome Kyle was, and he was even more striking with his hair longer, framing his high cheekbones and full, sensuous mouth. His silky black hair looked so touchable.

This isn’t getting me to work any faster.

At least work will be a distraction.

He hurried home and changed into his uniform. His quick spot check in the bathroom mirror turned into a lingering appraisal. Brandon ran an open hand over his chest, not to smooth the impeccable fabric of his uniform shirt, but to reassure himself that nothing had changed. He grimaced at his reflection, thinking a little less gray and a little more brown in his hair might be a nice change.

Brandon shivered as he recalled the MRI he’d endured three days prior, which had revealed a suspicious lump in his chest. Forty-seven minutes in a tiny tube while the machine hummed and took pictures of his breast and lymph tissue. Just thinking about the way it had felt to lie there made him shiver—it was worse than the needle biopsy he’d had the following day. With every inhale his shoulders had brushed the walls of the tube on both sides, and less than halfway through he’d had to talk himself out of fleeing. He wasn’t a tall man—something that had bothered him throughout his life—but until that day he had taken pride in his body, in the bulk he’d cultivated without sacrificing speed or agility.

During that forty-seven minutes, he would have been happy to trade his broad shoulders for a smaller frame.

Since I’m making empty wishes, I might as well make one for a better-looking face. A face that could attract a handsome young guy like Kyle instead of scaring him half to death.

Bran’s stomach roiled at his own thoughts, and he resolved to not even think the word death again until—unless—he had to. He was tempted to forgo shaving the sandy brown stubble from his face but fell back on the habit, hoping for the comfort a routine could provide, and reached for his electric razor.

Everything seemed to be happening so fast. Less than a week ago he’d gone in for his yearly physical, and now he was waiting for the call that would tell him whether he needed to make another appointment for that week or next year. In the interim he’d been squeezed into a tube and had a biopsy. And relived the worst time in his life over and over, the time when he’d learned about his father’s diagnosis.

Series: Buchanan House
Book Number: 4
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Pages: 200
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

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Enter Sept 12 – Oct 1!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Three winners! Prizes: One signed paperback of Safe House (US Only); one ebook copy of book one of the series, Buchanan House; one backlist book (any ebook except Safe House)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Rattle Charley’s cages:

Blog: http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charley.descoteaux.3
Dreamspinner Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=879
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharleyDescote
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/aqe7g7r
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charleydescote/

 

 

 

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[Guest Post] Those Pesky “ly” Words by Renee Stevens

WideOpenSpaces_BT Banner

I want to thank Renee Stevens for stopping by to talk about rewriting “ly” words out her her States of Love story, Wide Open Spaces. Enjoy!


It’s funny, just when I figure one thing out; something else gets thrown into the works. With “Wide Open Spaces”,  my editors pointed out my overuse of “ly” words (really, suddenly, quickly, etc). Now that I know, it’s something I watch for as I’Now, sometimes that dang “ly” word is needed, but one thing I found was that the majority of them could be removed without affecting the sentence much at all.

Sometimes using an “ly” word is necessary, but other times they cheapen the narrative. There are other word choices that you could use instead that would help make your story stronger overall. Sure, at times it might require a little rewording to get your point across, but if it makes the story stronger, it’s worth it in the end. A couple of examples from Wide Open Spaces are:

He didn’t have to hide who he was, because no one really cared.

Or

He didn’t have to hide who he was, because nobody gave a damn.

Not really. But Devon didn’t want to sound ungrateful.

Or

It was the last thing he wanted to do, but Devon didn’t want to sound ungrateful.

In my opinion, the second sentence in each example reads a lot better. What do you think? Do you struggle with “ly” words? Or is there another word(s) that you struggle not to overuse?

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AVAILABLE NOW

WIDE OPEN SPACES
States of Love – Wyoming

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Genre: Contemporary
Length: 35,659 Words
Rating: Adult/Mature

WideOpenSpacesFS

Pre-Order NOW

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon: USCAAUUKDE

All Romance


Blurb

Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Excerpt

Devon sank down on his couch as exhaustion swamped him. Most of it was from moving in, but the change in elevation didn’t help. He’d gotten used to being closer to sea level, so going back to the dry air at over six thousand feet was going to take some getting used to.

Bloody noses had become the norm while he stayed with Blake. Devon didn’t want to deal with them repeatedly and considered getting a humidifier until he managed to acclimate.

He looked around his living room. Boxes were scattered everywhere, and he should be unpacking, but he was too tired. At least he hadn’t had to carry everything in himself. Blake, Travis, and Seth were waiting for him when he pulled into the apartment complex. They shrugged off his objections and insisted they had nothing better to do. Devon appreciated it, but he wasn’t comfortable around them anymore. He managed to be a proper host, but damn, he was glad they left after a couple beers each. They made noise about getting together again soon, but Devon had used getting settled in as an excuse to keep from committing to anything.

He stood and wandered into his small kitchen. He didn’t bother opening the fridge or any of the cupboards. He knew they were empty. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn’t eaten for a while. Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.

An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.

Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?

He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.

“Devon.”

He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.

“Levi.”


About the Author

Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of Admin, Blog Coordinator, and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.

When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.

FacebookTwitterGoodreadsWebsite


RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Blog Tour Schedule – More chances to win!!!!

August 24th: M.A. ChurchNic Starr

August 25th: Grace Duncan

August 26th: Anna Butler

August 27th: David Dawson

August 28th: Alicia Nordwell

August 29th: Anne Barwell

August 30th: Antonia Aquilante

August 31st *RELEASE DAY*: Mann RamblingsMichael Mandrake

September 1st: Julie HayesElyzabeth M. VaLey

September 2nd: Caraway Carter

September 3rd: JC Wallace

September 4th: Caz Pedroso

September 5th: Brynn Stein

September 6th: Lila Leigh Hunter

September 7th: Morticia Knight

September 8th: Charley Descoteaux

September 9th: Cheryl Headford

September 10th: Heloise West

September 12th: Foster Bridget Cassidy

 

[Cover Reveal] Wide Open Spaces by Renee Stevens

COVER REVEAL

WideOpenSpacesFS

BUY NOW

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Pre-order Release Date: 7/28/2016

Official Release Date: 8/31/2016

Genre: Contemporary

Series: States of Love

Length: 35,659 Words

Rating: Adult/Mature

Blurb

Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.  

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Excerpt

Devon sank down on his couch as exhaustion swamped him. Most of it was from moving in, but the change in elevation didn’t help. He’d gotten used to being closer to sea level, so going back to the dry air at over six thousand feet was going to take some getting used to.

Bloody noses had become the norm while he stayed with Blake. Devon didn’t want to deal with them repeatedly and considered getting a humidifier until he managed to acclimate.

He looked around his living room. Boxes were scattered everywhere, and he should be unpacking, but he was too tired. At least he hadn’t had to carry everything in himself. Blake, Travis, and Seth were waiting for him when he pulled into the apartment complex. They shrugged off his objections and insisted they had nothing better to do. Devon appreciated it, but he wasn’t comfortable around them anymore. He managed to be a proper host, but damn, he was glad they left after a couple beers each. They made noise about getting together again soon, but Devon had used getting settled in as an excuse to keep from committing to anything.

He stood and wandered into his small kitchen. He didn’t bother opening the fridge or any of the cupboards. He knew they were empty. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn’t eaten for a while. Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.

An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.

Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?

He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.

“Devon.”

He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.

“Levi.”

About the Author

Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of Admin, Blog Coordinator, and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.

When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.

FacebookTwitterGoodreadsWebsite

 

Mine by Mary Calmes (Audiobook)

MIneRate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Contemporary
Length: 7 hours and 8 minutes
Narrator: Caleb Dickinson
Published: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Trevan Bean has a job that’s going from illegal to frightening, a boyfriend who may not be in his right mind, and a guardian angel who might actually be evil incarnate. Add to that the reappearance of his boyfriend’s estranged family, death threats, kidnapping, and the struggle of saving money to realize a dream, and Trevan has a lot on his plate. But Trevan is up to the challenge: he promised Landry a happily ever after, and Landry’s going to have it if it kills him!

It just might.

Landry Carter was a broken doll when they met two years ago but has grown into a partner who can stand at Trevan’s side… most of the time. Now that Trevan’s life just got scary—and Landry just got himself kidnapped—Trevan has to hope Landry’s love stays strong through this newest challenge, because the happily ever after won’t happen if Trevan has to go it alone.

My View: I really liked this story. The relationship between Landry and Trevon extended beyond a simple power exchange. They were everything for each other, and they were willing to do anything for each other. They had a real partnership, and their lives merged in a simple, everyday relationship.

Landy was a handful, and probably, as mentioned in the story, was in need of counseling to bring their relationship to a calmer routine. They needed each other, but in the end, we get so see Landry’s strength and how much Trevon had helped him during their time together.

I expected the story’s conflict to be related to Trevon’s lifestyle and not Landry’s. Their time apart after the trip to Las Vegas felt rushed and lacking a real reason. After everything was done, I expected the real story to start, but the book simply ended. I hope the author decides to bring this couple back, or at least, bring others stories. Perhaps Conrad’s or Chris’s.

Narrator: This is the first story I heard narrated by Caleb Dickinson. I enjoyed the different voices and how he delivered his performance. His narration deserved a 5 stars rating.

What I liked the most: The power exchange relationship between the MCs. And how Landry tried to keep his independence.

I wanted more of: A story. I was waiting for more to happen on Trevon’s side of the story.

Who should read it: Any fan of Mary Calmes.

The Millionaire Upstairs by M.J. O’Shea

Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication day: January 1, 2016
Length:  198 pages
Publisher: Dreamspun Desires (Dreamspinners Press)

The Millionaire UpstairsHe might be hard to work for, but he’s impossible to resist.

Sasha Sobieski has the perfect job working at legendary American fashion house Harrison Kingsley—or at least he used to. He just never thought he’d have to work for Harrison Kingsley himself. Harrison is exacting, difficult, cold, and hands-down the sexiest man Sasha has ever seen.

After years at the top, Harrison Kingsley knows what he wants, when he wants it, and exactly how he’d like it to be delivered to him. What he wants most right now? His new assistant. Sasha is mouthy, opinionated, and he drives Harrison mad. Problem is, Harrison can never tell if it’s with anger… or desire.

My View: This is the first volume in the new Dreamspun Desires house line by Dreamspinner Press. According to their website, “These are contemporary category romance novels, complete with your favorite heartwarming heroes, cracktastic clichés, and terrific tropes. It’s all about the feel-good loving that will leave you grinning.”

As a writer, I thought about submitting a story for this new line, but the writing guidelines felt too restrictive for my style. And, in my opinion, these guidelines are the reason I didn’t enjoy this story more. Yes, the author delivered exactly what they needed, but in the end, it read as forced.

I loved Harrison after reading less than a paragraph from his POV. He was my favorite character archetype — surly, millionaire, reclusive, with a heart of gold. He had great qualities, but he didn’t have enough time for a real redemption. In a handful of pages, he tried to justify his actions with a childhood story that seemed too little too late and unnecessary. His personality should have been enough of a reason behind his words.

Sasha was adorable and sassy. A perfect combination for Harrison but their time together was not as interesting as their courting and time apart. He was a great friend and Mateo, Padma, and Jo complemented his story well.

The settings, the job descriptions, and some of the secondary characters were great. Overall, it was a good story with a nineties’ feel.

What I liked the most: More of Harrison’s snarkiness.

I wanted more of: Penn’s and Sasha’s relationship.

Who should read it: Perfect for those who grew up reading Harlequin category romances.