Exclusive Cover Reveal - Road of No Return by K.A. Merikan

We at BMBR are lucky enough to be able to debut K.A. Merikan's brand new cover for their hot and sexy upcoming biker series. A few of us unicorns over here are pretty much already salivating over this book. 

And guess what else K.A. Merikan is giving to all you lovely readers for freeeee? The entire first chapter of this book! Enjoy! 


We are proud to present the cover for our upcoming biker book - Road of No Return. The cover was designed by Natasha Snow, and I love how it came out - simple but striking and evocative.

“Road of No Return” will be coming out on the 19th of July and is the first in a series of Outlaw biker books. The series is called Sex & Mayhem and will include both longer and shorter stories. Most will focus on gay relationships, but we do have a straight book planned in the series that will be published under our future M/f pen name.

Like most biker book fans, I got hooked on the topic, with Sons of Anarchy. Before that, the whole outlaw biker world was something I was oblivious about. After gorging on the whole series for two sleep-deprived weeks, I went into non-fiction books to research about outlaw bikers, while at the same time, poking my co-writer, Agnes, about possible book plots with bikers. She was reluctant at first, but I kept chipping away at her defences and finally came up with something that could just be a short story. Just this little thing to satisfy my need for biker books. And then, the characters just weren’t having any of it, they demanded more. That’s how Road of No Return ended up being a 100,000 word novel and the beginning of a series.

To quench my thirst for biker romance and erotica, I ventured into the M/F book world. I hadn’t visited that part of the literary world for a while and was positively surprised to find a few gems, yet completely baffled that the M/M world had virtually nothing to offer. It was a case of - If you can’t find the book you want to read, you just have to write it yourself. So we did :).

Unlike the M/F counterpart, it’s harder to create a series of gay books revolving around one club, since the odds of even two gay outlaw bikers in one club are tiny, and we didn’t want to write about a random gay biker club. This means that the books in the Sex & Mayhem series will generally be standalones, tied only loosely by cameos and mentions of clubs.

We already have plans for future books which include an amputee fetishist, a male prostitute, and a biker called ‘Tooth Fairy’ for his gruesome technique of ripping out people’s teeth.

But enough of my ramblings! Behold: the cover, blurb and the first chapter.

P.S. We have an inspirations board for Road of No Return :)

Kat Merikan

--- Don't talk to strangers. ---

Zak. Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships.
Stitch. Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property.

On the day of Stitch’s divorce, lust personified enters the biker bar he’s celebrating at. Tattooed all over, pierced, confident, and hot as hellfire, Zak is the bone Stitch has waited for life to throw him. All Stitch wants is a sniff, a taste, a lick. What follows instead is gluttony of the most carnal sort, and nothing will ever be the same. Forced to hide his new love affair from the whole world, Stitch juggles family, club life, and crime, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes too hard.

Zak moves to Lake Valley in search of peace and quiet, but when he puts his hand into the jaws of a Hound of Valhalla, life gets all but simple. In order to be with Stitch, Zak’s biker wet dream, he has to crawl right back into the closet. As heated as the relationship is, the secrets, the hiding, the violence, jealousy, and conservative attitudes in the town rub Zak in all the wrong ways. When pretending he doesn't know what his man does becomes impossible, Zak needs to decide if life with an outlaw biker is really what he wants.

As club life and the love affair collide, all that’s left in Zak and Stitch’s life is mayhem.


Themes: Outlaw Motorcycle Club, organized crime, homophobia, family issues, coming out, first gay relationship, tattoo, piercing

Genre: contemporary homoerotic dark romance

Length:  ~ 100,000 words

Contains adult content: explicit language, violence, and sex

Chapter 1

Stitch downed his third beer of the day and slammed the glass on top of his divorce papers.
“Another?” asked his best friend, Captain, and Stitch squinted at him. He could never be sure whether Captain was winking at him or just blinking. The perils of only having one eye. It didn’t stop Captain from driving a bike like a madman or being the VP of the club.
“Go on, I earned it,” Stitch rasped and leaned his elbows on the greasy counter. He could feel at home in the Hounds of Valhalla club bar. If worse came to worst, he could always fall asleep in one of the guest rooms in the back and not have to face going home. The Louisiana heat was getting to him today so he wore his cut over naked skin, but in hindsight it hadn't been such a great idea, since now the leather was sticking to his back.
It was a busy Friday night, and the bar was full. Most of the patrons were local so Stitch knew them one way or another, with a few outsiders sprinkled all over the large room. During public parties like this one, Valhalla catered to everyone, from old friends, gathered in comfortable booths, to the crowd that spent their time at the counter, to the drunken dancers by the pool table.  It was more crass than class, but to Stitch it felt like home, from the beat-up counter to the small room in the back where Stitch had fucked a girl for the first time. Good times.
Captain poured Stitch some whiskey and grinned, rubbing down his black beard into a more sensible shape. “One down, brother. You’ll find yourself a better woman.”
“Of course I will. Not a cheating slut like Crystal.” Stitch sipped his liquor with a frown.
“You fancy any of the pussy by the pool table?” Captain gestured toward the ever-present crowd of hangarounds in sparse clothing. The pool table was off limits on Fridays, unless you were a member of the Hounds of Valhalla. Or a hot bitch.
Stitch followed his friend's nod (to keep up appearances), but he looked right past the girls. He was not dipping his dick in that lot again. Not to mention that none of the girls were even his type. Most of the ones that were in today were cute blondes, like they got the wrong bar or something. That was what drew him to Crystal in the first place, she was all tats and rock ‘n’ roll.
“Nah, I’ll pass.” Stitch downed his whiskey and tried to pretend he didn’t see any of the direct looks from the pool table. The sudden spike in interest could only mean one thing: they all knew he was back on the market. “Where’s the rum, Captain?” he said, but his mouth remained open when someone new walked into the bar and stopped at the door, looking around as if he had lost his way. The dimmed, blue light made all the tattoos on the stranger’s arms pop out immediately, and while Stitch couldn’t see what the patterns were, the ink was dense, mostly black and white.
The man was tall enough to stand out in the crowd, slim but toned. He walked through the bar with a self-assured sway, looking like a character from a futuristic movie. Stitch didn’t know where that comparison came from because the guy wore a simple outfit consisting of narrow pants stuck into knee-length combat boots, and a tank top, but he did look like an outsider in the old-school biker bar. His hair was pitch-black, with shaved sides and the long strands at the top of his head gathered into a ponytail. There was a sly smile tugging at the corners of his lips as he approached Stitch of all people.
A silly grin surfaced onto Stitch’s face like a dead body floating in the bayou. That would be his choice of ‘pussy’ if he could have his way. He knew it wasn’t gonna happen, yet he still straightened up on the bar stool far too small to properly hold his bulky body and turned to the stranger. The man was first to speak, but he looked past Stitch as if he were made of glass.
“Hi, how are you doing?” he asked in a rich, velvety voice, reaching out to shake the hand of Joe, one of the Hounds of Valhalla’s prospects, currently serving at the bar. He had short, blond hair and a small gap between his front teeth. Stitch always saw him as a younger brother he never had.
Joe smiled at the tattooed man and shook his hand. “What can I get you?”
Stitch never took his eyes off the stranger, now even more set on getting his attention. The newcomer had large, expressive eyes the color of a cloudless summer sky and a heavy brow line over a firm, straight nose and pale, wide lips. It was a handsome face, yet it somehow made Stitch think of a malevolent spirit, which could be due to the piercings on his face. There were two balls on either side of his nose between the eyes, a small ring with a purple ball in his septum, and then a piercing in his left brow, and a round metal hoop circling the mid-point of his bottom lip. In contrast to the moderate size of those were thick spirals plugged into the flesh of the man’s earlobes, stretching them over their normal capacity.
“A beer would be nice,” said the stranger with a grin. “Listen, I’m new in town. Do you think it needs its own tattoo studio?”
A drop of sweat trailed down Stitch’s spine and into the back of his pants like an invisible hand.
“Get the man a beer, Prospect.” Stitch waved a hand at Joe, never taking his eyes off the hot, tattooed flesh. There were so many designs on the stranger’s skin that Stitch wasn’t sure which ones to focus on. “You should ask someone who’s actually inked, not baby boy Joe.”
“Oh yeah?” The stranger’s blue eyes were on him immediately, but they soon trailed lower, and Stitch felt heat rise in his chest under the skull and fire tattoos the guy was looking at. “And I suppose that would be you?”
“Yeah, I know a lot of guys who’d like to visit a good ink pusher. And I suppose that would be you?” Stitch smirked and couldn’t help but flex his stomach muscles.
The guy gave him a crooked smile, still looking down at Stitch’s chest, but then raised his gaze and offered his hand. “I’m Zak.”
“Stitch.” He shook Zak’s hand with a smile, making sure not to hold it too long. Joe put a beer on the counter, and Captain passed Stitch a glass of rum that smelled like catnip for pirates.
“Oh, I know a tattoo Stitch needs to cover up!” Captain chuckled. Stitch frowned, knowing exactly what his friend meant and imagining ways in which he could scalp Captain’s black, furry head for mentioning the unmentionable.
Zak raised his brows and gathered the bottle in his hand, tapping it with a whole array of heavy signets. “Confess.”
Stitch had some rum and poked Captain’s ribs so hard the guy yelped. “Okay, okay. Prospect, out,” he ordered Joe, and the guy walked to the other side of the bar to bother other customers. Stitch got up from the stool and stole a second of breaking into Zak’s personal space before circling the bar and gesturing for Zak to follow. It was good to have free access, it made him almost feel as if he were the sole owner of the whole place. “I got divorced today, you see. So I need to get rid of a love crime.”
“Sounds interesting.” Zak marched behind him, and Stitch noticed that the handsome newcomer was even a bit taller than him. As soon as they disappeared behind the counter, the man leaned in, flooding Stitch with the smell of a musky, fresh cologne. “Is it on your dick?”
Stitch snorted and winked at Captain. “Nah, almost.” Stitch opened the big skull buckle on his belt and went on to unzip his jeans. He was trying not to get too excited and not being alone with the guy was helping him keep his cool. This was probably as close as his dick would come to Zak anyway.
“So, what do you want to get?” asked Zak, loud enough for Stitch to hear his voice through the noise.
“I haven’t thought it through yet.” Stitch pulled his pants down low enough to expose the ink on the inner side of his hip, next to his pubes. He took out his cell phone and turned the screen on to illuminate the tat for Zak, who unceremoniously scooted down. It brought him face to face with Stitch’s crotch, and made Stitch’s heart stop, even if for a brief moment.
“Yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem.”
Captain started laughing so hard that Stitch reached over the counter to smack the side of his head. “Shut it!”
“Sorry, man. It just looked like--”
“I know what it looked like,” Stitch growled and looked down to Zak. “Good. I’ll make an appointment then,” he tried to talk without slurring and pulled up his pants.
Zak got to his feet, unfazed by the mocking and produced a card, which he passed to Stitch. “Have a look at my portfolio first.”
“I will. But anything will be better than that fucking name on there. I’d rather have Captain’s face inked.” Stitch pointed at his friend with a scowl. A massive one eyed bastard with an eye patch, black beard, and a mess of hair. Yep, he’d still prefer that broken-nosed mug to Crystal’s name. Stitch buckled up his belt and walked out from behind the counter.
“A picture of devotion,” chuckled Zak, following him. “Are you somehow associated with this bar?”
“Pop quiz. What’s this place called?” Stitch plopped his ass back on the stool and took the glass of rum in hand.
Zak blinked. “Valhalla.”
Stitch turned around in the seat, to present the back of his cut. He was always proud to show it off. It had their patch with ‘Hounds of Valhalla’ over a dog's head sticking out of the triangular Valknut symbol. A hound with more teeth than any animal should have in their jaw. “You could say we’re all… shareholders.” He took another sip of rum and clinked with Captain’s glass. 
Zak crooked his head. “In that case, I guess my fate is in both of your hands, gentlemen,” he said with a widening grin. “Could I leave my leaflets, and a poster? I run the studio in my home.”
“Sure.” Stitch patted the counter. “Do I get a divorce discount?”
Zak chuckled and bit his lip, watching him with small wrinkles of humor appearing in the corners of his eyes. “If you promise to be my poster boy, I can do you for free.”
“Hear that, Stitch?” Captain snorted his rum. “You’re such a catch, he’ll do you for free.”
Heat travelled up Stitch’s chest and he avoided those big blue eyes. “Shut it, Cap, unless you wanna lose your teeth. It’s my night tonight, remember?” he snarled at Captain. The last thing he wanted was for Zak to get some stupid ideas. “If it’s free, I’ll come round on Sunday. You better not be shit though.” Stitch finally looked back up at Zak, but he found no trace of intimidation in the handsome face.
“I’m not,” Zak said, relaxed as ever.
“We’ll see about that. Go on, leave the leaflets.” Stitch was looking forward to seeing Zak walk out, just so he could ogle his ass in those tight pants.
Zak gave him a firm pat on the arm. “I’ll get them from the car.” He nodded at Captain and Joe, and turned around, beer in hand. It was a great ass. Round but slim, underneath the black denim it seemed as firm as a newly put on tire.
Stitch licked his lips, suddenly wishing he could do more than just watch that ass. “I wanna see his ride, be right back,” he said to Captain and was already the wolf following the black sheep.
Zak jumped off the porch like a gazelle and made his way across the lawn, which served as an impromptu parking lot. Stitch squeezed his hand into a fist, spotting a car he hadn’t seen in town before. He couldn’t be certain as it was dark, but it looked like a 1970s Chevy, matte black, with purple flames scorching on its sides. If Satan drove a car, this would be it.
The vehicle was so cool it even distracted Stitch from Zak’s ass. He strolled over to the car’s side and scooted to have a better look at the paintwork.
There was the sound of someone clearing his throat. “Can I help you?” asked Zak, and all of a sudden, his gaze burned Stitch’s back. He couldn’t help a smirk as he got up and turned around.
“Nice ride.”
“Thanks. A friend did it for me. Birthday gift.” Zak leaned against the car, his slim body molding to the vehicle. With the streetlight close enough, Stitch could take a better look at the beautiful ink. There were people in goggles and fabric masks on one of Zak’s arms. They reminded Stitch of one of those medical horrors, where a character is being experimented on by mad surgeons, and the sight alone was enough to give him a little chill. On the other bicep was a whole array of pills and syringes floating around a man in a straitjacket who seemed to cower in a corner, but what really drew in Stitch’s attention was a sentence inked in bold letters over Zak’s collarbone.
He walked up closer and had a better look at it. “‘Don’t talk to strangers’,” he read it outloud and poked it. “You don’t follow your own advice.”
Zak chuckled and looked down to the finger at his neck. “I know. And that’s what I get. A big bad biker crouching next to my car.”
Stitch pulled back his finger. Too much touching. Yet the guy didn’t seem scared. “Is there a story behind it? A warning to yourself or to others?”
Zak shrugged, watching Stitch with a sly smile. “It’s something I heard a lot as a kid. And incidentally it’s also the title of the first chapter in my favorite book. All of my tattoos are inspired by it.”
“Oh yeah? What book is that?” Stitch stroked the back of the car in a way he wanted to move his hand over Zak’s inked skin.
“You heard of The Master and Margarita? It’s about demons throwing Stalin’s Moscow into chaos, and there is a romantic plot, between the Master and Margarita, obviously.” He sighed, moving his hand over the side of the car, toward where Stitch was keeping his.
Goose bumps broke out all over Stitch’s skin. He had no idea what book Zak was talking about or why would he be interested in a romance with demons in communist Moscow, but Zak could tell him it was a story about a horse shapeshifter in North Korea and it would be just as interesting. “So what do you like about it? And what happens when you talk to strangers?”
Zak relaxed even further against his car, and the more Stitch was looking at him, the more he liked his handsome, but somehow cocky face. “Well, it was a play on the fact that everyone felt watched and spied on at the time, but in the actual chapter, this guy meets a foreigner, who’s actually the devil. They talk, and the foreigner reveals that the Russian guy’s gonna die. It’s not atheist and rational, so the guy doesn’t believe Satan and then dies a page or so later. He slips on some oil, and a streetcar cuts his head off,” Zak said with a wide smile.
“And the moral is: don’t talk to strangers?” Stitch chuckled. “Nothing happens to the devil though?”
Zak stepped closer and poked his long finger against Stitch’s ribcage. “Duh, he’s the devil. He saves the Master.”
Stitch’s cock felt a surge of excitement at the touch so he backed off, pretending he wanted to have a better look at the hood of the car. “You not afraid to talk to a devil?” Stitch looked into Zak’s eyes.
“Nah, the devil’s fair. It’s the people around you who grasp you at the throat and don’t want you to overstep some preset boundaries. That’s what this book is about for me.”
“Sometimes the devil has boundaries as well…” Stitch cocked his head to the side, not sure anymore what this conversation was about and wondering whether maybe he should end it.
“Does he?” Zak’s teeth sank into his bottom lip, and he moved back to the trunk. “He’s the devil,” he said, opening the door.
Stitch played with his signets. “I suppose he should act any way he wants to then…”
Zak pulled out a block of fliers and shut the trunk, making his way to Stitch. “That would be my actual motto.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t talk to strangers then.” Stitch held out his hand, and Zak placed the papers on top of his outstretched palm.
“So far so good.” Zak smiled at him, and the silence became strangely long.
Stitch swallowed. “So… yeah, be good Zak, don’t talk to strangers.” He took the leaflets and turned around before the rum in his veins could push him to do something rash. Something was off and he couldn’t pinpoint it.
He walked straight into the bar without looking back, in case Zak would hold his gaze again in this chilling yet blood-warming way. Captain hadn’t moved a muscle since Stitch last saw him, but took the top leaflet as soon as Stitch placed the pile on the counter.
“So, how’s his ride?”
“Cool. It’s this repainted old Chevy.”
Captain looked at the leaflet, and then suddenly slapped Stitch’s arm. “I thought he was gonna go down on you back then.” He pointed behind the bar counter.
Stitch groaned. “Come on, the guy seems all right.” Yet he couldn’t shake the weird vibes he got from Zak.
“A bit of a weirdo though. What’s he doing in Lake Valley of all places?” Captain downed his liquor. “It might be different where he comes from, but he should be more careful, you know what I’m saying?” he asked, lowering his heavy eyelids.
Stitch took a deep breath. “Yeah. I can see he’s just clueless, but some people might not get his jokes.”
Captain emptied the small bottle of whiskey into his glass and tapped it with his thick fingers. He turned his head away, so Stitch found himself facing the eyepatch with the club symbol. “You heard what happened to a fag biker over in Edmonton? I have a friend in The Rippers.”
Stitch had to use all of his drunken self-control not to sneer. He didn’t wanna hear it. “What?”
Captain gave him a wide grin. “The guys wanted to teach him a lesson, and they overdid it a bit. After being dragged behind a bike, naked, any man would lose interest in riding. He’s got no skin on his ass now, that must be tough luck for a fag.”
“Yeah.” Stitch pushed away the empty glass and took the whole bottle of rum. This was not going to be him. He knew to keep it in his pants. He didn’t even feel all that gay anyway. “He knew what he was going into. Rippers don’t fuck around.”
“Yeah, fuck him. Better tell your new friend to behave when you visit him on Sunday. Some people won’t get his sense of humor.” Captain shrugged and sipped the whiskey with a self-satisfied smile.
Stitch snorted. “I’ll tell ‘im while he’s looking at my dick. He's not from around here. Has to settle in.” He kept quiet for a while, just enjoying the jukebox music in the background and drinking his rum. “You know that Rippers guy? How did they find him out?”
Captain put the glass back on the counter. “This guy I know said somebody saw him fucking a guy in a shitter at a gas station. If you ask me, he had it coming.”
Stitch nodded and looked to the door when tattooed hunk Zak walked back in.
So off limits.

Unicorn Favorites: Love's Landscapes Stories : Week Three

The M/M Romance Group on Goodreads hosts a Don't Read in the Closet event each year where they invite members to submit a photo with a story prompt.  Interested authors then volunteer to write the requested stories, which are published for free for everyone to read.  It's a fun/exciting/stressful process, and a great opportunity to read stories from favorite authors.  And chances are, you'll also discover some new authors, who hopefully have a backlist of goodies to check out :)

This year's event was named Love's Landscapes and they started releasing the completed stories on June first. Here at BMBR, we've been following along on comment threads, anticipating the stories from our favorite prompts, and now greedily reading the stories as they become available.

We previously shared some of our favorite stories from the first and second weeks of the event, and the same rules about mysterious and magically rare unicorns apply this week.  Because the interwebz might not be able to handle unicorns showing up in our reviews, we'll just say this week we LOVED Fighting Dirty by Olley White and move on to some of our other favorites from the third week of the event, June 15-21:

Ann: If At First You Don't Succeed by K.C. Faelan - 4 Hearts!

Well that was just so damn charming, sweet, funny and hot as hell. All the makings of a perfect short story and an ideal way to spend my evening. Evan and Julien are an established couple who are learning their kink limits and trying to find a balance between what Julien really wants and what Evan feels comfortable giving.

It's not that Evan doesn't want to give Julien that bite of pain he craves, it's just not something he's prepared for and he loves Julien so much, the thought of really hurting him is scary to Evan. So, they spend a week trying ALL manner of kinky fun times, each one ending more disastrously than the last.

These poor dudes, seriously. Their misadventures were hilarious and the author nailed the prompt as hard as Julien wants a nailing. While the weeklong buildup was funny and hot, the end was smoking hot and Julien, that catty little minx, figured out how to make it happen capt'n and it turns out the best laid plans are really the simplest.

Breann: Measuring the Rein by Jae Moran

I do love me some friends-to-lovers romancing. There's always so much build-up and tension and I just can't get enough of it. Even though Toby and Gavin got together a little bit early, Measuring the Rein still had alllllll the build-up and tension that I love.


There were a couple little things that were bothersome. The dialogue was long. As in, they would speak for paragraphs at a time, without any back-and-forth communication. Also, Gavin's family was a tad too perfect for my tastes. *shrugs* But those things weren't enough to ruin the story for me.

I appreciated The Conflict and that it wasn't resolved in the way I expected. The support that Gavin and Toby gave each other through it all was sweet and made the characters increasingly likeable.

Cute and sexy, BFF, rodeo cowboys falling in love. Really, you can't go wrong. It was almost too fluffy and just fluffy enough to make me sigh and swoon throughout.

Lorix: The Layover by Megan Erickson

So, The Layover - short and very, very funny. If you like the film The Hangover, I'm pretty sure you'll love this story; it delivered a short but fully felt impact. 

Humour - tick; embarrassing situation - tick; hot sexual encounter - tick; dead guy in the room - tick; parrot - tick, HEA - tick. What more could you want from 17k? Gold lame shorts you cry - well you know what, your wish is Megan Erickson's command. TICK. Anything else? No? Exactly, go and read it - it's free remember!

Sunny: An Old-Fashioned Love Song by Michelle Grant

I may be a bit biased, because this was my prompt, but I loved this story!

The characters were wonderful, even the secondary ones.  Seth, though, he was so flippin' adorable, so needy, and so awkward.  That awkwardness led to many humorous moments and I was laughing throughout this story.  And Malachi...he was perfect in his imperfection and oh, so sweet.

Together, they were incredibly hot.  I loved the sexual tension as they got to know each other, and then the actual sex scenes...*fans self*  They are burned into my brain, like the scene from the prompt photo, and the one with the rope and gag.  Exquisite D/s scenes that were so intense, so steamy, I read them several times.  The devotion shown by Seth's submission to Malachi and Malachi's acceptance and appreciation of that submission was beautiful to witness.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Secrets of Neverwood Anthology

Today we shine a spotlight on the new anthology, Secrets of Neverwood.  Read on to learn more about the story and its authors, and enter to win a giveaway!

Three men with vastly different lives are called home to Neverwood, the stately Pacific Northwest mansion of their youth. The one thing they share is a promise to Audrey, the woman they all called mother—that upon her death, they would restore the house and preserve it as a home for troubled boys.

But going home is never easy.

Cal struggles to recover from past heartbreak, while Danny fears his mistakes are too big to overcome. Devon believes he may never break down the barriers that separate him from honest emotion. And a benevolent spirit lingers in Neverwood's halls, intent on guiding her foster sons away from the mistakes of their youth and toward true love.

On the path to brotherhood, they discover the old mansion holds more than dusty furniture and secret passageways. An old mystery stirs up a new danger, one that could cost the men far more than just the house.

Publisher: Carina Press

The anthology and the separate stories will be available at Amazon on June 30:

About the authors:
G. B. Lindsey was born and raised in California, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Literature and Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. Her first love has always been writing: as a child, she cultivated such diverse goals as becoming "a cowgirl and a writer" or "a paleontologist and a writer."

Aside from her salacious and ongoing affair with the horror genre, she loves to write sci-fi, romance, historical fiction, and short stories. Other hobbies include playing the piano, reading voraciously, the occasional period drama movie night, and devouring scary film after scary film. She recently moved back home from Newcastle upon Tyne, where she earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing, and now lives in Sacramento.

Diana Copland began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadows to produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of her teacher. She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering LiveJournal and a wonderful group of supportive fanfiction writers, who after gifting her with a "Best New Author" Award encouraged her to try her hand at original gay fiction.

Born and raised in southern California, Diana moved to the Pacific Northwest after losing a beloved spouse to AIDS in 1995. She lives in eastern Washington with four obnoxious cats and her ninety year old Dad, near her two wonderful adult children.

Libby Drew glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school's fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.
Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.
Libby's STATE OF MIND received rave reviews for being fast, clever, and relentless and was nominated for a Bookie Award for Best M/M Novel of 2011. 40 SOULS TO KEEP, Libby's third novel, has been described as intense and heart-poundingly good and was praised by Publishers Weekly for maintaining a high level of suspense.
An avid supporter of gay rights, Libby donates her time to the Trevor Project and organizations that work to support marriage equality.

We asked one of the authors, Diana Copeland, about her writing experience with the anthology.

Thank you, Diana, for joining us today!
What made you decide to participate in this particular series?

I was lucky in that I’ve known both G.B. Lindsey and Libby Drew for years.  We were all part of an amateur writing group on LiveJournal, and I’d admired their work for a long time.  When our agent suggested the three of us write an anthology, I was sold from the word go.  And I really liked the idea of melding out three styles.  They’re very different.

How much collaboration was there to make sure the main storyline synched between the three stories?

Oh, we talked almost daily for months!  There is no way to do something like this without open lines of communication. 

Did the main storyline evolve as you all started writing?  If so, what changed from the initial storyline?

Yes, it evolved quite a bit. We each had our romantic plot lines, but finding the overall mystery plotline took a bit more doing.  And I can’t really say too much more without giving away more than I want to!

Do your characters ever take over your writing and make the story go somewhere you didn't originally have in mind?

All the time.  And Danny, in particular, didn’t want to toe the line.  He’s…complicated.  So writing his story was equally complicated.  And he kept doing and saying things that made it even MORE complicated.  Sometimes I felt like I was just the conduit, and he was doing all the talking!

Will you write more about these characters?

Yes.  In fact, I have a story featuring one of the young people who is mentioned in The Growing Season all outlined.  

Good luck with that new story, Diana, and thank you for stopping by!

There is a giveaway that will be available throughout all blog tour stops. The prize is an E-Book copy of Secrets of Neverwood. Enter with the Rafflecopter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck, and thank you for stopping by!

A special thanks to Will at Pride Promotions for providing the Rafflecopter and graphics used during this tour.

Review: Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza

It started as a simple assignment for Aussie bush guide Dave Taylor – escort a lone Englishman in quest of an unknown species of butterfly.

However Nicholas Goring is no ordinary tourist, his search is far from straightforward, and it’s starting to look as if the butterflies don’t want to be found.

As Dave teaches Nicholas everything he needs to survive in the Outback he discovers that he too has quite a bit to learn – and that very often the best way to locate something really important is just not to want to find it…

You know those quiet days. Those days where nothing particularly exciting happens and you're able to do the small things you love, but at the end, you sit back and realize that a wonderful day kind of snuck up on you. Completely unintentionally.

That's Butterfly Hunter.

I was totally caught by surprise. I had no idea how hard I fell in love with Nicholas and Dave and their butterflies. No idea.

Sure, I saw all the 4 and 5 star reviews. Sure, I knew that most of my friends loved it. But while I was reading I thought it was a nice enough story. But then, all of a sudden, my heart is breaking. And I realize that I have fallen head over heels for these characters and am smacked in the face with too much emotion. 

Ms. Bozza is a genius.

Dave is so utterly likeable and endearing. I can totally see why Nicholas was taken with him right away. Nicholas was just as great and I'm pretty sure Dave noticed him right away, too. No matter how much he tried to deny it. For the first half or so, it was just Nicholas and Dave building their friendship and the foundation for their beautiful relationship. Gah, it was beautiful. Not to mention the building of sexual tension. The tension! And, oh, once the tension broke... the kissing.

The kissing.

They didn't even need to go further, or I didn't need to read about it at least, because just their kissing was so damn sexy it about did me in.

I have to mention the butterflies and the significant part they played in the story. Nicholas' passion for them was admirable and the way Dave supported him was perfect. I loved the symbolism and what they meant for Nicholas, how he connected and saw himself in them. The butterflies were the perfect secondary character.

I don't know that I've ever read such a lovely book. The tone was quiet and slow and just beautiful.  

Guest Review: Tequila Mockingbird by Rhys Ford

Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.

No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.

Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.

Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart.

Rhys Ford has magical powers.

That’s the only explanation I can come up with to explain the beauty and genius that pours off the pages of Tequila Mockingbird.    I ran the emotional gauntlet on this one: I laughed, I cried, I made pterodactyl noises.  I loved every minute of it.
Forest Ackerman is a character that, from the moment he appears on the page, burrows under skin and doesn’t let go.  It would be easy to pity Forest; his introduction is one of the most heartbreaking, rage inducing character meets I have ever read, but Forest has too much pride, too much spirit and too much strength to pity. 

Forest has led a life that would rival any Dickensian orphan.  His childhood was stolen away from him by the twin beasts of abuse and neglect and if not for the intervention of Frank Marshall, Forest’s life would have most likely landed him in the cemetery or the penitentiary.   Frank, an aging hippie with a good heart and a bit of unconventional approach to life, stumbles across a broken, battered Forest and can’t bring himself to walk away.  Frank may not be anyone’s idea of a white knight but he ends up being Forest’s savior, taking him away from a life of hardship and horror and giving him something akin to normalcy.  Frank isn’t a typical father figure-he’s a bit gruff and rough around the edges and he’d probably make June Cleaver clutch her pearls but he loves Forest with everything he has in him and gives him the best life that he can and even though they both know that it’s not quite enough, it’s so much better than anything that Forest has had before or anything that he would have found out on the streets that Frank’s shortcomings don’t really matter.  Forest is loved, he’s safe, he’s warm and he’s welcome and with Frank he finds a place to belong and someone to belong to.

And then, in an explosion of fire and violence Frank’s ripped away from him and Forest is thrown into a sea of grief so deep and dark that he’s afraid he’s going to drown in it.

Enter Connor Morgan.

Now, those of you familiar with this series know that a Morgan man is the embodiment of all that is good and right and HOT LIKE FIRE and Conner is no exception to this rule.  He’s a strong, tall, handsome drink of Irish Whiskey and Forest is ready to chug him down like frat boy doing tequila shots at a keg party…

Except Connor isn’t gay.

And he’s a cop.

And he’s knee deep in the middle of Frank’s murder investigation.

So common sense and self preservation are telling Forest to run—not walk—in the opposite direction from Lt. Connor Morgan.  Unfortunately, his heart is telling him to grab on with both hands and not let go.

And Connor?  Connor is in the middle of his own head vs. heart crisis.  Connor had a plan for his life: wear the blue, honor the badge, buy the house, get the girl, have some kids.  In short, Connor has always wanted to be his father’s son, right down to living his father’s life and the broken, beautiful blond haired, brown eyed and very male Forest Ackerman does not fit into his life plan.  But from the moment he gets his arms around Forest and hold him up while his world burned down around him, Connor’s life plan is thrown off course.  And he just can’t find it in him to care.

Connor and Forest are like caramelized sugar.  They’re sweet but not fluffy.  There’s a lot of doubt on both sides of the relationship—Connor because he’s struggling to come to terms what loving a man means for his life, his career, his family and his sense of self and Forest because he’s struggling to accept that a man as good and decent as Connor can look at him and see a man worth saving, let alone a man worth loving.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s a psychotic murderer on the loose who is bound and determined to see Forest dead.

This book is a wonderful addition to the Sinner’s Series.  There’s a rich tapestry of previously introduced background characters (Donal, Kane, Brigid, Damien, Miki ect) and a strengthening of previously touched upon relationships (Quinn/Connor, Donal/Connor) that make it feel a bit like coming home while at the same time introducing new faces (such as Forest’s friend Jules) and creating new bonds (the Forest/Miki/Damien) so it doesn’t feel like a rinse/repeat of what’s been done before.

And that is where a lot of the genius of Tequila Mockingbird lies.  With a series it’s easy for an author to become formulaic.  As a reader there’s nothing worse than getting into a book series and starting to feel as if the author is “phoning it in”.  While on the surface it appears that every book in the Sinner’s Series follows the same recipe: Take one MC with a history of abuse and serious self-esteem issue, stir in a heroic Morgan man, add a homicidal maniac and a high body, spoon in a sizzling hot romance, bring to a boil, sprinkle with an assortment of Morgan family members and serve…the books themselves all have such different tones and evoke such different emotions that they’re anything but cookie cutter.  And that’s what keeps me coming back for another helping.

The writing in this book is nothing short of fantastic.  There’s a beautiful, almost lyrical quality to Rhys Ford’s writing but it never devolves into the dreaded “purple prose”. 

There was very little I didn’t love about this book.  From the relationships to the mystery to the inclusion of other characters without over shadowing the main couple, everything was spot on.  If I have a niggle it’s that the resolution of the mystery was a bit of a “huh, really” moment because the villain’s motivation is a bit a weak but that’s really my only complaint.

And that ending!!!

That ending had me throwing my down my e-reader and running around my bedroom calling on Jesus because OH MY GOD THAT ENDING!!!
I need the next book like a Real Housewife of Atlanta needs her weave. 
Write fast Rhys, because OH MY GOD!!!!

~Guest Review by Shelley~

Review: Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas (Baal's Heart #1) by Bey Deckard

Sheltered and lonely, Jon's life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love and jealousy, treachery and revelation, this first installment of the Baal's Heart trilogy brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.

Deckard's first novel is a masterful portrayal of sorrow, hope, and passion, with a narrative that twists the reader through a world set in the Golden Age of Piracy. A thrilling look into the darker side of human nature, Caged effortlessly melds serious historical fantasy with five star erotica.

When you learn  that there is a book that you've ached to read about actually written and quite masterfully...

...a treasure. It's not a book for everyone but hearties....this book was made for me!! *licks pirate sword*

Sometimes it's hard discussing why a book rocks. There are very few books where I want to just say: 'eff this reviewing shit, just 'effing read this 'effing book! NOW!' Doesn't happen to me a lot but when it does I just want to crow from the rooftops.


This is one of those books for me.

This book has heart, actually, hearts (literally and figuratively) and it's dope. For a first time novel...I was impressed. Is this book going to be for everyone? Hell no. And that's okay. I'll love this book enough for the non readers.

Who would this book appeal to? Hmm...if you're a fan of Rosemary O'Malley's "The Red King", run to "Caged". Readers who like dark, erotica, mystery, action, abused heroes, fantasy, love triangles, kink, D/s, (it's not as BDSM heavy as I expected but fingers crossed for books #2-3), getting close to that incest line but never crossing it (though I wouldn't have minded if it was crossed), rough sex and menage. And don't mind MC's with psychotic tendencies. Oh, a lot of flashbacks.

Is this book romantic? Mmm yes...but it's more about the main characters and their growth into a triad of sorts. But fluffy this book is NOT. It ends HFN-ish with the promise for a HEA in their future. Hey, it's book #1 of the Baal's Heart Trilogy...it can't end without a few loose ends that need to be tied in the future books.

This book is fantasy with a historical feel so the dialogue read  like present day, hell  there's even some present day topics such as pop psychology mixed in. So if you're a stickler for it to read like a real historical, etc, this might not be for you either.

Now, if I've weeded this down to potential readers...let's get down to "Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas".

Young twenty something Jon has a gift of an empath (or a curse if you ask him) he lives on the island of Portsmouth with his dog, Brutus and stepfather. He gets sent in for a job in the local brothel and gets more than he bargains for by being kidnapped by pirates. Yawr! And the pirates are questionable in their agenda. Poor virginal Jon has to deal with the handsome yet sinister Captain Baltsaros who lies with a practiced smile that does not meet his eye and an even more cheerful bruiser, foul mouthed first mate Tom (who I adored). They sail on the seas of alternate universe, visiting brothels, dealing with topsy-turvy sea life, pirating (living on their own terms, being bad asses, etc.) They aren't your gimmicky pirates, so no peg legs and talking parrots in "Caged". They were more gentlemanly unless it came to retribution, then its whatever means necessary.

There's some minor editing issues (which I've learned is being fixed so I won't mention them) but I did not have a problem following along. The author paints very vivid details, I can picture the room, smell the follows, see the silks on the ladies of the night. I was right there sailing along with the crew. Even the secondary characters were vivid and an important part to this story. Could be that it's a benefit the author is an artist, but it was very nice to have an author pay attention to detail with the imagery. There were also a few parts where the story dragged especially around 55%-about 70%. But this story lingers so I'm overlooking any niggles because the story was tops. I was going to rate it 4.5 but you know what, I loved this story too much to give it anything less than 5 hearts.

“What do I see? I see a man who has higher and thicker walls than I will ever have. I see a terrifying beast enveloped and hidden by a cleverly fashioned mask. I see tears that will never fall. I see blood and death. I see a heart that devours itself. I see the promise of pain and deceit. I see a lot of things, Baltsaros. Many of them frightening.”

Jon is caged. Baltsaros is caged, Tom is caged. They all have their personal demons. There are metaphors that can be found in all there but philosophy was one of my least favorite subjects so I won't bore you or myself. I love a good triangle relationship. All the men had their roles to play. Jon is the quintessential good guy/virgin. Tom has a horrific past and love for pain and submission. Baltsaros is a puzzle, a block of ice that lives and breathes but his heart was never a factor for him...until Jon. And Baltsaros does some depraved stuff, mateys with no conscience. He's a sociopath but there's something about him. He never had anything to care about.

Jon was the missing piece to get the blood pumping and bridge the gap between fuck buddies, Tom and Baltsaros. And also Tom and Baltsaros are open agents, so other men and women are fair game. Minor girly bits in the story, BTW. The three men (Jon, Baltsaros, Tom) struggle with their passions. There is jealousy, petty moves, things I expect when two people who've been fucking get a new third added to the mix.

Did the menage go as smoothly? Nope and it made for such the better read. I like the main characters working for their happy endings. I hate it when everything is neatly wrapped in a bow and told instead of being able to discover along with the main character. Like when Jon finally understood the power of submission and the difference between liking pain and the need for it.

And the erotica, it was not 300-plus pages of smut but when it happened,
“Aye, I love the shite out of that asshole, ducky. He’s strong, smart, and fucks like a bloody madman. What’s not to love?”
Oh boy was it hot ESPECIALLY THE LAST 10%!

Just. Yes.

Kinksters? Bondage, CBT, Wax Play and Breath Play. Have I whet your appetite?

The story is a journey, the author gives you a worthy story to apply to said journey. I enjoyed these multifaceted characters, the twisty turns and surprise themes.  I have a list of things I want from this series:

-more kink
-keep that adventure coming
-more info on Baltsaros (I know that deviant has more things up his sleeve -evil conundrum he is)
-more of Tom
-more of this series

I was thoroughly satisfied. I will most definitely be paying attention to this author because he has skills. I highly recommend this story for any MM fans who don't mind some dark & dirty with a potential HEA.

Well done, author!
P.S. I've been blown away by this story, to where my brain melted and I didn't know whether to threaten this author to write me more book or to propose my undying book devotion (with a ring). I'm going to go with the second option.

Bey, it's not everyday a girl finds an author who writes the topics she wants to read about so effortlessly. So here I am on bended knee with rings:

That's right 3 adjustable cock rings of eternal book devotion:

And your very own offer of slightly used art supplies and a Tim Horton's gift card. I promise to be your personal fan as long as you continue writing books for me the masses. I can also offer virtual dog walking and two ears to listen to you complain about those crazy fans. ;D

Would you do me the utmost honor by being my author?