Guest post by A.F. Henley! Welcome to the new visitors of the tour, and hello again to my returning friends. As I've been explaining throughout, Second Star to the Right is a romance story about a man seeking to define himself, an escort caught between the desire to find connection yet keep himself grounded, and how the brilliance of love can be the brightest light in dark skies if we're willing to let it burn.
So... in an effort to attempt something a little different for this blog tour, I decided it might be cool to connect with you, the reader, and explain how I define myself. I sent out a call, asking "Inquiring Minds" to throw some questions at me, and offered to do my best to answer them. Let's light up the sky together, and hopefully have a little fun in the process...
(Be sure to read through to the end for details on the release, as well as a chance to WIN your very own ebook copy.)
Anonymous asks: With all the characters out there that you could choose to tell a story about, why would you choose an escort? Hasn't that been done to death?
Henley replies: Maybe? Yes? No? I guess it depends on your perspective. I tend to ask myself a bunch of things about a character before I dive in. For example: do I have something new to say about the trope I'm looking at exploring? Is there something about—in this case the sex industry—that is relevant/important to the story I want to tell? Can this novel be made better by turning it into some kind of horror story? If I can come up with reasonable answers to the first two questions, and a no to the third, then I write it. Besides, it's 2014. People have been writing for a long, looooong time. If you can find a single premise out there that hasn't been done before, I'd love to hear about it.
Darkprism asks: Have you ever been to a psychic? If yes, what happened and if no, why not?
Henley replies: I have had my palms read once, and my cards read twice. The palm reader told me I was going to have two sons, one that would wear a uniform, possibly for the armed forces, and that I should look at a career in the medical field because I had what he referred to as "Healer's Hands." Errm... not likely.
The first time I had my cards read, I asked about these two sons I was supposed to have and she told me the cards didn't see any children in my life whatsoever. I asked about financial interests for the following year, and she told me I should warn my partner away from throwing money away on flashy toys. Errm... really?
The second time I had my cards read it was by an eerily accurate friend of mine. I won't go into details about what was actually said, but suffice it to say, it freaked me the hell out. I guess it just goes to show you that there a lot of people out that there that fake at having ties to what exists outside of our realm, but when you come across someone that has a gift, there is no question about the validity of it. It jumps up, smacks you in the face, and makes you question every doubt you've ever had.
Coterie asks: Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were little and what changed your mind?
Henley replies: I have always wanted to be a writer. I was published for the first time when I was eight. (It was a poem. And just for a small religious magazine. But my mother was thrilled.) That being said, I also spent a lot of time trying to talk myself out of that desire. My father was more than vocal about how writing was never going to make enough money to pay the bills. "It's hard to be successful with published works. It's almost impossible to be successful with mainstream publications." What he didn't realise is that with a desire that strong, it's more about the calling than it is about the payout. You can't not do it. You'll drive yourself mad if you try.
Lavender Wynter asks:What software programs do you work with from the creation of a story idea to the published product?
Henley replies: I am ... challenged when it comes to certain things. I work with an antiquated version of Word on my desktop (I can't even open a docx), and if I'm too lazy to get up from my laptop I will reduce myself to working with WordPad. Oh yes, I will. Although, GoogleDocs and its always accessible, always free, plethora of interwoven apps is making me a very happy camper these days.
another suck-tastic summer for book nerd and baker, Sara Lee-Affen.
She’s broke, she’s single, and she’ll probably die a virgin. At
her beautiful cousin’s wedding, Sara meets a sexy and delicious
stud muffin, Ian Forrests. He’s totally her cup of tea, that is
until he laughs at her misery when a bee burrows into her ear. Yes, a
dang bee. She’s dying (well not really) as he’s dying from
a jerk. A smoking hot, Adonis of a jerk with strikingly green eyes,
dark hair, and drool-worthy pecs and eight-pack abs. As luck and fate
would have it, Sara keeps bumping into Ian all summer long and ends
up working for him as a pastry chef at his failing bakery. Despite
her better judgment, Sara falls for the sexy, badass rich boy. She
discovers the truth about Ian: he’s a tortured soul who’s still
pining for his deceased girlfriend, Sarah. One look at Sarah’s
picture and poor Sara knows that she could never compete. She could
never be Ian’s cup of tea.
minute ago, when I noticed someone approaching me, I couldn’t help
but ogle at perfectly-formed man pecs and a tapered waist sporting
well-defined washboard abs. Droplets of water glisten on his tan
skin. Said tan skin belongs to a guy, a hot guy walking toward me.
Water from the pool drips off his dark hair. His lean and muscular
legs are made for running. His blue swim trunks, wet and plastered to
his skin, leaves little to my imagination. I gulped. I felt his eyes
on me, all hot and smoldering. Having a feeling that a handsome face
goes along with his hot bod, my eyes traveled upward to confirm my
features. Chiseled jawline. Straight nose with two nostrils that are perfectly shaped and sized. Cellophane forest-green eyes filled with intelligence. Hot...
But too bad it’s him, that jerk from Millie’s wedding.
most current publication is My Cup of Tea: Summer of Love. Read My
Cup of Tea here: http://amzn.to/1fKJ4YW
read her first book (a picture book) while potty training at the age
of one and half. Reading became an addiction and a must during
subsequent potty sessions. Writing as a passion soon followed when
Kat was in the fifth grade. She drew a picture storybook,
hand-stitched the pages together, and presented it to a class of
second graders. The children loved hearing Kat's story and that
cemented Kat's love for writing.
wrote My Cup of Tea, Summer of Love during maternity leave. While
caring for her newborn, Kat sacrificed nap time and much needed rest
in order to write. When her baby slept, she quickly typed away,
ignoring carpal tunnel. Now Kat works full-time by day. By night,
she's a dedicated mommy and a writer. She hopes to be able to spend
more time with her son, Philly Cheese Steak, and write for a living
in the near future.
do come true, when you believe in them and work hard. Many of Kat's
dreams have come true and she wishes the same for all her fans and
is also a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Certified Lymphedema
Therapist. She also runs a tween/teen empire, Nummyz Productions.
Nummyz Productions creates original Flash games for girls and
provides them with a safe community, love advice, free stories, and
support. Nummyz Productions publishes books and e-books. Kat's
company has also created websites for celebrities of The Young and
the Restless (Kate Linder) and Flash games for multi-million dollar
is giving away four ebook copies of Maid for Me and one print copy at
each stop! This giveaway is open to USA residents only. Make sure to
follow the tour and enter at every stop by leaving a comment with a
valid email address. Winners will be randomly selected by the author
after the tour is over!
Title: Static by L.A. Witt
Genre: M/M Romance, Transgender, Science Fiction
Published January 20th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
Length: 283 pages Rating: 5 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
After two years together, Alex has been dreading the inevitable moment when Damon learns the truth: that Alex is a shifter, part of a small percentage of the population able to switch genders at will. Thanks to a forced implant, though, Alex is suddenly static—unable to shift—and male. Overnight, he’s out to a world that neither understands nor tolerates shifters . . . and to his heterosexual boyfriend.
Damon is stunned to discover his girlfriend is a shifter, and scared to death of the dangers the implant poses to Alex’s health. He refuses to abandon Alex, but what about their relationship? Damon is straight, and with the implant both costly and dangerous to remove, Alex is stuck as a man.
Stripped of half his identity and facing serious physical and social ramifications, Alex needs Damon more than ever, but he doesn’t see how they can get through this.
Alex and Damon are in love and making progress to be married one day as man and woman. One visit to Alex's parents, however, caused Alex to be "static" or can't switch genders physically anymore. Damon doesn't know Alex is a "shifter" (of genders) so this is a shock and a stain on their relationship. Damon loves Alex but he's not gay, so how can they be together?
I love the little details on how society is made for "static" people and the little tidbits on how society thinks that I've never thought about. For explain, it's much easier for people to accept a masculine female rather than a feminine male. The story is very valuable and provides a "safe" medium to explore and learn about the possibilities of transgender identity. The story idea itself is amazing. The author's note at the end of the story explained where the idea came from and this exploration of human identity.
A contemporary Gothic romance, Timeless a resident ghost, evil entities, tragic lovers, and ultimate redemption. Set in Old Louisville, now and in the past, Timeless brings together the elements of history and contemporary New Age belief.
When Beth Abbott receives a surprise inheritance from her birth mother, she travels to the family’s nineteenth century mansion in Old Louisville, now a bed and breakfast. There she meets the resident ghost, a little girl whose crying scares, but intrigues guests. Beth sets out to discover the identity of the ghost and why she appears happy to Beth, not sad.
Jeff Halstead, a man with several secrets, runs the bed and breakfast. But he’s more than that to Beth, and she feels their connection immediately. A psychic medium who doubts his skills, Jeff slowly uncovers the truth of theirpast lives. Will he be in time to reveal the identity of Beth’s enemy? Will the love they shared in the past follow them into the future?
I’ve written a few unconventional love stories in my time. I’ve even had a man and a ghost fall for each other. So telling a story about two lovers separated by over a century seemed tame in comparison. What I didn’t realize when I began Paradox Lost was that the very intricacies I was using to enhance the plot were making a happily-ever-after ending almost impossible.
Not having a happy ending for my characters Saul and Reegan, however, was out of the question. As was compromising my plot points. So for a long period of time, Paradox Lost—and Saul and Reegan’s love—stayed in limbo on my hard drive.
The turning point came on the advice of a good friend, who said quite simply and with little nonsense, “Libby, this is a love story. Write that and the rest will come.” It seemed ridiculous at the time, to disregard every other aspect of the book for that one point. But as I gave it more and more thought, I came around to his point of view.
Love is what drives us forward, whether that love is for another person or a place or an idea. It’s why we read, watch movies, listen to certain music, and compose poetry. Why not focus on the love story within Paradox Lost? I wasn’t risking world peace. Only my time. And it worked!
The plot came together more precisely than I could’ve hoped, and my two heroes earned their happily-ever-after. Turns out, love really does conquer all.
In book stores, Paradox Lost is classified a time travel adventure. It’s fast-paced, suspenseful, and has some futuristic sci-fi elements. But at its heart, it’s simply this: a love story. A tale of two people who fall in love across centuries and move time and space to stay together. If you’re curious as to how… give the book a try.
Title: Paradox Lost by Libby Drew
Genre: M/M Romance, Time Travel, Science Fiction
Published January 27th 2014 by Carina Press
Length: 228 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Review copy provided by author
Time travel tour guide Reegan McNamara’s job—taking eager tourists whenever they want to go—is usually a breeze. A trip back to 2020 to watch a world-changing speech seems no different, until a woman runs away from his tour group before the jump home. Now her tycoon husband is demanding her safe return—or Reegan will lose more than just his job.
PI Saul Kildare’s business is running on borrowed time. Due to a messy break with the police, he can’t get a referral to save his life. When an enigmatic stranger bangs on his door one night and promises a windfall for a missing-person case, it seems too good to be true. But the two men have an immediate connection, and Saul can’t pass up the chance to spend more time with Reegan, even if he is clearly hiding something.