I’ve embarked on a blog tour for my Dreamspinner MM urban fantasy novel, The Leprechaun Next Door, which is released on March 19th. Today, I’m at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, being interviewed about creating characters, stories that need to be put aside for a while to make them work, and more. I had great fun answering the questions, and you can find the interview here. Come back over the next few days and I’ll let you know where else I’m appearing…
Everybody loves ebooks – they’re so simple to load onto your e-reader, tablet or even your phone if you’re one of those people who likes looking at a tiny screen, and you can read them just about anywhere. They’ve opened up so many opportunities for self-published authors (your mileage may vary on whether this is universally a good thing) and best of all, they enable you to read a huge slab of a bestseller (Stephen King’s The Stand, I’m looking at you) without straining to hold the thing in place.
To mark Read An E-book Week, Tirgearr are offering all their titles at a whopping 50 per cent off on Smashwords until this coming Saturday (March 9th). That means you could pick up both my Tirgearr titles – the hot contemporary romance One Night In Brussels, packed with suspense, intrigue and sizzling sex, and the historical romance One Knight In Muiden, an erotic tale of handsome men in armour and disguised identities – at a bargain price.
To take advantage of the offer, click on the image below to go to the Tirgearr site, choose the books you want, select the Smashwords link and don’t forget to enter EBW when checking out. Enjoy your ebook!
My guest today is Londra Laine, talking about her thought-provoking new MM romance novel, Living On The Inside. Londra, it’s great to have you at the Naughty Corner.
Thanks for having me! I’m so thrilled to be featured on the blog and to share a little about my new release Living on the Inside. This is my third self-published book and it marks my one-year authorversary. Here is a little background about what inspired the book.
Adrien and Micah have both spent much of their lives feeling like outsiders and then they meet each other. Micah is formerly incarcerated and out of work. He’s living in his baby mama’s guest house, trying to reconnect with thirteen-year-old son. Adrien is a successful business owner with a traumatic secret he’s been carrying around. Neither of them are looking for a relationship, and at first glance, the two seem like an unlikely pair. Adrien is Micah’s boss, they’ve had different upbringings, and neither of them trusts themselves. But eventually the co-workers become friends, then lovers and there is plenty of tension along the way.
For this book, I didn’t want the central point of tension to be the stereotypical bigoted families or the evil female ex. I wanted to show what I’ve personally experienced and seen with a lot of my own friends and family. Exes with great relationships and friendship, families that love and support their LGBTQ family member, but may have other family tension and problems. Bigotry won’t ever go away and I certainly don’t want to downplay that in any way. But I really wanted to focus on other family dynamics where my characters’ orientation isn’t central to the conflict.
My main characters are also an interracial couple. You should know that I am black, so writing black characters comes naturally to me and I understand the black experience first hand But I will say, the black experience is a human experience. As a kid, I saw more negative portrayals of black people than positive, so it’s important to me to show that black people are just people. We are multidimensional with the same interests, worries, and dreams as everyone else.
The Bright Bean coffee shop, Adrien’s cafe in the book, is inspired by a coffee shop I began frequenting when I was about thirteen, much like Caleb. I did community theater as a teenager and needed a place to do my homework between the end of school and the start of rehearsal, so I’d study at a coffee shop near the theater and rehearsal space. Whenever I go back home, I still visit the coffee shop.
Thanks for reading this guest post and I hope that you take a chance on Micah and Adrien! To learn more about my works in progress you can follow me on Twitter at @LondraLaine or on Facebook at @LondraLaineWrites
Title: Living on the Inside
Author: Londra Laine
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Length: About 55,000 words
Genre: Romance, single dad, gay romance, interracial, ex-con, domestic abuse, work romance
Micah Grayson lives in his baby mama’s guesthouse. It’s unconventional and awkward, but he’s happy for a chance to reconnect with his teenage son. He doesn’t have time for other distractions—no matter how sexy, independent, and compassionate that distraction might be. Besides, he’s not good enough for more than a fling—no one would ever take him home to meet their parents.
Adrien Darling has book smarts, but no street savvy—at least that’s what his family says. And after a heart-breaking betrayal by the man meant to love and protect him, Adrien believes them. But then a gorgeous guy with a defeated look in his eyes walks into Adrien’s coffee shop and makes him want to take a chance.
After years of living on the outside as two misfits looking in, both men are afraid to reach for more. But in each other’s arms, Micah and Adrien find out what it’s like to live on the inside. As their tender bond grows and blossoms, old insecurities bubble to the surface. Will their commitment crumble under the pressure? Or will the two find the strength to fight for each other.
Purchase at Amazon
“Is that what we are?” Micah asked quietly. “Friends?”
“Yeah,” Adrien answered. “I hope so.”
Then he was surrounded by Micah’s body. Adrien hesitated for a moment before returning the other man’s embrace, locking his arms around Micah’s torso. A few seconds into the hug all the reasons why he needed to pull away from Micah—now—raced through his mind. But he couldn’t make himself do it.
Adrien had been fighting his attraction, but the man had slipped past Adrien’s defenses. Micah’s earnest joy at making progress with his son. His trust in Adrien as he shared his insecurities. His nonjudgmental attitude. Their growing friendship. All those things made him feel strong and needed. Adrien wanted more of that feeling. He leaned into Micah.
Micah sighed as he squeezed Adrien tighter, and Adrien’s body sagged against him, the fight against his attraction to Micah leaving his body. He tucked his head into the crook of Micah’s shoulder, and gave in to defeat, breathing in the salty sweet scent of Micah’s skin, running his palms up the man’s back.
The scent and feel of Micah was heady, and Adrien’s head swam as he let his eyelids flutter shut, let his lips graze the exposed skin between Micah’s neck and shoulder. Micah tensed against him and his breath hitched, making Adrien wonder if he’d gone too far. But then Micah’s palm slid up Adrien’s neck, cupping his nape, grazing a thumb along his hairline.
Micah moved his other hand lower, resting it right above Adrien’s ass, his fingers lightly grazing the swell below Adrien’s hips.
“Adrien,” Micah grated out. Adrien pulled back, slowly opening his eyes. Micah licked his lips, his eyes skimming Adrien’s mouth, and then he leaned forward.
Adrien met him halfway, their lips connecting in a kiss. The light brush became a firm press then flared, hot and wet, as Adrien ran the tip of his tongue against the seam of Micah’s lips. Micah submitted to Adrien’s silent request, parting his lips to give Adrien access to his tongue and mouth.
Then a loud honk made them jerk apart as a car sped past them, headlights bright and blinding. Their chests heaved, and Adrien took in Micah’s disheveled hair and damp lips and wondered if he looked nearly as enticing to Micah.
Adrien’s gaze skittered away, and he grimaced, embarrassment replacing the intense need he’d felt moments ago. What was he doing? He knew better than this. He’d been down this road before. He couldn’t get involved with an employee again.
Then a terrible thought occurred to him. What if Micah felt like he had to hook up with Adrien? Had Adrien pressured him in some way? Shit. Negative thoughts tumbled through his mind, making him dizzy. He had to nip this in the bud.
“Micah, about what just happened—”
“Our kiss?” Micah moved closer to him.
Adrien’s eyes wandered, unable to meet Micah’s. “Yeah, the kiss. I’m sorry—I didn’t mean to—I’m sorry.” He shook his head and Micah stopped the motion by gripping Adrien’s chin between his forefinger and thumb. He lifted Adrien’s face to his.
“I’m not sorry.” Micah’s voice was quiet in the night.
Meet the Author:
Londra has loved reading since she figured out how to do it. She writes to give her guys the happy ending she wishes everyone––no matter their race, religion, gender, or orientation––could experience in real life.
Londra makes money as a communications manager. She is a former journalist, a runner and a mezzo soprano.
In 2010, she moved from her native California to New York City where she lived in Harlem for nearly eight years. In early 2018 she relocated to Seattle with her spouse.
2/5 Joyfully Jay
2/6 Divine Magazine
Londra is giving away a $25 Amazon voucher to one lucky reader. You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here.
This tour was organised by Indigo Marketing & Design
You may remember I promised you the second box set containing books from my Lionhearts MM shifter series was on the way. Well, the good news it will be available from Pride Publishing and other online retailers from February 12th.
The three books in this collection are Into The Arena, Pride Under Fire (nominated for best paranormal/urban fantasy book in the 2017 Love Romances Cafe awards) and Animal Passions. If the excitement of the first three books wasn’t enough, this time round the stories feature obsessed stalkers, movie stars, arson, murder, hot firemen, heart-stopping peril and the most exciting thing to happen in the Roman Colosseum since Fall Out Boy’s Centuries video – oh, and plenty of romance, too. What more could big cat lovers want?
You can find out more at Pride Publishing.
A P Von K’Ory is my guest today, talking about the inspiration behind her work and her intense new romance trilogy, the Golden Shana series. Nice to have you here, A P!
Although I’d been writing nonfiction political/humanitarian books before, meeting my husband inspired my first romance novel. At the time I lived in both London and Geneva and did my first internship with the ILO Headquarters. I had been assigned to this charming and cultured older man as his interpreter, because I’d translated several of his papers from French and German into English. So in a way I already ‘knew’ him. We eventually discovered that we both had the sort of childhood we had not been happy with, but had to adhere to out of duty to our families.
We both bore the straitjacket of “to the manner born”, which threw a number of stumbling boulders in our path when we finally wanted to get married. We weren’t merely different in terms of culture and ethnicity; we also came from different continents.
After we got married regardless, I often discuss with my husband what being a Luo aristocrat culturally means. Despite all other heritage and cultural influences that converge in me, I most strongly identify with Luoland and the Luos. I was born in Kenya, but I’ve spent most of my life in Europe; from preparatory school in Yorkshire to universities in Britain, India, Germany and Switzerland.
My husband also has French and German aristocratic heritage, and has lived most of his life in Franconia, Bavaria. So the more we delve into the vagaries of our mutual attraction to each other, the more we uncover about ourselves. We often talk till the small hours about our customs, rites and rituals, religious beliefs and societal norms.
We’ve become a thousand shades of archaeological discoveries.
This is how I came to write my first romance novels, the Bound to Tradition trilogy, the love story of a Kenyan girl, Khira, and a Swedish industrialist, Erik. Once the books were written and my husband read them in the German translation, it was clear that one or two things had to be explained to the readers. In particular were the Luo terms of endearment and nicknames which may confuse readers because they defy both logic and reality. A male may address a female as “father, grandfather” or “mother, grandmother”, irrespective of age. A female may do exactly the same when affectionately addressing a man. Likewise parents address their children with these terms of endearment whether the child is a boy or a girl, an infant, a teenager or an adult, including grownup children who are already married and have children of their own.
Luos revere their forebears and hold them in high regard. “Without them,” so the belief, “we wouldn’t be here, and they continue to be in our progeny.” The older one gets the more they gain respect and reverence. Youth is not worshipped in Luoland; quite the opposite. I had to inform my readers to view these endearment terms as no different from other cultures whose terms of endearment are angel, precious, honey, heart, mouse, soul, darling or sweetheart, irrespective of age or gender.
Another “confuser” in the trilogy is the word disease. Luos use this as a curse word because, from time immemorial, they associate disease with ungodliness, crime, divine punishment or lack of personal hygiene. It can be used on its own or in a phrase or sentence.
Bound to Tradition trilogy has won me numerous awards and prizes in Europe and America. It was little wonder then, that when I wanted to write something erotic, I reverted to the youngest daughter of Khira and Erik, Svadishana (Golden Shana), as my heroine. But I wanted her and Roman to have conflicts that were unique and not ordinarily associated with love affairs. I also wanted them to have an unusual eroticism in their love affair. To this end, I invented and copyrighted the terms I used explicitly for them for the first time: Domristocrat (Domri), Subristocrat (Subri), Sophisterotica and McErotica, to name but these. Of course, I stole and still steal a lot of their sizzling sex scenes from my husband and myself.
Luckily, I didn’t have to write a glossary for my inventions. They were self-explanatory in my writing. Above all else, I wanted to share them with others.
Blurb: Golden Shana: The Chase (Book 1)
Roman: I never chased after a woman. It was always the other way around. Then I caught a glimpse of the woman I would kneel for, at the opera, and I didn’t even know her name. But I determined to find her if it took me the rest of my life.
Shana: He stood in the room with her. The frisson in the currents freaking between them was as solid as a steel portal. The mutual force of predator and prey blasted its way into her core … her soul … Danger. Keep far away from him.
Marie: Some men were born to rule the world; others were born to ruin it. Roman Alastair Northcott Broughton Castell was born to do both. But she loved him and awaited his baby.
Alyssa: He was the lover she wouldn’t tire of. Roman had something so damned perilous about him he was addictive. Who gets addicted to safe and riskless? Not her.
Grieg/Phoenix: Had His Girl interpreted that Friday night as abuse? He’d only done what she wanted – protection of her cherished innocence.
Excerpt from Golden Shana: The Chase (Book 1)
What a difference a day makes… And it hadn’t been a day. It had been an evening in Milan. Brief moments of an evening. I didn’t care about the consequences to whomever. Through my obsession with Svadishana I became aware of the fact that I was a person. A human being, not an almighty god, with all the baggage that comes with being that. I too – eureka! – had a heart pumping white and red corpuscles through my veins. Blood, not icicles.
Was it love I felt for Svadishana? A woman I’d spoken three whiny words – Please call me! – to? Was it more than simple lust and desire? Did I want to possess more than just her body?
Pondering these questions alone was so unlike me. That woman had turned me into an alien even unto my own self. What I felt, my inner voice said, was more than the thrill of the hunt. More than lust, desire, need, passion, the excitement of possession, and subjugation.
Of course all that was part of it. But the basis or the source, the seedbed on which all that sprouted and was growing to full blossom in me, could well be something else.
When I thought of her, saw her image from Milan in my mind, watched how she moved in long smooth strides in YouTube, my brow beaded with sweat. I couldn’t pull my gaze away from the few photos I’d fished out of the Internet. Group photos at a family birthday or the authorized biography of her father. Her movements in a YouTube conference clip were springy and powerful even in their smoothness. She exuded strength all over the place, laughing, talking, gesticulating.
A breath-taking beauty. Such beauty that I dared not believe it at times.
And brains to go with it.
In love or not, I knew what I wanted and Svadishana was the answer. I wanted her and would do anything short of suicide to get her. Who knows – perhaps when it came to that as the only means available, I’d really murder too. I didn’t in the least care about the consequences, as long as they got me to where I wanted to get to.
Svadishana’s arms and knickers and… heart?
What obsession, Roman. Get back to real.
No chance. Real was Svadishana.
Blurb: Golden Shana: The Capture (Book 2)
Roman: I wanted to eat all of her. Even within that fortress I longed to erect around her to hold her captive in, to keep her away from men not worthy of the sight of her, I’d devour her.
Shana: Roman was deadly sex. She had no antigenic for immunity against him. Instead she lay there on his bed, in an impossible state of sluttish disarray, holding her breath.
Marie: “So you didn’t bring your rich old cow with you.” The bitch was ten years older than her, years older than Roman himself. Weren’t men supposed to prefer younger women?
Alyssa: She was not going to let Roman treat her like a hole in the air. He started this triangle and she was going to make it equilateral.
Grieg/Phoenix: His philosophy stated that peace was bondage, and war was freedom. His Girl was his territory, and no other man’s.
Excerpt from Golden Shana: The Capture (Book 2)
I picked her up and carried her like a bride. Or a sleeping child. She nuzzled between my neck and shoulder. I kicked the door shut behind us.
We were both ablaze, and I needed to check that, wind it down a notch.
“Like to lie down on the sofa and cuddle till we both slow down a bit?”
“Bed.” Her voice vibrated against my neck.
We left the entrance hall behind us. The flames kept on leaping.
“Overriding my sensible decision?”
“Yes. Bed.” Tremulous once, tremulous twice.
“Just got me, and you want to run away with it.” I bore her past the living room.
“I’m getting a restraining order on you.” I took the first stair, chest tight again.
She lifted her head off my shoulder and her Huskies sent megawatts to my blues. Unveiled desire. My balls clenched. At this degree I risked coming where I stood with her in my arms. I was tempted to close my eyes and summon my control. For the first time I felt life surge through my veins for a woman, the whole woman, not just sex with her. Again, I experienced that powerful instinct in me to guard and protect her, the fragile and most precious thing in my life. She had a pull on every cell in me. Her masses of loose curls gave warm slaps through my chinos to my hip, sending the sergeant into planning guerrilla warfare for its freedom.
The witch. I was hypnotized. I had to stop climbing the stairs and get my head cleared. She was as necessary to me as the air I breathed, yet she knocked that air straight out of my lungs. Her naked desire was intoxicating. Insanity mingled with reality. I really had her back in my arms. She came to me, came to my home for the first time. And ordered Bed, not a mutual shower. She was the first and only woman to take me to this Newland. She was my perfect balance. I’d fallen hard and didn’t even want to get back up. It happens to the worst of us ingrained rogue playboys.
The Huskies still pinned me in Newland. “Skirting around the deed, are we?”
“Protecting my golden goddess.”
For sheer survival, I broke the lock of our eyes and started up the stairs again.
Blurb: Golden Shana: The Untouchable (Book 3)
Roman doesn’t even want a harem. But the harem relentlessly seeks him. No sooner has Shana left Roman than Grieg/Phoenix is marking time on Roman’s door, out for a war, not a fight, over Shana. And so is Marie, whose pregnancy Roman still keeps a secret.
Roman: I loved owning women. Then I found my woman. But she would never be owned, not even by the gods. She left me. Still, her dangerous admirer and I began wars over her, not merely street fisticuffs.
Shana: Roman scares me in every way and the fear excites me. I’m brainless in his arms, brainless just from thinking about him. He makes me navigate so many labyrinthine passages and secret doors that I’d never even been aware of before. My body knelt and wept for him. My common sense made me flee from him while I could.
Marie: I sold Roman my heart and soul. Only to realise my body had not been consulted, and was therefore out for war.
Alyssa: I really got all that about Roman. The super-ink indelibility of him, the substance of him that stamped his four-figure-euro Ferragamo Oxfords, the supernatural charisma that rocketed him all the way up there with Lucifer. His square would never fit my round. But hope springs eternal, right?
Grieg: “If I have whoever your girl is, why don’t you simply come over and take me off her or her off me?” Roman had not reacted like a man who had received that damning message. Over the phone, he’d sounded as if he didn’t have a single feather ruffled. Time to start the war.
Excerpt from Golden Shana: The Untouchable (Book 3)
I heard him change the phone to the other ear. “Castell, you’re a kid running a billion-euro crib, you pervert.”
My system actually waged wars for me to jump out of my skin. Control, Castell.
“Oh, yes. I’m about as straight as the U-bend under a sink, fuckwit. So is this the problem? A pissing contest based on having some beef about your wallet being a little anorexic in comparison? Have I got that bracketed?” I heard him swallow again. I decided on a blind knock on that, although for all I knew he was drinking water. “By the way, I’d ease up on the drink. Otherwise you won’t manage to solve the square root of bugger all, let alone remember if you have any other name but Sggirb.”
“I know you right up to your fucking perve room, Castell. I delivered the CD—had the CD delivered – right into your fucking office, practically into your hands. You know nothing about me. So you better watch your smart mouth.”
“Ah, you thought you’d simply storm the Bastille that’s my home and be discreet about it, then slink into my office building and show me the dot over the i that amounts to your balls? You’re right, I know nothing about you. You’re not even in my periphery, private or public.”
“I’m not a ball of yarn to your kitten, so watch your fucking mouth, Castell!”
Just to keep him put off his stroke, “Who would you say has all the tools for annihilation, fuckwit, the kitten or the yarn?”
“You’re lucky I’m—”
“Luck is basically mythical. Reality is called chance. How about we meet?”
He said nothing.
Not good, because now that I was screwing him hard, I needed to keep up the pace. So I said, “You could make it your mud hole or you could haul your arse back here to my city. Then we roll up our sleeves, or whisk off our T-shirts. Then we start doing a little tribute to Muhammad Ali out in the Congo with Joe Frazier.”
He said nothing. I heard him swallow at intervals during the silence. “I’m rapt with attention, fuckwit Sggirb, so let’s have a date and then – to quote your countryman –you are an American – float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
“You think you’re so fucking cool…” He rumbled the word out long: Coooooollll…
“Oh, I don’t just think it.”
“Just keep your hands off her, Castell. Keep your hands off My Girl!”
“If I have whoever your girl is, why don’t you simply come over and take me off her or her off me?” I paused for a reply, none came. “Or is this the sheep being docile until they get utterly famished?” Another pause. Silence, so I continued, “You sound like you wouldn’t find a clitoris if you were armed with a compass, street map and a fucking NASA telescope.”
“You can’t intimidate me, Castell.”
Which only exposed to me the wound I’d ripped open in him. Time to add chilli.
Buy Links In Kindle – Please note that the books are also available in paperbacks:
Connect With A P Van K’Ory:
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here:
Click here to enter for your chance to win a Kindle copy of one of A P von K’Ory’s backlist books!
This tour was organised by Writer Marketing Services.
Love Bytes, the LGBTQ reviews site, is hosting an exclusive cover reveal today for my upcoming novel The Leprechaun Next Door. Published by Dreamspinner, it’s an MM paranormal romance which asks what would happen if a cute leprechaun offered you three wishes. Would you use them wisely, or would things somehow get out of control despite your best intentions? You’ll be able to find out more when the book is released in March, but to see the cover (which I love) and enter a Rafflecopter contest to win a book from the Dreamspinner catalogue, go to Love Bytes now!
Box sets are great, aren’t they? They let you binge all your favourite things in one go. or they let you catch up on something you missed the first time round without that impatient wait for the next part of the series. Well, some of the books I had the most fun writing – the Lionhearts series for Pride Publishing – are being released in two box sets, and the first is out now. The series, set in a world where lion shifters live alongside humans, not always without problems, was originally inspired by a plaque commemorating a brewery that once stood on the Brouwersgracht in Amsterdam. It expanded into six books, tracing the fortunes of interconnected lion shifter families, and the human lovers they are fated to meet, and focusing on shifter prides in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, England and America. If you like tales of murder, obsessive stalkers, weird cults, secret treasures, paranormal investigators and lost loves, they’re all here.
Book One contains the first three books in the series – The Pride of Amsterdam, Taming The Lion and Vintage Pride, and is available from the Pride Publishing bookstore, Amazon US and Amazon UK. Part Two is coming soon. So that’s your next binge sorted…