Chris T. Kat talks Top Five Shape-Shifter Species and Secret Energy!

Charlie, thank you very much for the opportunity to be a guest on your blog. Dreamspinner Press will publish my new release, Secret Energy, on August 29th. Secret Energy is a shape-shifter story, and the sequel to Secret Chemistry.

This time I don’t want to discuss why shape-shifter stories attract me so much. I’d like to invite you to discuss which species are my favorite shape-shifters. Ready? Okay, here we go:

  • Foxes: That probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me a little. After all, Secret Chemistry has a character who is partially a fox, and The Wolf and His Diva also has two characters who can shift into foxes. However, I’d love to read a book with a white fox. Any recommendations?
  • Cats: I don’t care what kind of cat is involved—simple house cat, tiger, lion, panther. I’m good with all cats. There’s something majestic about these large animals that draws me to them. I especially love stories where the shifters really act like cats when they’re in their animal forms.
  • Wolves: I’m very fond of stories centered around a pack of wolves. There’s so much dynamic in these books and there are so many interesting plots possible. I really liked Julie Lynn Hayes When Will I See You Again? and Joy Lynn Fielding’s Strength of the Pack series.
  • Dogs: Unfortunately, I haven’t found a lot of stories that feature dog-shifters. Or maybe I just didn’t look in the right places. The last one I read and thoroughly enjoyed was Cooper West’s The Protector. I’d be very grateful for recommendations!
  • Dragons or other mythological creatures: Oh, come on! What’s not to love about dragons, unicorns, mermen, etc? I loved Mell Eight’s The Dragon Hoard‘s series (especially the third one: Stealing the Dragon—so cute!).

Which kind of species do you like the most when you read shape-shifter stories? I’d love to hear some recommendations from you!

TH2014Divider

SecretEnergy

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner paperback | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

TH2014Divider

TH2014Blurb

When wolf shifter Robin agreed to cover for his older brother Tim and Tim’s lover Jay, he never imagined feeling so stifled. Tim’s overprotective attitude suffocates him. Pressure from within—the urge to find his own mate—mounts daily. With a little help from Jay, Robin finally convinces Tim to let him go for a run alone, but he has no inkling that his life will change forever as a result.

Unexpectedly, he finds his mate Peter Brannigan, an old and special soul, and the one shifter who can bring balance to Robin’s life. The new couple spend days together, developing their bond as mates. Yet even as they explore and cement their relationship, crisis looms just ahead when an old enemy of the pack shows up and kills someone Robin loves.

TH2014Excerpt

The scent called to Robin, setting something free within him—something unfamiliar and primal in nature. Robin’s mood alternated between exhilarated and scared, the combination and sheer intensity of both feelings troubling him.

Robin stopped near a small creek and carefully stepped inside the stream, the cool water soothing his paws and ankles. He took a few swallows of the clear water while his heartbeat slowed down.

The scent was strong around the creek, but Robin was unable to pinpoint it. After raising his snout high in the air, he inhaled the smell deeply, hoping it would infuse his lungs and from there spread to every part of his body, because whatever it was, it had a highly arousing but also calming effect on him. A long, high-pitched yowl broke free from his throat, announcing his longing.

Robin waited before he swept his gaze around. High pines surrounded the small creek, casting shadows on the water’s surface. The creek flowed slowly and smoothly, only occasionally hindered by rocks strewn in its bed. The water swirled around them, creating small vortices that gurgled.

Would anyone answer his plea? What would he do if someone did? Why was he even expecting someone to answer? It couldn’t be his mate—it just couldn’t—although everything would make sense, then.

No one answered Robin. In fact, he couldn’t even hear the usual cacophony of animal noises, just the water lapping at his feet. Robin pricked his ears, concentrating hard on what he could hear—the purling of the creek, the wind whipping through the treetops, and sometimes branches creaking. His breathing sounded harsh, closer to panting. Something wasn’t right, not at all.

Robin walked over to the other side of the stream, the earlier exhilaration dwindling. He shifted from foot to foot, darting his gaze around. An uncomfortable sense of isolation nestled into his insides. Maybe he should have listened to Tim after all?

Shivering, he stood there, not sure whether he wanted to go on with his search or go back to Tim, Jay, and Walter. Going back meant safety, whereas going after his potential mate—or whatever it was he was following—could mean anything.

Robin tucked his tail between his hind legs. He had never heard of a wolf being afraid of his mate. Wouldn’t that mean the scent didn’t belong to his mate? Or maybe his mate was nuts and he somehow recognized it? Whatever the scent was—or to whomever it belonged—it didn’t smell like a wolf.

What if his mate was female?  How would that work? He had never been into girls. He liked them as friends, but any kind of advances had him running for the hills. Robin was gay, period. No, the scent had to belong to a male wolf.

No, wait. He’d already ruled out another wolf.

The darkness settling around him didn’t help the queasy feeling in his stomach. Whichever direction he turned his head, something moved in the shadows, leaving him vulnerable and scared. The moon remained partially hidden behind the clouds, but even if the sky had been clear, the moonlight wouldn’t have been able to illuminate the forest ground properly. Or at least not in a way Robin wanted.

Suddenly he started. The moon? Oh hell! Shouldn’t he have been back hours ago? Surely Tim was already looking for him. Why hadn’t he realized hours had passed? Had his wolf taken over without him noticing? His father obviously had a point with not wanting Robin to go anywhere alone in his wolf form.

Robin threw his head back and closed his eyes before he howled at the moon, the sound of his voice echoing through the forest, silencing every other animal in his vicinity. This time someone answered him. Robin jumped at the sound of a roar at the other side of the creek.

The roar didn’t sound like a wolf; it was too guttural for that. After his initial jump, Robin stood frozen, shock waves rolling through his entire body.

TH2014Author

Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

connectwiththeauthor

Blog: http://christikat.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christi_kat
GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/ChrisTKat
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChrisTKat
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Chris-T.-Kat/e/B008FQQH2Q

Angel Martinez – A World Where Heroes Just Happen to be LGBT

GravitationalAttraction_headerbanner

Hi all! A big thank you to Charlie for having me over for tea. (Oolong is lovely, thank you.) Angel Martinez here—I’ve been writing Fantasy and Science Fiction for, oh, quite a while now, closing on ten years now as a published author. Over the years, several questions have come up repeatedly. Where do you get your ideas? (From the idea of the month service. Sometimes I end up with unusable ones but they’re such a pain to ship back.) Which one of your characters is your favorite? (The one I just wrote—really? Would you ask a mom to pick her favorite kid?) And because I write SFF: How does the genre affect how you deal with LGBT issues? (Or some variation thereof.)

Very often, I don’t.

Before anyone gets out the pitchforks and torches, there’s a good reason for this. I spent decades reading books, particularly fantasy but occasionally in science fiction, where LGBT characters got to play certain limited roles. A) They were evil and/or psychos, in many cases lusting after the hero. B) They were tragic figures that often died. C) They were tragic figures who could never be happy.

I know genre fiction is full of tropes. Sure. It’s part of the charm of genre fiction, to see what the author can do with the tropes. But these were tiresome, hurtful, and horrid. Gay men need to be heroes, too, not because they’re gay, but as heroes who just happen to be gay, and so on. I want a world where that’s normal. That’s what I write, because it makes sense to me that everyone should get to be heroes. Everyone should get a chance at real love. Everyone should be able to have that happy ending. Everyone should get role models in their fiction.

Lots of issues crop up in my stories. Addiction. The dangers of apathy. Institutionalized racism. Personal responsibility. Loss. Physical impairment. The heroes dealing with these issues just happen to be LGBT. Gravitational Attraction, just released at Dreamspinner this summer, is one of those stories. Heroes fighting for their lives, their loved ones, their place in the universe, and each other. They just happen to be gay.

TH2014Divider

GravitationalAttraction-alt4x6

Gravitational Attraction
Purchase Links
Amazon
All Romance

TH2014Divider

TH2014Blurb
A mysterious distress call draws the crew of the Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting ship. Empty, except for the gore-spattered corridors and one survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his responsibility, offering him kindness and warmth after the horror he experienced.

Turk longs for Isaac, a desperate, hopeless ache he’ll always carry with him.

But Turk’s brain harbors dangerous secrets, a military experiment gone wrong. When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac to convince Turk to become the weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the Hermes crew’s ingenuity, the enigmatic Drak’tar’s help, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.

TH2014Author

Angel Martinez, the unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for over twenty-five years) and gave birth to one amazing son (now in college.) While Angel has worked, in no particular order, as a state park employee, retail worker, medic, LPN, call center zombie, banker, and corporate drone, none of these occupations quite fit.

She now writes full time because she finally can, and has been happily astonished to have her work place consistently in the annual Rainbow Awards. Angel currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

connectwiththeauthor

Website: http://angelmartinezauthor.weebly.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amartinez2
Facebook Author Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/495188947277007/
Twitter: @AngelMartinezrr
E-mail: ravenesperanza@yahoo.com

 TH2014Giveaway

Angel Martinez is offering one lucky winner an eBook copy of their choice from her backlist. Giveaway ends Friday, August 22nd at midnight. To enter just leave a comment below sharing your favorite science fiction or fantasy book, movie, or TV show.

Taste of Honey Anthology: Guest Authors & Giveaway!

Hello all! Today at the Tea House we have a few special guests. The Taste of Honey anthology authors have stopped by to answer a few questions about writing the anthology. Plus at the end there’s a giveaway! Enjoy!

TH2014Divider

a-taste-of-honey
Title: A Taste of Honey
Authors: G.P. Keith, Edmond Manning, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Michael Rupured, John Amory, Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Jack Byrne, Samuel Scott Preston, Renae Kaye, Zoe X. Rider, J. Scott Coatsworth, John Genest, Lillian Francis, Robert B. McDiarmid, Tara Spears
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Historical, Americas, Gay Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 340 pages

TH2014Blurb

In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives? Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.

The Bear Fetish by John Amory
The Bear Next Door by Jack Byrne
The Bear at the Bar by J. Scott Coatsworth
Barefoot by Lillian Francis
Just Breathe by John Genest
Bear Chasing by Renae Kaye
Golden Bear by G.P. Keith
Hunting Bear by Edmond Manning
The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Getting Over Yourself by Robert B. McDiarmid
Truck Stop by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Banyan Court by Samuel Scott Preston
Amped by Zoe X. Rider
The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain by Michael Rupured
Life’s Tiny Surprises by Tara Spears

TH2014Divider

What inspired you to write for the Taste of Honey anthology?

 

John Genest, Just Breathe

Besides a very kind call for submission from editor B.g. Thomas on Facebook, I was inspired as usual by recent events in my life. One which I felt had great “bearing” to Bears was having a sleep study to determine whether a CPAP machine would improve sleep quality. I was lucky enough to take a remote unit home, hook myself up, sleep in my own bed, and bring the unit back the next morning for results. I pondered how it would be to have to stay the night, especially Valentine’s Eve, with a very woofy technician hooking you up for the sleep study, threw in the dread NPT test to boot, and the stage for the story was set. (To read the results yourself, enjoy “Just Breathe” in A Taste of Honey from Dreamspinner Press.)
Connect with John Genest: Facebook

 

Tara Spears, Life’s Tiny Surprises

I’m not one to write about what the polulace considers perfect people, because people aren’t perfect. I’ve known quite a few Bears in my lifetime, living in the country where construction workers and lumberjacks abound, and they are some of the sweetest, yet misunderstood guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. This was an easy choice for me when I saw the call for stories, and Life’s Tiny Surprises ended up being an easy story to write too.
Connect with Tara Spears: Facebook | Website

 

Jack Byrne, The Bear Next Door

I saw it and couldn’t resist! The comment about not all gay men spending hours in the gym, and them having ‘real’ bodies struck a chord with me. I’m a very active person, but I put gyms in about the same category as doing desk work: I’ll only do it if I absolutely have to! I’d rather be riding horses or motorbikes or partying with friends.
Connect with Jack Byrne: Facebook | Website

 

What did you enjoy most about writing for the anthology?

 

Renae Kaye, Bear Chasing

I tackled this as a challenge; firstly to see if I could write a short story, and secondly because I really didn’t know about bears myself. So I researched. I read books and online stories, I checked out websites and I stalked online chat rooms (that was fun! <wink>). Then I wrote a story from the POV of a character who doesn’t know about bears himself. My character discovered as I discovered. It was a great experience, but I have to admit I did enjoy the research bit the most.
Connect with Renae Kaye: Facebook | Website

 

What’s the funniest thing that happened while writing your story for the Taste of Honey anthology?

 

J. Scott Coatsworth, The Bear at the Bar

For me, that would have to be explaining what a bear is to my friends and family. While they are famously supportive, I got quite a few blank looks when I said I was writing a story about a bear romance – I think some of them pictured Smokey the Bear or maybe Yogi? With one group of friends, we got into an interesting conversation about the various gay subtypes, including bears, otters, gym bunnies, the old Castro Clones, leather daddies, and much more. It was an enlightening experience, and I like to think the story served as an ambassador for the greater LGBT community to my select group of friends.
Connect with Renae Kaye: Facebook | Website

 

TH2014Divider

Purchase Links

Available now from Dreamspinner Press

TH2014Divider

TH2014Giveaway

For a chance to win an eBook copy of the Taste of Honey anthology, just leave a comment below between now and Aug 26th at midnight (Eastern time). One winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.