Spotlight & Excerpt – Swordplay by Chris T. Kat

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After leaving his dream job as an Atlantic City detective, Jeff Woods has moved to Washington DC with his life partner Alex Fisher and Alex’s disabled little brother Sean. Parker Trenkins, Jeff’s ex-partner on the force, has made the move as well, along with his significant other David. Jeff and Parker partner up once again, but in a new way, as owners of their own detective agency.

Life is difficult at the best of times. Sean loses sight in one of his eyes, a direct result of being pushed into the Atlantic by a homicidal maniac a year ago. In his struggle to deal with everything, a restless Alex enrolls in Tai Chi classes at a nearby school.

As it happens, a murder case Jeff and Parker take involves the head of that very Tai Chi School, Charles Cooper. Cooper is a suspect in the murder of a financial corporation official. He appears to have motive. Jeff and Parker’s investigation arouses the real killer’s interest, and if they don’t uncover his identity soon, it may be too late for them.

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From Chapter One:

“Earth to Jeff. Someone in there?” Parker was standing next to me, waving his hand in front of my face.

“Fuck off, Parker.”

“Wow. Remind me not to talk to you before you’ve had decent caffeine input. Now, come on, why are you so tired? I’m your new shrink, remember?” Parker blinked his blue eyes at me in mock-offense, flipping a lock of black hair back.

I snorted. Coffee aroma filled the air, and the water bubbled enticingly. After rubbing my hands over my eyes, I leaned back in the chair and looked up at him. The man drove me crazy on a daily basis, but he was my best friend—right after Alex, my lover, of course.

“Oh boy, this is going to be a long story, isn’t it? Hang on, I need to sit down.” With a theatrical flourish, he heeled a chair closer and fell onto it with gleeful expectation written all over his face.

“Sean’s going to lose sight in his left eye.”

Parker’s mouth dropped open, and for a long time neither of us said anything. I stared at him, wondering whether I should’ve cushioned my words a bit. His jaw muscles tightened, and he worked hard to get words out of his mouth. I’d probably worn a similar expression yesterday when Alex broke the news to me after the visit with the eye specialist. Sean was only seven years old—only seven. Didn’t he’d already suffer enough with his cerebral palsy?

“You can’t just drop a bomb like that without giving me fair warning,” Parker protested.

I shrugged. “Sorry.”

“Are you sure?”

I gave a curt nod. My eyes stung stupidly. Alex had tried so hard to keep it together, but in the end he’d wept for hours, cuddled up against me. He’d cried endlessly for his little brother and what he had to go through. I’d feared he’d make himself sick—which he had, but only once—and when he’d finally fallen asleep, I’d lain awake in our bed, helpless and hurting.

“What about another opinion? Maybe—”

“Parker, that was the third opinion. We noticed he was getting clumsier and he was losing focus on his left side. His sight in that eye has gone down to ten percent, and it won’t take long for the rest to vanish too. We’ll cope.”

Whether I wanted to reassure myself or Parker didn’t really matter, did it? At least I’d had enough presence of mind not to throw that platitude around when I talked to Alex. He never bought into any of them. Parker, however, did from time to time.

“Does Sean know?”

Pain closed like a vise around my throat, and I coughed in a deliberate attempt to get rid of it. “Yes. We explained it to him.”

“How did he react?”

I grimaced. “He was worried about his other eye, but the doc said it was okay. Sean’s main concerns were if he was still allowed to go to school and if we’d still love him.”

I bolted from the chair, choking on my last words, and stalked over to the coffeemaker. I poured milk into Parker’s mug, added two spoonfuls of sugar, then attempted to grab the glass carafe. My hands shook.

Parker materialized next to me, nudged me aside, and filled our mugs. I was still blinking against the wetness in my eyes. Maybe it was a good thing I’d had no time for breakfast earlier. I wasn’t sure if it would’ve stayed down anyway. Alex hadn’t even tried to eat this morning. He’d been white as a sheet when I left. I hadn’t wanted to come to work, but the money had to come in from somewhere and—

 

2015About the author

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.

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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!

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Purchase Links

Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner paperback | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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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.

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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

Guest Author Chris T. Kat – Is It Cheating?

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Charlie, thank you very much for the opportunity to be a guest at The Purple Tea House again.  Torquere Press published my new release Hunter’s Hunt on September 18th.

Even though Hunter’s Hunt is my 8th published book, it’s the first with Torquere Press and I’m very excited about it. Even when the idea for the story formed in my mind I knew it would only be a short one. When I finished the story it added up to around 11k, which meant I couldn’t submit it to Dreamspinner Press, where all my previous titles are published.

Quite the dilemma… I could have expanded the story but didn’t want to. The length it is now is perfect for Hunter’s Hunt, at least in my opinion. That only left me with one other option: search for another publisher.

Before I submitted my first story, Seizing It, I made a list with potential publishers. Dreamspinner and Torquere were both at the top of the list, so when I had to make a choice for Hunter’s Hunt, I looked up Torquere’s submission guidelines. I was very relieved to see them accepting shorter works too but then the real worry began. Would another publisher really take any of my works? Wouldn’t it feel like cheating on Dreamspinner?

Despite my concerns I carefully read Torquere’s guidelines and formatted the manuscript accordingly. When the query letter and synopsis were done, I pestered my good friend Julie Lynn Hayes (who’s been an absolute dear) whether I should really try to submit to them. As you can see she talked me into it and only two weeks after my submission I got an e-mail, telling me that Torquere would like to accept the manuscript. I was over the moon!

I got to work with a completely new staff and can honestly say I’m very happy that I plucked up the courage to submit to Torquere Press. I can even call myself a multi-published author now. 😉

How about you, dear readers, how do you feel about an author publishing with different publishers? Do you rather follow an author or do you keep an eye on the coming soon page of your favorite publisher?

 

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Buy links:

Torquere Press: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=4016

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hunter039shunt-1297338-147.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hunters-Hunt-ebook/dp/B00FA0ATTW

Blurb:

Wanted: one bear. Must be burly and hairy, and strong enough to paddle. Hunter Bell is on the prowl, and he knows just where to find his prey: at the Bear Trap, a gay leather bar he’s more than a little familiar with. So many men, so little time. He’s just about to pounce on his choice of the evening when a newcomer enters the bar, turning everyone’s head. Adrian Michaels is everything Hunter despises in a man. He’s lean and boyish looking, and he has the deepest dimples Hunter’s ever seen.

And yet there is an immediate attraction, one that neither man can deny. They’re both too astonished to do anything about this apparent interest in one another, and they waste their opportunity. Now it’s up to Hunter to forget about his stereotypical preference and go for the guy that’s just entered his dreams. If only he can admit to himself that Adrian’s what he really wants…

 

 

Excerpt:

It took a moment for the newcomer to absorb his surroundings and, when he did, he flinched. A few men chuckled upon discovering the baffled look on the guy’s face, which proved that he indeed hadn’t known about the nature of the Bear’s Trap. Hunter watched him shift from one foot to the other while most men turned back and resumed their conversations. The new guy remained rooted to the spot, dripping water all over the floor, before he squared his shoulders and pushed through the mass of bodies. At last he reached the bar, where Hunter was still standing, for some unknown reason interested in this guy.

The newcomer waved at the bartender. “Is there a phone anywhere?”

“You don’t have a cell phone?” another guy asked, perplexed.

The newcomer shot him a ‘drop-dead’ look, startling Hunter into a laugh. The new guy turned toward him with a quizzical look. Hunter was face-to-face with an irritated man, whose dark blue eyes were blazing.

“Bad day?” Hunter heard himself ask.

“Craptastic.”

Hunter pulled his cell phone from his pocket and held it out to him. “You might better go to the back. Otherwise, you won’t be able to understand anything.”

Baffled, the other man took the phone. “Thank you, uh, what’s your name?”

“Hunter.” He held out his hand for the other man to shake.

“Last name or first name?”

“First.”

“Thanks, Hunter. I’m Adrian.”

“Hey, Adrian.”

Adrian gestured with the phone toward the end of the bar and raised one delicate eyebrow. “This way?”

Hunter nodded and beckoned Adrian to go past him. Adrian only made it a few feet before one of the other men groped him, drawing out a surprised yelp from Adrian. He shoved the guy aside then proceeded farther into the back. On his way, he struggled with advances from more guys than Hunter could count. At some point, Adrian whirled around and, even from that distance Hunter could see the fast heaving of his chest, the free hand balled into a fist, and the stressed look on his face.

With a sigh, Hunter pushed away from the bar and strolled after Adrian. He caught up with him right when another man, a regular customer called Dean, made a pass at him.

“Hey, knock it off. He’s with me, Dean.”

“With you? Since when are you going for his type, Hunter?” Dean asked with a sneer.

Hunter shrugged while he sent a dark glower toward Dean, which caused the other man to drop his eyes and inspect the contents of his glass thoroughly. Hunter laid a hand on Adrian’s shoulder and pushed him ahead. Adrian cast him a worried look but walked where Hunter steered him. After opening a door to a private room at the end, he ushered Adrian through and switched on the light.

“Go ahead.”

Adrian clutched the cell phone in his hands, staring at Hunter with an apprehensive look. Hunter noticed that Adrian’s eyes were of a dark, almost navy, blue. He swallowed. Even behind the glasses, Adrian’s eyes seemed large and expressive. He had to concentrate on listening to Adrian’s question. “Is this… is this some kind of leather bar?”

“Yeah. Never been in one before, have you?” Hunter asked.

“No. No offense and all, but I’m not very fond of it.”

“Scared?”

“Yes.”

“Need a bodyguard?”

Adrian eyed him before he obviously came to some kind of decision. “You free for bodyguard duty for maybe an hour?”

“Sure.” Hunter grinned. “I won’t even try to molest you.”

 

Chris T. Kat

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.

 

Links:

Blog: http://christikat.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/christi_kat

GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/ChrisTKat