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!


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


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


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



Purchase Links

Available now from Dreamspinner Press



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.

Christopher Hawthorne Moss – The Pros & Cons of Historical Fiction

The Pros and Cons of Historical Fiction: A Conversation with Character(s)

By Christopher Hawthorne Moss, author of BELOVED PILGRIM

Assembled: Christopher Hawthorne Moss; Frankie Deramus, the riverboat gambler from WHERE MY LOVE LIES DREAMING;  KING LAWRENCE, the title character of AN INVOLUNTARY KING; and ELISABETH/ELIAS, the protagonist of BELOVED PILGRIM.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  What are we talking about this time?

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  The Pros and Cons of Historical Fiction.

ELISABETH/ELIAS: As opposed to what?

CHRISTOPHER MOSS: Actual history.  You are all fictional characters.

KING LAWRENCE: That’s not true.  I’m factual.  I was the King of Crislicland.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  Don’t you remember that one review where she said she looked it up and could not find a KING LAWRENCE?

KING LAWRENCE:  Oh yeah, that’s right.  But I lived in a factual time and place.

FRANKIE DERAMUS: Mais non, mon roi.  The time perforce was real, but there is no Crislicland, never was.  There was, and is, a New Orleans and a Mississippi River.

ELISABETH/ELIAS: “New” Orleans?  What was wrong with the old one?

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  We talked about it, you guys.  You know, the New World and all that.


ELISABETH/ELIAS:     I knew some real people.  Actually, several.  A Margravina, some dukes, some counts, even an emperor or two.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  I knew some Confederate generals.  I told Johnny I knew Stephen Foster, but my author had his dates wrong on that one.

KING LAWRENCE:  And I met King Offa of Mercia.  In fact, my fictional son married one of his factual daughters…

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  All right, all right.  Let’s focus here.  Some people don’t like historical fiction.  Why do you think that is?

KING LAWRENCE:   I suppose they think they can’t believe it.  History is one thing, but fiction is by definition all made up.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     Except history isn’t always fact.  The Crusade I was on was never recorded by an eyewitness.  The three people who wrote about it were a monk who didn’t come with us, another monk who asked some people who did ten years later.  And the emperor’s daughter, who stayed comfortably sitting on her velvet throne while we all sweated and starved our asses off.  Facts have never been my friend.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  I know what you mean, madame…. I mean monsieur.  Mine is the only romance Christopher here wrote, yet historians would question my romance with another man ever could have taken place.  Pure merd.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:   Or that our “Beloved Pilgrim” here would have an identity we now call “transgender”.  They would say she’s a woman and no women fought in the Crusades.

KING LAWRENCE:   I don’t see why.  We had Saxon women warriors.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     The Church made a rule you couldn’t tell about the women in the Crusades, even though the Paynim wrote about them.  Besides, I am not a woman.  Not in my heart and soul.  I am a man.  Is that what you called transgender, Christopher?  Why would I need an “identity” as that?  I know myself.  I know who and what I am, and that’s a man.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  Exactly.  So what you are saying is that since history has lots of holes in it, we should make the rest of it up?

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  Certainemnet.  But it must be plausible.  You can’t just make things up willy nilly.

KING LAWRENCE:   I’m surprised you knew that expression, “willy nilly”.  You speak Creole French, right?

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  Oui, but I speak English as well, and, more important than that, I am fictional.  I mean, neither of you spoke English, not in your real time.  Christopher had to translate everything you said, in a manner of speaking.  I can say whatever I want, except in the book.  In the book we all have to at least sound like we fit our time.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  Frankie, you said some historians don’t believe there was same sex love in the past.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  Not exactly.  They know there were men who loved men and women who loved women.  They just get squeamish when writers like Christopher suggest that there were any people who saw themselves as part of an identity.  All because of that Foucault fellow.  But he had his own, how do you say, agenda.  He was trying to prove some theory about power.  Frankly, I never quite understood what he was going on about.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     You know what I think?  I think they believe same sex loving people are only about sex.  They think there were men who just liked to have sex and would have it with anyone and anything.  They don’t seem to understand that love is about two people who meet, fall in love, and stay together.  It’s like you always say, Christopher.  You can’t pass laws against people falling in love.  Whether they grew up looking forward to the day they would fall in love with someone of their own sex, when the time came, they felt the emotional attraction.  You can’t stop that from happening.

KING LAWRENCE:   Tell me about it.  It seemed like half the male population of the British Isles fell in love with my wife.  But I see what you are saying.  And how would they know, anyway?  Like whether there was a Crislicland?  They weren’t there.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     But there was no record of a Saxon kingdom called that.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:   Just because there was no record doesn’t mean the thing never was.  Maybe with a huge kingdom, but lots of things and people did not get recorded.  Like men like me.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     And men like me.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  Back to what you said about a story needing to be plausible.  Even for example if there was no riverboat called Le Beau Soleil, there could have been.  It doesn’t matter if a novel doesn’t read like a transcript of real events, so long as it is within reason that events and people like that might have existed.  Enough to make up stories about.

KING LAWRENCE:   In fact, that’s what is so good about historical fiction.  The stories.  People think of history as dry and flat.  They know what happened and who was there but they don’t usually know what the majority of those who lived through it felt about it.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  That’s one of the two points about historical fiction that I think makes it every bit as important as history.  That it humanizes the events of history.  The second is that it can present stories that are overlooked, erased from history.  For example, there are lots of records of people who were punished for being caught making love.  The only reason is that it was against the Church or civil authorities.  First of all, that is hardly the whole story of what we now call gays and lesbians.  And by thinking about what it would be like to live at such a time and have that punishment hanging over your head all the time, you can write a plausible story that is broader in concept, and by definition important to human understanding.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     The only people you seem to find more detailed about are rich people.  Aristocrats.  Like me.


FRANKIE DERAMUS: Et moi!  You know, I just realized something.  Christopher always writes about the uppermost classes.  He needs to come up with a commoner to write about.

KEVERN TREVELYAN:  I’ll be there as soon as I can.  It’s a long walk from Cornwall to Winchester.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS: Kevern’s in my next novel.  Thanks for popping by, and thanks to you all for enriching my life.

KING LAWRENCE:   Thank you, Christopher, for giving us life.


Blurb for BELOVED PILGRIM, 2nd Edition

By Christopher Hawthorne Moss

At the time of the earliest Crusades, young noblewoman Elisabeth longs to be the person she’s always known is hidden inside. When her twin brother perishes from a fever, Elisabeth takes his identity to live as a man, a knight. As Elias, he travels to the Holy Land, to adventure, passion, death, and a lesson that honor is sometimes found in unexpected places.

Elias must pass among knights and soldiers, survive furious battle, deadly privations, moral uncertainty, and treachery if he’ll have any chance of returning to his new-found love in the magnificent city of Constantinople.

Buy link:


Christopher Hawthorne Moss wrote his first short story when he was seven and has spent some of the happiest hours of his life fully involved with his colorful, passionate and often humorous characters. Moss spent some time away from fiction, writing content for websites before his first book came out under the name Nan Hawthorne in 1991. He has since become a novelist and is a prolific and popular blogger, the historical fiction editor for the GLBT Bookshelf, where you can find his short stories and thoughtful and expert book reviews. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his husband of over thirty years and four doted upon cats. He owns Shield-wall Productions at http://www.shield-wall.com. He welcomes comment from readers sent to christopherhmoss@gmail.com and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Website: http://www.shield-wall.com
email: christopherhmoss@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kitmoss2012 


Additional Links:

Artwork (cover, author, publisher logos)


Author Christopher Hawthorne Moss: Where do you get your ideas?

Authors get this question all the time.  Well, so I hear.  I’m an author, of GLBT novels and stories, so just in case anyone ever asks me that, I’m ready.  I discovered with my first novel precisely where the ideas originate.

My own experience?  Or perhaps  my fertile imagination?  Those were what I thought at first, writing as I did a novel taken from stories an 11 year old friend and a 12 year old me wrote and turning them into a novel.  (I decided when I was much – much — older that since I had had sex now, I could write about it.)  It appeared to me that since the characters were good friends from pre-teenhood, I was writing through at least their experience and my imagination.

By the time the 600+ page tome was in print I began to realize something, pretty  much a spiritual vision, you could say, about just how that process came about – both times – that only providentially had anything to do with my experience or even my imagination.  I am here today, sisters and brothers, to share with you what I discovered.

You have heard of dimensions.  We talk about the three dimensions, this way, that way and up or down.  I seem to remember someone talking about a few more, of time and min.  I don’t know about those, but I do know about the one that is the source of fiction.  I don’t know what it’s called, but does that really matter?  Labels, labels, labels.  We don’t need no stinkin’ labels.

The dimension I speak of is where characters live.  They wait around from time immemorial for their author first to come into existence and then to get on the stick and draw them out into our own world.  Sad to say most characters are still in their dimension, waiting perhaps for the whole cycle to restart so they get another stab at an author.

Their recompense for all this waiting is that they get to stay once liberated from their Giant Waiting Room in the Ether.  Once an author frees them from Obscurity, they live as long as there are readers, or at least listeners and viewers.  The author shuffles of this mortal coil, but the characters and their stories are forever.  Or for a freakin’ good long time anyway.

I am surprised I did not realize this at first.  You see, the very reason I wrote my first novel at 56 is that I had revisited what my friend and I had called “The Story”.  Since the so-called friend had zero interest – zip – goose eggs – nada – in returning to the story, about which I learned she had never told a single soul – horrors – I’d better write them up and publish them as a novel or they would go the way of all flesh, including brain cells when said flesh was no more.  I fooled myself into thinking that I was the intelligence behind that decision.  Nuh-uh.

I mean, think about it.  Which is stronger: protective instincts or self-preservation?  These characters had once used my adolescent smash on my friend to get a toe in the literary door, only to see that they would slip back out through the same door.  They had tasted liberty, so they had more incentive to clamor for another chance and most characters do.  They found another way to get me, their predestined author, to start writing them again.  And it was then that realized my greater age this time meant they got to have sex.

I had one more reason to have figured this out.  Sometime through the writing of that novel I realized I was at a dead end with the plot.  It occurred to me to ask the characters what should transpire.  They helped wonderfully, at least until the conversation, a sort of panel discussion, inevitably deteriorated into a fist fight between the two rivals for the heart of the lady fair.

This crowd was lucky.  They grabbed my attention before I realized I was gay.  So the flagrant heterosexuality slipped in before I switched to nothing but gay fiction.  Ironically my second book was written when I still thought I was a straight female.  As such I wrote about a woman who felt more like a man, wanted to don a knight’s armor and live as a man.  Oh.  I see.  She’s me.  So now I know I am a gay man, transgender.  It seems like my characters have been writing me as much or more than I have been writing them.

I guess I must be doing justice by them, since they never act smug about my temporariness.  And I am grateful to realize that whatever crumbled pile of ashes I become they will always be here in the minds and, in the case of fan fiction, will continue to live as long as there are humans – or maybe uplifted cats and dogs – to read and write about them.

In other words, I don’t get ideas — they got me.


Christopher Hawthorne Moss lives with his husband and their godlike cats in the Pacific Northwest.  His books are:



Loving the Goddess Within, under the name Nan Hawthorne, 1991 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/135121



An Involuntary King, the novel aforementioned, under that same author name, 2008,  http://www.amazon.com/An-Involuntary-King-England-ebook/dp/B0029U0X5G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381790545&sr=1-1&keywords=an+involuntary+king  You can find his pre-teen stories at An Involuntary King: The Stories http://aninvoluntaryking.blogspot.com


Beloved Pilgrim, formerly under the name Nan Hawthorne but soon to be released as a transgender historical novel by Christopher Hawthorne Moss, 2011 and 2014 Harmony Ink Press TBA


Where My Love Lies Dreaming300

Where my Love Lies Dreaming, by Christopher Hawthorne Moss published in July 2013 by Dreamspinner Press.  Frankie and Johnny are thrilled to be finalists in the 2013 Rainbow Books awards.  http://www.amazon.com/Where-My-Love-Lies-Dreaming-ebook/dp/B00E99LCMI


He reviews one book after another for That’s All I Read http://kitmossreviews.blogspot.com and is an editor/reviewer for GLBT Bookshelf www.glbtbookshelf.com .  You can find a few short stories of his about, including in the anthology Closet Capers, 2013




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Learn more about Christopher Hawthorne Moss at www.shield-wall.com and contact him at Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kitmoss2012 .