Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway – A Winter in Rome by Francis Gideon

Hello everyone! Thanks to Charlie for hosting me once again. This is the first stop I’m making to  promote A Winter In Rome, one of the many stories in the Intertwined collection call from Less Than Three Press. Intertwined features poly romances; my story is about a relationship between two men which eventually grows to include a genderqueer person. Craig is the main lead, and as the relationship between everyone develops, he worries that he’s not as interesting or as talented as everyone else around him. Sybil, the genderqueer character, works at a crisis call centre and is in grad school for women’s studies, while Alan is an art professor who Craig thinks is unbelievably talented. Meanwhile, Craig works at a coffee place and failed out of some classes. His life is fun and interesting, but even with all the love in his life, he still thinks something is missing.

The story is set in Toronto, one of the most metropolitan areas in Canada, and Craig’s feelings of unhappiness is actually quite common when living in the city. According to a Statistics Canada report, Toronto is the second unhappiest city in Canada (trailing behind Vancouver in British Columbia). Why does this happen in a place where the business district, school board, fashion industry, the arts, and entertainment industry (a lot of films and TV shows are shot here) are thriving? From my limited experience living in Toronto, I know that when you’re around so many cool people, you start to feel inferior. Toronto is packed with so many talented people that an “imposter syndrome” easily develops and you wonder if you’re good enough or deserve to be there.

How does Craig remedy this? Instead of having him write a bestseller or win the lottery or become a famous actor, I made the choice to have him revel in simplicity. I won’t say exactly what that means (since it could be a spoiler), but I will say that I wanted him to celebrate his life as it was instead of searching for a quick-fix solution. In my writing (and own reading choices), I tend to reject most Hollywood stories that tell me my life could be so much better than it already is. Some change is good, but not everything needs to turn into a competition. Sometimes, it’s not necessary to be the best or brightest–it’s just nice to be there. So Craig learns to appreciate Toronto for what it is: a beautiful city and filled with many creative people, including the two he falls in love with.

And even though I don’t live in Toronto anymore, I still think the Ontario College of Arts and Design, located in the downtown core, is a beautiful building–so much that I based the university in the story off its design and made Alan Winters a professor there.

WillAesopOCAD

There are many other gems inside the city (like The Art Gallery of Ontario, Kensington Market, St. Lawrence Market, and of course, The CN Tower), but I will limit my blog post to these few. And thank you, Charlie, for having me again!

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2015NewAbout the BookCraig is a man adrift, never quite feeling like he belongs or like he’s as successful and settled as those around him—especially his lovers, Alan, an art professor he met while in college, and Sybil, who tutored him throughout his Italian class. When Alan goes to Rome life becomes even shakier and the only grounding point becomes the corkboard of memories Craig creates for the three of them. 

By the time Alan returns, Craig isn’t certain how his relationships will change—especially when Alan starts to fall for Sybil, bringing two pieces of his world completely together and leaving Craig worried it will create a world that has no place for him.

2015NewExcerptWe dug my poor car out from the snow, and I wished that I hadn’t put away my mittens and hats earlier that week, thinking that the Canadian winter was done. Most of the snow plows hadn’t gone by yet, making the roads a little treacherous until more cars wore away a path. We stopped at the first liquor store we could find, then ran from our parking spot to the safety inside.

“I’ll go down this aisle,” Sybil said, “and you go down here. We meet in the middle?”

“Sure.”

Before I knew it, we were both left alone, wandering around and leaving puddles of snow water in our wake. For a moment, I felt as if I had walked through time, and it was that first winter I had met Sybil. Back then, when I had first started to fall in love with her, I had felt like I was a ship over the ocean, being pulled in two. People, Rebecca especially, used to tell me that’s what being bisexual was like—being pulled in two over the ocean, bent and lost at a fork in the road, and having to decide where to stay all the time. Who do you love tonight? And, more importantly, who are you tonight? I used to think I had to pick being Craig, who was gay and a terrible art student when I was with Alan. Or then I was Craig, who was straight and with Sybil and pretending to speak a language I didn’t know.

But that was the wrong way of looking at things. I loved them both—without issue or complaint. Sometimes, I would imagine my rebuttals to Rebecca’s issues. You’re mixing up identity with love, Becca. Love cannot be measured, or quantified. Love just is. And the paths in the woods are always a false choice. If you were smart enough, if you stay around long enough, I was convinced you could have both. Love both. Now that some time had passed, I knew that this was the only right answer. But I still struggled, just a little bit, when I thought of Sybil loving Alan—and him loving her back. What did that do to all of us? How did that change us? And who did that make me at the end of the day?

“Find anything?” Sybil’s voice stirred me back into the florescent light of the store. She smiled, her coat halfway done up and her cheeks flushed with cold.

“Nah. I got distracted. What did you find?”

She held up one bottle in her hand, and then another. “What wine do you want? Red or white?”

“Both,” I said with a smile. I took a step forward and clasped her chin, kissing her quickly.

“Not here, Craig.” She laughed as she chastised me. “We have to go back to your place before my toes fall off from cold.”

“Alan’s place,” I said.

“Don’t call it that. You’re living there too. It’s yours now.”

“Yeah, sure.” I shifted my feet on the store floor, feeling study. “I guess you’re right. But the wine?”

“We’ll get both,” she said, nodding. “Of course.”


Purchase Links
http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=118&products_id=990

2015NewAbout the authorFrancis Gideon is a writer of m/m romance, but he also dabbles in mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. He has appeared in Gay Flash Fiction, Chelsea Station Poetry, and the Martinus Press anthology To Hell With Dante.  He lives in Canada with his partner, reads too many comics books, and drinks too much coffee. Feel free to contact him, especially if you want to talk about horror movies, LGBT poetry, or NBC’s Hannibal. Find him at francisgideon.wordpress.com.

2015NewGiveaway

What’s your favourite city? Comment with your favourite city and your email, and after a week, I’ll randomly select two winners to receive an ebook copy of A Winter in Rome in the format of their choice.

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour, Excerpt, & Giveaway – Long Haul by Michael P. Thomas

Not everything I write is about flight attendants. I’ve written porn about a merman, a novel about a garbage man drag queen, and short stories about a television star, a pregnant politician dude, and Hansel of …and Gretel fame, to name but a few recent departures from the theme. But the flying public is a rich source of stories that will insist on being mined.

I strive to write original characters into engaging stories—the flight attendants in this Mile High Club are not based on me or meant to represent any particular friends, and the airline they work for is imaginary, and different from mine in size and style. But flying for a living is unlike anything else I’ve done, and certain real-life experiences illustrate how in ways that stories I might make up never could. Many of the glimpses of airline life in my stories are true, or real close to it.

The passenger who rang his call light and asked a flight attendant for morphine? Real. (The hunky doctor helping out? Very real. Hubba hubba.) The new-hire flight attendant who had to give a dead guy CPR on his very first flight? Happened. (Although, thankfully, not to me.) In my first book, Kiss Me, Straight, a flight attendant describes a passenger’s attempt to make a mid-air escape from a flight by using her head to put a hole in the side of the fuselage. One hundred percent true, and I’m here to tell you, San Francisco and Sydney have never felt so far apart. The daytime soap opera star whose hunky fiancé propositioned me during a comically lengthy thunderstorm diversion made a brief appearance in the first draft of this story, but we’re saving her fiction debut for a later installment.

My own airline has endured a few high-profile on-the-job deaths, and at least one flight attendant rather famously gave birth to her son on a layover. Two flight attendants who barely know each other getting married on a layover is a new one, I think, but it’s totally the kind of thing that would happen. Were a flight attendant reading this to inform me that real life beat me to the punch, I’d believe it.

As for the middle-of-the-night fire at Tanner’s house: for real my dad once almost burned our house down trying to drive away an ant infestation. Proving that you don’t have to be an airplane passenger to act like a crazy person. As much as it seems to help…

Long Haul Tour BannerBOOK DETAILS

Title: Long Haul
Author: Michael P. Thomas
Series: The Mile High Club, book two
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary
Length: Novella (62 pages)
Publisher: JMS Books
2015NewAbout the Book

Flight attendant Tanner Bradac and his occasional make-out buddy Clark Arnold find themselves on a layover in San Francisco on the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. Tanner is as happy about the ruling as any of his Facebook friends rainbowing up their profile pictures, it just doesn’t affect him personally—he doesn’t even have a boyfriend. Color him surprised, then, when he and Clark get caught up in the celebratory spirit of the day and return home as lawfully wedded husbands.

The wedding may have been a last-minute light-hearted lark, but Tanner and Clark are willing to give marriage a go. Tanner loves Clark—at least, he really wants to love Clark—and he figures the rest should just fall into place. How hard can being married to a guy you barely know really be?

Long Haul by Michael P Thomas

Short Blurb: On the day the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage, Tanner Bradac doesn’t even have a boyfriend, so you can imagine his surprise when he and his buddy Clark get carried away by the celebratory spirit of the day and wind up lawfully wedded husbands. The wedding may have been a light-hearted lark, but Tanner and Clark are willing to give marriage a go. After all, how hard can it be?

2015NewExcerpt

The convivial, conspiratorial atmosphere in the office was rather infectious. While Tanner figured it might not be quite the same in backwoods Minnesota or county-seat Kentucky—and what did he know? Maybe it was—the clerks at San Francisco’s City Hall understood that they were playing hosts to the biggest party some of their guests would ever live to see. Couples who had waited years, many of them decades, for legal recognition of their relationships waited alongside eager young queer couples who’d come of age at a time when civil equality for gays and lesbians seemed rather a foregone conclusion. The line whipped along, and when Tess and Cecilia were called to a clerk’s window, Tanner and Clark strode to it behind them. The clerk looked at four smiling faces and produced two forms. “Okay,” she said, “Who’s who?” She slid the forms across the counter.

“Us,” Tess said, placing a hand on Cecilia’s shoulder. “And them.” She jerked her thumb at Tanner and Clark.

Oh, we’re not getting married. Why wouldn’t it come out of Tanner’s mouth? It was true. Wasn’t it? It’s not like making out in the Packers parking lot when they were both three sheets to the wind made two people life partners. He looked at Clark, who would obviously chime in at any second—Tanner would feel foolish when they got back to the hotel pool and Clark asked him, What was with the hesitation?

So say it, already, Tanner willed Clark, but he just smiled up at Tanner like a goof. Suddenly they were standing before a county clerk with an application for a marriage license on the counter between them—now they were going to forget how to talk? Imagine Tanner’s relief when at last Clark opened his mouth.

“Want to?”

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Long-Haul-Mile-High-Club-ebook/dp/B016N810MO/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Haul-Mile-High-Club-ebook/dp/B016N810MO/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Long-Haul-Mile-High-Club-ebook/dp/B016N810MO/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Long-Haul-Mile-High-Club-ebook/dp/B016N810MO/
JMS Books: http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29_94&products_id=1540

Start with book one!

First Flight Out

First Flight Out CoverJesse Cisneros and his best buddy Tanner fly for Mile High Airlines, which is every bit as classy as it sounds. When Dr. Willis rings his call light on a flight from New York to Denver, Jesse is so taken with the good doctor’s looks and charm, he forgets all about the inflight medical crisis that prompted him to call for a flight attendant in the first place. Willis is handsome. Willis is helpful. And wouldn’t you know it? Willis is someone else’s husband.

Jesse can hardly believe his luck when their paths cross again on the patio of a popular gay bar. It’s been nine months, and Willis has been busy: now he’s single, he’s out, and he’s very interested in getting to know Jesse better. It all seems too good to be true! And you know what they say about that …

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/First-Flight-Mile-High-Club-ebook/dp/B00UDJ3PT6
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Flight-Mile-High-Club-ebook/dp/B00UDJ3PT6
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/First-Flight-Mile-High-Club-ebook/dp/B00UDJ3PT6
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/First-Flight-Mile-High-Club-ebook/dp/B00UDJ3PT6
JMS Books: http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29_94&products_id=1405

2015NewGiveaway

Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card

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2015NewAbout the author

Michael P. Thomas is a flight attendant whose writing is continually inspired by his work with the flying public, who flatly refuse to be boring. The author of three novel-length gay romances and a number of romantic and erotic shorts, he writes gay fiction because when he was coming out he sure was glad to have it to read. After misspending his youth in San Francisco, he now lives in his native Colorado with his husband.

connectwiththeauthor

Website: http://misterstewardess.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoReadMichaelPThomas

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrStewardess

Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Game Misconduct by V.L.Locey

BT_Banner

AboutTheBook

Game-Misconduct_MSRTitle: Game Misconduct

Series: Trilogy

Author: V.L. Locey

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

Cover Artist: Allyse Karam

Length: 33,150 words

Release Date: September 23, 2015

Blurb: This book is a sequel to Two Man Advantage

Life has been treating Victor Kalinski well, which is a surprise for the ginger-haired forward with the venomous tongue. His career is somewhat stable, at least for another season. His relationship with Cougars alternate captain Dan Arou is deepening, despite the fact that Daniel has yet to come out of the closet.

It’s typical Kalinski luck when a puck bunny he shared a drunken night with several months ago slaps him with a paternity suit. Despite the sizzling passion and painfully heartfelt connection between them, Dan doesn’t take the news well, and heads back to Canada alone.

If he wants to make things right and win back the man he loves, he has no choice but to swallow his pride—and nobody’s prouder than hot-headed, ego-driven Victor.

Reader Advisory: This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!

An adult male/male romance from Ellora’s Cave

Excerpt

It was obvious what I had to do. And being me, I went into it with my usual tact and decorum. When I got back to our apartment, I walked into the space I shared with Dan to find two fat suitcases sitting in the living room. Upon seeing those bags, the hash browns and toast threatened to make a reappearance. I swallowed several times. Dan walked out of the bedroom, his small toiletry bag on his shoulder. He looked exhausted and so damaged.

“Hey,” I said. Verbal skills suffer with heavy drinking and heart-breaking. “So this is how it goes down?” I asked, motioning with a shaky hand to the bags. “You throw me out without even giving me a chance to explain? That’s pretty small even for a Hobbit.”

“Those are my clothes.” He hurled the words at me like shuriken stars. Mental cogs slipped a bit. I stared at my lover as if I were a stunned steer outside a butcher house.

“Dude, your name is on the lease.” Fuck, but those seven words cost me dearly. It hurt to say them, knowing that this was the beginning of the end. No way could I live here when it was Dan’s place.

“I’m not moving out. I’m going home.” His tone was bitterly cold. If we’d shut the windows, we could have skipped the AC units we’d discussed. Not knowing what to do with my hands, I began jangling my keys against my thigh.

“This is your home. I’ll get my shit and go.”

“No, I’m going home. To Manitoba. It’s my mom’s birthday.” He bent down to pick up his suitcases.

I felt a sting of panic race through me. My keys rattled with more speed. “We were supposed to do that together.” Wow, I was all sorts of skilled with the dialog.

Dan glared at me as he straightened. His bangs dangled in his eyes. “Yeah, well, that was before you fucked us over. I don’t want you anywhere near me or my family right now. I need to think.”

“Will you at least take the gift I got her?” Dear Baby Buddha, was that Victor Kalinski begging? My fingers tightened around my keys. That needy voice had to stop. VK did not beg or wheedle. Whining got you beat with whatever was at hand. Same as getting your fingers caught in the wringers.

“No.” He walked around me and out the door. I watched him go, his dark head slowly disappearing as he went down the stairs.

“But I picked it out myself.”

The roar of his Jeep leaving the driveway was his reply.

BuyLinks

Ellora’s Cave

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

AboutTheAuthor

Author PicV.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

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Winner’s Prize: Digital Copy of GAME MISCONDUCT.

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TourSchedule

October 5:

Drops of Ink

October 6:

3 Chicks After Dark

October 7:

Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

October 8:

MM Good Book Reviews

October 9:

Cathy Writes Romance

Diverse Reader

October 12:

The Purple Rose Tea House

Love Bytes Reviews

October 13:

Prism Book Alliance

Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends

October 14:

Bayou Book Junkie

October 15:

BFD Book Blog

Jessie G Books

October 16:

Divine Magazine