Guest Post & Giveaway – A. Morell: What’s Your Sign?

Thanks for having me today, Charlie!

Now, I can’t say I believe in horoscopes, but I can’t help finding them fun. Like fortune cookies, only easier to relate to yourself.

Whether or not you believe in them, you probably at least know your astrological sign and which year of the Chinese zodiac you were born in. (Virgo, year of the Tiger for me.) If nothing else, we can read up on them to find out how accurate of off-base their descriptions of us are.

I doubt this is unique to me (I hope it’s not…), but whenever I’m making a new character, they’re not complete until they have an official birth date. Sometimes it takes a while, since they’re not always forthcoming about their history or present state of mind, but once I get a feel for who they are and how they think, I go to my trusty birth date wheel of fortune and pick a day that suits them.

(I have a feeling one day this will lead me, in my contrary nature, to make a character who doesn’t match their birth date horoscope at all.)

Are you done seeing what it says about your own birthday? ‘Cause I know you did. 😉 How did it stack up against reality?

In my new story, Puncture Wounds, we follow two main characters on opposite sides of a brutal battle who are forced to endure and rely on each other for help. Let’s see what the wheel o’ fortune says about them based on their dates of birth:

You are extremely methodical in your thought but you must learn to temper your opinion and accommodate other people’s point of view. Because you are hard working, you may tend to exceed your physical capacity and this may result to a high degree of self criticism. The number 4 is an extreme number, especially in its desire for material success. The combination of energies on your birth date show you are completely ruled by the planet Uranus, and somewhat by the Dragon. These revolutionary and abrupt influences speak of your unconventional nature. You should use these powers to produce things of a down to earth nature, rather than running off into untried or untested areas too soon. You have a very electrical aura about you, which makes you very enticing, very magnetic, not just to members of the opposite sex but also to members of your own sex. Use this energy to achieve success as there is no doubt you will make a great impact in the world.

You have such an excitable energy. There is an overload of energy on your nervous system. Being extremely emotional it is important for you to think carefully before reacting or diving into relationships. At times too you are changeable with decisions. Try to stand firm after taking time to note the pros and cons of any situation or any change that you wish to effect. One good trait that you do exhibit is your self examining nature which shows you do change those traits which need rectification. There may be hidden trials and dangers in your path, deception and treachery from others so be warned and don’t rush madly to any relationship, whether it be business or personal.

As with most astrological profiles, some things stick out and ring truer than others, but there are clues as to what lies in wait for this unusual pair in these readings. If you’ve read the blurb, which profile do you think belongs to which character? What do you think it means for them?

For a chance to win a free copy of Puncture Wounds and for an exclusive sneak peek, come join the Birthday Bash down below.

James is at the end of a long crusade for vengeance against the vampire clan that destroyed everything he held dear. He has Ren, the final and most dangerous of them all, cornered at last in London. But victory remains just out of reach when Ren sets a feral vampire on James and makes his escape. With no other leads, James is forced to take in the feral until he can use its connection to its sire to track down Ren. But in caring for the vampire, James sees they might not all be the monsters he thought them to be. Faced with an ugly truth, his quest for revenge becomes a war for retribution, and the discovery of what it truly means to be human.

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A. Morell has been writing for fun for the past decade. She once dreamed of being a professional chef—now she knows better and is taking a stab at becoming an author. Without so much as a Creative Writing 101 class under her belt it’s a bit of a stab in the dark, but she is comfortable flying by the seat of her pants.

She enjoys food, baseball, classics, word games, tattoos, shoes, handbags, escapism, and creating characters. She is averse to over-used words, spiders, zombies, tardiness, camping, and people who misquote movie lines and lyrics. She has one cat.

Louise Lyons – Conflicted Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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TH2014Blurb

Two competing gangs of car and drag racing enthusiasts with a shared history of pain and rivalry leading to outright hatred. Two men from opposite sides of the tracks, yet more in common than they’d like to admit.

Paul Appleton is a troubled man who has never been in a relationship, having lost everyone he cared for in his life. His mother died when he was very young and subsequently, he lost his brother and his best friend. Now Paul is convinced love will always end in tears.

Greg was living on the streets after his parents died and was stabbed by a junkie, ending up in hospital. The Buchanans took Greg under their wing while doing charity work, and Greg joined their loving family when he was adopted. He and his siblings are also car enthusiasts with much more money and therefore better cars than Paul Appleton’s gang.

When they eventually find a connection, Paul fights his feelings and tries to convince himself his lover is only a temporary bit of fun, but Greg has other ideas.

TH2014Excerpt

Greg went to the bar to get a beer and was just handing over the money when he noticed the very man he had been hoping to avoid was right next to him, nursing his own bottle of Budweiser.

“I thought you went to a bar in Stevenage,” Paul commented without looking at Greg.

“I couldn’t be bothered driving over there tonight,” Greg said and gulped some of his beer. He leaned against the bar and glanced at Paul. His gray T-shirt looked about three sizes too small and only emphasized the size of his shoulders and broad back. Intentional, no doubt. His faded jeans were even tighter, and clung to his muscular thighs and firm ass as if they were painted on. Damn, he was hot, and Greg wanted to kick himself for thinking that.

“Not even in the new car?” Paul turned to look at him and raised an eyebrow. His eyes were deep brown and piercing, as if he were looking into Greg rather than at him.

“Not tonight.”

“Nice, by the way. Shame we don’t all have rich parents to shower us with toys like that.”

It was just what Greg expected – a brief compliment quickly crushed by an insult. He was immediately pissed.

“You know nothing about it,” he growled.

Paul shrugged. “I can’t blame you. I wouldn’t have said no either.”

“Listen, Appleton, I won’t pretend I’m not smug as hell driving around in an R34, but I didn’t ask for it and to be honest, I would rather have bought a car I can afford with my own money, which I do earn, by the way. I don’t just live off of them like a fucking leech!”

“Alright, chill, I’m sorry,” Paul said.

“Yeah, well, it gets up my nose that people think I’m rich and spoiled when I work hard like anybody else. I can’t help the fact that I got adopted by the Buchanans. I came from an ordinary family, same as most people, even you.”

“My family was anything but ordinary,” Paul grumbled. “So how come you were adopted anyway?”

“You actually want to know?” Greg asked in surprise.

“Yeah, why not?”

“Okay, we might as well get a seat, then.” Greg turned away from the bar and headed for a corner away from the main bustle, leaving Paul to follow if he felt like it. Greg wasn’t particularly delighted by the prospect of spending more time with him, but since he was here, there wasn’t much else Greg could do. Annoyingly, his pulse sped up as he made his way to an unoccupied corner bench and sat down. He chewed his lip. Paul was still at the bar, speaking to someone he apparently knew, but a moment later, he moved away and walked toward Greg. Fuck, those jeans were tight, and Greg would have bet Paul had no underwear on either.

Jesus, don’t stare. He shifted his eyes up – to bulging pecs. Heat rushed to his groin, and he tried to think about something else. The last thing he wanted was a hard-on, but too long with no fun except for his own hands, and now the company of the hottest guy in the pub, had him stiffening regardless. Greg wondered what the chances were. Would Paul be up for it? Greg knew nothing about him, but he couldn’t imagine him being shy. Greg would bet Paul would shag anything that looked twice at him – or certainly play around with them.

“So? You were going to tell me where you came from,” Paul prompted, dropping onto the seat a little distance away, facing Greg.

“Uh…um…yeah, well, my parents were just ordinary – my dad was a builder and my mum was a waitress. They died in a car crash when I was sixteen.”

“Sorry to hear that,” Paul said with a frown. “Did they treat you okay?”

“My parents? Of course, why wouldn’t they?” That comment puzzled Greg, but he carried on talking. Anything to stop himself imagining Paul’s hand, which was gripping his beer bottle, wrapped around Greg’s cock instead. “They had a huge mortgage, the house got repossessed after they died, and the system didn’t want to know. I lived on the streets for a year, then ended up in hospital, and Agnes Buchanan, who was there doing charity work, took pity on me. And the rest is history.”

“That was lucky.” Paul nodded. “What put you in hospital?”

“A bloke with a knife.”

“Shit.”

“So, how did you end up living with…Stewart Sanders, is it?” Greg asked.

“It’s a long story,” Paul grunted. “I left home when I was sixteen, and he and Abby took me in.”

“Why did you leave?”

Paul scowled and drained the rest of his beer before answering. “It’s not important.”

“Humor me,” Greg said, genuinely interested.

“I’m not here to entertain you!” Paul snapped and got to his feet.

“Hey…” Greg protested. Hell, the guy had a chip on his shoulder. A huge chip. And he was about to walk away from Greg just when he was beginning to convince himself that they were getting along, and that he might possibly get his hand inside those tight jeans later. But Paul was already walking to the bar.

“Shit!” Greg growled under his breath. He was annoyed that Paul walked away and more annoyed still that he was disappointed. It had seemed like they might be starting to move past what happened at Octane, and Greg hoped the stupid feud might have been forgotten too.

Paul hadn’t gone far. He had wedged himself between two men at the bar and was waiting to be served another drink. Greg stared at his ass until he turned around again and then quickly dropped his eyes and pretended interest in the last mouthful of beer in his bottle.

“Sorry.” Paul appeared at the other side of the table, placed a fresh bottle of Bud in front of Greg, and then stepped over his legs and took up his original seat, maybe a foot closer to Greg than before.

“No, I’m sorry. I suppose I come across as if I’m prying, but really, I’m just interested.”

The corner of Paul’s mouth twitched up slightly into a hint of a smile. “Just don’t ask me about family.”

“Okay. So can I ask about your job at the club? Don’t they need you on a Friday night?”

“They rotate the weekend days off. It’s my first in the month I’ve been there. It’s a good job – decent pay too, better than the shitty warehouse I was in before.”

“Yeah, I imagine bouncers get paid pretty well.” Greg nodded. “Do you have to use your fists much?” Damn, Greg, what the hell did you say that for? He cursed himself.

Paul grinned. “Not really. You get more trouble with drunken girls trying to slobber all over you.” He pulled a face. “If there’s real trouble, you diffuse it rather than add to it. I do kickboxing and jujitsu to help with that.”

“Cool,” Greg said. It was something they had in common. “I did kickboxing for a few years. I’ve been thinking about taking up something else too.”

Paul nodded and took another drink. Greg watched the movement of his throat as he swallowed and imagined his lips were wrapped around his cock instead of the bottle. He shifted awkwardly and rested his arm across his lap, hoping not to draw attention to the fact that he was getting uncomfortably hard. Paul lowered the bottle, and his eyes slid from Greg’s face, down his chest, and fixed on exactly what he was hoping Paul wouldn’t look at. He grinned and trapped the tip of his tongue between his teeth. Oh fuck. He was checking Greg out and way more obviously than Greg was checking him.

Should Greg ignore it, or go with it? Did he seriously want to get off with Paul? How difficult would that make things if they ran into each other at shows or something in the future? What the hell would the family say if they found out? What on earth was Greg thinking when he considered taking a chance with a person who went out of his way to make trouble for himself and others?

Greg thought for another minute and realized that it was going to be the only chance he had, at least for that evening. Besides, who was going to know? Paul didn’t want anyone finding out about him anymore than Greg did.

“What are you looking at?” Greg grunted as a way of starting a sort of flirting interaction.

“Isn’t it obvious? Like my company, do you?” Paul responded.

“It seems like it, doesn’t it?”

Paul arched an eyebrow and leaned back. He shifted his ass forward on the seat and drew attention to the fact that the ridiculously tight jeans were virtually crushing him. Greg could make out the head of his cock pushing against the fabric. He wondered if it was his imagination or if he was more turned on than he’d ever been in his life.

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TH2014Author

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

 

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Blog: http://louiselyonsauthor.wordpress.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/louiselyonsauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/louiselyons013
Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com

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Lex Chase – Americana Fairy Tale Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

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Americana Fairy Tale
by Lex Chase

Genre: M/M Fairy Tale Urban Fantasy
Length: Novel, 340 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb

Modern fairy-tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One: He’s a guy. Two: His perfect brother Atticus is the reincarnation of Snow White. Three: Taylor has no idea which princess he is supposed to be. Four: Taylor just left his prince (a girl) at the altar. Despite his enchanted lineage, Taylor is desperate to find his Happily Ever After away from magic, witches, and stuffy traditions. Regrettably, destiny has other plans for him. Dammit.

When word reaches Taylor that Idi the Witchking has captured Atticus, Taylor is determined to save his brother. He enlists the help of rakish and insufferable Corentin Devereaux, likewise of enchanted lineage. A malicious spell sends Taylor and Corentin on a road trip through the kitschy nostalgia of roadside Americana. To save Atticus, they must solve the puzzles put forth by Idi the Witchking. As they struggle, Taylor and Corentin’s volatile partnership sparks a flash of something more. But princesses have many enemies, and Taylor must keep his wits about him because there’s nothing worse than losing your heart… or your head.

 

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Excerpt

 

Still flustered and confused, with no time to contemplate what had just come over him, Corentin tossed out his hand and gestured to the open road. “Do you see signs for I-85 North anywhere, genius?”

“Man, you’re really bitchy,” Ringo said, crossing his arms. “Have enough water today? Hydration is important.”

“Why should I trust you anyway? You could be getting us lost on purpose,” Taylor said. There was a sneer in his tone, and he glared in the rearview. “I’m not counting out we nearly died three seconds ago.”

“I was avoiding a tire in the road,” Corentin lied. “And I am not getting us lost.” His irritation grew as he tried to puzzle through everything that had just transpired. “I’m keeping my promise. You’re useless to me, so we’re going to go save your brother and kill Idi instead.”

“Woooooah,” Ringo said, holding up his hands in surrender. “You didn’t tell me this was Idi we were up against.”

“Someone fill me in,” Taylor said in a demanding tone.

Corentin gritted his teeth. Just like all princesses, Taylor was a pretty spoiled brat. “Idi is the Witchking,” Corentin said simply. He braced himself for the oncoming flurry of questions. Which he wouldn’t know how to answer in the simplest of terms.

“Idi’s bad juju,” Ringo said. “The worst of all witches.”

“And we’re going to kill him?” Taylor asked.

Corentin caught him arching a brow and making a doubtful expression in the rearview. “That’s the plan.”

“And save Atticus,” Taylor said.

That’s the plan,” Corentin repeated tersely.

“What’s in it for you?” Taylor asked. Something in his tone suggested his mistrust had hit its limit.

Before Corentin could come up with an expert lie, he was unfortunately saved by the GPS popping with sizzles and showering sparks over the cabin of the truck. Ringo zipped behind the passenger seat, and Taylor yelped in a half squeal. The truck fishtailed over two lanes and came dangerously close to clipping a car. Corentin acted fast, ripping the melting device from its dash mount and chucking it out the window. Taylor turned to look out the back window, and Corentin caught the bright orange flame as the thing exploded like a grenade.

When the spots cleared from Corentin’s eyes, he muttered a curse under his breath as the truck passed from a clear division of daylight into the dead of night. He clicked the headlights on and waited for his eyes to adjust.

“What the hell is going on?” Taylor asked, leaning up to the back window.

“Idi’s fucking with us,” Corentin said. “It seems like he’s trying to delay us as much as possible.”

“He knows we’re onto him,” Taylor said. “Way to go for discussing the super-secret squirrel plan out loud.”

“You know…,” Corentin said, glaring in the rearview. “You are a lot more pleasant when you’re passed out, snoring.”

Taylor huffed. “I don’t snore.”

“You bleat like a dying hyena,” Ringo said, then spit a giggle.

Taylor’s attention snapped to the pixie. “What is this? Asshole day?”

Corentin caught his eerie pink glare in the rearview.

“Dude, just get off at the nearest exit. We should be near Birmingham by now.”

“All right, all right,” Corentin said, and it was a pleasant reprieve that Taylor kept his mouth shut for more than five minutes. It didn’t last.

“Hey, hey!” Taylor said and pointed at a green-and-white interstate exit sign in the distance. “Talladega! Turn here. I can get us to Atlanta from here. We’re not that far off.”

Corentin guided the truck up the exit ramp and frowned. Something was wrong—flat-topped mesas came into view.

“What the…?” Taylor whispered and watched the rolling dunes of the Painted Desert.

“Uuuh…,” Ringo added and pressed himself to the windshield. The occasional cactus whisked by. “Wow, Talladega’s having a hard time with the drought this season,” Ringo said through their awestruck silence.

“That’s not a drought,” Corentin said softly.

Taylor squinted into the distance. “Does ‘Welcome to Arizona, the Grand Canyon State’ answer your question?”

Ringo pasted his face to the windshield. “How do you even see—” Ringo squeaked when the state sign of Arizona blurred by. “Oh my Storyteller!”

Corentin remained tense, trying to get his thoughts together.

Taylor, however, seemed to not be able to resist blurting out his opinion. “It seems this Eddie guy is doing more than just fucking with us.”

Idi,” Corentin said and realized how terse he sounded. “I think he wants to do more than just delay us.”

Ringo peeled himself from the windshield. He slapped his hands to his cheeks in horror. “He wants us to die out here?” he croaked.

“Panicking is not going to help,” Corentin said firmly.

“Easy for you to say,” Taylor snapped. “We just need to stop somewhere and ask for directions. We’ll get back on the right road in no time.”

Corentin sighed. Taylor’s hope was admirable, but Ringo was only half right. They would die out here, but only one of them. This was Corentin’s first trial. Now he was here, in the middle of nowhere, with Taylor to do with what he will. As soon as that was over, Idi would release him and he’d be on his way, but only until the next time Idi summoned him to do his bidding.

They drove on, again in a long-hanging silence. The interstate lay barren, not a single car or scrap of civilization to be seen. The pavement bore veins of black tar from years of shoddy repair. Corentin caught Taylor’s pink gaze in the rearview, and his feral eyes seemed to gleam in the dark.

The princess shifted from one side of the backseat to the other. He seemed to look for anything that would help. He cupped his hands around the glass and peeked out into the night. “I can’t see anything out there. It’s just desert,” Taylor muttered.

Ringo turned to Corentin, “How are we on ga—”

Don’t say it!” Corentin and Taylor shouted in unison.

Ringo held up his hands and pursed his lips. “Got it…. Uh… why?”

“I assume Eddie is listening in to everything,” Taylor said.

Idi,” Corentin corrected Taylor again. “I think sir princess is right. It seems the second we’ve said anything, something’s gone wrong.”

Ringo fluttered over to the dash and rested his chin in his palm. “You know… it could be all a coincidence….”

Corentin and Taylor glared angrily at Ringo in silence while the hum of the pavement whooshed as Corentin drove.

Ringo waved his hands. “By Titania’s tatas, guys, I was just kidding!”

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About the author

 

LXC_FlamesLex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting too.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure and epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.

Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine now residing in the burbs of Northwest Florida, where it could be 80F and she’d still be a popsicle.

She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find in the Intarwebz here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/westbaylen