I've written a 6000 word Christmas short story that will be offered for free as part of the Rainbow Advent Calendar. The calendar has free fiction by a variety of authors, one story available each day of December. My story will be out Dec 14th. You can follow the stories on the Facebook group page here.
If you can't wait, my 2017 Christmas novella, "Desperately Seeking Santa" is available right now on KU here.
Today I'm a guest on Alpha Book Club with a post about Gabe and Mack's first kiss (with exclusive excerpt and giveaway). This is part of my blog tour for my 2017 Christmas book, "Desperately Seeking Santa". CLICK HERE TO SEE POST.
TENDER MERCIES (Men of Lancaster County #2) releases on Friday! Wow. Can't believe it's here already. The blog tour starts today. I'm on Hearts on Fire where I share my top six "country life" romances. Includes books by Andrew Grey, Keira Andrews, NR Walker, RJ Scott, Pamela Morsi and Daisy Harris.
It's release day for "Five Dares", my college-age, contemporary m/m romance about a couple of lifelong friends and daredevils that discover something more when they spend the summer recooping from injuries.
This book is published with Riptide, and theyr'e doing a big ol' blog tour. Today's guest post from me is on Diverse Reader and it's about five more dares I thought up for Jake and Andy that didn't make it into the book. There's also a giveaway.
Happy Monday, y'all. I'm hosting this week at the Queer Romance Freebie group. You can join it here. Today I want to post about a soft spot of mine -- folksy historic Western romances. Years ago, I loved reading Maggie Osborne ("Silver Lining" is my favorite) and Pamela Morsi ("Simple Jess", "Here Comes the Bride"). I love humor in my romances and especially in Westerns, where there is the potential for crazy characters and tongue-in-cheek humor of a folksy sort.
I decided to write something in this vein in m/m romance and the result was "A Prairie Dog's Love Song" and a sort-of sequel, "The Stolen Suitor". Both are set in Clyde's Corner, Montana and they feature two different couples.
Whenever anyone asks me what I think is my most under rated work, I say these two. I think they're really funny! But maybe I have an odd sense of humor. That Midwest upbringing, I suppose.
For today's giveaway, I'm offering a free e-copy of both to a winner I'll pick randomly from the commenters on the Facebook Group here.
You can check the books out at the links below. A Prairie Dog's Love Song: https://www.amazon.com/Prairie-Dogs-Love-Song…/…/ref=sr_1_1…
The Stolen Suitor: https://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Suitor-Dreamspu…/…/ref=sr_1_1…
More giveaways will occur this week on the group!
I recently was asked to do an interview with a site called Airship Ambassador, a steampunk site. They had found me via my story, "Caress", which is a steampunk mm romance that was published in Dreamspinner's "Steamed Up" anthology and again in Wilde Stories 2014: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction. Check out the cool interview here:
I'm hosting the Queer Romance Freebie Fan Club this week on Facebook. If you want to join, you can find it here. Today I'm talking about a novel that's currently in edits, "Five Dares". It will be published by Riptide in Fall 2017. I'll be giving away the chance to read the ARC as soon as it's available.
What's it about?
Usually when I start a new book, I have an idea of what I want to accomplish--whether it's intended to be a comedy or something that tackles serious issues or something particularly sexy. "Five Dares" was intended to be a mainstream, contemporary, very sexy NA (New Adult). With, hopefully, good humor and UST. :-)
Andy and Jake have been bffs forever. Andy is an adrenaline jockey--he loves to do crazy stunts and dares to freak people out, and Jake is happy to be his sideman. Their stunts are not as haphazard or dangerous as they appear to be. In fact, Andy is usually pretty smart about it. But the night of their college graduation from NYU, he's feeling anxious over he and Jake's imminent move to separate sides of the continent. Jake is supposed to start work as a programmer for a company in Silicon Valley, and Andy is headed to Harvard law school in Boston. That night, Andy is feeling crazier than usual an proposes an impromptu dare holding lit firecrackers.
It doesn't go so well.
Andy and Jake are forced to spend the summer alone together at a cottage in Nantucket to recooperate from their injuries. With four burned palms between them, a whole lot of things become difficult--including getting off. As their frustration mounts, Andy begins a new series of dares that will cross the friendship line. In fact, in Andy's typical reckless style, he blows it to smithereens.
It's fun though. Too much fun?
At the end of the summer, when their burns heal, the two friends will have to decide if they go their separate ways or risk the greatest dare of their lives. (Since this is a romance, you can probably guess that love wins.)
To win a chance to read an ARC of this novel before anyone else, comment on the facebook post on the Queer Romance Freebie Fan Club. The winner will be chosen Friday 5/13/2017. I'm not sure exactly when the ARC will be going out. Probably July or August. But you'll be on the list to get one when it's ready.
Excerpt (not final text)
I woke up Monday morning hard as an iron post, the kind they put up in Boston to make sure cars didn’t enter pedestrian zones. I’d been dreaming about sex, though I couldn’t remember the details. God damn, but I had to get off. I was becoming seriously irritable, especially being around Jake all the time. He could have ended this so easily, not only the physical torment itself, but the questions that were starting to drive me crazy. And yet he hadn’t even acknowledged I’d suggested we get each other off since he’d first walked away on Friday morning.
Fine! I’d figure out another way to do it then.
I went into the bathroom. It was too difficult to turn the lock on the door and, anyway, if Jake walked in on me, that was his problem. I couldn’t even piss with my aching hard-on, and I was so done with this. The sink in the bathroom was free-standing and had a curved porcelain edge. It was at the right height that figured I might be able to rub off against it. Of course, cold porcelain wasn’t exactly conducive to comfort. I bent over and grasped a towel off the rack with my teeth. I tried to drape it over the basin. What I wanted was a clean double fold so there would be two thickness of terrycloth between me and the porcelain. But the towel dropped twice, forcing me to get onto my knees to pick it back up in my teeth and use my elbows to get back on my feet. Then I could only get a single layer of the towel in place, despite spending ages trying to fold it with my elbows.
Finally I gave up and just tried to rub off against it, but the surface was still too hard. And it was bunched up all wrong, making uncomfortable folds. I got more and more pissed, still hard as a rock and in desperate need. I finally found a spot on the towel that wasn’t too uncomfortable, and was just starting to rut in earnest when I heard the door and voices in the main room. Walter’s voice. I’d apparently slept right through Emily’s visit, and now Walter had arrived for our morning shower and bandage change.
I swore a loud, hearty motherfucker and let the towel drop to the floor. I scooted my gym shorts back up against the bathroom wall, having to work it over my woodie. Whatever. I didn’t care. My T-shirt was long enough to mostly cover it. I used the back of one bandaged hand and my knee to turn the bathroom door knob and stomped out.
Walter and Jake were in the living room, talking. Walter gave me a nod, though he didn’t smile or say hello. He’d probably heard me cursing. I glared at the two of them and went into the kitchen.
Emily had left me a large coffee travel mug on the counter with a straw in it. I took a sip. It was cold. I thunked my head against the fridge, breathing hard.
I was so done. Normally, I could laugh about it or take it as a challenge, but not this morning. I was frustrated and horny and resentful.
“Andy?” Jake came up behind me, his voice quiet. I heard the sink in the bathroom turn on. Walter was in there setting up for our showers. As if I’d let him near me with this fucking hard-on.
I growled, not lifting my head from the fridge. “What do you want, Jake?”
“What’s the matter?”
I heard the worry in Jake’s voice. He honestly didn’t know? “My coffee is cold, my dick is hard, and I want to punch something. Any more questions?”
There was as smirk in Jake’s voice. “So your coffee is frigid and your dick is rigid? I hate when that happens.”
I smiled despite myself, though with my head on the fridge, I didn’t think he could see it. But at the same time, part of me wanted to tell him to fuck off. The way he’d told me to. But I didn’t. Jake wasn’t doing anything wrong. He had every right to say no to my little plan. In fact, he was probably smart to say no. I was the fucked up one. Why did I want this so much?
I sighed and slumped even more against the fridge, feeling defeated.
Behind me, I actually heard a gulp as Jake swallowed. “Hey, listen . . . I’ll do it.” His voice was low and gravelly, as if he didn’t want Walter to hear.
I stood there, not saying anything. But my heart started pounding harder. Did he mean it?
“You said ‘no,’” I finally managed. “If you don’t want to do it, you shouldn’t.”
“I just said I would.”
“Maybe now I don’t want to,” I argued, some gremlin inside me still hurt that he’d said no in the first place.
“Don’t be such an emo!” Jake huffed. “Like you said, it’s an expedient way to get off. It’s not a big deal.”
Oh thank God. My woodie had finally been starting to go down, but now it perked back up again at the idea of getting some action. A warm mouth yet. Jake’s mouth. Oh God. “Okay,” I said breathlessly. “When?”
Jake snorted. “Eager much? We’ll have to wait until Walter leaves, obviously.”
That soon? Oh God. “Okay. After Walter leaves.”
Join me in welcoming Ash to our blog today with his newest novella, Heartifact!
Net proceeds benefit the The Trevor Project in the US,
Heartifact is available from
THE VALUE OF WHOLESOMENESS IN STORY TELLING
When I set out to pen a story, I look to include wholesomeness as often as possible. While it is partially because it represents an ideal—and what better way to achieve escapism and entertain ourselves than with the ideal—but because “goodness” is something most of us naturally identify with and strive for. The friendship that Harper and Stick share in Heartifact is based upon “goodness” and it shines through in a number of places in the story. I hope you enjoy reading Heartifact as much as I enjoyed writing it.
After being away, his kitchen seemed foreign to him, and dismay swept his mien when he remembered he might not have coffee in the freezer. He opened the door and riffled through the contents proudly displaying freezer burn. No coffee. He sighed and closed the door as his phone rang. He looked at the caller ID and was relieved to see it wasn’t Donny.
“Welcome back, Harp! You up for grub?”
Stick, whose real name was Maggie, piloted remotely operated underwater vehicles, or ROVs. Hence the nickname “Stick.” He’d met her on his first internship dig and she’d quickly become his best friend. She was easy and comfortable, and could read his mind; she knew when he needed silence and when he needed to laugh. She was a woman without a vagenda, and occasionally made him wish he liked the opposite sex.
“Coffee,” he grunted.
“Grab your astrolabe and chart a course to that illusive island known as my car.”
“Can I wear a towel?”
“Sure. I’ll protect you.”
He smiled to himself as he terminated the call and went to get dressed.
“Whoa! You wear dark well!”
Harper snorted as he climbed into the convertible and kissed Stick’s cheek. “I see you managed to protect your lily-white ass from the sun.”
She shrugged as she put the car in gear and sped off without so much as a gander in her rearview mirror. “What can I say? I am the undersea drone you’re looking for.”
Thank Poseidon, she didn’t pilot ROVs the same way she drove a car. He imagined a fifteen-fish pile-up on the Bimini Road and suddenly chuckled to himself.
They rode in companionable silence until they reached John O’Groats on Pico Boulevard. Graced with a rare parking space in front of the place, she crammed the car against the curb at a slant.
“You may want to straighten it out.”
“You got something to say about my parking?” she demanded as she hopped out.
Harp couldn’t help but grin as he got out of the car. “Not a chance. I like my head on my shoulders.”
She put an arm around his waist and looked up at him, her green eyes bright in the morning sun. “Smart man.”
He put an arm around her shoulders and guided her inside. The wait for a table was almost an hour and they opted to sit at the counter. Harper perused the menu and decided on Huevos O’Groats. Three months of Aussie Vegemite had nearly killed him.
They ordered food and Stick handed the menus to the waiter. “How was it?”
“I didn’t think I could detest sediment more than I already did.”
She grinned. “Do you know something I don’t know? I mean, how do you propose to avoid it in this line of work?”
“They’re destroying the reef, Stick,” he said in disgust.
She winced. “I couldn’t imagine being part of that.”
Harper sighed. “Donny showed up this morning.”
She rolled her eyes. “I ignored him while you were gone. Couldn’t take the whining.”
“I slammed the door in his face in favor of reconciliation with my plastic.”
She smirked. “Drum and I split.”
Harper couldn’t help it. His jaw hung agape. They’d had a near-perfect marriage for eight years.
“Yeah,” she said softly. “It was time.”
She met his even gaze. “He’s been screwing everything above sea level. Can’t handle me being away.”
“I’m sorry, Stick. Are you going to be okay?”
“I don’t know.”
He’d never seen her forlorn and it tore at his heart. He put an arm around her and gave her a hug. She buried her face against his shoulder for a moment before withdrawing and pulling herself together. “Fucker.”
“Motherfucker,” he agreed.
She suddenly smiled. “I knew you’d understand.”
Thanks for having me on your blog, Eli! Go read Heartifact! It’s a great book. Besides, you can enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card and two signed books from me!
Harper Kidd is a highly respected marine archaeologist. Yet, with the economy in a slump, he’s trapped working in an oil company’s exploration division. Now, at the ripe age of thirty, Harp is disgusted with his employer’s damage to the undersea world he loves, tired of his ATM-card-filching ex, and tormented by beautiful dreams of an undersea lover. It’s time for a change and when his best friend, Stick, pleads with him to assist on a deep-sea dig in the Mediterranean, he jumps at the chance.
Harper’s spirits are high when they discover the ruins of an ancient civilization, and soar to the heavens when they discover a statue of an ancient pelora, a mysterious hybrid creature said to mediate between the worlds of reality and fantasy—and the very lover who holds the starring role in his dreams.
When the crew discovers the site is teeming with unexploded ordnance from the conflicts in the Middle East, and the excavation turns deadly, Harper must choose between saving his best friend and saving the pelora he’s fallen in love with.
Heartifact is available from Men Over the Rainbow
About Aisling Mancy
Ash is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Ash writes mystery thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, romance, and fiction for gay young adults as C. Kennedy.
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Ash doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Ash contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Ash can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. Ash does respond to emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader.
Today I'm guest posting on Gay Book Reviews and I interview Tristan Wright, audiobook narrator for "Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles", "Unwrapping Hank", "Superhero" and many other grea audiobooks. There' a giveaway too! CLICK HERE TO READ THE INTERVIEW.
This is part of the blog tour for "Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles".
May 12 2016 is the release day for "How to Wish Upon a Star", the third book in my "Howl at the Moon" series of paranormal romances featuring... dog shifters! Yes, dog shifters. And God, I love them to death! I can't imagine ever not wanting to return to Mad Creek and see what's going on with the pack there.
Here's the blurb for "How to Wish Upon a Star":
Dr. Jason Kunik is working on the most earth-shattering genetics project ever, DNA mapping of a new species, the quickened—dogs who can shift into human form. The problem is, no one knows the quickened exist and Jason can’t betray them by publishing his studies. When he moves to Mad Creek to continue his research in a town full of quickened, all he wants is peace, quiet, and to be allowed to bury himself in his work. Perhaps if he figures how out the mutation is activated, he can silence his own inner dog forever.
Milo is a hospice comfort dog who has bonded with, and lost, many beloved patients in his life. He intuitively understands sickness and pain on a spiritual level most can’t see. When he gains the ability to become a man, he thinks he finally has everything he ever wanted. But being a man isn’t the same thing as being loved, and taking shelter in Mad Creek isn’t the same thing as finding a home.
When a mysterious illness hits Mad Creek and threatens all the quickened in town, it’s up to the scientist and the comfort dog to figure out what it is and how to stop it. Along the way they might discover that true love is possible—if you wish upon a star.
OK, so let's get down to this book's desktop, shall we?
Here are the image that inspired me while I was writing the book. [Note, these image are off the web--I don't own them, nor were they used in the actual book.]
Milo -- Milo only recently gained the ability to change from a dog into a man, so he is very much new to this whole human business. As a dog, Milo was a comfort dog in a hospice. He spent time with, and gave unconditional love to, the dying patients and their families. Milo is a labradoodle. Here he is in his dog and human form. I imagine that in his human form he looks something like model Anthon Wellsjo.
Dr. Jason Kunik -- Jason was born a quickened descended from Alaskan Malamutes. Incredibly intelligent, he got his PhD and is now a geneticist fascinated by this 'new species' the quickened or, as he calls them, canis sapiens. His description in the book says that he doesn't look like any one human 'race'. His skin, hair and eye shape look Asian, but his irises are pale blue (like the ones on the dog photo below), and he has a heavier, Slavic build.
So first, here's Jason as a dog. The dark parts of his fur would be fully back, but I love the shot of this dog and he so reminds me of Jason.
Now for his human form--I think he might look something like actor Daniel Henney but with pale blue eyes and a bit beefier in the chest and arms.
Tim and Lance (from "How to Howl at the Moon") and Roman and Matt (from "How to Walk Like a Man"), all appear in "How to Wish Upon a Star". Here they are from previous desktop posts.
Tim Weston aka Tim Beaufort
Sheriff Lance Beaufort
Human and dog form of Roman, our ex-military service dog and now town deputy.
Matt, Roman's partner, is ex-SWAT and ex-military, current forest ranger, and forever class clown.
Baby Molly Beaufort
Molly is a brand new addition to Mad Creek. With tons of black hair and vivid blue eyes, Molly looks just like a baby quickened (which is good, because she is one)!
Here are some pictures I shared in the past as inspirations for Mad Creek, the town where the "Howl at the Moon" series is set. I lived for several years in Oakhurst, CA, which is up in the mountains from Fresno and on the way to Yosemite. Mad Creek is hypothetically much "farther up" in the mountains, but the town size, and general setting, was based on Oakhurst.
This is actually SARS below, but it inspired the look of the CASP-1 virus.
The founder of the Hold My Paw dog shelter, where our intrepid heroes from Mad Creek visit.
Hold My Paw Shelter in Arizona
In the book, Jason, Milo, Tim, and Matt travel to Arizona to visit a non-profit animal shelter (for plotty reasons). The pictures below inspired the setting. This is actually a shelter called Desert Haven and it's in New Mexico.
While in Arizona, Milo does some tracking in the desert. He come across an old mining operation like the one below.
That's it for this desktop. I hope you enjoy the new story. You can read an excerpt and find purchase links on my page for How to Wish Upon a Star.