What’s Kim Reading Now?: Sheep’s Clothing by Elin Gregory

I’ve decided to start some new regular features here. Every Monday (or, well, almost every Monday, because you know how it goes), I’ll post a brief bit on a book that I’ve recently read. Many will be m/m romance, but some will not. I just thought it would be fun to share with you guys an enjoyable read. I haven’t received review copies of any of these books, so they’re whatever I’ve bought, borrowed, or otherwise put my paws on.

My very first entry, then, is Sheep’s Clothing by Elin Gregory. This is a short story, which hit the spot just right during a busy week. And it features an unconventional werewolf. If you’ve read my Bones series, you know I love shifters who are unusual. Werewolf Darren Murchison moves from London to the Welsh countryside, hoping to put some distance between himself and a pack that’s not really his style. Thing is, though, the Welsh countryside is full of sheep.

This story was sweet and very funny, with a few unexpected but delightful surprises. And it was just plain well-written. I loved the setting too.

Sheep’s Clothing by Elin Gregory is available from Wayward Ink Publishing.

Have you read it too? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

New regular features

Far be it from me to claim that I’m regular… but I thought it would be fun to run some scheduled features here. I’ll still chat about my family, my travels, and my books, and I’ll still have guests. But I’ll also have some scheduled things for you to (I hope) look forward to.

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Mondays will be What’s Kim Reading Now? I’ll give you brief recommendations for books I think you might enjoy, in a variety of genres.

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Wednesdays are for Ooh! That’s Interesting! I’ll discuss some bit of trivia that’s caught my attention.

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And Fridays we’ll have a Blast from the Past. Guests and I will highlight books from our backlists–treasures a year or more old that you might have missed.

 

I hope you enjoy these new features. I’d love it if you comment on them, and feel free to suggest topics as we go.

Please welcome Lily Velden!

Title: Written in the Stars

Author: Lily Velden

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Genre: gay romance, contemporary romance, MM

Pages: 26

Synopsis

Who needs a holiday when your destiny is Written in the Stars?

Written in the Stars is also a part of the BOLLOCKS! Anthology

Buy the short story:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OJXZT2I/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OJXZT2I/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00OJXZT2I/

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/written-in-the-stars-by-lily-velden/

Buy your copy and get a bonus short story – Life According to Buddy! To get your complimentary story, email Wayward Ink Publishing after purchase.

WITS cover

Excerpt

“NOW, Sebastian, dear, I want you to promise me you’ll mind your Ps and Qs.”

“Oh, I don’t think you need to worry about that, Mom. I don’t think they let you swear on prime time telly.”

“Well, I certainly hope not, dear, because I have not only Granny May coming but also Nanna Robson. And then there’s Uncle Phil and his wife, Delores, and you know how Old School she is. If she had her way, we’d still be living in the Victorian era. Honestly, I’m sure she has a pole lodged up… well, never you mind, you know how she can be. And Grandpa Robson would be most upset if he heard you blaspheming and making a mockery of the Queen’s English on the telly.”

“Mom—”

“Aunt Sue and Uncle Tom are coming up from Birmingham, and bringing the twins with them. Ned is coming, too. He’s bringing that floozie he’s been dilly dallying with since the divorce. I thought that would stop Cheryl coming, but, God love her, she says she doesn’t care and that she’s bringing a male friend. Is that what they’re calling a boyfriend these days? A male friend? God only knows who it is. She says we don’t know him. I do so hope he’s a nice lad, though. She deserves someone nice after the run-around Ned gave her. Between you and me, if he wasn’t my cousin, I’d give him a clip around the ears. I just hope your brother Jordy doesn’t say something to him. I don’t want them spoiling your night. And Carol—you remember Carol, don’t you? From bingo?—well, she’s coming with her new bloke, and—”

“Jesus fucking Christ, Mom! Who didn’t you invite?”

“Father Henderson, which is probably just as well if you’re going to take the Lord’s name in vain and swear like a trooper, Sebastian.”

I flushed—not even the ten or fifteen thousand miles and God only knew how many seas and oceans that separated Sydney from the UK managed to dim my mother’s ability to reduce me to feeling like a ten-year-old again.

“Sorry, Mom, but, jeez, it sounds like the entire extended family and half of Yorkshire are going to be watching.”

“Well, Aunt Peg said she can’t because she has to work, though I promised her we’d record it, but other than that….”

I groaned. I was going to shoot Declan. How could he run off and tell my mom about my going on Written in the Stars? How could he offer to livestream it to her? He knew what she was like. Come the fourteenth of February, my humiliation would be complete. I’d never be able to return to the UK.

About the author:

Lily Velden lives on the east coast of Australia, her family having emigrated from Holland when she was a child.

She’s both a left and right brain person, holding qualifications in both Finance and Fine Arts. She tells her friends that her way with numbers will make her a profitable artist and writer… one day.

Lily has always had a love of language and a beautifully crafted sentence, and admits to having a fetish for collecting quotes, poems, and song lyrics. What she won’t admit to is how many notebooks she’s filled with those quotes… Her fascination carries on into her artworks where she often incorporates text. When a shoulder injury slowed down her art practice she decided to explore her love of the written word more fully and began writing. “I’ll paint my pictures with words.”

Not that she’s abandoned artmaking in its entirety—Lily collaborates on the designs for all her book covers.

There are many things Lily loves, here are just a few of the PG rated ones: a good laugh (all the better if caused by a naughty joke), the smell of freshly baked goods and mown grass, a smile from a stranger, rainbows after the rain, and witnessing a promise kept.

Social media links:

Website: http://lilyvelden.wordpress.com/

Email: lilyvelden@live.com.au

Twitter Name: @LilyVelden

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lily.velden

Tumblr: http://lilyvelden.tumblr.com/

Bent-Con report, part 1

Well, I had a fun weekend at Bent-Con!

One of the highlights was getting to hang out with a great group of authors:

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From left to right: Venona Keyes, Morticia Knight, Rhys Ford (in the back), Piper Vaughn, Marilin (whose name I’m spelling wrong–sorry!!), Poppe Daniels, me, ZA Maxfield, Jordan Hawk, Rafe Haze, Gin Hale, Marshall Thornton, LE Franks, James Buchanan. Also there, but not pictured were Belinda McBride, Jet Mykles, Lou Harper, and Lou Sylvre.

Another highlight was the cosplay:

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I met some great people, too:

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That’s Merman Jax on the left (out of costume, but still very cute). And on the right, Jon Macy, author of Fearful Hunter, doing an awesome drawing when he signed my book.

I’ll post more pics later this week.

 

Please welcome LJ Harris!

Title: Just Like Pulling Teeth

Author: LJ Harris

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Bollocks JLPT banner

Short Story Blurb:

A trip to the dentist has never been so… interesting…

JUST LIKE PULLING TEETH is also a part of the BOLLOCKS! Anthology

Buy links

AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OJ31N2I/

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OJ31N2I/

AMAZON AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00OJ31N2I/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-like-pulling-teeth-lj-harris/1120558936?ean=9781925222067

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-justlikepullingteeth-1658979-145.html

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/just-like-pulling-teeth-by-l-j-harris/

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Excerpt

“BOLLOCKS,” I groaned, failing at my attempt to chew on the wedge of pickle-covered cheese. It was only Tuesday, and yet, as I sat at the end of the bar at the Thistle and Lion, whining and moaning with every bite of my ploughman’s lunch, this particular week had already begun to drag. I’d had the mother of all headaches for two days, and throbbing gums for three, the pain so bloody awful I’d been driven to take some long overdue time off work. My bite had been out of alignment for weeks, thanks to the swelling in the back of my mouth, and everything above my shoulders hurt.

Even my sodding hair.

The ibuprofen I was taking was no longer helping, and I hadn’t slept well in days. Luckily my sister, Rachel, was able to secure an appointment with a new dentist near where she worked. Dr. Anderson had been looking after my teeth ever since I was a young lad, but retired earlier in the year. As much as I felt awkward around new people, I figured I’d give this new bloke a shot, considering my dear sister had been gushing about how wonderful he was non-stop for the past few weeks. It wasn’t as though I had much choice, anyway. The other dentists I’d contacted, including every one of them at the Holistic Solutions Clinic, were booked solid for months ahead.

I didn’t even give a toss if I had to get my teeth pulled, if it meant the pain would go away.

Unable to finish my meal, I downed the rest of my pint to help sate my hunger and perhaps give me a little Dutch courage before I left a tenner on the end of the bar and headed for the men’s to carefully floss and brush.

It was torture, yes, but no sense in grossing out the new dentist with my recently acquired mustard pickle and beer breath.

I made my way across the cobbled alleyway that was a stone’s throw away from the city centre, the London sun shining and the air brisk with mid-October winds, until I found myself standing in the lobby of the two-storey building. Quickly checking the directory located next to a small cafe, I made my way up the single flight of stairs, passing by everything from chiropractors to physiotherapists, acupuncturists to hypnotherapists.

I was certain the name on suite door number ten, Acacia Dental Spa, was a contradiction in terms.

About the author

L. J. HARRIS is a mother of teenage twin boys who she loves with all her heart. Her family is her life, her soul, and the very reason she gets out of bed every day. Coming a close second to her family is her writing.

She only just discovered a passion for writing in the past five or so years. She’d always written little poems in birthday cards for family members, but that was as far as her writing aspirations went…until she decided to write poems and give them to family members as homemade gifts.

It was then a spark was lit, and ever since, she hasn’t been unable to switch off the urge to write.

After a close family member fell ill, she began questioning what she wanted and searching for answers. Unable to sleep one night, she sat up and typed out her feelings on the laptop. Her husband read what she’d written and encouraged her to write more. It was then she knew she wanted to share her thoughts with others. She began with writing what she knew—her life story, but couldn’t get into it. Instead, she decided to write about something not based on fact, but fiction, and wrote a dream sequence which she showed to her family. They encouraged her to expand on it, and she hasn’t stopped since.

L.J. Harris discovered that as much as enduring pain, loss, betrayal, or any other negative thing in our lives can be devastating, if she hadn’t experienced them for herself, she not only wouldn’t have found some lifelong friends, she doubts she would have been able to write the feelings of anguish and loss that some of her characters have had to endure.

L.J. has been previously published and has shared several online stories and looks forward to continuing to share her work.

L. J. Harris can be found at:

Website: http://theworldofljharris.blogspot.com.au

Email: lisa.harris1965@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LJHarrisAuthor?ref=hl

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LJHarrisAuthor

Tumblr:  http://www.tumblr.com/blog/heartofdarkess

Goodreads nominations

I’m off to Bent-Con. I will post pics and a report. But first I have to survive a really boring 300-mile drive. I have audiobooks. If you’ll be at Bent-Con, please stop by to say hello. I’ll be at the Inkslingers booth (along with some fantastic authors).

Some of you wonderful people have nominated me for several things at the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s Member’s Choice awards. Thank you so much!! If you’re a member (it’s free to join) you can continue to nominate your favorite authors and stories through November 22. Voting begins November 28.

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Oh, and be sure and check out Amber Kell’s birthday bash on Nov. 8 for a tiny little story with Drew and Travis from Speechless!

Poll

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m sort of a busy bee. Or, um, a little compulsive. Anyway, I generally have a lot going on. And I’m wondering what might the best way to keep you guys up to date on what’s going on–and, I hope, lure you to visit my website and eventually buy my books.

So, please answer my poll to let me know which features you might find interesting and useful. Feel free to make comments too! I truly want to know your thoughts on this. Thank you!

 

Please welcome Katherine Halle!

Hi! *waves*

A big shout out to Kim for hosting me today! I’m really excited because this is my first release through Dreamspinner and only my second blog tour! Kim said she didn’t mind what I talked about so I figured I would talk about contemporary versus paranormal.

Fixing the Hole is my first novella-length contemporary. I’ve had a few short stories in various anthologies, but this is definitely the longest thing I’ve written without even the hint of something paranormal. I almost feel like contemporary is harder then paranormal. There are so many more rules you have to adhere to. Places have to at least feel real. I actually researched menu items for the one lunch Riley brings in. And the shrimp dish Steve cooks? Mine.

I also did (thanks to my pre-reader Button) a bunch of research on tree removal and how all that works. I even did a trial call to our insurance company to see how I would go about reporting something like that. The lady on the phone was very friendly and happy to help. Once I reassured her that we really didn’t have a tree in our living room.

It’s funny what you learn through research. Where my in-laws live? The city comes and removes damaged trees. Where my parents live? (Same state mind you) they have to call a service to have a downed tree removed. (Unless it’s affecting a wire of some sort). Same thing where we live. You have to call a landscaping/tree removal service. They can either mulch it up for you or cut it up and leave it by the street. If you leave it by the street, you have to arrange for a special trash pick up. See? So many rules!

But the benefit of contemporary? Not as much world building. The laws of physics still apply, I don’t have to figure out how to fuel my spacecraft, and I don’t have to worry about stepping on any vampire/werewolf lore toes anywhere. That made it fun. I was able to concentrate on the characters and turn this into more of a character driven piece – explore just what made these two men tick.

And I enjoyed the heck out of that and I hope you do too!

Thanks again to Kim for hosting me!

<333

Katherine

 

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Blurb:

Heavy rains and strong winds slammed an uprooted tree through Steve Crowell’s roof, leaving a gaping hole to match the one in his heart. After his ex left him for a younger man, Steve’s not sure he’s ready to handle another disaster. His best friend highly recommended the contractor, but the man’s already late, and when he shows up with his music thumping, Steve isn’t impressed—until Riley steps out of his pickup truck. Personable, gorgeous Riley talks a mile a minute, which Steve finds both ridiculously endearing and terrifying. Piecing together a heart isn’t as easy as fixing a roof, but Riley might just be the right man for the job.

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5646

Amazon:

ARE:

Bio:

Katherine Halle is known as the “Queen of Happy Endings.” She firmly believes that no matter what the obstacles, what the struggles, or how much angst is involved in the journey, that the ending should always be a happy one.

Katherine’s love of the written word started at a very early age with repeated demands of “read to me” to any who would listen. It was only natural that writing would follow. As a child, she could often be found daydreaming, thinking up fanciful stories and writing them down. Now she does it on a laptop. Much faster.

Katherine’s favorite animal is her dog. She likes books, movies, and quirky television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hart of Dixie. She loves cooking and watching cooking shows. She has lived in both Europe and the United States and loved both. When she’s not writing or plotting, Katherine enjoys spending her time listening to music, reading books written by other people, and being with her family.

You can find Katherine here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatherineHalle

Blog: http://katherinehalle.wordpress.com/  or http://thraceadams.dreamwidth.org/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5761673.Katherine_Halle

Email: katherinehalle@yahoo.com

 

 

 

What’s up

Wow, October was quite a ride! I had 5 new releases! Bones fans got a new installment, as did fans of the Gothika series. Brute soared up the bestseller lists in France, which delighted me. Some of you joined me in being Stranded.  And just the other day, my holiday story “The Festivus Miracle” came out. You guys were great in helping me spread the word about it. Keep up the good work–I hope to have a hefty donation to make to Doctors Without Borders next month.

November will be a little quieter, but there’s still plenty afoot:

  • The Fieldingpalooza quiz contest is still going on. It ends November 10.
  • I’m participating in Amber Kell’s Birthday Bash. This means that soon I’ll have a new little birthday story up–and it involves the guys from Speechless, Travis and Drew. I know some of you have been hoping to see a little more from them. I’ll be doing a book giveaway too.
  • Two of my books–The Tin Box and Stitch–have made it to round 4 of the Rainbow Awards cover contest. This is amazing, because there were over 450 original entries and now we’re down to 30. You can vote on this round until November 15.
  • Also as part of the Rainbow Awards, Elisa Rolle is doing a pre-party. Each day she posts 4 book excerpts; you guess the books. There are books to be won, including my Motel. Pool.
  • This weekend–November 7-9–I’ll be at Bent-Con in Burbank. I’ll be on a couple of panels and I’ll be signing books, so come see me if you’re there.
  • Sprachlos–Speechless in German–releases from Dreamspinner on November 18. You can preorder it now.
  • Dreamspinner’s Advent Calendar package is now on sale. This means you get a holiday story each day in December. One of them, Saint Martin’s Day, is mine. You can also buy the stories individually beginning December 1. Here’s my blurb:

Five years ago, Neno Kova? fled California, graduate school, and his lover, Toby Cowan, to return to his native Croatia. Since then, he’s led a quiet life as a librarian—until one November afternoon when Toby, who has never stopped loving Neno, shows up in Zagreb. When he left the United States, Neno wasn’t ready to give up his home and family to take a chance on a long-distance relationship. But Saint Martin’s Day has arrived, the day pressed grapes turn to wine and autumn turns to winter. Perhaps it will be a day when other changes are possible as well.

So that should keep up busy, right? I’ll also have some guests visiting, and in a few days I’ll be posting a poll and asking for your feedback. In the meantime, I think it’s time to hunker down somewhere cozy with a good book. Don’t forget that all my royalties from The Festivus Miracle go to Doctors Without Borders.