Interview Roulette: Antonia Aquilante

It’s Antonia Aquilante’s turn to spin the wheel!


  • One of your characters comes to you for advice. Who is it, what does he ask, and what do you tell him? I don’t know if any of them would! They’ve got their lives together pretty well right now (the ones whose books I’ve written anyway), and let’s face it, they mostly tell me what to do when I’m writing.
  • If you had a time machine, where/when would you go and why? Everywhere! Is that an acceptable answer? Because I want to see the past and the future and just everywhere. I’ve always loved history, and I just want to see what it was like. Really, I’ve been waiting for the Doctor to show up in the TARDIS and show me all of time and space for ages.
  • Describe a traumatic weather-related experience you’ve had. If you’ve never had any, make one up. Hurricane Sandy was pretty scary. I was really lucky—so many people lost so much, and I came out of it fine. But, yeah, that night was scary. Ninety mile an hour wind gusts were making this huge tree outside sway back and forth alarmingly. I didn’t want to go to bed in case it fell on the house. By the way, the tree survived that storm, but quite a bit of it came down during a March snowstorm this year. It blocked the driveway along with a lot of snow.
  • If you had to spend a week snowed in at a mountain cabin with one of your characters, who would you choose and why? Probably Faelen. He and I have a lot in common. We would just read and talk about books and eat cookies and drink really good hot chocolate for a week, all while curled up in cozy blankets in front of a fire. It sounds delightful actually.
  • What’s the most interesting or weird thing you’ve ever had to research for your writing? I mostly end up researching random things. How far a horse can travel in a day. Renaissance and baroque architecture. Renaissance universities. Which plants have medicinal properties, which also led to which plants can be used as poisons. Like all writers, I’m probably on a watch list somewhere!

Book blurb:

Faelen, cousin to the prince and son of a diplomat, has finally come home to Tournai after years away. The pull to return was almost tangible, and the sense of rightness at being back is absolute. He wants nothing more than to put down roots and build a life among family while pursuing his linguistic studies. Becoming involved in magic meant to protect Tournai isn’t part of his plans…and falling in love is even more unexpected and unfamiliar, but he finds himself doing just that as his friendship with Maxen deepens into something more.

Maxen, second son of a wealthy merchant family, longs to leave Tournai and visit everywhere he can. All his life, he’s found places on maps and dreamed, planning out routes to get to them. For now, he’s tied to Tournai’s capital city by family obligations and his position in their shipping business. Someday, though, he’ll be able to travel. His sudden attraction to Faelen shocks him, but their friendship soon becomes a necessary part of his life. Love, however, has no place in his plans, especially not love for a royal cousin with secrets who wants nothing more than to stay in one place.

For Faelen and Maxen to build something real between them, they must resolve their differences, but when magic goes awry and all Faelen’s secrets are revealed, will Maxen remain at his side?

Book buy links:

NineStar Press



Barnes & Noble



Author bio:

Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.

Author contacts:

Guest Post: J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer magical realism book out:

A group of strangers meets at Ragazzi, an Italian restaurant, for a cooking lesson that will change them all. They quickly become intertwined in each other’s lives, and a bit of magic touches each of them.

Meet Dave, the consultant who lost his partner; Matteo and Diego, the couple who run the restaurant; recently-widowed Carmelina; Marcos, a web designer getting too old for hook-ups; Ben, a trans author writing the Great American Novel; teenager Marissa, kicked out for being bi; and Sam and Brad, a May-September couple who would never have gotten together without a little magic of their own.

Everyone in the River City has a secret, and sooner or later secrets always come out.

Amazon | Amazon Paperback

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Matteo stared out the restaurant window into the darkness of Folsom Boulevard. It was getting dark earlier as summer edged into fall. Streetlights flickered on as cars drifted by, looking for parking or making the trip out of Midtown toward home.

The sign on the window read “Ragazzi” (the boys), lettered in a beautiful golden script just two months old. Investing in this little restaurant his uncle had left to them when he’d passed away had been their ticket out of Italy. But now with each passing day, as seats sat empty and tomatoes, pasta, and garlic went uneaten, the worry was gnawing ever deeper into Matteo’s gut.

Behind him in the open, modernized kitchen, Diego was busy cooking—his mother’s lasagne, some fresh fish from San Francisco, and some of the newer Italian dishes they’d brought with them from Bologna. The smells of boiling sauce and fresh-cooked pasta that emanated from the kitchen were entrancing.

They’d sent the rest of the staff —Max and Justin—home for the evening. The three customers who had shown up so far didn’t justify the cost of keeping their waiter and busboy on hand.

Matteo stopped at the couple’s table in front of the other window. “Buona sera,” he said, smiling his brightest Italian smile.

“Hi,” the man said, smiling back at him. He was a gentleman in about his mid-fifties, wearing a golf shirt and floppy hat. “Kinda quiet tonight, huh?”

“It always gets busier later,” Matteo lied smoothly. “Pleasure to have you here. Can I get you anything else?”

“A little more wine, please?” the woman said, holding out her glass so the charm bracelet on her wrist jangled.

“Of course.” He bowed and ducked into the kitchen.

He gave Diego a quick peck on the cheek.

His husband and chef waved him off with a snort. “Più tardi. Sto preparando la cena.”

“I can see that. Dinner for a hundred, is it? It’s dead out there again tonight.”

Diego shot him a dirty look.

Matteo retrieved the bottle of wine from the case and returned to fill up his guests’ glasses. “What brings you in tonight?” Maybe they saw our ad.…

“Just walking by and we were hungry. I miss the old place though.… What was it called, honey?”

Her husband scratched his chin. “Little Italy, I think?”

“That’s it! It was the cutest place. Checkered tablecloths, those great Italian bottles with the melted wax… so Italian.”

Matteo groaned inside. “So glad you came in” was all he said with another smile.

Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a little yellow bungalow in East Sacramento, with two pink flamingos by the front porch.

He spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

Author Website:

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Oh look, Kim’s alive!

Let’s just say the past few weeks have been… full. The end of the semester is always busy for me, plus of course my kids keep me on my toes. And I had a week at RT in the middle of it all, plus some writing deadlines to meet.

So here I am, taking a breath. But only one, because life just doesn’t slow down. And I’m going to resort to bullet points.

  • In case you missed it, The Little Library is out on audio now! It’s narrated by the talented Andrew McFerrin, who also did such a wonderful job on Ante Up.
  • Any minute now–seriously, any minute–A Full Plate will release on audio, narrated by Kenneth Obi.
  • And while we’re on the topic of audiobooks, Joel Leslie is currently recording the first three books in the Bureau series! I can’t wait to listen.
  • I’ll be releasing all three of the Bureau stories as a set. You can preorder the Kindle version now, but it’ll also be available in other ebook versions from Smashwords, and in print from Amazon and bookstores anywhere. It comes out June 11, and as with all my self-published books, all royalties go to Doctors Without Borders.
  • Blyd and Pearce comes out July 24. I’m really excited about this novel, a noir private eye story in a medieval fantasy setting. With an homme fatal, of course.
  • I’m working now on a couple of Christmas stories and a novel about a lifestyle guru and his personal assistant.
  • I’ll be traveling this summer too! Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Chicago (by train!), and Sarajevo.

How’s your summer stacking up?

Have you met Creature yet?

I’m excited to say that Creature releases on Monday! You can get it at Amazon or Smashwords, and all my royalties go to Doctors Without Borders. No worries if you haven’t yet read the first two books; they can be read in any order or as standalones. Click here to read more about the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs.

And I’m doing a blog tour. Stop by for excerpts, guest posts, and a giveaway.

Oh, and if you love audiobooks? Joel Leslie will be narrating all three books soon!

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews — May 3

MM Midnight Cafe — May 3

Queer Sci Fi — May 3

QueeRomance Ink — May 3

Annette Gisby –May 4

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words — May 4

dream, love, imagine — May 5

Stories That Make You Smile — May 6

Drops of Ink — May 7

Open Skye Book Reviews — May 8

The Novel Approach — May 9

Emotion in Motion — May 10

Love Bytes — May 11

We Three Queens — May 12

Dog-Eared Daydreams — May 13

Jessie G Books — May 14

Louise Lyons — May 15

Bayou Book Junkie — May 16



A Full Plate blog tour–with recipes

I’m pleased to announce that my blog tour for A Full Plate begins today. Each stop includes unique content, often about things that helped inspire the book. And since one of the characters is a cook, most stops include recipes too. Please stop on by, and if you try out the recipes, let me know if you enjoyed.


Interview Roulette: Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell spins the wheel today!


Thanks for hosting me today, Kim!

  1. One of your characters has an allergy that’s proved problematic. Tell us about it.

I’m going outside the box with this question.  Simon, my vampire from Shades of Sepia, is allergic to silver as all vampires are in The Sleepless City universe.  Silver can be used to restrain a vampire, and it burns, so he has fine silver lines around his wrists and ankles after a nasty experience at the hands of another vampire.  This is going to be problematic later as the scars on his wrists can be mistaken for something else. Since that incident he usually wears long sleeves to hide them to avoid any awkward questions.

  1. Tomorrow you can consume only foods and beverages that begin with the letter C. What’s on the menu?

Cheesecake, chocolate, carrot cake, celery with cream cheese, cheese and crackers, and cordial (because I don’t drink coffee and need some beverage in there).

  1. What’s one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Keep writing whatever happens, and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your word per day goals.  Little bits grow into bigger bits even though that big picture is sometimes very scary, and seems unachievable.

  1. When it comes to travel, do you prefer to plan everything or play it by ear?

I don’t travel often so I prefer to have everything planned out and pack in advance. I’ve also had a lot of experience with ‘whatever will go wrong will at the worst possible moment’ so I don’t like to leave things to the last minute.

  1. Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever written?

Years ago I went on a family picnic by a river, and sat on the side of the riverbank with pen and paper and wrote. It was a great place for inspiration but sadly I got interrupted by people wanting to know what I was doing.

  1. List your three favorite forms of escapism when procrastinating (to meet a deadline).

Housework (although apparently if you’re thinking through what you need to do while you’re doing it, it’s not exactly procrastinating), baking or cooking (as it needs to be done ;)), and Facebook.

  1. You’re walking down the street when a spaceship lands in front of you and a half dozen aliens pile out. What do you do?

I’d watch them for a while from a safe hidden distance and try to work out whether they’re friendly or set on world domination.   If I decide they’re friendly and make contact I’d still be wary until they’ve proven themselves as I’ve read far too much SF.  I’d also need to be sure they’re a threat before contacting authorities because in most SF I’ve read they tend to shoot first and presume all aliens are hostile whether they are or not.



A Knight to Remember –  Dragons of Astria #1

“The last of your line will be in the embrace of a dragon.”

Aric, Crown Prince of Astria, has been brought up to believe that all dragons are evil. But when he speaks with one, he finds himself questioning those beliefs. The dragon tells him to find a sword in Sherwin Forest to save not only his kingdom but also his sister, Georgia, who must otherwise wed the prince of a neighboring kingdom.

At the start of his quest, Aric dons a disguise and meets Denys, an archer and herbalist who lives alone at the edge of the forest. Denys agrees to guide Aric into the forest, but then Georgia appears, revealing Aric’s true identity.

However Aric learns he is not the only one keeping secrets. Denys has a few of his own that could change both of their lives forever.

Book buy links:

Author bio:

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.  She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

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Vacation photos, part 2

As you might know, I’ve been traveling lately. In the past month I’ve visited Zagreb, Paris, and Los Angeles. So I thought I’d share some vacation photos.

Today’s photos come from one of my favorite methods of transport: trains. I find train travel relaxing, plus I love to gaze out the windows. Last month I took a night train from Zagreb to Munich, then high speed trains from Munich to Stuttgart to Paris. This month I took Amtrak to LA.

We’ll begin in Zagreb. I’ve caught trains at this station many times; for a semester, a lived 5 minutes’ walk from there. This was the first time I splurged on a single sleeper. It was cozy and comfy, and I slept well except when we stopped in Ljubljana and a group of noisy Slovenians boarded.

Breakfast on the train leaves much to be desired, but no problem. I had time in Munich for a pastry and a pretzel. As you can see, it was a chilly morning in Germany. I took that fourth photo as we crossed the border on the ICE train into France.


I don’t often travel by train in the US, but the 15-yr-old and I took Amtrak for a mini vacation in LA. As you can see, Union station in LA is gorgeous.

Do you enjoy train travel?


Cover Reveal: Creature

I’m so excited to share with you the cover for Creature, book 3 in the Bureau series.

Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who—or what—he is.

Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.

When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream—to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs—all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him. Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man—and what a monster truly wants.

Isn’t that beautiful? It’s by the extremely talented Reese Dante.

Although Creature is the third book in the series, it–like the other stories–can be read as a standalone. It’s the longest yet of the stories, totaling about 34K words. I’ll be doing a blog tour, complete with excerpts, unique posts, and a giveaway.

Creature releases May 7 and you can preorder it now. As with the rest of the series, all my proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.

Oh, and if your preference runs to audiobooks? Joel Leslie will be narrating a collection of all three stories. Look for that to be available in June.