If you follow me on social media, you probably already know I have a thing for Croatia. I’ve been there several times and even lived there twice for short periods. I’ve spent the bulk of my time there in Zagreb, but I’ve been lucky enough to see a good bit of the rest of the country. And one of my favorite cities lies on the Dalmatian coast, about 6 hours from Zagreb by train: Split. (In Croatian, it’s pronounced Spleet.)

About 1700 years ago, the Roman Emperor Diocletian retired and moved back to his native land. He had a huge palace built. He lived there for 8 years before dying. The palace was mostly abandoned for a time, but a few hundred years later, people moved back in. The palace has been occupied ever since.


See those walls? Seventeen hundred years old. And although it’s a great place to be a tourist (and one of the filming sites for Game of Thrones), the palace remains a place where people live.

split3 Here’s my brother helping my daughter hunt for lizards. I couldn’t help but wonder about the men who cut, shaped, and set those stones so long ago.

split2 The emperor–who opposed Christianity–was buried in the palace. But a few hundred years later, they built a cathedral right over his burial spot. Services are still held in the cathedral. In the peristyle outside, clapa groups sing a capella.

riva And just outside the palace walls, you can sit on the Riva at a café, watching the people and the boats.

Or maybe, if you’re a character in my novella Dei Ex Machina, meeting up with a very old ghost.

Spirit_postcard_front_DSPYou can find the novella in Spirit, the fourth book in the Gothika series. And there are 3 other novellas as well!

Dreamspinner  (On sale for only $3 this weekend!!)




Eat Your Alligator!: Pandemus Chronicles by Grace R. Duncan

~~For an explanation of Eat Your Alligator!, click here.~~


Pandemus Chronicles came out of the idea that I wanted to write a holiday story that was different, but still had a positive, happy ending. I’ve always been fascinated by post-apocalyptic worlds. One of my favorite novels of all time is The Stand. But the thing that always interested me about it is the “what if?” What would I do if I’d survived something like that?

When I sat down to write Celebrating You, which was a submission for the Heartwarming anthology through Dreamspinner, I knew the world wouldn’t be the focus. Though it would be there, the focus was most definitely on the guys—on their struggles, their emotions and, hopefully, on their new, budding relationship. When Healing came along a little while later, the same thing happened—the story was about them, their relationship, and their experiences that led them there, not so much the world. The world existed, but it wasn’t the biggest aspect of the story.

So, then, when I published it, I found quite a few folks who echoed what I was trying to get across—that it was a human, contemporary story, just with a few extra trials thrown in. While technically sci-fi/post-pandemic, it was still about the love and relationships, still had all the things in the world we’re all familiar with… just altered a bit.

Pandemus links:

My site: http://www.grace-duncan.com/pandemus

Pandemus Chronicles @ Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=1279

Celebrating You and links:

With the world’s population down to almost nothing and his husband dead, Daniel is sure he’ll spend Christmas alone with his dog, cats, and goats. Jake has been wandering aimlessly since the world went to hell and he lost his partner. As far as he’s concerned, there’s nothing to celebrate. But he finds himself helping Daniel with his Christmas tree and listening to him describe all the things to be thankful for.

Through tree decoration, dinner, and a chess game, Daniel and Jake discover a connection between them that hints at a possibility both had long declared impossible. When the chess game is over and they’re in each other’s arms, they realize how good it feels… and how right. But after having lost everything, are they willing to believe in the possibility of something beyond basic survival?

Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4497

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Celebrating-You-Pandemus-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00H0QTELI

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-celebratingyou-1364485-145.html


Healing blurb and links:

When Duncan stumbles into a pharmacy in search of something to fix his broken leg, he’s surprised to find someone else there. Like the rest of the post-pandemic world, it appeared empty. Instead, he discovers Mark, a former nurse who walked away from his profession after losing too many patients to the virus. Despite swearing he’d never practice medicine again, Mark patches Duncan up over Duncan’s protests. He even finds an abandoned house in the tiny town, and they settle in until Duncan heals enough to look out for himself. Much to the chagrin of both, they find themselves caring for each other.

Duncan welcomes it, thrilled at finding someone he can trust. However, he’s well aware of the shadows in Mark’s eyes and understands Mark’s reticence as he learns the story. But as he’s starting to do things for himself again, Duncan realizes he doesn’t want Mark to leave. He’s not sure if can get Mark to let go of his fears so they can stay together and love. But Duncan’s damned sure going to try.


Text Links:







noh8Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination.  She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble.  Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States.  She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics.  She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

Website  ◊ FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads




Cover reveal! Beautiful boy by Grace Duncan

Beautiful boy_Final

Link @ Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7068

Beautiful boy Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, M/M Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Cover artist: Aaron Anderson 104,000 words Release date: 11/20

If Kyle can get past his fears, he could see what his beloved Master Mal does: a beautiful boy that deserves his collar–and heart.



Malcolm Tate hung up his flogger when his submissive sought out another Dom and landed in the hands of a serial killer. Convinced his lack of dominance sent his sub away, Mal has spent two years blaming himself for what happened. But when his best friend finally convinces him to go back to the local dungeon, Mal’s grateful. Especially when he wins beautiful, submissive, firmly-closeted Kyle Bingham in a charity slave auction.

College grad Kyle hasn’t earned enough to move out of the loft his conservative, homophobic parents bought, much less to buy any of the other things still in their name. When he’s won at auction by the hot, amazing Mal, he’s shocked that anyone would want him. No one else seemed to—not his parents, his former Doms, or any of his disastrous dates.

But Mal does want him and Kyle lets his guard down, only to be outed to his parents. With his world crashing down, he must find a way to trust Mal—and their developing relationship—or risk losing everything.


Author bio:

noh8Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination.  She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble.  Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States.  She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics.  She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

Website  ◊ FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads


Beautiful Ambiguity

So one of the great things about spending 800 miles in a car with two talented authors is that you get to talk about fun writing stuff. One thing we discussed on the way back from San Diego is how important it is not to spell out every little thing when writing. Leave some questions unanswered, leave some details unexplained.

One of my favorite genres to read is magical realism. In magical realism, weird stuff happens and the author never says why. Forgive me for quoting Wikipedia, but here’s a good explanation:

Authorial reticence is the “deliberate withholding of information and explanations about the disconcerting fictitious world”.[12] The narrator is indifferent, a characteristic enhanced by this absence of explanation of fantastic events; the story proceeds with “logical precision” as if nothing extraordinary took place.[13][14] Magical events are presented as ordinary occurrences; therefore, the reader accepts the marvelous as normal and common.[15] Explaining the supernatural world or presenting it as extraordinary would immediately reduce its legitimacy relative to the natural world. The reader would consequently disregard the supernatural as false testimony.

I think part of what appeals to me about this sort of ambiguity in literature is that it echoes real life. Every day, things happen and we don’t know why. For example, my iPhone can do all sorts of amazing things, and I don’t have a clue how. Yes, I know science could explain it all, but I don’t need or want those explanations–I just want to take photos and tweet and text and check my email and do all the other stuff I do. Airplanes are another good example. Yes, physicists can tell us all about lift and propulsion and stuff, but I don’t have to understand any of it to fly across the world.

As for leaving questions unanswered, life does that too. Lots of important stuff–Why am I here? How long do I have? What makes other people tick? Speculating on those issues keeps us busy.

And ambiguity isn’t only real, it’s beautiful. Consider this from my garden:


How long will these blooms last? When will the other buds open? Have these flowers been visited by hummingbirds yet? Has some of the pollen on those anthers been transferred to a waiting pistil? Is the plant receiving the precise mixture of sunlight, moisture, and nutrients to bring out its best? Will my husband wipe the whole thing out during his next overly-ambitious weeding effort? Dunno. But my lack of knowledge doesn’t make the blossoms any less beautiful.

When you read some of stories, you may find that I haven’t explained everything. How did the magic work in Phoenix? What exactly was the officer in Motel. Pool.? What kind of future might be in the cards for an ex-con and a 4000-year-old Mesopotamian vampire? Fill in the blanks with your imagination. Find a little beauty in the parts left unsaid.


Report from GRL ’15

Okay, first off, let me say that if you must drive over 400 miles–twice–much of it through the central valley and some through (shudder) LA, you need to drive with Christopher Koehler and Amy Lane. I mean, you already know that they’re talented writers, but they are also funny and kind and whip-smart. Oh, and none of has have conflicted musical tastes. So the trek to and from San Diego was way more fun and way less boring than I’d dreaded when I thought I’d be driving alone.

GayRomLit was in San Diego this year, right on Mission Bay. I got to share a room with the lovely Charlie Cochet and the equally lovely Barb. This was our view:


That’s the bay. The ocean was just a few blocks away. It made for great scenery when Eli Easton and I went for a walk.

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I had swag to give away, including some really cool necklaces. Catherine Dair made the art and my sister made the necklaces.

016 034

Here are a few more wonderful people: Venona Keyes, Morticia Knight, CJane Elliott,  Wendy Rathbone, ZAllora Allora, Shira Anthony, Jessica Freely, and Jules.

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Oh, and these guys. 🙂


One evening, I joined a great group for an excursion to old town Sacramento, where we wandered and ate Mexican food. Left to right: K.C. Burn, Tara Lain, Eli Easton, lyric, and CJane Elliott.


It was a fantastic several days, filled with old friends and new. Next year? Kansas City.

And on the drive back, we saw a giant strawberry/lemon.








Eat Your Alligator!: Motel. Pool.

~~For an explanation of Eat Your Alligator!, click here~~

Paranormal romances are popular, yet I know a lot of readers don’t like ghost stories. I’m not sure why. Maybe they’re doubtful that the characters can achieve a HEA if one of them is a ghost. Maybe readers think it’s impossible for the spectral set to enjoy a satisfying sex life.

Motel.PoolFSIf you’ve found yourself in the anti-phantom camp, consider trying my Motel. Pool. Sure, Jack died several decades before Tag was born. I’m not gonna lie–that does put a bit of a crimp in things. But can you trust me to find a way to give these guys a happy ending anyway? And also to make sure that along the way, Jack and Tag enjoy some special–and very physical–intimate times together?

If you’re willing to give this one a shot, I can offer you side benefits. There are some minor characters I’m really fond of, particularly biker dude Buddy (who makes a cameo in Rattlesnake). And there are some wonderfully gritty settings–the abandoned ruins of an Arizona motel, a seedy Las Vegas fleatrap, a crappy downtown casino. The kinds of places where ghosts seem inevitable, really.

I got the inspiration for this book when my husband surprised us with a road trip to the Grand Canyon, followed by a few days in Vegas. I love the way the story came together and I think maybe you will too. Oh, and that gorgeous cover is by Paul Richmond.

So eat your alligator, and give a ghost a try.

You can find Motel. Pool. at Amazon, Dreamspinner, and other booksellers.

Spirit_postcard_front_DSPOh, and if you discover you like sexy ghosts? preorder Spirit, which releases October 19.


Eat your alligator!

alligatorMy younger daughter is a picky eater. I mean, she won’t eat rice. How can you not like rice? And even some foods that she does like, she’ll eat only in particular forms. She’s cool with French fries and potato pancakes, but not mashed or baked. She likes spaghetti, but only with olive oil or alfredo, not regular tomato-based spaghetti sauce. She loves raw tomatoes, though.

Luckily, many of the things she does like are good for her, or relatively so. Almost all fruits. Carrots and asparagus. Bread. Grilled chicken (no sauce, though). So she’s not likely to suffer from malnutrition. Still, it can be frustrating trying to cater to her preferences while meeting her nutritional needs and pleasing the rest of the family as well.

But here’s the thing. This summer, we ate at a New Orleans-style restaurant in Seattle. My older daughter, who’s a considerably more adventurous eater (unless veggies are involved), ordered an alligator sandwich. She liked it. But there must have been something in the air that day, because the younger kid very uncharacteristically decided she wanted to try the alligator too. She had a big bite of her sister’s sandwich–and loved it. Now, having apparently settled on a Cajun theme, she’s clamoring to try frogs’ legs.

All of which is a very long-winded introduction to a new blog theme. Eat Your Alligator! My aim is to try to tempt you to try something a little out of your comfort zone, book-wise. A new genre. A new theme. Maybe you think you’d never enjoy a shifter book but I can lure you in with a hipster architect werewolf. Maybe you think you hate hate historicals but you’d really enjoy something set in 15th century Bosnia.

I’ll begin next week by pimping one of my own books, a ghost story for people who can’t stand ghosts. But I would also be really thrilled to get your recs. What’s a story you read that you think will please those who are gun-shy? Name your alligator! Please comment below or email me (dephalqu@yahoo.com).