Coming October 1st….

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I am so excited about this anthology! Look who my fellow authors are!! And the scrupulously fair alphabetical listing gives me second billing, lol!

My story is called “Introducing Mr. Winterbourne

 

Lysander Winterbourne appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, amiable, and a renowned sportsman, he is the darling of London society. As far as Adam Freeman is concerned though, Lysander is just another spoiled aristocrat.

A wealthy mill owner, Adam has no time for the frivolous world of the ton, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to Althea Winterbourne, he reluctantly agrees to be introduced to society–with the Winterbourne clan’s golden boy as his guide.

Resigning himself to a few days of boredom, Adam is surprised to learn that there is much more to Lysander than his perfect surface. But will Adam have the courage to introduce Lysander Winterbourne to his own secret self?

 

By the way, all proceeds from this anthology will be donated to AllOut.org in celebration of LGBT History Month, October 2014 – I’ll add buy links once available.

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Noo book… an excerpt

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Bryn took a deep breath, then rose smoothly into the air. Flying took a lot of concentration—flying slowly and hovering were even harder. These were impossible feats in the real world, and undertaking the impossible in Somnus required a dreamwalker to achieve a complete disconnection from his real-world self. It took huge mental effort, and that was not something Bryn had ever really excelled in. While he had a certain natural ability that had put him ahead of other new dreamwalkers when he’d first arrived in Somnus,  he’d later found it difficult to develop those natural abilities to the higher level Dylan and Finn had achieved.

Today, though, Bryn’s elevation was smooth, and he managed a controlled glide over the treetops as he carefully scanned the ground below.

At last he came upon Laszlo, sitting on the ground in the middle of a clearing, his head bowed, his hand worrying at something round his neck. The man was like no dreamwalker  Bryn had ever seen, nor any drone. He sat there, alone, seemingly without purpose, without desire. He looked to be all at sea, at the mercy of tides he could not control and didn’t understand.

Bryn had just been telling Dylan he’d been an emotional, impulsive kid, and the truth was he was still like that, still lacking in control. His impulsiveness hadn’t come to an end that day with the dogs. No, he’d continued to make stupid decisions all through his adult years, both here and in the real world. The only difference now was that, these days, he was more consumed by regret afterwards.

Now that stupidity came on him again, and instead of shifting away when he saw the man who’d tried more than once to capture him in Somnus, he lowered his body a few feet from above the treetops to a lower elevation, coming to a halt on one of the stout upper branches of a sturdy tree.

Sitting himself down on that broad wooden limb, Bryn waited for Laszlo to notice him.

At first, Laszlo didn’t react to his presence at all, but after a while, his dark head lifted, in the way a dog’s head lifts when it scents something, and in one fluid movement, he stood up, unfolding his long limbs, and looked around.

Then up.

When he spotted Bryn, his expression transformed. One moment it was no more than vaguely curious, the next it was intensely yearning.

“It’s you!” he said, and his voice cracked on the words.

“Hello, Laszlo,” Bryn said, mouth dry, heart thudding with fear and something else—anticipation, maybe. “Do you remember me today?”

Laszlo Grimm regarded him unhappily. Then he shook his head.

“No,” he said. “Do I know you? I feel as though, perhaps—”

His gaze locked with Bryn’s, and something flickered in his eyes. The next instant, his expression went strangely flat and he was launching himself at the tree, grabbing the lowest branch and swinging himself up before reaching for the next one, climbing so quickly that panic sent Bryn soaring upwards again, scratching himself on the branches above in his hurry to get way.

He only slowed when he was well above the canopy, wondering sickly if Laszlo could fly too, and if he did, how fast he would be.

He knew he should shift away now, be done with the man.

Instead he watched Laszlo climb ever higher, swallowing against his own dread but helpless to avert his gaze as the man balanced on a branch that looked far too flimsy for his bulk, then bent his knees with the plain intention of launching himself into the air at Bryn.

Shit, he’s actually going to do it!

And he did.

Laszlo leapt into the ether, his vivid blue gaze fixed on Bryn, electric bright with determination. For the briefest instant, Bryn thought the man was going to succeed. His body rose far beyond what any drone could ever manage, and for an instant, he hovered, reaching his hand towards Bryn, who floated ten or more feet above him.

Then he dropped.

He fell backwards, his face morphing from triumph to shock in the moment before it disappeared into the canopy of leaves, and then there was only the thwap and crack of branches as he crashed through the upper boughs, and the final sickening thud as he hit the ground.

In the eerie silence that followed, Bryn could only hear his own panicked breaths.

He knew he should shift away right now, while Laszlo was incapacitated, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Slowly, carefully, he lowered himself through the trees, stopping a few feet from the ground to hover anxiously above Laszlo, who lay very still on his back, his eyes open but unfocused.

“Laszlo,” Bryn murmured. The other man stirred a little, then moaned as though in pain, and Bryn had to suppress the urge to move closer. Instead he forced himself to stay where he was and watched, his anxiety only beginning to ease when, eventually, Laszlo slowly sat up. When he spotted Bryn, he tried to rise, only to fall back with a groan.

“Do you recognise me now?” Bryn asked. “Do you know who I am?”

Laszlo frowned, thinking hard, but didn’t answer immediately. “I think I’ve been waiting for you,” he said at last. “For a long time, maybe.” He struggled to his knees.

“We’ve met before,” Bryn said, his voice a little pleading.

“I don’t remember,” Laszlo replied. He was back on his feet now and looking up, his vivid gaze growing determined. He’d leap again, Bryn knew. And again and again. He would just keep coming.

Time to go.

The waves began to shush in Bryn’s ears.

“I wish you could remember me,” he said, barely able to hear his own voice.

He saw Laszlo’s mouth move as he answered, but the waves drowned out the words…

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New cover!

This will be released 2nd December 2014… See last post for the blurb… Coming next: excerpt.

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New book blurb and a few updates

It’s been a summer of deadlines and events and consequently, I’ve been pretty offline and not good at updates. But the next book is complete!

It’s called The Dream Alchemist and will be released by Samhain on 2nd December 2014. It’s book 1 in the Somnus series with 3 planned books, however, unlike with the Enlightenment trilogy, book 1 will be a complete romance and books 2 and 3 will feature different MCs. See blurb below.

(The proposed cover looks great but hasn’t yet been approved – I hope to post that very soon along with an excerpt).

 

When the sun goes down, their passion awakens…and so do their nightmares. 

Centuries ago, a man with Bryn Llewelyn’s dreamwalking ability would have been a shaman or a priest. In this time, he’s merely exhausted, strung out on too much caffeine and too little sleep.

Sleep means descent into Somnus—an alternate reality constructed of the combined dreaming consciousness of ordinary humans. A place he’d rather avoid. Trouble is, his powers don’t include the ability to go without sleep indefinitely. At some point his eyes close…and his nightmare begins.

As a teen, the treatment that cured Laszlo Grimm’s sleep disorder stole his dreams—and his ability to feel emotion. Petrified of needing more “treatment”, he clings to familiar rituals and habits. But lately his nightly terror has returned, and when he meets Bryn in the real world, the man seems hauntingly familiar. Not only that, Bryn awakens feelings in Laszlo for the first time in years…

Slowly Bryn and Laszlo realize they are both unknowing pawns in a plan of unspeakable evil. And that their powerful attraction could release the destinies locked within them—or be the instrument of their doom.

 

There will be two other novellas this year, a historical M/M in October 2014 entitled Introducing Mr. Winterbourne and an as-yet-untitled contemporary festive story which will probably come out in late November 2014. Both of these will appear in anthologies with other exciting M/M authors!

What else? Oh, well, I’ve added a couple of pages to this site: Coming Up - which is basically this post – and Eva’s stuff - which gives details of some short (sekrit!) titles I published under another name.

I’ve also got about half a dozen blog posts I’d love to write brewing in my head – about all the amazing books I’ve read lately and my general thoughts on life and reading and writing. Realistically, I know these won’t all happen, but this one I plan to write for sure: a follow up to this post about revelation of the self, inspired by reading the superb anthology Stitch (Kim Fielding, Jamie Fessenden, Eli Easton, Sue Brown) and written to the soundtrack of Prince Johnny by St. Vincent.

Till then, mes amies!

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Don’t be a stranger

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Next weekend, I’m doing something new and different for me: I’m going to the UK GLBT fiction meet in Bristol.

I’ve been to conferences before, but not writing-related conferences. And not, crucially, as me, only than as a representative of someone or something else.

Never, never with the expectation (or at least, hope) of enjoying myself.

I’m going to this conference as an author, but I’m going as a reader too. There are some writers I really adore going: Jordan Castillo Price, Harper Fox, K J Charles, J L Merrow – loads of others too. People I just want to say ‘thanks’ too. And ‘how did you get that idea?’ And quiz them about their process.

I also want to talk to readers, as fellow readers. I want to talk about the stuff I like to read and what drives me insane and what just *gets* me right in the gut. Why I read what I read. The compulsion of it, and the pleasure. The ‘money shots’ of romance and why they are powerful. The best reading moments I’ve experienced. What reading means to me. Actually, more than anything, I think it’s this that I look forward to.

I’ve been experiencing that back and forth through the online romance community for the last 7 or 8 years. More than anything else, it was that that got me (and kept me) writing, so to have these conversations face to face will be the greatest of all treats.

I’ve never met any of the other attendees of this conference in real life and that’s a wee bit daunting but I’m packing two pairs of big girl pants to be safe. Two pairs of big girl pants and 150 swag bag thingys and a handful (literally an handful) of copies of Provoked in print.

I’ll see you there, maybe.

Don’t be a stranger, ok?

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I Reader, werewolf edition

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I have a weakness for werewolves stories.

I’ve read lots of non-wolf shifter stories too, but while I’ve enjoyed some of them, none of them work as well for me as a good old fashioned lycan.

Unfortunately, I can count on probably two (maybe three) hands the number of werewolf books I’ve actually really liked and I’ve read loads that have been unsatisfying. Why do I keep doing this to myself? I suppose I’m hunting for that elusive ‘something’ that’s really got me in the books I’ve loved.

And what is that something? i think it’s something about wildness, otherness. It can take different forms – a compelling portrayal of animal nature, a genuine strangeness or ‘off’ feeling – but something that shifts (yeah!) my perception of the world and/or characters I’m reading about. I hate hate hate reading characters who are regular folks who happen to shift. What’s the point?

There’s something, too, for me in the world building. I’m not keen on books set in werewolf communities that read like small town romances, with werewolf couples double dating and having community parties or generally being pillars of some werewolf community. To be honest, I’m not even very keen on ones that are all full of laws and customs and stuff. Not big on sonorous explanations of rituals by ‘healers’ or shamans whatever. And too much alpha beta gamma delta exposition makes me sigh.

At which point you are probably thinking: THIS is someone who claims to like werewolf romance? Seriously?

Yes. I am perfectly serious.

I like fucked up wolves. I like characters who are falling apart at the seams because they can’t cope with their recent transformation or because werewolf life is so hard or because they’re forced into a situation that is somehow untenable for them. I want to believe that this is a person character whose actual body has broken apart and re-formed in a new shape. I want to see their two sides, two forms, two natures. I want it to be hard and messy and painful and glorious and joyful and compelling.

So, in this regard, I like:

- the animal savagery and unswervingness of Clay in Bitten by Kelley Armstrong;

- the brutality and short life expectancy of werewolf society in Mathilde Madden’s Silver Werewolves trilogy; and most recently…

- the anxiety and danger and fear that surrounds the transformation of Axton in Winter Wolf and City Werewolf by S P Wayne

These last – the Wayne books – these I have greatly enjoyed, despite a fair bit of POV weirdness and quite a few typos in book 1 (happily largely cleared up by book 2). Plus I liked these books for lots of other reasons than the werewolf aspects – the richly drawn characters, the dialogue, the … the patience of the relationship development.

But this most of all: Axton, an anxious canine, circling, too stressed to change, barking at nothing.

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A winner, and a thank you (I’m talking to you, Susan Lee!)


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Congratulations, Liv Rancourt, winner of the blog tour prize of all 3 books in the Enlightenment trilogy and a $10 ARe gift certificate, courtesy of the wonderful, supportive and all round fantastic Susan Lee of Boys In Our Books.

Thank you, Susan! Your support and enthusiasm for this series has been amazing and infectious. I am so glad to have gotten to know you over these last months – looking forward to meeting you soon. You are an awesome force for good in the world!

Joanna x

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I’m talking about David and Murdo’s journey…

Over at Joyfully Jay’s today. Pop over for a chance to win all three books and a gift voucher!

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May 10, 2014 · 7:56 pm

Enlightened is finally out! Today!

So exciting…

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You can buy it at:

Samhain

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble

 

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Stop 2 on the Enlightened mini tour…

Lovely lovely review from Laura at The Tipsy Bibliophile and a fab looking recipe for buckwheat, blueberry and maple scones (which I know for a fact David and Murdo would greatly enjoy for breakfast).

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