Day 4 pre-GRL Denver Botanic Gardens, Eggs Benedict, and More Divinity #GRLRetreat2017

Day 4 of pre-GRL. We had an outing to the Denver Botanic Gardens, Eggs Benedict for lunch, and I finished the Divinity. But first, another picture from the house. It’s a rose. One of my favorite flowers.

 

We went to the Denver Botanic Gardens as well. I took over 200 pictures with my point-and-shoot camera, so I’m having to uploaded them to Google Photos. There are a couple where S and M are in them. Mostly the gardens. Link below. The picture below is the English and Spanish maps and two cards S bought me from the gift shop. The Spanish map was given to me first. I was amused.

GRL 2017 Denver Botanic Gardens
https://photos.app.goo.gl/f5kXrN6186KG6WRA3

 

We had Eggs Benedict this afternoon with home made holandaise sauce. Well, I had it with Canadian bacon while M and S had it with Avocado and spinach.

 

The final batches of Divinity. The two flat-looking ones are cherry Divinity. Not quite how they are supposed to look. I stirred them too fast with the mixer when I added the cherries. Still tastes good. Come to the impromptu foods from around the country/world sampling at 6 pm outside the Ballroom B/C at the Denver Tech Center tomorrow evening if you are there. If not, I’ll post more pictures. 🙂

 

Between the making of the white divinity and the cherry divinity, I took a nap. Yes, another nap. 🙂 And now, to send some photos to Piper Kay since she couldn’t make it to GRL.

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Aerie by Jon Keys (The Chinjoka Saga 01) #Spotlight #LGBT #Romance #Fantasy #NewRelease #Giveaway #Rafflecopter

Title:  Aerie

Series: The Chinjoka Saga, Book One

Author: Jon Keys

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: February 19, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 77900

Genre: Fantasy, NineStar Press, LGBT, shifters, magic, gods, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, slow burn

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Synopsis

Askari, Dhala, and Gyam grew up as childhood friends during happier days for the Chinjoka, an Iron Age people with the ability to shapeshift, but now they must learn their place among the tribe while dealing with both a devastating plague and war with the Misiq.

Ena is a young warrior for the more savage Misiq, a tribe whose cruelty exemplifies their deity—the Angry God. The Misiq, also shifters, have declared a genocidal war against the Chinjoka, blaming them for the disease devastating both tribes. As a result, they are locked in a battle for survival. But when Ena is shown compassion by those he means to harm, he begins to question all he’s ever known.

A chance meeting changes their lives, and maybe their tribes, forever.

Excerpt

Aerie
Jon Keys © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Dhala’s world overflowed with desperation as he filled a bowl with crystalline water trickling along the edge of the sky portal for Gyam’s aerie. His attempt to spot Gyam in his flyer form was thwarted by the dense early spring fog that limited the visibility of the surroundings. Even the river running along the cliff was hidden from Dhala’s sharp eyes.

Assigned to be the Saat responsible for the last two Athru, Dhala took his worker caste’s responsibility of caring for Gyam and Choro with much weight, especially since Choro was in the final throes of the deadly plague that had devastated the Chinjoka over the last few cycles. As Choro’s health diminished ever more rapidly, Dhala and Gyam had become ever more desperate until, before first light, Gyam had left on the final attempt to gain their friend and mentor more time.

A gust sent a spray onto Dhala’s face and moistened the nest of short curls framing it. With the bowl having long ago been filled, he wiped the water from his skin and sighed.

“You can’t will him to travel faster, Dhala.”

Startled from his dower mood, he grabbed the bowl of fresh water from the trickle and moved to Choro’s side. “I’m so sorry. I was lost in thought.” He dropped a soft piece of trade cloth into the liquid, squeezed it almost dry, and ran it over the man’s face. Choro’s labored breathing echoed through the room, a symptom of how far the disease had progressed. Dhala found some solace knowing they’d had no new cases for a cycle. But sadness overwhelmed him each time he allowed himself to consider Choro losing his battle against the sickness.

With a hand withered to little more than talon and sinew, Choro caught his wrist. “Dhala, I’m neither fevered nor in need of cleaning. We both know my time is limited. Gyam set himself on this task hoping to change my fate, but this sun cycle is likely my last.”

Dhala scrubbed the tears from his face and scowled at the feeble figure lying before him. With a fierce determination, he grabbed the older man’s hand between his. “Choro, you will live. Gyam will find an osa herd, and the fresh meat will give you the strength to last until we discover a healing.” Dhala glanced out the cave opening to the fog-swathed valley that stretched to the forests surrounding Mother Falls high in the mountains to the north. Nothing of Gyam was visible, but he turned to Choro filled with a stubborn glint. “Soon. He must return soon.”

Choro lay back with a rattling breath. “Fledgling, we have not cured what is killing the Chinjoka in all the cycles since it began. Each caste suffered losses. Once I am gone, Gyam is the last Athru. None of the fledglings show signs of the Athru change, and the responsibilities weigh heavily on Gyam.”

Dhala dropped his gaze as Choro reminded him of his greatest shame. But there was a gentle touch on his chin, and he lifted his head. He took the elder’s hand in his, and Choro smiled sadly.

“It’s no fault of yours that you never left the Saat caste. The Father of the Twins decides who takes to the sky, who are the protectors, and who cares for others. We are all born with the abilities of the Saat, and many become able to shift to the protective plates of the Onija. But the few who are gifted with the faculty to shift into one of the Chinjoka flyers guard us from the sky. We all stop where the Father decrees.”

Dhala sighed again but released Choro and moved the bowl aside. The elder was right. Dhala needed to accept his place and the disappointment of never becoming one of the Athru caste as his father always believed he would. He would never develop the stone-hard plate of the Onija, much less the ability to become the taloned and winged protector of the Chinjoka.

Dhala’s father held several unique beliefs, including that the earthbound Saat were as important as the soaring Athru. When he was a child, Dhala spent many hours with his friends, climbing the precipice above the village as the Athru flyers glided across the azure sky. He’d loved the time among the heights, regardless of the season, but warm summer mornings were his favorite. By afternoon, the sun would heat the rocks, making them uncomfortable, but during the early mornings, the breeze coming from the warming grasslands northward to the cutleaf forest made it easy to imagine what flight over the last Chinjoka settlement would be like.

He glanced again to the outside, thrilled at the rays of sun cutting through the dawn haze and bringing the river far below them into sharper relief. The dry-fit stone wall that formed the flight path for this aerie glowed with the golden light of morning.

“He’s fine. Gyam is the strongest Athru I’ve met during my time in the aeries. When the Father takes me, he will need your help.”

Choro’s reference to the afterlife made Dhala cringe. He and Gyam had been determined to heal Choro of the plague since his first symptoms. Anyone who’d shown signs of the disease had left on the Long Flight with no exceptions. Dhala lost far too many of his friends, as had most of the Chinjoka. But when Choro showed the difficulty breathing that was the typical first symptom, Dhala fought with ferocious determination to save his friend and advisor. Choro’s downward spiral caused Dhala and Gyam to drift apart. They’d been among the best of friends since they were fledglings, but Choro’s terminal condition left Gyam bitter and unpredictable.

The result might be different if their only Athru healer hadn’t been one of the first to die. Others tried to find a cure, including his mother who was a well-versed Saat healer. The failure to determine a cure made people doubt their skills and, in some cases, blame the spread of the disease on the Saat healers. Regardless of the truth, no healer had been successful, and most had stopped their efforts, for fear they might be blamed.

“He comes.”

Dhala glanced at Choro, who nodded toward the aerie’s sky portal. An instant later, the slow beat of wings came closer. Dhala swept the room with his gaze and found everything to his satisfaction. He moved close as Gyam landed on the rock opening. Dhala couldn’t keep from gasping in awe any time he saw Gyam.

Each smooth wing was as long as Dhala’s height. The muscles across his shoulders and down his torso flexed with each swipe of his webbed appendages. Dhala stepped away when Gyam thrust his elongated muzzle toward him and screamed a high piercing call, demanding attention. Dhala wanted to clasp his hands over his ears but knew instead he would do as Gyam demanded. Gyam tensed and released another scream.

Dhala dashed forward and grabbed the blood-dripping osa heart from Gyam’s taloned hand. The fresh organ from the small grazer still quivered with the final throes of life. He rushed to Choro’s side, ignoring Gyam’s cry.

He knelt beside the older man and offered him the fist-sized heart. Choro preferred the meat of the smaller grazers, and a freshly harvested heart was a special treat. Both Dhala and Gyam hoped it would give him more strength, but Dhala feared it was Choro’s last meal. More of Choro’s presence in this world disappeared with each breath.

But he wouldn’t give up hope. Dhala arranged Choro’s bedding to make him as comfortable as possible while he enjoyed the treat. Choro sank his teeth into the morsel with clear relish as blood coated his fingers. Dhala couldn’t help but smile at the elder attacking the tidbit with the same enjoyment as a fledgling with a sweet treat. A short time later, Choro finished and glanced around him.

Dhala squeezed out the cloth he’d been using earlier and handed it to Choro, who took it with a grin and wiped himself clean. Once he’d finished, he lay back on the bed, closed his eyes, and sighed.

His voice rolled across the room. “Delicious, Gyam. That was the best osa I’ve eaten in many seasons.”

Dhala glanced over his shoulder to find Gyam in the midst of his change from his Athru form. The webbing was absorbing into wings, which were disappearing into Gyam’s muscular body, and interlocking scales were becoming supple skin as Gyam left the form marking him as Athru. Dhala relished the beautiful body being revealed to him. When front paws and talons became work-roughened hands, Gyam made his final shift to leave his Athru form and stood nude behind him. Dhala tried not to stare but lost his struggle. Usually, Gyam covered himself, but today, he held his loincloth in one hand while watching Choro. His stout, muscular body demanded Dhala’s attention until he realized how inappropriate he was being, especially given Gyam’s current state. Dhala was painfully aware of the attraction he’d had for Gyam since they’d both grown beyond fledglings, but he would keep his role as Saat for Gyam and Choro during his time of sorrow for them all.

He wrenched his gaze to the ailing man and got a smile and quick wink. Caught staring at Gyam, Dhala dropped his attention to the floor. A slight rustling served as warning when Gyam walked past him, making the last tie on his loincloth before kneeling at the side of Choro’s pallet.

“Elder, how are you feeling? Did the osa help?” Gyam asked.

Choro smiled and tapped Gyam’s cheek. Gyam grinned, and Dhala caught a glimpse of his friend from cycles past. He leaned in to give Choro a kiss on each cheek, but Choro’s gaze included both of them.

“It was warm and delicious, exactly what I needed. We must be honest. In spite of all your work, there is no cure. I am not long for this flight. My wings are tattered and bones are brittle. I will soon be with my mate. Both of you must accept this.”

Hot tears rolled down Dhala’s cheeks as he listened. He knew the truth of Choro’s assessment. His body was failing. Dhala’s gut twisted with grief, and a sob leaked from his lips.

Gyam turned on Dhala and snarled. His face elongated and his canine teeth grew as his emotions overtook his body. But before anything happened, Choro spoke.

“That’s enough, Gyam. You two stretched my life further than any of the others who have fallen victim to this illness. For that, I thank you. But the time is here.”

Gyam motioned at Dhala as he spoke. “He’s given up. He’s letting you die.”

Choro glared and sat up. Dhala scrambled to change his bedding to make it easier, but Choro waved him away. The movement threw Choro into a coughing spell that left him gasping for air.

“Please, Elder. Don’t strain yourself. I will do as you wish,” Gyam said.

Choro again motioned them off, but not before Dhala saw the flecks of blood on his lips. He lacked none of the weight of his role as elder Athru when he turned to Gyam.

“You will be the last Athru. You need your friends. You have been together with Dhala since you both ran free of clothing during the warm moons. You’ve protected and guarded each other through your time together. Now you have let this come between you, and it must stop. Dhala is your friend even though he is Saat. You have grown up together and must regain your ability to work together. Athru, Saat, or Onija, you are all Chinjoka. This disease has almost destroyed our people. So many have died, and only one village remains. You must rebuild the people. You cannot succeed without all three castes who make up the Chinjoka.”

Choro lapsed into another coughing fit. This one left him flat on his bed, sweating and gasping for air. He covered his eyes with an arm and tried to breathe. A morning breeze curled around them, bringing a mix of scents of the Chinjoka Basin, from the verdant growth of the shortgrass plains in the south to the crisp scent of the great cutleaf trees nourished by the Pilea River. The single wisp of air reminded Dhala of everything at stake for the Chinjoka nation. Dhala moved closer, pushing an immobile Gyam aside. He checked Choro’s pulse and found a weak thread. He ran his hands down the older man’s neck, but halfway along his path, Choro grabbed his wrists with the strength of a failing butterfly. The silent command left no doubt. He met Dhala’s gaze and nodded.

“Soon. But not now.” His gaze moved to encompass both of them. “You look like the gods are testing you. Both of you should rest, but I know neither of you will listen. I plan to sleep and won’t argue with either of you any further.”

With that, Choro sank into his bed and closed his eyes. Dhala waited but worried. He moved when Choro parted his lips.

“If you check my heartbeat, Dhala, I will hurt you in ways to prevent any enjoyment with a mate for the rest of your life.”

Dhala drew away and turned at a snort from Gyam. His dark eyes twinkled as he looked at both Choro and Dhala. “He’s not making idle threats. Even as he is now. Come. We can build up the fire and plan the evening meal. I asked a group of Onija caste hunters to bring the osa carcass. We must be ready for its arrival.”

They had created a bed of glowing coals when a voice came from the passageway carved into the interior of the cliff as a way to reach the upper caves.

“I could use a little help here! Gyam picked the biggest Twins-blessed osa in the entire basin.”

Dhala recognized the voice as another of their friends. Askari was of the Onija caste and one of the most successful hunters among the Chinjoka, but as a warrior, he was unequaled in the village. The plates he formed as Onija were as strong as iron but as mobile as Dhala’s soft skin. Dhala should have known it would be him who retrieved Gyam’s kill. That the three of them had been inseparable since they began to walk made it even more certain that Askari would be the one who would retrieve Gyam’s take. Even though the Father had spread his gifts through the castes as they went through puberty, bodies changing in line with their castes, their friendships had remained. They rushed to the path and found Askari balanced precariously while gripping the carcass he’d thrown across one shoulder. Dhala moved down the first few steps, grabbed the carcass by the stag’s straight-spiraling horns, heaved it upward, and settled it onto his shoulder. Once the body was securely in place, he carried it into the aerie.

Askari followed a few steps behind him, and as they reentered, he spared a glance toward Choro’s sleeping form before turning to the other men. Dhala stripped to his breechcloth and used his long knife to cut openings in the hind legs’ tendons so he could hang the osa from the tripod kept for that purpose. With practiced knife work, he peeled the hide from one side while Gyam worked on the other. With a soft crackle, he pulled the skin loose around the neck and glanced toward Askari. The plates from his Onija shift were still prominently displayed over his torso and brow. While scales proved invaluable in protecting one from the Onija caste during battle or hunting, they limited Askari’s finger mobility. The limitation made tasks requiring fine dexterity more difficult. Askari maintained his distance from the work being done, but Dhala knew his friend too well to allow him to avoid the dirty work of butchering the carcass.

“Askari, wake up and shift back from your Onija form. You can help.” He gestured his knife toward Gyam. “We want osa for dinner. The rest needs to be spread on a drying rack.”

Askari closed his eyes and skewed his face in an expression Dhala recognized as he shifted from his warrior form. Once Askari began, it took little time before his skin was as smooth, flexible—and vulnerable—as Dhala’s. He flexed his fingers a few times before pulling his side knife. Askari’s skill with a blade was evident by the speed the meat was prepared. With the three of them working together, butchering proceeded with well-practiced efficiency. As often as the three of them had hunted together, they should be skilled at sharing the work.

Dhala checked on Choro and saw his chest rising and falling. Signs of life, even if his breathing was shallow, gave Dhala hope. He had the urge to evaluate further but considered Choro’s earlier threat. He found the others cleaning the osa blood from their hands. Askari held out the bowl of water he’d filled earlier.

“Here, use what’s left, and I’ll get more.”

Dhala nodded and let Askari pour the cool liquid over his hands. He rubbed them together to loosen the drying bits from his skin. Once that was done, Askari splashed more water onto Dhala’s hands. After a few repetitions, Dhala was clean, and the pottery bowl was empty. He dried himself on his tunic and nodded to Askari.

“Thank you. We appreciate your help.”

Gyam glanced up and one brow lifted. But a moment later, he returned to the task he was trying to complete. His knife flashed in the light as he sliced the loin free from the backbone, cut the meat into thick slices, and threaded them onto fire-hardened skewers before hanging them over crimson coals. The meat was soon sizzling and filled the aerie with delicious aromas.

They tended the meat, constantly turning it to get a perfect sear on all sides. But while they did, Dhala kept a continual watch on Choro. All three friends worked to carve what remained into thin strips and hang them from the drying rack Dhala put in the small fire’s draft. The sun approached its peak when they finished. The skewered loin had cooked to perfection. Askari had always claimed a talent for cooking. He’d often said if Gyam had no choice but to eat his own cooking, he would learn how to do a decent job with its preparation. The smells of food had Dhala’s stomach growling, but he checked on Choro first to see if he might be interested in eating.

He walked over and squatted beside Choro’s bed. When he leaned forward to shake him awake, Choro’s eyes fluttered open.

“I’m still here, Dhala. The aroma of cooking osa was enough to keep me. It smells delicious. I haven’t eaten a meal from Askari in too many moons.”

“You will enjoy his cooking many more—” Dhala’s throat tightened, and he could not complete what he and Choro both knew was a lie. The older man patted his hand and smiled sadly.

“I relish sharing this meal with you. Bring me a piece of that delicious meat, fledgling. Invite the others to join us. I think we’ll have the best meal we’ve had in seasons.” He studied Dhala and continued. “Be certain to put out an offering of the osa to the gods, especially the Father. Their favor is needed by all of us.”

Dhala rushed away, glad to be focused on anything other than Choro’s rapid decline. The others turned to him as he approached. He glanced at them as he brought his emotions under control.

“Choro says the meat smells delicious and would like for us to share the meal with him,” Dhala said.

Askari leaned closer and whispered, “How is he?”

Dhala motioned toward the sleeping area. “He asked me to assure the offerings from the successful hunt. I will take care of their placement on the fire. Go. Sit with Choro and enjoy sharing our meal with him.”

Dhala drew his blade and carefully sliced thick pieces from the osa’s mineral-rich liver. After adding more wood to the fire, he dropped the raw meat into the searing hot coals. As the scent of the roasting delicacy filled the aerie, Dhala began a simple chant of thanks every Chinjoka was taught before their first blooding. As the last of the flesh turned dark, a breeze blew across the fire, hiding it in the smoke. Once Dhala’s sight returned, no trace of the meat remained. He hesitated but then joined the others with a shake of his head.

The three young men gathered the food they had prepared and sat on the floor surrounding their elder. Dhala brought small drinking bowls, one for each of them, filled with clear water Askari had brought from the river while they cooked. The mood was somber; everyone had seen the disease progress too many times. Choro only nibbled at his meat before setting it to one side. He lowered himself into the bedding and stared toward the open sky as they finished the rest of the meal.

“There are so few of us left. I don’t know how the Chinjoka can survive. Our gods have deserted us and the sickness destroyed the tribe until we are tempting targets to our enemies,” Choro whispered. The others fell silent as they explored their own dark memories. Blood-laced saliva and the gradual failure of the victims’ ability to breathe were the symptoms burned into the memory of any Chinjoka. The number of people Dhala had eased onto their Long Flight left him numb. Even at his young age, he remembered when the plague began. Hysteria made a bad situation worse. Early, when so many were dying, terror ruled people’s actions. Saat healers suggested any possible cure or at least a way to stop its spread. Its progression was slow but always fatal. It didn’t seem to spread through contact. In many cases, some members of a family would not develop symptoms, while their fathers, mothers, brothers, or sisters perished. The Athru healer who might have been able to develop a cure died in the first wave of fatalities. Saat healers could do nothing, but ignorance and malice caused them to be blamed for the disease. The first season was devastating for the Chinjoka, physically and emotionally.

One village had thrown a Saat healer from the burial heights in a confused effort to gain attention from the Father. Choro, and the other Athru caste who lived then, championed the Saat healers. But people still feared the illness that was wiping out entire villages, and the healers’ fear of retribution led them to stop aiding, not only those afflicted with the plague but other diseases normally not considered serious. This caused more deaths, this time from lack of rudimentary healing. The last of the plague victims received the best possible care. But even with the finest healing, like Choro was given, the ending was too predictable. And too tragic.

The small group finished their meal, and Dhala cleared the remains, dropping them into the cooking fire. The other two sat near Choro to fulfill any request. Dhala studied them, trying to think of anything to make Choro more comfortable. But he’d done all he could. To give Dhala something to occupy his thoughts, he began the work of tanning the osa hide. First, he brought a frame from the storage room. He cut a thin strip from the outer edge of the skin and made small slits along the edge. With care, he laced the pelt to the frame, stretching it into place.

“You have a skill to appreciate, Dhala. Don’t forget others take note of your labor,” Choro said.

Dhala faltered at his task. Tears flowed again as he met the gaze of the elder. He broke contact to refocus on his task even though emotions overwhelmed him. One thing he had learned early in life, emotional and fragile Chinjoka suffered short and miserable lives. He nurtured the strength to continue even when overwhelmed with impending loss. This was no different as he focused on scraping the hide clean, fingerwidth by fingerwidth.

But his walls broke and loneliness poured into Dhala. Too overwhelmed to continue, he let his hands drop to his side as he wept. No one chastised him for his lack of control, even though it was certain everyone heard. His strength waned as his sorrow leaked out as salty tears.

A light touch shocked Dhala, and he turned to find Gyam standing beside him. He stiffened, expecting a reprimand. But no rebuke came. Gyam instead knelt beside him and hugged him. Dhala returned his embrace. During that moment, his friend since birth returned, and the formal Athru of recent seasons vanished.

“He will be fine. I think the fresh meat brought him new energy. He will recover. Don’t grieve for him.”

Dhala schooled his expression before meeting Gyam’s gaze. Unable to lie, he spoke a different truth. “I believe Choro is one of the strongest Chinjoka I’ve ever met. If anyone can conquer the disease killing us, it will be him.”

Gyam patted his shoulder and flashed a smile at Dhala.

“Exactly. Now, one of us will sit with him so we are close if he needs anything. Otherwise, we will continue our day.”

“Of course, Gyam.”

Dhala tried to add more, but his knowledge of the Saat healing was too limited to enable him to sense the state of Choro’s rapidly deteriorating health. He nodded and turned to his work.

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Meet the Author

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in, he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, Native American, westerns and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

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September by Robert Winter #audio #LGBT #romance #Spotlight #Giveaway

Title:  September

Format: Audiobook

Series: Pride and Joy, book 1

Narrator: Kale Williams

Author: Robert Winter

Publisher:  Robert Winter Books

Release Date: February 7th,  2018

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 10 Hours 01 Minutes

Genre: Romance, May December, hurt comfort, second chance

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Synopsis

A May-December contemporary gay romance for lovers of second chances

David James is smart, successful, handsome… and alone. After the death of his lover, Kyle, from cancer, he buried himself in his law practice and the gym. At forty-eight, he is haunted by his memories and walled off from the world. When David injures himself working out, he’s assigned to Brandon Smith for physical therapy. The vibrant young therapist is attracted to David and realizes he needs a hand to get back into dating. What begins as a practice coffee date escalates to friendship, passion, and maybe something more, as they navigate a new relationship in Washington, DC, and the gay mecca of Provincetown.

But David remains trapped behind the barrier of fear and guilt. Will he remain loyal to Kyle’s memory if he moves on? Can he and Brandon manage a twenty-two-year age gap? Brandon thinks he understands David’s concerns, and for him, the answer to those questions is yes. He wants to be with David, and he believes he can overcome David’s barriers. But Brandon fails to account for the world’s reaction to a handsome young man attached to an older, wealthy lover.

David’s memories, Brandon’s pride, and an unexpected tragedy might cost them something very special…

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September Sample

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Meet the Author

Robert Winter lives and writes in Provincetown. He is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants.

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Meet the Narrator

Kale Williams lends his voice to bring to life romance books of all stripes. Known for his distinct characterizations and natural intimate storytelling, he is as comfortable with the cowboys on the prairie as he is with the cops of the big city, from the slow burn to the hot steam to the HEA. Love is love is love.

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I’m on a roll and blog moving #musings #amwriting #brainstorming #bloggingworldproblems

 

Found this image on the internet. Not using a typewriter but a computer, but I thought it was cool. Yes, I’m writing now, as I and my co-author have time. We’re working on that story I posted about at the end of January. Not for the original submission but to submit to either a publisher or on our own when we’re done. We had a productive evening. Got some words written, a scene redone, and brainstormed a couple more chapters.

Unfortunately, I’ve been in pain for the better part of a couple of weeks, so a lot of things are going slowly. Thank goodness that work slowed a little last week so I could catch up on some of my non-billable stuff, and get looked at for all of the issues I have had. Got lots of dental issues that I’m working on this month with most of it dealt with by the beginning of March. Going to have to take some days off as they involve surgery. Not fun going under the knife twice. Last time I had roof-of-the-mouth surgery was when I was a teen revealing an impacted tooth for braces. The irony is not lost on me that one of the surgeries is to correct an abscess behind the same tooth… I’m getting old. Sigh. 🙂 But, I’m getting excited about writing more, so I’ll take it. Just have a few Real Life bumps along the way. Isn’t that how it always works out?

Looks like I’ll finish up some thoughts and a scene and then go take a pain pill and go to bed again. I took a nap earlier which is probably why I’m vertical now. Partners went to a friends party this evening so I expect they won’t be home until late. I will like be asleep, or wish I was, by then. Stupid pain.

I have some ideas bouncing around for another WIP my co-author and I were working on last year, or maybe the year before? Time has a tendency to slip by me when I work too much. Here’s hoping it don’t slam me again. I want to have time to finish a project. 😀 I plan to be more involved in writing. Next week will be signing up for GRL 2018, I hope. I plan on road-tripping to Virginia in October. If anyone in the area wants a ride we can work something out. Not sure what car I’m driving but likely a Prius. I do plan on bringing some books back…

Well, I’m going to sign off for the night. I’m going to try to update more often here. Note: I will be moving this blog from WordPress to my web hosted WordPress site eventually. For those that follow me, you will probably have to re-follow but I will keep everyone posted so you can jump on that when the time comes. This is so I can manage everything in one place and that http://blog.eloreenmoon.com/ actually stays and I don’t pay to redirect. 🙂 Anybody out there a WordPress guru and an help me move my blog? Cheaply? Struggling writer here. I’ve got most of it transferred with the free tools but having issues still, and haven’t had time to look into it again. Heck, I could use a webmaster as I need to do up my eloreenmoon.com website too. I figured I can deal with that after my blog moves. Anyway, contact me (social media, the blog contact form, or comment a contact here) if you can help or point me to tools that could work. WordPress and blog technology is driving me crazy. I’ve tried a couple but both sides (my domain host and WordPress) want money if they do it. Which, I’m leaning towards being fine with paying for it, but I don’t have it yet and I’d rather not pay WordPress. Maybe when some royalties come in. 😉 At least that is the plan this year.

OK, I’m really going to stop babbling. Here’s to a new writing year and getting things accomplished.

 

Eloreen

That was some excellent brainstorming. #amwriting

Whoa. I just finished a chapter of a new work in progress for a submission prompt due at the end of the month I’m writing with a friend and co-author. We did some brainstorming last weekend and today, started a document with the beginnings of the outline of the story, and then I added to it this afternoon/evening while she was doing another engagement.

I finished up work (on call, it happens) this evening, and felt the need for speed… writing. The need for writing. Sorry, bad movie puns. 🙂 I started around 10:30 pm, maybe earlier, and finished the first “chapter” 3 hours later. It’s rough. There will probably be lots of edits. But, it’s written. Almost 3000 words. Not bad for a rusty writer. *grin*

This feels really good. One of my goals this year (yeah, work has been rough so I haven’t posted much) is to write more and possibly get something published. I think my co-author and I might just make it this time. We’ll have to see how it plays out. Even if we don’t make the deadline for the original submission, we plan on finishing it anyway. How it gets published is anyone’s guess.

I’m going to stop now and go to sleep. Hopefully, my partner in crime will be available tomorrow to finish fleshing things out and we can get the proposal and 2-3 chapters ready to send. I feel good about this. Wish us luck and I’ll keep you posted on progress as I can.

Eloreen

Dark Hunter (Zeta Cartel #4) by @AuthorAJAdams @WTMOreads #DarkRomance #KindleUnlimited

 

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Dark Hunter by AJ Adams kindle cover.jpg

 

‌Dark Hunter ( Zeta Cartel #4)
By AJ Adams
Genre: Dark Romance
Standalone read, approx 100,000 words

 

$3.99

 
Blurb
Rip Marston is a merciless killing machine. After a decade of hunting his
prey, Rip joins the Zetas. The job offers protection as he practices his dark arts, but the Cartel are wary of the monster in their midst.
Finding a badly beaten unconscious girl, Rip sees an opportunity. Posing as
her saviour will please the cartel – and provide him with his very own helpless captive.

 

Isabella Maria Franco is beautiful, wilful and used to making hard choices.
Having grown up in the comfortable but lethal embrace of the Gulf cartel, she rejected a life of violence. But when a dark presence from her past returns, her world falls apart.
Betrayed and beaten, she escapes, only to find herself in a living nightmare.
Surrounded by her enemies, one man stands between her and death. Terrified by her sadistic captor, she has little choice but to submit.
But embracing his darkness leads to consequences neither anticipated.

 

WARNING: This bad boy dark romance contains explicit scenes of dubious consent,
graphic violence, sex and probably every trigger you can think of.

 

Dark Hunter by AJ Adams teaser 11 all orange text.jpg
 $3.99
Have you read all the Zeta Cartel novels?
Click to find at your favourite bookshop
small Los Zetas Cartel Collection (3 book series) 3d kindle by AJ Adams.jpg
About The Author
Author AJ Adams.jpg
AJ Adams is a Scottish-Dutch author currently living in Malaysia. In her regular
life she is a columnist and feature writer. She works from home, where she is closely snoopervised by cats, Target, Guido and Swooner.
Want to Stalk AJ Adams?

 

wTMO hostedby.jpg

Goodbye #GRL2017 Hello #GRL2018 #musings #amwriting #inspiration #tribe

A few days later than I wanted. Ok…Fine.  It has been  a week since my last update. Almost sounds like a confessional, doesn’t it?

I confess I had a great time at GRL 2017. *smile*

It was a whirlwind from the get go for this VirGRLin (as they label their newbies).

Friday, Day 2, started bright an early with breakfast around 8 ish and the Storyteller Series: “Liar, Liar Bad Boys on Fire: Trivia and Prizes” with Alexa Land, Charlie Cochet (THIRDS!), and Victoria Sue. It was a lot of fun. I got 16 tickets out of a possible 20! Almost won one of the three big prizes.

Here are the tickets and the black panther from Charlie’s stash that I did win.

 

I then went to a lot of author lounges. A LOT of authors. I met so many, I’m afraid I can’t name them all without help from the handy Guidebook app the retreat had. But that is boring and who wants to see a bunch a names. Needless to say, I did get some pictures with my favorite authors that I asked to have, but like the Cocky Boys the night before, I’m not going to post here.

 

There is this one gem that I’m going to have to find a full set from Chris Owens table. She was handing out random cards from this Tarot deck and I got one that has a space one. I thought I had a picture, but apparently I didn’t take a picture of it. Here is the box for the deck though. Will have to purchase that when I get a chance. I think it’s fabulous.

 

4 pm rolls around and I go another Storyteller Series: Rural Romance — Horse, Cattle, and Haylofts… OH MY!!!!! with Andrew Grey, Sylvia Violet, and Deanna Wadsworth. That was excellent fun and I love listening to their stories and there was a little game of Mad Libs, Dirty Author style. :0

I then meet with Dani, M, and S at 5 for dinner before the Rhys Ford-Jordan L. Hawk Reader meet up at 6 pm. 6:30 pm rolls around and we are finally leaving after paying the check. I did get pictures with Rhys and Jordan and thanked Jordan for the dinner the night before.

Then there was the entertainment portion of the evening with “For the love of Games 2017 Sponsored by the Ecstasy Books.” I had a lot of fun with BINGO but I was done by the time they went to the other games. I went back to the room, chilled for a bit, read some, and fell asleep. No writing but that’s ok.


Saturday, Day 3,  started fairly early but not as early as other days. This time, the last big hurrah for the Featured Authors in the massive open-to-the-public signed happened late morning.  J. Scott Coatsworth put a call out to attending non-authors, or authors not attending as authors, to see if they could help with the QSF/Queeromance Ink table during the featured signing on FB. I said I could but I needed to get the last of my pre-orders and meet a couple more authors before I could. Probably 30 min to an hour. Almost an hour later, I had finished my rounds and I sat down until the signing event finished at 12:30 pm MDT. Then it was off to the QSF Group luncheon at the Pint Brothers restaurant/bar in the hotel.

I had a great time meeting people and chatting with several of like-minded sci fi writers/readers around me. I finished with that and hung out somewhere that I can’t remember… I might have taken another nap. I’m not sure. It kind of started to blur together. I knew I should have written stuff down….

S had lost her car key the night before and hadn’t found it so we took a Lyft to the Hamburger Mary’s dinner Brandon Witt had setup prior to the retreat. That was fun and a few of my photos of that below.

 

I did have some of the crowd but I tend to err on the side of caution when posting pictures of people, even group shots, unless I know they are ok with it. We got a Lyft back to the hotel in time to get ready for the Wild Wild West themed costume party.

There were a lot of great costumes. Joel Leslie’s took the cake as a sexy Woody, and won the best costume prize. I understand he was the Tin Man last year. There were issues with someone who was accosted and almost had something worse happened but it was prevented by a really nice gentleman. I’m not going to say anything about that situation other than something went down as it’s not my business, other than being glad it was stopped before harm happened. It’s in the hands of the police now and they will take care of it.

Again, I stayed up way later than expected but I had a great time and actually danced three songs. I was tuckered out afterwards but it was great fun watching the people and the interesting interpretations of “cowboys” and the “west” people did. There were even horses and cows… even a Cactus…


Sunday, Day 4 and the last official day, started with S finding her car keys tucked into a seldom-used pocket in the strap of her backpack. Yay! It’s also the last hurrah with the GRL Farewell Brunch. Boo!!

Lots of people left today (some even the day before) but M, S, and I stayed until Monday. We had a great lunch with people at Pint Brother’s and then chilled out in the room. I believe I either read or napped until it was time to go to the Melting Pot with Lisa Henry, M, S, and I. We had a great time. Yes, that really is my fortune from a fortune cookie. M kindly held it so I could take a picture. I never had one at the Melting Pot before. I’ve only been to the Atlanta area ones. It says, “You’ll get candy corn stuck in your teeth.” Which is probably going to come true because it is one of my favorite Halloween candies. 😀 The dark and light pot is Yin Yang chocolate with dark and white chocolate. It was yummy. The other pot was  the cheese but apparently I didn’t get a good picture… The last picture is the front of the restaurant. I was a public library at some point.

We went back to the hotel that evening and all of us did our final packing. I got a spare suitcase earlier, from an author who didn’t need it anymore, to have enough room to pack my books and clothing. I did manage to get everything I could take and have both suitcases under 50 lbs each. Did have to pay the 2nd bag fee for Delta, but it was a little cheaper than shipping. I’ll probably take a picture of the horde of books I got once I finish unpacking. (Yes, as of this post, I hadn’t unpacked yet…)


Monday, S met with her daughter that was leaving the country for 4 months so left really early in the morning (like 5 am early). M and I caught a ride from the hotel with Kim Felding. Kim went on Southwest, I went to Delta, and M got dropped off at his airline that I have no idea how to pronounce, let alone spell. Starts with an L and if you are familiar with European airlines, you are doing better than I. M and I got through security and met up for just enough time to have a meal together before my flight was to leave. We took a last picture and I headed home.

The flight was uneventful but I did spend most of the time writing on my story that I had been earlier in the trip. That was great to do. I got home after dinner with my family around 10 PM EDT got the couple of gifts out that I had purchased (and the Divinity that I brought home). I had to go back to work the next day, and it’s been fairly busy ever since. Also, why it took me so long to type up a post on my travels.

We were told one night (I don’t remember which night, Thursday at the opening receptions probably) that next year’s GRL will be in Portsmouth, VA. At least one person in RGR lives not too far away and she is planning on going. Maybe we’ll get a few more of us to go. I figured out Monday night when I got home that the family doesn’t have plans so I’m going to drive there this time. It’s only 9 hours away, so doable. More books for me…

So, maybe I will see you there? If so, come find me. I’ll have a Hug Me button on from this year. Now, off to way too much stuff to do. Who knows, maybe I’ll go as a Supporting Author. Here’s to reaching for your dreams.

For more information on the retreat, visit here: https://www.gayromlit.com/. Right now, it has the 2017 information. Eventually, they’ll change it to the 2018 info once they have everything ready.

Eloreen

Day 5 pre-GRL and Day 1 GRL Migraines QSF On Writing #GRLRetreat2017

Day 5 pre-GRL was Wednesday, Octobert 18th, 2017. M, S, and I transferred to the Denver Marriott Tech Center for the official pre-GRL meetup before GRL starts on Thursday. It was so busy and packed with things to do starting at 3:30 pm MDT that I fell over around 1 am. I then turned around and got up at 7:30 am the next morning to get breakfast and start the day with Author lounges.

Day 1 of GRL was great and full of energy. Almost too much energy. I bought 3 more paperback books, and several freebie books later, the Bru Baker CAMP Howl bag was starting to hurt my shoulder. And I haven’t gotten my pre-orders yet. 😀 

Right before lunch, I started talking with someone manning the GRL registration, Michael Henry, who liked Sci Fi. I gave him my last extra copies–signed of course-of Discovery and Flight I brought with me (the QSF Flash Fiction contest anthologies from 2 years ago and last year–this year’s anthology, Renewal, is on order to my home). He stopped me later to tell me how much he liked Flight, my story in Flight. I appreciate that a lot. I’m glad someone does and helps me keep going as a writer.

Unfortunately, about 1:30 pm MDT, I got a bad headache. Woke up with one but it went away for a while. Took medicine, an EMERGEN-C packet, and ate some lunch. I got overwhelmed, too much input, and a migraine was threatening to start. I decided to rest in the room. Two and a half hour nap later I emerged pain free and ready to go to the Patreon dinner with Jordan L. Hawk. Didn’t realize that she paid for it until it was the end and about to go to the opening reception right after. So, thank you Jordan. I really enjoyed the company and the food. 

I realized this evening while waiting for the final event to start that I hadn’t posted yesterday and today’s update. So, after some encouragement from M and new friend Dani, I went up to get a photo with the Cocky Boys. I’m not that brave to post it here (I tend to not post my photo usually). I’m winding down because it’s almost 12:30 AM Mountain time (so, 2 hours later Eastern). I’m going to see about posting tomorrow (later today). Somehow, I’ll write some more on The Druid’s Bond before I go home. I did get to recommend my Coil Me Up story to someone on Facebook who wanted to read something with snake shifters. 😉

Eloreen

Dark Hunter (Zeta Cartel 4) by AJ Adams #PreOrderRelease #Spotlight #DarkRomance

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Dark Hunter (Zeta Cartel #4) 

By AJ Adams  
Standalone read, approx 100,000 words
Pre-order special: $2.99
Regular price: $3.99
  
Blurb
Rip Marston is a merciless killing machine. After a decade of hunting his prey, Rip joins the Zetas. The job offers protection as he practices his dark arts, but the Cartel are wary of the monster in their midst.
Finding a badly beaten unconscious girl, Rip sees an opportunity. Posing as her saviour will please the cartel – and provide him with his very own helpless captive.

 

Isabella Maria Franco is beautiful, wilful and used to making hard choices. Having grown up in the comfortable but lethal embrace of the Gulf cartel, she rejected a life of violence. But when a dark presence from her past returns, her world falls apart.
Betrayed and beaten, she escapes, only to find herself in a living nightmare. Surrounded by her enemies, one man stands between her and death. Terrified by her sadistic captor, she has little choice but to submit.
But embracing his darkness leads to consequences neither anticipated.

 

WARNING: This bad boy dark romance contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence, sex and probably every trigger you can think of.
Have you read all the Zeta Cartel novels?
If you have KU, you can read all of AJ Adams cartel novels free!
Not on KU? Click to find at your favourite bookshop
About The Author
AJ Adams is a Scottish-Dutch author currently living in Malaysia. In her regular life she is a columnist and feature writer. She works from home, where she is closely snoopervised by cats, Target, Guido and Swooner.
Want to Stalk AJ Adams?

Day 3 Pre-GRL a meetup and Divinity #GRLRetreat2017

Since I promised to post something today, and more pictures of the house, here we go. The update for the day is after the house pictures.

House pictures:

Dining room

Kitchen, excuse the mess. 🙂

Hallway to the bedrooms and bathroom off the dining room

Living room

Wall behind the living room. You can see the dining room from here. Front door is to the left of the picture

Back porch and yard

Day 3 started with a 6:20 am (yes, morning) local time phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. I let it go to voicemail. I went back to sleep 20 min later after the adrenaline left (did I mention I startle easily?). 

Woke up 3 hours later with another phone call and that was all she wrote. Breakfast with pancakes and eggs. I edited The Druid’s Bond a little and made my first batch of Divinity. Surprisingly easy. Love the 10% humidity. 

The Divinity. No nuts because I don’t like them in foods. I will be doing more batches tomorrow.

Then S, M and I went downtown near Union Station to meet up with JP Kenwood for happy hour drinks. 

We got back about an hour ago and I’ve worked on editing The Druid’s Bond a little more. Tired though so probably going to shut down after this post and go to bed.

Plan tomorrow: Botanical Gardens, more Divinity making and writing, and a meetup with another of M’s friends coming in the evening for a late dinner here at the house.

Then packing for the Tech Center. One more day.

Eloreen