Ardent is here!

Releasing February 1, 2017 from Manifold Press!

Hot Italian Renaissance painters. Do I really need to say more?

 

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What it’s about:

In the village of Torrenta, master painter Morello has created a color that mimics the most expensive pigment of all, the crimson red. Master Zeno, from strife-ridden Medici Florence, tells him the color gives him a competitive advantage – but Morello must be careful. Fraud is ever-present in the dye and pigment markets.
 
As they work together in Torrenta, Morello falls hard for Zeno’s assistant, Benedetto Tagliaferro, a young man of uncommon beauty and intelligence. Benedetto is still fixed on his old lover, the master painter Leo Guisculo, and cannot return Morello’s affections.
 
But when Leo dies in a terrible accident, it’s to Morello that Zeno and Benedetto turn for help. And Morello soon finds that in Florence, every surface hides layers of intrigue.

75,600 words of Historical Romantic Suspense in passionate Renaissance Italy

A Sneak Peek:

The village of Torrenta, Tuscany, June 1475

Morello

The sun thrust warm fingers into the ancient Tuscan earth. The gray-green leaves of the olive trees shimmered, and the woods beyond beckoned Morello to abandon the painters’ workshop for their cool refuge.

In the growing heat the apprentices inside settled into an afternoon nap, curled on benches in dark corners behind him. The harsh fumes of linseed oil and varnish had irritated Morello all morning, and he was unable to sleep in the miasma. Perhaps before their visitors from Florence arrived, he might escape the heat. A long tramp in the woods pulled at his bones.

He reached for the walking stick behind the door, but a horse’s whinny stopped him, and a man’s voice called out. When no one stirred within to answer, he cursed the sleepers and stomped back through the shop, thwarted. In the lane in front of the workshop, two men removed packs from their horses.

“Good day, Master Zeno!” From the doorway, Morello called to the older of the two. “You made good time!”

At the sound of Morello’s voice, the apprentices roused themselves from sleep and peered around him.

The gray-haired master raised his hand and smiled. “Good day, Master Morello.”

Master Zeno’s companion, a tall young man with flowing golden hair, took the older man’s pack for him and shouldered the straps of both.

“Take their horses to the stable and fetch Master Franco,” Morello ordered the apprentices, and they hurried to obey.

Master Zeno’s journeyman brushed dust from the sleeve of his sweat-stained linen shirt, slapped more dust from his long thighs, and ran a forearm across his brow. His smile was uncertain as his glance met Morello’s.

Donato stood at the window yawning and scratching his stomach. He shaded his eyes for a better look into the misty glare of the afternoon. “Who’s the beauty with the master?”

Donato’s fellow journeyman Primo jumped to his feet and crowded against Morello in the doorway. “Can it be? He’s brought Tagliaferro?”

Donato groaned. “The man you’ve been mooning about since you last went to Florence, Primo? You’ve only just finally shut up about him.”

Morello ignored them. His irritation over his interrupted walk had vanished. Primo’s garlic- and onion-laden breath on his neck registered only remotely. He gazed out at the man from Florence, who, in Morello’s memory, had once been a long-legged boy with a head of yellow fluff too big for his skinny body. Morello stepped out into the sunlight that appeared to pour itself over the grown man, and stretched out his hand in greeting. Maintaining frank eye contact, Benedetto Tagliaferro adjusted the packs and took his hand.

When flesh met flesh, Morello stumbled – at least, his heart did. As if the wind from the beating wings of the love-inspiring putti he had painted just that morning pushed them toward each other.

“Do you remember me?” Benedetto asked with the shadow of that boy’s grin.

About Heloise West:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of thirteen years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Where to find Heloise:

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GoodReads

Multi-Genre Short Story Giveaway!

I’m a part of a forum that’s exclusively for romance writers, and one day I noticed a post about a giant giveaway being put together, with short stories from all genres. It runs from January 3 to January 10 and you can find it here:

Free Stories Link

 

Kay Simone has a story in there, as does Rory Wilde (puppies!), but there are stories from science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, hetero romance, and some that really can’t be classified. So pop on over and check it out–you might just find a new favorite author!

 

Nuts About You

Nutty Romances 1

Nathan’s been crushing on one of his regular Bulk Mart customers for a while now. In squirrel form, he sits on Vince’s bird feeders, munching on seeds and enjoying the eye candy. Until the day Vince notices him raiding the feeder…

Buy this book on:
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Happy New Year! We Survived!

  If you can see this, you’ve made it through 2016. Or at least, 2016 on the east coast of Canada. Hoisting a glass to you all in hopes of a better 2017.

My resolutions haven’t changed much. Keep fixing up the house. Buy a newer car, as this one is getting up there in years. Take the kid on a trip, since she’s never been farther than my mother’s in her life. And try to get back to writing, which given that it’s another job on top of the two I have already… urgh. But, houses must be repaired and bills must be paid. I’ve requested a schedule change at job one to give me a day every two weeks home with no distractions. So a new resolution for this year is to make that work for me, lol. And, I’m hiring people to do these things, instead of trying to do it myself, because it’ll get done faster and better.

So, as a gift from me to you, for surviving this absolute shit of a year, I give you:

A Nutty Interlude(maybe some slight spoilers? not really. Like Vince is ever going to leave Nathan, right?)

“I’ve never had a real tree before,” Vince said through a mouthful of pine needles. He spit out the branch trying to feed itself to him and peered down the trunk at Nathan. “Now I know why.”

“It’s just a few needles,” Nathan said. “They’ll clean up easy.”

“We should have done this tomorrow. Who takes down the Christmas tree on New Year’s Eve?”

“In my family, it’s a survival requirement.” Nathan was about to explain, when the explanation himself burst out of the tree and landed on Vince’s head. “Luke!” Nathan yelled. “Get off him or you’re spending New Year’s outside!”

The squirrel, a gray-backed cousin of Nathan’s, spun in a circle, digging his claws into Vince’s scalp as he turned. Vince’s eyes started to tear up with pain and the tree slipped out of his grasp when he tried to wipe them. The tree rolled and tipped sideways, and Nathan was pulled off-balance on the slippery front step.

Whoosh! Down he went, bumping over each step with the tree sliding merrily after him and his Cousin Luke yelling excited squirrel obscenities into the chill air.

“Nathan! Nathan? Are you okay?” Vince fumbled his way past the branches splayed over the step and fell to his knees beside Nathan.

“Yeah,” Nathan wheezed. Visions of acorns danced around his head for a moment, unlike the pleasant ones at Christmas, then slowly faded.

Cousin Luke bounded up the tree to sit on Nathan’s chin and peer worriedly at his face, only accidentally sticking his little front paws up Nathan’s nose once. He chittered once, asking if Nathan was okay, and Nathan chittered back that he would, but Luke wouldn’t be if he didn’t get a grip on himself. Luke shot back an angry chitter and spun to race back into the house.

“We better go after him,” Nathan said and began to fight his way out from underneath the tree. “He’ll get into something, for sure.”

“Well, I guess 2016 is having a last go at us,” Vince said as he helped Nathan to his feet. “You sure you’re all right?”

“Yeah. This isn’t the first time Cousin Luke did something landed landed me with a bruised butt.” He smiled and cuddled into Vince’s arms. “You may want to check me over later to make sure there’s no permanent damage.”

“Already in the works.” Vince held him close. “Let’s get the tree out to the end of the driveway and then we can plan our own personal fireworks.”

As they dragged the tree over the lawn, Nathan decided that no matter how bad 2016 had been, he still had Vince, and if even Nathan’s family hadn’t chased him away, then maybe it wasn’t an entirely moldy year after all.

I have covers!

analog2-newsletter   First of all, Christmas Goes Analog has a new cover and is now available in Kindle Unlimited!  Ana J Phoenix did this cover too, and isn’t it a fantastic job? While the naked guy in the background is maybe a tad too cut for a geeky systems administrator, I think she pegged my nerdy programmer perfectly. He can’t even leave his laptop behind when he’s posing on a book cover!  I’ve been playing with Vellum as well, which is a program used to format ebooks, so the insides will look different from the original, though the content is all the same (except for a few clarifications).

My other cover is for Nathan Goes To France Again! (Just kidding, that’s not really its name.) La Planète des Ecureuils (I forget the keyboard shortcut for that capital E with the accent, lol).
frenchrise

I heard from the translator while she was working on this story. Apparently, the puns drove her crazy too. 🙂  I love my punny, punny boys.

The book comes out from Sidh press on December 28th, I’m told. Watch for it on all venues. Or just watch this space, and I’ll provide you links. 🙂

 

 

And I know I’m going to get this question–I’m not done with The Wall Nuts yet. Romantic comedy is hard, harder than anything else I’ve ever written.  But, covers are easy. Mostly because I just send a picture to Ana and she makes magic. 😀thewallnuts

I adore how terrified he looks. It’s a perfectly natural expression when faced with Nathan’s family.

Grampa Wall on one side, The Dragon-Squirrel Lady on the other. And stuck in the middle are Nathan and poor, poor Vince. Oh, and a love-struck hummingbird.

JT Hall’s Murder Once Seen is Out Today!

JT is a member of my critique group and she has a paranormal thriller coming out from Riptide Publishing today.

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About Murder Once Seen

In the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem.

Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something.

Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life.

Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together.

Available now at Riptide Publishing. 

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About JT Hall

J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her Master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts.

Connect with J.T.:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Murder Once Seen, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment on the tour stops with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 17, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

I have to fix my snowflakes

In so many ways, lol. I usually have snowflakes in the winter on my site, but I forgot about them until the other day. Now it looks like my Christmas lights are working, but I’m going to have to dig a little deeper into the backend of the site to figure out why the snowflakes aren’t showing.

So, NaNo was a success, in that I wrote 50,000 words. Sadly, they weren’t all in Proud Flesh. I’d thought, this one being slightly lighter in tone (once you get past the beginning) than the first one, I wouldn’t have the same reaction while writing it as I did while working on Flesh Market. Boy, was I wrong.  At least this time, I caught it before I got to the point I did with Flesh Market, which was a level of anxiety and depression I hadn’t experienced in a long time. So I backed out of Proud Flesh and wrote in something else for the rest of NaNo. But, Proud Flesh is 55,000 words in, and I think better than Flesh Market was. I like Dave, though he’s probably not thinking the same about me. #sorryDave is my new motto. I’ll admit it, my writer style in this series appears to be Total Jerk.

#sorryDave

I’m trying to reorganize my schedule so that I write at least 2000 words a day in something, and 3000 words on each of the weekend days. That way I can take a day each week that isn’t focused on writing and work on other things. Like finishing the edit on Knight, which I had tentatively slated to go to the editor over Christmas, but have been sorely neglecting. So, tomorrow being my first No-Writing-Monday, I’m going to open that one up again and try not to feel guilty about the lack of new words being added to anything. I also have a fairly labor-intensive beta I’m working on, and my usual contingent of critique group work to do. I sure won’t be a Netflix and chill night. 🙂

It’s also going to snow here tomorrow, so more snowflakes and I have to hope to get out of the driveway in the morning. I do have snow tires now, which I didn’t have for the last storm, so that’s one step forward.

Man, is it really December 11? And would anyone kill me if I said I couldn’t wait until December 23? (’cause I’m off for a week and a half from the day job after that?) But I’m really looking forward to some time where my brain isn’t divided between two entirely different jobs, and hoping that some day I can give one up (bet you can’t guess which one) to work full time at the other.

Oh, if you were looking for Christmas Goes Analog, my rights have reverted on it and I’ll be revamping it and republishing it, but probably not in time for Christmas, since my cover artist is booked up until after. But I’ll be working on the next one in that series as well. So many stories crammed into my brain…

50% Off at All Romance Ebooks! (and an update)

are-halloween-50-offARe is having a rebate sale, where you get half of what you spend back as ARe credits. Click on the picture and it’ll take you to my page at ARe, if there’s something  you haven’t read and want to buy on the cheap. 🙂

I’ve been struggling to find time to write this year, and when I do find the time, it seems like I’m so out of practice, nothing happens. I’m one of those people that thrives on routine, as much as that annoys me. I’d like to be able to just pick up and write no matter what’s going on around me, but I don’t have that capacity.

That being said, I’ve been in the new job for almost four months now and I’m starting to feel less tired out from it, less stressed, less taken over. I can’t say I like it the way I do the writing, but it’s stable and comes with health and pension benefits, which the writing has none of. 😛 It’s allowed me to replace the septic system I’ve been worried about, and the roof that’s been leaking occasionally, and to do something about at least a few of the drafts in my daughter’s bedroom.

And now that the craziness of house repairs and new job have died down, I’m coming back to the keyboard. I’ve even signed up for NaNo (WTH was I thinking?). I’m going to try to work on Proud Flesh, since I’m still blergy enough that I don’t have the energy to write romantic comedy(I am most definitely allergic to something in that building)–sorry to everyone who’s waiting to hear the results of taking both Charlie and Vince to Nathan’s old neighborhood. I’m taking a week and a half over Christmas–you can be guaranteed that, after a couple of days of napping, I’ll be right back to Nathan’s nuttiness.

I uploaded the first chapter of Proud Flesh to my critique group today, and now I have to write like the wind to keep ahead of them. I hope, if I can stick to the NaNo schedule, I’ll have it near finished by the end of November, and it’ll be in the editor’s hands by Christmas. To make it more fun, I’m ‘gaming’ with Ana J Phoenix, who turned me on to this website: 4thewords.com , where you write to battle monsters and do quests. It’s silly, and probably the most words I’ve written in one session in a while.

So that’s the deal. I make no guarantees, but I’m going to do my darndest. 🙂

99 Cent deal on ‘Til Death Do Us Part!

Addison is a member of my critique group. As you can tell, she is far more competent with the HTML than I am. 🙂

Today Only!

Get ’Til Death Do Us Part by Addison Albright in ebook format for only 99¢ at JMS Books, LLC.


99¢ Deal of the Day - ’Til Death Do Us Part 2016-07-31

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Buy Link

JMS Books, LLC

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Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

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What people are saying about this book

’Til Death Do Us Part is a “Top Pick” by Ana at The Rainbow Reviews, where she said: “This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. It was an absolute roller-coaster of emotions, an exceedingly captivating story of love and loss. It was simply amazing.

’Til Death Do Us Part is a “Recommended Read” by Dyllan at Gay Book Reviews, where she said: I really, really, really liked this story.

Camille at Joyfully Jay M/M Romance Reviews and More said: “I haven’t turned pages so damn hard since Stanford shot Griffin and Alec chose Seregil!!” … I recommend this book to everyone!

Freya at Sinfully—Gay Romance Book Reviews said: “I have to say that the emotional trauma is extremely well done. On more than one occasion, I had a lump in my throat.” … “Bravo.

Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews said: “I read this book in one sitting, ’cause that is how it captivated me, dragging me in and not letting me go till I found out what would happen next.” … “The writing is fantastic, very descriptive and has great story building.

Belen at Gay Book Reviews said: “…in the end this was filled with humor, emotion and hope and I eagerly turned each page to find out what happened next.”… “Bottom line: I enjoyed it thoroughly and I will definitely be checking out something else by Addison Albright.”

’Til Death Do Us Part is a “Recommended Read” by Dee at Love Bytes Reviews, where she said: “Reading about the plane going down had me on the edge of my seat.” … “It held my attention from start to finish. Would I recommend this story as one of love and survival? Hell yes!”

Meredith at Diverse Reader said: “My heart broke a billion times reading this.” … “I often found myself an emotional mess!” … “If you love angst then you’ll love this book.”

Giles West at Multitaskingmomma said: “It’s never a bad thing when a story can elicit such emotions from a reader.” … “’Til Death Do Us Part is a great read with interesting characters.” … “It’s a book I definitely recommend.

Ida at MM Book Escape said: “I was a goner from the first page and had so much trouble putting this book down.” … “I cannot recommend this book enough. I really enjoyed this author’s writing style.”

At Inked Rainbow Reads, Angie said: “This book was filled with all kinds of emotions and was a beautiful love story.” – Keri said: “The whole story kept me on my toes with tears doming from a happy place and a saddened place. It kept me turning page after page after page without stopping.– and Tosha said: “Great read. I really enjoyed it.”

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About Addison

Addison Albright is a writer/author living in the middle of the USA with three peculiar cats. Her stories are gay (sometimes erotic) romance, and tend to be sweet man-love in contemporary settings. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

Photo on 7-17-16 at 2.55 PM #4 - Edit01

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Connect with Addison

Website/Blog | Facebook Page | Facebook Profile | Twitter

JMS Books | Loose ID | Amazon | ARe | B&N | iBooks

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Surprise! It’s Just a Week by Jena Wade

Jena stepped into the breach for another author and her new book, Just A Week, has come out a week early! (I could make the obvious pun, but it’s already been done, lol.)

It’s a cute story, kind of an opposites attract/don’t judge a book by its cover/you never know where you’re gonna find love theme. Very simple, but sweet and endearing. It’s on for $2.69 for its debut week. 🙂

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Blurb:
Just a week is not enough time to fall in love, but Fate doesn’t care. Seth’s carefully crafted plan for how his life will go doesn’t include falling in love with a guy in his horrible hometown. He wants to start a new life anywhere but at home. Until Maddox storms in with his multi-colored hair and carefree attitude.
Long distance relationships don’t work and Seth isn’t into gambling with his future. But the more time he spends with Maddox, the more he’s willing to throw caution to the wind. Now his plan for the rest of his life has been turned upside down and seems to include things Seth never thought possible, including a lifetime of happiness in his hometown.

Excerpt:
I headed out the door and grabbed the book I started a few days ago out of my car. In high school I would always go to the park and read when it was nice out. My parents were happy knowing I got fresh air, and I was happy just to get lost in the world of whatever book had captured my attention.
I found my usual bench unoccupied. Thank goodness. It sat underneath a giant oak tree that provided a good amount of shade. About a hundred feet away sat a set of playground equipment for kids. Since it was Sunday evening, there weren’t many kids around.

The screech and clicks of skateboards on metal had me looking around like I’d just entered a parallel universe. What the hell?

Where there used to be old basketball hoops with raggedy nets, there now stood a half-pipe and other random obstacles used for skateboarding tricks. A half dozen teenagers and young adults whizzed around each other. Some on boards, others on rollerblades. All of them moving at high speed.

There was a lot of laughing, and every so often someone shouted, “Check this out,” before trying some stunt on the rail, usually resulting in a fall or stumble.

Squealing kids on a swing set I could drown out. But this, I wasn’t so sure about. It was new. And distracting.

One young man in particular stood out. Mostly because he had bright orange hair that spiked in every direction, possibly looking like it could impale a person if they were to touch it. Like a cactus. He also looked a bit older than the teenagers that surrounded him, which might explain why they all seemed to look up to him like he was a god.

He wore a black zip-up sweatshirt, though it was warm enough to go without, and jeans that were skintight.

Once I started watching him, I noticed that the other skaters watched him too. He had talent. He kept his balance well, and his moves seemed effortless. While the other skaters floundered and wobbled as they zoomed around, he kept calm and collected.

I didn’t understand the appeal of skateboarding, especially on a half-pipe. What was the purpose of putting yourself in harm’s way like that? Might as well throw myself down a flight of stairs if I wanted to break a bone.

Orange-haired Guy stood on the deck of the half-pipe. He stared down the slope below, his face unreadable. He didn’t call the others to gather around and watch, though I had a feeling they would anyway.
He took a deep breath and hopped on his board.

I held my breath, like I was the one up there. I watched in wonder as he gained momentum, back and forth, up and down the half-pipe. Once he had enough speed he began his flips. It looked amazing to me. Him flipping in the air, his feet staying on the board as he spun, then landing perfectly to do it all over again. I guess I had never bothered to watch any skateboarding before. Maybe I would have if they had looked like this skateboarder.

3 x 3 WIP and Tag, You’re It!

I’m going to tag @Ann-Katrin Byrde and @Amelia Faulkner for this. The idea is to post the first three lines from the first three chapters of your current work in progress. Since dayjob is done for a bit, I’ll finally have the time and the spoons to work on The Wall Nuts, so I guess that makes it my WIP. 🙂

Chapter 1: Happy Beginnings

Nathan lay on Vince’s bed in absolute bliss, while his incredibly good-looking, fantastically wonderful boyfriend massaged his way from Nathan’s shoulders to the small of his back. With firm, loving strokes, Vince chased down every last ounce of tension in Nathan’s body and left him cheeping sleepily against the soft cotton.
Best present ever.

Chapter 2: A Bird in the Kitchen

Nathan decided to make a run by the kitchen before he jumped in the shower, just to see if could put the brakes on Charlie. Charlie didn’t actually eat a whole lot—there was only so much you could fit into that tiny frame of his at one time—but he had a typical hummingbird’s addiction to sweets and a tendency to get…feisty while on a sugar high. Plus, if he ate enough, there was also the problem of that little allergy of his.

Chapter 3: Road Trip of Your Nightmares

Two hours into the four hour drive, Charlie wedged himself through the gap between the front seats. “Are we there yet?”
Nathan rolled his eyes and pushed Charlie back into the back seat. “Put your seat belt on. And we’re five minutes closer than we were the last time you asked.”