Cait Miller: Inspirational Scotland

I admit that when I sent a call out for a Scottish gay romance author I did have an ulterior motive. Have you seen the stunning scenery?

Cait Miller came up trumps.

Scotland has long been the inspiration of poets and writers worldwide. A country of moody weather and wild places. Of misty glens purple with heather, craggy mountain ranges and pine forests.

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Where you only have to travel five minutes in any direction to find a castle or a breathtaking view.

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Filled with the history and passion of her people who have shed blood and tears for the love of this beautiful country.

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As one of those people I can say I absolutely embrace that love of Scotland. Even now we are fighting for an independence that we don’t actually need any more. Perhaps we are better off together but the fierce fight for independence is bred into our very bones, but that is a discussion for another blog.

Scotland has long been my inspiration; in fact my Shifting Magic m/f series is largely set here. I followed the advice given to many a novice writer; write what you know. Luckily, what I know, and love, is Scotland. In fact it is a rare book which isn’t set here or where one of my characters isn’t Scottish. Part of that is admittedly that it’s easier for me to slip up with my Scottish/American dialogue or grammar. But mostly it’s because it’s just what comes naturally to me.  After all, who could live here, look at this…and not be inspired?

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Cait Miller’s Bio:

Cait Miller lives on the West Coast of Scotland in the same small town where she was born. She shares her home near the beach with a large collection of dragons and two miniature Yorkshire Terriers. Cait dreams one day of living in a castle filled with history…or at least a house with a library.

Books and writing have played a huge part in Cait’s life since she was very young. Encouraged by a mother with similar interests and one of the world’s greatest English teachers, she began writing her own stories. Unfortunately she inherited a practical side to her nature from her grannie—who once told her at a party, in front of her teenage friends, to cross her legs, not her fingers.

Cait went on to become one of the first people in her family to graduate from university, where she trained for a medical profession. Writing became something she did for her own pleasure, never dreaming it could be anything else. Then, one day, she showed one of those stories to a group of online friends who taught her to Believe In the Magic…

If you’re ever looking for Cait, you only have to find the nearest quiet corner and she’ll be there, book or pen in hand, wrapped up in another world.

You can find Cait on Facebook and Twitter and her website.

 

When they met at a romance novelist convention Mark and Gray had a blistering secret affair, knowing that any future together would be impossible. Life with another man would mean suicide for Mark’s TV career, so they let each other go even though it was the last thing they wanted.

What they hadn’t counted on was Gray’s mother. Under pressure of begging and bribery Gray finds himself once again attending the convention where only a year before his heart had been broken, and facing the man who had done it.

Though Gray swore to keep his distance it’s not long until the embers of their affair are burning again and the two men are setting the hotel on fire. Perhaps this time Mark will be ready for their unconventional romance.

Warning contains two hot men behaving badly with each other in a hotel filled with women.

All photos property of Cait Miller

 

Faith Ashlin: Holidaying in Britain and Giveaway

Faith Ashlin is one of my best friends. I’ve known her longer than publishing, longer than fanfiction. She is the reason I (Sue) am here, and I’m ecstatic to get her on the blog, especially promoting her new book, Knights and Butterscotch. Leave a comment here to win a copy of her new book. The giveaway will close 9am GMT, Wednesday, 25th September. GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!

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Picture the scene: I was up in my elderly parent’s loft, looking for a suitcase among the spiders and Christmas decorations when I found a box of old photos. Without thinking I sat down in the dust and started to look through them. Well, you have to, don’t you?

They were all from our family holidays. There was I at 13, with a hideous haircut (I was aiming for trendy but ended up with a mullet) and tombstone teeth too big for my face, playing Swingball next to a caravan. Suddenly all the memories came flooding back. The caravan was in Kent and belonged to my aunt. We’d often go there and I’d lust – in my awkward and gawky way – after the boy, two caravans along. It was dilapidated and old, on a site with no facilities, and the toilet block was the other side of the field. There was one tiny shop that sold bread, milk and my favourite Fab lollies. But, somehow, those holidays felt magical. I’m sure the summers were warmer and lasted longer, even the sea was bluer.

We always went on holiday at least once a year and the whole family came along: aunts, uncles, cousins and grand parents. We never went abroad, we didn’t have the money, and we stayed in some really scabby holiday camps and caravans, but why go anywhere else when Britain was perfect?

Now I’d started on the photos I couldn’t stop. Further down was a picture of me at six dressed in my mum’s cardigan after I fell in a pond. Mum was cooking sausages on a tiny primus stove and we were all waving to the camera. We looked like a bunch of down and outs, but the sun was shining and it was beautiful. I think it was then that I fell in love with the British countryside in all its variations. That’s the great thing about Britain, there’s so much variety. The high cliffs at Dover, the splendour of the Yorkshire Moors, sandy beaches, stony ones, Snake Pass in the Peak District, the rolling hills of the South Downs.

Another photo showed an older me, burying my dad in the sand, somewhere in Devon. Okay, so we had our coats on in June, but it was a gorgeous beach with sand that went on for what seemed like miles.

Next came a photo of a very sulky teenage me. Oh I must have been murder to live with; I was far too cool to walk the cliff path in Dorset with the family! But even now, I can remember the view was stunning and the air clean, with a tang of the sea.

It got me thinking about holidays with my own children. We’ve often been abroad but there’s something special about the ones in Britain. We’ve visited steam trains, mines, theme parks, caves and castles. Yes, it rains a lot but that’s part of the fun. Don’t we all pack umbrellas and welly boots, as well sun cream and swimsuits for a holiday here?

We’ve eaten our soggy sandwiches in the car as the rain poured down the windows, walked over the moors when it was so cold my youngest said his head was going to fall off. But we’ve also spent hours in the sunshine, having fun with an old blow up boat on rivers I’ve forgotten the name of, sweltering as we plodded up a Welsh mountain or playing our version of non-stop cricket until it got too dark to see. That’s the UK for you and you have to love it.

Our holidays abroad were more glamorous and sophisticated and I thoroughly enjoyed them. But there’s something wonderful about exploring the UK. I’ve loved it all. Even in the rain.

Even the time I was asleep on the beach in Charmouth and my eldest (aged about six at the time) tried to show me the fossil he’d found embedded in a large stone by dropping it on my head. Yes, the trip to A&E was unexpected, but we found a really great shop selling crab lines on the way back!

Now my children are older they don’t come away with us as often. I’m hoping they will again when they have children of their own. But, in the meantime, I have more time to read and write about beautiful men falling in love. That can’t be a bad thing!

Knights and Butterscotch

A story of modern-day knights, paint-splattered artists and a lightning bolt of attraction that hits hard enough to make a knight think he’s going crazy. And then things get complicated.

The year is now, the place is somewhere like here but the feeling is very different. Matti Elkin is a modern-day knight and, while he may not have a horse or a suit of shining armour, he’s brave and true, has a sense of duty and honour a mile wide and a passionate belief in his king.

There’s a war on and the knights are fighting hard, but while on R&R Matti is hit hard with an overwhelming attraction for Jamie, a tall, handsome painter.

Jamie makes his head spin and his cock harden, and has him acting in ways that make him question his own sanity. But when the war takes an appalling turn, they are both thrown into a world of confusion that has them questioning everything they thought they knew.

Buy Link

http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=2320

 

Excerpt

Matti pushed his hair back off his face and blew out a long slow breath. Enough—he’d had enough socialising for now. There was only so much wholesome happiness a man like him could take and he’d had his fill for the time being.

It was pretty damned awesome to see Maxim so happy he glowed as he looked at his bride-to-be. To see her looking back, eyes filled with promise for the future, filled with love and possibility. Matti just hoped—no, prayed—that they could have all they deserved. That events would turn out in the right way for them and that the future…but that was for another time. Now was for the simple love between two people. One that burned bright and would be fulfilled tomorrow at their wedding.

A wedding. It was an interesting thought at a time like this. But right now he’d had enough of small talk and playing nice. After the wedding, and its formal reception, his group would gather to celebrate in their own way. That would be more Matti’s thing, one where he could really relax.

Now he needed cool air and a glass of something very cold because it was damned hot in the banqueting suite. He stepped up to the bar and asked the bartender for water and ice, smiling when it was handed over quickly. Air, and the relief from being polite, were next on his agenda. He pushed his way between the groups of chatting people and made for the glass doors out onto the big balcony overlooking the city.

The noise stopped as soon as he closed the heavy door behind him and the respite was palpable. Space and peace, cool air on his face, they all drew him forward. Then there were the shimmering lights below. All those people living, loving, dying. They called out something to him that he couldn’t understand and wasn’t sure he was ready to hear. Or maybe it was all only in his head.

He was being daft again and there was nothing else for it but to laugh at himself. The world below didn’t need him, wasn’t asking anything of him. It didn’t even know he was there.

He rested both forearms on the ledge of the curved, stone balcony edge and looked down. Max was getting married. That was enough to make anyone smile. The amazing Isobel had finally decided it was time and they were making it formal and permanent. It kind of put everything in perspective.

“Anything interesting going on out there?” a voice asked from the darkness at his side.

“Oh.” Matti turned but couldn’t see the man’s face. “I didn’t know there was anyone out here.”

“Doesn’t matter. I just thought, as you were studying it so intently, there had to be something going on in the big wide world.”

“Nothing as far as I know. I only came out for a bit of peace and to look at the pretty lights.”

“Then I should let you have your peace.” The man took a step forward and Matti saw him properly for the first time. “I’ll go.”

“No,” Matti said, louder and with more feeling than he’d expected, intended. “I don’t want you to go.” Now that was just a plain stupid thing to say to a complete stranger. “I only… I…” He stopped, knowing how foolish he sounded, feeling his cheeks flare and the skin on his face tighten.

“Are you all right?” the man asked.

Matti took a step away as the stranger came closer, and now they were both in the light.

Tall, was Matti’s first thought. Very tall with wide shoulders and thick hair and the most startled look on his face Matti had seen outside a comic book. No, not startled. Shocked and a little dazed. “I think maybe I should be asking you if you’re okay,” he said. He wasn’t quite sure how he managed to get the words out in the right order, his mind was whizzing so fast. Tall and right-looking and something else he had no intention of thinking about.

He might not be thinking about it but his blood was pulsing under his skin—he’d swear he could feel it.

“I…” It was the man’s turn to stammer, but he didn’t take his eyes from Matti’s. “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. A big truck. One that’s going very fast and landed right on my head.”

“Trucks don’t hit you on the head, they smack into you. Falling aeroplanes or meteors hit you on the head.”

“And you’d know this because?” The man smiled and Matti wasn’t sure if he was going to be sick for all the wrong reasons.

“’Cause a meteor just smacked me on the head?” Matti couldn’t look away or breathe properly. Yeah, breathing properly—deep and slow—that was a good idea. It might stop him talking stupid crap to a perfect stranger for a start. “That bitch hurt and now I feel like I have my skin on inside out.”

“I…” The man put out a hand, not quite touching Matti but looking like he wanted to. “This is…”

“Yeah, it is,” Matti agreed, knowing just what he meant.

“Is this weird?” the man asked, his face scrunching up like something was hurting but in a good way.

“Weirdest thing I’ve ever known.” There really wasn’t anywhere else Matti wanted to look, anyone else he wanted to look at. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to stop the crazy talk.

The man took a deep breath, holding it as he stared at Matti. Then he gave a curt nod, and held his hand out properly. “Jamie. I’m Jamie or my name’s Jamie or something.”

“You think your name’s Jamie?”

“No, pretty sure it’s Jamie. I’m Jamie, who are you?”

“Matti. My name’s Matti and…” He grasped Jamie’s hand and lost the ability to speak. Jamie’s hand sat so perfectly in his, it seemed to mould itself to his palm, skin flushing and fusing and tingling as their hands settled together. And when did he think such crap? He guessed it was better than saying it out loud.

He looked up, his breathing still not working right, and Jamie didn’t look much better than he felt. Jamie’s pupils had dilated to ridiculous proportions, his face was flushed and there was a sheen of sweat across his forehead. He was trying to say something but he didn’t seem to be having any more success at forming a coherent sentence than Matti.

“I…you…” Jamie said, clutching Matti’s hand tighter.

“Yeah,” Matti agreed again, nodding furiously, although he knew it made no sense.

For the longest moment they stood like that, at the edge of the balcony, palms pressed tight in what looked like a handshake that had become frozen in time, with the rest of the world forgotten. They were so still they could have been a photograph, a moment captured forever.

 

Who is Faith?

When Faith was clearing out her attic many years ago, she found a book she’d written as a ten-year-old. On rereading it she realised that it was the love story of two boys. Over the years her fascination with the image of beautiful young men, coiled together as they fell head over heels in love, became a passion for her.

Since that first innocent book—written in purple sparkly pen—she has written many stories, set in varied worlds, but always with two men finding their way to happiness.

Still nothing much has changed because now she can be found in a daydream, wandering around the supermarket, or sitting in a meeting at work still dreaming up stories.

Blog

http://faithashlin.blogspot.co.uk/

Books by Faith

http://www.facebook.com/BooksByFaithAshlin

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/faith.ashlin

Blog

http://faith-ashlin.livejournal.com/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/Ashlin_Faith

Email

faith.ashlin@gmail.com

Confessions of a Gay Rugby Player: Giveaway

Sadly, we’re not actually giving away a gay rugby player but we do have a post with the Irish author of Confessions of a Gay Rugby Player, Patrick Darcy, and a fantastic giveaway. Leave a comment here to win parts 1-3 of the series. The giveaway closes on Monday 23th at 9am GMT. GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Yes, gay men really do play rugby! We play hard, and you can bet your asses that we party hard too. We get drunk, we sing songs, and we try and have sex. Just like any rugby team.

Let me just make one thing clear: I am not Conor Murphy. I’m not even Sean, or ‘Captain’ or any of the other characters in the Confessions of a Gay Rugby Player series. I have played on gay teams, as well as ‘regular’ teams. I wanted to write the rugby series to explore the intensity surrounding teams and players when they go on tour. These tours are the culmination of a season’s rugby. There is intense pressure on the lads to perform, and do themselves and their team justice. A big part of any end of season competition is the closing party. You’ve played hard, and now you want to meet some hot guy and play harder. In the morning you were knocking the hell out of each other, and now you want, well you get the idea. We all love a bit of exotic meat.

We all love sex, right? And sex is just sex, right? Can you have sexual experiences with a friend and still remain just friends? Gay men are often portrayed as sexually voracious and ‘sexually detached’; somehow able to have sex without feelings. Is this really possible? I wanted to look at what happens when it stops just being sex. What happens when you start to develop sexual feelings for a friend? Can your friendship survive? What happens to you as teammates?

The rugby series looks at the relationship between Conor and Sean. They have known each other since they were kids. They have gone from hating each other to something else. The have been sharing these intense sexual experiences and yet they are expected to remain just friends. Of course this is impossible. Feelings develop and a friendship that seemed so perfect falls apart.

Exploring human nature and the balance between sex, romance, and love is at the centre of Conor’s character. He will ask the same questions of himself that we all will wonder at some point in our lives. Is it ever right to have a sexual interest in your friends? How would you feel if you knew that your best friend wanted more, but you did not? Could you still be friends, or would you feel betrayed? Would you feel compelled to reject any such advances? Would you play dumb for the sake of the team? How do any of us cope with rejection? I’m not sure that I for one could accept it. What are we to do to get what we want. How self destructive can we get? We’re often told to fight for the things that we want. But is that really a good idea? Maybe you have to accept that some things are not meant to be, and that they are not meant to be for a damn good reason.

Conor lives out loud, without apologies. His sexual appetite is alive and well, pushing limits and loving the carefree adventures. But what happens when his desire and his heart start to focus on one person over the many hot bods?

Since when did falling in love ever come easy, and does life really have happy endings?

So that’s the Confessions of a Gay Rugby Player series. Five parts, the first three of which are available now at Wilde City Press.

Patrick’s Bio and Internet Links

I’m Patrick Darcy. Rugby player, Irishman and writer of full strength gay erotica.

Follow me, as I comment on life in Dublin, hot men and all the things that make me tick.

By day I’m a young advertising executive, living in the beautiful city of Dublin, Ireland. Working for an international media company takes me all over the world and lets me get up to all kinds of mischief! And I can’t wait to tell you all about it on my blog.

For me, sex should be passionate, intense, sweaty, dirty fun and a no holds barred affair! That’s what I try to capture in my writing, and that’s where I like to take the reader.

The reader should be in the heart of the action, to smell, feel, touch and taste. To be totally immersed in the eroticism of the story.

Not all my stories are set in Dublin, but they all follow my heart’s desires.

There are two big passions in my life: great sex and rugby. Quite often, these are combined! I love the thrill of competition, the power, the intensity, the brotherhood of rugby.

Oh, and I love being naked!

Blurb:

Star Irish rugby player, Conor Murphy, lives and breathes rugby. He spends his weekends playing rugby, drinking beer, and singing songs with his teammates. There is only one thing he loves more than rugby, and that is hot rugby players. But after the final whistle sounds, the real competition begins: the hunt for the hottest men.

Conor’s muscular body and roguish good looks ensure he can have his pick of the sexiest players. But what happens when this alpha male meets his match on and off the field?  Who will come out on top when he meets the horniest rugby players from the USA? Can two alpha males have the night of their lives?

Excerpt:

Sean and I charge in to clear the breakdown. These lads are bigger than we are, but we are crazier. We have them rattled. I know what they are asking themselves, “How can these wee men be so fucking crazy in the contact?” Because we are Irish, and we love the fight. So front up, you big Marys.

A knock-on brings the first scrum of the game, and it’s Green ball. Let’s see what they got.

“Crouch, pause, engage.” The ref gets the game restarted. I’d say their pack is, by the man, an average of two to threestone heavier than our guys. They are as strong as bulls, and we struggle to hold them off our ‘put in’. Hardly surprising, all of them having huge legs and huge power asses. Impressive, really. The kind of butts that you break rocks off of. I have to confess that I am a sucker for a hot ass. Who would not want to bite and pound a powerful man ass? Fuck yeah!

Focus, Conor. Think with your head, not with your dick!

From my position at flanker, I look straight across at the opposition flanker. He is one hot fucker and has the look of concentration on his face. Furrowed brow and everything, cute, really cuteIs this the most important moment in his life? Maybe it is. He certainly looks a ride and doesn’t seem like he wants to take any prisoners today.

We secure our ball from the scrum and shift it to the right as the packs break. Spreading out in the direction of the play, I clip the hot flanker’s heel, which sends him sprawling to the ground and lets me get to the break down first. Hot, but dumb. Just how I like them.

I can see he is pissed off. Hopefully, it will put him off his game. To show him that there are no hard feelings, I blow him a kiss. He really does not like that and grabs the neck of my jersey and starts mouthing off at me. The ref is unimpressed and tells San Fran’s captain to get his team in order. Sometimes, this game is too easy.