Guest Post: My Writing Process for Better At Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra

The thing about writing and how I do it: It changes, depending on what I happen to be doing, and where I am in my life at the time. I’ve written about my writing process before and I should preface this with how it’s probably going to change, again, once I have more or less time. In writing my new book Better At Weddings Than You, here’s what I did:

  • I outlined. I’m a fan of this method, because it keeps me focused! Sitting down to plan out a story’s major events doesn’t just give me a guide to help me write, but it solves many of the problems I’d encounter before I start.
  • I researched. Often I approach a story with a perspective I’m familiar with, but I also challenge myself to write about things that are interesting but not necessarily in my life. So this requires research, meeting real people who do whatever it is, visiting certain places.
  • I set a schedule and target word count. As I was writing this book, I was also involved in more reader community events that had to be scheduled on a weekend—which meant I couldn’t write on weekends anymore. So I adjusted my schedule and tried to set aside an hour every weekday, and when I did write, I sprinted. 1,000 words if I could. I wasn’t always successful, but the days when I did made up for it!
  • I wrote everything, even when it looked meh, and edited later. When stuck, I trained myself to just write whatever was coming to me, even if I didn’t like how it looked on the page. I know by now that I can’t expect consistently good stuff on a strict schedule—writing for me is warming up, and sometimes writing a bunch of crap first. Editing will and has fixed it later.
  • I promised myself I’d celebrate. Reaching “The End” is tough, so I motivate myself with treats. It also helps me determine an actual end, otherwise I’ll be putting it off and revising for too long.

Book description

Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That’s why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.

Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn’t good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.

Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but there’s history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Who’s the planner who can fix this impending disaster?

(Part of the Chic Manila series, but can be read as a standalone.)

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Buy on Amazon: bit.ly/chicmanila9
$1.99 pre-order price until April 30
$2.99 starting May 1
Free on Kindle Unlimited
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AUTHOR BIO

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to “Is this story based on you?” is always, always “No.”

AUTHOR LINKS

minavesguerra.com

twitter.com/minavesguerra

facebook.com/minavesguerra

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3014313.Mina_V_Esguerra

Guest Post by Harvey Lincoln, Author of 33 Ermine Street

On Writing 33 Ermine Street 

When I first started writing ’33 Ermine Street’ I intended to not only develop a strong storyline, but to create a central theme and develop the characters around it. In practice this meant spending the first six months doing nothing else other than sticking post-it notes against a cupboard door. Each note contained little parts of the story, character ideas and settings etc. When I felt I finally had what I wanted I started to type up small and very rough parts of the story, alongside doing quite a bit of background research to fill in any contextual gaps. In the end this process resulted in a 60-page outline of what was going to be the novel ’33 Ermine Street’.

I guess it sounds like a very methodical approach to writing, and I’m sure many writers would choose a very different approach to mine. My background as a designer was probably the reason behind this. People often think that being a designer is all about coming up with the most amazing ideas together with other free spirited designers. Well, it’s not really (sorry). It’s fun but it’s also hard work. Hard work that starts with research, endless sketching and keeping focused on the result you were aiming for all that time.

It was these skills that mostly helped me out with writing the novel. But there were more needed to complete it. I discovered how difficult it was to describe a scene the way I had it in my mind. In that sense, sketching it out is a lot easier. Words form an endless array of variables that you need to keep tuning until you get what you want. That was by far the hardest thing I learned.

Another thing I noticed, was how attached you get to the characters. Shen with his strong will, Alfred – the grumpy old man from down the road, and Sandeep – the local shopkeeper who was always ready to offer his advice. Although the characters are entirely fictional, they have all become dear friends of mine.

I truly hope that some of you will get to know them too. And when you do I hope you enjoy reading ’33 Ermine Street’ as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

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About the Book

“Religion is a human invention – love isn’t. It lives inside every person, no matter who they are, or what they do or do not believe in. Love is the only thing a person truly needs to believe in to receive love in return.”

Being an only child growing up in a Chinese immigrant family, Shen lives a relatively quiet and sheltered life in comparison to most other British teenagers. His parents, who ended up running a small Chinese restaurant, work tirelessly to make sure their only child is given the opportunities that they missed out on in life.

It’s a day like any other, when Shen becomes witness to a traumatic incident on his usual route to school. From that moment on, his peaceful and uneventful teenage life takes a drastic turn as he struggles to cope with the grim memories of that fateful morning.

Shen embarks on a very personal journey in an attempt to understand what happened. In the weeks and months that follow, he finds himself hurled into a turbulent world driven by fear, prejudice and social injustice.

33 Ermine Street is a touching yet confronting novel, set against the backdrop of a heavily polarized Britain.

Purchase Link:

amazon UK

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http://www.33erminestreet.com

About the Author

Harvey Lincoln was born and raised in the south of The Netherlands. He lived there for many years before moving to the UK in 2002 where he studied for both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Graphic Design. He has since returned to The Netherlands where he lives together with his English wife.
33 Ermine Street is his first novel.

Wolf, in League by AF Henley: Blog Tour and Giveaway

The greatest gift of doing a blog tour is being able to touch base with old friends, and Cinderella Stories and I go back a long way. That’s one of the great things about the Internet, isn’t it? Being half a world away doesn’t really mean a thing when it comes to associates and acquaintances, and that is truly a blessing. So it’s an honour to be back as a guest and a friend, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you all the newest release in my Wolf series: Wolf, in League. For those that are joining the tour for the first time, welcome! And for those who have been here before, it’s amazing to see you again.

As I’ve done with the rest of the tours for these Wolf releases, this blog tour and giveaway is all about teasers. Tiny teasers, to be most accurate, which I like to think of as nothing more than a “bite” to whet your “appetite” for the rest. But before I let you get to it, I want to let you know about the giveaway that comes along with the tour. Follow through to the end of the post to learn how you could win your very own signed, print copy of Wolf in League, a “crystal and silver” diamante Howling Wolf Pendant, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

And now, the teaser, and an inside—or should I say outside—look at the GDBCG…

Tiny Teaser: Post 2

It wasn’t the stars that drew him here in the wee hours of the morning, though. It was the bats. There was something about the construction of the Center that drew a bucket load of bats, not that Matthew could have said what it was. The thing he found most interesting about the phenomena was that one could find them swooping and swaying around the building’s concrete block walls and its flat, thermoplastic roof at times other than the hour or so between dusk and darkness. Common sense told Matthew it had to do with insect population, reflective lighting, and a lack of predators, but the owls and hawks that were common to the area made that last reason somewhat unlikely.

Who really knew, though? Maybe the same things that kept the doctors peeking covertly at dark shadows kept the smarter birds of prey away as well. Regardless, Matthew found himself staring at the tiny, black, soundless beasts for stretches of time that surprised him when he finally thought to check his watch. For creatures of the night with all kinds of Hollywood superstitions behind them, they were surprisingly peaceful to watch.

He’d just told himself that he’d better be heading back in when a sound seemed to brush past his ear. He cocked his head, paused, and listened. He almost thought it could have been one of the bats, drawn by the light or maybe the scent of his cologne, but if it had been a bat, then it was one of the most talented bats in history. Because there’d been something awfully weird in the way it had sounded. If he’d been asked to say what that oddness was, he would have had no choice but to admit—foolishly, really—that he’d heard someone speak. His name, even. Which was more ridiculous than imagining someone had spoken in the first place. He was six stories off the ground. He could see every inch of the otherwise empty balcony. Besides, there was no one else on the level Matthew occupied but for a security guard who had been half-asleep, if not completely asleep, when Matthew had walked past him twenty minutes ago; Matthew had checked the sign-in roster just to make sure because he’d wanted to have a chat with one of his colleagues regarding a certain finding Matthew had stumbled across the night before. And there were no after-hours visitors allowed, without exception. Even during the day, not even an expected guest would get past the security gate without a badge—a badge which automatically added their name, picture, and personal details to the roster so that anyone who was anyone would know where they were allowed to be and where they were not. If there was someone out in the darkness whispering his name at barely audible levels, it had to be one of the bats. Or a very talented deer with the ability to fly.

Matthew flipped up his collar, shook his head and turned back to the door that he’d left propped open behind him. The doors were all glass. The windows were glass. Glass, glass, everywhere glass. He’d often figured it was there for security more than just an effort to soften the rest of the cold concrete building. After all, it was easy to see through; nothing could hide behind a glass door. It was also reflective.

So when he saw a face—a smirk, bright eyes, sharp cheekbones—shining back at him, Matthew startled. He whirled back to face the balcony.

There was no one there. Just the stars and bats above him, and the trees, manicured lawn, and fading gardens below him.

Wolf, in League Excerpt
© AF Henley, 2016

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Blurb

Wolf, in League

It’s been months since anyone at the Committee has had any contact from the O’Connell family or their pack members, and they are not happy. Suspicious of the activities that took place in D.C. and determined to find out what the wolves are up to, the Committee recruits one of their newest residents, Doctor Matthew Dietrich, to play the part of neighbor and infiltrate the family.

Matthew has always been a keep-to-himself kind of person. Though idealistic and optimistic, he prefers to work in solitude, at night, while he researches the findings that he hopes will one day change the world. When he’s approached by the executives of the Center, he has no idea why they’d choose him. And to say he is skeptical over the concept of men that can shift into wolves would be an understatement. Until he meets his new partner, the man that will play the part of his “husband” in the Committee’s scheme, Doctor Gavin Strauss.

Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Notes: Wolf, in League contains some explicit and violent content

Book 3 in the Wolf series

Purchasing Link – save 15% by preordering your copy today! Discount available until October 10th

The Giveaway

On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a signed, print copy of Wolf in League, a “crystal and silver” diamante Howling Wolf Pendant, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

Again, a great big thank you to Cinderella Stories for having me today. And my thanks to you as well for joining in. Best of luck with the giveaway and I hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

AF Henley ❤

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About the Author

Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.

A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.

For more information, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.

Blog Tour: What About Today by Dawn Lanuza ~ Guest Post

Writing Habits that I Picked Up from Writing What About Today

What About Today is my second novella. It’s one of the products of Mina V. Esquerra’s class, #BuqoYA. We were given five weeks to finish our stories then, and I was able to finish on time (with a little bit to spare!).

As I was determined to finished a story for the class, I picked up a couple of writing habits that I still find handy with writing my next novels.

  1. Setting a clear deadline. Because we were in a class, we were given a clear deadline. When I was writing my first book, The Boyfriend Backtrack, I gave myself a deadline, but it was a bit loose, so naturally, I moved it around for a couple of weeks. I still struggle with this, honestly, but I think it really helps if you check your progress every once in a while and really circle a date in your calendar. Toughening it up with the deadline helps get the job done.
  2. Assigning Pegs. I found pegs very useful while writing WAT because I was writing in third person but was switching POVs. I didn’t want the characters to sound like the same person, so I’ve learned to watch videos of my pegs. From there, I get to pick up some of their habits and quirks, and this ultimately helped me get back to the groove and vibe of the character and the story.
  3. Having a writing routine/schedule. There are a couple of articles online that collated writers’ routines and rituals. When I was writing WAT, I pushed myself to write something every night (after dinner), even if I wasn’t feeling it. I’d get myself to write even a couple of sentences/ paragraphs, sometimes I’ll just let my characters talk. This helped me keep my momentum.
  4. Writing with the end in mind. I wrote the ending of this story while I was still in the middle of it. I’m not much of an outliner, I’m more of a pantser, but I think when you already know what kind of ending you want to have for your story, it’s easier to fill in everything else.
  5. Writing drunk, editing sober (that’s Hemingway, but internet says it’s not). I think it’s great that when you start, you get so drunk on your story that you just write it. You don’t think about the details so much, you just write, write, write. But once you’re ready to take a look at it with a different eye – right before you send it out to your beta readers/ editors, it’s better that you condition yourself to not get too attached to the material. There will be scrapping involved, there always is especially from a first draft, so I suck it up and stick with the bits that work, and get rid of what doesn’t.

And that’s it! I hope to you find at least one of these tips work for you- but if not, just experiment. It’s what I did, and am still doing. It also really helps to have a community aka a support group when you write, just so you don’t drive yourself mad in the whole process. Writing is a never ending learning experience and I think as long as you’re having fun with it, then it’s worth your time. 🙂

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About the Book

Aiden’s stuck working for his family’s amusement park, Funtastic World, for the whole summer. Nothing amuses him, until he met this terrified girl.

Gemma’s stuck in Funtastic World thinking she could handle the park’s rides. She couldn’t. Good thing she met someone to guide her.

As the day comes to a close, Aiden and Gemma ask themselves if one day is ever enough to decide if they were better off as friends or strangers.

* This story is currently available on BuqoYA Bundle 4: Heart Choices.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Buqo | Smashwords

Excerpt

Gemma glanced at her watch and remembered that she was supposed to catch the bus heading back home at 7 in the evening. It’s already 5. Did she really spend a lot of time staring at The Big Red Dragon earlier? Or did she take too much time at the gift shop to buy nothing?

She started feeling like two hours wouldn’t be enough to complete everything. Could she maybe extend? Then again, how would leaving play out exactly?

“Alright, I need to go” isn’t going to cut it. She and Aiden already had moments. Now they’re in this limbo between being strangers and friends. They weren’t exactly strangers, but they weren’t friends just yet.

Plus they’re in an amusement park. They just met. Did it count for something?

She wished this could be more of a train incident where people smiled at each other when one offered a seat and that’s the end of that. They all get off their stops.

And if she and Aiden were ever going to be friends, in the real sense of the word after today, how’s that going to work? They’re going to stay in touch by texting? Chatting online? It all seemed superficial. It was not like meeting someone in school; she’s required to see that person almost every day, which made being friends with someone almost compulsory. But meetings like these…what did one do with them?

File them to chance encounters. 

About the Author

Dawn Lanuza has been imagining and writing love stories since she was a kid. She works for the music industry by day, and writes about meet cutes and snappy comebacks by night. She writes short stories, chick lit and young-adult fiction. She has a degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines.

Bloghttp://www.indiesisiw.wordpress.com
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/dawnlanuza
Instagramhttp://instagram.com/dawnrunsfast
Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638162.Dawn_Lanuza

Guest Post ~ Procrastination Station: Kate Sebastian’s Writing Tools

You may be wondering why I titled this guest post “Procrastination Station”; pure and simple, it’s because I am a notorious procrastinator, as any of my writing buddies will tell you. That means I can spend hours, days, even weeks not writing what I should be writing, and then power through five, ten, or even twenty thousand words in a day in order to beat a deadline. Yes, I’ve done 20,000 words in 24 hours before.

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But this means I have two writing modes: what I call my “casual” mode, where I write what I want when I feel like it, and my “beast” mode, where I pound away at the keys because I’m desperate to meet a deadline. And the way I work in these two modes are very different, as I’ll outline via the tools I use.

CASUAL MODE

I’ve found that writing in “casual” mode helps me churn out stories that require less editing, as my plots tend to have fewer WTF holes (what I call it when I write myself into a corner only a major rewrite can fix) and even my grammar and spelling tend to be better. Unfortunately, I’m also much more open to distractions when I don’t have a deadline looming over me, so books that get written in this mode aren’t always delivered speedily (like my current WIP). Here are my requirements for a writing session in this mode:

Writing Implement of Choice: Pen and Paper, Voice Recorder

Yes, I go really old-school with this! I think it’s the secret to why my writing ends up better, because I write so slowly my words have more time to come together as fully formed thoughts. Then when I transcribe what I’ve written (I used to use yWriter or Evernote, but am a recent recruit into the cult of Scrivener users), I frequently already start implementing edits at that stage.

A new thing I have also recently been doing is dictating a dialogue-heavy scene into a recording app on my phone, then transcribing it. One problem I’ve noticed is that sometimes dialogue can come out stilted when it only exists on paper, so I’ve been making an effort to make this come to life a bit more.

Research Tool: The Internet

Now, this is a very dangerous tool for a writer because sometimes you fall down the rabbit hole of click bait and emerge hours later not having written a word. And I’ve learned a lot from this type of research, often things not relevant to the book I’m writing.

Mood Music: None

I actually work best without a playlist for this kind of writing. Although I frequently do it in coffee shops (or my favorite gelato shop), so I get music whether I like it or not.

Fuel: Coffee and Chocolate

Both sweet (my coffee does not have to have milk in it) and caffeinated, I credit at least half of all the words I’ve ever written to these must-haves!

BEAST MODE

I’m a total grouch when writing in this mode. “Don’t talk to me” becomes my favorite and most frequently uttered sentence. Distractions are quashed ruthlessly, and I don’t even need Write or Die to hit kamikaze mode. Sadly, typos and plot holes are more likely when I’m writing in this mode, simply because the words go from mind to fingertips to screen with very little delay. I was in writing in this mode while writing Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers. I wrote the first draft (9,000 words) in one night, then after getting my beta readers’ comments come in and having a think about what was wrong with that draft, I ended up rewriting the whole thing in about three days, coming up with just under 22,000 words this time—and only about two pages of those were copied over from the first draft.

Writing Implement of Choice: Any Darned Thing!

I have been known to write on the backs of receipts and my cellphone in this mode (which, let me tell you, was a pain back in the days before smartphones). I much prefer using my computer, though, or my iPad-and-keyboard combo, simply because they let the writing go as fast as I need it to.

Research Tools: None

I don’t research in this mode because I know I’m a fish that likes to chase after click bait rather than a shark who chomps down on prey when it comes to snippets of information. What I do instead is leave a bracketed note to myself like this: [insert: name of exchange student] or [research: types of engagement rings]. Then I’ll go back and fill in the blanks later on.

Mood Music: Earworms and Action-Flick Themes

My default music in this mode tends to be fast-paced, but the actual songs I’ve used in the past have varied, even if they don’t really fit the type of story I’m writing. I usually like to use action-flick theme songs as go-to mood music (the theme song for Pacific Rim is a particular favorite of mine), although when I find myself with an earworm (or LSS, as we call it here in the Philippines), I will ride that baby on repeat ‘til I run out of juice. For Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers, I had four songs that pulled me through 12 chapters (and I wonder if you can recognize which songs were on repeat for which chapters!): “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley and the Wailers, “Zombie” by the Cranberries, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, and “Timber” by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha.

Fuel: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!

Honestly, I will very often forget to eat or drink or even go to the bathroom when in beast mode, but when I emerge enough to remember I need hydration, I usually go sniffing for coffee (even though I know that’s terrible for hydration). Fortunately, I have a husband who supports my writing so he will sometimes just randomly put food and drinks in front of me when I’m on full-on beast writing mode.

Does anyone else turn into a different person when a deadline looms close? I’d love to hear how that works out for you! I don’t publish 90% of the books and stories I write, although I have recently been persuaded to revisit old drafts and prep them for publishing once I finish my current WIP. Once I’ve published more novellas and full-on novels, I’ll be curious to know which are better received: the ones written in “beast” mode or my more “casual” stories!

Author Bio:

Kate Sebastian has been crafting stories since she was tiny. She spent her childhood reimagining classic fairy tales and inventing new ones, then having her dolls and stuffed toys reenact them in elaborate sets she built by rearranging the furniture in her house.

She earns a good living as a writer, editor, and online content admin but decided to try her hand at writing romance since she reads so much of it.

For more updates, visit http://www.katesebastian.com, like Kate’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/katesebastianauthor and follow her on Twitter @ImKateSebastian.

Follow links:

Website: http://katesebastian.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katesebastianauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImKateSebastian
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8202657.Kate_Sebastian
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kate-Sebastian/e/B01AZLX1U4

 

Guest Post by AF Henley: Wolf, en Garde ~ Blog Tour and Giveaway

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In my limited experience with during blog tours, one thing stands out more than the rest: it gets harder and harder to think of something even mildly amusing or semi-entertaining to put at the beginning of them. My life, no word of a lie, is just not that interesting and I shudder to think of that moment when someone ends up leaving the comment, “you’ve said that before.” Or, as my mind will hear it, “Yes, yes; you’ve already told us that story five hundred times.”

So while I may have mentioned this already in my Road Trip blog tour (honestly, I can’t remember if I did), it is applicable so I will use it and I ask you to pretend you haven’t read it if you have…

I haven’t done a lot of travelling, but of the few places that I’ve driven through there were two that gave me the creeps: Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. I like to tell people that I’m sensitive to certain things (mostly I just watch too many movies), and I can say without doubt that those two cities pinged all kinds of “stay the f*ck away” bells. With Baltimore I guess I can understand. They’ve got one of the highest ranking violent crime rates in the country, and I have to imagine that if there is a cloud of presence that amasses above certain places, it must be a particularly nasty one over that stretch of land. As for Washington, though, I don’t quite get my oogie-boogieness over that one. It’s a beautiful city, with a lot of history, character, and monuments. Regardless, I always get all kinds of creepy-crawlies from the city and I avoid it completely whenever I can.

So, it made sense for me to make it the setting for Wolf, en Garde, and not just because that’s where Randy’s family lived. In my next post I’ll tell you about one of the creepier locations in the novel, but for this teaser I wanted to show you Washington as Lyle experiences it, alongside one of the locals.

Just a reminder, be sure to read through to the end of the post to find out how you could win your very own signed, print copy of Wolf en Garde, a sterling silver (nickel and lead-free) Howling Wolf Bangle, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market!

Tiny Teaser: Introducing – Washington, D.C.

They ran until Lyle’s legs were exhausted and trembling—down alleys and up staircases, over rooftops and across yards. They watched the fog crawl over the city and sat in silence as wanderers made cautious quick steps along sidewalks and walkways. Lyle was introduced to views that transported him back to time before industry and then in the next instant, at a turn of a corner or a shift in direction, had him staring in awe at just how far man had come and all that could be done with tools and equipment and engineering. It was a remarkable city; that Lyle had already known from his earlier trip out with the family. To see it at night, though—while streetlights cast halos through the fog, and headlights bore all but useless slivers of luminance into the darkness—was magical. Ethereal, even.

For a time, real life ceased to exist and Lyle became part of the fairytale. They were the villains of the brother Grimms’ pens, the dark shadows that children whispered breathlessly about, and no one was huffing for Lyle to stay away or hulk back, or admonishing him for his vile existence. With Arius, he belonged on the streets. They were the masters of the dark and the princes of nightmares, complete with Arius’s windblown hair, his own ruffled fur, and their shared grins over the tension in the shoulders and mumbles of the few that unknowingly passed them by. For though he and Arius weren’t seen, they were felt—Lyle could sense it in everything from scent to expression.

They ended their journey by the small plaza where they’d met, but it wasn’t the surface of the park that Arius led Lyle to. Instead, they began to descend into the underpass that had caught Lyle’s attention that first night he’d been out. The light inside the underpass was a sickly, jaundiced yellow. The smell of gasoline and diesel emanated from the open mouth of the entrance and lingered on all the surfaces—roadway, walkway, walls and ceiling. Rainbow remnants of oil slithered and pooled between the white lines of the asphalt. Though the city kept the structure sound and (Lyle had to assume) safe, there was an atmosphere to the underpass that made Lyle’s skin shiver under his fur. Without realizing he was doing it, Lyle tucked his head and pricked his ears up and forward.

Wolf, en Garde Excerpt
© AF Henley, 2016

Blurb

Wolf, en Garde

Three years ago Lyle made a mistake that cost him his freedom, and almost his life. Now, sick to death of watching his father love the man that Lyle wanted, Lyle accepts an offer to leave Wolf, WY behind and see what life in Washington, D.C. can do for him instead.

When Lyle comes across a seductive, attractive stranger with a fascinating yet terrifying view of humanity, he’s more than intrigued. It doesn’t take Lyle long to realize that Arius isn’t just playing games, though, and when Lyle runs across a secret in Arius’ lair he has no choice but to flee, even knowing his actions will enrage Arius.

On the run, with only a psychic’s second sight and his own instinct to help him, Lyle has nowhere to go but home. The only question is, will they have him when he shows up.

Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Notes: Wolf, WY contains some explicit and violent content
Book 2 in the Wolf series

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Purchasing Link – save 15% by preordering your copy today! Discount available until May 17th

The Giveaway

Wolf en Garde Giveaway

On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a sterling silver (nickel and lead-free) Howling Wolf charm bangle, a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Wolf, WY.

For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

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A great big thank you, as always, to Cinderella Stories for having me back as a guest. It’s an honour and a pleasure to be here, and I can’t thank you enough for all that you do, as I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without you. 🙂

And another huge thank you to you, my friends, for reading and joining me. Best of luck with the giveaway and I hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

AF Henley ❤

About the Author

AF Henley_Avatar croppedHenley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.

A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.

For more information, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.

Guest Post and Giveaway – Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story by Kelly Wyre

Earthquakes Blog Tour Banner

Hi there! I’m so excited to be here today on Cinderella Stories to talk about my new novel, Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story. It’s the next installment in the New Amsterdam series, and it involves guns and ballet, two of my favorite things.

To celebrate the release, I’m doing a blog tour, and no tour is complete without prizes, amirite? I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a lovely necklace with a quote from Sinatra’s, Strangers in the Night – “Love was just a glance away, a warm embracing dance away” – and a free ebook copy of the book!

Earthquakes Prize Pack

How to enter? That’s easy… See the Rafflecopter Info below for all the ways to win!

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Winner will be selected at random after the contest closes on the 18th of March.

Meanwhile, I think I’d like to chat a bit about the characters in this world. It’s quite the web they weave. See?

New Amsterdam Character Web

CHECK OUT THE MASSIVE VERSION OF THE CHARACTER WEB RIGHT ‘CHERE.

I know that thing makes MY eyes cross, so let’s break it down.

Today? We’re going to talk about Tim Akkard

Dear Tim might be the only straight man left in New Amsterdam. He certainly feels that way sometimes.

Tim is rather non-descript; brown hair and eyes with a nice smile. He’s about Clark’s height – 6’1” or so – and a tad older than Clark (which puts Tim around Daniel’s age; early 40s). He’s naturally slim and stays that way because he often forgets to eat.

About a year and a half ago, or so, Tim lost his wife, Dana, to cancer. He still grieves her, and he is quite convinced there is no one else for him, now. They were perfect for one another. They were kink-compatible, for one thing. Tim’s a Dom-Daddy sort who builds S&M furniture as a side job to his career, which is in architecture.

Or he used to, until Dana got sick.

Tim’s a partner in an architectural firm, and it was that firm which built Bliss & Break. He’s also a 1/4 owner of those clubs. He handles the security, now, and rarely goes to the clubs at all. He rarely goes out, period, really, other than to work and occasionally to Lucian’s house.

Tim met everybody when Clark joined a support group for vets with PTSD after he was discharged from the services (and before he opened Glow or found his various other callings in life). Tim helped Clark organize a group for gay vets that works in conjunction with the various Rainbow Centers around New Amsterdam.

Tim does know about and occasionally support/participate in the activities of the Merry Band of Vigilantes (the nickname Clark gave to himself, Lucian, Chance, and all the rest of the men trying to take down crime in the City). He has no moral qualms about it, that’s for sure; anything to help out the common people he supports.

So that’s Tim. Even though he gets very little “screen time,” he’s one of the characters I get asked about the most regarding when we get his story. Believe me, I’d love to see this guy happy, so as soon as he lets me know what’s up? I’ll let you know. 🙂

As always, if you happen to have questions for this character, please feel free to ask ‘em in the comments! Follow the BLOG TOUR to learn more about the characters of New Amsterdam.

And to win prizes.

‘Cause PRIZES, y’all. They rock.

Thanks for reading!
Xxoo
Kelly

Want to Know More?

Check out the World of New Amsterdam

Peruse the Free Reads

See the Fan Art & Cool Stuff

And definitely catch up with Ellis and Bryn in Earthquakes, the latest installment of the New Amsterdam series. Need a taste? How ‘bout an excerpt?

PS – It’s better to read it with the SOUNDTRACK.

EARTHQUAKES: A New Amsterdam Story

Ellis had been close to martial artists when they were training. He’d sparred with Clark. He’d seen Kris and Daniel and all his friends shoot at the range. There was an economy of motion that the athletically and lethally inclined all shared. Ellis admired it, strived for it, and knew he’d never get there. He was a workhorse, not a prince of motion.

And as he watched Bryn begin to move – not merely stretch or contort but move – Ellis thought of churches and gods and houses of worship.

Bryn’s feet bent in ways Ellis had never seen. Bryn could balance perfectly on one foot or even a single toe. When Bryn shed his pants after a moment or two and took the first few steps in only a pair of snug briefs, Ellis wasn’t hit with a wave of arousal. He was struck dumb with awe. Every line of Bryn was defined. Even the lift of one arm and the point of his fingers were deliberate and beautiful. Ellis stood completely still and held his breath. He was in the presence of some sort of everyday magic and calling attention to himself might break the spell.

The concentration on Bryn’s face was unlike anything Ellis had ever witnessed. He didn’t exist for Bryn. Nothing did except the music, the motion, and whatever spirit had come alive in Bryn to make Bryn…shine. There was no other word for it. The light played through the windows and infused Bryn with incandescence.

And when Bryn started to dance, really dance, he outshone the sun. A turn here, a pointed foot there, a twist and a glide and… God, Ellis didn’t know what Bryn was doing. But he felt it. The music was hopeful and yet haunting, and Bryn’s dance tugged at every ache both old and new in Ellis’s body. Bryn’s face portrayed almost no emotion, but with every dart of his hand, every slice of his leg through the air, with every crumble, fall, and rise, Ellis was struck over and over.

I will try, said Bryn’s reach toward God and Heaven and all things on high.

Though I know I will fail, said the drop of Bryn’s arm.

I will carry on, said the sweep of his leg.

But I’ll lose, said an arch of his back.

I will fight, said a twisting leap.

I will fall, said the thuds of Bryn’s feet on the floor.

I want to love, said the open reach of Bryn’s fingers.

Please, said Bryn’s clutched fist.

Bryn’s expanse of chest, his shut eyes, and his rise onto his curled toes snapped something in Ellis, and as the music faded, Ellis couldn’t take it anymore. He shut off the music, strode to Bryn, and caught Bryn up in his arms. Bryn was sweaty and warm and breathing hard. Ellis couldn’t stop kissing him. Bryn melted against Ellis, resting heavily against him. Ellis ran a hand through Bryn’s hair.

“I see you,” Ellis whispered. “I see you.”

 ~*~

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Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story
Ellis Parker is a lucky man: he escaped his persecuting family, survived his tour of duty, and met Maxwell Clark in the city of New Amsterdam. Clark showed Ellis more than the ropes: Clark helped Ellis figure out who he is – a gay submissive with a massive fixation on a beautiful, mysterious ballet dancer named Bryn Rothe. Ellis knows a Good Man when he sees one, and he wants nothing more than to score a first date with Bryn.

Little does Ellis know that Bryn has a violent past that is crawling out of shallow graves to haunt him. Even his hectic schedule and beloved stage aren’t enough to distract him. It’s impossible for Bryn to figure out how he feels about Ellis with his demons between them, but when Ellis saves Bryn not once but twice, Bryn is forced to admit that there’s something about Ellis that Bryn might not merely want but need.

Together, they journey to the scene of Bryn’s original crime – Charles Towne, South Carolina. There they will dig up secrets that might explain Bryn’s tortured life but might also be his – and Ellis’s – undoing.

Own a Piece of the City – Get your copy of Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story, Today!

Connect with Kelly!

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Contest Fine Print:
This giveaway will run throughout the blog tour, and finish at midnight on March 18. Winner must be of legal age, and legally able to accept the prizes as awarded. By entering this giveaway, you are confirming your eligibility. Void where prohibited by law. Entries will be collected by Rafflecopter on each tour stop and via my blog post. No purchase necessary to win. Odds of winning are determined solely by the number of eligible entries.

Winner must respond within seventy-two hours of the congratulatory email and post. Posts will be made on my social media platforms. Winner may or may not be announced on the blog sites, in accordance with that site’s preference. It is the responsibility of the winner to watch for the announcement. A new winner will be redrawn otherwise. Shipping costs will be to the expense of Kelly Wyre, and can be shipped worldwide, where legally permitted. This contest is not sponsored by Blogger, Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Tumblr, or any of the sites wherewith the giveaway has been posted. By entering this giveaway you agree to hold Kelly Wyre and designates harmless should something go awry with either contest or the prizes awarded.