Tag Archives: guest post

Broken Hearts – Blog Tour Guest Post


Title: Broken Hearts
Author: Ioana Visan
Series: Broken People, Book Two
Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk
Length: Novel

Writing and traveling

Guest post by Ioana Visan

One of the bonuses of writing fiction is you get to travel to new and exotic places. That is if you don’t set the action in your hometown, in which case you can chuck off several hours of research and just go take a walk instead. But how many books can you write with the same setting? I for one would get bored doing that. It’s the reason why I usually locate my stories somewhere else, preferably abroad. Most of the times, I go for places I have visited in the past, and when that’s not possible, there’s always Google Maps.

For Broken People, the first novel in the series with the same title, I chose Bratislava. Or more exactly, the city of Bratislava inspired the story a few years back when I was on vacation with my family and we stopped for a short visit on the way back. When I sat down to write the story some time later, I could have invented a new city based on my experience, but I decided against it. Why invent something that already exists? So I took my heroes and the circus crew to Bratislava, and I stationed them there.

In the prequel, The Nightingale Circus, each short story takes place in a different country. We move from Germany to France to Russia to Bulgaria to Kazakhstan and then back to Bratislava. Each character has a story to tell, and the setting has a big influence on it.

In Broken Hearts, the second novel in the series, the action is split. While the circus is in trouble in France, Dale and Aurore start on a trip across the continent, ending up spending quite a bit of time in Vienna. Now Vienna is an old, beautiful city full of history which I have, of course, visited. Only it had been a while so by the time I got to write this part of their journey, I had to pull out the photos we took during that summer vacation and refresh my memory because what I remembered the most were a lot of museums and traveling on the metro. Then it was time for some research to figure out the logistics of the plot, but the biggest part of the ideas I got were from those photos.

The fun part is, once the novel was done and the manuscript sent to my editor, we were trying to choose our vacation destination. Since no one came up with a better idea, I suggested Vienna. So this is how we ended up following Aurore’s footsteps in Vienna’s streets during the coldest week from the entire hot summer. Some things were different than in my memories and some had changed in time, as several years had passed since my first visit, but I didn’t have to change a thing in the story. This is the beauty of writing science fiction. Anything can happen when you write about the future.


When life breaks you, you pick up the pieces and move on.

As The Nightingale Circus begin a quest to deliver a power source that has the potential to change the outcome of the war in the Far East, their efforts are thwarted when Nicholas is apprehended by French authorities.

Meanwhile, Dale stays in Bratislava to protect Aurore and her power source. When the largest weapons manufacturer in Europe discovers her secret, the chase is on.

With a tracker hot on their heels, Dale and Aurore struggle to stay one step ahead. Their dangerous journey takes them across Europe and leads them to the only ones who can help them – The Nightingale Circus.

Broken Hearts by Ioana Visan

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014G39TB2/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014G39TB2/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B014G39TB2/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B014G39TB2/


Prizes: 3 ecopies of Broken People and 2 ecopies of The Nightingale Circus

Start with Book One, Broken People

You don’t always get what you want, but if you’re lucky, you might get what you need.

For one week only, an impenetrable castle is open to the public, and Dale Armstrong has come to Bratislava to rob it. When he finds his partner’s arms mangled, he desperately searches for a way to fix him before time runs out.

Because the war in the Far East is sapping all the allied nation’s resources, only The Nightingale Circus has the spare parts, the power, and the expertise to fix prosthetics and help the injured, but nothing is free.

Broken People

Unfortunately, Dale doesn’t know about The Nightingale Circus’s side job, but a forced encounter with the most dangerous woman in the city, the Golden Lady, sends him their way. On this roller coaster of crazy twists and flips, schemes and deceit, wishes and dreams, no one can foresee how the aerialist will land.

Anything is possible in a world of Broken People.

Buy Links

Get your copy now – only 99 cents!

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PM4SYYI/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00PM4SYYI/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00PM4SYYI/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00PM4SYYI/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/518980

About the Author

Award-winning writer Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can’t, she writes about it.

After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in “Human Instincts”, she played with shapeshifters in “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks”, and then she dealt with vampires in “The Impaler Legacy” series, before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series.

Aside from publishing short stories in various Romanian magazines and anthologies, she published a short story collection “Efectul de nautil” and the Romanian edition of “Human Instincts”.

She was awarded the Encouragement Award by The European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013.

Social Links

Website:    http://www.ioanavisan.tk
Blog:          http://weirdvision2001.blogspot.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIoanaVisan
Twitter:       https://twitter.com/weirdvision
Amazon:     http://amazon.com/author/ioanavisan
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ioanavisan

Guitars and Cages

Guitars and Cages Blog Tour

Title: Guitars and Cages

Author: Layla Dorine

Genre: gay fiction, urban drama, contemporary, M/M fiction

Length: Novel

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

The future for the Guitars and Cages world

Greetings. Thank you for such a warm welcome, it’s a pleasure to be here, and a little surreal too. I never imagined I would be doing a blog tour or being given so many wonderful opportunities to talk about the Guitars and Cage’s world and what in store for it now that the book has been released. When I started, I never imagined that there would be a second part of the story, but after I reached the final chapter, all of the characters were still loudly telling me that they had much more that they wanted to share.

In fact, there’s so much more that, after writing almost 85,000 words of the second novel, there is a third book in the planning stages. Right now, the second book will give readers a greater insight into Cole, while still being very focused on the core group of Asher, Conner, Morgan, Alexia and Rory. I’ve also had the chance to show Asher interacting with his son, and taking some steps towards making amends with Eve. Asher’s father will also make an appearance in this book, so readers will have the opportunity to see if he’s as horrible he’s been made out to be. Right now, it’s looking like the third book will be Alexia centric, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself in making notes. I never know what they might tell me after everything unfolds in the second book.

In addition to the second book of the Guitars series, I’ve also written two other novels that have been accepted for publication by Wayward Ink that are both in the early stages of the editing process so I won’t give their names right now as they just might change. I will say that one of them kick starts with an arranged marriage, and the other focuses on a rock and roll band that is on the cusp of breaking out of the bar scene and making it big. I’ve always got some kind of writing project going on and am focused at the moment on finishing the first draft of a dirt bike themed story with more steamy bits then I’ve ever written before.


“You know what? Sometimes it is. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, Conner, but sometimes you need money faster than you can earn it honestly. I hadn’t planned to fight anymore, but Kimber ditched Rory with Morgan, like for good, and the bar is struggling. The taxes are due and the only goddamned home Morgan, Alexia and Rory have is over that bar. I knew I could make enough to help Morgan pay the taxes until he got things settled at the bar again. That’s the only reason I took that fight tonight.”

“You know what, I can understand that. What I don’t get is how you go from fighting to ending up cuffed and blindfolded with that guy pawing you like a bad prom date.”

“I’m one of the guys Catfish took a liking to. He’s been after me for months to work for him as his bodyguard. What that really means is I’d be hired muscle and a personal fuck toy. I would have said yes to the bodyguard if the rest didn’t come with it, but Catfish don’t want one without the other, and every time I’m with him, it’s just…”

I let out a shuddering sigh and hung my head.

I felt Conner’s hand on my arm, and he used his other hand to brush my hair back from my eyes. “Do you know that whenever you don’t want to talk about something, you try to use your hair as a wall?”

I glanced at his face, and then down again. “Yeah.”

He slid his hand beneath my chin and raised my eyes so I was looking at him. “I’m not judging you. I want you to explain it to me so maybe I can understand what you’re thinking when you go there.”

“That’s just it,” I said low, but I knew he could hear me. “He doesn’t judge me, he doesn’t think my scars are hideous, he doesn’t think I’m stupid because I don’t read so good and I didn’t finish high school. He doesn’t expect anything more from me than to be who I am, and when I need it most, he’s the only one who ever tells me I’m worth anything, or that he wants me around. I hate that I love it when he touches me, that it feels good even when he hurts me. I didn’t say yes to being his bodyguard because I knew if I did, I’d never leave. If I let him give me everything he’s promised, there would never have been a chance at walking away.”

Conner put one hand on my cheek and caressed it, while the other kept me from looking away. “You’ve always wanted more than to fight and play your guitar, haven’t you?”

I swallowed hard. “Yeah.”


Asher Logan is a bartender and a pretty wicked guitar player, when he isn’t wrecking his hands fighting in a cage. With a past he keeps hoping to outrun, Asher’s been on a downward spiral for longer than he can remember. When his sister-in-law leaves Rory, his eight-year-old nephew, in his care, Asher is forced into two things he’s never been good at: sobriety and responsibility. As he struggles to care for Rory, his own life begins to unravel.

When Asher’s brother, Alex, turns up, presenting as a girl and announcing her new name is Alexia, it further complicates matters, as does the arrival of his new neighbor, Conner. Both, in their own way, compel Asher to look at his own closely-guarded views on sexuality.

Guitars and Cages by Layla Dorine

When the siblings’ older brother, Cole, reacts violently to Alexia, Asher is placed squarely in the middle of a family conflict which compels him to confront who he pretends to be versus who he really is.

Asher must choose who to trust and who to finally walk away from.

Buy Links

Don’t miss the Wayward Ink Publishing Tickle Me Pink Sale – 25% off all list prices!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/guitars-and-cages-by-layla-dorine/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Guitars-Cages-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B00YWD9PVQ/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Guitars-Cages-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B00YWD9PVQ/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guitars-Cages-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B00YWD9PVQ/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Guitars-Cages-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B00YWD9PVQ/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-guitarsandcages-1838198-341.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/guitars-and-cages-layla-dorine/1122098430?ean=9781925222463

Book Trailer


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize: $20 WIP Gift Card and 1 ebook copy of Guitars and Cages

About the author

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla Dorine can be found at:


Twitter: https://twitter.com/layladorine

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/layladorine/

A Game for Assassins

Today I have a guest post from an amazing author. Check out his new book A Game for Assassins.


I’m hacking away at being a writer:

I came pretty late to book writing. I’m the new kid on the block at the age of 40! Oh it’s something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I won a short story competition in Primary School where my favourite super-hero character of the time – Ant-Man – swung in and saved the day of the class with laser-guns (c’mon I was only 6 give me a break). That and reading have been my constant throughout my life; through good times and bad.

When I pick up someone else’s book the first thing I do is read the blurb on the back and look for the characters to see if they interest me. If the main protagonist doesn’t connect with me in some way, then 9 times out of 10 I move on to something else. There are only so many story lines you can do, but for me the characters are the glue of a good book. They are unique. Just like people in real life, we all have quirks and foibles that make us different. I knew that my books were always going to have “Gorilla Grant” (my main character) as the protagonist. He’s been on my shoulder for decades, pulling my ear, nudging me and begging me to bring him to life. And once Gorilla starts whispering in your ear, well, it’s pretty hard not listen to him…….a silenced S&W 39 or a cut-throat razor DO tend to concentrate the mind!

So once we have the main characters then what are we going to do with them?

My writing process then starts with the “what if” question? What if someone targeted a spy network? How would the Secret Service respond? I don’t have a plot at this point, instead the idea germinates for many a month before I even begin making notes. After that I start with the premise and then I see where the characters lead me until suddenly the pages grow and grow and come to life.

A Game for Assassins started out as one book, but because of the lives and adventures of the characters involved in the story, somewhere along the road (I’d guess about 200 pages in) it slowly morphed into a different kind of thriller. With hand on heart I’m glad the change came when it did because the story (and how it altered) truly surprised me. As I mentioned, writing and reading have always been a big part of my life and now I have the luxury of doing something I love and getting the opportunity to share it with people of a similar passion.

So what makes a character unique to you? What do you look for in a book hero? I’d love to hear about it.

James Quinn

A short scene from the new spy thriller – A Game For Assassins – that introduces the anti-hero/spy Jack “Gorilla” Grant.

Her eyes remained locked on his face. Was there a begrudging sense of respect behind the man’s glower? She leaned forward to make her point, another lock of hair fell forward across her face and she brusquely brushed it away. “You see I knew you’d take one look at me and dismiss me straight away. Pretty face, but only useful for answering the phone or for filling a senior officer’s bed on a cold Friday night. Well, I can put your mind at rest that that’s not me. Never has been and never will be. And if you want cunning and streetwise, I’m pretty sure I could run deceptive rings around you any day of the week.”

“Because you think you’re a field agent?”

“No, because I’m a woman.” She thought she may have gone too far, made too much of a point that had dented his pride. So she was surprised and not a little pleased when he beamed a wonderful glowing smile at her. He should smile more often, she thought. He has such a good smile.

“Well, Miss Nicole. I think we should maybe have another drink and begin again. What do you think? I’ll start; my good friends call me Gorilla.”


They spoke for another thirty minutes until the conversation had come to a natural conclusion. In truth the little stunt she had pulled had told him far more about her than a whole series of interviews ever could. Grant busied himself swirling his whisky in his glass, Nicole pretended to find the fellow drinkers in the bar interesting. Luckily none of them had seemed to notice the tension. Either that or they were all too polite to say anything.

“So what about you,” she asked, determined to break the hiatus. “What makes you suitable for the Redaction Unit?”

He thought about it for a moment before he answered. “I have a certain set of skills that are always useful to the top people in this business and unfortunately or not there’s always someone willing to use it.”

“And the work name “Gorilla” where did that come from,” she asked innocently enough.

He took a sip of his Speyside. “That was from years ago. A nickname that stuck.”

Nicole looked confused by his irritatingly obtuse answers. Damn him, he could be so frustrating. He smiled, sensing her impatience with him, “Sorry Miss Nicole I don’t do war stories. You’ll have to look elsewhere.”


The assassination of a Caribbean dictator….The “hit” on a traitor in Beirut……The brutal murder of a young CIA officer behind the Iron Curtain…..So begins the game……

It is 1964, the height of the Cold War, and British Intelligence is riding high with its top double agent network: Constellation.

But in the secret war fought across Europe the enemy is never far away and soon the agents of Constellation are targeted by an unknown team of assassins. In desperation British Intelligence sends in their best agent to protect the network and hunt down the killers.

A Game for Assassins

Jack “Gorilla” Grant isn’t your typical Cold War secret agent. Short, tough, uncompromising, rough edged. He doesn’t fit in with the elitist spies and debonair intelligence agents. He prefers working at the rough end of British covert operations.

But “Gorilla” is one of the best “Redactors” in the business. He’s an expert at close quarter shooting: quick to the draw and deadly accurate when it comes to the elimination of traitors and extremists on behalf of the British Secret Service (SIS). He is soon drawn into a game of cross and double cross where nothing is as it seems and even the most perfect spy can die in a wilderness of mirrors.

“A Game for Assassins” is an action packed edge of your seat thrill ride played out across the global stage of the Cold War.

Buy Links

Free with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VQORC0K/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VQORC0K/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00VQORC0K/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00VQORC0K/


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

James Quinn spent 15 years in the secret world of covert operations, undercover investigations and international security before turning his hand to writing.

He is trained in hand to hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry including small edged weapons, Japanese Swords and Hunting Bows. He is also a crack pistol shot for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and many of his experiences he has incorporated into his works of fiction.

He lives in the United Kingdom and travels extensively around the globe.

Website: http://jamesquinn.webs.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-Quinn/1558765681046413

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ape101Quinn

Love Cubed


What is my writing process?

I’ve been asked to talk about my writing process. Writing is different for everyone, there isn’t just one process; at least, that’s what I like to tell myself. Mine is organic. I think of an idea and I run it around in my head a little. I need a beginning and a fair idea where the characters are going, and then I start typing at the computer.

Sometimes, things go smoothly. The characters jump onto the page and interact with each other. Sometimes, they want to go to places that I find uncomfortable, such as having sex, for example… and every once in a while they get obstinate or confused and refuse to talk to me. I hate those times.

When they happen I try to type out different stories, or I play games on-line, or read. The characters of the original story usually talk to me then, in the back of my head, sometimes for days. Eventually, they do talk to me, and I start typing again. In those times, the plan I originally had to the story goes right out the window. I get surprised when something happens that I originally intended to avoid altogether.

I re-read a lot. I try to find mistakes where I can. It’s hard to edit or proofread your own work. One tends to see what one wants to see, not always what is actually there. It does help though. If I re-read it and am not totally satisfied, all save the file, create another one and start again from a specific place. It usually becomes a new story. I then get to choose. Sort of like creating my own alternate dimensions.

The hard part for me is ending something. I am never satisfied with what I right, but eventually I have to let go. I’ve managed to find some very good friends who will tell me if I’m off track in a story.

Well, that is my process, such as it is. It’s not very logical sometimes. But it is my process.


Three very different young men meet at St-Frederick’s University.

Francis, haunted by his past and seeking a new life.

Andrew, the introverted football jock.

And Sebastian, the charismatic and confident hockey star.


Francis, wary and troubled, didn’t count on meeting anyone he could care for.

Andrew, closeted and lonely, didn’t think anything would matter more than his football career.

And Sebastian, content to float from conquest to conquest, never believed he’d meet someone who could hold his interest.

An encounter with a journalist causes consequences for all three.

Will they be able to take what they need from one another in order to cope?

Book Trailer

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W814OUQ/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00W814OUQ/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00W814OUQ/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00W814OUQ/

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/love-cubed-by-eddy-lefey/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lovecubed-1795917-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-cubed-eddy-lefey/1121763485?ean=9781925222401


Suddenly, Francis felt someone sit down beside him. He heard a very sexy-husky voice state matter-of-factly, “So, dude, we’d all like to know what your story is, especially Heather over there. You might as well spill.”

Francis lifted his head to see two very athletic-looking blondes staring back at him. They both had annoyed looks on their faces. The young woman, whom Francis supposed was Heather, nodded and smiled at him. The extremely good-looking young man grinned and said, “Hey, kid, I’m Andrew. Your nosy neighbor is Sebastian. Don’t mind him. He’s just a busy-body.”

Francis frowned. Why did he always have to go through this? He made sure his speaking voice was in his lower register before replying, “I’m eighteen. I’m as much of a kid as you are—my name is Francis.”

He turned to Sebastian, was about to say something snarky, but was taken aback by how handsome Sebastian was. Then, Sebastian gave a cocky, self-absorbed smile and it changed everything. Francis knew that kind of smile—he knew the kind of personality that produced that kind of smile—and he was afraid of it.


Just before Francis could do anything that anyone could construe as being antisocial, the group was interrupted by rustling near the door. The floor’s leader, a fourth-year geology student named Harold, garnered people’s attention and started his welcoming speech, which consisted mostly of enumerating the house and floor rules—respect of property and respect of other floor-mates being chief among them. Oh, and cleaning up after oneself was rather enthusiastically emphasized.

The next announcement came as a surprise to everyone, especially to Francis. “Okay, now some of you have already come to me complaining about the fact a first-year on this floor was appointed to a single room. I am here to tell you that it’s true. The university has granted first-year Francis Hollingsworth the right to a single room because of special circumstances. Those special circumstances will not be discussed. I can say that it isn’t because of financial privilege. I am asking all of you to let Francis have his privacy. No one is to hound him for an answer, and yes, Sebastian, I mean you. Let the kid, I mean guy—let the guy be. If he wants to talk about it, he will let you know.”

Francis was mortified. No one had warned him, and he certainly didn’t expect to be singled out like that. He glanced at Heather and Andrew. They seemed intrigued but genuinely concerned and interested about him. Sebastian looked like a cat that had just found a mouse. Francis knew Sebastian was bound to be trouble for him in more ways than one. He wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. He hoped he wouldn’t have to endure him for too long. With his luck, Francis figured he and Sebastian would probably be teamed up in a get-to-know-you exercise; Francis shivered at the thought.

About the author

Eddie LeFey started reading m/m romance fanfiction a few years ago. At one point, during a crucial point in the soap opera storyline of his favorite gay couple, the story went on hiatus. He needed a fix and decided to write his own version of what he wished would happen. Friends wanted to read it, so he plucked up his courage. Pressing the submission button was nerve-wracking, but he did it. People liked it. He wrote a few more.

Up until that point Eddy had tried his hand at writing many times. The delete button was his friend, as was starting over, and over, and over, but he could no longer do that if he wanted people to read his works.

A few of his writing friends decided to create original stories, and feeling brave, Eddy did the same. The stories were shared among a select few. They encouraged him to submit one of them. Low and behold, it is now being published.

Eddy lives in Canada with his husband Ken and his cat Oscar Wild. He is busy writing many more stories.

Email: authoreddylefey@gmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_E_LeFey

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EddyLeFey

Craving Stains

I’m very excited today to be bringing you a guest post from amazing author Alina Popescu, who isn’t just a great writer and promoter, but she’s a good friend who has held my hand for more than a year now. Check out her book, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Craving Stains Blog Tour


Find the Author in the Character Details

They say the devil is in the details, and they probably are right, just because everything is in the details. You idiot in a text can be an insult or it can show anger. Add an emoji that’s winking or sticking its little tongue out and the meaning changes. But I digress! Authors follow the way the devil likes to play it. Sometimes, you can find them hidden in character details. Is this an extension of write what you know? Maybe. Or maybe we spend so much time with our characters that we just can’t help it and we put a bit of our very souls in them. Or some of our ideas, feelings, fears. It’s an anything goes sort of deal!

I’ve been quite honest in saying that Alexa, my female lead in the Bad Blood trilogy is probably 90% me. She had my background, a lot of my physical traits, even more of how I think, react, and talk at times. She ran away to the one place I considered running away to. Yup, she’s me, no doubt about that. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to writing myself into a character, and that is probably why the trilogy was both therapeutic, cathartic, and challenging for me to write.

However, Alexa is not the only character I added parts of me to. I added my need to get away and break free to Wynn. Sure, I did not have it as bad, but while I wrote Craving Stains, I was also staring out the window at the beautiful weather and hoping I could just forget about work and run way somewhere. Writing is always easier and better when you’re on vacation, isn’t it?

Doyle did not escape either. I gave him all my love for bikes, tattoos, and adventure. In a way, Wynn and Doyle were two sides of me that were arguing with each other at the time. They went ahead and ganged up on me, making me write their story, but that’s okay!

I did not stop there. Vicks, one of the main characters of my werewolf universe, got my dog, Ares. She refuses to walk him when I tell her to, even if he actually listens to her… Bad character! Shiki—who shares the same universe of the Tales of the Werewolf Tribes series and whose book, Strength to Let Go, you’ll get in early July—got my otaku side (he’s into video games, manga, and anime as much as I am), and some of my emotional hiccups, such as blaming himself for everything that goes wrong in his relationship.

Putting bits and pieces of yourself into the characters you write is not good or bad. It just is for a lot of us. I also happen to think it makes the characters real, easy to relate to. Sure, I am trying to keep it subtle and not get swept away by my god complex… I have one, I just try not to be obvious about creating my characters in my own image 😀


Title: Craving Stains

Author:  Alina Popescu

Length: novella

Genre: gay, gay fiction, science fiction, paranormal, gay romance

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing


Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.

Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?

Craving Stains by Alina Popescu Cover

Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.

Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.

But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?

Book Trailer

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUE58SU/

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About the author

Alina PopescuWriter, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

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A young and happy-looking hostess whom Moira barely acknowledged greeted her and walked her to the Director’s office. They know how much of a screw up they have to weasel their way out of, Moira thought, a cold smile curving half of her mouth. She was going to make them sweat, and she was going to get everything she wanted from them.

Doctor Miller, the chief physician on Wynn’s case, the Director, and some mousy-looking little man who Moira suspected was an accountant or something along those lines were all waiting for her. They first offered her any and all treats and beverages in the universe, and when met with her brusque refusal, they slouched in their chairs and prepared for the onslaught.

“Gentlemen,” Moira started, smiling broadly, yet having no warmth reflected through her eyes. “I hear you’ve sent a report to the Finance Bureau, claiming my son is in perfect health,” she went on, her voice turning icier with every word. “Maybe it’s time for us to end our contract then. No use paying you that obscene monthly fee to have you do nothing but hold his hand.”

“Miss Brenwood, it was simply the truth,” the accountant said in a bitter voice, but reconsidered under the murderous stare of the Director.

“Moira, darling, please ignore him,” the Director said, his heavy breathing being for once caused by something other than his obesity. “We clearly stated that this qualified as proactive care, preventing any other future illness in your son’s case.”

“Well, Clifton,” Moira said, stressing the man’s first name with a curl of her lip. “You weren’t very convincing apparently. They are going to investigate me for money laundering. As I have all the proper documents and invoices from you, I assure you, they will find nothing wrong with my papers. But as your reports indicate otherwise, I am sure they’ll think someone in your lower financial ranks isn’t in on it, thus forgetting to cover your tracks, and have your hospital investigated as well.”

She watched the man pale, his jaw dropping, making an obscenely gaping hole. She rolled her eyes, and then shook her head. What the hell had these idiots thought would happen? That when the Bureau came a-knocking and found nothing, they’d just go home with their tail between their legs? Of course they’d always investigate both or all parties involved in a potential fraud.

“Clifton, you really have no idea how the world works. How on earth do you manage this hospital?” She graced them with her special, mocking smirk, the one she’d developed in the many decades of being a rich wife with seemingly too much time on her hands.

“Mrs. Brenwood, I assure you, we will fix this,” the Director said, turning to look at the accountant sternly.

“Oh, I am sure you will. Now, Dr. Miller, I need a private moment with you.” She stood and left the office without saying goodbye, walking straight to Miller’s own

office. Moira ventured a glance over her shoulder and saw the good doctor following her like the obedient little dog he was.

ON WRITING and Brearley’s Encore


ON WRITING and Brearley’s Encore

I was born wanting to make stories out of what went on around me. From the cradle words fascinated me – the sound of them, the meaning of them and the fact that you could make them rhyme. Poetry was my first love, I think because it was the fastest route to doing something with words. I didn’t come from a particularly erudite family, so was rather alone in my love of words. Words for me were a performance thing and although my family were amused by my word-spouting antics, they didn’t take it particularly seriously. In fact, I was often told to pipe down and stop showing off, which did put a bit of a dampener on life for me.

There weren’t a lot of books in our family, but there was music. Pop music. The radio was always on and it was full of what we now call the American song book. And it was the 50s: the great age of popular music, the time before rock. Songs were full of meaning, the lyrics practically always rhymed, or half rhymed, and they nearly always told a story of some sort, usually a love story, but nevertheless a story.

On the banks of the river

Stood Running Bear,

A young Indian brave.

On the other side of the river

Stood his lovely Indian maid.

Little White Dove was-a her name,

Such a lovely sight to see,

But their tribes fought with each other,

So their love could never be.

(1959 JP Richardson aka The Big Bopper)

I was fascinated by ‘maid’ being made to rhyme with ‘brave’ and sang it over and over again. We were living in Northern Ireland at the time and for some reason my twin and I went to a convent junior school. We were the only boys. I sang all over the school and, even though I didn’t have much of a singing voice, I became something of a star. My English teacher, Miss McGoldrick, noticed my love of performing and began to put me forward for poetry recital competitions, most of which I won. It

was she who gave me my first real grounding in poetry, as opposed to song lyrics.

We moved to England and I moved up to secondary school. There was no one there to nurture my love of poetry but I did discover children’s adventure stories. I particularly remember a series of books about the Canadian flying-doctor service. Although I don’t remember the name of the series or it author/s, I remember the stories were full of drama and heroism. I loved them. Then I discovered the Bull Dog Drummond series of spy stories. Bulldog Drummond was a swash buckling hero in a line of comic book-like heroes that led in the end to James Bond and, for me, Dan Brearley, the hero in my book BREARLEY’S ENCORE. I still loved poetry and recited it whenever I could, but I had discovered real adventure and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Before long there were the James Bond films. These introduced me to Ian Fleming and the James Bond novels, which I devoured as quickly as they came out. I read them over and over again. Now fast forward forty years. I found myself living in a formerly very grand hotel which had been converted into apartments. They were sold on long leases, mainly to retired people, but the owner of the freehold remained in situ, taking charge of the day to day management of the building and responsibility for its maintenance. He was not a pleasant man, was less than honest and failed miserably to meet his obligations. The building began to fall into a state of disrepair and life for me and my fellow lessees became less than comfortable. I began to wonder what was to be done about the man. He was not open about his business affairs in general and I began to wonder what he got up to. Then I began to wonder who could find out. A private detective, I thought, or, better still, a super comic book-type hero. A James Bond! What if a retired secret agent were to move into the building? What would such a man do about our rogue landlord? And Dan Brearley was born. I had been writing western novels – the only sort I could get anyone to publish – and it wasn’t much of a leap to start writing a spy story.

I no longer live in the converted hotel mentioned above and I wouldn’t want the owner, who is still in situ, to in anyway think BREARLEY’S ENCORE was about him and his building, but our life’s experiences do sink into our subconscious and inform our artistic creations. My book is really about what could happen to a retired-secret agent, rather than a rogue landlord. Leasehold as a form of residential property tenure is a peculiarly English means of home-buying but it is fraught with problems and lease holders often find themselves living with bad landlords. I wanted in the book to highlight this fact. Changes in property law have tried to alleviate the problems but not with total success, and they are

hard to enforce if you are saddled with a non-co-operative freeholder. I wanted to highlight this fact in my story.

But still I wanted more to write an adventure story. I was writing westerns, they were being published, but their appeal was somewhat limited. I wanted to reach a wider audience. I suppose, given my love of Bulldog Drummond and James Bond as fictional heroes, it was natural that I should follow in their authors footsteps in creating my own fictional hero.

I still recite poetry and sing pop songs but mainly to myself or in the shower, when I know the whole world is listening.


You can download Brearley’s Encore here

The Legend of Water Hole Branch

Keep It Stupid, Simple

The Legend of Waterhole Branch - Copy (1)

Guest post by author, Lucas Wright

Certain questions are continually asked by people that have read my novel The Legend of Waterhole Branch, but one above all – how did you come up with this story and the characters?

As an aside, I almost hesitate to call it a novel. If we’re being honest, I just want to call it a story. My story The Legend of Waterhole Branch sounds better to me. Technically, I met the definition of a novel when I put this story on paper, but I am not a professional writer. I don’t make my living writing books. I didn’t major in journalism or take creative writing classes. I haven’t spent the last twenty years refining my craft and developing my skills, so keep that in mind when reading my answers to the standard question that I am always asked by readers of my story.

It’s a good question. No one that reads The Legend of Waterhole Branch is going to be blown away by the technical writing or the creative use of certain literary techniques that a more polished or seasoned author might incorporate, but if they are taking the time to talk about it, then let’s assume they liked something about it. That something, for my story, will almost always be the characters or the plot.

When I sat down to put words on paper, the only thing I focused on was the characters and the plot. I was convinced that if the story was strong and that the characters were dynamic then the reader would be entertained. I wrote every bit of this story with the reader in mind. How would the reader feel about this conflict and this action? How would the reader feel if this happened or if that happened? I ultimately decided that if the reader was happy with all the decisions I made with respect to the plot and the characters, then he or she would likely be entertained.

This may sound obvious, but I think many writers get caught up in their writing instead of their story. There is nothing wrong with this and if you are a great writer, then more power to you. If you can make sentences dance across the page with flare and big words, then that is great. I chose to tell my story using simple sentences and phrases. I wanted to get from point A to point B as simply as possible and wow the reader with the action not the style. I kept it stupid.

Have you ever watched a basketball game and a player made an incredible move, eluded three defenders, rose high above the rim, double pumped, and then finished with an incredible highlight reel dunk? Then some dweeb next you says, “That was pretty, but it’s still only two points.”

You ignore such a boring statement because good lord, that was incredible! I do it all the time, but that doofus has a point. It was only two points, and in the game of basketball, a boring post move coupled with a lay in accounts for the same amount of points as that high flying dunk. Likewise, a lay in ultimately measures the same towards the common goal of winning that game. That is how I write.

That is how I wrote The Legend of Waterhole Branch. I strung together a lot of narrative with simple sentences that were designed to take you through a really interesting story about lost treasure, hidden clues, kidnappers, guns, and murder. Now, the high flying dunkers of the writing community might scoff at my approach, but I promise that the story won’t let you down. There are no wasted movements in my story. Every chapter has a purpose and provides the reader with more knowledge about the characters, their past or present conflicts, and pushes towards a resolution. My story is 392 pages, but you can read it in a day. It’s fast paced, action packed, and a nine year old could read it. Just the way I like it.


More information on Lucas’s book, please visit him online: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10812102.Lucas_R_Wright Official Website: http://www.lucasrwright.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucasrwright Twitter @LucasRWright – https://twitter.com/lucasrwright Amazon – http://amzn.com/149694299X Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-legend-of-waterhole-branch-lucas-r-wright/1120464437?ean=9781496942999

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