Flight – Queer SF Flash Fic Anthology 2016

J. Scott Coatsworth’s at my LJ today sharing how Queer SF came up with the theme of ‘Flight’ for the 2016 flash fic anthology.

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Virtual Fantasy Con

I’m taking part in this – looking forward to it. Lou Hoffmann/Lou Sylvre and I will have booths on 10th, 13th and 16th October, and I’ll be blogging about The Protaganist’s Journey on Authors Speak on the 30th September.

Virtual FantasyCon is a fun and interesting online event happening in October and best of all it’s free. The location is your computer. You can drop by any day during the event and check out the booths for that day. There will be authors, bloggers, editors, artists, and publishers to list just a few. There will be a Cosplay booth, Blog Hop Hunt booth, panel discussions, and a new booth this year an Author Cache Sale booth (This booth is new and is only for the participating authors on the day of each event. Books on sale for $1.99 or 0.99 can list these books in the comment section below for guests to find and buy.) It is put together by lovely people like Carol March, Raven Williams, Denise Garrou, and others who have worked behind the scenes to make this event happen.

It’s a place to catch up on your favorite author and discover new authors. There is epic fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, children’s fantasy, and YA fantasy to name just a few of the different types of authors that will have a booth during the event.

To find out more about the event check out the following social media links:
Reader’s Corner
Virtual FantasyCon
Blog Hop Hunt
List of Participants

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Release Day Tour – The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord by Varian Krylov

I’m interviewing Varian Krylov today on my LJ as part of the release day tour with Creative Minds Promotions for The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord. Comment on the post and be in to win an ecopy of the book.

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The Magic Mirror: Lou Hoffmann Makes A Case for Reading that Book Again

Lou Hoffmann Icon-logo-square

Hello! Here I am again, availing myself of the opportunity to play with words on the pixel page, which is what Anne Barwell kindly allows me to do here once each month. This is a busy week for me, as I’m preparing for the release of Wraith Queen’s Veil and planning to attend a small conference in Seattle this coming weekend—in addition to all the other writing, editing, promoting, and coordinating in my hopper, but I’m enjoying this change of pace—taking this time to put together a post for Drops of Ink—regardless of what waits on my desk.

As I mentioned, I’ve got a release coming up, and soon I’ll be blogging all around the web, different posts about the same topic—my book! I have a lot of fun stuff planned for that, and within the next couple of days, on my blog at Queerly YA, I’ll list the places and dates where you’ll be able to find it over roughly the next month. I truly hope you’ll visit me in my travels, enjoy the posts, comment, enter the raffle, have some fun. But today, this post on this blog, I’m not going to talk about my book.

I believe in reading books twice, and I’m going to tell you why.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ve probably figured out I love a good quote. Let me just start right out with a couple that are, I think, right on target for the subject of reading books more than once.

First, George Robert Gissing confesses he does it—apparently a lot.

“I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things.”

And then Clifton Fadiman spells it out pretty plainly.

“When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.”shadows-book-reading-pixabay-923254_1280

(In an aside to Mr. Fadiman, I say, Classic-shmassic! That’s true of every good book!)

But let’s get a little deeper, perhaps a bit more specific, shall we? For starters, I’ll briefly revisit a tenet I’ve hammered on so often the scars will never heal. This:

Fiction teaches us about being human!

For this post, I hope you will agree to that as a stipulation. Rather than beating the topic up any more, I’ll simply say if you don’t understand why I say that, or you don’t believe me, or you want to look into it a little more, here are a few places to pick up some more information.

  • 1) An article in Psychology Today by Christopher Bergland
    Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function
  • 2) A blog post on Buffer.com by Courtney Seiter—The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction: 9 ways it makes us happier and more creative
  • 3)From The Mary Sue, an article by Jill Pantozzi—We Knew It! Reading a Book More than Once has Mental Health Benefits
  • There’s a lot more out evidence to be had. For a quick start, I recommend a Google search on “What do we learn from reading fiction.”

    But moving on, we’re talking today not just about why it’s good to read fiction, but why read it twice—or more! And yes, there are some great articles already written on the subject. I encourage you to read them, and I’ll add a couple links. Here, however, I’m simply going to give you my opinion, formed from the squiggly path of my own thoughts. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe you won’t, or maybe you’ll decide to the idea over some more yourself. If that’s the case, I hope this post will be a starting point for traveling down your own road.

    I see books as a magic mirror.

    When I say that from fiction we learn to be human, I mean that in a well-written book with a meaningful characters and a worthy story, we see ourselves. In one sense, both the samenesses and differences between us and a character—especially the “bad guys”—informs our idea of who—and what—we are. But on a deeper level, we grow our self-concept when we “identify,” recognizing the deeper core of humanity that we share with all reasonably complete human personalities. These aren’t traits so much as potentials.

    Think about it this way. Say John-Jane Smith-Jones is a person we know who lives off a small chunk of land in a rural area and supplements a meager food budget by hunting for meat. Chances are, at least some among us, or those we know, will strongly disapprove, thinking, “I could never kill a deer! They have a right to life!” Putting aside all arguments for or against that idea, I’m simply illustrate a character trait. In contrast, even that person with strong feelings about the morality of hunting has a core of shared human nature that allows them to understand why someone will hunt in order to eat.

    We don’t automatically know this, but when we recognize it in others, the familiarity cues the learning. Of course, if a person is very quiet and reflective as they walk through life, that might do the trick as well as reading, but who gets to do that? Perhaps a few—monks and cloistered nuns and such. For most of us though, life calls for too much caution, preparation, planning, action, and at least responding if not reacting. Books give us the chance to go there—one of the ways the reading mirror works

    Yes, I have a quote for this, from Edward P. Morgan.

    A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.

    So, we read a book once and we see ourselves in it, right down to our core. We understand our place in the scheme of things as human beings a little better than we did before we read it. Thanks for sticking around to the end of this blog. See you next month!
    frog-mirror-1499068_1280We “get,” to a degree, that when we see other people on the street, they are us and we are them, down deep. We measure the characters in the book against that shared core. Did they embrace the best parts of that humanity? Did they grow a tough layer of fear that kept them from being authentic, made them mean, made them miserable? Did they push beyond it—insist on love even in the face of native instinct for self-preservation?

    And then we measure ourselves against that core and against that character—the magic mirror at work.

    Great. Spiffy. Books are cool like that. But this post is about why read it twice.

    We grow. The magic mirror grows with us.

    Or, as E.M. Forster put it in Two Cheers for Democracy:

    I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.

    Really, it seems pretty obvious. The next time we read that book, we’re a little older, perhaps a little wiser but definitely a little more experienced. We develop a whole new relationship with the characters because we are not who we were before, and consequently they can’t be either. Before, John Q. Character was a teenager living in a magic land who doesn’t trust magic because everyone has more than him, say, but now he is a teenager who doesn’t trust magic because he knows you can’t measure magic that way and you can never predict what will come of it. Why the change? Because sometime between the first time we met him and now, we have faced the fact of our own fear that our magic (be it love, talent, whatever) cannot be measured and the outcome cannot be controlled.

    The marks are still on the wall from where we measured ourselves before. One mark for “this is how tall and wide my human potentials stand.” One mark for “this is how I measure myself against it.” And one more for “this is how I measure myself against the characters that matter in the book.”

    The magic reading mirror is positioned on the opposite wall, and when we read it again, we not only measure ourselves anew in relation to our potentials and the characters, we—like children—measure our standing against the marks we made before.

    Okay. To sum up, R.D. Cumming:

    “A good book has no ending. ~R.D. Cumming”


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Welcome A.M Arthur – Say It Right

I’m interviewing A.M. Arthur today on my LJ as part of her blog tour with Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions for Say it Right from Carina Press. There’s also a rafflecopter giveaway.

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Bundle Sale – Charley Descoteaux’s Buchanan House series


The release date for Safe House, Buchanan House: Book Four, is coming soon! To celebrate, Dreamspinner has created a bundle sale—Pre-order Safe House and get Tiny House (Buchanan House: Book Three) for $0.99! The sale runs September 12 until release day—September 19!

This is a true series so to get the most out of it I recommend to read the books in order. With that in mind I’ve stocked a Rafflecopter with two chances to win the first book in the series, Buchanan House. Visit any stop on my tour between September 12th and October 1st to enter!


SafeHouseFS_v1Safe House (Buchanan House: Book Four) by Charley Descoteaux

It’s never too late for a new beginning…

Kyle Shimoda is an asshole magnet, has been for as long as he can remember. At forty-seven, he doesn’t see much chance for improving his luck in love. His friends who run Buchanan House, a gay retreat on the central Oregon coast, know he wants to find “someone nice” to settle down with, and they set him up with Officer Brandon Smith. Kyle has a turbulent history with law enforcement, but he can’t deny his attraction to the buff cop.

Brandon has been a police officer in Lincoln City almost since the day he graduated from high school over thirty years ago. He’s cultivated the facade of a serious, disciplined law enforcement officer, but beneath his overdeveloped chest beats the soft heart of a drama queen. A cancer scare shifts Bran’s focus from finding a serious relationship to having as much sex as he can—putting his goals squarely at odds with Kyle’s. If he can’t find the courage to be honest about his feelings for Kyle, the happiness they’ve both been searching for could slip through their fingers.


Read Chapter One at the Dreamspinner store to meet Kyle. Meet Brandon in the excerpt below.


Chapter Two

Brandon barely paid attention as he drove between the cemetery and the apartment he shared with two roommates. He’d hoped to find a voice mail from the doctor after the funeral, but no such luck. He did find one saying the new guy, Dylan, had called in sick, and Brandon was expected at work within the hour. He would have been happier to stay at the cemetery and talk with Paulie a little longer. And Kyle. Bran had met Kyle before, but they hadn’t spoken. He had noticed then how handsome Kyle was, and he was even more striking with his hair longer, framing his high cheekbones and full, sensuous mouth. His silky black hair looked so touchable.

This isn’t getting me to work any faster.

At least work will be a distraction.

He hurried home and changed into his uniform. His quick spot check in the bathroom mirror turned into a lingering appraisal. Brandon ran an open hand over his chest, not to smooth the impeccable fabric of his uniform shirt, but to reassure himself that nothing had changed. He grimaced at his reflection, thinking a little less gray and a little more brown in his hair might be a nice change.

Brandon shivered as he recalled the MRI he’d endured three days prior, which had revealed a suspicious lump in his chest. Forty-seven minutes in a tiny tube while the machine hummed and took pictures of his breast and lymph tissue. Just thinking about the way it had felt to lie there made him shiver—it was worse than the needle biopsy he’d had the following day. With every inhale his shoulders had brushed the walls of the tube on both sides, and less than halfway through he’d had to talk himself out of fleeing. He wasn’t a tall man—something that had bothered him throughout his life—but until that day he had taken pride in his body, in the bulk he’d cultivated without sacrificing speed or agility.

During that forty-seven minutes, he would have been happy to trade his broad shoulders for a smaller frame.

Since I’m making empty wishes, I might as well make one for a better-looking face. A face that could attract a handsome young guy like Kyle instead of scaring him half to death.

Bran’s stomach roiled at his own thoughts, and he resolved to not even think the word death again until—unless—he had to. He was tempted to forgo shaving the sandy brown stubble from his face but fell back on the habit, hoping for the comfort a routine could provide, and reached for his electric razor.

Everything seemed to be happening so fast. Less than a week ago he’d gone in for his yearly physical, and now he was waiting for the call that would tell him whether he needed to make another appointment for that week or next year. In the interim he’d been squeezed into a tube and had a biopsy. And relived the worst time in his life over and over, the time when he’d learned about his father’s diagnosis.


Pre-0rder Safe House at the Dreamspinner store and get Tiny House for $0.99! Sept. 12-19: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/safe-house-by-charley-descoteaux-7536-b


Enter Sept 12 – Oct 1!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Three winners! Prizes: One signed paperback of Safe House (US Only); one ebook copy of book one of the series, Buchanan House; one backlist book (any ebook except Safe House)



Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.


Rattle Charley’s cages:

Blog: http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charley.descoteaux.3
Dreamspinner Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=879
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharleyDescote
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/aqe7g7r
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charleydescote/


Series: Buchanan House
Book Number: 4
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Pages: 200
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Posted in dreamspinner press | 2 Comments

Book Blast – Bread, Salt and Wine by Dev Bentham

I’m hosting Dev Bentham on my LJ today as part of her book blast with Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions for Bread, Salt and Wine which is book 4 of her Tarnished Souls series. There’s also a rafflecopter giveaway.

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Welcome Frank Cavallo – Eye of the Storm

I’m hosting Frank Cavallo today on my LJ. Frank’s novel Eye of the Storm has recently been released from Ravenswood Publishing.

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Rainbow Snippet – 11/9/16 – Winter Duet

My Rainbow Snippet this week is from Winter Duet book 2 of my WWII Echoes Rising series. I’m finding it very difficult to find snippets from the books in this series that don’t contain spoilers. Too much plot going on!

“Of course he could just be faking sleep and listening to everything we’ve just said.”

Ken slammed on the brakes. Pain screamed through Matt’s arm as he was flung forward and collided with the dashboard.

“I was just joking,” Matt said. He hadn’t meant to get Ken so riled up. Matt rubbed at his sore arm. He’d been told his jokes could be painful at times, but this was taking that just a little too literally.

Posted in echoes rising, rainbow snippets | 14 Comments

Welcome Alexis Duran – Gryffon Hall

I’m hosting Alexis Duran today on my LJ as part of her blog tour with Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions for Gryffon Hall from Loose Id. There’s also a rafflecopter giveaway.

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