Blog Tour and Giveaway: Hector and Anatolius by Vanessa Mulberry

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Title: Hector and Anatolius
Author: Vanessa Mulberry
Series: Trojan Men #1
Release Date: May 9th 2016
Genre: Historical MM Romance, Paranormal

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BLURB
Hector has been a dutiful son and prince his whole life until his father orders him to marry. The Trojan was meant for no woman, and when he meets a handsome youth named Anatolius, he is more determined than ever to rule one day with a man at his side. However, after he is betrayed by his brother Paris his fate seems unavoidable. Hector needs all the courage he has learned in battle, and the assistance of a goddess, to win the hand of the man he loves.

This is a gay (MM) romance novel set prior to the events of the Trojan War. It depicts romantic and sexual love between two men in a broadly tolerant society.

Hector and Anatolius is the debut novel of British author, Vanessa Mulberry.

Goodreads Links: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29759539-hector-and-anatolius?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

EXCERPT

After the meal, Hector drew the lad to him, and they relaxed on the shared kline to talk about their histories and their beliefs. Both drank strong wine, but Hector watched Anatolius carefully, mindful of its dizzying effects. “Just a little,” he said when Anatolius asked one of the servants for a third cup. “I won’t touch you if you’re sotted, and you will have to wait another day for my attentions.”
Anatolius appeared embarrassed, but when the servant stepped away, he whispered, “Thank you. I don’t want to wait.”
When the conversation lulled, Hector scooped his guest up and carried him from the room.
Anatolius put his arm around Hector’s neck and rested his head against the prince’s powerful shoulder. He laughed and said, “I will walk to your bedroom if that is where we are going. I’ll run if you like.”
Hector strengthened his grip, pulling him a little closer. “You may race me there another day, but tonight you go in my arms.”
“Don’t you think you can beat me?”
“It wouldn’t worry me if you did. I carry you because I want it to be known I will be your man tonight. Tomorrow I will follow you to the bed if you wish.”
Soon they reached his private apartment. It was a magnificent space: large and airy, with room on one side for cozier entertaining than the andron permitted and a soft bed for afterward. It led onto a terrace, which looked down over the city, and, as the night was warm, the imposing doors to it stood open, their silver casings glowing faintly in the moonlight.
The lamps were already lit, illuminating murals dedicated to Eros. Hector set Anatolius down and saw the lad’s eyes widen as he looked around at the walls. “Gods,” he murmured, “is this a shrine or a bedchamber?”
Hector had worshiped a lot of men in that room, but he didn’t think the pictures so unusual. He reminded himself that Anatolius hadn’t been in as many beds as him.
“Do you want to pray? I don’t usually conduct rituals in the palace, but we can if you like.”
Anatolius continued to stare at the walls. Hector saw his eyes rest on an image of two men making love. One was bent over, being penetrated by the other who kissed his back.
“Do you think we should? I want my first time to be pleasurable.”
“You needn’t ask Eros for such a blessing. I will ensure that.”

About the Author
Vanessa Mulberry lives in England with her husband and daughter. Her achievements are numerous and of no interest to anyone reading this. Her hobbies include cheap alcohol and romance novels. Growing up, Vanessa dreamed of becoming Mr. T, but the position has not yet fallen vacant. She has settled for being a romance novelist instead.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Stops

9th May – Bonkers About Books

10th MayFangirl Moments & My Two Cents, Oh My Shelves

11th MayMolly Lolly, 3 Chicks After Dark

12th MayFoxylutely Books, All in One Place

13th MayHearts on Fire Reviews

16th MayAM Leibowitz, Because Two Men are Better Than One

17th MayLoving Without Limits, Velvet Panic

18th MayMM Book Escape

19th MayMaking It Happen

20th MayMy Fiction Nook

23rd MayThe Jena Wade, Joyfully Jay

24th MayThe Novel Approach

25th MayDrops of Ink, The Purple Rose Tea House

26th MayWicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

27th MayThe Land of Make Believe, GGR Review

30th May – Diverse Reader, Prism Book Alliance

31st May – Meg’s Blog

1st June – Alpha Book Club

2nd June – TTC Books and More, Mikky’s World of Books

3rd June – Bayou Book Junkie

Giveaway

Win a $10 Amazon Giftcard

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Writing Fictional History: Ardent Fire

View of Ancient Florence by Fabio Borbottoni
View of Ancient Florence by Fabio Borbottoni

 

Wow, the original post below is nearly two years old, and I wrote “Ardent Fire” while writing “Hitting Black Ice.” The ferociously talented Kimber Vale had generously tagged me in a blog hop when my blog was fresh and new.

My new release is set in 18th century Siena, Tuscany. It’s a different world than 15th century Florence, one which I’ll visit next Friday with you.

From October 23, 2013….

What are you working on right now?

I’m in the home stretch for my historical romantic suspense novel Ardent Fire. The setting is Renaissance Italy, and, to be specific, Medici Florence about 1475. My two main characters are painters, Benedetto Tagliaferro and Morello, brought together by art and murder. I’m hoping to continue in this setting with the two painters getting involved in all sorts of mayhem around 15th century Florence.

How does Ardent Fire differ from other works in its genre?

Perhaps it doesn’t? Funny, looking backwards through history, artists in this era appear the equivalent of our rock stars–how fascinated we’ve become by Leonardo DaVinci and his secrets, how he thought and what he meant. And that hair! How about Michelangelo and his famous temper, that rocky relationship with the Pope? And Caravaggio, quite the talented bad boy…

Okay, I’m stretching it some, so sue me.

Perhaps only the setting and whatever my writer’s soul adds to it, a personal alchemy.

Why do you write what you do?

There’s a particular challenge to reading and writing both history and gay history. During this time in Florence, there is a relative lull between the fiery San Bernadino (d. 1444) and Savonarola (d. 1498). Both these men hated homosexuality and urged the persecution and punishment of gay men (though those terms weren’t in use then). Remember Jerry Fallwell blaming the 9/11 attacks on homosexuality and tolerance? Much like that but in graphic, late Middle Ages sermonizing. Sodomy was considered a criminal offense and a vice, and the Night Office was created to literally go out on the street to find the folks indulging in this particular offense.

Addendum: The Night Office originally looked for folks breaking the law after dark, from prostitution to sumptuary law to sodomy….

Florence was a man’s man’s world and in ways and reasons too many to recount here, homosexuality and bisexuality thrived and burgeoned in the Renaissance. How these men lived and loved fascinates me, as does anyone, man or woman, who manages to live through persecutions with their humanity intact. And, oh man, the art…!

So, for me, setting is character and adds to the dramatic tension for Benedetto and Morello, putting up obstacles for their love to survive and thrive and to solve a murder.

Addendum: If I ever really finish the damn thing.

How does your writing process work?

I submerge myself in the research in order to figure out how people thought, why they felt the way they did so long ago and in their context. It’s a fantastic moment when the character starts to act and think like he should from the little sketch I have to start with. Then it’s back and forth between the research books and sites, asking questions that lead to more questions, trying not to get sidetracked by all the other possibilities out there. Fortunately, writing is my crack. It’s the other stuff like cleaning the bathroom or mucking out the office that I need discipline for.

Addendum: This still holds true for If I Were Fire, my new release from Dreamspinner Press.

My source and inspiration for this post is “Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence” by Michael Rocke.

A Dio, all. Hel

Spotlight Post & Giveaway: Disappear With Me by Dean Pace-Frech

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I am happy to announce that the Second Edition of Disappear With Me is available from Amber Quill Press!

Blurb:

Love is greater than hope or faith, but can Reverend Leander Norris convince a jury that the love he shares with another man is natural?

In 1910, the United Kingdom was in turmoil. King Edward died after only nine years on the throne. The social class system that upheld British society for centuries was being chipped away by social, political, and economic unrest across the Commonwealth. Amidst this backdrop, Reverend Leander Norris is accused of sodomy. After discovering his own self-worth and unconditional love, Leander finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right and pleads not guilty to the charges. Throughout the trial, Leander’s past is revealed, including the temptations that bring the accusations against him. By the end of the trial, Leander is once again reunited with a romantic interest from the past, but it may be too late to rekindle any love that might remain, given the circumstances of the era and Leander’s likely sentence.

Excerpt:

“Are you not a scholar?” Weeks asked. “Do you not know the Bible that you preach from each Sunday?”

“I know it very well,” Leander answered. “But the Bible has many interpretations. I think you can guess that mine might be a little less than conventional.”

Weeks reclined back in his chair. He made a steeple with his fingers and rested them on his pursed lips. “You’re actually sitting here telling me that, as a man of God, you’re all right with buggery and feel you’ve done nothing wrong?”

“Mr. Weeks, do you realize you keep asking me the same question over again, using different words?”

“As your counsel, I need to be sure that I understand your position, the one you expect me to defend.”

“You sound shocked that I would suggest such a thing. I can’t have you defending me if you don’t believe it yourself.”

“Reverend, my beliefs about the situation are irrelevant; it doesn’t matter what I believe. I need to be able to defend our position in court and hope our defense can refute what the prosecution will present.”

“I have to have conviction in my sermons each Sunday morning. I think you also know you need to have conviction when defending your clients.”

“And I can assure you that I have that same conviction to make sure that you receive a fair trial. I will do my best—”

“Do your best to what? Go through the motions and make sure that the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed so it looks like I’ve been given a good defense?”

Weeks didn’t answer and that was all the answer that Leander needed. After a moment, Weeks tried to start again. “Look, Reverend, I am your assigned counsel for this trial. I am on your side. I want to see you get a fair trial, but you must understand what we’re up against is quite overwhelming.”

“I know; I’ve never done anything the simple way.”

“Sir, you must understand that we are going up against laws that are rooted in two thousand years of Christian tradition and about as many years of British attitude.”

“Mr. Weeks, do you love your wife?”

Weeks let out an impatient sigh. “Of course, but here you go asking intimate questions about me that have no bearing on my defending your case.”

“Humor me, sir. Do you love your wife?”

“Yes, I very much love my wife and family.”

“What if you woke up tomorrow and a constable showed up on your doorstep and arrested you because they said the love you share with your wife was illegal?”

Weeks didn’t answer him. Instead, in a quiet voice, he said, “You know you and I are just two people. We’re not going to change these laws overnight.”

Buy Links:

Get it directly from Amber Quill Press this week, it’s 20% off !

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About Dean Pace-Frech

With inspiration from historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, Dean started crafting his debut novel, A Place to Call Their Own, in 2008. After four years of writing and polishing the manuscript, it was accepted and originally published 2013. His second novel, Disappear With Me, set in Edwardian England was published later that same year. Both novels were re-released in May 2015.

Dean lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his husband, Thomas (legally as of February 14, 2015), and their two cats. They are involved in their church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, Dean’s hobbies include reading and patio gardening.

Dean is currently working a standalone title, Need Your Love, set in 1966, and The Higher Law, a continuation of the story of Frank and Gregory’s family set in the 1930s.

Connect with Dean Pace-Frech

Email deanfrech@aol.com

Blog: Dean’s Web Site

Facebook: Dean Pace-Frech, Author page or send a friend request Dean Pace-Frech.

Twitter: @deanpacefrech

Google+: +deanpacefrech

Goodreads: Dean Pace-Frech

Pinterest: Dean Pace-Frech

Giveaway:

In celebration of History Week Part II, I will be giving away an Ecopy of my first novel, A Place to Call Their Own, which is available from JMS Books.  Comment and follow me and the other folks on Twitter to enter to win!

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In The Spotlight: A Place To Call Their Own by Dean Pace-Frech

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A Place to Call Their Own

I am happy to announce that the Second Edition of A Place to Call Their Own is available from JMS Books, LLC.

Frank Greerson and Gregory Young have been discharged from the Army and are headed to their childhood homes. They both defied their parents in 1861 when they joined the Army. After battling southern rebels and preserving the Union of the United States of America, the two men set out to battle the Kansas Prairie and build a life together. Once they find their claim, they encounter common obstacles to life on the Kansas Prairie in 1866: Native Americans, tornadoes, wild animals, and weather.

When a prairie fire destroys their crops and takes their neighbor’s lives, Frank and Gregory are instructed to find their young son’s aunt. Faced with leaving a destroyed claim, the railroad coming through their land, and dwindling funds, Frank and Gregory must decide whether to leave the place they have worked hard to make their own or fulfill their friends’ dying wishes.

Sales Links:

Get it now directly from JMS Books:

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29_105&products_id=1436

OR Preorder from Amazon and download it on May 31 when it becomes available in wide release:

http://www.amazon.com/Place-Call-Their-Own-ebook/dp/B00X64JP0S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432122494&sr=8-1&keywords=a+place+to+call+their+own

Excerpt:

You two together or…” Mr. McAvoy asked with a puzzled look on his face.

Mrs. McAvoy raised an eyebrow, also curious about the situation.

Gregory gave Frank a nervous and mischievous look and answered, “Ah, yes, sir. We planned to each get a claim and build one house for now, help each other out.”

The answer seemed to satisfy both Mr. and Mrs. McAvoy. “That sounds like a good idea. It’d be nice to have a few neighbors around to help with things once in a while. And what I wouldn’t give to have had just one other man to help me with some of the house building and stable. You stay around here, and you’ll need a stable. Wolves and coyotes will get your livestock if you don’t.”

“How did you protect yourself before? This stuff doesn’t get built in a day.” Gregory asked.

“It takes ’em a while to figure out you’re here. And of course, it’s worse in the winter than this time of year. They haven’t been quite so bad the last few weeks, have they?” he directed to his wife.

“No, they calmed down. Hopefully they’ve been preying on the deer that are eating my potato plants.” answered Mrs. McAvoy. “You two want to stay for supper? I’ve got a big pot of rabbit stew on the stove.”

“It’ll be good, I promise. She’s done great cooking whatever I can find for us,” Mr. McAvoy added.

Gregory ignored the invitation. “How’s the hunting around here? You do good during the winter months?”

“Yeah, in the fall it’s the best—the animals are all fat and sassy from the summer. You can tell the bucks from the does, and you don’t have to worry about orphaning a young deer like you do now. There are plenty of rabbits and prairie chickens right now. You can find squirrels…”

“And the meadowlarks do fine, too, in a pinch,” piped in Mrs. McAvoy. “Now, what about supper?”

“We appreciate the offer, ma’am,” Frank spoke up. “But we’re just trying to find us our claims and be done with traveling. We’ve been traveling nearly six weeks now. It has been that long since we had a decent home-cooked meal, but we need to keep moving on today.”

They both remembered the last time they joined anyone for dinner. The McAvoys seemed harmless, but Frank and Gregory were both a bit shy about joining anyone else at this point.

“Yeah, we’re getting close to where we want to settle,” Gregory added. “We appreciate the offer and all, but we just want to keep moving.”

Mrs. McAvoy smiled, turned, and ran into the house with her load of laundry. Neither Frank nor Gregory knew if she was hurt because they declined the supper invitation or just needed to get back to her household chores.

“We understand that. Took us nearly six months to get here from New York, where we come from. We stayed with some relatives along the way, but the missus did appreciate it when we finally stopped here.”

“Well, we appreciate your hospitality and all your help. We should probably get going,” Frank said, glancing at Gregory.

“If you happen to end up around here, don’t be strangers. Just let us know where you’re at,” Mr. McAvoy replied.

“It’s a deal, sir,” Frank said and extended his hand.

Mr. McAvoy walked over and took it. After they were done, McAvoy stepped away from the wagon.

Gregory slapped the reins and yelled “giddyap,” and the horses sprang forward.

A frantic Mrs. McAvoy yelled from inside the house, “Wait!”

Frank grabbed Gregory’s arm to stop him. Gregory pulled back on the reins.

Mrs. McAvoy came out of the cabin with a small basket covered with flour sack cloth.

“This here isn’t much, but maybe it will allow you to rest once you stop for the night. I put two crocks of my stew in there and part of the bread I baked for our supper tonight. I don’t know why I did it, but something told me to make extra bread today.”

“We’re mighty obliged, ma’am. This will help. Now we don’t have to worry about hunting anything for our dinner. We’ll just warm this by the fire and be ready to go,” Gregory spoke up.

“Yes, ma’am. We are getting a bit worn out by this trip,” Frank said. He grinned at Gregory and said, “Hopefully, we’ll be finding our home soon.”

Both men tipped their hats once more, and Gregory got the horses going again.

Dove and Daisy lumbered along for the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening. Before they realized it, the wagon climbed a gentle, gradual grade. The early evening sun blinded them as they reached the crest of the ridge. At the top, Frank looked over his shoulder where the wagon had just been. There he saw the trail left by the wagon and horses in the prairie grass. To the west, a line of trees indicated a creek, river, or some sort of waterway. The sun drenched the entire landscape in its golden hue. He looked at Gregory, and they both knew this was their new home. They had arrived on the homestead.

“Welcome home, Frankie!” Gregory yelled at the top of his lungs.

Giveaway:

In celebration of the release of A Place to Call Their Own, I am giving away a copy of my second novel. Disappear With Me releases on May 31, so the prize will be delivered after that.

Rafflecopter code:

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New bw headshot

About Dean Pace-Frech

With inspiration from historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, Dean started crafting his debut novel, A Place to Call Their Own, in 2008. After four years of writing and polishing the manuscript, it was accepted and originally published 2013. His second novel, Disappear With Me, set in Edwardian England was published later that same year. Both novels were re-released in May 2015.

Dean lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his husband, Thomas (legally as of February 14, 2015), and two cats. They are involved in their church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, Dean’s hobbies include reading and patio gardening.

Dean is currently working a standalone title, Need Your Love, set in 1966, and The Higher Law, a continuation of the story of Frank and Gregory’s family set in the 1930s.

 

 

Happy Release Day!! Crossed Hearts by Kimber Vale

Crossed Hearts

One heart’s been broken. The other is secondhand.

Kory Vansant doesn’t deserve to be alive.

As time sucks him dry of energy, sapping the final ounces of strength from his congenitally enlarged heart, he’s forced to end his career as Kory Kent, porn star. Staring down death, he questions his life choices and prays for a miracle. For another chance at life, he vows to change who he is at his core.

His prayers are answered. A perfect heart now beats in his chest, but it comes at a heavy price. The donor is an innocent young man cut down far too prematurely.

Kory’s blemished history and his donor’s spotless past are far from ideal matches.

As his debts skyrocket, Kory can’t help but think his resolve to walk the high road is being tested. After he meets the adorable Will Squire at the gravesite they both visit, he’s doubly damned because there’s no way he can keep up his end of the bargain. What happens when a man breaks a deal with a higher power?

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Will often prefers the company of the dead to that of the living. Following a bad breakup, he pours himself into his two jobs—funeral director at his uncle’s mortuary and part-time paramedic. He’s drawn ever closer to Kory, as if fate sticks her fickle hand in and pushes them together like two unlikely puzzle pieces. But sometimes history can’t be buried, and maybe divine intervention isn’t always right. Will discovers everyone is imperfect, no matter how pretty the outer package, and opening one’s heart is never easy, but can be oh, so worth the pain.

Young man

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