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  1. Well, happy Monday! Are those groans I hear? Well, hopefully you will either survive, if you're checking this blog before work or you obviously managed to make it through the day if you're home and hopefully relaxing. And what better way than to first read this review by LitLover of this eko tale written by our very own Promising author, Craftingmom? Blood of the Neko craftingmom Reviewer: LitLover Status: Complete Word Count: 61,158 Blood of the Neko is the sequel to the very popular Tears of the Neko by Craftingmom. This is a story about love, loyalty, and most of all, trust and how easily trust can be damaged. I’ve had a hard time reading stories about abused characters, but there was something about Kaden that drew me in and had me impatient for this sequel. Kaden is a young Neko hybrid; people who in this world appear part feline, with ears and a tail, and the agility of a cat. In Tears of the Neko Kaden was a slave, purchased as a gift for a nobleman. His sweet and loyal demeanor quickly endeared him to the household and to his new master, who eventually becomes his lover. In Blood the new lovers are learning how to live together as a couple and Kaden is adjusting to his freedom and life as the consort of a powerful lord. Kaden, fiercely protective of those he loves, decides he want to learn how to properly fight so he can protect Damien if he’s ever attacked again. Knowing his duke would disapprove putting himself in harms way, he decides to keep his lessons a secret. Damien, still smarting from his brother’s deception, immediately thinks the worst when he realizes his young lover is keeping secrets. The seeds of doubt fester as the days go by, resulting in angry accusations, a devastated hybrid and a kidnapping. The whole thing leads to an exciting ending that I won’t spoil for you. You’ll have to read the story yourself to see how everything plays out. Blood of the Neko is a story that pulled me in and had me wanting to wrap Kaden in a protective hug, while smacking Damien on more than one occasion. Warning; there is reference to abuse of a child in this story and it does involve physical abuse in the present day. It won’t be a story for everyone, but I think if you give this series, and this tale in particular, a chance you won’t be disappointed. Category: Fiction Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance Tags: young adult, alternate earth, serious, renaissance, love, abuse Rating: Mature
  2. Welcome to the end of May... how did that happen? No, seriously! It's crazy how fast the year is flying by, and we're almost halfway done with 2018. And what does flying have to do with this month's author and featured story? Well, did you read Lie of the Serpent? Or you can check out my interview with Craftingmom. And don't forget to share your thoughts on her story below. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Of course, I've recently watched the Infinity Wars movie, so the Marvel superheroes and their powers are what's coming to mind. I think manipulation of time, like Dr. Strange, would be cool so I could fix things I feel I did wrong (but then you get into the whole question of how that change would affect future outcomes and all), but, still, I have regrets that would be nice to not have. Of course, a lot of my dreams involve flying, so maybe that's my subconscious telling me I'd prefer flying as my superpower! What are you wearing (and no fibbing!)? A grey comfy nightgown and cozy slippers—it is 2 am, so yeah... What’s one location you’d love to go to research for a story? I'd love to go to Greece. Mythology was my specialty in my English minor and I'd like to eventually write something with a Greek or maybe Roman setting. It would be hard because there is so much out there involving the Greek and Roman gods, but maybe twist off of a minor myth. What brought you to the GA? I originally had started posting at AFF and Fiction Press with Tears of the Neko. Then I found GA in looking for stories, and tried posting Tears of the Neko here. The feedback/critiques I received here were (and have been) by far the most helpful and insightful. They helped me to revamp Tears by adding over 20k words from its original form. Comments and questions from readers have greatly helped me to advance my writing and grow as an author. And now I only post here! What’s the best part of being an author? Well, I've been writing since at least middle school (so over 30 years). Obviously, the 'old' stuff is mediocre at best, but even then the thrill of creating my own world and characters has been a driving factor in my writing. Of course, there's the tiny part of me that enjoys sharing my writing with others and hoping they like it. For the longest time (years—until college anyway), the only person who I ever allowed to read any of my fiction stories was my best friend, and she'd try to steal my spiral notebook while I was still writing. In college, I allowed a few more friends to read my stories. I would publish short stories and poetry in the school's literary journals, but never any of my longer works. I didn't put anything major out for the mass public to view until putting my young adult works on Amazon in 2013, and then Tears of the Neko on AFF in 2014—the start of my journey into writing m/m fiction. How did you come up with the title for Lie of the Serpent? Well, I think of a snake laying in wait to pounce and devour its prey. They're stealthy and slithery and can often hide in plain sight. So that's how I think of Bryan's mother. And of course she's lying to Bryan about Wyatt and how she feels about his relationship so.... Lie of the Serpent. Lie of the Serpent is actually based off of an idea of a story I wrote back in high school. The title then was The Sexton Keeps the Key, a line from an Emily Dickenson poem. While some basic plot elements are the same (the mom kidnapping and trying to kill her son's significant other and the disabled brother helps save them), Lie of the Serpent became so much more, as the original was not nearly as engaging, detailed, or planned. I kinda suck at coming up with titles. So sometimes when reading poetry or listening to music, I'll jot down a line or phrase that intrigues me and keep a list. Sometimes those help trigger me to think up more interesting titles... sometimes, not all the time... Is there anything you found particularly challenging when you wrote Lie of the Serpent? I find writing a hateful or abusive parent rather difficult, but they are out there as we see in the news all the time. There has to be some motivation behind their actions and detailing that can be challenging. Eddie was also difficult, because while he's complicit in Wyatt's captivity, he also wants what's best for his brother. The conflict his mother creates for him is difficult for him to reconcile because he wants to please both his mother and brother. Did you do any kind of research for it? A little research on the health problems Wyatt would be facing during his captivity and after his rescue. A lot of times readers will offer suggestions or ask questions that has me looking things up as well. What’s your favorite scene in the story? Probably Wyatt's rescue where Eddie brings Wyatt out to Bryan. Bryan and Eddie's utterly unconditional love for each other is what familial love should be, contrasted with their mother's selfish betrayal of her sons. If you could write a spinoff story for character(s) in this story, which one would you pick? Oh Eddie, definitely. While Bryan and Wyatt are whom I would consider the main protagonists, Eddie is a strong third and is definitely a dynamic, sympathetic character who deserves his own love interest.
  3. It's May... already?! How did that happen? I swear the time keeps flying by, but that just means we have to remember to take some time out to stop and enjoy ourselves. This month, that means you get to read Craftingmom's story, Lie of the Serpent. This contemporary crime mystery will hopefully keep you on the edge of your keyboard from start to finish! Lie of the Serpent Lie of the Serpent by Craftingmom Length: 70,591 Description: When Bryan finally finds the man he wants to be with forever, he thinks his life will be perfect. But it's taken time to convince not only Wyatt that he's sincere, but his own mother as well. Between Wyatt's anxiety to trust again after a brutal breakup with an ex, the ex still trying to wreck havoc in Wyatt's life, and Bryan's own mother's doubts, Bryan is over-stressed. So when Wyatt disappears days after their engagement, he's left devastated and confused. A Reader Said: I love all the books by this author and have read them all. This one was slightly different from her usual writings, but still a compelling read. I liked the storyline in this one because even when you find out who is the bad guy, you still can't see how the good guys are going to work it out in time. The bad guy isn't unexpected, but the lengths they go to are. As always a well written and thought out story from an imaginative author. ~ Caz Pedroso Don't forget to come back on the Discussion Day, Monday May 28th, to share your thoughts!!
  4. Book Details Title: Tears of the Neko Author: Taylor Ryan Publisher: Self Published Length: 439 print pages Blurb: A younger brother buys his brother, the Duke and heir to the throne, a surprising gift for his brother's birthday--a young, very skittish neko slave. But ,Damien has no use for a personal slave. But a bet with his two younger brothers has Damien keeping the boy at his side as a matter of pride. When attempts on his life begin, Damien discovers just how protective the cat-like human can be. This is the story of a young neko who wasn't given the choice to become a slave. Having been captured by hunters who killed his parents and sell slaves illegally to the mines, Kayden grew up with the hunters torturing him into submission, until they finally sold him six years later to a slave market. It is here where the young neko is bought on a whim by a peer of the realm as a birthday gift--and his life begins to change. Buy Link Amazon About the author Taylor Ryan is the pen name for Sharon Hunter's M/M novels. She also writes young adult fiction as well. She lives in the northeast with her two daughters and her husband as well as their many sugar gliders. She loves reading as much as she loves to write, and she also works as an editor for other authors. Visit her at Gayauthors.org Or on Goodreads My Review First let me say I love this story. It was the first one by this author that I read and I have now read all of her work. The characters are wonderful. From the beginning you will fall in love with Kayden. With everything he has been through before the story starts, and everything he goes through during, you can’t help but want to gather him up and protect him from the big bad world around him. Damien is lovely, but, he is so buried in his work that he doesn’t even really take notice of Kayden at first. There are points when I wanted to reach into the book and smack him round the back of the head. Harrison is the typical little brother, however, I do think he sees more than others give him credit for. And of course lastly you have Roman…well let’s just say he would be better minus certain parts of his anatomy and leave it at that, shall we??? I’ll let you come to your own conclusion about him when you read the story. My favorite bit had to be Kayden playing with shaving cream, I could almost imagine it in my mind. I laughed so hard. Overall a great story full of ups and downs.
  5. I can't believe it's already March. Not only that, but it's the first Wednesday of the month, which can only mean one thing. It's time for another Ask An Author feature provided to us by Dark. If you have questions you want to ask your favorite authors, but don't want to ask the questions yourself, you can always send your questions to Dark for inclusion in the Ask An Author feature. Ask an Author #47 Welcome back to another quirky question and answer session with your favorite authors! In AtA #46, we heard from authors Comicality, Mann Ramblings, Mikiesboy, and Parker Owens. Today in AtA #47 we hear again from authors Riley Jericho and SkinnyDragon, plus Craftingmom, and Roberto Zuniga. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had the pleasure of quizzing lady craftingmom (way back in AtA #34, fall of 2015). She had just finished Lie of the Serpent, a story revolving around protagonist Bryan finding his missing fiance. I, like many others, found myself fighting tears several times. Craftingmom does love a good tear-jerker! Since then, she’s been promoted to Promising Author and gifted us with more than half a dozen more stories. Currently she’s working on a sequel to “Guarding the Line” called Finding the Line[/url. While I haven’t read it (you know I’m not a big fan of teen romance), the reviews are intriguing. I think everyone has had that one crush you just wish you’d said something to, but what would have happened if you’d actually gathered the courage to do so? If you have read the original, this is the same story but from the opposite point of view, and it’s just beginning! you can flip back and forth between them or read all of Brady’s story first. But buyer beware! Craftingmom writes character-driven stories. You’ll certainly feel the drama as if you were the protagonist yourself. You can also catch her at her other sites; she’s really branched out over the past few years. Look for her pen name Taylor Ryan, if you want her M/M stuff. To Craftingmom: What sort of things do you do after dealing with the darkest parts of your stories? That's a tough question. I'm not really sure I do anything specific afterwards. I do go through a bunch of tissues while writing them. I think since I tend to do most of my writing between midnight and 4am, the fact that I get to crawl in bed with my husband and cuddle up with him helps too. Before bed, my girls also crawl into my bed and beg me to read to them. Mind you, they are 13 and 15, so the fact that my 'teens' still want to be with me and have me read to them is very comforting. One other thing my husband and I usually do is, when we are eating out, if any first responders come in to eat, we'll pay for their meals. (When 12 walked in at once, that was a little more overwhelming!) It's not something I do specifically because of the dark subject matter I write, but I do think about how these people help the kinds of souls that I write about, and it's a small way of thanking them for their service. Back with us again is Author Riley Jericho, most well-known due to his epic saga An English Teen, Circumcised in the USA. Riley flirted with us for four years before finally completing his saga last fall (Sept 2016). He writes to us from all the way over there in Manchester, UK. Although a quiet, private person, Riley is quite friendly, do don’t hesitate to swing by his profile and say, wish him a belated birthday (Jan), or poke him about writing us something new, not that I’m one to talk. Still, who knows what random comment or thought will lead to the next big story? To Riley Jericho: How do you feel about your stories being so popular and well received here on GA? I'm a Brit. It's genetically impossible for us to accept compliments, so that's a tough question! The truth is, I value every chapter read, and drink in each review, answering them methodically. I love hearing what people think and it also feeds me with many new ideas. Some of my least-proud moments here on GA have been the times I've disappointed readers. I think you know what I mean, and even though my reasons and situation were very real when I disappeared for a long while, I'm also very sorry for doing that—and thanks to all who sent hugs and kept looking out for me. So in answer to your question, it astounds me that most of my readers still stuck around! And yes, I'm extremely grateful my stories are well received. That said, I've learned the lesson that you have to write because you want to. Sometimes there will be lean times when it comes to how well readers respond. It's only when the story is important to you, do you keep writing. Author Roberto Zuniga is the better half of Albertonothlit, who you might remember appearing in this blog once or twice. In addition to writing, Roberto is an amazing artist and has created book cover art for his husband. Mexico certainly has its challenges when you’re gay, but these two almost make it seem like a fairy tale. An interesting tidbit for those Star Wars fans out there: Roberto’s birthday is Star Wars Day! (May the 4th) Now you’ll always remember. According to his friends, this is one sweet man, and he can also write a mean story. Roberto has several stories that are in progress, but I think the hidden gem in his collection is Bred for War. In this story, there are two countries at war. They’ve been at war so long that their entire economy has slowly become only about the war. What will happen when two soldier-boys from opposite sides meet? They’ve been raised from birth to believe their enemy is “evil.” It’s a devilish conundrum for the main characters and the world Roberto has created makes my inner sci-fi geek purr. To Roberto Zuniga: First, congrats on your husband being promoted to Promising Author! So, when it comes to writing, have you two collaborated on projects or bounced ideas off each other? Not really. Carlos is very secretive when it comes to his writing, I think it's basically a matter of wanting everything to be perfect before he shares it with anyone, including me. I have been lucky enough to get to read many of his works before everyone else (LOL) and I've also encouraged him to carry on and publish. Take Earthshatter for instance -his new novel published by DSP-, I loved him so much I wouldn't stop bothering until he accepted to publish it LOL. Something I do have to say is I love his finished products and drawing for those projects. Regarding my writing, pfffff! I'm so messy! Ideas can flow through my mind sometimes, scenarios, particular characters. Sometimes I share some of my ideas or tell him I feel conflicted about this or that character, but he usually advises to work it the way I feel I should. We do read each other's work and encourage each other to keep on writing, since we both enjoy it so much. Author skinnydragon comes back to finish up our blog for the day. Skinny is the author behind https://www.gayauthors.org/story/skinnydragon/18weeksoftwoey]18 Weeks of Twoey and has recently begun a sequel that is generating a lot of attention. Unfortunately, Skinny received bad news at the end of 2016. Send him some love and well-wishes. I feel blessed to have been able to be on the periphery of his life the last couple years. I hope that he is able to maintain the strength of body and mind long enough to see his bucket-list completed. Headstall I think said it best: “I just want you to know, though we've never met in person, you have impacted me from the first interaction. You are one of the bright lights in my life, skinny … I wish I could hug you for real... I really do.” To skinnydragon: What motivates you to write? For example, do you hope to publish or is it simply a creative or artistic outlet? That’s a good question. It is an artistic outlet, in a way. I certainly never intend to publish - ever. I am not a writer, which should be pretty plain to any reader. I’m an artist. I was challenged by a mentor/writer, when younger, to write a back story for a few things I painted. In doing so, I discovered it helped improve everything I subsequently drew. Now I do it all the time and they have become the germs for a few story ideas. Some stories may even get written and make the journey from my laptop to GA. That’s it for now! For more info on these authors, go check out their stories, post in their forums, and/or catch them in chat! I’ll see you next time, with authors JackBinimbul, mikiesboy, palantir, and WolfM! I’m always in the market for new questions! Simply PM me (Dark). Until next time! Dark
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