New Release – The Prince and the Ice King by Amanda Meuwissen #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Prince and the Ice King

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: August 3, 2021

Genre: Fantasy M/M Romance

Tropes: Fated love, enemies to lovers, cursed, slow burn

Themes: Destiny, fate, redemption, legend, overcoming prejudice

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 300 pages

It can be read alone but is the first book in a series. 

This is book 1 of Tales from the Gemstone Kingdoms.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

Dreamspinner

Only true love can melt a frozen heart.

Blurb

Every Winter Solstice, the Emerald Kingdom sends the dreaded Ice King a sacrifice—a corrupt soul, a criminal, a deviant, or someone touched by magic. Prince Reardon has always loathed this tradition, partly because he dreams of love with another man instead of a future queen.

Then Reardon’s best friend is discovered as a witch and sent to the Frozen Kingdom as tribute.

Reardon sets out to rescue him, willing to battle and kill the Ice King if that’s what it takes. But nothing could prepare him for what he finds in the Frozen Kingdom—a cursed land filled with magic… and a camaraderie Reardon has never known. Over this strange, warm community presides the enigmatic Ice King himself, a man his subjects call Jack. A man with skin made of ice, whose very touch can stop a beating heart.

A man Reardon finds himself inexplicably drawn to.

Jack doesn’t trust Reardon. But when Reardon begins spending long days with him, vowing to prove himself and break the curse, Jack begins to hope. Can love and forgiveness melt the ice around Jack’s heart?

Excerpt 

“Jack, is it? Far better than ‘Ice King,’ I suppose.”

The king frowned.

“I’ll call you Majesty until we trust each other. But on that day, I will call you Jack.”

“Is this a game to you?” The Ice King straightened. Reardon stood almost directly before the throne now, chilled and shivering but without any creeping frost on his hair or clothes. “What do you hope to accomplish?”

“My father is wrong for what he does, but seeing this curse on you makes me wonder if he is right about magic’s corruption, despite all the wonders it can do.”

“Magic alone did not curse us!” the king roared. “One person who wielded it did, and I brought her wrath upon me myself.”

That gave Reardon pause. There was so much he didn’t know. “You could tell me your story.”

“It is a long one, little prince, and I grow weary of your presence already.” He stood, crunching down the steps between Reardon and the throne and bringing a gust of icy wind with him.

Reardon sensed how close he was to death but stood his ground. “I only want to bring my people home.”

“And where are they supposed to go? Home, you say. The thief who almost lost her hands because she was starving, the man who lusted after the wrong noble’s son, your friend who has visions—do they have a home to go back to when their own people cast them out as villains?”

I didn’t.”

“Good for you. You only cared once it finally affected someone you knew.”

Reardon’s fists clenched to be called a heartless coward, but he’d called himself worse this past year.

He also couldn’t overlook the example of a man and a noble’s son.

“I suppose you’ve taken in all the corrupted, haven’t you?”

“You call them corrupt”—the Ice King stomped another clawed foot closer—“yet ask for leniency?”

“I only speak as I was taught. I don’t agree with it. I don’t believe they’re corrupt. Not any of them. I don’t want to. If my father understood—”

“He’d still keep up the status quo. Your kingdom shuns what they don’t understand because of my curse, yet they don’t even remember the time before.”

“So tell me! Let me know the truth so we can learn from our past instead of continuing to repeat it.” Reardon stepped forward—too close, he knew—but like before, instead of reaching out and ending him, the Ice King backed away. “You’d really let them all go, wouldn’t you? If they wanted it?”

“They don’t, but you are welcome to ask them, including your friend.”

“Then I am not a prisoner either?”

“That is up for debate.”

If Barclay had seen Reardon’s death in his vision, it couldn’t be now. Not yet. “Give me the chance to prove I will go back and change things for the better. I’ll stay for as long as it takes, but once you believe me, once you know me and I know you, let me go.”

“And what if I never believe you? You’re the prince. You could bring an army to my door after learning my secrets.”

“If you never believe me… then you either have another servant or another statue to crush. But that means you take an audience with me every day.”

The king scoffed, turning to stomp back up to his throne and throw himself onto it with an elegant ease that should have been impossible. “Sounds frightfully dull.”

“Yes, I can see your calendar is quite full.”

He rumbled with laughter like a brewing winter storm.

For a long stretch of minutes, he stared at Reardon with his uniquely human eyes—different from his companions. The Ice King was more tied to his humanity, even if he’d lost the feeling of it in his heart, and more cursed and tortured because of it, perhaps.

Yet still he said, “Fine. But make no mistake, little prince, if you prove unworthy or attempt to betray me, I will not hesitate to turn you into frozen rubble like that thief.”

All Reardon could do was return his stare and wonder—What was this curse? Why had it been cast? And what had the king been like before it changed him and his kingdom? He had to know, even if a mysterious and frightening future stretched out before him.

Love, death, and blue eyes in a sea of white.

Whatever that might mean.

“You have a deal, Your Majesty.”

About the Author 

Amanda Meuwissen is a bisexual author, with a primary focus on M/M romance. As author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and several other titles with various publishers, Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

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Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win 

one free eBook copy of any title from Amanda Meuwissen’s backlist.

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New Release – Beyond the Ruby River by Lee Colgin #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Beyond the Ruby River 

Author:  Lee Colgin

Publisher:  Colgin Enterprise

Cover Artist:  Natasha Snow

Release Date: June 17, 2021

Genres: M/M Historical Romance, M/M Paranormal/Fantasy Romance,

Tropes:  Mixed species, second chance romance 

Themes:  Longing, betrayal, forgiveness, grief, reunion

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 72 000 words/ 260 pages   

It’s the third in a series but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

When an incubus half-breed falls for a mortal Egyptian man, will their love span centuries or are they destined to pine for each other for all eternity?

Blurb  

In Ancient Egypt when the pharaohs ruled the banks of the Nile, Mahu led a simple, if somewhat melancholy, life. Making papyrus filled his days. His needs were provided for, but deep in his soul, Mahu longed for companionship.

Dakarai, born of a demon mother and a human father, craved independence. A young incubus constantly in the shadows of his full-blooded siblings, Daka set out for a new city and a life of his own. 

While a starving Daka roams the streets hunting for a meal, the sight of a beautiful man walking alone stops him in his tracks. The handsome stranger is just what he needs to quench his spiraling thirst.

But Mahu turns out to be more than Daka bargained for, and his heart falls for the lonely man.

What betrayal shatters their foundation, can Daka and Mahu find their way back to each other, or is each soul destined to long for the other for all eternity?

Beyond the Ruby River is an MM Paranormal Romance featuring a steamy love story, a second chance romance, and the mysteries of an ancient world. This is book three of a series and can be read as a standalone with its own HEA and satisfying conclusion.

Excerpt

Dakarai 

Hunger stirred deep in Daka’s core, an emptiness with claws and teeth demanding to be filled. It was his first night in Naukratis, and already he wondered if he’d

made a mistake abandoning the safe cocoon of his family. Though eager for a taste of independence, Daka’s nerves flut‐ tered with unease as he stalked the unfamiliar streets.

With only a warm sea breeze for company, Daka let loose his extra sense, the one that would lead him to a meal. Entering the wide market square, he cast his gaze over dozens of stalls, their colorful awnings muted in the evening light. Laborers celerated the end of a day’s work with beer, bread, and conversa‐ tion. Street vendors peddled their offerings. Naukratis smelled of fresh spiced fish, baking bread, and candied nuts—all of which appealed to him, but none that would quench this particular hunger.

What Daka needed would be found past the town’s main market, perhaps down a side street or along a narrow alley. Inhaling through his nose, sorting the myriad array of scents, he searched for the alluring aroma of pleasure. A brothel would suit perfectly.

Daka’s intuition guided him forward, but before he could cut south to chase the divine smell of arousal around the corner, his gaze landed on an elegant man and refused to budge. His eyes possessed a will of their own, such was the man’s appeal.

He was taller than Daka’s average height, long of limb with wide shoulders and perfect posture. He wore cornflower blue linen, belted at his narrow waist, skirt hanging to a svelte pair of thighs. Dark onyx tresses hung past his chin, straight and prob‐ ably silken to the touch. Daka couldn’t be sure of the texture at this distance and it was suddenly of the utmost importance to find out.

Though brothel workers would make for an easier target, Daka veered off course to pursue the handsome man instead. To seduce him and touch his lovely hair for himself. He followed through the square—dodging people and slinking amongst the crowd, stealthy as a cat and just as light on his feet—until he was no more than ten paces from his quarry.

This close, Daka could pick up the scent lingering in the man’s wake. Earthen and woody, like the papyrus that grew in the marshy lands nearby. He inhaled greedily. What would he smell like aroused? Daka had to know.

The man left the busy center of town, turned west, and continued between rows of mud brick houses, his pace steady as a pulsing heart. He had the stride of a man to a purpose. Daka’s curiosity grew with each step. Instead of catching up to begin the seduction, Daka shoved his appetite aside in favor of learning the man’s destination.

They walked for another quarter hour until the chirps of bugs overtook the noise from town and houses gave way to farmland. Daka spotted the neat rows of tumuli leading to an ancient mastaba, and their endpoint became clear.

The man had led him to the final resting place of Naukratis’ dead.

Well-maintained burial mounds, with funerary gardens throughout, lined the landscape. Daka hung back so as not to be noticed or to disturb this man in his grief. The perfect posture he’d noted earlier began to sag, shoulders drooping forward, head bowed as he knelt by a triad of graves. He sat back on his heels, long thighs stretched thin, the blue linen of his skirt revealing smooth bronzed skin.

Daka could not help his appetite, inappropriate as it may be, though he would strive to contain it. This man was in no mood for the sort of amorous encounter an incubus like himself fed on. He needed a warm, familial embrace, not the frenzied release Daka itched to provide.

He slunk back into the shadows to watch from under a sweet-smelling date palm. The man sat with the dead. Daka sat by himself, wondering who the man had lost.

Daka’s family possessed immortality. At least, his mother and siblings did. His father was human, but Daka had never met him. As a half-blooded demon, he’d staked claim to immortality but not to all the gifts that came with it. His powers of sway and persuasion were paltry in comparison to his full-blooded brethren. Unable to bend people to his will, Daka could only nudge. He might never develop the skill of astral projection. But he would live forever, a feat which seemed unfathomable at only twenty-two years into eternity.

The man bent over the graves had a decade or so on Daka in age, perhaps more. Maybe thirty-five or forty, Daka couldn’t tell. A man in his prime but worn around the edges with the melancholy that loss thrusts upon the living.

About the Author 

Lee Colgin has loved vampires since she read Dracula on a hot, sunny beach at 13 years old. She lives in North Carolina with lots of dogs and her husband. No, he’s not a vampire, but she loves him anyway. Lee likes to workout so she can eat the maximum amount of cookies with her pizza. Ask her how much she can bench press.

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a $10 Amazon gift card

a direct-to-kindle copy of Beneath the Opal Arc

and a direct-to-kindle copy of Across the Sapphire Sea

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New Release – Hathonatum by Taylin Clavelli #giveaway

BLOG TOUR

BANNER.jpg

Book Title: Hathonatum

Author: Taylin Clavelli

Publisher: MLR Press

Genre/sScience Fiction, Contemporary M/M, Interracial (Alien/Human), Inter-dimensional, Reincarnation. Multi-Verse, Historical elements.

Heat Rating: 3 – 4 flames

Length:  89 000 words         

The story can be read as a standalone. It is the first book in the Pelethus Series. The next book involves different main characters that are connected to those in Hathonatum. 

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Publisher: MLR Press  |  Smashwords

Amazon US  | Amazon UK

 

Hathonatum_Clavelli_KJ_final

Hathonatum is a love story that spans time, dimension, universe and death.

Blurb 

Have you ever wondered if that little voice inside you is actually your voice?

Egypt captivates Benjamin. As an adult, he immerses himself in his chosen profession, as an archaeologist in the ancient city of Abydos. For Ben, the hieroglyphs, and paintings unlock dreams of a time long lost. 

The dig Ben works on is financed by Ashari Hathonatum. For many years, the man has been looking for the one who completes him. He initially saw his heart’s match from a distance. But that was a long time ago and from an alternate universe. When Ashari encounters Ben, he wonders if he is the reincarnation of the man he saw, through another’s eyes, all those years ago. Will the secrets Ashari hides about his heritage stop their love blooming, or will others from his dimension, determined to keep Ashari from his heart’s match, rule the day?

**The story is written with British spelling/grammar. **

 

INSTAGRAM 2

 

Excerpt 

Though Ben loved the thought of studying Seti, he was part of a small crew concentrating on Narmer (3180-3120 BC), whose tomb was located to the west of the dig, almost as far away from Seti as a tomb could get. Not much was known about the first pharaoh of the combined kingdoms, and Ben wanted to help discover something new. He wanted to shed light on a life that no one knew about—a new phenomenon to capture the imagination.

Ben had been on-site for a little over a week when he saw an intriguing man talking to Terry, his dig leader. Judging by his skin, Ben suspected the man to be local, but it was difficult to tell. Other than his face, the only other exposed part of him was his hands. The rest of him was covered with clothing designed to keep out the worst of the sand—layered, lightweight, loose, and black.

When the man locked gazes with him, Ben found himself staring into a vibrant blue sea of lapis lazuli, framed with black lashes and dark eyebrows. It wasn’t until a fellow worker walked between them that the connection was broken. When Ben sought to re-establish contact, the other had his back to him. Ben returned to his work, clearing out a trench of sand. The heat and excitement over what his group might find overshadowed any musings concerning the stranger. 

At the end of the day, Ben was so tired he clambered onto the city-bound truck with as much grace as a stumbling mummy. 

That night, while lounging on his bed, images of dark blue assaulted him. The event was rare for him, considering Egypt was his prime…prime everything.

Every day, the journey to the ruins was like being transported back in time. Ben could close his eyes and almost feel like he was there, in ancient Egypt. Often, he imagined he could see a partial image of the hustle and bustle of the ancient civilization continuing around him. At other times, he was in the quiet solitude of a temple. The images were odd, considering ancient Abydos was a graveyard.

From the drop-off point the next day, Ben made his way to tombs B17 and B18—the tombs attributed to Narmer. He worked there all morning with his small, square trowel and brush, slowly moving away the sands of eons. 

As lunchtime approached, he relocated to the edge of the main dig and took his break. From there, he would imagine life in ancient Egypt.

Daydreaming, he chose to walk back to his station. 

Suddenly, an alarm sounded. It was the warning for a sandstorm. It was similar to what his grandparents had described as the air raid warning from the war. 

There was a flurry of activity while people efficiently covered artefacts and other areas of importance. Ben glanced around, noticing the storm was a lot closer than he’d originally thought. It had come out of nowhere. What crept toward the dig seemed like a moving wall of cloud, dense enough to shield the view and engulf anything below it. If it wasn’t for the cottonlike plumes of wheat colours, Ben could have believed a curtain of rain was heading his way. The screen of rapid shadow was making quick progress toward the dig, swallowing all in its path. Briefly, Ben went rigid, unable to move. When the sound of hissing reached his consciousness, and sand stung his feet and face, he dashed toward shelter. He was running a losing race. 

Abruptly, he was grabbed and pulled to the floor behind a shallow wall. In a spell of activity as sleek as the sandstorm, a mask was put over his face, and his body along with that of his saviour rolled together. Over and over, they turned. Coming to a halt, and dizzy, Ben found himself cocooned, head to toe in a thick blanket. From the outside, the two of them probably resembled a fat, discarded mummy. 

As Ben regained his senses, he could feel a wall to his back and secure arms around him. The only thing between them was his messenger bag containing the bottles of water he was required to keep on him to prevent dehydration in the desert sun. 

Panting, he opened his eyes to a familiar sea of lazuli.

 

About the Author 

 

I am proud to be British and proud to be an author of gay romance stories from varying genres. I write under the pseudonym Taylin Clavelli, not because I don’t want my real name out there, but because I think my real name is unmemorable for an author. The name came about from a night of Skype and a lot of wine.

My first published work – a comedy called Boys Toys and Carpet Fitters – came out in 2012. It was part of a Dreamspinners anthology called Don’t Do This At Home. Since then, I have produced a further two novels and five short stories, not including Hathonatum. 

As well as being married for close to thirty years, and have a grown-up family, who I adore – I work part-time at a Manor Hotel, where I am also the resident historian. I am a book reviewer, too for a well-known site.

Not being a spring chicken anymore, I have a few hobbies that over the years have come, gone and resurfaced again. I am an experienced horse rider, and 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. I help my husband with DIY projects, upcycle as much as possible and love my garden. As for those simple things that make me stop in my tracks. The dawn chorus, baking bread, lasagne, and the scene where Shadowfax makes his screen entrance.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win: 

 A choice of paperback + swag from Dakota Skies, Secret Of The Manor or 5 shorts from Taylin – 3 winners

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Cover Reveal – A Summer of Smoke and Sin by TJ Nichols

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: A Summer of Smoke and Sin

Author: TJ Nichols

Cover Artist: Tiferet Designs

Release Date: February 28, 2020

Genre/s: M/M historical urban fantasy/paranormal romance

Trope/s: British detective, serial killer, Victorian London

Themes: Found family

Heat Rating: 3 flames    

Add on Goodreads

 

To stop a serial killer a detective will need to explore his own vices…

Blurb 

Nathanial Bayard wants nothing more than to find the nobleman creating snuff pornography. If he fails, his career in the recently formed nobility task force will be over and as the youngest son he’ll be forced to obey his father and join the church. But a life of celibacy doesn’t appeal. Nathanial has never even kissed another man, fearing for his soul and his reputation.

Jericho Fulbright has never lived a wholesome life. After behavior unbecoming he was discharged from the army and sent home in disgrace. His inventor and nouveau riche father refused to have anything to do with him, so Jericho turned to what he knew best: opium, gambling and sex.

As the owner of the Jericho Rose, a club for gentlemen who like men, he enjoys a certain notoriety. Some would say he has a golden tongue, but the truth is a succubus lives within him feeding on souls. Once he needed her help, now she is a burden that keeps him from getting close to anyone.

After the unfortunate death of a young nobleman in Jericho’s bed, Nathanial is sent to investigate. He is scandalized and intrigued by Jericho, but soon realizes that Jericho could be exactly who he needs to help break the snuff case. Together they are drawn into a web of lies that will result in Jericho facing prison unless Nathanial can unmask the real creator of the snuff, a man with rank and privileges that reaches almost to the King.

 

 

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Excerpt 

Nathanial scanned the room. Everywhere he looked there was artwork or statues of naked men. On the small tables were smoking implements, and opium residue stained the glass. He’d never been in such a place before, but it was obvious what happened here. 

The owner, Jericho Fulbright, stood in the middle of the room in his garish blue floral robe. The robe didn’t hide his yellow pajamas. He was as extravagant and lacking in morals as the scandal sheets declared. Who wore yellow pajamas? Sensible men wore night robes. “Would you like to dress appropriately before I interview you?”

Jericho smiled. “Would you prefer me to dress?”

Nathanial glanced at his notebook. Yes, he would. Because all he could think about was the two thin layers of fabric that covered Jericho’s body. He’d heard of Jericho Fulbright—who hadn’t?—but the sketches had done him no justice and the cartoon of his flamboyant dress had made him appear to be quite devilish in appearance. He was no devil, though. Just a man. 

“I do not care either way.” He was sure he could see the word liar on Jericho’s lips, as though he knew exactly what Nathanial kept hidden. 

“Very well then, let’s sit. I’ll call for tea.” Before Nathanial could agree or disagree Jericho rang a small bell, then sat on one of the chaises. 

Nathanial perched on the edge of an armchair. “What exactly is this place?”

“Is this part of the interview?”

Nathanial considered Jericho for a moment. His dark hair hadn’t been combed and he hadn’t been shaved. His moustache was unkempt, and he had the general appearance of someone who’d just gotten out of bed. What kind of gentleman went wandering through the house in such a state? “Yes.”

“It is a gentleman’s club.”

Nathanial pointed to a painting of two naked men wrestling, and then a statue of a naked man on his own in what seemed to be either the final throws of death or pleasure; his back was arched, and his mouth was open. “With very specific art.”

Most clubs were much more subdued with art depicting scenes of hunting.

“For gentlemen who appreciate the male form.” Jericho’s voice was as smooth as silk and in that moment, he seemed impossibly pretty and extraordinarily predatory. “Are you suggesting something illegal happens here?”

 

About the Author

Urban Fantasy where the hero always gets his man

TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as a child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily. Writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the everyday. TJ is the author of the Studies in Demonology series and the Mytho urban fantasy series.

With one cat acting as a supervisor, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

 

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Twitter: @TobyJNichols

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Author Spotlight – Matthew J. Metzger

A warm welcome to today’s Spotlight Author, Matthew J. Metzger

Thank you for joining us and sharing more about yourself.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT MATTHEW J

Tell us a little about yourself.

Okay, well, I’m Matthew. I’m a British guy living in Yorkshire at the minute, I have a monstrous black cat and a thing for cheese on toast, and I’m 27 years old. I’ve been publishing queer romance for five years now (holy hell, didn’t realise that until I wrote it down) and I’m cack-handed. There you go, mix of relevant and weird, seems appropriate.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

I know what it is, but I can’t say what it is for privacy reasons. I supposed the next step down would be…I was a super quiet, good little kid. I’ve got this reputation as a gobshite (both online and in real life) and not taking anyone’s crap, but I was the invisible kid in the corner growing up. You’d never have known I was there, I never got in trouble, nothing. Kind of weird to think about now.

How do you relax?

I write…sad, I know! No, seriously, I do find writing a book very relaxing. But I also like to travel, to exercise, swim or hike somewhere, go explore a little bit—but the tablet always come with me, ready for the next session.

Do you have a favorite quote (either from your own books or one’s you’ve read)?

I have two literature quotes that I adore, both of which form tattoos of mine. The first is from The Hobbit, wherein Gandalf says, “The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.” And the second is along a similar theme from The Long Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, in the lnes, “Do I dare / disturb the universe?” To me, both are what we all need to do more of. We need to step outside of our comfortable places and explore and experience, instead of sitting around and losing our precious time to things that don’t really matter.

How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?

Since I could hold a pen. I’ve always made up stories, I always played make-believe as a little kid, so writing was just an extension of that for me. As I got older and I started to want particular types of stories, stories about people like me from backgrounds like mine, it became a way to plug those gaps and that’s what I really fell in love with it, I think. I didn’t have to wait for someone else to maybe, by chance, write about someone like me—I could do it.

Did you always want to be a writer?

I’m not sure I always wanted to be, but I was always going to be. I was writing (crap) stories by the time I was four years old, so it’s always been a little bit of a given I’d try. Admittedly, I didn’t expect to be 21 when I got my first contract, but there you are.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Keep going, I guess? I’m not an ambitious author, really. I like to write, I’m good at it, so I do, that’s pretty much it. I’d like to step out of my go-to zones a little more, write a bit more widely across the rainbow, try my hand at sci-fi again, that sort of thing.

What’s your favorite part of writing?

Dialogue. I love it when my characters start ‘chelping.’ I just finish a pair of books where my main characters do nothing but wind each other up and flirt outrageously, and it’s so much fun to write. Save your slushy proposals and your page-long monologues, give me a wind-up merchant any day of the week!

Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? 

Well, I’m asexual and transgender, so queer stories are kind of my area anyway. Romance came as a bit of a natural byproduct, because my fascination in writing is people. I love picking people apart and bouncing them off each other. My favourite TV shows are people-centric too, irrespective of the genre. I’m slowly moving back out into other genres, but at the end of the day, I am an author of people-centric stories, so romance is always going to come highly on that list.

Do you write any other genre?

As of…right now, I also write queer fantasy, it turns out! My next release is a fairytale retelling, I am 75% of the way through a steampunk novel, and I have outlines for a fantasy trilogy set in Islamic Spain, and a Rapunzel retelling. So I guess I don’t fit tidily into my genre boxes anymore.

Describe a scene in your writing that has made you laugh or cry?

There’s a scene in Walking on Water where Janez has been very badly wounded. When his brother, King Alarik, sees him, Alarik believes Janez to be dead. And this is a character who is very—he loves his family, but he is a king first and foremost and he puts his kingdom above them. He’s pragmatic and he’s logical and his kingdom come first, for the greater good. But when he sees what he believes to be his younger brother’s dead body, he breaks. And it was absolutely heartbreaking. He just shattered down the middle, completely collapsed in on himself with grief, and he didn’t care who was watching, what would be said, that there was still a war to fight. He just broke, and I did have a little bit of a sniffle when I was writing that part.

Give the readers a summary of your latest book.

Walking on Water is a queer retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. Calla is a mermaid who goes above her sky—the surface of the sea—to meet the legendary skymen, and falls in love with one of them. In being transformed, she becomes a man rather than a woman, and discovers that all her ill-fitting feeling is washed away by this new form. Thus Calla becomes Held—who is simply a foreign sailor who saved the prince’s life, in the skymen’s eyes. And Held is determined to hold onto his new life and love, even if it means abandoning everything he’s ever known.

What genre does it fall in?

It’s a historical fantasy romance, so a significant step outside of my contemporary box.

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Share a few words about your latest book other than the usual blurb.

I’d say if you like languages, you’re going to like this. It’s based in north-east Europe and the human love interest is a German. So that’s what our hero hears whenever the humans are talking. I played around a lot with the way German and English can relate to one another in this book, and you can pick up some pretty niche German sentences if you want!

Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?

The couple at the core of the story are Janez and Held, formerly Calla. Janez is a prince of a coastal Germanic kingdom, formerly heir to the throne but gratefully pushed aside by his baby nephew. Unfortunately his kingdom is at war and an alliance is needed to protect their borders, so it’s Janez who is being sacrificed to get married to a foreign princess he’s never met. Janez is very dutiful but also quite impetuous and romantic, so he really struggles to cope with both his duty to his people and his love for Held, who can’t protect their kingdom from anything the way an alliance can.

Calla is a curious mermaid who gets turned into human man to pursue Janez. After she’s transformed, she realises that her new male form is the answer to why she’s always felt so strange and ill-fitting, and so Calla becomes Held, a simple foreign sailor in the eyes of all the other humans. While Held is quite quiet and curious, he can get pretty savage about defending both himself and Janez if push comes to shove. (He’s also deeply offended by Janez wanting to brush his own hair, as that’s Held’s job, apparently.)

Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?

No, this one is a stand alone. And given it’s my first fantasy, I won’t even be doing my Easter egg trick that I have for my contemporary novels, where a main character from another mention sails through in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. These guys exist on their own, and probably always will.

Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

I don’t really think in this way so I have no idea, I’m afraid!

Tell us about your writing style.

A bit weird? I write more as I speak, to be honest. And I play with language a lot. (You can snarl a word. You people aren’t using your mouths properly.) A line I remember from years and years ago in a favourite book described a very loud man entering a cavernous space, and the main character thinking it was about to ramp up the volume significantly. And the next line was: ‘Sure enough. “Welcome!” the captain rock-concerted.’ You can see what’s happening. You can feel it. That’s what I try to do, I don’t give a damn if Bob has the antecedent or it’s not fashionable to use adverbs right now. Can you understand it, and does it convey what you want it to convey? If both yes, job done.

What does your writing process look like?

I get an idea. I jot down a few notes about the idea. I shriek about the idea to my betas, my SRs, and my writer friends. I write the title and ‘Chapter One.’ Then I write more. In big chunks. Usually in order but not always. And I keep going until I lose interest or I’m finished. Ta-da!

When/where is your favourite time/place to write?

I write at weekends and usually all in one go, so I’ll spend all Saturday in a cafe in the city centre just smashing out words. There’s a couple of cafes I go to in the middle of Leeds, because I work really well with a lot of hustle and bustle around. Except for maybe that one time when the couple at the next table got divorced…

What genre/s do you enjoy reading?

I’m mainly a non-fiction reader, though historical fantasy will sometimes get my attention. For someone who writes a lot of romance, I barely ever read it!

What was the last book you read? What did you like about it?

I’m currently busy with the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. It’s the story of a Royal Navy officer, Jack Aubrey, and his best friend, Stephen Maturin, who is not only the ship’s surgeon but a spy for the British government. It’s set in the Napoleonic era and while it’s a bit of a slog as O’Brian is so interested in the technical details of sailing and naval warfare, it’s fascinating. I’ve just reached The Fortune of War, so a long ways to go yet.

Have you held any interesting jobs while working on your books?

I’ve been working an interesting job from the very beginning!

What hobbies do you have outside of writing?

I’m very outdoorsy, I’m always off hiking or mountain biking. If the weather’s crap, which is always, I’ll be down the gym to get my exercise fix.

Thank you for telling us more about yourself and good luck with the new release.

 

Author Bio

Matthew J. Metzger is an asexual, transgender author dragged up in the wet and windy British Isles. He writes queer characters living all manner of lives, but especially likes to write the stories from the pub, the beautiful game, and the terraces where he lives and works today. Although mainly a contemporary romance writer, Matthew has recently been found straying out of his zone and playing in other genres’ sandboxes.

When not writing, Matthew is usually at his day job, working out, or asleep. He is owned by an enormous black cat, so should generally be approached with either extreme caution, or treats.

He can be primarily found on Twitter and Facebook or over at his website, and is always happy to hear from readers.