Thursday, January 29, 2015

Geek Out Collection Tour: Sext Based Adventures by Francis Gideon (genderqueer)

Title: On Avatars and Gender Identity

Hi there! I'm Francis Gideon and Smoocher's Voice has been kind enough to host my guest post for my story Sext Based Adventures. This story was released yesterday on Less Than Three Press with their collection called Geek Out!: A Collectionof Trans and Genderqueer Romance. The title is fairly self-explanatory; these are all romances involving trans nerds in some way or another. In my story, Chris is a genderqueer protagonist who spends most of his time online playing World of Warcraft until he meets Jessica, another player who interests him. As the two start up a relationship, Chris must confront the fact that he's been playing as a woman, and now must negotiate who he is as he steps out from behind the screen to meet Jessica in real life.

For my guest post, I want to talk about where this story idea came from. I'm in a film adaptations class right now, and we just had a week on films which are "based on a true story"; I sort of see Sext Based Adventures as one of those narratives. It's true—something like this really happened--but I've taken a lot of liberties, like any good adaptation usually does. What happens between Chris and Jessica didn’t happen to me, but another researcher in games studies at my school. While he was studying the game Second Life in more detail, he interviewed a player who had posed as a woman online and met another woman. I won't give away too many of the details of that “real life” story, but I will say that in my version, with Chris and Jessica, everything ends happily.

I could have told this story without talking about gender identity at all—but I knew I didn’t want to. To me, these characters needed to be trans, because there so much subversive potential for transgender identity in online spaces. In his autobiography, Chaz Bono speaks about his love of video games precisely because he got to choose his avatar. He could be a man in the video game world before he was really aware of what his desire meant in the 'real world.' The avatar, in a lot of ways, always becomes an extension of ourselves. Just think of anytime your character gets injured in a game—you often say "ow!" aloud, as though the pain were tangibly felt. Even when we're doing something like driving a car, we still assume the machine (car) as part of ourselves. When someone hits our car, we don't say, "you hit my car" but instead "you hit me."  This eclipsing of space between cyber bodies, real bodies, and the hybrid identity we form with our avatars I've always found really interesting, and I was so happy to be able to explore that via these characters.

On that note, I made Chris genderqueer in this story for a very particular reason. It's extremely important to have nonbinary representation, because as Cecil Wilde has already stated in
their blog post, nonbinary people become invisible very easily. When I look at my story as an author, Chris is a nonbinary or genderqueer protagonist, but I don't actually use that language (nonbinary, genderqueer) or even neutral pronouns in the story. This is not a gap in my knowledge, but a conscious decision. After a lot of thought, I ultimately decided I wouldn't use these terms in this particular story (I've used it in others) because not everyone is going to have access to that language or know how to use it. But their stories still matter and deserve representation. 

In Sext Based Adventures, Chris' sister understands his gender and sexuality through the lens of her science degree; Chris, as he starts to articulate his difference, still defaults to the language of video games and the avatar. It doesn't matter what we have to help us understand who we are, only that we have something. For Chris and many nonbinary people, all we can do is show up, explain ourselves the best we can, and hope it all goes okay. 

To win a free copy of Sext Based Adventures, leave a comment and your email. 

Find more by Francis, including other books, here:

Geek Out Collection Tour: Alden Lily Reedy's Manifest (Trans)

If you Google 'LGBT bible verses', all the results on the first page, whatever their point, are about homosexuality. Half of them use the term 'gay'. The same goes for the second page. It takes until the third for the word 'bisexual' to appear. Part of this seems to be Google thinking that 'lgbt' and 'gay' are synonyms for each other, but I think it also reflects how people tend to think about queer issues as they relate to religion: here, more than usual, the trans people get forgotten.

Now, when using the right search terms, there's no end of argument back and forth about what the Bible says about transsexuality. But while I've read plenty of LGB stories where religious conflicts at least merited a mention, before writing Manifest, I personally had never seen a story where a transgender character struggled with their religious beliefs, Christian or otherwise. In real life, though, it's a problem for many people, even if the end result is often leaving their religion.

In Manifest, the source of much of the anguish of the main character, Chris, is her perceived conflict between her emerging identity as a transgender girl and her dearly-held Christian beliefs. I am not religious myself, but I do know queer people who are. My best friend, for example, is a Catholic and also bisexual. He gave me plenty of advice when I started writing Manifest. I had another friend invite me to an inter-faith discussion on homosexuality and religion that included Christians, Jews, and Hindus.

Trans people usually have enough to worry about without adding religion in to the mix. It varies from person to person, but we worry about our bodies, how other people perceive us, what our futures hold, and all kinds of things. Adding the worry about endangering one's eternal soul or going against the word of God to the mix - that isn't easy.

Chris eventually learns to accept herself without giving up her religion. The journey to that isn't smooth, of course, but she makes it through okay. Along the way she picks up enviable sewing skills, creates some awesome costumes, and even finds love for herself. Maybe the solution she finds isn't the one I would have chosen, but it's the road she - and many others - has picked.

About Manifest:

The very last thing Chris expects when he's forced to take sewing lessons is to enjoy them. Or for sewing to lead him into the world of cosplay, and a friend with whom he begins to cosplay in earnest—and who convinces him to try dressing up as female characters.

He certainly doesn't anticipate the realizations that cosplaying stirs—realizations that could cost Chris not just his best friend, but his family as well.

Manifest can be bought at Less Than Three Press,  and is part of LT3's GeekOut collection

You can find me at

I'm also giving away the chance to name a main character in a future story! Leave a comment (and your email) to enter.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cecil Wilde: They is Awkward, But Important (Blog Tour for Defying Convention) [genderqueer]

They is Awkward, But Important

Defying Convention does something I’ve never come across in a book before, though it’s something I’ve wanted—needed—to see. AJ, one of the main characters, is referred to by they/them pronouns throughout. I’d like to explain why that’s so important to me, both as an author and a reader.

Let me start by telling you a brief story. I was at a party for a friend’s birthday not so long ago, and not knowing every person she knows, I was surrounded by strangers. I’m not the world’s greatest social butterfly, but these were cool people and I know this, because something happened that’s only happened a handful of times before in my life: someone asked me what my pronouns were, and then went on to refer to me by them.

Like AJ in Defying Convention, I am a ‘they’. We experience our genders in similar ways, and again, like AJ, under most circumstances people assume I am a cis woman. It genuinely means the world to me when people have the good sense to ask, because I know that people like me—non-binary people—are practically invisible.

Lemme tell you a secret: I know ‘they’ can be awkward to get your mouth (and even your written grammar) around. Believe me when I say, I’m painfully aware of how easy it is to talk yourself into a corner if you’re not accustomed to planning out your sentences before you speak. I also know that people use they singularly without thinking all the time, but the pressure of doing it consciously makes it difficult. I have misgendered my friends and wanted to cut my own tongue out for it.

That’s why it was so important to me not just to write a book about trans characters, but specifically about the kind of trans character who practically doesn’t exist. Danny is lovely and special and there are parts of him you might not see very often in fiction, but AJ’s presence means that there’s a whole book out there that uses they/them/their pronouns throughout. I hope that makes it a little easier for people to use them in real life, because I know how much it means to so many of my friends and siblings.

I mean, the whole book is mostly about two huge dorks getting a happily-ever-after on their own terms after years of pining for one another at a distance, but the gender stuff is important, too!

Danny and AJ have been online friends for years, and secretly in love with each other. When the opportunity to attend a comics convention comes up, they decide to go and share a room. But friendship online does not always translate to friendship offline, and both are anxious about how the meeting will go, and the friendship change, when faced with challenges easily avoided behind the safety of computer screens...

Author Bio
Cecil Wilde resides in Australia, accompanied by a cat who takes up most of the bed, a family of possums in the roof space, and more spiders than they’re entirely comfortable with. They write altogether cuter queer romance than their image as a grumpy cynic might suggest.

You can hang out with them 

Blog Tour and GiveAway: Love Rampage by Alex Powell (Geek Out Anthology) (t/f)

Hello everyone!

My name is Alex Powell, and I'm bringing you a blog post to promote my story Love Rampage, which is being released with Less Than Three Press. This story is a contemporary urban fantasy story about a trans woman protagonist.

To tell you a little more about this story, I would like to go into Maíra's character, and the setting for this story.

Maíra, as you might imagine, is not an English name. I actually took this name from a girl I met from Brazil, who was working in Vancouver, Canada at the time. The character of Maíra the protagonist is not like the Maíra I met, but I do take names a lot from people I have met in real life.

The story takes place in Vancouver, Canada, which is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It is not unusual to work with people from many different backgrounds, some of whom are in Vancouver on a visa, and are here as students, or for work. It is a place for global interaction, and many people speak two or more languages. One of the reasons I chose Vancouver as the setting was because of this multicultural setting.

Another reason I chose Vancouver was because of the prominent LGBTQ+ community. There is a vibrant queer community all over Vancouver, focused mainly in the West End. It is entirely possible that both Maíra, and her love interest Carol, were part of the community, and went to queer youth meetings. It is a generally accepting place, and also one of the only cities in Canada that have doctors that diagnose Gender Identity Disorder and can start a person on the road to transitioning.

Vancouver is also a beautiful place, surrounded by the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. North Vancouver, where Maíra lives, is on the slopes that give way to the North Shore Mountains. It is a place of mild temperatures, making it possible for all sorts of flowers, trees, and wildlife to live.

I wanted to give Maíra a beautiful place to live where the main source of her troubles was not worrying about people who might want to hurt her. She is mostly an ordinary teenager, whose main worry is whether or not she can get the attention of her love interest, which is a source of stress for a lot of teenagers, whatever their background and gender.

If you're interested in this short story about love and bravery, you can pick up an ebook copy of Love Rampage with Less Than Three Press, or a copy of Geek Out, which has all eight stories in either ebook or print.

Preorder the Geek Out anthology ebook [here] (

You can find me here at my website:

or on Facebook and Twitter

Leave a comment below, including your email address, to take part in Alex Powell's Geek Out giveaway! The prize is a $10 gift code for Less Than Three Press!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blog Tour: Tame a WIld Human by Kari Gregg with Interview and GIveaway

We are very happy to welcome Kari Gregg to the Smoocher’s Voice blog today. Kari’s latest release is the novella Tame a Wild Human. Kari Gregg lives in the mountains of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia with her Wonderful husband and three very Wild children.

When Kari’s not writing, she enjoys reading, coffee, zombie flicks, coffee, naked mud-wrestling (not really), and . . . coffee!

Connect with Kari:
·       Website
·       Twitter
·       Facebook
·       Goodreads


Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 25th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Jodi: Hi Kari, welcome to the Smoocher’s Voice Blog. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Your latest novella, Tame a Wild Human, has an intriguing plot. What was your inspiration for this story?

Kari:         I always have a few shifter ideas knocking around my hard drive – that mythos offers writers an embarrassment of creative riches. While this was one of my darker ideas, very true, I like the dark sometimes. I wanted to explore a world in which shifters are apex predators, but also one in which humans are predatory too. How might wolves and humans interact, not only with the other species but among their own?

Jodi: This book has some disturbing motifs. Yet as brutal as the wolves in the book seem to be, there is also an underlying message that humans are the most brutal of animals. While Cole represents both the brutality and compassion of the wolves, it is Andrew who shows the brutality of humans. Is there an underlying message for your readers?

Kari: That’s probably as much about my personal worldview and journey as anything else. People who are demonized, those we consider not a member of “us” however we choose to define “us,” may surprise us once we meet and interact with them. We fear those who are different, don’t understand those differences, and tend to reject the not-us out of hand without making an effort to understand those beliefs, motivations, etc. I’m not saying we should share and agree with beliefs that differ from ours, but I think we often throw up walls when we should instead build doors and windows. I’ve learned more about my Christian faith by talking to and debating with atheists than probably anywhere else, for example. Do I believe atheists are wrong? Of course, I do, LOL. But I’ve found that if opposing parties can cut the snarky contempt/disdain and genuinely talk to each other, there’s ample room to learn and grow on both sides of the equation.

Jodi: Cole is an alpha male wolf. He is a strong dominant character, cruel, self serving and also compassionate. Can the concept of love and romance fit into his world, or is companionship and submission the end goal?

Kari: Love can certainly fit into this world, but that will develop over time. Insta-love isn’t a parameter of this world. Insta-lust, you bet, but not insta-love. Love is something to be worked toward in this world, precious, something that needs nurturing and an opportunity to grow. I would’ve thought less of Cole and Wyatt both if they’d proclaimed undying love at the end of their first full moon together. Their commitment to one another, Cole by choosing Wyatt as his own and Wyatt by choosing Cole over other humans (and wolves), are both selfish and self-serving, but commitment is an important first step. In this world, wolves typically wait to take their chosen humans back to their dens, over the course of many full moons. Why? The human hasn’t committed to that wolf yet. Both wolf and human are still too wary and distrustful of each other.

Jodi: Tell is about Wyatt and why he is so submissive despite his fears.

Kari: Wyatt isn’t naturally submissive. He submits because he thinks that’s his best chance of surviving, pure and simple, LOL. In the cities, people believe humans who fight the wolves will die, that humans who resist aren’t as appealing to wolves. Challenging a wolf won’t win a human a token of protection, so they think. But city folk are wrong. Wolves crave submission, that’s true, but they like to be challenged.

Jodi: Despite the shortness of this book, you are able to do some world building for this story. Was it difficult to create this world in so few pages?

Kari:         I have serious, serious problems getting my worlds on page, LOL. I don’t think that’s a secret to anybody at this point. Doesn’t mean I haven’t done the world building. I have. I just have trouble relating that to the reader and Riptide’s done an excellent job at helping me with that.

Jodi: Do you outline your characters and plots before starting, or do you just write and fill in any holes later?

Kari:         I keep a file during development in which I explore that world and the characters who live in that world, revisiting the idea often to build what is usually a rather predictable idea into something worth pursuing. Deciding how best to approach that idea takes time too. False starts are common for me, but if the story isn’t delivering what I want, yeah, I’ll scrap it and start over from another angle. That makes me a slow writer. I plod while others sprint. But that’s okay. In the end, that’s MY name on the book and if it takes me longer to get where I want to be, fine. Just a part of my process, no sense crying about it. Yes, I outline. I even outline the false starts, LOL. I revisit the outline at the halfway point to adapt it so the outline tends to be fluid, but I know where I’m going and generally how to get there.

Jodi: Do you have any future plans to write more about this world or these characters?

Kari:         Not really, no.

Jodi: What prompted you to write in the fantasy and BDSM m/m genre?

Kari:         I only consider one of my works, In the Red, as remotely like BDSM and that one’s even a questionable proposition to me because Brian in ITR is so emotionally damaged whether or not he is in a healthy space to give genuine consent is an issue. Consent is VITAL to BDSM. I play with consent issues so often, writing dubious consent or noncon, I honestly wouldn’t consider anything of mine as BDSM. Fantasy...I love to get lost in a world not our own, to be carried away. Exploring real-world issues in another context feels safer, I think? More freeing, definitely.

Jodi: Would you characterize your books as being “romantic”?

Kari:         Yes and no. Some of my stories are wildly romantic. Others are erotica.

Jodi: What is your next project?

Kari: I’m working on a high fantasy novel plus called For Whom the Heart Stone Burns and having a lot of fun with it. Very challenging. I’m uploading chapters of the first act of Heart Stone on my website at: on holidays leading up to and including Beltane on May 1st. Right now, the first two chapters are live. On Beltane, six chapters will be live, or roughly 30K words. They aren’t edited and I haven’t decided yet if I’ll continue uploading freebie chapters or if I’ll focus on editing & packaging the book then. I’m just enjoying the process for the moment.

Tame a Wild Human

Drugged, bound, and left as bait on the cusp of the lunar cycle, Wyatt Redding is faced with a terrifying set of no-win scenarios. Best case: he survives the coming days as a werewolf pack’s plaything and returns to the city as a second-class citizen with the mark—and protection—of the pack. Worst case: the wolves sate their lusts with Wyatt’s body, then send him home without their protection, condemning him to live out the rest of his short life as a slave to the worst of humanity’s scorn and abuse.

Wyatt’s only chance is to swallow every ounce of pride, bury his fear, and meekly comply with every wicked desire and carnal demand the wolf pack makes of him. He expects three days of sex and humiliation. What he doesn’t expect is to start enjoying it. Or to grow attached to his captor and pack Alpha, Cole.

As the lunar cycle ends, Wyatt begins to realize that the only thing to fear more than being sent home without the pack’s protection is being sent home at all.

Buy Links

Friday, January 16, 2015

Blog Tour: A Restored Man by Jaime Reese (Book 3 in The Men of Halfway House Series)

Title: A Restored Man
Series: The Men of Halfway House #3
Author: Jaime Reese
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Cole Renzo thinks his greatest challenge is to behave for the remainder of his term at Halfway House. Until he meets his new boss, Ty Calloway, a man who ticks off every box on Cole's list of interests.

A sought-after restorer and customizer of exotic and collectible cars, Ty had enough confidence to command what he wanted in life, until one fateful night changed everything. Almost two years later, he’s slowly rebuilding his life with great control. He's defied the odds and works tirelessly to be the man he once was—but he still feels broken.

Cole’s candor and unfiltered personality awaken Ty’s barely-remembered desire to greet each new day with a smile, while Ty’s unwavering acceptance of Cole’s quirks and brash humor makes Cole feel as if he fits in for the first time in far too long. When a nemesis threatens Ty’s personal restoration and the things he holds dear, Cole is determined to protect their relationship, even if that means sacrificing everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ty will have to let his guard down, surrender control, and admit he needs Cole first, even if that puts himself at risk of breaking beyond repair.
“Excuse me,” Ty said, before making his way to the kitchen. He poked his head inside and saw Cole bent over on the left hand side, searching for, then finding, a pan in the bottom drawer of the cabinet. He couldn’t help the smile that tugged at his lips when he saw Spider-Man peeking out from the top of Cole’s jeans.
“I told you to get out. You’re not fucking this up,” Cole said, his back still turned to Ty.
Ty smiled, leaned up against the doorframe and waited.
Cole looked over his shoulder, a huge smile immediately spreading across his face. “Hey, you,” he said, straightening.
Ty walked over to him and wrapped an arm around Cole’s waist. He reached out and brushed his thumb against Cole’s cheek, his hand finally steadying once he grazed Cole’s warm skin.
“That’s a big smile,” Cole said.
“I saw Spider-Man,” Ty said, chuckling.
Cole raised an eyebrow and wrapped his arms around Ty’s waist. “If I had known he turned you on that much, I would have worn a blue and red onesie to the shop under my work clothes.”
Ty bit back a smile. He tugged on Cole’s T-shirt. “You look good out of your shop clothes.”
Cole pulled Ty closer. “I look good out of these clothes too,” he said, waggling his eyebrows.
Ty reached up and ran his finger along the edge of Cole’s beanie. “Do you ever take this off?”
“When you sleep with me, you can take it off.”
Ty looked into the mismatched eyes that held a wealth of mischief. “I’m not sleeping with you.”
Cole pulled Ty into a kiss, gripping his hair, unmistakably guiding him exactly where he wanted Ty to be. Ty’s heart pounded relentlessly against his chest, his body betraying his last spoken words and demanding more contact. His fingers twisted the edge of Cole’s jeans, drawing him in, craving the closeness of Cole’s thick, hard body.
Cole withdrew, the desire unmistakably still burning in his eyes. “Yes, you will,” he said. “You won’t be able to resist this much awesomeness for long.”
Ty bit his lip, trying to hide a smile. He liked it when Cole got feisty.
Cole ran the tip of his finger down Ty’s neck, then tugged at the collar of Ty’s polo shirt. “Aww, you didn’t dress up for me,” he said with an exaggerated pout. “Will I ever see you in a suit?”
“Why do you want to see me in a suit?”
“Seriously? You'd look hot in a suit. I'd probably want to rip it off.”
“So what's the point of wearing the suit?” Ty asked, tugging Cole closer.
Ty burst into laughter and touched his forehead to Cole’s. “You’re impossible.”
“You should do that more often.”
“What's that? Foreplay?”
“Laugh.” Cole smiled. “And wear suits. But I would totally be on board with foreplay, too,” he finished, waggling his eyebrows.
Add to Goodreads
Amazon CA
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Amazon AU

Add to Goodreads
Amazon CA
Amazon UK
Amazon AU

Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blog Tour: Burnt Tost B&B with Charity opportunity

Hi, and welcome to the Burnt Toast B&B blog tour! We’re Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz, the authors of the book, and we’re so thankful to have you along for the ride, and thankful to our hosts, [blog title], for having us here today!

Normally on a blog tour, we like to share all kinds of behind the scenes goodies to do with the book: inspiration images, glimpses into research and plotting, deleted scenes, conversations about our process, character bios, etc. For this tour, though, we’re doing something a little different, but we hope you’ll still find it worth your while.

When Heidi first pitched The Burnt Toast B&B, it was as an opposites-attract story centring around the world’s worst B&B . . . and an M/M romcom where one of the lead guys just happened to be transgender. Writing solo, she’d done a trans book before, but that was very much a Trans Book, all about exploring gender identity, defining who you are, and coming out to your friends and loved ones. This book . . . isn’t that. It’s the story of an optimistic hipster stuntman and a pessimistic lumberjack who learn to make espresso, fix up a failing B&B, and generally butt heads in between loads of laundry.

Ginsberg, our hipster, is much like many of our other favourite M/M heroes: he’s funny, resilient, romantic, and sexy as hell. He’s also transgender; secure in his identity, his body, and his sexuality; and working in a career he loves. But his life isn’t without hardships. Ginsberg made his own family after his biological one turned out to be too toxic to live with. He scrimped and saved and borrowed to pay for the medical care he needed to be happy and healthy. He found a roof over his head as a “considerate couchsurfer,” living with friends and acquaintances on a temporary basis when money got tight. In Derrick and his failing B&B, Ginsberg finally finds an opportunity to have a real home, if only he can convince Derrick to keep the place open.

Ginsberg’s background of financial hardship and lack of family support is all too common among many people who, like him, are trans and trying to live happy, fulfilling lives as their true selves. As such, we the authors, our publisher Riptide, and our generous blog tour hosts will be using the next few days to highlight the personal fundraisers of real trans people in need. We hope that if you’ve got a little extra money this month, you’ll consider donating, and if money’s tight, maybe you can help by spreading the word, too.

For our part, Rachel, Heidi, and Riptide will be giving donors a $5 Riptide credit code for every $10 in donations you make (up to $50 in codes per person, up to $5,000 in codes overall)--just email your donation receipt(s) to with the subject line “Burnt Toast Tour Donation,” and Riptide will send out all $5 codes a week after the tour ends. (It’s totally cool, by the way, to spread your donations across multiple fundraisers if you’d like; we’ll add up all your receipts sent in a single email and base your credit vouchers on the grand total.)

We’re also hosting a special contest for people who donate: every dollar in donations to any of these fundraisers will earn you an entry into a drawing for a full paperback set of Riptide’s current Bluewater Bay lineup, OR two signed paperback copies of The Burnt Toast B&B. We’ll draw one week after the blog tour ends. Every dollar helps, and every dollar counts!

Lastly, we’ll randomly select three commenters from all the tour stops and donate $50 apiece in each winner’s name to the trans charity or fundraiser of their choice. (Please be sure to leave a way for us to contact you if you win!)

Today’s featured fundraiser is for Arianna, a trans woman of color saving money for gender affirming surgery. You can find it at And here’s Arianna :)

Arianna is a proud trans latina woman born and raised in Peru and living now in Florida. She currently works as the Director of Transgender Services for a nonprofit in Fort Lauderdale, and is the East Coast chair of the Translatina Coalition. She began her medical transition about fourteen years ago, and has been paying out of pocket for her hormone therapy this whole time. Now, after giving so much of her time, energy, and passion to the transgender community, she is asking for the community to help her reach her own otherwise unreachable goal: raising money for top surgery. You can learn more about Arianna and help this amazing woman realize her true self at her fundraiser page, 

Thank you so much for following our (slightly unconventional) blog tour! Be sure to leave a comment on this or any of our other tour stops for a chance to have $50 donated in your name to a trans-related fundraiser/charity of your choice. And if you choose to donate to any of the fundraisers we’ve highlighted over the course of the tour, don’t forget to forward proof of your donation to with the subject line “Burnt Toast Tour Donation” to claim your $5 coupon(s) and enter your name in the extra special drawing!

Lastly, if you or someone you love is transgender and going through a difficult time, please check out the Trans Lifeline, This crisis helpline is staffed entirely by trans volunteers and runs at least twelve hours a day, seven days a week, in the US and Canada. If you’re in crisis, please call them. If you’d like to support this nonprofit, please visit

About The Burnt Toast B&B:

After breaking his arm on set, Wolf’s Landing stuntman Ginsberg Sloan finds himself temporarily out of work. Luckily, Bluewater Bay’s worst B&B has cheap long-term rates, and Ginsberg’s not too proud to take advantage of them.

Derrick Richards, a grizzled laid-off logger, inherited the B&B after his parents’ untimely deaths. Making beds and cooking sunny-side-up eggs is hardly Derrick’s idea of a man’s way to make a living, but just as he’s decided to shut the place down, Ginsberg shows up on his doorstep, pitiful and soaking wet, and Derrick can hardly send him packing.

Not outright, at least.

The plan? Carry on the B&B’s tradition of terrible customer service and even worse food until the pampered city boy leaves voluntarily. What Derrick doesn’t count on, though, is that the lousier he gets at hosting, the more he convinces bored, busybody Ginsberg to try to get the B&B back on track. And he definitely doesn’t count on the growing attraction between them, or how much more he learns from Ginsberg than how to put out kitchen fires.

Learn more about Rachel Haimowitz at

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O'Riley with Interview and Excerpt

We are very happy to welcome back Tempeste O’Riley the Smoocher’s Voice blog today. Tempeste’s recent book release is the standalone novel Caged Sanctuary, released by Dreamspinner Press.

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual, gender fluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since. She is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, yet writing has always drawn her back—no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA. Learn more about Tempeste and her writing at one of the links below: 

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Jodi:       Thank you, Tempeste, for joining us today. I enjoy reading your books, and the new one, Caged Sanctuary, is no exception. The story focuses on the two main characters, but for some of the scenes, the supporting characters are important in the character development of those main characters. In preparation for your books, do you outline the characters and plot together, or do you flesh out the characters before writing the plot?

Tempe:   Thank you so much Jodi. Actually, neither. I don’t plot out my stories or characters much. I do as far as looks and occupation, but not personality. I let them develop as they may. I’ve tried forcing characters to do as I wanted, instead of how they choose to be, and it never works out my way, lol.

Jodi:       Caged Sanctuary is a standalone novel featuring Kaden Thorn and Deacon James. Kaden is a wonderfully vulnerable character, and I think I fell in love with Deacon almost instantly. Kaden is a successful doctor. He is a submissive, and he also is wheel-chair bound. Tell us a little about Kaden and why he believes he does not deserve the love and acceptance of a Dom due to his physical limitations.

Tempe:   Kade is loving, submissive, and at one time, had confidence. Then he was the victim of a sever gay bashing, and the only part that stayed the same was the loving part. He packed away his toys and tried to ignore a huge part of himself because he doesn’t believe a Dom would really want him; would be willing to modify things for him and still enjoy their time together.
One of the things that many with mobility issues face is how the able-bodied world around them treats them. This wasn’t something I really thought much of until I began having trouble walking. I got firsthand and up-close knowledge of how some act when you are using forearm crutches or a wheelchair. The way people acted and spoke to me changed. Whether they would meet my gaze or look over my head to speak to me. And may other things altered when my disability became visible due to my tools of mobility.
It’s hard some days to keep your faith in others when faced with others that treat you as less of a person. Then add in that Kade loved kneeling (something he can no longer do), caning (something many would be scared to do thanks to his part injuries), and more. Plus, he did try going to a couple of clubs, where the Doms ignored him. That’s a hard mix to handle and not take personally.It’s not that he doesn’t think he deserves love, but rather that he doesn’t believe anyone will ever look past his wheels to see the boy he truly is inside.

Jodi:       Deacon seems instantly smitten with Kaden. From the beginning he is interested in a long-term relationship, but Kaden is wary and feels undeserving of Deacon’s attention. Deacon seems to be a very patient man. Tell us a little about Deacon’s background and willingness to do whatever it takes to help Kaden.    

Tempe:   Deacon is smitten! The sweet, shy, educated man he meets totally catches his attention. Deacon isn’t your club Dom, enjoying a different sub every night he goes out. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of life, but it’s not for him. He wants a boy that will be his and his alone. Well, he might share with his best friend, but no sharing of the heart, lol.

                Kade is very frustrating to a man like Deacon. Kade is so confident in his work life but nowhere else, so Deacon has his work cut out for him. Deacon doesn’t see Kade the way others have or how Kade thinks other have. He sees a man he could love, or so he hopes. But Deacon is a patient man, willing to work for what he wants. It’s who he is and why he’s so successful in his work life. He’s an architect, a much respected and well-known man in Asheville, NC, where both men live. Working hard is natural to him, so he has no problems putting that into his pursuit of Kade. Besides, if it were too easy, it wouldn’t last. He goes into the relationship fully aware that he will have to fight Kade for Kade, but as his past unfolds in the story, you find out that he’s never the kind of man to give up on someone he wants.

Jodi:       Kaden has faced discrimination and abuse in his everyday life and in the BDSM community. The homophobic attack against him resulted in his physical disability. Yet, it is the ostracization by the BDSM community that he has taken more to heart. Why is that?

Tempe:   Simple, to him at least. The attack was stupid being violent. Being shunned by the community he loved and felt a part of, that was personal. I know that sounds a bit warped, but to Kade it makes perfect sense. His parents shunned him for being gay, only a few friends (Katie being one of them) stuck by him. Then he found the BDSM clubs and found himself. He was popular with the Doms, loved serving, felt at home there where who he was was perfect and no one looked down on him. That is... until he could no longer walk.
                Truthfully, had he not pushed his best friend in the life away and/or tried again later, he might have found that there were Doms willing to still play with him. That there might have been other Doms willing to be more than a one-time partner, but fear and hurt got in the way. As I’ve said before, it’s the nasty loop of doubt and fear that is in our heads that hurts us far more than the words of others.

Jodi:       The club Fierce appears to be a microcosm of the BDSM world. The characters at the club show both acceptance and intolerance. Is the BDSM world a microcosm of society in general, or is there more discrimination in this lifestyle?

Tempe:   Whether you’re part of the Life or not, you’re still a person and people are not all are as we would wish them to be. Are Doms and subs more intolerant? Sometimes. Are they more tolerant? Sometimes. They are simply people.
When I wrote of those at Fierce, I wanted to show the different types of people out there, though my depictions have little to do with any specific club. Anywhere you go you will find good and bad, though because of the biases against BDSM so many vanilla people have, many in the Life tend to be more open and understanding. You also have to understand that even subs get jealous and even Doms can be asses, lol. It would be wonderful if that weren’t true, but...
I spoke to more than a few differently abled subs while writing Caged Sanctuary and found that each person’s experience was unique, but that all those I spoke with found ways to continue to serve as was their desire, and found Doms willing to accept their limitations. As one put it, it’s not that different from giving hard limits. The Dom has to respect that or he/she’s not the right person. Move on.

Jodi:       Kade is fearful of telling his best friend, Katie, about his lifestyle, although he was open with her when he “came out.” Why does he fear she will reject him?

Tempe:   That’s never addressed in the story, on page, but saying you’re gay and saying you love to be caned are not the same things. Many fear rejection by those that wrongfully believe BDSM is about abuse. After losing his bio-family, he didn’t want to do anything that might lose him what love and friendship he had left.
                That said, I think Kade will eventually tell Katie and be pleased with the outcome.

Jodi:       In Caged Sanctuary as well as the books in the Desires Entwined series, trust seems to play an important role with all of the relationships (Kade and Deacon as well as Kade and Jake). Was it a conscious decision to focus on this issue?

Tempe:   LOL. No, trust wasn’t really the focus for me when writing any of my stories, though I know it tends to be a focus for me. Part of that is situational and part of author bleeding onto the page a little. I don’t trust others easily and once trust is broken, it’s darn near impossible to earn it back from me.
However, Kade’s trust issues with Deacon and Jake make sense, to me at least. Kade fears he’s not good enough for Deacon, so he pushes in odd ways and tends to jump to the wrong conclusions.

He believes he won’t be able to be a sub anymore, so he pushed Jake away, unable to watch his friend have and be what he no longer can (yes, I know Kade’s wrong there, but it’s his logic, not mine ;) ).

So realistically, trust had to be a big thing for Kade. Being thrown away by your family, and then loosing part of your identity thanks to hate and violence, combined to make him fear what he wanted and not trust that he had it even when he did.
Trust is not easy for many, especially those that have been victims of violence and hate.

Jodi:               Have you participated in the BDSM lifestyle or is your story based on research?

Tempe:   Um... as in clubs and full training? No, I have not. Into kink and love a bit of bondage and force, oh YEAH! I’m not the kind that could just up and go clubbing (never have been, even when I walked normally... too shy, seriously too shy), so that part is all based on research (talking to both subs and Doms – they tend to be very willing to talk when they know it’s for a book as they want their lifestyle shown for what it is, not what others try to label it as).
Some of the activities within the story... oh, I’ve had fun with some of it ;) but not telling which bits, lol.

Jodi:       Let’s talk about the BDSM community as it relates to this story. Your characters state several times that abuse and submission are not the same thing. How does Deacon determine where that line is?

Tempe:   When the action is done out of anger, violence, to make the other suffer (non-erotically) then it’s abuse. Beating your partner, holding them inside their home, spewing venomous words until they believe they’re worth nothing... that’s abuse. Giving erotic pain for joint pleasure, is just that... pleasure.

Deacon is always attentive, watching to make sure Kade is enjoying what’s done, cares for his welts, and more. They also talked beforehand about desires, interests, limits, and the all-important ‘safe words’.

How is Kade after each session? Is he fearful of Deacon’s anger? Is he in need of medical care? Or is he happy? Does he feel safe and loved?
Kink is not abuse, even though some of it appears that way to outsiders. But, it’s pleasure and pain for pleasure’s sake, not to hurt, abuse, or control (without permission) the sub.

There’s also a very simple way to determine... Kade has his safe words. At any point, he can use one and everything stops. In truth, subs have much of the power in a scene or in a relationship. They can say red/stop/cinnamon/or a plethora of other words and it stops. Abuse victims have no way to stop the abuse other than by escaping.

Jodi:       What exactly is “sub space”?

Tempe:   Each sub explains if slightly differently. It’s the floaty, nothingness that happens at a certain point, if the scene goes right. They are able to shift their consciousness where they feel nothing but pleasure, bliss... no life pains, no stress, just contentment and pleasure.

Not all subs go to sub space every time, some struggle with trust (without trust it’s hard to let go enough to get there). But when you do, there’s nothing else like it.

Jodi:       Do you have plans for additional books with these characters, perhaps a novel for Sam and Jake?

Tempe:   When I wrote Caged Sanctuary it was meant to be a standalone. Readers have asked me already for Sam and Jake’s story as well as a story for one other the other Doms in the book (one that makes a huge impact on Kade, though they only speak for a couple of moments). I haven’t decided yet if I will leave Caged Sanctuary as a standalone or give others a chance to share their story of kink and love... Only time and my muse can tell.

Jodi:               What is next for Tempe?

Tempe:   Signs of Desire is next. It’s part of the Desires Entwined series, featuring Simon as one of the two main characters. Poor man needs love. If you read the first three books, then you know he’s usually very outgoing and loves life... until his ex cheated on him. Signs is his hope to find the man of his dreams, though not quite who or how he expected. ;)
After that... I have a short (haha) list of stories I want to write, including a full-length story based on the short I wrote for Vicktor Alexander’s Birthday eXXXtravangaza. I can’t wait to jump into that one (and yes, it’s another BDSM, but very different from Caged Sanctuary).

Caged Sanctuary
by Tempeste O’Riley
M/M Contemporary BDSM Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: DWS Photography
Release Date: December 29, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 204 pages

Add to: Goodreads

Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels. 

Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest. 

Kade's fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he's learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon's determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.


AFTER WORKING all day in the office Monday, Kade was disappointed that Deacon hadn’t called or texted. He’d probably changed his mind already, though Kade had hoped this time would be different.
Shortly after Kade made it home Monday night, his cell rang. He set his takeout on the counter in his kitchen and fished out his phone. The caller ID said Deacon (Sir), speeding his heart rate considerably.
After fumbling it once, he managed to answer the call. “Hello?”
“Hello, Kade. How are you this evening?” Deacon’s rich voice washed over Kade, raising goose bumps along his arms and sending a shiver down his spine.
“I’m fine, Sir. I just got home. How was your day?” It sounded lame to his ears, but he didn’t know what to ask. He didn’t know the man well, so he wasn’t too sure what to do. Well, that and it had been so long since he’d had anyone interested in him, he didn’t remember how to do this part anymore.
“Long,” Deacon replied, humor in his voice. “You have very protective friends, by the way.”
“Uh, I do?” The only friends Deacon knew were Katie and Dane, and they’d been the ones who set them up, so….
“Mmm, you do. Dane stopped by my office today at lunch to politely tell me he doesn’t care if I am his boss; I am not allowed to hurt you or use you in any way. I wanted to ask if that included the use of floggers, ropes, cuffs, spankings….”
A moan slipped through Kade’s lips before he thought to control his reaction. Ropes? Floggers?
“Oh, that’s a nice sound. You like the idea of me using those on you?” While the words were a question, the tone was a demand, one that shot straight to his groin, making him deliciously hard.
“Please?” Kade thought about how he’d been bound previously, but again his lack of usable legs crossed his mind. “Can, can you do that with me like I am?” he asked, afraid yet hopeful at the same time.
“Can and will, once we know each other a little more. I have such lovely plans for you, Kade. I’m pleased you crave what I want to give.”
The matter-of-fact way Deacon spoke made Kade wonder what he had planned for Friday, but he worried about pushing for too many details, not wishing to displease Deacon or seem too needy prior to working out the rules.
“Will we be playing Friday?” Please say yes!

Buy  Links

Other Books By Tempeste O'Riley:

Grand Adventures Hope & Love