Interview with TJ Klune and Blake Dorner, author and artist of Withered + Sere!

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Tj Klune has a new novel out tomorrow, and it’s something really special. Withered + Sere is not a romance novel; it’s a gritty post-apocalyptic/sci-fi tale about two men trying to survive. And Tj has collaborated with artist Blake Dorner to provide several stunning illustrations in the novel!

Today I have Tj and Blake on the blog to talk about this unique book, and working together to create Withered + Sere and its sequel (out late summer). Plus I have an exclusive reveal of one of Blake’s illustrations for the novel! 

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Oh wait, how could I forget? There’s a little giveaway for you… how about an e-copy of Withered + Sere of your very own? YEAH, you know you want one! So keep reading, and check out the giveaway at the bottom! The giveaway has ended.

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Withered + Sere, by TJ Klune
Series: Immemorial Year, Book 1
Publisher: DSP Publications (Dreamspinner Press)
Release Date: April 19, 2016

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Review: Old Green World, by Walter Basho (Rating: 3/5)

Old Green World: A Novel, by Walter Basho
Publisher: Craft Fiction (May 19, 2015)
Page Count: 224 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Sci-fi/Fantasy (Romance)

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Cover Artist: Derek George

Cover Artist: Derek George

Summary: The apocalypse happened 4000 years ago; now, a wild forest covers the world. Albert Todorov lives on an island, in the shadow of the forest. He loves Thomas Newton, a boy he can never marry. A new island civilization is blossoming, led by strange monks called the Adepts–who have power over matter and the mind–and their holy figures, the mysterious Old People. They plan to storm the forest, to tame it for civilization.

My Thoughts: The summary made me believe this would be a romance, but I would say the romance was secondary to the philosophy. This was not my usual read, but it was still lyrical and full of gorgeous imagery. And the basic thread of romance, of understanding what love truly means, winds its way through the entire plot.

I’m reminded of Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. This was a novel where magic and science blended seamlessly together. It was at once a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel, and a magical fantasy novel. At its center was Albert, a boy on the verge of becoming a man, who is sent to fight a war that he does not understand.

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Review: The Long Fall of Night, by A. J. Rose (Rating: 4.5/5)

The Long Fall of Night, by A.J. Rosewordpress blog stats
Publisher: The Grim Writer Press (June 16, 2015)
Page Count: 473 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance

Cover Artist: Elizabeth Mackey

Cover Artist: Elizabeth Mackey

Short & Sweet: Welcome to the long fall of night… A sudden blackout hits New York City, leaving Ash Caine and his lab partner Elliot Davenport in darkness. But Ash knows that this is no ordinary power outage; twelve hours earlier he’d received a coded message from his Uncle Marvin, warning him to “be ready”. Now Ash has two goals: get to his sister’s house in upstate New York, and get her and her son to Seattle, where Uncle Marvin lives. But Elliot isn’t about to let Ash leave him behind, especially if what Ash says is true.

My Thoughts: This was one of my most anticipated books of June, and I’m always thrilled when a book I’m looking forward to is as good as I’d hoped! After reading A.J. Rose’s Power Exchange trilogy, I had an expectation of what this book would hold: amazing characters, beautiful writing and well-researched plot, and a hot, sexy romance. Lemme tell you something… A.J. delivered on all fronts!

The Eastern two-thirds are without power, leaving more than two hundred million people in the dark. Ash was raised to survive in any circumstance, but even this is beyond his comprehension. Still, with his family and friends to take care of, he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to make it to safety. And even though he insists that Elliot is just a friend (and occasional hook-up), Ash doesn’t want to leave him behind.

In Denver, a city that’s half-dark and half-powered, the Army team Shockwave are dealing with their own issues. They have orders to evacuate the part of the city without power, but the situation is takings its toll on the normally tight teammates. Sergeant “Ness” Midler and her team are trying to stay sane, but best friends Chris and Donnie are trying to ignore their attraction to each other in the midst of everything else.

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Friday Five: Upcoming June Releases

Ahhh, it’s finally warming up in the Northern Hemisphere after a long and messy winter! It was snowing in Colorado just a month ago, and the piles of snow in Boston still haven’t melted… insane, right? Thank goodness summer is finally here!

(Okay, where I live it’s always summer, but that’s beside the point.)

Summer is the best time of year for Romance books in my experience, and there’s nothing more perfect than the combination of a good book, a warm breeze, and blue water lapping at your feet.

So far, June has been a great month for new releases, with amazing novels from Rhys Ford, Lauren Gallagher, and Alexis Hall, to name a few. And the rest of the month has me bouncing with excitement.

Here are five books that I can’t wait to read in the second half of June:

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

The Deep of the Sound, by Amy Lane (Riptide Publishing, June 15)

Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great-uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.

Cover Artist: Unknown

Cover Artist: Unknown

Just Business, by Anna Zabo (Random House/InterMix, June 16)

Justin White may not look like an up and coming corporate superstar, but his new boss knows he has the smarts, grit, and determination to succeed. Now he just has to convince his company’s CFO, Eli Ovadia. Unfortunately, Justin can’t seem to keep his cool around the domineering Eli—and soon he finds himself taking their heat from the boardroom into the bedroom….

Still haunted by a tragic accident that left him with a wounded leg and broken heart, Eli has a need to be in control. But his desire for Justin makes him want to lose that control—and push them both far beyond their limits. But will his need to dominate Justin drive him away—or will Eli find a way to be the man he needs for both of them?

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

The Girl Next Door, by Amy Jo Cousins (Samhain Publishing, June 16)

Charles “Cash” Carmichael traded his high-rise condo and family-firm career for a job coaching soccer for Chicago’s inner-city kids. He’s adjusting to living on minimum wage when his young cousin, newly out and running away from home, shows up on his less-than-luxurious doorstep.

Angsty teens definitely aren’t Cash’s thing. He needs local backup, and there’s only one name he can think of: Stephany Tyler. Back in the day, the bisexual Steph was the perfect friend with benefits until she fell in love with a woman.

To his relief, his former friend steps up to the plate. Soon, though, Cash finds himself feeling the familiar need to keep her in his bed, and in his life. But Steph, burned by the ex-girlfriend and by the absentee dad she’s been trying to connect with, won’t risk her heart again.

Good thing Cash believes in leaving it all on the field. If he can just convince Steph to get in the game, there’s a chance they can both win.

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

The Tide of War, by Lori A. Witt (Riptide Publishing, June 22)

Lieutenant Commander Kyle West is one of Earth Fleet’s greatest fighter pilots. Every day, he leads his squadron into battle over Earth’s cities in a seemingly endless war against a vicious alien race, defending his home and his loved ones.

Millions of miles away, the Fleet’s Elite Squadron attacks from another angle, engaging the enemy on its home turf. Casualties are high, and the Squadron needs more of the Fleet’s very best. But joining the Elite is a death sentence—a surety Kyle isn’t willing to face. Until a devastating attack wipes out the family he refused to leave.

Commander Andrei Dezhnyov, an Elite Squadron gunner, isn’t sure what to make of the cocky new American pilot. Kyle is equally uncertain about the snarly Russian, but as they warm up to each other, their tentative alliance becomes a deep bond—one that endangers them both when a daring and disobedient rescue reveals secrets that call into question everything they’ve ever believed about their enemy. Secrets that their superiors would kill to protect.

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

The Peach and the Poppy, by Caesar J.M. Kauftheil (Less Than Three Press, June 24)

After an unpleasant breakup with her girlfriend, Poppy goes on a solo trip to Paris. Her first morning out she encounters a beautiful stranger, but it proves to be the only good part of the day. Though she tries to appreciate the beautiful city she’s come to escape in for a time, Poppy can’t help but feel something is lacking.

When her best friend suggests what she needs is a fling to clear away her ex for good, Poppy approaches the beautiful woman from before to be her tour guide for the duration of her vacation, but as the trip draws all too quickly to an end, Poppy realizes that in seeking a cure for heartache, she may instead have just made the problem worse…

Cover Artist: Unknown

Cover Artist: Unknown

Bonus: The Long Fall of Night, by A. J. Rose (June 2015 est.)

When NYU student Asher Caine’s uncle calls to warn him something big is coming, he has no idea it will be so devastating. Not even years of training can prepare him for what he’s about to face. The only plan he has is to get his sister and nephew across country to safety, whatever it takes.

Elliot Davenport isn’t about to let his Chemistry lab partner leave him behind, though he’s never done a spontaneous thing in his life. Ash is mysterious, aloof, and so damned sexy, Elliot can’t get the guy out of his head. But his crush takes a backseat as the gravity of the situation becomes clear: the eastern two-thirds of the United States has gone dark.