Thursday, May 14, 2015

Piece Us Back Together - A "Healing" Anthology #Interview #NewRelease #Giveaway

Piece Us Back Together
A "Healing" Anthology
by Cate Ashwood, L.J. LaBarthe & Raine O'Tierney

Length: 260 pages
Genres: Gay (M/M), Contemporary, Romance
Life can seem bleak for people suffering devastating injuries or illnesses of the mind and body, and every day can be a struggle. But sometimes, when hope seems in short supply, they find a reason to keep up the fight. The men in these stories face some of the most difficult challenges imaginable, but fortunately they won’t be facing them alone, because when everything seems darkest, a point of light appears. With compassion, understanding, and love, these hurt souls have a chance to piece the broken parts of their lives and themselves into something strong and beautiful. Love might even be able to mend the most serious wounds of all—those of the heart.

Carly: What is the best book you ever read and why is it your favourite?

Cate: This might be an unexpected answer, but A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It's amazing. The introduction gives me goosebumps. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Raine: The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. It literally saved my life. Thank you Thich Nhat Hanh.

L.J.: Only one? I can’t do only one! There’s a few that spring to mind, which are favourites for a variety of reasons, but the most important one is that they’ve stayed with me long after I finished reading them, sometimes for several years. If a book has that much of a lasting impression, then it’s definitely a favourite. So here is a few: Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein; Tangle - Anthology; Blind Eye Press Books; The Silkworm - J. K. Rowling; The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury; New Watch - Sergey Lukyaneko; Midnight in Peking - Paul French; The People's Will - Jasper Kent; Infected Prey - Andrea Speed; Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith; The God Eaters - Jesse Hajicek; Quid Pro Quo - Manna Francis; On Writing - Stephen King; Mordred, Bastard Son by Dougless Clegg. That’s a bit more than a few. Sorry!

Carly: If you could choose to have any type of super power what would it be and why?

Cate: To create time out of nothing. I wish I had so much more of it. There are so many things I would love to do, learn, experience, and there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Raine: Mine is a bit like Cate's, except instead of making time from nothing, I would freeze time except in a bubble of my choosing. Oh, the pranks I would pull! Or the banks I would rob? Not sure which ;)

L.J.: Super strength. It’d be good to be able to do things that I normally can’t.

Carly: Do you have any talents besides writing that are uniquely yours?

Cate: Does folding my tongue into a clover shape count? No? Then not really.

Raine:  I can close my nostrils without using my fingertips. Yep. It's pretty gross to look at :)

L.J.: Unique to me? No. I’ve been called The Bringer of Planes, as planes seem to fly overhead whenever I step outside, though!

Carly: Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Cate: Lots of pleasures, not sure any of them are guilty. Maybe some people might think they are.

Raine: Dachshunds. City limit is 4 dogs--I will get my dachshund pack yet!

L. J.: Not really. Oh wait, does listening to very loud, glass-shattering punk rock music count as a guilty pleasure?

Carly: If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world where would you go?

Cate: I can only choose one place? That's impossible. I'd love to travel all over. I'd go to Europe for sure and somewhere tropical. I'd love to see New Zealand and visit LJ in Adelaide.

Raine: Back to Japan, baby!

L.J.: If this is one vacation, it’d be a long one. I would visit the UK, France, and then hop over to Russia and visit Moscow before getting on the Trans-Siberian Rail and doing that, that’d be awesome. Then I’d go visit South Korea, maybe North Korea if my visa was approved, there are two agencies who run tours of NK. Then to China and I’d travel around a bit then go follow the route of the Silk Road back through to the Middle East and the Holy Lands, then over to Turkey. Then I’d go home via visiting friends in Canada, the US and New Zealand. Phew!
All That Shimmers
by Raine O’Tierney
Release Date: May 6, 2015
Length: 90 pages

Beau Bell is a former Olympic hopeful, left paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident. He has every reason in the world to be pissed off and miserable, yet he’s training for the Paralympics Men's 100m—S6 division. The chair? Just a part of who he is now. Beau's attitude is golden. If only he could contend with this one little issue: errant erections and no way to relieve them!

Nikša Meríc is a lonely scientist and really bad poet living underneath the old building where he does his research. Every night he watches his neighbor through his basement window as he undresses in his wheelchair. Although there is no apparent reason for Nikša to be unhappy, he’s struggled with depression his whole life and has tried to kill himself on multiple occasions.

When Beau proposes that his “voyeur” come over and help him experiment with the erections he can’t actually feel, the relationship they build is a sexual one. But the relationship they need is one that will heal each other’s heart as well.

Excerpt from All That Shimmers by Raine O’Tierney

The feel of Niksa’s mouth against his was wholly different than anything he’d ever experienced. He’d never been averse to making out, but it was never the point. The point was to get off, and lips against lips, at least in the old days, weren’t going to get him there. But these lips on his, they were something different. He could feel the lingering pressure of Niksa’s lips on a spot on his spine. It was a phantom sensation. Lips to lips. Lips to spine. It was as if the kisses were firing off nerve signals in totally new directions. It was heady. And it made him hopeful.

He could have kissed Niksa for hours. And that was something Beau had never done.

“Don’t stop,” Beau groaned, running the tip of his tongue over Niksa’s wet, swollen lips. He’d only broken the kiss to draw breath, and he looked up at Beau with such longing in his eyes that it made Beau crazy. Even though Niksa had been sated, it was obvious he wanted to please Beau, and Beau liked that greatly.

“Keep kissing me,” Beau groaned. “Anywhere. Everywhere.” He turned his face, revealing his neck for Niksa to explore. Each gentle kiss was like fire inside of him, and each one sparked a secondary reaction somewhere else. He could feel kisses to his earlobe and his cheek in his fingertips. The tickling brush of lips over his nose made his scalp tingle. Then Niksa kissed—and then sucked—on Beau’s neck, and Beau felt it in his toes. In his goddamn toes.

He knew he couldn’t be feeling what he was feeling. It couldn’t be real. But it felt real enough, and Beau would have given anything to have it go on forever.
Swimming With Elephants
by L.J. LaBarthe
Release Date: May 13, 2015
Length: 95 pages

After suffering a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, Garrett believes his life is over. Depressed, bereft, in pain, and unable to return to the career he loves as an arborist, he sees no hope or future for himself. But a trip to Havelock Island in India turns his world upside down. He meets Jai, an Indian nurse, and becomes smitten with him. Near the end of his trip, while swimming with an elephant, he tells Jai how he feels.

After Garrett returns to Australia, he wonders if he can ever be healed of all his pain—physical, emotional, and mental—and fears that love and romance will never be his again. But then Jai turns up in Perth and brings with him astonishing news.

Excerpt from Swimming with Elephants by L.J. LaBarthe

Perhaps they could develop a deeper friendship at the very least, and maybe Garrett could come back to India to see Jai. There were a lot of possibilities, after all, and Garrett preferred right then to think of those rather than anything negative.

Baju joined them, his trunk brushing over Garrett’s back and Garret laughed, unable to help himself. “That tickles,” he said to the elephant.

Jai laughed as well. “He is saying hello.”

“He’s awesome. I hope you know that you’re awesome, Baju.” Garrett turned in the water and rested a hand on Baju’s shoulder. “Thank you.”

“He has helped to heal your soul,” Jai said.

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s exactly it. I feel so much happier for having had this experience.”

“There are many kinds of healing,” Jai said. “Some of them cannot be put into words.”

Garrett nodded, feeling peace wash over him once more. Here in the warm sea water, touching a large Indian elephant and feeling the elephant’s trunk on his shoulders, beside a man he had feelings for, he had found his little piece of pure joy, and nothing and no one could take this away from him. It would be a memory he would treasure forever.
Red Runs Through
by Cate Ashwood
Release Date: May 20, 2015
Length: 90 pages

Carter McClintock’s life is uncomplicated. For the past five years, he’s spent so much time in hospital scrubs that one day bleeds into the next, and that’s just the way he likes it. That is, until he meets Matthew Nolan. Carter has never had a patient affect him the way Matthew does. During Matthew’s stay in the hospital, the chemistry is unmistakable, and once he is discharged, Carter asks him out.

Despite the obvious attraction between them, Matthew’s HIV status keeps him from handing Carter his heart, refusing to believe anyone could ever truly want him. When Matthew’s past comes to light, their budding relationship is threatened before it has even begun. But Carter isn’t one to give up without a fight and he will do anything to show Matthew the lengths he will go to keep them together.

Excerpt from Red Runs Through by Cate Ashwood

Carter looked at Matthew, and there it was. That moment of electricity that arced between them. Matthew didn’t let go of Carter’s hand, instead cradling it in his own. Carter inched closer and waited patiently to see if Matthew would do the same.

Slowly, they erased the space between them until they were a fraction of an inch apart.

“Carter,” Matthew whispered a sliver of a moment before Carter closed the last of the distance between them and pressed his lips against Matthew’s. For a moment, Carter thought Matthew was going to pull away, but then he kissed him back, his lips parting slightly and his tongue darting out to lick Carter’s bottom lip. Carter hummed his pleasure and opened for Matthew, letting him in and kissing him with everything he had.

It was a little bit fumbling and a lot sexy as they got their hands involved, touching and teasing one another until Matthew pulled back, pushing Carter away with a firm hand on his chest.

“I’m sorry, Carter, I can’t….”

Stunned, Carter didn’t know what to say other than, “Why not?”

Matthew sighed. “It’s not that I don’t want to. God, do I want to. But… you don’t know everything about me, and I can’t take advantage of you like that. You need to know if you’re going to make an informed decision about me.”

Carter’s eyebrows knitted together in confusion. “So tell me and I’ll make the informed decision to go back to kissing you. I like kissing you, Matthew. Actually, I like everything about you.”

“You don’t know that,” Matthew said sternly. He sat back on the couch and scrubbed his hands over his face.

“Tell me,” Carter said.

Matthew looked at him, his eyes wide, his face pale. “I’m HIV positive.”
Raine O'Tierney lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Siôn O'Tierney. When she's not writing, she's either asleep, or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers! Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on M/M) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you're interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her brand new little boy, and her two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.
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Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews
Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My
MM Good Book Reviews
Bayou Book Junkie
Amanda C. Stone
Bike Book Reviews
Hearts on Fire
Carly’s Book Reviews
Molly Lolly
Decadent Delights
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Inked Rainbow Reads
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Chris McHart


  1. Hi Congrats on the anthology. Sounds interesting. Hope it does well

  2. Hi! Congrats on the release. This is such an amazing group of authors, so I know it has to be good. :)