Sunday, March 31, 2024

Ornery Literary Services Update


Free use image by Marisa Sias on Pixabay

I am open for new editing projects in April.

Hello everyone,
Colorado Medicaid stuck it to a whole bunch of people, so I'm no one special in my status of being one of those who got the shaft. They now cover my mostly useless Medicare B premiums, but no medical services. I can buy back in at $25 per month if I can show proof of self-employment. However, I can't make too much money, or SSDI will discontinue my benefits. Hard place, meet rock.

Thus, I offer my services as a line editor/proofreader on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis. The cost is a minimum of $5, but I greatly appreciate it if you can afford to pay more. 

Please email me at chartley65 at Gmail or carahartley at protonmail to request assistance. I can generally thoroughly proofread a 10,000-word story in 2 or 3 days. I have many years of experience editing what may be the worst writing in existence (mine). Surely, I can help you with yours!

I'm not a dev editor, but I will point out areas that could benefit from rephrasing or clarifying. I keep my eyes open for the sort of thing where the writer knows exactly what's going on but doesn't quite explain it to the reader. Of course, I never do things like that. My writing is always perfectly clear and never includes too much backstory or anything of that nature because I am literary perfection personified!

My dumb sense of humor is an additional service I offer free of charge.

Seriously, if you'd like me to give your manuscript the once-over, you can pay me as little as five bucks. There's pretty much no limit on length, but if you're submitting a five-hundred-page manuscript, maybe you could up the ante. You'll have another set of eyes on your manuscript, and you'll be helping me a lot.

Regarding book reviews, I still do these free of charge, but I would appreciate a tip if you liked the review. I will not guarantee a five-star review. It is rare for me to give less than three stars. You can do a search for reviews on this site to see samples of my style. I prefer to receive ARCs as a PDF, but if you only have an epub, I can convert it to a PDF. 

For promotion, I strongly suggest that you compare the book tour services featured at the bottom of the blog and choose one of them to work with. Their rates are reasonable, and they will get your book in front of a lot more eyes than I can as a solo blogger. Feel free to leave a comment on any recent post telling me the name of the book and who you're working with and I will sign up to help if I have availability.

I am also willing to swap a post for a post. In other words, I feature your book on this blog, and you feature one of my books on your blog. 

If you would like to do a guest post, I will need a Blogger-friendly HTML file or a media kit plus a picture of your book cover, blurb, purchase links, and an excerpt from the book. You can also include an author bio if you wish. 

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Pride and Prejudice at the Cat Cafe


Pride and Prejudice at The Cat Café: a Furrever Friends Sweet Romance

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a fortune should donate to a cat rescue.

Overworked PhD student Liz takes a brief break at the local cat café with her friend Jade, who wants to start a special needs cat rescue. Jade pitches her idea to Carl, who is in charge of corporate giving for a rich local family, and sparks fly between the two.

Liz is happy about her friend's potential romance but less impressed with Carl's best friend, William. He seems stuffy and rude, and worst of all, he doesn’t like cats.  Meanwhile, William is intrigued by Liz even though every one of their interactions seems to go awry, in part due to his terrible cat allergy.

For the sake of their friends and the animals, the two figure out how to get along – until Liz learns some horrible facts about William. But is she trusting the right person? Then the feisty kitten Lydia disappears – perhaps stolen – and they have to overcome their differences in order to rescue her.

The Furrever Friends Cat Café helps people find furry forever friends – and just might lead to romantic love too. This Pride and Prejudice modern adaptation features fresh twists to delight both fans and new readers.

Visit the Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series on Amazon US or Amazon UK or see the series with links to all retailers.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story is fun and I had several laugh-out-loud moments – really out loud! It also passed the ‘I'm awake in the middle of the night so I'll read test’ because then I stayed up for 4 - 5 hours reading and didn't actually sleep.” – reader review

On Sunday morning, Liz closed her computer and rubbed her throbbing forehead. Jade had been singing for the last hour. It was like living with freaking Cinderella, the Disney version where she had all the animal friends and was unfailingly cheerful when she should have been enraged by her mistreatment.

But Liz would not go into a rant in her own mind. What was the point of arguing with someone who agreed with you?

Anyway, apparently Jade had a reason for singing. Carl had liked her business proposal. Carl understood that while the local cat rescue was on sound footing, it didn’t have the resources to handle special needs cats. Carl loved cats. Carl, Carl, Carl.

Liz had to smile, seeing her friend so giddy. She just hoped Carl was the sincere and not merely showing enthusiasm because he wanted to impress Jade long enough to get her into bed. If he was playing games, Liz would have to destroy him, and she didn’t have time for that. But he’d seemed nice enough.

Once she’d shaken off her annoyance at the cat-hater and the squealing girl desperately trying to attract him, Liz had watched Jade and Carl with great interest. The chemistry between them had been off the charts. Liz might have envied Jade for that too.

Not that she envied her best friend for anything. She wanted wonderful things for Jade, and Liz didn’t have time for a relationship anyway, or know anyone interesting, so …

Wait, what had she been thinking about?

Jade hit a particularly high note.

Oh, right. Good chemistry.

Liz chuckled and headed to the kitchen to refill her coffee. She was pretty sure she’d already taken the last cup, but if she was lucky, Jade would have started a second pot. She found Jade scrubbing the counters as she sang. Liz scowled at the coffee maker, or more specifically the empty space where the glass pot should be. The dishwasher was running; apparently Jade had decided to wash the coffee pot as part of her enthusiastic cleaning binge. Freaking Cinderella.

Author bio

Kris Bock writes romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. In the Accidental Billionaire Cowboys series, a Texas ranching family wins a billion-dollar lottery. Can they build new dreams and find love amidst the chaos? In the Accidental Detective humorous mystery series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. Learn more at Get a free 30-page story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for Kris Bock’s Romance and Mystery newsletter. You’ll also get a printable copy of "22 recipes from the cat café” and a free Accidental Detective mystery short story with bonus material.

Kris also writes a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The Felony Melanie series follows the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. The series starts with Felony Melanie in Pageant Pandemonium. Sign up for their romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find the books on Amazon US or All E-book retailers.

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors


Kris is also offering the second book in her Accidental Detective series free until April 2.

Friday, March 29, 2024

The Gnome and Threat To the Forest Book Blitz #rabtbooktours


Illustrator: Angel Neha

Children's Book

Date Published: February 27, 2024

Publisher: Mindstir Media


This short story is about a mother wanting her children to enjoy the outdoors. The story takes Nathan, Iris, and Mommy on another trip to the national park. Nathan and Iris are extremely excited to visit with their new friend, Gob the Gnome again. Gob takes Nathan, Iris, and Mommy on a short tour of park and Nathan sees a large empty area of the park. Gob explains to Nathan, Iris, and their mom the unfortunate realities of what happens in some parks due to human interference and natural occurrences. Gob also introduces the family to some of the animals and explains how they suffer through deforestation, tornados, and storms. In this story Iris comes to age by using what she learns from Gob to defend the forest.

Since the 1400s, folklore has described gnomes as guardians of treasure and the protectors of Earth. Gnomes represent stability, growth, and good luck. This is the second book of the six-book series about Gob the Gnome. The six books in this series all revolve around Gob, the protector of a local forest, who becomes friends with Nathan and Iris and helps to educate them on the importance of caring for the environment.

About the Author

 Marilyn Slaughter is an educator with experience teaching second through fifth grades, middle school science, and social studies. She now spends time authoring books for children and adults for engagement, learning, and entertainment. Marilyn’s first six books are a set with the theme of children, with their families enjoying the outdoors; and with teachers and classmates learning about the environment. The children are introduced to a magical and mythical being in the forest and they work to save the local forest. Her goal is to provide a fun read with an entertaining way for children to learn about science.


Contact Links








Purchase Links



RABT Book Tours & PR

Once We Were Witches Book Blitz #rabtbooktours

Immortal Kiss Series, Book 4

Supernatural Fiction

Date Published: 03-08-2024



The mysterious world of witchcraft, murder, and mystery thrusts Raven Sagestone into an adventure whose main goal is to unlock the secrets of her powers. To do this, she teams up with Brandon Cass, an outsider with knowledge of the supernatural world. Raven is introduced to Eve, a psychic who reads destinies. Despite this, Raven is protected by a strong magic barrier, preventing Eve from seeing her. Brandon and Raven search for the truth at Bloodthirst, a vampire club. Visiting The Council's haven with Margarete and Caleb is Raven's chance to find answers to the questions that have plagued her.

About the Author

LAURA DALEO is a multi-genre author, specializing in Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural/Paranormal fiction, Science Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. Immortal Kiss, her best-known vampire series, explores the Egyptian pantheon that gave rise to vampires. Currently, she is working on her eighth book, I am Wolf, an urban fantasy.

A native of San Diego, California, Laura now lives in Tucson, Arizona with her two dogs, Rose and Cooper.

Contact Links









Purchase Links

Amazon Kindle - on sale for $0.99

Amazon paperback

Barnes & Noble - ebook - on sale for $0.99

Barnes & Noble - paperback

Kobo - ebook - on sale for $0.99



a Rafflecopter giveaway 

RABT Book Tours & PR

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Rainbow Diary Book Blitz #rabtbooktours


Embracing Life's Final Colors: A Heartfelt Journey through Loss, Redemption, and the Unknown


Date Published: February 20, 2024

Publisher: Palmetto Publishing


In the tender pages of The Rainbow Diary, embark on an extraordinary odyssey that transcends the boundaries of life and death. This poignant tale weaves a tapestry of love, loss, and redemption, resonating deeply with anyone who has felt the sharp ache of losing a loved one or grappled with the haunting anxiety of mortality.

Meet Kenneth Talbot, a man on the precipice of his final journey. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he confronts the fragility of his existence. As the sands of time slip away, Kenneth's reflections paint a vivid portrait of human emotion. His story becomes a mirror, reflecting the joys and regrets, the triumphs and heartaches that define us all. Amidst the pain, Kenneth finds unexpected solace in the most unlikely places. His bond with his teenage son, Brian, becomes a source of profound reconciliation, a testament to the enduring power of familial love. The gentle presence of MaryAnn, his devoted nurse, becomes a beacon of hope, guiding him toward acceptance.

The Rainbow Diary is more than a novel; it is a sanctuary for the soul. It delicately explores the complex nuances of life's final moments, offering a glimpse into the afterlife that is both imaginative and comforting. Through Kenneth's introspection, readers are invited to confront their own fears and anxieties, finding solace in the shared human experience. This book is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a celebration of the enduring power of love that transcends the boundaries of time and space.

Immerse yourself in this extraordinary narrative, and let The Rainbow Diary be your guiding light through the labyrinth of life, death, and everything in between.

About the Author

Dr. Mitchell Maiman became a physician at age twenty-four and is now retired. As a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub-specialist in Gynecologic Oncology, he has had a distinguished academic, clinical, and research career in medicine and served as both a Director of Gynecologic Oncology and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at major New York City-based university hospitals. He has been recognized for his numerous educational contributions in the field and his devotion and commitment to the teaching of residents and fellows.


Mitch lives with his wife, Dr. Judy Levy, in Long Island, New York, and is an avid tennis player and practitioner of yoga. They first met during their residency training. This is his first novel.


Contact Links







Purchase Links


Barnes and Noble



RABT Book Tours & PR

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Heart Knows What the Mind Cannot See Book Blitz #rabtbooktours


Self Help, Spiritual Inspiration

Date Published: 06-02-2021


This is a thought-provoking and enlightening exploration of spirituality and perception. The text functions as a guide to self-improvement, with a mixture of autobiographical elements and snippets of universal wisdom. The speaker provides accessible solutions to life's difficulties, and an outlook of optimism applicable to any circumstance. The illustrations and graphics are thoughtfully chosen, and the interactive textual elements give this work an originality that sets it apart. The speaker's own experiences and conclusions are at the heart of this fiction, and the first-person narrative voice creates a sense of proximity between author and reader. The text describes itself as 'a journey to the heart', and this truthful discovery of the self is reflected in the speaker's revelation of his whole self through the text. The narrative often presents a dichotomy between positive and negative outlooks or voices.

For example, the speaker includes sections in which his self-doubt speaks, 'you've got no proper education, you can't spell properly, you're dyslexic and your grammar is crap. You're not really a writer'. This negative voice directly opposes the sense of self-belief the speaker builds within the narrative. He uses examples such as this to remind readers that the journey to happiness is complex and that flaws or setbacks are natural. The negative separation or fragmentation of the self is prevalent in the lines, 'I do not love the grumpy me, the sad me, the hostile me, the parts of me that act as if I do not care'. The act of writing represents a unification of the self and an attempt to reframe the speaker's life into coherence. The frequent use of direct address and rhetorical questions promotes an active reading experience, in which the author opens up a dialogue with the reader. The text includes prompts and activities for the reader to engage with and learn from. Encouraging readers to take part in the text is emblematic of their journey to self-fulfillment and love, in which they must take responsibility for actively creating their own happiness.

The speaker depicts his process of enlightenment as a framework for others to emulate, and the format of the text demonstrates the transfer of agency to those who take part in the speaker's challenges at the end of each chapter. This work ultimately teaches us that 'we are the cause of what is' and thus sheds light on the crucial idea that every individual has the power to create themselves and their world positively.

About the Author

Toby Negus is an artist, both with paints and of the spirit. His work reflects a deep commitment to meeting life on its terms and an equally deep understanding of human nature.

Toby has studied and taught spiritual and personal development in the UK and around the world for over two decades. He is qualified in advanced counselling, as a life coach and as a Cognitive Behaviour therapist. He is an Amazon best-selling author of a collaborative Conscious Creators book and has illustrated and self published two books on the subject of self-awareness and the spiritual journey. He has articles published in national magazine and has given talks and run workshops in support of his published work within the UK.

In the last few years, he has created many pieces of artwork that are a reflection of his spiritual journey. These have appeared in magazines and have been exhibited in the UK.


Contact Links







Purchase Links


Barnes and Noble




a Rafflecopter giveaway 

RABT Book Tours & PR

Lone Star On A Cowboy Heart New Release Blitz #IndiGo

Title:  Lone Star on a Cowboy Heart

Author: Marie S. Crosswell

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 03/26/2024

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 49300

Genre: Contemporary Western, contemporary, Lit/genre fiction, Arizona, M/M, asexual, aromantic, bisexual, law enforcement, cowboy, platonic, companionship, crime/robbery, gun violence, bartenders, blue collar, friends to partners

Add to Goodreads


When Montgomery Clarke saves Deputy Sam Roswell’s life during an armed robbery, both men go home thinking they’ll never cross paths again. Instead, a friendship blossoms between them as they work together to track down a wanted man: the surviving robber who escaped the scene of the crime with a sack of cash. 

Drawn to each other despite their starkly different personalities, Montgomery and Sam quickly bond in a way neither man has with anyone else in years. Their friendship awakens Sam’s long-buried and unexplored romantic feelings for men, while reviving Montgomery’s deepest longing: for a platonic life partner. Sparked by violence, Sam and Montgomery’s connection becomes cemented in yet another dangerous confrontation when they finally catch up to Joel Troutman, the robber on the run. 

A year later, Montgomery and Sam are best friends with an exceptionally intimate relationship. What should be their first happy Christmas season together, however, suddenly turns sour when Montgomery gives Sam the cold shoulder without explanation. Brought together once again by crime—this time, one involving a teenage girl—Sam and Montgomery reckon with their feelings for each other. Will they remain friends or become partners?


Lone Star on a Cowboy Heart
Marie S. Crosswell © 2024
All Rights Reserved

Prescott, Arizona

September 2014

Sam Roswell stops for dinner at the Dog Bowl Diner in his civvies, his department-issued sidearm locked in his desk drawer at the sheriff’s office. He chats up his waitress just to feel better about eating alone, then watches the other people in the diner, half cop on the lookout for mischief and half wishing he could meet a new friend. There’s a young couple with a pair of restless kids who can’t stay seated longer than a minute, an old husband and wife tucked into a two-person booth, three men and a woman side by side at the chrome-rimmed counter, and some teenagers hanging out on the other side of the place. None of them pay him any attention.

Two men wearing black knit masks over their faces dart into the diner, each of them leading with a gun. Sam freezes in his seat, watching in disbelief as they split up to cover the room.

The man in a long-sleeved navy blue T-shirt moves into the more heavily populated section of the diner and shouts, “Everybody take out your wallets. Now!”

The second man, wearing a dark red T-shirt under his jacket, goes up to the counter and points his gun at the first employee he sees. “Open the register! Open it!”

The blonde waitress with big hair hurries to the cash register positioned at the right end of the counter and tries to obey, hands twitching and eyes panicked. She fails at her first attempt.

“Hurry up!” Red Tee yells, steel revolver gleaming in the white light of the ceiling bulbs.

The register drawer clicks and slides open, and the waitress yanks stacks of bills out of their compartments and drops them on the countertop.

“Put the money in the bag! Put it in the fucking bag!”

She scrambles for the cash with one hand, then shoves it into the cloth bag Red Tee slid onto the countertop. He snatches the bag away from her and passes it to his accomplice, who holds it in front of the family with kids.

“Put your wallets in the fucking bag and pass it on,” Blue Tee says to them. “Now!”

One of the children starts to cry, pink-faced and whimpering.

A boy sitting at the table of teenagers bolts for the door, but Red Tee gets hold of the hood on his sweatshirt and yanks him back.

“Where the fuck are you going?” Red Tee yells, wrapping his free arm around the boy’s neck and pressing his gun into the boy’s head. “Huh?”

One of the teen girls yelps.

Sam stands up and makes for Red Tee, plucking his badge off his belt as he goes. His pulse races, waves of adrenaline washing through him. He’s not thinking, his body drawn to the trouble like a piece of metal to a magnet.

“Hey, hey,” he says, too soft-spoken for the circumstance. He holds the badge in his hand, so everyone can see it. “Just calm down. The kid’s not going anywhere. Send him back to his seat, and you and your pal can get out of here.”

“A cop, huh?” Red Tee says, arm still wrapped around the teenager’s neck, the gun unrelenting against his skull. “We got us a fucking cop in here.”

Blue Tee glances over at Sam, still following the bag of money around his section of the diner as it changes hands.

“Where’s your gun, asshole?” Red Tee says to Sam.

“Let the boy go,” Sam replies. “You got your money. You don’t have to hurt anyone.”

Red Tee stares at him through the eyeholes in his mask, silent for a long beat, then pushes the teenager away from him. He points his gun at Sam’s chest.

“He don’t even have a fuckin’ gun,” says Blue Tee, the bag of money in his hand. “Don’t be stupid. Let’s fuckin’ go.”

Sam’s standing with his hands up in front of him, badge in the left.

Red Tee doesn’t budge, staring him down with the revolver.

“I said, let’s go,” Blue Tee barks.

“Fuck this cop,” says Red Tee as he cocks back the hammer on his revolver.



NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Marie S. Crosswell writes long fiction, short fiction, and poetry. Her novellas Texas, Hold Your Queens; Alchemy; Cold, Cold Water; and The Silence of Lightning are available online wherever digital books are sold. Her short fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Betty Fedora, Plots with Guns, Tough, and other indie crime fiction publications. She’s a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College where she studied creative writing and friendship. She lives in the American West. Visit her Website for more!


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

Blog Button 2

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Bridging Hope Author Interview #GayBookPromotions


Book Title: Bridging Hope (Bridging Hearts Series, #1)

Author: Greyson McCoy

Publisher: DreamSpinner Press

Release Date: March 26, 2024

Genre: Contemporary M/M romance

Tropes: Hurt/Comfort, forced proximity, small town romance

Themes: New dads

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:  58 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger. It’s a HEA


Buy Links

DreamSpinner Press  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 


When workaholic Pierce Simms’s sister passes, he suddenly finds himself unemployed, back in the hometown he fled, and raising his niece and nephew. Despite that, he’s confident he has things under control—at least until his sister’s high-school sweetheart shows up.

With his teaching grant ended, Dalton O’Dell is at loose ends and tight purse strings. Just as the world crashes down on him, he learns his ex-girlfriend has passed and named him guardian of her two young children. Chaos ensues when he and her brother, Pierce, are forced together to raise the toddlers in Pierce’s family farmhouse.
Nestled in the enchanting beauty of the farm, Pierce and Dalton bond over the challenges of co-parenting and their shared grief as unexpected love blossoms. Love might not be enough, however, if they can’t learn to bridge the gap between their different worlds and overcome the trauma of their pasts.


“Let’s discuss how to proceed,” Pierce’s attorney, a short, businesslike woman, said. For thirty minutes, Pierce kept the baby occupied while his attorney and Uncle Tim discussed the details of the will. I sat watching Pierce.

The little girl kept bringing her uncle toys that had been left in the office for kids to play with, and each time, he’d smile or ask her questions. Eventually, the baby boy settled and snuggled sleepily in his arms. That’s when my heart melted. This wasn’t an absentee uncle. Clearly, he was important to them and vice versa. It made me question whether a custody fight was prudent.

“Why did Lizzie want me to raise her kids instead of you?” I blurted, interrupting our attorneys and surprising myself.

A pained expression crossed Pierce’s face as he spoke to me for the first time. “When she made her will, she probably figured I’d never come back. We were… estranged,” he said, voice gruff.

“But you’re back now, and these two seem to trust you. How long have you been taking care of them?”

His pained look morphed into one so grief-stricken I felt tempted to hug him. “About six months,” he whispered.

I nodded in thought. “Do you have a job? Are you married? What’s your wife like? Is she on board with helping raise them?”

My uncle cleared his throat, signaling to me to let the lawyers handle the questioning, but I couldn’t help myself. For a moment, Pierce looked a little stunned by the sudden barrage, but he answered. “I’m recently unemployed, but I received a good severance package. I’m set for at least a few months before I need to work full-time again. I’m not married.” He hesitated then, his face resolute, before spinning the question back around. “You?”

I shrugged. “Unmarried and recently unemployed as well.” Ignoring his challenging stare, I continued honestly. “I see these two love you, depend on you. I don’t understand all this, but I trust Lizzie had her reasons for naming me their guardian. I won’t relinquish that responsibility. Not without knowing for certain they’re in good hands.”

Pierce nodded, and his expression softened a little. “I’m not stepping out of their lives without knowing the same thing. Frankie and Max have already been through too much for two little kids. I’ll be here until they don’t need me.”

“So we’re at an impasse,” I said.

Uncle Tim cleared his throat again. “Or maybe it’s an opportunity. Mr. Simms, may I call you Pierce? I understand you inherited your father’s farm?” Pierce glanced at him and nodded. “And Dalton, you’re looking for a place to stay. Why don’t you boys combine forces? Dalton, your farming experience might be of great help to Pierce, and you’ll both have time to get to know one another and observe the other’s parenting style.”

I looked at my uncle, aghast. “Uncle Tim, that’s probably not a good idea. Mr. Simms, surely you have a girlfriend or something? I couldn’t impose—”

Pierce barked out a laugh, nearly waking baby Max, who’d fallen asleep in his arms. “I’m gay and single.” He glanced down at his nephew, then over to his niece, Frankie, before refocusing on me. “I understand you work with kids, but do you feel comfortable caring for kids this young?”

I couldn’t help but smile. “I don’t have much experience being around kids this age. In my previous job, they already knew their ABCs when they came to me.”

Pierce appeared lost in thought before he sighed and his shoulders dropped, as if he were giving up the fight. “Honestly, I could use the help. When Lizzie got sick, friends and neighbors helped, but that tapered off. Now it’s just us. I could use another pair of adult hands, especially at night.”

“And there’s room at your house?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I’m staying in my sister’s room, which has an adjoining area where the kids sleep. You could take the main bedroom right across the hall. But fair warning,” he said, a mischievous smile forming on his lips, “if you move in, you’ll have night duty too. Max only sleeps four or five hours, which means 1:00 a.m. diaper-changing time. You up for that?”

I could tell he was testing me, and screw him. I slept like the dead, but I could set an alarm.

I nodded. “I’m up for it if you are.”

We both looked at our attorneys, who wore matching grins. “Well, then,” Uncle Tim said, “sounds like we’ve got a plan.”

About the Author  

Greyson McCoy loves to travel. After years of being tied down to a life of kids, work, running a small farm, and all things domestic, he and his husband have taken full advantage of their empty nest to travel the world.

The joy of writing came to Greyson late in life. While completing his master’s degree, he found himself fighting between desperately wanting to write fiction and finishing the homework and papers he’d been assigned.

After his master’s was finished, Greyson decided to shirk his life of responsibility and pursue his dream of writing full time. His stories reflect many of the locations he and his husband have visited over the years.

Author Links 

Blog/Website  |   Facebook

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

Readers Roost Exclusive Interview

AUTHOR NAME: Greyson McCoy

Introduce yourself and your writing

After years of being tied down to a life of kids, work, running a small farm, and all things domestic, my husband and I have taken full advantage of our empty nest to travel the world.

The joy of writing came to me late in life. While completing my master’s degree, I found myself fighting between desperately wanting to write fiction and finishing the homework and papers I’d been assigned.

When my master’s was finally done, I decided to shirk my life of responsibility and pursue my dream of writing full time.  My stories reflect many of the locations my husband and I have visited over the years.

What/who inspired you to start writing?

My great aunt was born in the early nineteen twenties. She and my grandmother were raised so poor, there were times they simply didn’t have enough food to eat.

My great grandmother, love her as I did, was not a big advocate of higher education. Despite that, my aunt managed to get through high school and began writing poetry when she was around my age.

I never had a conversation with her about her writing. I just secretly admired that she had the umph to do so, and when the world seemed to be against her success at it.

I think that’s where I first began to think about being a writer. Even when I never would’ve dreamed I could do it professionally, I would write poetry (bad poetry, that will never see the light of day,) stories about my experiences, advice I wanted to give my kids, and so forth and so on.

I’m not quite sure I’d have had the nerve to take this on if it hadn’t been for my great aunt.

Tell us about your new release. What inspired you to write it?

Bridging Hope was a labor of love. I was lying in bed one night when the plot bunny hit me and refused to let me go. I ended up getting up and started writing the story.

Of course, the story ended up way too long for the submission requirement for DreamSpinner press, so I had to pare it down, but that’s only because I was enjoying writing the story so much.

How did you decide on the title?

Okay, confession time. I hate titling my books. I had come up with Bridging Hearts, when I broached the subject of maybe making this a series with my editor. With her help we decided Bridging Hearts should be the series title, and Bridging Hope the title for book 1.

I was in central Oregon and fell head over heels in love with their covered bridges. Of course, I went to college in Iowa where they had their own covered bridges scattered about. Heck, Bridges of Madison County was a book that came out when I was in college there.

It only made sense, as my husband and I rode around the idyllic scenery that I would eventually set a book in a town similar to the one where the real covered bridges reside.

Bridging Hearts, just made sense as a series title. Bridging Hope is an accurate description of the process the guys in my book took to find love, and family.

What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?

Well, yes, yes I would! LOL

I have completed book 2 of the Bridging Hearts Series. The story starts out with a young California farmer fighting to save his beloved farm from a voracious wildfire.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t succeed, but he’s thrust into a world of hope, when he moves to live with his aunt and uncle on their dairy farm in Central Oregon.

Now, here’s that snippet:

I followed them in and immediately washed my hands in the lower bathroom. No need to get Sue after me again. She’d all but flogged me last week when I sat down at the table without washing proper, as she called it.

I took a seat in the dining room when Sue yelled up the stairs. “Cliff, we’re sitting down to supper. Come on down.”

I looked at Levi with my eyebrow raised in question. “My cousin,” he said quietly. “His farm was swept up in the California wildfires. Only just arrived in the wee hours.”

I cringed. I’d been watching the news about the horrendous wildfire currently scorching through California. It seemed fires were eating up the forested parts of California and Oregon more and more every year. “That’s awful,” I whispered. “He must be devastated.”

Levi nodded and a somber mood fell over the table. As talk shifted to fences still needing repair, I popped into the kitchen to help Sue. I was bringing out a bowl of mashed potatoes when I came around the corner and looked right into the eyes of one of the most handsome men I’d ever seen.

Chiseled jawline, lean build, and kind but sad eyes. When they locked on mine, I stumbled. In one swift move, he caught me, put me right, and then took the bowl from my hands and placed it on the table.

I was still feeling flustered when he shook my hand and introduced himself as Cliff Anderson.

I’m Brandon Forest, a friend of Levi’s. Nice to meet you.”

Although his face was weary, the smile he gave me made my heart flutter.

Sue brushed past us carrying a platter of pork chops, and took her customary seat opposite Chris at the end of the table. Only then did I notice Levi had switched seats so instead of sitting across from Keya like usual, he was seated next to her. That left two empty chairs side by side, which meant I’d be sitting beside the handsome stranger all through supper.

Let’s say grace,” Sue began, and as was the custom, Chris said his blessedly short prayer over the meal.

The conversation took its normal turns. Which fields had to be mowed, which cows were calving, and whatever else needed doing around the farm. Then Sue shared a little gossip about the neighbors. Mrs. Horace needed a knee transplant. Mr. Frost had gone into hospice.

Chatter buzzed around the table, but Cliff sat silently. I glanced his way a few times, asking him to pass me the potatoes and to fork me up a pork chop, which he did without a word.

I could smell a whiff of smoke wafting off him, which must’ve permeated his clothes, and it reminded me of all he must’ve just gone through. My heart went out to the poor guy. I couldn’t imagine what he was feeling.

I’d seen videos of the fires that had consumed California and Oregon in years past, and pictures of destroyed homes and burnt-out vehicles. The devastation was overwhelming. Experiencing that firsthand would be a real-life nightmare. I suspected Cliff was relieved no one asked him any questions about it.

When is your next book gonna be out?” Levi asked me. I knew he already knew the answer. I’d told him a couple of days ago that my agent had asked me to send her copy of the first novel in my new series. When I looked at him questioningly, he had a mischievous smile on his face. So, I thought to myself, this was for his cousin’s benefit.

I played along. “I should get my manuscript back for revisions any day now,” I said. I couldn’t even say that without feeling a bit of dread knowing I’d soon be faced with a document that my editor had completely ripped apart.

You’re an author?” Cliff asked, and I smiled.

Well, I’m trying to be. I have two books out, and now I’m working on my first series.”

What do you write?” he asked, looking around the table shyly.

Mostly science fiction and fantasy. My new series will be young adult fiction, though. I wrote it in honor of my buddy Levi, the middle school English teacher.”

Everyone chuckled except Cliff, who must not have gotten the joke.

Your cousin over there challenged me to write a book he could use to motivate his students to read more. So, I bragged about that being easy. Just so you know, writing a book for pre-teens is not easy.”

Cliff smiled warmly at me, and my heartbeat did the same pitter-patter flutter in my chest as when I first saw him.

I remember being that age, I hated everything.”

Yes, you did. You were a pill back then,” Sue said.

Cliff’s smile brightened. “Levi was always a bigger pill, so I felt like I could get away with being a little surly.”

Hey, don’t pull me into this,” Levi complained.

Cliff winked at his cousin, and with just that bit of humor, it’s like he came out of his protective shell.

Do you write under a pseudonym?” he asked me.

I use my own name. Brandon Forest.”

Oh, shoot, I should’ve realized that. I’ve read your books. I got them last year for my birthday.”

Just like that, the shutters went down again. Something bad must’ve happened on or around his birthday. I didn’t pry but said, “I’d be happy to sign your books.”

He shook his head. “I doubt they survived,” he replied quietly.

A sadness permeated the room, and he must’ve noticed because he quickly forced a smile and said, “But I loved them. I can’t wait to read your young adult fiction.”

I smiled at him but wasn’t quite sure what else to say. So, I went back to harassing Levi, which seemed to put everyone in a better mood.

After supper, Cliff helped Sue take things into the kitchen. When everything was put away, he excused himself, saying he wanted to call a friend to find out if there was any news. Sue waved him off after he shook my hand and told me it was a pleasure meeting me.

A thrill, almost like an electric jolt, zapped my heart when he took my hand in his, and something sparked in his eyes as well. Whatever this was, and despite the awful timing in Cliff’s life, I wanted to explore it. I’d never had such an immediate, visceral reaction to someone before, and there’d been plenty of opportunity. I wouldn’t consider myself a man-slut, but I wasn’t far off. I decided to pull Levi and Keya aside and get to the bottom of the story with Levi’s ridiculously handsome cousin.

What is the hardest part of writing any book?

The blurb, hands down the most difficult thing I’ve done in a long time was to take a story 20,000 words long and put it into 2 or 3 paragraphs. Honestly, I think I’d rather eat chalk.

Are there any genres you prefer to write, and if so, why?

I love romance. Have most of my life. I like other stuff too, but my passion is and probably always will be romance.

Why M/M?

Oh, that’s easy. I’m gay. How fun is it to have loved romance books most of my life, only now to have an audience who are willing to read my work, and it all be about two (or more) men finding their best and most romantic life?

What book/s are you reading at the moment?

I just finished J.P. Jackson’s Skin Session. Oh boy, that man can write in such a naughty delightful way.

What novels do you adore/re-read?

I fell in love with Nora Roberts years ago and read her Three Sister Island series. One day I want to write a series like those, because DANG, they are still some of my favorite books!

Which other writers do you follow?

Follow? I’m not sure I follow them, but I adore Glenn Quigley, Andrew Grey, Kim Fielding, Lily Morton, and so many others. You might say I’m a bit of a MM romance slut. Ain’t no shame in that though, right?

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

I’m told the word for what I do is pantsing. I do outline, sort of, but mostly just to get my ideas down. Then I let my characters run with it. I’ve drafted five books now, and not one of them has followed the outline I initially created for them.

How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?

I either write, edit, or market my books every day. I don’t have a schedule, but I work well over fifty hours a week on my book business. Which honestly feels like my book passion.

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Tell us about your pets.

Aah, I love kitties. The only problem is I’m totally allergic. I also love the puppies.

My old terrier passed away last year and broke my heart. We have an old Husky mix now, and he occupies a lot of our time.

I’m all about the cuddles, and where the terrier had no interest the Husky is almost always willing.

Someday ask me about the other puppies I’ve loved in my life. Each of them have their own stories!

If you had access to a time machine just once, is there anything you'd go back and change? Either on a personal level or an historical event?

This is something I’ve pondered a lot lately. Would I change my life if I could?

Ultimately, I’m surprised that I’ve decided no, no I wouldn’t change much in my life. I mean, yeah, I’d buy Amazon stock, so I could be richer than I am now, thus giving me more time to write and play and well, all the stuff that I can’t afford to do now.

No, in reality, I’m proud of who I’ve become.

In the south, at funerals especially, people like to say, “Well, he had a hard life.” Imagine that being said in a very prolonged accented way.

I haven’t had a hard life, yeah, there’s been a lot of hard stuff. A heck of a lot of hard stuff in fact, but I don’t like to think of my life in that way. Now, if I have a funeral, and people are standing around talking about me, I’d want them to say, “he lived an authentic life.”

I’ve taken a heck of a lot of lemons and turned them into lemonade, lemon meringue, lemon ice box pie, lemoncello, and so many more yummy things. My writing is just one of those delightful delicacies that’ve developed out of those authentic, albeit ass-kicking, life experiences.