May 2nd, 2016

andrew potter

Blog Tour: Victory Portrait (Pride of Uttor#4) by Tali Spencer

Victory Portrait (Pride of Uttor#4) by Tali Spencer
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC (April 8, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Victory Portrait (Pride of Uttor#4)

Blurb: Imperial captive and former Sebboyan prince Peta Kordeun has one great wish: to meet Darius Arrento, conqueror of his country and a man he has idolized since childhood. That wish comes true the day the Uttoran emperor assigns Peta to assist the artist who will be painting the great general’s official portrait.

General Darius Arrento would rather take a crossbow bolt through his flesh than sit for a portrait, until his friend the emperor forces his hand. The notorious artist, Brazzi, uses semen and other sexual fluids to bind his colors—and Arrento is captivated by the artist’s pretty helper. Before long he is driven to possess the gorgeous young man who draws battle maps and whose naïve charm has won more hearts in Uttor than Arrento has won battles.

When Arrento learns that Peta, the slave he covets and wants for his own, is one of the despised Kordeun princes, he storms from Uttor toward a far corner of the empire—where he quickly finds himself embroiled in a plot to tear Uttor’s empire apart. His emotions and loyalties frayed, the great Arrento is in the battle of his life…and Peta may hold the key to his survival.

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Meet the author: Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, check out her Pinterest boards.

Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.

Tali’s other books include the three preceding Uttor books: Captive Heart, Dangerous Beauty, and Adored, all with Resplendence. Her gay male high fantasy stories, Thick as Thieves, Sorcerer’s Knot, and The Prince of Winds, are published by Dreamspinner Press. She often posts free stories and excerpts on her blog.

"Thanks so much, Elisa, for having me stop by to talk about Victory Portrait, my new release. I had a lot of fun writing this book, particularly because I really enjoyed working with my favorite tropes. Tropes get a bad rap in some quarters, but I rather respect them.

When I was in the ninth grade, a most amazing English teacher gave my young mind one of its first glimpses of adult thinking. To children everything tends to be painted either black or white. Good or bad. True or not true.

This teacher, in preparation for learning Shakespeare, wrote “stereotype” on the chalk board. (We had chalk boards, which were indisputably bad because they were dirty.)

Stereotype. Good? Or bad?

To a child, we were certain we had this one pegged: stereotypes were bad. It was a time of peace marches, TV news, nuclear threats, civil rights and feminism. Stereotypes, we knew, were used by that murky entity The Establishment to put good people down.

My teacher pointed out that The Establishment was, itself, a stereotype. Dang. I hadn’t thought of that. She went on to lead us in a fascinating (to this day) discussion of all the different stereotypes we knew about, which ones we believed, and which ones we wanted to change. We had a great deal of fun looking at all the stereotypes in Romeo and Juliet, and talking about which ones existed then and still existed in our time.

Turns out stereotypes exist not because of some evil stereotype-creating conspiracy, but because stereotypes are simplified, often over-simplified, perceptions that may or may not be true—and they have roots in something that either is true or that people want to believe.

A stereotype is a cultural shortcut. We use them to say we know or understand something or someone, rather than take the extra time and effort to create understanding for each individual or event. We use stereotypes to understand something just enough—and no more.

Tropes, like stereotypes, exist as shortcuts. As a writer I’m particularly fond of the captive trope in romance. You know the one: virgin (usually, though not always) captured by a powerful man, leading to mind-blowing sex and happy ever after. I like to combine this trope with other favorites, like royalty or the alpha hero. Enemies to lovers is another fun one. The trope keys in on what’s at the core of that story’s relationship.

In Victory Portrait, my latest release, the captive royal main character (not quite a virgin but might as well be) is of course thrown together with an alpha hero and a bit of enemies to lovers. That is, to be sure, a vast oversimplification of the plot and characters, but it would be laughable to deny that these tropes are present.

As a reader, I use tropes to help decide what to read. Give me an alien prince, a little captivity, perhaps a billionaire due his comeuppance, maybe a sweet new guy in town meets crusty native who just needs to get the stick out of his… well, you get my drift. We all have our favorites, and we look for books that will give us those things.

Or, as is my case, I write them. Like Shakespeare, just not as good."

Where to find the author:
Facebook: : http://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer
Twitter: @tali_spencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/talispencer/
Blog: http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29851588-victory-portrait



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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards: Song of Souls (Terra #3) by S.J. Frost (80-04-13-2016)

Song of Souls (Terra #3) by S.J. Frost
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (February 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194477002X
ISBN-13: 978-1944770020
Amazon: Song of Souls (Terra #3)
Amazon Kindle: Song of Souls (Terra #3)

Assassin and thief, Zain, will do anything to protect the beautiful minstrel, Lark, but when a new enemy arises, it'll take more than steel to keep the man he loves safe. Lark is a renowned minstrel in Forest's End, but he has a gift beyond his beautiful voice and masterful skill with a lute that few know about. He has the ability to see and speak with souls of the dead. Other than his closest companions, only one man has never shown fear of his gift and even offered him love. Known as the Black Fox, Zain is an assassin and thief. He never planned much of a future for himself, until he met Lark. He wants to make a good life for them, but to truly be with Lark, he needs to give up his life in the shadows. Passion and love strengthens between them, and nothing will stop Zain from protecting Lark. When a new enemy threatens to pull them apart, it'll take more than steel to keep Lark safe. It may be that the only one who has the key to defeat a murderous necromancer is Lark himself.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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