Welcome to the second week of the Beat Your Winter Blues Blog Tour, where sixteen authors will do their best to make your winter brighter in January, February, March, and April. (Unless you’re south of the equator, and then we’ll just be jealous of your summer.) Every Wednesday will be a new stop on the tour (see schedule at end of post). Be sure to leave a comment at each stop for up to sixteen chances at the grand prize: a $200 USD gift certificate to the e-retailer of your choice! Also keep an eye out for links to individual authors’ sites on their release dates for a chance to win some free books.
Don’t forget to check out Ellis Carrington’s “Feeling Neighborly,” Marie Sexton’s Blind Space, Andrew Grey’s An Unsettled Range, J.P. Barnaby’s next Little Boy Lost book: Escape. Click here to enter to win an e-copy of not just that book but all the Little Boy Lost novels! Also available: J.L. Merrow’s A Calling for Pleasure, which will be free from January 15th until Valentine’s Day!
And now, all our authors with new releases in January will share their favourite wintertime activities. We’ll let J.P. Barnaby kick it off with something guaranteed to warm you up!
J.P. Barnaby: These are just some of my favorite wintertime activities. I do love to let beautiful boys suck and fuck to warm those cold Chicago nights. Some people like to sit in front of the fireplace and read while others like to have snowball fights with their kids.
I have a slightly different outlook on life.
Ellis Carrington: I love to ice skate. In my upcoming novella, Immortal Valentine, my heroes first meet in front of the ice rink at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden in Washington DC. Every winter they cover the giant water fountain there and make it into a rink. Hands down, it is my FAVORITE place to go skating! Fun for families, romantic for couples. You can even have a great time by yourself! I admit, I’m a terrible skater. I can’t stop without running into the rink walls (or a person!). But I love to visit the galleries, get some cocoa, and then get swept up in the enthusiasm and the joy of the people around me. The laughter, the folks stopping to kiss…the bored voices over the loudspeaker reminding the kissing lovers that they should really move out of the flow of traffic first if they’re feeling amorous. I’m one of those folks who hates the cold, but it’s easy to get caught up in the joy of winter, in a place like that.
Andrew Grey: My favorite winter activity has to be staying warm. I grew up in the Midwest and spent some time in California. I really don’t like the cold, so winter sports are out. I’m very much a warm weather, spring and summer person. However I do have a young niece and she has been known to charm me into the occasional snowball fight, which I usually loose because let’s face it, the only balls I’m good with are attached.
Lou Harper: In Los Angeles where I live, seasons are sort of meaningless. Winter often feels more like spring. However, the interval vaguely between September and April is the only time we have a chance for rain, gloom, and the occasional truly melancholy weather. These occasions are rare, so I take advantage of them. I grab my camera and hop into the car.
Last “winter” on such a day I drove across the mountains, down to the beach. As I drove upward, the air got thicker and thicker till I was enshrouded in a milky fog. A rare treat, indeed! Down at the beach I marveled at the crazy people surfing the frigid waters. Then I drove home, made a cup of hot tea, bundled up on the sofa, and pretended I was in England.
JL Merrow: The January Sales… don’t you just hate them? The crowds, the pushing and shoving, the way normally classy department stores take on the look of a village jumble sale?
Well, no, actually—I rather like shopping in the sales. For one thing, there’s the lack of guilt. Christmas is over; it’s okay to buy stuff for yourself once more! Particularly if, like me, you’ve got relatives who really don’t go in for all this buying presents malarkey, preferring to hand over a cheque instead. Which is all very well—but I like being able to think, so-and-so got me this for Christmas, even if I have to then go and buy this myself. And once that cheque hits the bank, you’ve only got a short time before it’s subsumed and forgotten, and ends up going towards the weekly shop—not at all what the giver intended.
So why not hit the sales? Now that fox-hunting is banned in Britain (*g*), where else can you get the thrill of the chase, the excitement of unearthing a real bargain—even, in the more popular sales, the mindless violence—that you get in the January sales?
Of course, you may end up spending a bit more than you meant to—but if it’s in the sales, that means you’re actually saving money, doesn’t it? Right? And you absolutely, positively have to have that outfit you’ll be wearing all the time any day now, just as soon as you lose that last ten pounds on the New Year Diet That Can’t Fail…
Still, no harm in keeping the receipt. Just in case. ;D
Josephine Myles: These days I don’t get out into the countryside nearly as often as I used to, but one of my favourite activities in the winter has always been walking in the woods. Yes, it’s muddy and cold, but when the leaves have all fallen, the trees look even more stunning to my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing them break into bud in the spring, rustle in summer breezes, or turn fantastic shades in the autumn, but deciduous trees in winter have an ethereal beauty. The filigree lacework of their naked branches against the sky is breathtaking.
My most important ingredient for a successful trek in the woods in winter? A flask of coffee, liberally laced with brandy. Actually, a hipflask wouldn’t go amiss either, and good walking boots with woollen socks. Happiness is a warm, dry pair of feet and a tipsy head!
Marie Sexton: My favorite wintertime activity is going to the Denver Broncos football games with my husband. We have season tickets. They’re in the nose-bleed section, but it’s actually a really great view of the field. In fact, the film used by the coaches is taken from just just a few rows behind our seats. The attached picture (which I found online) was taken from our section. That guy down front? He’s known as the Bronconator, and yes, he’s dressed like that for every game. Of course, every once in a while, it’s freezing cold, but not often. The first half of the season, we’re warm enough with T-shirts and light jackets, and later in the season, it’s usually in the forties or fifties. Perfect weather for a football game! Now, if only the Broncos would win a bit more often. My fingers are crossed for next year.
Erotic fiction is more than just moans, grunts, and physical pleasure. To J.P. Barnaby, erotic fiction consists not only of the mechanics of physical love, but the complex characters and relationships that lead to those all-encompassing feelings of need and longing. Sex without context is merely sex—but sex coupled with attraction, with explosive repercussions—that is good erotic fiction. J.P. authors all different kinds of erotic fiction including gay, straight, male, female, BDSM, sweet, romantic, and dark. As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself. Find JP at her website and on Twitter.
Ellis Carrington is a wild child who hates to color in the lines, but who lives and loves passionately. She can be found in and around the Washington D.C. area, swilling Starbucks and saying inappropriate things out loud in public. Her greatest loves are good friends, good music, and of course reading M/M romance.Find out more at EllisCarrington.com
Andrew Grey grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation. Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle,, Pennsylvania. You can find out more at www.andrewgreybooks.com , on facebook, twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Under a prickly, cynical surface Lou Harper is an incorrigible romantic. Her love affair with the written word started at a tender age. Lou’s favorite animal is the hedgehog. She likes nature, books, movies, photography, and good food. She has a temper and mood swings. Lou is a loner, a misfit, and a happy drunk. You can find Lou at http://louharper.com and http://louharper.blogspot.com.
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes m/m erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it. Check out Jo’s website and blog at josephinemyles.com
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway. You can find out more about Marie at http://mariesexton.net/.
January 11: How We Beat the Winter Blues (hosted by Coffee & Porn in the Morning)
January 18: Favorite Wintertime Activities (hosted by Josephine Myles)
January 25: Join us for a January getaway (hosted by Andrew Grey)
February 1: Winter in My Backyard (hosted by Lou Harper)
February 8: “If I could get away right now, I’d go to…” (hosted by Ellis Carrington)
February 15: Valentine’s Day (hosted by J.L. Merrow)
February 22: Authors by the Fireside (hosted by Kate McMurray)
February 29: Join us for a February getaway (hosted by Z.A. Maxfield)
March 7: Things to Do in a Blizzard (hosted by S.A. Meade)
March 14: St. Patrick’s Day (hosted by Clare London)
March 21: Spring Break (hosted by Blaine D. Arden)
March 28: Join us for a March Getaway (hosted by Tales from the Writing Cave)
April 4: Favorite Winter Movies (hosted byStumbling Over Chaos)
April 11: Signs of Spring (hosted by J.P. Barnaby)
April 18: Join us for an April Getaway (hosted by Marie Sexton)
April 25: Farewell (hosted by Joyfully Jay)
April 30: Grand Prize Announcement (hosted by Heidi Cullinan)
Every week we’ll also let you know what books are recently released and about to be released, complete with links to giveaways.