Friday, November 17, 2017

Citywide by Santino Hassel - Blog Tour with Exclusive Short Story and Giveaway

About Citywide

A record-breaking heat wave engulfs the Five Boroughs, and emotions run as hot as the temperatures.

In Rerouted, Chris Mendez is trying to live a drama-free life. That doesn't include another threesome with Jace and Aiden Fairbairn. But then a citywide blackout leaves them trapped together, and Chris is forced to re-examine everything he thought he knew about relationships and his own heart.

In Gridlocked, former Marine Tonya Maldonado is keeping real estate heiress Meredith Stone on permanent ignore. Mere isn't Tonya’s type. Not even close. Who cares if she kisses like a dream and has the filthiest mouth this side of the East River? But then a security detail at a summer party ends with her saving Mere's life and discovering they have more chemistry than she’d ever imagined.

In Derailed, Stephanie Quinones escapes the heat and her complicated love life by going on a company retreat. Trouble is, it's a couples’ retreat, and she lied about having a boyfriend. Unfortunately, the only person willing to play pretend is her on-again/off-again fling, Angel León. They’re currently "off again,” but after a week in the woods, Stephanie realizes she wouldn’t mind them being permanently on.

The QFindr Photoshoot, Jace’s perspective
Timeline: After Interborough

Jace Fairbairn

Somewhere around the time the photographer arranged us for a group shot, the lines started blurring between the Queens crew and the Manhattan crew. I had problems wrapping my head around not being included on the Queens side.

Sure, I was poly as fuck, in an open marriage, and partook in activities at exclusive sex clubs with Manhattan’s elite, but at my core I was still the kid from Edgemere Houses in Far Rockaway. The kid who’d come up surrounded by drug dealers and drug addicts, and who’d been taken in by Aiden and his mom at fifteen. I’d been feral. I was still a little feral.

Sometimes, I wondered what my new rich friends—Ashton Townsend and Meredith Stone, the celebutantes and billionaire heirs—thought of my background. Most people I’d met after leaving the Rockaways had just assumed things. Because Aiden’s father was one of the richest people in the city, I’d found myself constantly surrounded by the mega wealthy. I also now wore designer clothes priced far above my income. As a result, I’d been labeled as yet another privileged rich guy.

I had the feeling Ashton and Mere were just too polite to ask about my past and my parents, considering the complex relationships they had with their own. Stephanie Quinones, one of the Queens crew, had pegged my accent almost as soon as I’d opened my mouth.

So had Christopher.

Chris was exactly the kind of sweetheart who got my motor running. Huge brown eyes, cute nose, dimples, and the most honest and unabashed grin I’d seen in a while. He also kept aiming it at me. And winking. Probably because I hadn’t taken my eyes off him since he’d stepped into the studio. I’d eyefucked him nonstop and promptly demanded he take a selfie with me.

Not only had he taken the selfie, he’d let me crawl into his lap and cuddle against him while we did so. He’d smelled delicious. And the fact that he’d joked and teased me, complimented my long hair? I was infatuated. Plenty of guys hit on me. Few flirted so sweetly.

Good Jace was whispering at me to leave this poor hetero man alone.

Evil Jace hissed: Must. Destroy.

Decisions decisions. I texted Aiden.

Jace: Do you want a threeway with a cute boy?

Aiden: The photographer, makeup artist, and stylist are all on QFindr payroll.

Jace: Wow.

Aiden: What

Jace: You assuming I want to fuck one of your stupid employees. We’ve had this conversation a million times and it was YOU, sir, who got drunk on the Fourth of July and made out with Clive. Your lawyer.

Aiden: lol you right

Jace: Sooooo. Cute boy? Threeway?

Aiden: who

I sent him the picture of me and Chris. He was grinning against my cheek and holding me against his chest. He was only a few inches taller than me, but his body was tight and compact and he had the cutest fucking dimples.

Aiden: He’s into it? Thought he was straight.

Jace: Honey. You know I don’t approach a playmate before I settle with you <3

Aiden: Good boy. But. Uhhh. Idk. I mean I’d love to fuck him, but I’m pretty sure he’s straight? Don’t wanna proposition one of the Rodriguez’s friends unless I know for sure they won’t be offended.

Jace: Babe.

Aiden: what

Jace: If he was straight, why the hell would he be at this damn photoshoot? That’s why their other friend, Angel, didn’t participate. He knew QFindr wanted it to be a queer campaign for a queer product full of queer models. No straight boys no matter how cute.

Aiden: No Nick Jonas effect?

Jace: Basically. There’s no way Chris is straight. I reject the possibility!

Aiden: or you could like ask

Jace: Omg. Fine. But, if he’s open minded enough to be plastered all over the city on a queer advertisement, I have faith he won’t tantrum. So I’ll ask.

Aiden: sounds like a plan. I look forward to tearing that ass up.

Jace: I look forward to watching.

Aiden: oh shit before I forget, can you stop by Rite-Aid and bring me some contact solution?

Jace: -_-

Aiden: come on

Jace: Just wear your glasses!

Aiden: fuck that they make me look old

Jace: You are old.

Aiden: ill remember that tonight when you come in trying to get dicked down when im already dead asleep

Jace: NOOOOOOO I was kidding!

Aiden: contact solution

Jace: FINE. I love you.

Aiden: love you too


The photographer gave me a slightly impatient look. It took everything in my power not to glare back in response. I’d learned a long time ago to respond to rudeness with uncharacteristic kindness or else people would trigger Evil Jace, who did not care that he was only 5’3” and barely a buck twenty soaking wet. Evil Jace would start a ruckus and make sure everyone got in on the fight.

But this photoshoot was for Aiden’s new company, so I smiled sickly sweet while wishing Mr. Photog would die.

My hostility only simmered down after I realized I was doing a set of photos with Charles Jovanovic and Chris. Charles was gorgeous in a vaudeville type of way, but we were so much alike that we’d both identified that it would be dangerous to spend a lot of time together. 
Whereas I’d learned to channel my rage and control myself, Charles was a firecracker with a wild temper. It was way too easy to feed into that and start showing those characteristics myself.

The photographer instructed Chris to pose a couple of feet away while peering at the QFindr app on his phone while Charles and I stood with our own phones in hand, gazing at him and smirking. I made sure to position myself closest to Chris. Because why not?

“Okay,” the photographer said. “Pretend you guys met him on QFindr and now you’re all about to hookup for the first time.”

Chris cocked his head. “But there’s three of us.”


Oh no.

That poor baby.

Charles clapped his hands and hooted so loud his voice could probably be heard down on Broadway. It was only then that understanding dawned on Chris’ face.

“Ooooohh . . .”

I leaned in, patting his shoulder, and said right in his ear, “No worries, boo. All-dude threesomes are my area of expertise. I know where everything fits, and I’ll be gentle.”
His eyes grew large, but other than a slight tensing of his shoulders . . . there were no other signs of discomfort. He didn’t jolt away, sneer, or narrow his eyes with hostility. All he did was scan my face as if checking my level of seriousness, arch an eyebrow, and then shrug.

“Does that mean I get two dudes buying me dinner first?” he asked. “Because that’s what’s up.”

Charles fell on the floor laughing, and I couldn’t help joining him.

Evil Jace was definitely going to get his way.

To read all of the shorts on the CITYWIDE tour, visit the blog tour page throughout the tour, or click on the “Extras” tab on the CITYWIDE page.
And to read the follow-up novella where Jace, Aiden, and Chris get their happily ever afters, order CITYWIDE now!
And to read more free stories about what happens after Chris meets Jace and Aiden, download THIRD RAIL now.

About the Five Boroughs Universe

New York City—home of soaring skyscrapers, concrete boulevards, and the hopes and dreams of millions. A city where opposites attract and romance is found in unlikely places. From the glittering penthouses of Manhattan to the blue collar neighborhoods of Queens, values get tested, cultures clash, and connections made. Men of diverse backgrounds examine their lives, test their sexual boundaries, and seek success in an unforgiving urban landscape that moves fast and stops for no one. Despite the odds, there’s love to be found in the five boroughs as long as they’re willing to work for it.

To learn more about the first three books in the Five Boroughs universe, please visit

About Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino:


To celebrate the release of Citywide, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Texas Gift by RJ Scott - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway

Length: 50,000 words approx

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Texas Series

Book #1 - The Heart of Texas - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - Texas Winter - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 - Texas Heat - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 - Texas Family - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 - Texas Christmas - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 - Texas Fall - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 - Texas Wedding - Amazon US | Amazon UK


A gift for every single reader needed to know what happened next for to Jack and Riley…

When Hayley arrived on the steps of the D, Riley and Jack knew life would never be the same.

Told through Riley and Jack’s eyes, this is ten years in the life of their family and watching Hayley grow up, fall in love, and start her own life. Hurricanes, illness, babies, happiness, sadness, work, play, the barn, the office, horses, friends, enemies, and above all love.


Chapter One

Riley needed to apologize. Right now.

He’d fucked up big time, and he should have seen it coming, because everything he did went in cycles. He and Jack hadn’t argued in so long and maybe the tension that had been building inside Riley had needed an outlet; he’d provoked the argument. He’d pushed and prodded and sulked and shoved at Jack until Jack had snapped.

Not in loud, shouting temper, or anything like what Riley deserved. No, Jack had gone deathly quiet.

Absolutely. Utterly. Quiet.

Riley shouted at him, got everything out of his system, felt the weight of it all lessen by throwing it at Jack and what had happened? He’d stood there at first, confused, and then steadily calmer. Weirdly calmer.

They argued; no normal marriage went without arguments over things as important as the kids and as trivial as picking up wet towels. But they resolved things, Jack/Riley was a unit that worked. They sometimes bickered and teased, they shouted rarely, and on the odd occasion there would be sulking. Mostly from Riley. He considered it as thinking time but Jack just called him on his sulking like a child.

Their arguments always ended in love; talking, kissing, complete forgiveness that could only come when two people understood and loved each other.

This morning though, he’d made Connor cry, Lexie scowl, and Max hide under the table with Toby. Jack hadn't even stayed for that. The crying, scowling and hiding had happened after he’d left.

“Why are you shouting at Pappa!” Connor shouted back at Riley. “Stop shouting.” Then he’d started to cry, and Riley’s heart had broken into a million pieces. He’d sat between a crying Connor, and a sullen, angry Lexie and tried to explain that he had a bad headache and he didn’t mean to shout. For headache, read migraine, tight painful migraine that blurred his vision and made him feel sick. He’d taken meds and the sharp edges of the glass in his head were easing, but he couldn’t think straight. Connor stopped crying.

“You were so mean,” Lexie summarized, but she did give Riley a hug and kiss him on the forehead to make it all better.

Max on the other hand, while not angry with Riley and the shouting, was still under the kitchen table with Toby. The black lab, Riley’s black lab, was between Max and Riley in a protective furry wall.

“It’s okay Tobes, I got this,” Riley tried to fold all six-four of himself under the wood. He got caught on a bench, his neck burned, his stomach was in knots, but nothing was going to stop him from getting to Max. Toby did eventually move to one side but not too far. Toby may well have been Riley’s dog at the start, but he and Max were inseparable now.

“Max, buddy?” he began, and Max at least looked up at him for a split second. “You okay?”

“M’okay,” Max said. “You’re noisy.”

At least he wasn’t rocking, or stimming. He was just sitting with his dog in his favorite place under the kitchen table.

“Is everything okay?” Carol said from behind him. He scrambled back and brushed himself off. “Riley?”

“I shouted,” Riley explained simply.

“At the kids?” Carol asked, aghast, as if that was the ultimate sin in her eyes. Which, to be fair, it was in Riley’s as well. He and Jack didn’t shout, they cajoled, and bargained, and ran a happy house. Most of the time, anyway. Just not this morning.

“No, at Jack.”

“Is Max okay?” she peered under the table and smiled at Max. He adored her, the kids all loved their nanny, probably quite a bit more than they loved their dad today.

“He seems fine.” Riley peered out of the window at where Jack had gone. The damage had been done, but Connie and Lexie were chatting to each other, Max was with Carol and he needed to go and make things right with Jack.

“I think we’re okay in here,” Carol said, “Go find Jack.”

Riley shot her a grateful glance, and as he left the kitchen he heard Lexie telling Carol that her Pappa had a headache and that she’d kissed it better. When he closed the door it was just him and the ranch and finding Jack. It didn’t take him long; he was outside their barn, looking up at the siding, with his feet apart and his arms crossed over his chest.

Riley inhaled the fresh morning air and pulled back his shoulders. He could do this; he could ignore the pain in his head now it had lessened a little, he could push back the nausea, and he could go and apologize to Jack for being a fucking idiot.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured, coming to a stop next to Jack, only a few inches separating their arms. Jack didn’t move.

“It’s okay.” Although it didn’t sound okay at all. Okay was one of those words that meant nothing in the context of an argument, it was a word that plastered over cracks in a relationship. Okay was quiet and tight-lipped silences and Riley recalled okay from when he was a kid.

He hated okay.

“It’s not okay, I have a headache and I didn’t mean any of what I said.”

“You didn’t mean to say that life would be easier if you didn’t have to listen to me?” Jack’s voice was low and serious, and Riley winced.

“You were saying too much, and I couldn’t think.”

Their discussion had started in the bedroom.

“I asked if you’d made an appointment to see someone about the headaches.”

“I know—”

“And why you were limping again—”


“And why you weren’t sleeping, and why you spent so much time at the office, and why the fuck have we not used the barn in over a month?”

The barn wasn’t just the barn, it was a euphemism for sex. They hadn't been together in a month, over a month now. How did Riley explain that he’d been at the office, sometimes with the blinds shut, closing out the light, sleeping? How did he explain he didn’t want to see a doctor because the headaches scared him? And how the hell did he tell Jack he was limping because every single one of his muscles hurt, because he was tired, because it was all too much?

“Jack, I’m sorry.”

“You’re not, Riley, because you won’t listen to me.” Jack pointed at the barn. “I’m thinking we turn this into a games room for the kids.”

Riley gripped Jack’s arm. “No, what the hell?” His tension fled and in its place was panic. This was their space. Sometimes they came out here to talk, to hide away from the world, but it was also the one place they had the hottest sex he’d ever experienced. He wanted that again, but he was so tired, every time he turned over in bed his neck hurt, and his head pounded, and his leg ached, and he was fucking tired of it all. “Jack, I’m sorry, don’t…”

Jack turned to face him, and his expression wasn’t angry. “Either you go to the doctor, right here, right now, or I start clearing the place for a pool table.” He looked deadly serious, and Riley couldn’t tell if this was an empty threat. Then Jack softened, cradled his face and pressed a kiss to his forehead. “Riley, please.”

Just those two words pierced the fear in Riley, he couldn’t stop the pain, or the threat of being sick, or not sleeping, but whatever was wrong, Jack would be there for him.

“I’m scared,” Riley murmured.

Jack gathered him close. “You think I’m not?”

“Please don’t,” Riley said against Jack’s neck. His words sounded slurred and fear made him sway. What the hell? “Please don’t let me chase you away.”

“I won’t.”

And that was the last thing he heard as his world went to black.

Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.;amp;fref=ts

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Fairies At The Bottom Of the Garden by Cheryl Headford - Blog Tour with Author Interview and Giveaway

Title:  Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden
Author: Cheryl Headford
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: November 13, 2017
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 84700
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, gay, fairy, British humour, fantasy, abuse

Add to Goodreads


All Keiron wants is a quiet life. Fat chance with a boyfriend like Bren. But if he thought Bren complicated his life, that was nothing compared to the complications that begin when he opens the door to what he thinks is a naked boy claiming to be his slave.

Draven is a fairy with his sights set on the handsome human who keeps a wild place in the garden for fairies. When Draven slips through a fairy gate into the city, he sets in motion a series of events that binds him to Keiron forever, and just might be the end of him.

While Draven explores Keiron’s world with wide-eyed wonder, Keiron does everything he can to keep Draven’s at bay, until the only way to save Draven and bring him home is to step into a world that should exist only in children stories.


Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden
Cheryl Headford © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Chapter One

Keiron hurried home at the end of a very long day, anticipating some peace and quiet. He liked a quiet life, so what had possessed him to take on a boyfriend like Bren Donovan was anyone’s guess. Whatever else it might be, life with Bren was certainly not quiet, and it was slowly wearing Keiron out.

It was almost a relief Bren wouldn’t be staying at the flat that night. Although they were practically living together, Bren had his own place and sometimes felt the need to stay there. This was usually because a member of his family—or particularly flighty friend—was coming to stay. It wasn’t as if his family wasn’t aware of their relationship, but Bren was shy about “rubbing it in their faces”. Keiron didn’t understand because Bren’s mother seemed to like him a great deal and considered him to be a stabilising influence on her son.

Keiron was a conservative person and so different to Bren, they might as well live in different worlds. As for Bren’s friends, they were usually very like him—loud, messy, and irresponsible. Keiron couldn’t stand them. He was lucky if nothing got broken, and they always left the flat in a complete mess. If Bren wanted to live in a pigsty, so be it. He could do it in his own home.

This weekend, with the bank holiday, Bren was getting both. His friends were congregating on Saturday. Then his parents and sister were coming on Sunday, and staying through until Tuesday morning. Keiron had a Bren-free weekend and was looking forward to it.

If it hadn’t been for their differences on this point, they’d have moved in together a long time ago. Bren chafed for it, but Keiron couldn’t handle his flat descending into chaos, and it wasn’t even as if Bren helped tidy up afterwards. Keiron cringed at the thought of having that chaos and therefore stress every day.

Not only that, but Bren was the most jealous person Keiron had ever come across. Keiron was constantly accused of looking at other men, and God forbid he spoke to one. Bren was a firebrand, completely living up to his fiery red-headed Irish-descended promise. Sometimes it was exciting, even invigorating, yet at other times Keiron longed for the peace and stability he used to have before Bren burst in on him. Maybe at twenty-two, he was just getting old.

Keiron ordered takeaway and, while he waited for it to arrive, wandered down to the bottom of the garden, a beer in his hand, his hair damp from the bath. The sun was still high and warm enough for him to be wearing a thin T-shirt and shorts. The smell of a barbecue drifted over from a neighbouring garden and his mouth watered.

Savouring his drink, he sank onto the stone bench under the rose arbour. It afforded a good view of the whole garden. It was a big one. A long lawn stretched ahead of him to the decking immediately outside the house, where a large wooden table, a number of items of garden furniture, and a shiny silver gas barbecue sat.

Sometimes, he had Bren’s friends around for a barbecue. They weren’t so bad out here in the garden, although they made such a mess of the barbecue itself that it took him days to get it properly clean. He smiled to himself. Sometimes, living with Bren was like having a teenage son. Fortunately, Bren was very good at things he’d hate to think any son of his could do.

The lawn was bordered on either side by flower beds and bushes, which hid the wooden fences separating his garden from the ones on either side. To his left, screened from the arbour by a yew hedge, was a garden pool with a rock fountain and fat koi swimming under lily pads. There used to be more fish—before Bren’s friends found the pond. He pursed his lips at the thought.

To the right was a shrubbery. A large variety of plants made up a wild area of about thirty square feet. Bren loved it, of course. He’d burrowed into it and, within a week, had made a green cave right in the middle. He’d floored it with an old piece of carpet he’d found on a skip. It had taken a long time and a lot of carpet-cleaner to persuade Keiron to enter it, but he had to admit, making love outside under the bushes in the darkness was something he’d come to enjoy very much.

Bren had been surprised he had such a wild place in his neat garden, in his neat life. Perhaps it was the thing that sealed the deal with Bren, who’d been reluctant to get involved with someone so unlike himself, and likely to “cramp his style”.

“But why?” he’d asked. “It doesn’t seem like you to have a wild place like this. It’s so out of place—with the garden and with you. Why haven’t you ‘tamed’ it? Everything else in your life is tame. You’re the most vanilla person I know—except for this.”

They were in the “cave” at the time. It was dark but warm, and they were holding each other in the afterglow of amazing sex. Keiron had smiled lazily and sighed.

“My mother used to live out in the country somewhere when she was a child. My grandmother never took to city life. She told me once there was no room in a city for life, real life. Nowhere for roots to reach the earth. No place for the fairies.”


“Oh yes, she was very superstitious about fairies. Never had anything made of iron in the garden. Put out saucers of warm milk if there was a deep frost or snow. And always had a wild place in the garden—for the fairies.”

Bren had smiled at him. “I never thought you had any of that in you, Keiron. I guess there’s hope for you yet.”

Keiron had grinned and held Bren tightly in his arms.

Keiron smiled at the memory and took a drink of his beer. Something caught his eye, and he turned towards the shrubbery. He was sure he’d seen something move, shooting across his vision, behind the trees. He stared hard, but there was nothing there. It must have been a squirrel. He saw them now and again, scrabbling for nuts under the hazel tree or acorns from the enormous oak that overhung the garden from next door.

With a sigh, he settled back and took another drink. His stomach rumbled, and he glanced at his watch, wondering when his pizza would get there. The deliveryman was a regular, and if there was no answer at the door, he’d text to say he’d arrived. So Keiron could relax and not worry about—

There was definitely something there. It moved again. He’d seen it—a flash of white. A cat? Most of the neighbours had cats, and they liked to hang about in the shrubbery, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting birds. It had taken a lot of work to get rid of the smell of cat pee from the carpet.

Ah well. Although…something nagged at the back of his mind. It wasn’t a cat. It couldn’t have been a cat because it hadn’t looked like a cat. It had looked like a person. A small person with a pale pointed face. But it had only been a fraction of a second, a flash, an impression. It was nonsense, of course.

Maybe it was one of the fairies. He smiled.


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
My junior school teacher, Mrs Foxhall always used to say that. It meant a huge amount to me at the time. I was unhappy in school

If you’re writing about a city/country/culture you haven’t physically visited, how much research do you conduct before you start writing?
I try to keep my books non--specific as to where they are set. I rarely mention any place names and when I do I often make them up. All my books are set in the UK and some are definitively set in Wales but I don’t like to be inhibited by the limitations of having them set in a specific location.

Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?
My parents were in no way reading enthusiasts. I never say my father read anything other than the occasional newspaper and my mother read magazines and, when she got older, Mills and Boon. I come from a fairly poor, working class background. My father was a miner and my mother worked in a factory. My mother, in particular had very strong views about “getting above my station” and “being big-headed”. She had a little song “Why does everybody call be big-head” that she would sing all the time. She actively discouraged me to read too much, and to write at all. That wasn’t something “people like us” did. She also disapproved of me going to university.

Is there a particular kind of attire you like to write in?
As comfortable as possible. When I’m at home I write in my pyjamas. I have a tiny house. There is no room for an office so I write on a laptop on a little over-the-lap table. One of the reasons I don’t do skype or anything of that kind where people can actually see me is because I’m usually in ratty pyjamas, with a blanket around me and often chocolate on my face.

Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
A lot of my books, especially the fantasy/sci fi ones are based on dreams. I don’t have nightmares, but if I did I’m sure I’d use those too. Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden started life as a dream. I dreamed the first bit, where Draven is spying on Keiron, peeping out from the bushes. I even painted it.

Which character(s), created by you, do you consider as your masterpiece(s)?
Silver from the Enigma series. No hesitation; no competition. He is absolutely the best person I know. Silver was a sex slave; taken at twelve and “released” at nineteen. He was totally conditioned, his entire personality wiped away. He was beaten almost to death for the sin of falling in love, and yet he has retained a massive capacity for love. Silver is so flawed but so perfect.

How do you incorporate the noise around you into the story you are writing at the moment?
When I’m writing there is no “noise around me” because I am in the story. I hear what the characters hear and see what the characters see, not what is going on in my real life. That’s why I don’t have a television anymore, I simply couldn’t watch and write because I couldn’t be in two places at once, and it is almost impossibly hard for me to sit and watch and not write.

Meet the Author

Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean. Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play. Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous. It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere. In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, bearded dragon and three cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art, with a healthy smattering of magic and mayhem.

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