GUEST BLOG with D. River | GIVEAWAY

Hello, I’m D. River, author of Moon Born, Feral Hearts Tales #2. Today I thought I’d talk dirty to you. Wait, that came out wrong. I meant I’d whisper dirty things…

I’ll come in again.

In any book with a romantic element, sex is pretty much a given. As a reader, I know I like to see when the two romantic leads finally, after challenges great and small, get it on. Er, that is, they finally bond in a beautifully emotional and spiritually satisfying way.

When I wrote my first M/M book, “Wild Horses,” I was coming to it from years of experience with erotica and friends telling me I wrote really good sex scenes and that I should write erotica for a living. No, really, my friends said that. It wasn’t the voices in my head.

As time has passed and I’ve read even more gay romance, in particular paranormal romance, I’ve seen sex handled well and seen it handled badly. With a romance novel, it could be argued that sex is the whole point of the book, that getting to that moment with the characters is the story’s climax, as it were.

However, with a paranormal story, there’s other stuff going on. As with the Feral Hearts Tales, while certainly the point at which the straight friends give in to their mate urges and have sex is important to the story, they had a whole lot of other things going on. So that creates the interesting dilemma that this post is all about:

How much sex is enough? How much is too much?

A very clever review of a shifter book (not mine but not naming names either) remarked that the sex scenes felt like “commercial breaks” in the story. The reviewer hit it right on the nose with that one. Of course the sexy times are fun and all, but if they are actually causing a pause in the story, that seems like a problem. And I’ve seen enough feedback from readers to suggest that a lot of people are getting tired of books with a lot of sex in them.

What I like to read, and what I try to write, are sex scenes that forward the characters’ growth. In that way, they mesh with the story and become a part of the plot. Put another way, they’re not just a part of the story that you can skip. If that means a book only has one or two sex scenes, that’s fine with me. If that means a book needs a dozen (there is one shifter title in particular I can think of where this is true) then by all means, have at.

Anyway, that’s how I feel about sex scenes in books. How about you fine folks? Do you like your books with a little or a lot of sex in them?


moonbornMoon Born

Feral Hearts Tales

Book 2

D. River

Genre: Shifter/paranormal romance/gay romance

Publisher: Lightbane Publications

Date of Publication: 9/14/2015

ISBN: 978-1-4675-7745-8

Word Count: 90,000

Pages: 332

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Tucker and Ryder figured that the worst was over. They’d gotten used to being lycans, they’d managed to not get killed by werewolf hunters and they’d stopped a crazy magician from trying to unleash Armageddon.

However, as they try to get back to their lives, they find a whole host of new problems awaiting them. The government has established a task force to deal with paranormal threats and lycans are at the top of that list. There is a monster prowling the dark places of New York City. And the Moon Spirit has an agenda for them to fulfill.

Moon Born continues the story of Love Bites, with new characters, new dangers and new complications for Ryder and Tucker’s relationship.


EXCERPT

Ryder awoke very slowly, and only because there was an obnoxious ray of sunlight trying to burn a hole through his eyelid, undoubtedly seeking to find a way into his brain. He grumbled and swatted uselessly at the sunbeam and then rolled over to get away from it.

After three nights of glorious hunts, he and his pack were all thoroughly done in. Ryder wasn’t even sure where they were, other than the Wild Wood somewhere. He didn’t really feel inclined to care, either. The Wild Wood had been strangely hospitable to them, which made him resent it a little less even while he suspected the trees were just biding their time.

Having escaped the sunbeam, Ryder now had a twig under his ribs. He sighed and surrendered, sitting up and looking around. Tucker was already awake, standing nearby and examining a tree. Ryder didn’t ignore the fact that Tucker was gloriously naked, but after the last three days, sex was not his primary interest.

“You were twitching a lot in your sleep,” Tucker said. “It was kind of adorable.”

“I was having a good dream.” Ryder looked over at Trey, who was sleeping on his stomach and snoring peacefully. “We really need to find him a mate, you know.”

“Do they have a dating app for that sort of thing?”

“No, I don’t think anyone’s created ‘Wolfr” yet.” Ryder smiled and yawned. “It’s just…. I mean, we had so much fun these past few days and he had only his hand.”

“Which he used liberally.”

Ryder stifled a giggle. “It was hard to miss that. But anyway…. We need to look into it.”

Tucker nodded. “I think we’ll need some advice on that, though.”

Ryder cocked his head to one side. “Oh?”

“Yeah, we should head to the lycan cave, get the Moonstone and talk to the Moon Twink about his crazy idea for making more lycans.”

“You’d be willing to consider doing that?”

Tucker shook his head. “It sounds like a terrible idea. But I’m willing to hear what our friend has to say.”

Trey started to twitch violently in his sleep. Low, unhappy moans spilled from his lips. Ryder was just about to poke him awake when the younger lycan started awake. He looked around with wild eyes for a moment that were full of terror. His auburn hair was a fright, sticking up at all angles and full of leaves and twigs.

“Trey?”

For a long, unsettling moment, the young man just stared blankly ahead. Then he shook himself and rubbed at his eyes. “I’m fine.”

Tucker eyed him. “That seemed like one bitch of a nightmare. And I’ve had my share.”

Trey pulled his knees to his chest. “It…. It’s fine.”

Ryder sighed and looked skyward. “Why am I doomed to be surrounded by guys who can’t talk about what’s going on with them?”

Tucker smirked at him and then went over to sit beside Trey. Even as the younger lycan stiffened in a defensive posture, Tucker slipped an arm around his shoulders and gave him a firm sideways hug. Trey looked down at his knees, his eyes clouded with misery.

“Hey, dude, look, I get it. More than you know.” His expression grew somber. “When I was growing up, my asshole old man beat the shit out of me too. So I get nightmares of my own.”

Trey relaxed a tiny bit against his Alpha. “It’s not that. I’m used to those.”

Ryder wished he could live in a world where no one ever had to get used to that sort of thing. “Then what was it?”

“It’s hard to explain…. When I wake up, the dream sort of dissipates like smoke. But in the dream, I’m somewhere dark and someone’s hurting me….” He swallowed hard. “I think it’s Matchitehew.”

Ryder frowned. “Maybe it’s just because of that horrible place we raided?”

Trey nodded. “I think so. I mean, that’s what makes the most sense. It just…. It feels so real.”

Tucker eyed him sidelong. “Well, we’ll add it to the questions for the Moon Twink.”

“I wish you wouldn’t call him that. He might turn us into wereturtles or something,” Ryder said.

Trey giggled. “Wereturtles….”

Tucker gave Trey a pointed look. “No more keeping secrets from your pack, puppy. If something’s bothering you, you tell us.”

“Yes, sir,” Trey mumbled.

“Hey, you get all grumpy with me when I call you ‘puppy,'” Ryder complained.

“You’re not the Alpha,” Trey said.

Tucker laughed. “He’s got you there.”

“I suppose. So, homeward?” Ryder asked.

Trey nodded and stretched mightily. “Absolutely.” He smacked his lips. “I could use some coffee first. And maybe some eggs.”

“You’re not full from last night?” Ryder asked. “I’m still stuffed.”

“Well, you two hogged most of that deer, so yeah.” Trey frowned. “Not sure when I stopped thinking of raw meat as icky, but whatever.”

“Well, Clif bars will have to do.” Ryder looked around. “Now, where did we put that pack we brought?”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

River has been writing for many decades, and most of it is filthy, dirty stuff that you absolutely shouldn’t read. Highly-trained experts have successfully quarantined most of that work to keep save innocent bystanders from debilitating cases of blushing.

River started putting out books for sale with Wild Horses. Since no one told him to stop, he went on to publish other novels, including the popular Love Bites. The men in white coats caught up with him, though, and he vanished off the face the of Earth. Having made his escape and having set up shop in an abandoned adult toy factory, he is now ready to unleash more paranormal romances/adventure stories on an unsuspecting world.

http://lightbane.com/driver.html

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4123971.D_River/blog


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CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Astrid V. Tallasken

E: Sara, it’s really nice having you here. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me.  Tell us, what’s it like being a medium? Do you ever feel a bit overwhelmed from all the spirits?

S: Thanks for having me! I’m glad to have a break! Being a medium is … really hard to explain to someone who’s never been there. Most people are afraid of ghosts, but for me they’re just a part of every day life. I don’t see them everywhere, all the time, but when I do they almost always want me to pass on a message. Deciding whether or not it’s the right time or place to tell someone is probably the hardest part. And yes, there have been MANY times I’ve been overwhelmed by them. In fact, that is a big reason I ended up hospitalized.

E : You’ve been through a lot recently. What was it like staying at a mental hospital? How did you cope with not being able to see anyone?

S: The mental hospital was like being in prison. I know that isn’t the typical experience, and I don’t want anyone to think it is, because there are times when you need that extra intervention just like you would if you broke your leg or got really bad pneumonia. For me it was different since there were extenuating circumstances. It was horrible to not see my baby boy. I missed him so much, and worried about him every day. And being so isolated, even with people around me, was a very empty feeling.

 

E: You recently went through a really traumatic event. Your son went missing, correct? What was that like for you?

S: It was literally the worst thing I could ever possibly have gone through, worse than anything I could have imagined. Losing a limb might be the closest thing to it. My job in life is to keep my child safe, and I felt like I failed him completely and was in an almost unending panic mode. I had to remind myself that the best way to help him was to calm down and methodically work through all the information and come up with a concrete plan to get him home safe.

E: When you first met Daniel, you were in the mental hospital, right? Not the most ideal play for meeting a guy. What went through your head when you saw Daniel? Was the attraction instant?

S: Haha, it definitely isn’t the most romantic of places for a meet-cute, is it? When he showed up, after so long being isolated in the hospital, I was completely taken off guard. So my first thought was “who the hell is this random dude?” I wouldn’t say there was instant attraction. Attraction wasn’t really the word for it. It was more like two souls just recognizing each other, this need to be with him wherever it might take me.

E: You’ve overcome a lot, but there still seems to be a lot of problems out there for you. How do you handle so much stress? What’s it like being stuck between both Heaven and Hell?

S: Sometimes I don’t exactly handle the stress at all. It overwhelms me and I completely lose it, whether it’s having a complete raging temper tantrum, or crying for days, I sometimes just have to let it wash over me like waves. The rest of the time though, I like to come up with plans. Strategizing makes me feel in control. As far as Heaven and Hell, if all the angels and demons (minus a very select few) were to spontaneously combust so I never had to deal with them again, I would be a very happy girl. These are beings who have been stuck in a very restrictive role, with thoughts and ideals that are set in stone, so making a dent in their thick skulls and surviving to tell the tale can be a bit of an adventure to put it mildly.

E: Do you have any tips for your fans out there on dealing with pestering angels and demons? What advice would you have for someone going into the apocalypse?

S: Hide in a hole and don’t come out till it’s over? That’s what I wish I could do! We’re talking about ancient beings with great big chips on their shoulders and somewhat unstoppable powers. Standing up to them is a dangerous task, especially if you can’t measure up to the challenges they put before you.

E: Lastly, do you have any big plans for the future? Anything exciting we can look forward to?

S: The apocalypse is really heating up, so my big future is keeping Heaven and Hell from burning everything to the ground. After that? I’d love to just go back to a simple life, family and friends and nothing important to deal with for a very long time. Is that boring? Good, I’d love some boring for a while!


At Death’s Door

Title: At Death’s Door

Author: Astrid V. Tallaksen

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

The world is a pretty straightforward place. Even for medium Sara Stone things seem pretty simple, aside from the whole talking to spirits bit. But when the spirits get too hard to handle and Sara ends up admitted to a mental hospital, the world starts to seem a lot less straightforward. First her family disappears, including her four year old son. Then she gets the sneaking suspicion that not only are the staff at the mental hospital somehow connected, but they also have no intention of ever letting her leave the hospital.

Everything changes when Sara has her first visitor in three months. Daniel is handsome, friendly, and a complete stranger. When he promises to spring her from the hospital and swears that everything she’s experienced is completely real, Sara has no choice but to believe him. But once she reaches a run-down Victorian house in the tiny Alabama town her rescuer calls home, the last thing she expects to discover is that every memory she has is a lie.

Daniel reveals a world filled with angels, demons, and an impending war humans know nothing about. Sara wants to ignore her role in the whole mess – all that matters is solving the mystery of where her son has gone. But the forces of Heaven, Hell, and the Heart have other plans for her. Can she find her child before the world comes crashing down?

Between Heaven & Hell

Title: Between Heaven & Hell

Author: Astrid V. Tallaksen

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

Being a fallen angel used to be easy. A quiet life with the people she loves is all Sara ever asked for. Unfortunately, the apocalypse didn’t get the message. After nearly losing everything, she’s managed to put her life back together and start living what she hoped was happily ever after with her small family. Now she wants nothing more than to hide away and pretend the end of the world is a distant rumor. Her life has already been torn apart once. Doesn’t she deserve a break?

The apocalypse finds its way back to her doorstep when a letter arrives. Is it a friendly warning, a dire threat, or a simple reminder that she can’t run away from what’s to come? Sara refuses to take heed and pays dearly for her avoidance. With her family in danger and the preservation of free will hanging in the balance, she finds herself with no other choice. Sara must follow the path forged for her, a path that may take away everything she holds dear and leave her in pieces at the end. She’s caught between Heaven and Hell, and the last person she’d ever have considered trusting might just be her greatest ally.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Astrid V. Tallaksen grew up with a heart for stories of creatures and places outside of this world. Her love of reading quickly became a love of writing. She spent several years creating content and helping writers to improve their craft on the online world of Althanas, a creative writing workshop in the guise of a roleplaying forum. A self-avowed nerd, Astrid loves science fiction, comic books, and eighties fantasy movies in the vein of The Princess Bride and Labyrinth. Her geekiness extends to annual volunteer work at the massive sci-fi convention known as Dragon*con every year in Atlanta, Georgia. In the odd times that she’s not immersed in geekdom or writing, Astrid loves to sing karaoke, crochet, and spend time with her family and pets.

Links

http://www.astridvtallaksen.com

https://authorastridvtallaksen.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/authorastridvtallaksen

https://twitter.com/astrid_writes

https://www.pinterest.com/authorastridv


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Links to purchase At Death’s Door:

 

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