Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday's Montage Mantlepiece: A Taste of Honey


Summary:
In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives? Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.

The Bear Fetish by John Amory
The Bear Next Door by Jack Byrne
The Bear at the Bar by J. Scott Coatsworth
Barefoot by Lillian Francis
Just Breathe by John Genest
Bear Chasing by Renae Kaye
Golden Bear by G.P. Keith
Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale with a Very Hairy Ending by Edmond Manning
The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Getting Over Yourself by Robert B. McDiarmid
Truck Stop by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Banyan Court by Samuel Scott Preston
Amped by Zoe X. Rider
The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain by Michael Rupured
Life's Tiny Surprises by Tara Spears

Stories Included:
The Bear Fetish by John Amory 
Robert has a full plate when he's sent from New York City to Albuquerque to prepare a regional bank to merge with a national chain. When he looks for a place to unwind, he inadvertently ends up at a gay bar on Bear Night. Used to living in the closet because of his cutthroat career, Robert is nervous... until a sweet Native American bear named Louis buys him a drink and starts to break through Robert's shell.

The Bear Next Door by Jack Byrne 
It took a lot of effort for Bryce Philipson to get the attention of his neighbor, Rob Johnson, and even more persistence to prove to the middle-aged bear that he’s more than a spoiled rich kid. But both men are plagued by insecurities that threaten their relationship, and a tragic misunderstanding might prove the last straw unless they can learn to trust and forgive each other.

The Bear at the Bar by J. Scott Coatsworth 
Dex's life is all about the hook-up, and he knows he’s attractive enough to have any man he wants. If a guy isn’t his idea of hot—gym-toned with zero percent body fat—he won't give him a second glance, especially if he’s a bear. But then something happens that flips his perspective and makes him rethink his entire life and the decisions he’s made. In the end, though things go back to “normal,” Dex will never be the same.

Barefoot by Lillian Francis 
A crunching tackle brought Finn’s rugby career to a premature end, shattering his confidence and leaving him shy and insecure about his sexuality, despite his size. Now, knowing how it feels to be left with no hope for the future, he volunteers at a homeless shelter.

One night he gives up his shoes to a homeless man. Of course, that’s the night he finally gets an opportunity to talk to Sam, the cute twink he’s been crushing on.

Just Breathe by John Genest 
Checking into a clinic one evening, Will is unnerved by the woofy Daddybear of a technician who hooks him up and gets him into bed… for a sleep study. When Will can't relax, the technician tells him a story confirming he prefers chubby cubs like Will. But recent performance problems and issues from his past hold Will back. After some uninterrupted sleep and an extraordinary dream, perhaps Will can let go of his pain and move forward.

Bear Chasing by Renae Kaye 
Skinny, geeky, and socially awkward, Neil lives with his sister and spends most of his time on the computer. When three guys move into the house across the street, Neil is fascinated, especially with big, hairy Brett. One morning, Brett leaves Neil with a single word: woof. Neil is excited and uncertain about the unfamiliar term, but Brett is there to introduce Neil to a world he never knew existed.

Golden Bear by G.P. Keith 
Norm’s comfortable city lifestyle is challenged when an ice storm downs his Internet and threatens his power lines. When friendly, golden-bearded Hydro worker Winston comes to remove a downed tree limb, Norm is smitten and insists on him staying for dinner. With his outside work uniform off, however, Winston is self-conscious about his heavy build. Norm has always gone for perfectly-toned gym rats, but as he discovers that Winston’s open, good-natured personality fits his build, Norm begins to see the beauty of a bear body-type.

Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale with a Very Hairy Ending by Edmond Manning 
In Chicago’s warm June, bear-loving twink Tyler will go to any length to win the affection of his crush, the sexy construction worker known as “The Great White Bear”. With the help of his loyal friend Derrick, Tyler’s persistence finally pays off. Will he find true love with the Great White Bear? Maybe…maybe not. Tyler learns a few things about “hunting bear” that may change his heart.

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Getting Over Yourself by Robert B. McDiarmid 
Following a brutal public breakup, Bill nurses his broken heart at a resort in Palm Springs. At his roommate Barnum’s insistence, he’s looking for some wild and sexy fun to help him get over his ex. He might get even more than that when he meets Arthur by the pool and they decide to see where the night will lead.

Truck Stop by Christopher Hawthorne Moss 
When a snowstorm strikes an isolated diner in 1940s Nevada, diner owner Cleve is trapped inside with a single customer, a surly truck driver named Sully. As country songs play on the juke box, both men begin to reveal their secret desires and realize they have more in common than a preference for other men. They've made mistakes and faced disappointments, and they've both given up on finding love.

Banyan Court by Samuel Scott Preston 
Returning to Honolulu for his sixtieth birthday, Professor Dan Kumagai sits by the tree in the Banyan Court and thinks back forty-odd years to his first and only romance. His time for finding love has surely passed. His grandnephew gives him an unexpected birthday present: a surfing lesson from a former Marine named Hank Ross. Dan assumes his attraction to the younger Hank is one-sided… but he couldn’t be more wrong.

Amped by Zoe X. Rider 
Twenty-year-old Toby has looked forward to the Firesiren show all week, and now that he’s there, he’s in a rotten mood. He sulks at the back of the club, where he hopes to talk Wolf McCandless into buying beer for him. Wolf is older, always comes to the local metal shows, and is hot in a way guys Toby’s age aren't. Toby wouldn't mind getting more than beer from him. He just has no idea how to go about it.

The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain by Michael Rupured 
Recently single Jeremy Jenkins is an average guy working hard as a landscape designer in the mountains of Tennessee. At a conference in DC, he meets gorgeous Donald Matthews, who says the strangest things—like how he thinks Jeremy is hot and wants them to spend the rest of their lives together.

But Donald isn't just a gorgeous man. He's a descendant of the bear king of Cherokee legend, forfeiting his crown for a future shown to him by a seer long ago.


Life's Tiny Surprises by Tara Spears 
What possessed Mac to celebrate his thirtieth birthday alone at Giordo's restaurant, he'll never know. He's as lonely as ever, until the tiny wisp of a waiter makes a declaration that leaves Mac dumbfounded. He worries that accepting Jerrod's offer to make his birthday special will end the way such nights always do: with Jerrod gone without a trace after he's conquered the bear.

Author Bios:
BG Thomas(Editor)
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband for nearly fifteen years and was legally married in 2014. Ehey have a fabulous little dog, Sarah Jane. He sees his wonderful daughter just often enough to miss her when she isn't there! He has a romantic soul and is extraordinarily lucky to have many friends.

He loves science fiction & fantasy, horror, romance and more, has gone to SF&F conventions his entire adult life, and been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He is a “Star Trek” and Joss Whedon fan from way back!

He has written all his life, it is where he finds his joy. In the 90’s, he wrote for gay magazines, but stopped because they wanted him to cut out story and romance, and write only sex.

Then through a few friends, he discovered the growing market of M/M Romance and was thrilled beyond words. FINALLY, a way to write the stories he always wanted to write. Adventure, romantic comedy, science fiction, and more, but with gay characters. And he wouldn't have to fade to black! People wanted to read the erotic as well. Plot and sex! HURRAY!

B.G. Thomas very much believes in The Law of Attraction and that "thoughts become things." A lot of things all started happening at once. He heard the words, "Leap, and the net will appear," and something re-kindled inside. He sent out a story and was thrilled when it was almost immediately accepted.

He believes that we are divine expressions of the Universe, each and everyone. "It is never too late!,” he states. “Pursue your dreams! They will come true!"

John Amory
John Amory is and always will be a hopeless romantic, which he blames on watching too many episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 growing up. He began writing stories and poems as a child, continuing through high school. He put writing on the backburner for a number of years, during which time he finished both Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in English, and is thrilled to be creating again now that he knows what "free time" means.

In another life, John is a newly minted college professor, as well as an actor/director/choreographer/playwright whose work has been performed in New York City and elsewhere. He is also obsessed with television and keeps two blogs on the subject: one for general reviews and comments , and one devoted solely to So You Think You Can Dance.

Jack Byrne
Jack Byrne is an Australian who lives and works in the Australian outback training horses, doing farm work, and trying to stay out of trouble. He writes from experience (sometimes unfortunate experience!) and has been shot at (“a case of mistaken identity”) and bitten by a snake before. He writes on a laptop with a satellite connection and likes to ride or drive out to locations he is writing about to get a real feel for the surroundings.

J. Scott Coatsworth
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with crayon illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

Lillian Francis
An avid reader, Lillian Francis was always determined she wanted to write, but a “proper” job and raising a family distracted her for over a decade. Over the years and thanks to the charms of the internet, Lillian realized she’d been writing at least one of her characters in the wrong gender. Ever since, she’s been happily letting her “boys” run her writing life.

Lillian now divides her time between family, a job and the numerous men in her head all clamoring for their stories to be told.

She would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.

John Genest
John Genest is a Connecticut native and avid reader from the age of three. When puberty led to nine years in the closet, fantasy fiction, classical mythology, and stories about magic provided an escape until he emerged at nineteen as a self-dedicated Wiccan and then came out to family and friends two years later.

Graduating with a B.A. in English the following year, John began a series of temporary positions and, during a couple of weeks off, let his beard grow. He has worn one ever since and self-identifies as a Big Bear or Ursus Major (as tattooed on his right calf).

Now a full-time Senior Administrative Assistant, John has begun writing about what he knows best: Bears and Witches. Foregoing pyrotechnic displays of magic and porn-perfect depictions of Über-Bears, he prefers to write realistic portrayals of modern-day Wiccans and hairy men who love men who are men. He is currently single and lives with his feline familiar, Fluffy.

Renae Kaye
Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back. She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since. After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted. It hasn’t stopped her though. She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever. So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.

Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden. She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.

G.P. Keith
G.P. Keith was from the start a very curious person. His curiosity about the fundamental questions of existence initially led him to study physics. Unsatisfied with the answers provided by cold science, he got a “real job” developing engineering control systems (essentially a grown-up variation of the childhood play activity of building things that do stuff).

During his several years working in an office environment, G.P.’s curiosity turned to the question of why people behave as they do. This led him to go back to school to study psychology, where he found himself much happier (although poorer). Since then he has found a niche doing research in neuroscience, studying how the human brain turns perception into meaningful actions, which combines his interests in psychology, mechanisms, and the physical world.

G.P. has always had a strong love of reading and story, and he has from time to time made forays into the world of writing. His interest in the romance genre arose from his increasing suspicion that the real ultimate questions of human existence are those related to the mysterious operation of the human heart and its ability to grow when broken.

Edmond Manning
Edmond Manning has always been fascinated by fiction: how ordinary words could be sculpted into heartfelt emotions, how heartfelt emotions could leave an imprint inside you stronger than the real world. Mr. Manning never felt worthy to seek publication until recently, when he accidentally stumbled into his own writer’s voice that fit perfectly, like his favorite skull-print, fuzzy jammies. He finally realized that he didn’t have to write like Charles Dickens or Armistead Maupin, two author heroes, and that perhaps his own fiction was juuuuuuust right, because it was his true voice, so he looked around the scrappy word kingdom that he created for himself and shouted, “I’M HOME!” He is now a writer.

In addition to fiction, Edmond enjoys writing non-fiction on his blog, www.edmondmanning.com. When not writing, he can be found either picking raspberries in the back yard or eating panang curry in an overstuffed chair upstairs, reading comic books.

Robert B McDiarmid
As a self-described disciple of Henry David Thoreau, Robert B. Mc Diarmid is both a writer and an activist. He works very hard to live an uncomplicated life in complicated times.

Robert resides in Palo Alto, CA with his husband David and their terrier companion, Miss Kate. An avid cyclist, he has participated several years in AIDS Lifecycle, a 550-mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and the Friends for Life Bike Rally from Toronto to Montreal, Canada. In the spirit of giving back to the community, the entirety of his royalties are donated back to HIV/AIDS charities.

Robert is proud to be the author of both "The House of Wolves" from Lethe Press and a contributor to "A Taste of Honey" from Dreamspinner Press, and the author of the much anticipated, "Brief Moments", a collection of short stories soon to be released by Amazon.com.

He further authors a healthy cooking blog with recipes and instructional videos. Robert won a San Francisco Bay Area television cooking competition, "The Big Dish", in December of 2013.

Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Historical novelist with a particular interest in the power of historical fiction to explore the lives of GLBTQ people. Periods of expertise: Anglo Saxon England, the Middle Ages in general, and a new focus on the American Civil War. Editor of Our Story: GLBTQ historical Fiction at http://www.glbtbookshelf.com . Hawthorne's first novel, An involuntary king: A Tale of Anglo Saxon England, available here on Smashwords, is one of the 2012 IndieB.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees www.bragmedallion.com/ . I am transgender and formerly wrote as "Nan Hawthorne."

Samuel Scott Preston
Whether Samuel Scott Preston is an International Man of Mystery or simply a shy guy (in need of Powdermilk Biscuits, perhaps?) remains an unresolved question. The author himself prefers the former interpretation. (Don’t we all?) (One thing is clear, he’s addicted to overuse of parentheses.) He lives in a secluded patch of bush halfway up the mountain on a not-so-secluded Caribbean island. This much at least is certain: the photo given here, from his kitchen window, is proof. Or as much proof as the Dear Reader is going to get.

Zoe X. Rider
Zoe X. Rider writes dark and erotic fiction. Her debut novel comes out from Loose Id in 2014. Her other love is music; she doesn’t think twice about taking off on a nine-hour road trip to see one of her favorite bands play a hole-in-the-wall club.

Michael Rupured
Michael Rupured has loved to write for as long as he can remember. Before he learned the alphabet, he filled page after page with rows of tiny little circles he now believes were his first novels, and has been writing ever since. He grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, came out as a gay man at the age of twenty-one in the late 1970s, and considers surviving his wild and reckless twenties to have been a miracle.

After more than twenty years in academia, he joined the Athens Writers Workshop in 2010, which he credits for helping him transition from writing nonfiction to writing fiction. Michael writes stories true enough for government work about the gay experience in earlier decades that, in addition to entertaining the reader, highlight how far the gay rights movement has come in the last fifty years. A serial monogamist who is currently between relationships, Michael writes with his longhaired Chihuahua, Toodles, in his lap from his home in Athens, Georgia.

Tara Spears
Tara Spears is rooted in the damp PNW, calling slugs her friends, and letting moss take over her yard. She began writing two years ago due to circumstances beyond her control, and when not running around a barrel pattern at thirty-five M.P.H on one of her horses (something that even the above circumstance couldn’t take from her), she can be found staring at her computer and occasionally typing a word or two.

She had a rather wild youth and she has quieted considerably. However, you wouldn’t know this by some of her books.

She spends a lot of time in her mind, and even her husband has to find her at times and draw her back to the real world with the promise of new books, or coffee—coffee always works.


Anne Regan(Editor)
GOOGLE PLAY  /  KOBO  /  ARe  /  GOODREADS

BG Thomas(Editor)
TWITTER  /  BLOG  /  iTUNES
AUDIBLE  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  AMAZON
ARe  /  DREAMSPINNER  /  GOODREADS
EMAIL: bg_thomas@livejournal.com

John Amory
TWITTER  /  BLOG  /  BLOG2
KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe

Jack Byrne
FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE
EMAIL: Jackaroo_Byrne@hotmail.com

J. Scott Coatsworth
FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE
EMAIL: jscottc@me.com

Lillian Francis
WEBSITE  /  KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY
SMASHWORDS  /  ARe  /  AMAZON
EMAIL: lillianfrancis@hotmail.co.uk

John Genest
EMAIL: bearwytchproject@yahoo.com

Renae Kaye
FACEBOOK  /  WEBSITE  /  KOBO
GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe  /  AMAZON
EMAIL: renaekaye@iinet.net.au

G.P. Keith
KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe
EMAIL: g.p.keith14@gmail.com

Edmond Manning
WEBSITE  /  KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe
EMAIL: remembertheking@comcast.net

Robert  B McDiarmid
FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE  /  KOBO

Christopher Hawthorne Moss
TWITTER  /  KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY
ARe  /  DREAMSPINNER  /  GOODREADS
EMAIL: christopherhmoss@gmail.com

Samuel Scott Preston
TWITTER  /  ARe  /  DREAMSPINNER

Zoe X. Rider
KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  AMAZON
ARe  /  DREAMSPINNER  /  GOODREADS
EMAIL: zoexrider@gmail.com

Michael Rupured
FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE
KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  GOOGLE+  /  ARe
EMAIL: mrupured@gmail.com

Tara Spears
BLOG  /  SMASHWORDS  /  AMAZON



AMAZON US  /  AMAZON UK  /  B&N
KOBO  /  iTUNES  /  ARe  /  GOOGLE PLAY


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