Friday, September 27, 2013

Birthday Week

Good Friday,

So on Tuesday I hit the quarter of a century mark. Yes, I’m 25 years old, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, it’s been a bumpy, but pretty awesome, ride so far, and I’m excited to see what happens next. On the other hand…. I’m quarter of the way to 100!! *runs in circles and screams*

K, breathing.

I like being an adult. I like understanding the world. Well, there are a lot of things I don’t like about the world, but on a day like today when the sun is shining and the sky is that perfect shade of blue, there’s a lot to love about this planet.

That said, I miss childhood. I miss the days when it was socially acceptable to make a tent out of your mother’s dining room chairs and a blanket. I miss the days when I could believe lions were friendly because, in the movies, they befriended animals who would otherwise be food. (Now I know there’s one person reading this thinking “You don’t still do those things?” Ten points if you admit it in the comments.) Sometimes I want to go back. I want to believe again. I want my dining room to be a forest or the ocean floor or a distant world inhabited by orange dancing bookshelves. (It made sense in my head.) But as I’ve been told countless times, there’s no going back.

I’m going through my stuff because my family is trying to get our two storage units down to one. I opened a container last week and found my Barbies. You have to understand, when I was a kid, I had more Barbies than one could possibly know what to do with. Prior to moving out of my old house, I gave most to my little cousin and kept my eight or so favorites, dressed in my favorite outfits. I opened another container and found all my stuffed animals. I grabbed my teddy bear in a bear hug (pun maybe intended) and didn’t let go for a good ten/fifteen minutes. There are probably video cameras in the unit hallways. I didn’t care. I wanted to feel like a kid again.

My local friends threw me a birthday party last Saturday. (BTW. Thanks, guys!) There was talking, cake, and, my favorite, games. We (a bunch of adults) played Apples to Apples and had a blast. Yes, Cards Against Humanity is the “more adult” version, but Apples to Apples is family friendly. (Plus, with friends like mine, it can be just as horrible.) The point is, we played. A bunch of adults sat down and played a game that didn’t involve gambling, stripping, or drugs/alcohol. That needs to happen more often. My mom says she’s perpetually 12. I think she’s got the right idea.

Now, how am I going to relate this to writing? Maybe I’m not. (Okay, I am.) Below are the 5 books I loved most as a kid. Feel free to add your favorite childhood reads in the comments…beside your admission that you still make tents out of chairs and a blanket.

These are in no particular order.


As always, thanks for reading.

@desantismt on Twitter

P.S. I share a birthday with Jim Henson—you know, creator of the Muppets. Happy belated, Jim! For some birthday Muppet fun, check out last year’s bday post.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


ALL THE COLORS OF LOVE by Jessica Freely
A gay young adult science fiction romance

It sucks being the son of a super villain. At home, Harry spends half of his time getting medical treatments and the other half tied up in his father's underwater lair. It was different when his mother was alive, but she disappeared when Harry was six. He can't seem to stay out of trouble at school, and his new roommate, Antonin, thinks he’s a spaz, but somehow Harry has to find a way to stop his father's evil plans.

Antonin Karganilla wants to become a comic book artist, but other than that, being gay is the most normal thing about him. His uncle is an aquatic plant man, his aunt is a molecular biologist back from the dead, and his mom is an overprotective pain in the butt. Antonin's in boarding school and it's starting to look like he and this Harry kid might have a lot in common... and that means a whole new set of problems.

He just wasn’t used to feeling like this, was all. Sometimes when he was alone he shook with it -- pinpricks of terror all over his body. Terror because he couldn’t quite understand how someone as fucked up as him could feel this good.

But then he’d think of Antonin, and he’d remember.

Harry took his customary seat at the back of the class and settled in for an hour of mysteryspeak from Professor Brill. Not Antonin, though. Antonin sat up at the front of the class with his notebook and his pencil, ready to take notes.

Harry had known Antonin was smart from the get-go, and it hadn’t taken long for him to appreciate his fine, fierce beauty either. But it wasn’t until Antonin assured him with calm and deadly certainty that the Old Man was as good as dead that Harry appreciated just how savage Antonin really was. If there was any chance at all of ridding the world of his father, it lay with Antonin along with every other hope Harry had ever had.

Brill was blathering on about the square of the hippopotamus or something, and for no reason at all, Antonin glanced over his shoulder at Harry with a little smile. Later he’d probably nag Harry for not taking notes, but Harry wouldn’t really mind. It was worth it to get that glance and that smile, a snapshot moment of dark eyes and soft lips that he could spend the rest of the day falling into.

He was in such deep shit.


Jessica Freely can't resist a wounded hero. As a reader and a writer, her favorite stories are of soul mates finding redemption in each other's arms. Married to the love of her life in a beautiful relationship based on mutual goofiness, Jessica also warps minds as an instructor in Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. Her dog, Ruthie, doesn't seem to care that Jessica's an award-winning and best-selling author in multiple genres. She just wants to play tug of war with Jessica's pages.

Check out Jessica’s website/blog. Visit her Amazon author page. Subscribe to her newsletter. Connect with her on Facebook, and follow Jessica on Twitter @jessicafreely.

Check out ALL THE COLORS OF LOVE at Dreamspinner Press.

Hey readers,

Square of the hippopotamus. ROFL. Pretty sure that’s what math sounded like when I took it too.

Check out the rest of the tour here.

And don’t forget to comment for a chance at a prize.

Jessica will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Hard boiled mysteries

Books 1-3, The complete Series Box Set (Value Pack)

The Sydney Rye series of mysteries features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

This box set includes all three of the Sydney Rye Books.

UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)

When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller's dog-walking business on Manhattan's exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.

But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim--and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.

When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit--cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan's elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.

DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2)

At the beginning of Death in the Dark we find Joy Humbolt hiding, not only from the law, but also from her past and the mistakes she's made. Living this isolated life doesn't last long though when a visit from Mulberry brings Joy to accept her new identity as the Private Detective, Sydney Rye. To complete the transformation, Joy must learn to control her emotions as well as her giant aggressive dog, Blue. With the help of an expert trainer, Joy learns to fight with her mind as well as her body. However, when the daughter of a close friend is brutally murdered in the desert, Rye turns away from her mentor to seek revenge. Sydney's quick temper and deadly intentions lead her into a trap that she will need all of her new skills to survive.

INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)

The third book in the series begins with private detective Sydney Rye living a simple, disciplined life in London, but when a dangerous man from her past calls, Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.

With her dog, Blue, at her side, Rye meets up with her new partner, a handsome man she's not sure she can trust. Heading for Mexico City, they go undercover, posing as husband and wife. After meeting with the bereaved parents, Rye starts to sense that there is more going on than just a missing girl. But it isn't until they arrive in the Yucatan Peninsula, hot on the girl's trail in Paradise, that all hell breaks loose. Sydney has to reach out for help from old friends and deal with the consequences of her past, if she's going to find the girl and keep them all alive.

New release! STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)

STRINGS OF GLASS is the fourth novel in Emily Kimelman's Sydney Rye Series of dark murder mystery novels. This series features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

Sydney Rye is hanging out in India with her boyfriend, Dan, reading paperbacks and sipping beer. No violence and no reminders of her past. But when she and Blue, are attacked by a pact of wild dogs, Sydney starts to feel that old itch again; to do good by being bad.

Trouble finds Rye when she stops the attempted rape and murder of Anita, a reporter working on a story of corruption and human trafficking. The atrocities Anita describes send Sydney, Blue and Dan on a quest that takes them across India after a dangerous and, up until now, untouchable, figure. While Sydney struggles to accept her true nature she realizes that it is the only way to end decades of abuse and exploitation. But Rye fears that she will lose herself, becoming no better than the monster she fights against.


From UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel #1)

The photographs in an album I found on their bookshelf showed the Sapersteins as a happy family. Joseph and Jackie at their wedding. She had long dark hair then. He had a bushy mustache. They had gone on vacation to somewhere tropical, when her hair was cut short and dyed blond. He had worn a Speedo. In the autumn of another year, they had gone to a bed-and-breakfast. Joseph had his arm wrapped tight around Jackie and she smiled with her whole body. Nothing foreshadowed that he would have his face blown away and she would be the prime suspect.

In the kitchen, there was leftover Chinese food in the fridge and three apples. In the closet, Joseph’s coat hung above his briefcase. I pulled out the obviously expensive brown leather case and opened it. A gold wedding band and a silver Rolex sat on top of a stack of papers with the letterhead Pilfner and Brown.

Someone was putting a key in the door. I snapped the briefcase shut and shoved it back into the closet. Mrs. Saperstein, wearing loose jeans and a pink T-shirt, walked through the door holding Snaffles on a leash. She jumped and screamed when she saw me. “Jesus, you scared the shit out of me.” She held her hand over her heart. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to walk the dog, but he wasn’t here, so I figured I would wait a while to see if you came back so I could walk him,” I sort of lied.


Emily Kimelman lives on a boat in the Hudson Valley with her husband, Sean and their dog Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone). Kimelman has a passion for traveling and spends as much time as possible in the pursuit of adventure.

Her "Sydney Rye Series" are dark murder mystery novels which features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

The first three books in Kimelman's series, UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, and INSATIABLE are available in the Kindle store individually and in a box set. The fourth book in the Sydney Rye series STRINGS OF GLASS is due out Mid-Summer 2013.

If you've read Emily's work, and enjoyed it, please let Emily know. You can reach her via email

Also visit her website. Connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @ejkimelman.

Buy the books in the SYDNEY RYE SERIES at Amazon and B&N.

Hey readers,

That’s an awesome “sort of” lie. Lol

Follow the rest of the tour here.

And enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance at a prize.

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