Top 5 Date Night Ideas

Today, I’m super pumped to be hosting a Dreamspinner blog event called the Top 5. When the fab Poppy Dennison approached me with the idea, I was all in. Who doesn’t like taking part in a event that also allows authors to interact with their readers?

Of course, after I agreed to join the event, panic settled in. What the heck was I going to write about? I had to pick a topic that was fun, not too cheesy, but something the readers and I could sink our teeth into. That’s when it hit me: why not write about something that’s near and dear to the hearts of most romance readers and authors?


So here’s my list of the top 5 things to do on date night with your loved one that are guaranteed to be a blast!

#5–Be Silly

largeFar too often couples get mired down in the every day hustle and bustle of life and its commitments, that we often forget to let our hair down and have fun. That’s why being silly together could be just what the love doctor ordered. Challenge each other to a game of pool or head to a Dave and Buster’s and have an arcade olympics. The two of you will be laughing the entire time you’re trying to outscore the other on a classic Pacman game or even in Skeeball. You can even spice things up by agreeing that whoever wins the most games gets to decide what they the couple eats for dessert. The possibilities are…endless.

#4–Walk Down Memory Lane

Handsome gay couple on Campus

This is especially a great idea for couples who didn’t meet/date in high school or college. If you happen to live in the town where you went to school, or if your alma mater is within driving distance, you could take a short road trip, and relive your memories with your loved one. You can show your significant other your old dorm rooms or where you hung out in the quad with your college besties. Engaging in this sort of activity brings your loved one into your past and allows for some great communication.

#3–Go on a Picnic

engagement picnic bigWhile this certainly isn’t a novel idea, it doesn’t make it any less wonderful. There’s a reason picnics make fun dates. First of all, you get to either make a meal or find take out you both enjoy, then you get to eat it together–alone–in a place that both of you enjoy or find beautiful. There’s something special about sharing a romantic meal on the beach, in a park, or even in your living room. Our fast-paced lives slow down, and our only focus is the company of the person we love most in the world. There’s truly not much better than that.

#2–Enjoy a Spa Day

face-to-faceThis is especially great for couples with stressful jobs/lives and who are constantly on the run. When you indulge in a spa day, the day truly becomes about the two of you pampering yourselves and each other. You get to talk to each other while getting a pedicure and then let go completely at your couple’s massage. Afterward, you’ll both feel refreshed, relaxed, and ready to return to the real world because you took time for yourselves while doing so together.

#1–Play Dirty

51t2PcNR1vLSex is an important part of any healthy relationship, but sometimes even the healthiest of relationships could use a little spice. Why not head down to your local adult store and browse for a few toys? If your town doesn’t have an adult store, visit one of the many online retailers and browse their selections. Sometimes, even a game of strip poker could be just what is needed. Depending on your comfort level, you and your loved one could have quite the adventurous, explosive night of your lives.

So that’s my list of top 5 things to do on date night. What did you think about the list? Did any of your favorites make it? What are your top 5 ideas for a date night? I’d love to hear them because one of you just might give me an idea I’d love to try!

“Suddenly Yours” Mini-Author Reading #5

It’s hard to believe that we are at the halfway point on the Suddenly Yours blog tour. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! Speaking of fun, I’m so excited to be sharing with you all today the 5th mini-author reading from my recent release.


Suddenly Yours

“What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas”

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning-after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him… and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts… and an attraction neither man can fight.

Release date: 15th October 2016

Author Reading


Grand Prize $50 Amazon Gift Card!

5 winners will win free copies from Author’s Dreamspinner back list!

Click here to enter

(Contest ends November 1, 2016)


Suddenly Yours Promo Tour: Kickoff Weekend & Week 1

Suddenly Yours, the second book of my One Fine Day series, releases on October 15, so you know what that means? That’s right! It’s time to begin another month long promotional tour.

But before I talk about the tour, let’s talk about the book. I had such fun writing Cody and Julian and their wacky adventure that starts when they wake up MARRIED! I know. That’s quite the YIKES moment, isn’t it? But that’s part of the fun. Readers get to see how the quirky Cody and the serious Julian navigate the waters of surprise matrimony and the emotions they discover along the way.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Speaking of fun, have you seen the cover? If you haven’t, here it is.


I just love the cover, don’t you? Believe me, it captures Cody’s character perfectly, and I owe my fabulous cover artist, Bree Archer from Dreamspinner, big time for this one!

If you liked the cover, hopefully you’ll enjoy the blurb as well.

Suddenly Yours

A One Fine Day Novel

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning-after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a senate seat as an openly gay  man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him…and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now, he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts…and an attraction neither man can fight.

I hope you enjoyed both the cover and the blurb, and if you’re interested in the blog tour, here’s where I’ll be for the Kickoff Weekend and Week 1!


10/1 My Facebook Page

10/2  Books Are Love


10/3 Gay Book Reviews

10/4 My Twitter

10/5 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

10/6 V’s Reads

10/7 My Pinterest

10/8 My Facebook Page

10/9 My Fiction Nook


Welcome Brynn Stein!


Welcome to my blog tour for Waiting for Patrick. I’m offering giveaways of one signed copy, one electronic copy, and a choice of one title from my backlist. Comment below and at any of my other blog stops (posted below) or on either book trailer (Address below) to be entered to win. One comment, one entry. Waiting for Patrick will be available at a discounted price throughout the tour (September 1 through 15). Winners of the raffle will be announced on September 16th.


How to Make a Book Trailer

For today’s blog tour stop, Lex Valentine was wonderful enough to describe how she makes book trailers. She has made two for me now. The first one for Ray of Sunlight ( ) and now one for Waiting for Patrick ( ).

How to Make a Book Trailer

by Lex Valentine of Winterheart Design

Book trailers can be an excellent way to promote your book. They are essentially a commercial which, if done right, can get a viewer interested in reading the book. Getting the word out about your book and having readers purchase it is what both you and your publisher want, so a book trailer can definitely help.

It’s not difficult to create a book trailer. Most people know how to use Microsoft Movie Maker, which is free. There are other products out there for the creation of videos including Nero, one of the softwares I use, but they are often cost money. Many people start with Movie Maker because of the price and graduate to one of the pay softwares as they learn more about the process and want to use more sophisticated tools and effects.

I’ve always thought that the best book trailers are not those with a lot of bells and whistles. The best ones I’ve seen are the ones that are aesthetically pleasing while grabbing the attention of the viewer with regard to the book being advertised. That being said, I’ve seen a lot of trailers I don’t find aesthetically pleasing. This is subjective of course. What I find harsh and unappealing may not be the same for other viewers, especially viewers who are not involved in the creation of visual media. As a graphic artist, I like to think my “eye” is different from that of people who don’t create visually. But you have to remember that this is still only my opinion.

To create a book trailer you need the following things:

  1. Video creation software
  2. Images that have been purchased from a stock house or from a free site such as Pixabay or those that have a Creative Commons License that allows it’s use in a video
  3. Information about the book, blurb and synopsis
  4. Information about the characters and setting
  5. Video loops – this isn’t strictly needed. You can use static images to put text on, but you can also use video loops which are animated
  6. Fonts that are easy to read and not too fancy or light, installed on your computer so they are accessible by the video software
  7. Music – either a song that is allowed by YouTube’s licensing with the record companies or a royalty free song available through a Creative Commons or other license.

Some of the items on this list will need more explanation, namely images, video loops, music and fonts. All four of these can be found for free and for pay. What you have to be aware of is that to be safe from copyright infringement, you should pay for what you use. With fonts, there are literally thousands for free on the internet for download. It’s best to get your fonts from a reputable site like You can also purchase pay fonts from places like

For video loops, there are plenty of sites that offer free ones. You just need to make sure you read their terms of use before you download. Some of the sites just want you to register for an account with them.

Images are very easy to find on the internet, but doing a right click – download could cost you thousands of dollars if you’re accused of copyright infringement. You’re courting danger there. Copyright infringement for use of images you didn’t pay for can be very, very expensive. Buy your images from a stock house like Deposit Photos or Canstock Photos. You can also find images for free at Pixabay.

Pixabay posts a Creative Commons license with every image. Make sure any image you use has a license whether it’s a Creative Commons or a purchased license. Don’t ever skimp on this. If you aren’t sure whether it has a Creative Commons license DON’T USE IT. I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t take this precaution, if you choose to use images taken from the internet, you can find yourself sued and could lose everything. It’s not a risk you want to run.

The same holds true for music. Sure, you have thousands of MP3s on your computer, but can you use those in a video? Ummm, maybe. See, YouTube has agreements with record labels for use of their music in exchange for advertising placement on the video that uses it. The agreements and labels change all the time so it’s tough to figure out which songs can be used. You can add the song and upload to YouTube. If the song is not allowed, they will strip it from the video. They also have songs available to swap to your video.

The only caveat for using popular copyrighted music on YouTube is that’s the only place it’s legal to use the video. You can’t upload the video to your website and run it from there. You can’t upload it to Facebook or Amazon. You can only upload it to YouTube and post the link.

If you’re worried about the issue with popular music, it’s easy to find free music out there. I tend to head for Incompetech run by Kevin MacLeod. He has many files available for use for free. Lots of genres, mostly instrumental, but really good stuff.

So now you have your images, your video loops and music. Now what?

Open your video creation software and import all those pieces you just chose. If you’re in Movie Maker, the process is simple. Order the images and video loops as you’d like them to appear. You can put text on the images and video loops. Make sure you give credit for your music at the end. You can also state where you got the images. Some publishers may require that you add a copyright for the cover or the book itself.

You will need to time every loop, every image. There are tools in Movie Maker to make each loop longer or shorter, time low long an image is on, animations for text and for the images, tools for how each slide enters and exits. There’s also tools for fading out your music at the end and for the size, type and color of font. Just make sure you aren’t going crazy and using too may transitions and colors and font changes. Videos with too many of these look pretty bad to a viewer. Try to be consistent and pick one font type, one font color, one type of transition and use them throughout.

Since a video is usually only a minute long (give or take a few seconds) there isn’t much time to tell readers where to find the book and the author. I always make sure that the public can see clearly where to buy the book and where to find the author on the internet so I often give those slides a couple more seconds.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to a trailer than just putting some text on some images and dropping an MP3 into the software. You have to think about your target audience and how you want to show off your book. Don’t tell too much, don’t tell too little. Don’t give away big surprises in the story, but still try to engage the viewer. Whew! It’s not an easy thing to figure out how best to create a book trailer, but with some thought and practice, you can do it!

Lex Valentine

Winterheart Design



Architect Elliot Graham has bought and restored dozens of historic homes to their original splendor. As in his personal life, he loves them and leaves them, selling them off without looking back. But there’s something about the old plantation house he finds in South Carolina—a connection he can’t explain. He feels as though he recognizes the house, as if within its crumbling walls he might find something he doesn’t even realize he’s lost.

Ben Myers had promised his lover and soul mate, Patrick, that he would wait for his return. Ben has kept his word ever since Patrick left him to wait at the plantation house—during the Civil War. For the first time in many long years, Ben is no longer alone, and he reaches out to Elliot in dreams. Elliot tries to convince Ben that Patrick isn’t coming back, but Ben’s devotion is about to change not only his lonely existence, but Elliot’s life as well.

Buy Link:

About the Author

Brynn has always loved to write about strong male characters and their close friendships. When she found the world of m/m fiction, she fell in love. Finally, a way to bring those strong male characters together and let those emotional connections spill over into deeper relationships. Sometimes her characters go through the emotional wringer, but they always have each other.

Brynn lives in Virginia near her two grown daughters who support her writing and sometimes act as proof readers. Both of her daughters are also aspiring writers and hopefully it’ll just be a matter of time before they have their own author’s biography.

Brynn was a teacher by profession for thirty years. She worked in special education with children with emotional disabilities. She has recently changed careers and is now working as a mental health counselor to this same population and their families. When she is not working or writing, she loves to draw and paint. She also gets outside as often as she can, reads anything that doesn’t move out of the way, and is always looking for her next story.

Contact Brynn:

Other Blog Stops

     Date Blog Name Blog Owner Blog Address
September 1st Bike Book Reviews Becky
September 2nd Drops of Ink Anne Barwell
September 2nd Snow’s Untangled Threads and Musings Snow Tigra
September 3rd Antonia Aquilante Antonia Acquilante
September 3rd The Story Struggle and Beyond Ki Brightly
September 4th Thianna Durston Thianna Durston Http://
September 4th Unconventional Love Stories Charley Descoteaux
September 4th Misadventures of the Heart Heloise West
September 5th Sandra Bard Sandra Bard
September 5th Tempest O’Riley Tempe O’Riley
September 6th Jackie Keswick Jackie Keswick
September 7th Chaos in the Moonlight K-lee Kline
September 8th Grace R. Duncan Grace Duncan
September 8th Brita Addams Brita Addams!blog/c1zoe
September 8th Cryselle’s Bookshelf Chryselle
September 9th Emotion in Motion Elizabeth Noble
September 9th MM Good Books Review
September 10th Jacob Z Flores Jacob Flores
September 11th Andrew’s Blog Andrew Grey
September 12th Nicki J Marcus Nicki Marcus
September 12th Rainbow Gold Reviews Marc Fleischhauer
September 13th PD Singer PD Singer
September 14th Our Story LGBTQ Historical Fiction Christopher Moss
September 15th Renee Stevens Renee Stevens
September 15th Purple Rose Tea House Charlie Cochet
September 15th Open Skye Book Reviews
September 15th The Novel Approach Reviews Lisa (Novel Approach)
Throughout the tour Book Trailer on You Tube Lex Valentine






“Soul Struck” Month Long Promo Tour: Week 5

It’s hard to believe that the final week of the Soul Struck month long promotional tour is here. It seems like just yesterday I was preparing for the tour, creating the graphics, writing the content, and recording the videos, and now the tour is almost over. How is that possible?

I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the content I’ve shared. If you missed any of the previous weeks’ contents you can find the stops for week 1 here, week 2 here, week 3 here, and week 4 here. You can go back and enter the giveaways at those sites if you haven’t done so already. 🙂

Thank you so much for joining me on this tour!

Here are the stops for the final week:


12/28 My Google+

12/29 My Facebook Page

12/30 Ab Fab Book Blog

12/31 Loving the Books


“Soul Struck” Month Long Promo: Week 4

It’s hard to believe that we are in week 4 of the Soul Struck month long promotional tour. I’ve had so much fun hopping across the Internet and sharing content, graphics, and mini-author readings with all of you, and the fun continues in week 4!

If you missed any of the other stops, you can find the schedule for Week 1 by clicking here, Week 2 by clicking here, and week 3 by clicking here.

If you haven’t entered for the giveaways at the hosting stops, don’t forget to do that. There’s still time to enter!

For those of you who want to know where I’ll be this week, here are the stops:


12/21 My Google+

12/22 My Facebook Page

12/23 Love Bytes

12/24 Amber Daulton

12/25 My Twitter

12/26 Book Pages and Dripping Ink

12/27 Jacklynn Love’s Reading


“Soul Struck” Month Long Promo Tour: Week 3

It’s Week 3 of the Soul Struck promotional tour, and it’s hard to believe that we are at the halfway point already. Even more exciting is the fact that Soul Struck releases tomorrow, Monday, December 14. SQUEAL!!!

I hope you’ve been having a good time on the tour so far because there is still much more to come! I’ve placed the stops and date for this week below. If you missed any of the other stops, you can find the schedule for Week 1 by clicking here and for Week 2 by clicking here.

Don’t forget there are two giveaways as part of this tour, so make sure you enter as many times as you can!


12/14 My Google+

12/15 My Facebook Page

12/16 Jam Book Blog

12/17 TTC Books and More

12/18 My Twitter

12/19 Joyfully Jay

12/20 You Gotta Read This


“Soul Struck” Month Long Promo Tour: Week 2

It’s hard to believe that the first week of the Soul Struck promotional tour has come to an end, and it’s time to announce the start of week 2! In just a little over a week, the third book of the Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge series will be released, and I get to share Pierce’s story with all of you.

First, we still have another week of graphics, blog content, and mini-author readings to enjoy before the December 14th release of Soul Struck. If you missed any of the content from week 1, you can find it here.

If you wonder where I’ll be this week, you’ll find the information below:

12/7 My Google+

12/8 My Facebook Page

12/9 MM Good Book Reviews

12/10 Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

12/11 My Twitter

12/12 Fan Girls Love Books

12/13 My Book Chatter


Announcing the “Soul Struck” Month Long Blog Tour–December 1-December 31

Can you believe it? On December 14, the third book of the Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge series, Soul Struck, releases, and Pierce Blackmoor, Mason and Thad’s older brother, snags the role of the main character away from his younger brothers. Believe me when I say there was much complaining about this from Mason and Thad.

In Soul Struck, we travel even farther into the shadows and secrets that have hounded our characters in the first two books as well as bring to close the first (yes, the first!) story arc of this series while also setting up the new story arc that will begin in book four. As if that isn’t enough, we also get to meet the young man who forever changes the way Pierce views the world.

In case you haven’t seen the cover for Soul Struck yet, here it is!


Isn’t it gorgeous? It was created by Dreamspinner’s own Paul Richmond, who I am forever indebted to for creating such beautiful covers for this series.

To celebrate the release of Soul Struck, I will be on a month long whirlwind tour that will include both pre-release and post-release stops. I’ll be sharing graphics, blog posts, and mini-author readings that will hopefully whet your appetite for Pierce and his story. The content will be shared on my social media (so if you aren’t following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, now is the time to start) and other blog sites that have generously agreed to host me on my tour. Starting tomorrow, you can find more information over at my Havenbridge site, which is dedicated to the world of the Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge. You can be magically teleported over to that site by clicking here.

Also, I will be hosting a giveaway at special stops along my blog tour. Readers have several chances to win a free ebook from my backlist as well as enter to with the grand prize award–a $50 gift card to Amazon.

I will be providing a list of dates over at my Havenbridge site, so make sure you check there every week, but for now, here are the stops for week 1.


12/1 My Facebook Page

12/2 Books that Are a Must Read

12/3 Joy & Isa Love Books

12/4 My Twitter

12/5 Here Is What I Read

12/6 Jazz Book Reviews


“Blood Tied” Pre-Release Extravaganza Week 4

Wow! We have finally reached the final week for pre-release promotional tour for Blood Tied, the second book of the Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge series. It’s hard to believe that in just a little over a week, I finally get to share Thad’s story with all my readers, and I’m super excited!

But release day is still over a week away. Right now, we still have one more week of the 30 days of content I promised everyone. I hope you’ve enjoyed the graphics, mini-author readings, and blog posts over the last three weeks. If you missed any of the content, you can find links to them here, here, and here.

Here’s where I will be for this final week.


8/31 The Grimoire

9/1 My Twitter

9/2 Joyfully Jay

9/3 Ever After Romance

9/4 My Google+

9/5 My Facebook Page

9/6 The Blogger Girls

9/7 Blood Tied Releases