Thursday, May 29, 2014

INTERVIEW: Sarah Madison plus #Giveaway!

Sarah Madison is here! Sarah Madison is here! Her interview has been a long time coming and I am so excited to be hosting her today. Sarah has been a wonderful supporter of the Hat Party <3 Definitely check out her giveaway at the end of the interview.

Hello Sarah and welcome to The Hat Party! <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

What is your favorite writing memory?

Oh, that’s easy! My boyfriend had gone to a conference and I’d tagged along. The hotel overlooked a harbor, and every morning after he’d left for the meeting, I’d sit down at the desk facing the window and work on a story. The hotel was a definitely different from most national chains (for one thing, it had a *huge* walk in shower with a bench and everything...) and the view was to die for—very suggestive of Paris or some other European city with its colorful buildings and flower boxes on every window. At noon, I’d take a break from writing and walk down to the shore or peruse the shops. The town was designed with pedestrian traffic in mind, so I’d put on my heels and a short skirt and pretend I was one of the wealthy. The funny thing is, I felt fabulous, like I belonged. I’d join the boyfriend for lunch, and then head back to the hotel for another round of writing. In the evenings, we’d walk the town, taking in the sights, sitting in on Some Like It Hot shown on a big outdoor screen and eating in little diners. 

On my best day, I wrote 10 K. It felt like nothing. It was one of my best vacations ever.

The zombies are on fire and they are shambling toward you. What. Do. You. Do?

Okay, just so you know, zombies scare the piss out of me. No, really. I have a low threshold for scary things anyway (I dream in Technicolor and I never forget anything I’ve ever seen or read) but zombies scare me more than anything out there. I can tell myself that vampires, werewolves, and ghosts don’t really exist, but zombies are a metaphor for the pandemic that will probably wipe us out. I have a medical background, so this is truly frightening to me. I’d grab the pets and run until I couldn’t run any further. I’d abandon the car and take to the mountains. I’d hope and pray that I could find a way to live until the zombies fell apart. All the while sweating and crying and trembling. Give me a poisonous snake, and I’ll willingly transport it out of the campground. Ask me to corral a wild bull, or face down an angry Rottweiler, and I’m your gal. Mention zombies, and I’m a quivering mess. 

Share your secret writing dream with us! (Your most wild, outlandish dream!)

Okay, this is sad, but I would love it if my writing would allow me to quit the day job. How low-bar is that? I mean, E. L. James wrote the 50 Shades series and made something like 97 million in sales. She doesn’t have to sell another story—she’s set for life. I don’t want that. No, really! I don’t. But I would love it if I had such a fan following that I could quit the day job and stop worrying about how to pay the bills. I recently had to make some sacrificial decisions—the kind that really hurt—for lack of money. In my wildest dreams, I have enough money to buy a little cabin in the woods. I live there with my dog, my cats, and my horses. Every day is just like that vacation I took with the boyfriend: I get up and take the dog for a walk. I write until noon. I ride the horse or work in the garden, and then I write until the BF gets home. What a lovely, heavenly life that would be. I don’t need much. I don’t need accolades, or fame, or recognition. I don’t need scads of money. But, oh! If I could have just a little peace and quiet every day to do what I love most, I could die happy.

A drunken relative has just insulted M/M rom up one side and down the other. Plus they spilled their drink on you in the process. What is your most articulate response?

Oh dear. My relatives don’t get drunk. I suspect that is part of their problem. If you looked up the definition of ‘uptight’ on Wikipedia, you’d probably find the entire family portrait there. But let’s say that this DID happen. I’d probably smile, blot my blouse, and say, “You should try it sometime. You know what they say, once you’ve gone to the Dark Side, you’ll never go back.” Then I’d ask for the bottle, since they obviously don’t know how to hold their liquor.

Would you rather read a super spicy sex-scene aloud to a parent or in front of 300 people at GRL?

Oh, seriously! No contest here. I’d read to GRL in a heartbeat. I did a lot of theater when I was in high school and college. I find speaking in public a SNAP. One on one, especially with a rigid and uptight family member, not so much.

Would you walk across the country on foot for the assurance of a Big Six publishing contract?

When do I start? Not that I’m convinced that a contract with the Big Six is any assurance of success, but there’s still that whole cachet thing, you know? A contract with the Big Six is still a marker of success solely because the Big Six has seen to it that it is. Kind of like how the DeBeers company has made diamonds the gem of choice for engagement rings. That’s changing rapidly, but there is still that sense of having ‘made it’ if one of the Big Six signs you on. And it’s just walking. I can do that.

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

From The Boys of Summer: in this scene, David McIntyre is taking one final weekend alone with Rick Sutton. It’s near the end of the Battle of Britain in WW2.  They know their relationship is doomed, and yet they are determined to have this last moment together before the war separates them forever.

“Goddamnit, Mac. A two bit whore is less of a fucking tease than you are.” Instead of sounding frustrated, he was languid as he lay back and let David lavish him with full attention.

“My night. My rules.” He liked sucking cock. It was one of his favorite things to do, and he knew he was good at it. Usually with Sutt, the very public nature of their trysts meant that he had to get Sutt off as soon as possible. Not tonight. Tonight was about making Sutt forget the war, to stop thinking about anything and everything and simply feel. 

“Mac.” His voice was slurred, and David was inordinately pleased that he had rendered Rick to this state. “Please. Mac. Fuck me.” He shifted his legs slightly, opening his body to David. The small movement made David catch his breath. He had come so close to royally fucking up things between them earlier by trying to get Rick to quit the RAF. He had to make sure he got it right now.

“Not Mac. David.” He lifted his head so he could look down into Rick’s eyes. “Not Sutt.” He moved down Rick’s chest, punctuating his words with kisses. “Rick. Always Rick.”

Everyone that is anyone is now a vampire. Do you become a vampire too? 

Well, no. I mean, if I leaned toward the vampire lifestyle anyway, that might be different. But simply because that was the IN thing and everyone else was doing it? You’d be far more likely to find me doing something as different as possible out of sheer perversity. Like being a werewolf or something. 

Explain yourself in 7 1/2 words.

Loyal. Hard-working. Clever. Inventive. Imaginative. Funny. Toug...

What is the most RANDOM thing to ever inspire you?

I once misread a prompt for an anthology call about lesbian vampires. I was 60 K into the story when I realized my mistake, and then I wondered what the hell I’d do with the finished product. I made the decision to make the main characters male instead of female, and re-wrote the story line by line. I ended up with one of my best-selling novels, Crying for the Moon.  I think I should make these kinds of mistakes more often.

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds? 

PATIENT ONES (see photo)

~ ~ ~

Take a ride to Northern Scotland on the famous train, the Jacobite, and rediscover desire. Get lost in the Peace Maze in Northern Ireland during a downpour and let a handsome young redhead come to the rescue. Take a tour of historical Blackpool on the English coast and set the stage for the perfect romance. From England to the outer isles, the UK holds treasure troves of romance, history, intrigue, and—naturally—quirky British humor. Not Quite Shakespeare samples it all in fifteen stories. 

A man in London makes an accident confession of sexual need to a virtual stranger who happens to be his boss. An American revisits West Sussex and rekindles an old flame with a romp in the stables. A couple finds their perfect third while vacationing on a pig farm in Yorkshire. In the office, on the race track, or in the kitchen baking bread—romance in the UK is alive and well, and full of sweet surprise.

Available from Dreamspinner Press

Excerpt from Chanctonbury Ring:

Tarq’s hair was as wild as ever, but some London barber had cut it in such a way as to free it from its heavy weight so that it stood up in spiky disarray. The most fashionable New York metrosexual would give up his club memberships up if his hair would do what Tarq’s did naturally, the bastard. So. Not. Fair.

“So why wouldn’t you sell?”

Why wouldn’t he sell? What would Tarq do if he answered with the truth? I want to live where you are.

Instead, Denny shrugged. “I still have dual citizenship. I don’t have any family back in the U.S. anymore. Besides, I can write from anywhere, as long as there’s internet.”

“The taxes will eat you here, but then you probably know that. I thought you were getting married.”

It was tempting to point out that Tarq was well-informed for someone who professed not to have kept tabs on his life.

“It didn’t work out.” The abruptness of his reply startled him. He heard the anger and resentment there and it surprised him that he still felt so strongly. Breaking off the engagement had been the right thing to do—getting engaged in the first place had been the mistake. But he could still recall Angela’s stinging verbal backhand as she ended their relationship. 

I refuse to be the Alma to your Ennis.

The sad thing is, she’d been right.

Bonus questions!

*What inspired you to write your story?

Well, it’s no secret that I’m a bit of an Angliophile. When I heard that Dreamspinner Press was soliciting submissions for an anthology for UK-centric stories, I knew I had to write something for it. I’d travelled to the UK for the first time in 2012 and my impressions of that trip were very strong. I was so excited to be in England after a lifetime of reading British cozy mysteries that even the *mud*filled me with ecstasy.  Best. Trip. Ever.

*Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your story?

I was fortunate to have marvelous weather and an excellent guide for my trip to the UK in 2012. I hiked the trail up to Chanctonbury Ring and relished the beauty of the landscape before me. If that turned into a hot M/M romance, well, my favorite motto is “Everything is grist for the mill.” I suspect this tendency to turn every life experience into a story is a wee bit embarrassing for the BF, but it doesn’t prevent him from offering help at every juncture. He’s awesome like that.

*What are your hopes for this title?

I’d love it if a reader ‘discovered’ me in this anthology and decided to not only read everything I’ve ever written, but told all their friends to read my stories too. :-)

About the Author:

Sarah Madison is a veterinarian with a big dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. She is a terrible cook, and concedes that her life would be easier if Purina made People Chow. She writes because it is cheaper than therapy.

Contact her through Amazon | Facebook (Author Page) | Facebook (Profile) | Twitter | Website | Dreamspinner Press | Goodreads | Tumblr

Comment between now and June 3rd at 11:59 PM CDT with your email address for your chance to win a copy of an e-book from Sarah Madison's backlist!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

INTERVIEW: Jonathan Treadway plus #Giveaway!

Today we're talking with Jonathan Treadway (pseudonym of Jennifer Swanson) who comes to us ROCKING the hat! Make sure you check out the giveaway at the end of the interview.

Hello Jonathan and welcome to The Hat Party! <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

What one food item do you consider to be your arch nemesis?

Chocolate cake with chocolate icing

On a scale 1 (super chill) to 10 (falling apart at the seams) how cool are you under the pressure of blurb writing?!

5 – Summarizing things is part of my RL job so I think I’m pretty good at it. It’s trying to figure out that hook to grab a reader that’s the hardest thing, I think.

If you could go back to any point in your personal history and give yourself a message, when would you go and what would you say?
Back to college. I’d tell my skinny self to keep exercising and for god sakes, don’t gain weight! LOL

A genre-specific virus has attacked you, rendering you INCAPABLE of writing your chosen genre. What do you do now?!

Yikes! I pretty much focus on contemporary so I would have to bite the bullet and try to expand my horizons. I do have a supernatural story I’m currently writing I must admit I’m having fun with, which is roughly based on Red Riding Hood. I just finished writing a dark love story for Goodreads M/M Romance that was a real stretch for me, and I’m anxious to hear the feedback on that. So I am starting to try different genres.  I’ve always wanted to write a young adult book, and am considering a lesbian one. I have a pseudonym for my YA books already – Daphne Brookner.

Describe yourself using a literary quote.

“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.” 
Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

I feel like I’ve changed my life over the last five years or so by writing, volunteering for marriage equality, and meeting some fantastic people who have become close friends.

What is your 3-word zombie survival plan?

Fire kills all!

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

Leaning over the back of the stuffed chair, Armand’s hands gripped the top. He couldn’t help releasing a groan as he glanced back at his lover.

“Oh, mon dieu, that is so good,” he said in a sexy French accent. Armand put his head back down and arched his back to give Dan more room to lick his asshole, feeling his tongue slide in and out between sucks and licks.  Armand’s cock was dripping, and he shuddered in ecstasy. He felt two fingers slide into his puckered hole, and jumped as Dan’s finger curled up and glanced off his gland. Armand was already too close and wanted that huge dick pushing inside, stretching and making him hurt with pleasure, before it was too late. 

“Fuck me, Dan. Need to feel you in my ass, making me burn.”

Armand felt the head of Dan’s penis at his entrance and pushed back, taking the head of that monster cock. The pain was delicious.

“No. More. Waiting.” Dan said between strokes as he rocked deeper into Armand, sliding out and shoving more in each time, finally coming to rest when their bodies met. The slap of Dan’s balls against Armand’s made them hurt so good.

What makes you inexplicably happy? 

Going dancing with my friends at a gay bar in Cambridge, MA. We just dance and drink rum punches and laugh. It’s so much fun and I’m actually exercising! Did I mention that I hate exercising?

Worst mistake you’ve made in your career and what you’ve learned from it?

I would have to say not being active enough as an author online. My website was ‘under construction’ for a long time but I’m working with someone to get it up – we’re tweaking it now. And my blog hasn’t been updated in ages either, so that’s high on my priority list. I’ve learned that people do look me up and if there’s nothing current, then I’m losing an opportunity to connect to someone. The whole m/m community is wonderful; I feel that at last I’ve met people who understand me and a place where we all fit together. It is such a warm, welcoming group of people that I would have been lost without it over the last six years or so. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find out there were other people out there who were as obsessed with gay romance as me. LOL

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

Miniature ones. I think they are the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

~ ~ ~

Arriba Aruba! by Jonathan Treadway eBook
Release Date: October 02, 2013

Jilted at the altar when his best man ran off with his fiancée, Craydon “Cray” Wright trades in his Mexico honeymoon for a vacation in Aruba. When godlike Stone Ferris walks onto the plane, sits next to Cray, and makes his interest known, Cray decides to act on desires he’s felt since high school but ignored. 

He agrees to let Stone show him the island, but what starts as fun-filled and casual turns earth-shattering for Cray. When his time in Aruba ends, Cray realizes his feelings for Stone have grown beyond fun, but he worries that it might not translate to real life in LA. Can he convince himself and Stone their love can be paradise at home?

ISBN: 978-1-62798-163-7

Available from Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Jonathan Treadway is the pseudonym of Jennifer Swanson, who lives with her husband in northern Massachusetts. Jon has a professional job doing market analysis (and commuting, it seems like) during the day, and writes in the evenings and on weekends. Her stories focus on the romance and relationship between two men, and all the trials gay men have to survive in order to have a healthy, happily-ever-after (or for now) relationship. To her there's nothing sexier than two men exploring each other physically and emotionally as they fall in love. When J0n's not writing or reading the embarrassingly large number of ebooks she buys every month to support her Kindle habit, she's quilting, dancing at gay bars, or playing with her bunny Annabelle.

Twitter: @jtreadwaybooks

Comment between now and June 1st at 11:59 PM CDT with your email address for your chance to win an ebook from Jonathan's Dreamspinner Press backlist!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

INTERVIEW: Natalie Meisner

Today we're talking to the AWESOME Natalie Meisner who ROCKS her son's hat. Her story, Double Pregnant, is based on her life. You can read more about Natalie, her wife, and their sons at The Calgary Herald which did a really cool cover story.

Hello Natalie and welcome to The Hat Party <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

Explain your style in 7 1/2 words.

Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker & Kurt Vonnegut have a love child. (I know it’s a bit more than 7, I just couldn’t)

What is your superpower?


What is your Kryptonite?

WHISKEY!  (If you mix them, you get a Nova Scotia Kitchen Party where everyone has a fist fight, a cleansing cry and then we hug it out.)

Give a shout-out to another author who may, or may not, know how much you appreciate them.

Kate Millet:  A Pioneer, Formidable Intellect, and the founder of the Art Farm: A place for women artists  in upstate New York. I went there as a young writer and she was an excellent mentor and an inspiration.

Have you ever tried collaborating? Why or why not?

Yes, I am a beast for it.  Writing for Theatre is like writing an exquisite blueprint for a building that others construct… Love it, love it, love it!  Also working with an editor on a book.  Such an engaged and intellectually intimate process.

You can go back to any point in your life to give you past self a pep-talk. How old is your past self and what do you say?

Oh…. That is such a good one. Okay. Phew.23 years old, just booted out of acting school for failing to conform to gender norms…

“Look, you really don’t like wearing lyotards anyway. You don’t even want to play most of those parts you are being given. Now get up out of this ditch and go write parts that women like you will WANT to play.” 

What is your super secret, wildest, most outlandish writing dream?

Could I please, please, please ghost write Oprah’s Tell All Memoir.  Please, with sugar on top?

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!) 

FROM:  Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family (Fernwood)

In our beach house on the lip of the Atlantic we have a year to love, feed, bathe, read to and play with our babies. We eat fresh seafood and push the stroller along the beach, fresh salty air filling their new lungs. Life distilled to its most basic: food, water, rest, and love.  Just as we have settled into a comfortable routine, my wife points to the concrete pilings down on the waterline. 

“I would like to get started soon” she says, and I know there is no changing her mind. Plans to put up a woodshed have escalated into an outbuilding/guesthouse. And this is why I am breastfeeding one baby and rocking the other to sleep with my foot while my wife, six weeks to the day from bringing our son into the world, frames up beams for a new building. She has two great guys working with her, friends who don’t even blink when I bring our youngest son out for his feeding time.

“The boy would like a word,” I say. “I just want to finish this last beam,” says Viviën from the ladder, but our son registers his impatience with a hearty howl. “He won’t take no for an answer,” I say, and she descends. No matter how long we live on this planet this snapshot shall remain:  Vivien’s strong arms cradling our son as she feeds him, the Atlantic a piercing blue behind her, and her eyes glinting with the excitement of a new project.

You’re writing along and you’re attacked by a horde of zombies…ON FIRE…how do you survive? Or do you become a zombie too?

Tap dance while doing jazz hands.  It is a little known fact, but Zombies are repelled by such activities.   If you do both simultaneously, they will slide right by you like a fried egg off a new Teflon pan and eat the brains of someone further on.

Your thoughts on libraries: GO!

My second home. My happy place. Where I would live, permanently if society didn’t frown so heavily upon it.

Be totally honest. How awesome would you be at leading a moon colony?

I think I would start out well with inspirational messages and great pep talks.  I would fall down later, when practical things set in… like how to extract that frozen water from the moon dust… once the cannibalism set in, I would be pretty done.

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

There’s more than one kind?  Okay, don’t hate me, here’s some bonus Dachshund content.   A friend just told me that Dachshund means BADGER HUNTER and that they needed to be close to the ground to hunt them.  This impressed me because we all know about how vicious badgers (honey or otherwise) can be. 

~ ~ ~

Double Pregnant :Two Lesbians Make a Family by Natalie Meisner

Girl meets girl. Girl marries girl. They want to have babies…but they need a little help.Double Pregnant is author Natalie Meisner’s light-hearted, poignant and informative true story about starting a family with her wife Viviën. Because Viviën is a woman of colour who was adopted into a white family, the couple wants their children to have a connection to their donor and decide against taking the anonymous, sperm clinic route. But they realize they are going to need some help. Taking matters into their own hands leads the couple to a series of often-hilarious “dates” with potential donors, all of whom have wildly different opinions on how the donation process should go, and how Natalie and Viviën should proceed as a new family. 


The next time we emerge into the fresh air our little family is complete. Two mums and two beautiful baby boys. Viviën is mending in record time. The incision that brought our second son into the world is a barely visible line on the way to disappearing. The bump on the baby’s head is nearly gone, and hour-by-hour he seems more at ease. It is quite a production loading everything and everybody into the car as we leave the hospital, but we have lots of help from my mother, my aunt and one of our favourite nurses. Our dog Rockit is in the car as we pack up and get the car seats in place. His eyes register some disbelief that we are bringing another one of those small noisy people home, but he takes it with good will. We pull out of the parking lot, and the hospital (a world onto itself) fades in the rearview. As I pilot my precious cargo along the ninety minutes of winding shoreline road back to Lockeport, I feel suddenly the weight of responsibility, not just for getting them all home safely, but for taking care of all of them — wife, sons, and puppy — to varying degrees for the rest of my life. I feel ready to give it my all every single day.

In our little summer house on the southernmost tip of Nova Scotia on the lip of the Atlantic we have the rest of the year to love, feed, bathe, read to, teach, learn from, and play with our babies. We eat fresh seafood and push the stroller along the beach over lumps of seaweed, fresh salty air filling those new little lungs. Life again returns to its most basic: food, water, rest, and love. Some evenings when we put them down to sleep, we resort to peanut butter sandwiches for supper, but we eat them together, happily, with our feet up, pleased with what we have accomplished. Just as this zen-like state has returned and the late spring sun bouncing off the water is lulling me into a comfortable routine, Viviën begins staring out the window at the concrete pilings down on the waterline.

“I would like to get started soon” is all she says, and knowing her as I do, I understand that there is really no point in trying to change her mind. In fact, by the end of the afternoon, our plans to put up a little woodshed have escalated into a full-on extra building complete with hardwood and tile interior that will serve as a small guesthouse/office.

And this is how it is that I find myself in the house, breastfeeding one baby and rocking the other to sleep with my foot while Viviën, six weeks to the day from the moment she brought our son into the world, frames up beams for the new building. She has a team of two great guys working with her: my cousin and another hardworking guy with a sunny disposition on a work exchange from the U.K. They know us a little bit by now and don’t even blink when I bring our youngest son out for his feeding time.

“The boy would like a word,” I say.

“I’m coming. I just want to finish this last beam,” says Viviën from the ladder, around a couple nails she has squeezed between her lips. Our son registers his impatience with a hearty howl, waving his two little fists in the air.

“He really won’t take no for an answer,” I say. She comes down from the ladder, and the fellows laugh as they put down their tools. They come and sit on the step to sip a cold beer and eat the sandwiches I made for them.

No matter how long we live on this planet and how many changes we go through together, I shall always carry this snapshot of Viviën close to my heart: her strong arms cradling our son as she feeds him, the Atlantic a piercing blue behind her, sawdust resting lightly on her hair and arms, and her eyes glinting with the excitement of a new project.

Available from:


What inspired you to write Double Pregnant?

When my wife and I decided to try and have babies, I went looking for books about GLBTIQ parenting and there were very, very few… especially in Canada.  So I tried to write a book that I would want to read.

Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your book?

So many hilarious things happened to us while we were looking for a sperm donor… I just thought my life has just gotten so strange that I couldn’t make this up if I tried… so at that moment I figured I should cross over  (if only temporarily) to non-fiction. 

What are your hopes for this title?

I hope it uses a kind of gentle humor to open doors and forge connections.  One thing I learned during all this is how much kinship I had with every other person struggling with infertility or for their full rights to live and love as they desire. 

About the Author:

Natalie Meisner is a wife and the mother of two great boys and divides her time between Lockeport, Nova Scotia, Den Haag, Holland, and Calgary, Alberta.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Mount Royal University where she teaches creative writing and drama.   (

Tweets @ndmeisner

Sunday, May 25, 2014

INTERVIEW: Sandra Bard and #Giveaway!

Today we're talking to Sandra Bard who wins the award for most creative hat EVER! Make sure you check out her full interview for details on her giveaway!

Hello Sandra and welcome to "Home of the Sweetness" <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

Hi, I tried to wear my nephew but he refused to stay on my head and I had to keep him on my shoulder. (do hats have to be not alive?)

If you could go back in time and have a conversation with 13-year-old yourself right now, what would you say?

Don't believe in happy endings. If you want one, write it, it doesn't exist in real life. Don't bother trying to win over your father, it isn't going to happen. Grow a spine and start thinking for yourself and don't wait for your parents to tell you what to do.

What is your biggest, most wildest, most extreme writing dream or goal? No dream is too outlandish.

I want one of my books to be made into a cartoon series. I can't draw or plan all those drawing boards. But that's what I want. 

Your thoughts on libraries: GO!

I once fell in love with a country because of its' libraries. Where I am now, we don't have great libraries, but I do read a lot. Real books 'feel 'so much better that e-books for me and libraries are a great way of obtaining them. 

I have hidden in libraries, made out in them and have practically survived in them so I have an attachment to them. I always try to include a library or a librarian to most of my stories.

Describe yourself using song lyrics.

Meredith Brooks - bitch 

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between

But sometimes, it's:

3 doors down – Kryptonite

I left my body lying somewhere
In the sands of time

A very real—possibly poisonous—snake has taken up residence on your keyboard. What do you do?

Bring out the big guns
But really I live near a forest reservation so I do have snakes in the ceiling and porcupines on the front yard. We do get a lot of wild life and we spray the outside of the house with kerosene to keep them out. The last time we got a snake in the kitchen, my brother killed it and I took photos. 

p.s. But I'm pretty good at snapping scorpions up by their tails using a string loop. 
p.s.s. Something is stinking up in my ceiling, I think it's a dead snake so I'm moving to my sister's bedroom for the weekend.

What is your superpower? What is your Kryptonite? 

I joke I want a superpower where I can make all my students' papers without looking at them but perhaps what I want is a miracle. 

I'm really good at bouncing back from most situations, so my superpower is surviving shit. I've lost more than I've ever expected to lose but I've always survived so it's not a bad thing.

Weaknesses: Chocolate. 

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!) Someone swooned. 

If nothing else, doesn't this make you curious?

As he fell onto the bed, gasping, he realized it was the first time he'd had sex in his new body—was it the same as losing his virginity? Tyler, still erect, rolled over him and Hideki obligingly closed his fist around his erection and gave him a couple of rough strokes, perhaps rougher than normal. He didn't want to like Tyler, not matter how much of a skilled lover he proved to be. Or a damn good pilot. Tyler came a few second later, hips moving in an aborted gesture, and it was over. They'd had sex and they hadn't
even kissed properly. Hideki collected his breath and sat up, ready to throw Tyler out. They were not going to have some post-sex cuddling session, and they both had battle data look over.

"Going so soon?" Tyler asked, sitting up as well, sweat gleaming on his body.

Hideki's body took notice and Tyler smirked. "Impressive recovery time, Inspector."

"You should leave."

"What a lovely personality you have there," Tyler said, rolling to his feet, adjusting the emergency helmet loop he still had around his neck like a comical looking necklace. "Did it come with the body upgrade?"


Hideki looked up as Tyler unsnapped his helmet loop and brought the sharp end down on Hideki's neck, hard. Hideki's vision swam. He struggled to get to his feet but his superior strength failed him and he fell to his knees, gasping. He opened his mouth to shout, but all that came was a hoarse gasp before his face hit the floor.

What is one mistake you’ve made during your writing career that you’ve learned and grown from?

I think I've learned not to depend on others, when it comes to writing. 
Not everyone will like my plots / characters, there is no universal equations for pleasing every single reader. 
If I want correct my mistakes, I should go back and do it myself. 
And even the most well meaning friends will give me advice on plot, character … but if I want to write something, I should write it and not give a damn. 

How do you think you’d handle yourself in the zombie apocalypse? 

I'm pretty good with a rifle and I can use a two handed sword. I'd like to find a remote place on high ground with running water and kill everything that comes close.  I suppose I should be able to cook what doesn't try to crawl away.

What is the most RANDOM thing to ever inspire you?

Everything inspires me. But a visit to my dentist the other day got me thinking …

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

That's my sister holding one :D

~ ~ ~

On record, Hideki Takamura is the Inspector sent to examine space station Grand Adventure to ensure it meets all safety requirements. In reality, he has been sent to destroy it, and there is an evacuation fleet two weeks behind him. If he fails, it will be his mother and sister who suffer for it—but the job is easier when planning than in reality, especially when it comes to Tyler, the aggravating pilot who will not stay out of his way.

Available from Lessthanthreepress


Space shuttle crashes were never pretty.

Kaishi, seated in the third row behind the bounty hunter transporting a criminal to the Moon base for transfer, had been fast asleep when the emergency sirens went off. A veteran space shuttle traveller and a pilot in his own right, he had his helmet on before he was fully awake but knew it would do little to save him in an actual crash.

The helmets were supposedly designed to provide passengers with air in case of an air leak when they were in space. While it helped with the publicity and reassurance (safety of passengers) of the shuttle liner in case of an accident, in space, when the hull of a space shuttle is breached, it is best not to bother putting on the helmet at all and just pray for a quick death. 

Kaishi adjusted the helmet around his neck, making sure there were no stray hairs caught in his nape before activating the sealant and felt with his fingers to make sure there were no gaps between his helmet and his neck. It was only after he was strapped in and the seats' emergency beacon switched on, that he looked at the navigation display on his arm rest. They were just miles above the Moon surface, which meant there was a chance they'd actually make it to the spaceport or at least, be rescued.

"Please remain in your seats. We're experiencing minor engine failure." The voice of the shuttle pilot, conveyed through the small speaker in his helmet, sounded neither calm nor reassuring. But Kaishi tried to think positively. He desperately wished he hadn't taken a commercial shuttle, that he'd just flow to the Luna Base on his own, damn the red tape and the expenses. His mother had been the one to insist he fly commercial—had told him it was safer.

The odds were in their favour. They were almost at the Moon base, which, though smaller than the Earth base, was the second largest groundside base in existence. True, there were much bigger space stations but it was not the point. The Moon base had emergency personal, medical facilities and everything else needed to handle a space shuttle crash. Additionally, moon gravity was less than that of Earth, reducing the chances of a crash and the lack of atmosphere meant less chance of catching fire. 

Even if he and his seat were to be ejected, there was a greater chance of being rescued before his air ran out since, once again, he was close to a major base. 

Provided his seat didn't drift too far. Which it wouldn't. He would be inside the moon's gravitational pull, no matter how weak. The myth about how budget shuttle seats didn't eject was just that. Anyway, it wasn't going to come to that. He was going to make it. 
The shuttle was going to make it, alone with all the passengers.

They didn't make it.

Just one and a half miles from the Luna space shuttle landing facility, after skimming the surface, Agron-300 crashed into the surface of the moon. The resulting explosion was visible to two of the Moon bases' main domes and it provided the settlers with something to talk about for the next one and a half decades until an asteroid collided with their orbital observatory, providing them with a much brighter explosion. (No one ever mentioned the incident when they lost their mayor during the Luna base weapons display mishap that happened a year later. That was just plain bad manners.)

The initial explosion and the decompression had killed almost all of the passengers. Kaishi struggled to his feet, dazed, forehead bleeding inside the cracked helmet when a piece of the front compartment, carbon bonded alloy as light as aluminium, twice as strong as diamond and only two millimetres thick, propelled through the passenger compartment, pushed by the force of the explosion in the front, and sheered him in two. It sliced through Kaishi easily, dividing his body into two uneven sections. The upper section of his body fell to the carpeted floor of the shuttle.

If Kaishi had lifted his head, he would have seen that he possessed a stump of a right arm, about two inches long, no left arm what-so-ever and no lower body at all. There was surprisingly little blood; the emergency nanites in his blood had kicked in for all the good that it did.

The lower section of his body fell to the floor slowly, crumpling in stages, first the knees hitting the floor followed by a backward slide as if the body was still alive. There was no pain to speak of; all Kaishi was aware of was that he could no longer feel the rest of his body. 
Damn, he thought resignedly. Must have broken my back, again.

Still convinced everything was going to be all right the next time he woke up, Kaishi Yamato died for the first time in his life.

About the Author:

Sandra Bard has been writing stories ever since she was a small girl but she’s only recently started to publish. She loves to make up stories in her head, read books, watch anime (mecha, yaoi), and occasionally visits a fan-fiction site. She lives with her pets (fish, cats and dogs), and has been a volunteer for an organization that takes care of stray dogs (there are many, where she lives), for over ten years. When she has some free time she dabbles in Wushu, Tai Chi, and Yoga to keep herself flexible (she hopes). Her real life jobs involve lecturing at the university and freelancing as a maths tutor. Though she writes romance stories, she still hasn’t met Mr. Right and hopes one day that she’ll be able to rescue him (whoever he may be) from a fire breathing dragon (or something equally daring). She would love to hear from her readers and can be found at her tumblr ( or emailed at

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