March Spotlight (#2): 5 Authors, 5 Questions, 5 Prizes #LGBT #Interview #RGRGiveaway #MMRomance

For our first March spotlight, we are very happy to welcome Amelia Faulkner, Charlie Cochrane, Dean Frech, Jake Biondi and Leta Blake on Rainbow Gold Reviews. They are amazing authors and we hope you will enjoy getting to know them and their books better. Check out our interview with all 5 authors below and don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the big giveaway. Good Luck!

If you found new authors to check out, found out new things about authors you already love, learned about exciting new releases that you can’t wait for, loved certain questions or answers or one or more of the spotlighted books, let us know. The RGR team and the participating authors love to hear from you. If you can share this post on Facebook, Twitter, etc that would be fantastic as well, as we would like for as many people as possible to get to know these authors and have the chance to win the wonderful prizes they brought along.    

In our first Author Spotlight next month on Aprill 1st, we will feature Bru Baker, Josh Lanyon, Riley Hart, SJ Himes and TJ Klune.


What did you want to be when you grew up and how did you become an author in this genre?

Amelia Faulkner: I wanted to be an author. I was bashing out stories on my mum’s typewriter as soon as I was old enough to reach the keys. I deviated off into another career because of that hoary old “you can’t make a living as a writer” chestnut, but in the end not writing is soul-destroying, so I came back to it.

I write LGBTQ+ stories because that’s all I’ve ever known. The straight experience is something I not only don’t grasp, but also something there’s plenty of media out there for, so I didn’t see the point in trying to write straight when I could just write stories that better represent the experiences of myself and the people I know.

Charlie Cochrane: When I was much younger I wanted to be a research biochemist. When I got to university I discovered that I could understand all the theory but I was totally hopeless at the practical side of things. I used to say that I’d probably develop some great breakthrough then accidentally tip it down the sink. So I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and then adult education, before having my three daughters.
The transition to author felt almost inevitable. I learned to read by poring over my big brother’s comics, and subsequently I’ve been a voracious reader (and viewer) particularly of murder mysteries. I’ve also always made up stories to amuse myself or the girls – so when they were all at secondary school and I had a bit of time, I started to jot stories down. I suspect the reason I write about men is that my formative reading (those comics) always involved blokes in the tales they told.

Dean FrechI wanted to be an accountant until I took accounting in High school then I changed to education. I did that until I started working full time and then changed to business…LOL

Since I am a gay man, most of my characters that come to me are gay. After starting to write, I realized I was writing romance novels.

Jake BiondiWhen I was growing up, I always wanted to be a writer, not just of novels, but of TV series as well. As a child, I wrote all sorts of short stories. As I grew up, I began to write novels and had completed several of them by the time I graduated from high school. Looking back, they weren’t very good, but they did help me develop and hone my writing skills. During my college years, I wrote several plays and screenplays, some of which won prestigious awards. I began writing my Boystown series about four years ago when I decided that it was time there was a larger-than-life continuing saga like “Dynasty” and “Revenge” that had a gay focus. Since then, the Boystown series has grown to eight books — and we are working to bring the series to TV.

Leta BlakeOriginally, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, but I was told that it wasn’t possible to be a writer and that I’d need to choose another career. I studied psychology and then, after graduating, through a series of events ended up in the financial services arena for a long time. In the end, I came back to writing and it is everything I could ever want in a career!


Which of your books are you most proud of and why?

Amelia Faulkner: All of them, to be honest. Each and every time I finish a book I’m proud of it, because writing a complete book is hard. It’s work. It’s something many people set out to do and never achieve. Even the older books which might not be up to the standard I expect of myself these days are still finished, and I don’t think I can think any less of them just because I might have been less accomplished when they were released.

Charlie Cochrane: That’s a really hard question. Like asking which child you’re most proud of. All Lessons Learned (the latest of the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries to be re-released by Endeavour) is a very grown up piece of writing, as is Count the Shells from Riptide. Both of them see me in less light hearted mood than I am with much of my work, and with a darker aspect to the plotting. Because sometimes there are large, difficult themes in life to deal with.

Dean FrechThat is like asking a parent the same question about their children…LOL

A Place to Call Their Own – my first novel

Disappear With Me – that I wrote it in four months

Need Your Love – first true romance novel with sex and HEA

Unnamed Merman Paranormal – escape from historical into paranormal

Jake BiondiSince all the Boystown books are related and connected, I can’t really say one stands out as my “proudest.” I’m proud of the entire series. I am grateful that fans from all over the world have connected with Boystown‘s characters and crazy story lines. People have come to love Boystown’s twists and turns — and they keep coming back for more. I’m inspired by the emotional way some readers connect to my characters and I love keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

Leta BlakeI think I am most proud of Pictures of You and You Are Not Me. They were crafted over about fifteen years and I think that the care and attention shows. I also just love those books more than I probably should.


Which character from another author‘s book do you identify with the most and which traits or experiences do you share with them?

Amelia Faulkner: I know this is just me, but I don’t identify with characters in media. I can identify parts of myself that I’ve put into my own characters, but I’ve never been able to look at a character in a book, on TV, or in a movie, and think to myself “That’s so me!” It’s taken me most of my life to realise that these things do happen to other people.

Charlie Cochrane: Oh heck. This answer could turn into an essay! I identify with many aspects of Agatha Christie’s Ariadne Oliver (the writing, the scattiness, the obsession with eating fruit.) I can also see parts of the younger me in Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce, namely the horribly clever little girl who embroiders reality and who invents revenges on people. I am a much nicer person these days.

Dean FrechI identify with so many characters, it’s hard to pick one!

Jake BiondiI have always been a huge fan of Charles Dickens, not only because of his amazing characters, but also because of his serialized way of writing. That style is actually what inspired the way I have written Boystown. While I connect with many of Dickens’ characters, I particularly love Herbert Pocket from “Great Expectations.” I love the morals and values that Herbert espouses, particularly in comparison to those of the novel’s main character, Pip. Herbert is a simple guy who finds happiness in family and friends, not fame and fortune as Pip does. In the end, Herbert marries his perfect mate and enjoys a successful professional life without ever compromising who he is.

Leta BlakeStrangely, I tend not to really like characters I identify with all that much. I tend to see reflected in them all of my faults. With that in mind, I can’t think of a character in a book that truly reminds me of myself. Perhaps my friends would have more clear vision on that front.


What is your favorite subgenre or trope and why do you enjoy it?

Amelia Faulkner: I love anything supernatural: ghosts, magic, vampires, you name it. I don’t care what spin an author puts on them so long as they remain internally consistent. Science fiction comes in a close second. I love stories which explore what we’re capable of, how we react under stress, and how we deal with the unknown and unknowable. Characters don’t really show us who they are until they’re at breaking point.

Charlie Cochrane: As you might have guessed from my earlier answer, I’m mad on mysteries, particularly cosy mysteries. If they have gay characters (or characters I suspect of being gay, as in AA Milne’s Red House Mystery) so much the better. I love to pit my wits against the author, to try to pick my way through the maze of clues and red herrings to work out whodunit. So long as the author plays fair with the reader, of course. I get very cross when they don’t.

Dean FrechI love straight to gay because it’s so sexy and such a fantasy.

Jake BiondiI enjoy reading a variety of genres ranging from the classics to lgbtq literature of all kinds. Boystown doesn’t really “fit” into a single genre or sub-genre because of its diversity of characters and story lines. Boystown is a romantic, suspenseful, thriller in a serialized saga format. It reflects my diverse interests as both a reader and a writer.

Leta BlakeI love young adult fantasy the most because I don’t write it and have no intention of ever writing it. I love that I can go on the ride without picking apart the book or thinking of how I would do it differently. And with magic so much plot stuff can be hand waved as, “Oh, well, magic.” It is pretty much the only genre where I can really lose myself in the story and experience that full immersion of reading that I loved so much as a child.


Do you have any recent or upcoming releases or other cool projects you can tell us about?

Amelia Faulkner: The glorious Joel Leslie has recently recorded the audiobook for Jack of Thorns, with the rest of Season One of Inheritance to follow later this year. The fifth book of Tooth & Claw will also be released (at last!) later this Spring, and Season Two of Inheritance begins this Summer!

Charlie Cochrane: The latest Cambridge Fellows Novella, Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose, comes out on 19th March. You’d have thought that after umpteen books I wouldn’t be all excited by release day, but I am. The thrill never gets stale. I’m also working on the fourth Lindenshaw mysteries book and tinkering with a new adventure for my third pair of sleuths who are just-post-WWII film actors who find themselves caught up with a murder backstage.

Dean FrechMy unnamed merman paranormal will be out in May from JMS books. Here’s the blurb:

Sartin’s amber eyes told his mother and the rest of the pod that he was destined to become a great protector from the day he was born. Mocked by the majority of the pod for his progressive practice of self-injury to lure predators away, Sartin doesn’t feel like he’s leading the life of any of the great warriors his mother and aunts have told him about. Hoping to find a mate at his twenty-third Winter Meeting, an injury and storm take Sartin far away from Winter Cove. Nursed back to health by a land person, Sartin finds love and acceptance. Torn between the adoration and appreciation of the person who saves him and his love of the sea, must Sartin choose between two worlds to find happiness to fulfill his destiny?

Jake BiondiThe most recent book in the Boystown series, “Boystown Season Eight“, was just released on February 14, so that was very exciting. It’s getting great reviews and Boystown fans seem to be happy with this latest installment. When the readers are happy, I’m happy. I’m also working with a few TV producers to bring the Boystown series to television and it’s looking like 2018 will be a great year for that. I think fans are eagerly awaiting Boystown‘s transfer to television. Finally, I’m working on a brand new book series called Majesty. It’s a period piece and I think people are going to really enjoy it. People can keep up to date on all the latest Boystown news at

Leta BlakeI am currently working on the sequel to Slow Heat, a book called Alpha Heat. It focuses on a secondary character from the first book, but does have appearances from the Main Characters of Slow Heat, as well.


Jack of Thorns (Inheritance Book 1) by Amelia Faulkner is about 442 pages long.

All 5 books in the Inheritance series are available on KU for a Limited Time.

The Complete Inheritance Season One Collection can be borrowed on US Amazon Prime.

Florist. Psychic. Addict.
Laurence Riley coasts by on good looks and natural charm, but underneath lies a dark chasm that neither heroin nor lovers can fill. Sobriety is a pipe dream which his stalker ex-boyfriend is pushing him away from. Luckily, Laurence has powers most can only dream of. If only he could control them.

Aristocrat. Psychic. Survivor.
Quentin d’Arcy is the product of centuries of wealth, privilege, and breeding, and is on the run from all three. A chance encounter with an arresting young florist with a winning smile could make him stop. Laurence is kind, warm, and oddly intriguing but Quentin’s wild telekinesis and his fear of sex make dating a dangerous game.

When opposites attract, they collide.
Desperate to fix his rotting life, Laurence prays for aid and accidentally summons a fertility god who prefers to be called Jack. Jack is willing to help out for a price, and it’s one Laurence just can’t pay: he must keep Jack fed with regular offerings of sex, and the florist has fallen for the one man in San Diego who doesn’t want any.

If they’re to survive Jack’s wrath, Laurence and Quentin must master their blossoming feelings and gifts, but even then the cost of Laurence’s mistake could well overwhelm them both. How exactly are mere mortals supposed to defeat a god?

Buy links: Amazon | Audible | Add to Goodreads |  Inheritance Season One Collection

Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose: A Cambridge Fellows Mystery Novella by Charlie Cochrane is about 104 pgs long.

This Book is Available on Kindle Unlimited.

Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being handed a mystery to solve. But why would anybody murder a man with no enemies? And was it murder in the first place?

Buy Links: Amazon Add to Goodreads









Need Your Love by Dean Frech is about 202 pgs long.

In June 1966, ACLU attorney Eron Lassiter attends his uncle’s wedding and makes an unsettling discovery. Though Eron had bowed to family pressure and planned a potential marriage, his long-ignored attraction to other men roars to life when Garrett Emerson, the bride’s nephew, captures his attention.

After serving in the Korean War and going to college later than his peers, upwardly mobile Garrett now works as a loan officer at a local bank. For his girlfriend — fiancée in her mind — Garrett can’t climb fast enough. But none of that matters to Eron, and maybe that’s why Garrett’s so drawn to him.

Together, can Eron and Garrett find happiness amidst the pervasive culture of propriety, honor, and expectation of the 1960s?

Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&NAdd to Goodreads





BOYSTOWN: Season 1 by Jake Biondi is about 286 pgs long. This ebook is FREE on all sites.

One of the most diverse and lively neighborhoods in the country, Chicago’s BOYSTOWN has something for everyone. So it’s no wonder that Jesse Morgan and Cole O’Brien chose to live there upon graduating from college. Ready to begin the next phase of their lives in an exciting new city, Jesse and Cole quickly find themselves at the center of a new group of friends.

Joyelle and Derek Mancini have been happily married for years, but Derek is harboring a secret that could tear them apart. Derek’s brother Emmett is about to discover that his boyfriend Keith Colgan has a past that will haunt them both. Long time couple Logan Pryce and Max Taylor must face a crisis that neither of them expected. And, before they realize it, Jesse and Cole find themselves at the center of it all in the adult playground known as BOYSTOWN. Against the backdrop of the vibrant Chicago skyline, some couples are brought together while others are torn apart, once-buried family vendettas are resurrected, and friends unite to face the challenges that life throws their way. 

Family. Love. Deception. Romance. Power. Revenge. Passion. Betrayal. Welcome to BOYSTOWN!

Buy Links: AudibleAmazon | Smashwords | B&N | Add to Goodreads


Slow Heat by Leta Blake is about 408 pgs long. This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.

A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past. 

Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he’s long since given up hope that he’ll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He’s fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.

When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can’t be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.

But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha–as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn’t sure it’s worth it. But Jason isn’t giving up his destined mate without a fight.

This is a stand alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong happy ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.

Buy Links: AmazonAdd to Goodreads

Comment on this post for the chance to win one of the following prizes:

1| One Print Copy of Jack of Thorns  AND either the Jack of Thorns audiobook OR the Complete Inheritance series [5 eBooks].

2| One Backlist eBook by Charlie Cochrane.

3| One e-Copy of Need Your Love by Dean Frech.

4| Two Paperbacks of Boystown: Season One and three e-copies of any Boystown book [Winner’s Choice].

5| One $5 Amazon Gift Card and one e-copy of Slow Heat by Leta Blake.

You need to be 18 years or older to participate in this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Etc.

9 Winners will be randomly drawn from all commenters on this post via

This Giveaway will end on March 31st, 2018 at 11:59 PM CDT



22 thoughts on “March Spotlight (#2): 5 Authors, 5 Questions, 5 Prizes #LGBT #Interview #RGRGiveaway #MMRomance

  1. I really love this format, so many questions and so many interesting answers. I love the fact that most of these great authors wanted to be authors from childhood…but for Charlie and Dean, who had choosen very different careers… I’m so glad they decided to take up writing, though!


  2. I loved the questions and interesting answers, not from one but five authors. Great way to interview them, and for the reader to get to know them. I am happy they all took writing up as a career.


  3. I love this feature and look forward to the next one. It’s great to see into an author’s mind and to have some of their work in front of you while you do it.


  4. Pingback: Charlie’s newsletter – Charlie Cochrane – Mysteries with a dash of slash, romances with just a pinch of spice

  5. Began reading LGBTiq+ when my son came out about 8 years ago – love HEAs and the romance – I’m interested in knowing what makes these authors ‘tick’.


  6. Thank you for the interviews! It’s been fun learning more about the authors and seeing all the interesting and different things they respond with.


  7. I love author’s interviews. Is nice gettting to know a bit about them. I loved the question about which book are they most proud of.


  8. Thanks for all the interesting Q&A. This is a fun feature! And I am excited to learn the Charlie Cochrane is going to write some more about Alasdair Hamilton and Toby Bowe. I just listened to Home Fires Burning and really enjoyed it.


  9. This is a fun format. Thanks for the interviews, its always fun to learn more about authors. I look forward to the next one.


  10. Thanks so much for the interesting interview questions and thanks to the authors for taking the time to share! I really love getting to glimpse behind the screen to see if they’re as awesome as I imagine they are based on their writing. #authorlove


  11. Thank you for this, you’ve introduced me to some new authors! I’m a big fan of mysteries and never feel like there are enough! Now I have some new ones to check out.


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