For our first April spotlight, we are very happy to welcome Bru Baker, Josh Lanyon, Riley Hart, SJ Himes and TJ Klune 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 second Author Spotlight this month on Aprill 15th, we will feature Anna Zabo, K.C. Wells, Morticia Knight, RJ Scott and Zathyn Priest.
[Question 1] RAINBOW GOLD REVIEWS:
Can you tell us something about yourself that would likely surprise most of your readers?
Bru Baker: I’ve made no secret that I come from a newspaper background, but I don’t think I’ve ever really elaborated on that. I have degrees in political science and journalism and I actually worked for the Army News Service at the Pentagon. I had a White House press pass as well and covered briefings at both the Pentagon and the White House. It was a pretty badass gig. And let me tell you, eating lunch in the courtyard at the Pentagon? So many uniforms, so little time. *fans self* Totally made up for the fact that it often took me twenty minutes to walk to my office once I was inside. That place is enormous!
Josh Lanyon: For the last twenty-something years I’ve been in a Celtic folk music group with my sisters and cousin. We’ve recorded seven albums and performed all across the United States at Irish festivals and Highland games.
Riley Hart: Wow…that’s hard. I’m not sure. I feel like I’m an open book a lot of the time. Um…I don’t eat bread. Haha. It grosses me out and makes me gag. I can’t stand the texture. Weird right? I’m going to feel silly if this was supposed to be writing related…
SJ Himes: I can’t swim and I really dislike getting wet. I can handle a shower just fine, but I hate pools, getting submerged, jacuzzies and hot tubs are a hard limit, and I hate the feeling afterward, where my skin is all wrinkly and it gets dried out. Showers are fine, and rainstorms are ok, but submersion in any kind of water bothers me.
[Question 2] RAINBOW GOLD REVIEWS:
Which character from one of your books would be most likely to make an April fool of their partner and how would they do it?
Bru Baker: Definitely Ian from Finding Home. He’s pretty much just a big kid. He’d been a commitment-phobe before meeting Luke, so he’s grown up a lot, but he’s still goofy and fun-loving. I can see him going for juvenile pranks like glueing the lid to the jam jar shut or spiking Luke’s morning coffee with hot sauce. If a twelve-year-old boy would do it, so would Ian.
Josh Lanyon: Hmm. That’s an interesting question. While there are funny situations and amusing dialog in my stories, that’s not quite the same thing. I wonder if making your partner look or feel foolish is maybe a little mean-spirited? I’m not sure. I can see Will Brandt (from the Dangerous Ground series ) *maybe* trying to bluff Taylor MacAllister into believing something preposterous–especially if a bet was involved. And I can see Fraser Fortune (from Mummy Dearest) maybe pulling some kind of clumsy joke on Drew Lawson, because they really don’t know each other very well yet. I can also see that joke going horribly awry! 😉
Riley Hart: Bryce from Crossroads for sure. He’s a silly, fun loving guy like that. It would probably have something to do with food since Nick’s a chef and Bryce can’t cook.
SJ Himes: This may seem like I’m dodging the question, but I don’t think any of them would. Isaac would, but he hasn’t had his book yet (BHS#4) and Eroch from BHS series would prank anyone, but he’s a dragon. Ghost from The Wolfkin Saga MIGHT if he were in his wilder form and feeling frisky, but he’s likely to try and ambush Kane and try to wrestle than prank someone. I think this might be a case of the author bleeding into the characters—I dislike pranks in general, and after several harsh burns from April Fools jokes as a child, I really dislike them, too.
TJ Klune: Most likely Gus and Casey from How to Be a Normal Person. I can see Casey shaving his beard and Gus not recognizing the weird hipster who won’t leave him alone.
[Question 3] RAINBOW GOLD REVIEWS:
Which of your books required the most research and what was the most interesting thing you learned from it?
Bru Baker: I tested recipes for King of the Kitchen for months to come up with the dishes the chefs would cook on the television show. Duncan is a molecular gastronomist, which is an area of cooking I’d never explored before so it required quite a bit of research and experimentation until I was comfortable writing him in the kitchen. I learned how to spherify liquid and make gravity-defying mousses and foams. It was a lot of fun, but my family was relieved when it was over. They were getting tired of dinners that looked like one thing but tasted like another! Beck was much easier to write because he’s a slow food devotee, which is my favorite style of cooking. The brussels sprouts recipe in the back of the book is probably my kids’ most-requested side dish, though it might be tied with my roasted kale.
I’m actually back in the kitchen developing some recipes for a foodie novella I’m working on, this time perfecting my recipe for duxelles and French-style eggs. My kids are enjoying this experimentation more than the one that involved making potato foam.
Josh Lanyon: Probably the most research that ever went into anything was Strange Fortune, a standalone spec fiction novel. That was a challenging book in that it was my first real fantasy effort so I did a lot of studying the genre itself as well as researching the story. The world building alone was intense. I remember reading about everything from the Indian Mutiny to opium addiction to harvesting rare mushrooms.
Riley Hart: I have quite a bit of personal experience with the mental health system but I still did a lot of research for His Truth. Also, I did a ton of BDSM research for Jared’s Evolution and Jared’s Fulfillment. I am SO damn fascinated with anything BDSM or kink related, especially the psychological aspect and what one gets out of it. It’s about so much more than sex.
SJ Himes: Wolf of the Northern Star. I researched ancient wolf species, human migration patterns between 40000B.C., and when ancient megafauna began to go extinct in Northern Africa and southern Europe. The wolfkin (the wolf shifter species in the books) originated during one of the many ice ages that covered the combined continents of Europe, Eurasia, Russia, and the Far East. I had to find a way to incorporate current information with magic, make it plausible, and then carry it forward in the world I was building without it contradicting too much of the historical record. I enjoy having historical accuracy in my books if I’m in a book set in our current world. The only thing that was flat out not right, contrary to the historical record, is that the species of dire wolves I based the wolfkin upon were native to North America and not Eurasia.
TJ Klune: That would probably be Olive Juice. It’s a book that deals, in part, with the racism behind missing white woman syndrome, the idea that middle to upper class white women who disappear get more press than a woman of color. I knew that if I was going to write about such a topic, I needed to be as informed as I possibly could so I could get things right. It wouldn’t be fair of me, coming from a place of privilege, to write about a person of color and the circumstances surrounding a disappearance without doing my due diligence.
[Question 4] RAINBOW GOLD REVIEWS:
Which book by another author has inspired or touched you in a way that you will never be able to forget it?
Bru Baker: There are so many. I’m a librarian so I’m constantly reading across genres and there are countless books out there that are eye-opening and really made me think or put myself into a different perspective. I love it when a book sticks with me long after I’ve closed the cover. To me, that’s a successful book–whether it’s a romance that tugged at my heart and made me smile or a piece of literary fiction that had me obsessing over the storyline for weeks (my most recent reads that fit that category: Naomi Alderman’s The Power and Sharon Bala’s The Boat People) or even a good narrative nonfiction that entertained me while it educated me (recently that’s been Adam Minter’s Junkyard Planet).
In our genre, the most influential book I’ve read is Mary Calmes’ Change of Heart. It was my first gay romance, and I devoured it in one sitting. Before I found that I had no idea the MM world existed outside of fanfiction. I’d been writing MM fanfiction (as dracosoftie–Harry/Draco is my OTP) for a few years at that point and wishing I could find those types of stories in fiction–and Mary’s book opened that door for me.
Josh Lanyon: The Charioteer by Mary Renault. That book literally changed my world view–and, eventually, my life.
Riley Hart: David Levithan will always inspire me with his words. They make me want to be a better person. It is hands down the best book I’ve ever read. It reached me on such a deep level.
SJ Himes: Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey. I read this when I was a young teenager, just questioning my sexuality, and Vanyel’s life and journey and heartache felt so real to me. I have some trouble as an adult with some aspects of the series now, but the books remain an unchanging favorite and helped me understand that I was normal. I was valid. Saved my life in some ways.
TJ Klune: Lord of the Flies by William Golding. While it’s not my favorite book I’ve read, it’s the one I reread most often, at least once or twice a year. It works on so many levels, and I find that I learn something new with each time that I read it.
[Question 5] RAINBOW GOLD REVIEWS:
Do you have any recent or upcoming releases or other cool projects you can tell us about?
Bru Baker: I just finished book three in the Camp H.O.W.L. series and we’re working on getting book two ready for release. The second book will be out in mid to late June and the third is scheduled for a September release. Readers really seemed to enjoy the first book so I’m excited for them to get a deeper look at day-to-day life at Camp H.O.W.L. and how the counselors help Were teens learn to manage their shifts. It’s so much fun to think about how things like social media pose a threat of exposure for werewolves. I’ve had a lot of fun thinking about what types of classes they’d have. There’s even a bit of werewolf parkour in book two.
Josh Lanyon: I recently started a Patreon account, and that has proven to be an incredible experience. I had no idea how energizing and empowering it would be. I’ve started creating all kinds of exclusive content for my subscribers, including audio books and a serialized novel called Seance on a Summer’s Night.
Although I do have a number of projects from last year that spilled into this year, 2018 is really a year of restructuring and reorganizing for me. Among the projects planned for this year are In Other Words…Murder, The Ghost Had an Early Check-out, Blind Side (Dangerous Ground 6) and Haunted Heart: Spring .
Riley Hart: I released my first gay fairy tale in February called Ever After. I LOVED writing it and it was even better because I got to do it with my good friend Christina Lee. It was so fresh and different. Also, His Truth came out at the end of March and the fourth Metropolis book with Devon McCormack will be out at the end of April.
SJ Himes: I have several! I am currently finishing up the final draft of The Necromancer’s Reckoning, BHS#3, and that one has been giving me the most trouble. I think part of it is saying goodbye (for now) to Angel and Simeon, and letting Isaac take the stage. The next two books out will be the yet untitled Book #2 in The Boys Club, a series I am co-writing with Luna David. The first book in the series, Let Me In, just came out. We are each writing half of the series. I am working on Book #2 of Realms of Love, The River Prince, and it will be out sometime this summer along with The Boys Club Book #2.
TJ Klune: I do! The final book of Sam of Wilds, A Wish Upon the Stars, was released on March 27. In July, I invite readers back to Green Creek for my wolves in Ravensong. On October 26, I will be self-publishing for the first time, something I’ve always wanted to try. It’s a book called The Bones Beneath My Skin, and it’s a queer romance set in 1995 that’s my version of an action movie in book form.
Camp H.O.W.L. (Dreamspun Beyond #7) by Bru Baker is about 238 pages long.
Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….
When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.
Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.
A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge?
Murder Takes The High Road by Josh Lanyon is about 336 pages long. (Release: 4/23/18)
Librarian Carter Matheson is determined to enjoy himself on a Scottish bus tour for fans of mystery author Dame Vanessa Rayburn. Sure, his ex, Trevor, will also be on the trip with his new boyfriend, leaving Carter to share a room with a stranger, but he can’t pass up a chance to meet his favorite author.
Carter’s roommate turns out to be John Knight, a figure as mysterious as any character from Vanessa’s books. His strange affect and nighttime wanderings make Carter suspicious. When a fellow traveler’s death sparks rumors of foul play, Carter is left wondering if there’s anyone on the tour he can trust.
Drawn into the intrigue, Carter searches for answers, trying to fend off his growing attraction toward John. But as unexplained tragedies continue, the whole tour must face the fact that there may be a murderer in their midst—but who?
Color Me In (Last Chance #2) by Riley Hart is about 240 pgs long. This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Caleb White has been a lot of places and made a lot of decisions he isn’t proud of. He’s ready to settle down and figure out who he really is. Where better to do that than Last Chance, the home he was ripped away from at sixteen? A fresh start is in order, but he has no idea how to do that when he’s not even sure what he wants in the first place.
Ryan Daily is a pro at hiding his insecurities. He’s never fit in and has spent most of his life knowing there’s something missing. Just when he thought he’d found it, his whole world fell apart and he lost everything.
Then comes a sleepless night in a twenty-four-hour café, where Caleb and Ryan forge a connection full of laughs, junk food, and whispered secrets. In the middle of their budding friendship, desire blooms unexpectedly. Ryan has kept his heart protected after having it shattered, and Caleb—no stranger to attraction—finds that what he has with Ryan is on a whole new level from anything he’s experienced before. In a world of black and white, they bring each other color.
But life is never simple. When the past comes knocking, Ryan and Caleb will have to reach through the darkness to find the light they see in each other…or risk slipping into the shadows for good.
The Necromancer’s Reckoning by SJ Himes. This book is finished and will be released soon!
Every action has consequences.
For a decade, Angel Salvatore has been the most powerful sorcerer and only necromancer in all of the Northeast. Never one to ask permission nor apologies, he has acted with near impunity for years.
The High Council of Sorcery has come to Boston, and Angel is their target. Charged with numerous felonies, his freedom and family are placed in jeopardy.
If found guilty, Angel’s apprentice Daniel will be taken from Angel’s care and placed in prison. Isaac, his brother, is too vulnerable to be left unguarded, and Angel fears for his brother’s sanity and health. And Simeon, Elder vampire and Angel’s mate, refuses to see Angel convicted under the laws of the Council and threatens a cultural war that could destroy their world. And Angel faces the severest of punishments–the castration of his gifts.
Dealing with an impending trial, a wayward ghost, and a black market ring of thieves leaves Angel on the edge. He thinks he may have a handle until a stranger comes to town…a stranger with his own dark powers of necromancy.
A Wish Upon The Stars (Tales from Verania #4) by TJ Klune is about 450 pgs long.
The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.
But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name, led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices—and the friends he left behind.
Comment on this post for the chance to win one of the following prizes:
1| One Audiobook or eBook Copy of Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker.
2| One ‘All’s Fair’ eBook Collection by Josh Lanyon [3 eBooks].
3| One Backlist eBook [Winner’s Choice] via Amazon by Riley Hart.
4| One Signed Paperback of ‘The Necromancer’s Reckoning’ by SJ Himes.
5| Two Audiobook Copies of ‘A Destiny of Dragons’ by TJ Klune.
You need to be 18 years or older to participate in this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Etc.
6 Winners will be randomly drawn from all commenters on this post via random.org
This Giveaway will end on April 20th, 2018 at 11:59 PM CDT
GOOD LUCK!!! ❤