Saturday, November 21, 2015



Monday, October 26, 2015

‘Spanish Bay’ by Hans M Hirschi - Book Tour Launch + Review


Spanish Bay by Hans M Hirschi

Spanish Bay
Genres: Romance, LGBT
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
196 pages 
Release Date: October 10, 2015



Spanish Bay is a feel-good novel about two young men who, despite having the odds stacked against them, never give up, always see the silver lining, work hard, and are committed to their families, come what may. Chris, a Texan native who recently moved to Carmel, rescues wheelchair-bound Neil from bullies. Neither question the love that develops between them, although their life together is not without challenges. When Chris’s parents die in a car accident, their young love faces the ultimate test. Will they be able to cope with the additional responsibility of raising Chris’s baby brother Frank, who is also confined to a wheelchair?

Spanish Bay is about love overcoming obstacles, and finding happiness, wherever you are.

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Check out the trailer for Spanish Bay

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If you were at GRL 2015, you might have noticed the queen was visiting, but not any old queen. No. This was the Queen of Unconventional Happy Endings. I can't imagine who bestowed that title upon them...


When I signed up to the Spanish Bay blog tour, I'd hoped to have more time to put this post together so I could add a little extra something. Alas, I am not King Cnut (and no, that is not a typo, and yes, there are several ways that this can be read...).

It pays testimony to how well established an author is when they can a) get a reputation for unconventional happy endings, and then b) write a novel with a happy ending that is unconventional only if compared to their back catalogue. This is, of course, to say that Spanish Bay by Hans M Hirschi is perhaps the first of his novels where the ending is more the typical HEA we associate with MM/gay romance.

This is the story of Chris, a twenty-one-year-old Texan on a 'road trip' that he didn't make through choice. Indeed, he is not from the sort of background that affords the luxury of road trips, which is how he ends up in Carmel, California.

It's a romance, so it's also Neil's story. Neil is nineteen and about to graduate high school. His family background is very different from Chris's; his parents are supportive, accepting, and comfortably well off.

When Chris and Neil connect, Chris is taken aback by the contrast between Neil's parents and his own, and it's lucky for Chris, because when tragedy strikes, it is Neil's parents who come to the rescue.

But Chris is bigger than the sum of his parents and upbringing.

A review isn't the place for a synopsis; nor is it the place for giving away too much about a story and spoiling other readers' enjoyment of it. That said, the blurb tells us that Neil is disabled. He's a wheelchair user, but it's largely irrelevant to the story. It's a very small part of Chris and Neil's new relationship, and only enters into the story at points where Neil is limited by the able-bodied design of the modern world. Stairs and no elevators, pedals in cars, counters that are too high - these are all familiar obstacles to people who rely on wheelchairs.

Hans Hirschi doesn't keep pushing it in the reader's face, though. It's there, as part of the narrative of Neil's life. It's relevant to how Chris and Neil first meet. It is an aspect of their romance that is explored with dignity and given as much on-page consideration as it needs. There is far more to this story than that.

It is difficult in one novel to go from first encounter to established relationship without that first encounter feeling like 'instalove', as the more cynical would call it, or 'love at first sight', as us romantics see it. It does happen in real life, and often. Without getting fully onto my soap box, it irks me when readers use it as a stick to poke a story with, and it says more about them than the story they are reviewing.

In summary, Spanish Bay is Hans Hirschi's most typical romance to date. As always, there are obstacles to be overcome, and the mix of acceptance and rejection from family members. There is some tragedy, but it's nowhere near as gut-wrenching as one might find in Hirschi's other novels. What's also different this time, is that it is a novel for all ages - young adult and upwards. It's a story of hope, optimism, determination and success.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End

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Tour Dates
Oct 12th Happy Geek Media Tour launch & Excerpt
Oct 13th Bike Book Reviews Review & Unique Excerpt
Oct 13th Alina Oswald Unique Excerpt
Oct 13th Spectra Unique Excerpt
Oct 14th Unconventional – Expressions of Reality Review & Music Playlist 
Oct 15th Michaela Writes Unique Excerpt
Oct 16th Muffy Wilson Literotica Guest Post, Playlist, Author Q&A
Oct 19th Art, AIDS, & Others Author Q&A
Oct 20th DP’s Cafe Unique Excerpt
Oct 21st Photography, Poetry and Indie Authors Music Playlist
Oct 22nd De-Blog Review
Oct 23rd Blak Rayne’s Blog Unique Excerpt, guest post, Q&A
Oct 26th For the Love of Men Unique Excerpt
Oct 27th E-Book Builders Excerpt & Playlist
Oct 28th The Story of Being Dark Spotlight Special
Oct 29th Kelly S. Gamble Guest Post & Playlist
Nov 2nd Caddy Rowland: Slice of Life Guest Post
Nov 3rd Wake Up Your Wild Side Guest Post
Nov 4th The Gar Spot Unique Excerpt
Nov 5th Sarah Bell Reviews Review, Playlist
Nov 6th KP’s Cafe Review & Recipe
Nov 9th Kryssie Fortune Spotlight Feature
Nov 10th Nic Starr Guest Post & Music Playlist
Nov 11th Rainbow Gold Reviews Review
Nov 11th Just Olga Review, Unique Excerpt, Guest Post
Nov 11th GayListBookReviews Review
Nov 13th Happy Geek Media Review & Closing Special

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Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years. A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.   The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.   A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”   Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union and the Writers’ Center in Sweden.

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Spanish Bay Tour brought to you by…
Happy Geek Media

Sunday, October 11, 2015

BIKE BOOK REVIEWS!!: MY FABULOUS FIVE (includes Checking Him Out!)


Includes my (free) story, Checking Him Out! :)

Also in the Checking Him Out Series...


Monday, September 28, 2015

My covers and the lengths I'll go to...

So there I was, in the midst of responding to Q&As for our* Where the Grass is Greener** blog tour when my co-author just chucks in an answer that leads to this blog post.

* 'our' being the delectable and awesomely talented Raine O'Tierney and my adequate self
**  Out today! 28th September, 2015 - Where the Grass is Greener

The short version of a very long (two months) journey...

I wanted a cover for my novel, When Skies Have Fallen, which was appropriate to the era in which the story is based. The story begins in 1944, when RAF corporal Arty Clarke meets USAAF technical sergeant Jim Johnson at a local dance hall. The novel follows their romance from 1944 through to 1967, against the social backdrop of war, post-war, persecution of homosexuals and decriminalisation of homosexuals in 1967 (in England).

Now, there are a lot of old black and white photos of men being affectionate with each other—some of whom are definitely men who love men—around the internet, and I spent a while tracing them back to source. I approached the guy who owns the collection, which is a collection of great social/historical significance. I asked if I could use one of the images. I even offered to pay what I'd previously paid for a licensed image from another charitable concern of historical significance (The Freud Museum). I can only assume my offer was insufficient, but When Skies Have Fallen is a free story, published as part of Love is an Open Road (, so I couldn't afford to pay more.


I was searching for cover ideas for another book entirely, when I came across an image of two men, which was nothing at all like what I'd been looking for, but it had potential.

This montage shows the stages in the process of, as Raine said in the Q&A that led to this post, how I "turned two VERY modern boys into the WWII era dolls they are on the cover."

Cool, huh? Just don't look too closely. ;)

Thanks for reading.

Deb x

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Taking Him On - Excerpt #2 and preordering...


I posted an excerpt of Taking Him On, and people asked for more, haha. Who am I to refuse? Excerpt #2 is below.

You can read excerpt #1 here:

(Some preordering up and running now - visit

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"Bloody hell, that boy can talk," my dad said. "Have you asked him to marry you or something?"

I nearly choked on my fries.

"Don't be mean, love," Mum beseeched on my behalf. "They're only kids."

Dad picked up his burger and tore a huge chunk out of it, and then continued with his mouth full. "What are you gonna do when he goes to London, son? Go with him?"

I closed one eye so I couldn't see the food sloshing around. "I can't, Dad. I don't finish uni for another year."

"Go to a different one then."

"You can't just change university like you can school."

"I don't see why not." Dad swallowed his food and washed it down with a generous swig of lager. I waited, expecting him to continue, but apparently he'd said his piece, and he carried on eating like a caveman, pausing only to say 'all right' to Matty when he returned. Understandably, Matty's appetite had suffered over the past few days, but he seemed to be taking his inspiration from my dad and tucked in hungrily, finishing his burger but leaving his fries so he had space for some of the cheesecake he'd spotted on his way back to the beer garden. When the staff came to collect our plates, Mum ordered dessert for her and Matty, and Dad went off 'to the dunny', he said. If I'd liked gambling as much as he did, I'd have laid money on being able to find him at the fruit machine.

As soon as he was gone, Matty went and sat next to my mum, who automatically put her arm around him, and he cuddled close. Neither of them said a word, but they didn't need to. Their actions said it all. Strangely, I didn't feel the slightest bit put out by Matty needing my mum instead of me. Was that because I saw Adam as competition? God, I hoped not. We had enough in common already without adding another trait to the list.

Their desserts arrived, and Matty returned to his seat next to me, offering me the first spoonful of his cheesecake. It did look delicious, but I resisted and steered the spoon towards his mouth. He pinched his lips together just as I got there, and he ended up with cheesecake all around his mouth. I knew his game. Unfortunately, I'd cottoned on a bit too late.

"I hope you're gonna clean up," he said, inching closer.

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Taking Him On is part of the Checking Him Out series, focusing this time not on Sol and Adam, but on Adam's younger brother Noah and his boyfriend Matty.

It's almost a year since Noah told Matty they needed to cool it, believing it was the sensible thing to do. After all, they were too intense, and they were both failing uni.

Now, with Matty just weeks away from taking up his place at a prestigious London dance academy, Noah is desperate to make the most of the little time they have left. It's only temporary separation, and they are forever. Or so he'd thought.

 Available from 5th September, 2015 in ebook and paperback

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dark Side of Stardom by Christopher Stone

Christopher StonePublisher: MLR Press (May 30, 2014)
Category: GLBT Romance, Hollywood
ISBN: 978-1608209415
Tour Date: June/July, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 285 Pages

Fame is fickle, and stardom's flip side harbors and reflects darkness. Stardom on a network situation comedy had been Grant Jackson's lifelong dream. Ambitious, young, sexy, and willing to do almost anything, Grant makes his dream come true at age twenty-three.

When we meet him, in 2004, Grant Jackson is a star of NBC-TV's "Our House". The reality of television stardom is heady and intoxicating. As a songwriter once put it, "The sound of applause is delicious, it's a thrill to have the world at your feet." And Grant's newfound celebrity lives up to his expectations:

The money, the recognition, striving for creative excellence and rating numbers every week. But stardom's flip side harbors and reflects darkness. The knives are always out. One of Grant's co-stars harbors a cocaine addiction. Another co-star masks a career-busting sexual secret---as does Grant Jackson himself.

View the Trailor:

Listen to Chapter One of 'The Dark Side of Stardom' by Christopher Stone:

Praise for 'The Dark Side of Stardom' by Christopher Stone:

"I really loved this book! It is quite the page-turner, between wondering if Grant, a former porn star, is going to be forced out of the closet, to the dramas he faces working on a legitimate television sitcom. Not only that, but it is a very emotionally involving story. We truly care about Grant and his long-term partner Cam, so we want them and their relationship to succeed every step of the way. Since we care about them so much, it’s the small details of their lives that truly make the story what it is.  I also really loved the ambiguous ending, and am hoping that the author will make it a trilogy!  A fun, sexy exploration of Hollywood life."- Rebecca VanDusen, Amazon Reviewer

"The Dark Side of Stardom kept my attention from start to finish. Dealing with issues of fame, love, and sexuality from a unique perspective, it sheds light in areas that often remain dark and unspoken of. A perfect book for a rainy day, or whatever the weather for that matter. I highly recommend it.”- Rich Kendall, author of 'The Road to Elmira'

Praise for 'Frame of Reference' by Christopher Stone:

"This book was recommended by one of my gay friends and I must admit, as a straight lady, I wasn't sure it was something I would be interested in reading. Glad I took the plunge. Interesting characters, in an interesting Hollywood setting that the writer is very familiar with.
I loved the references, by the main character, to all the TV. and movies. Clearly, Mr. Stone has done his homework. The sex scenes, (while a bit too much information for me!) will be much appreciated by the appropriate audience - in other words, quite hot!
Still, no romance novel is worth its salt without a good story line. Again, Mr. Stone has shown his mettle. The characters are well developed and the story interesting as a young man fights his way to the top of the heap. Bring on the next book, sequel!"- Sharyn St.Clair, Amazon Reviewer

"I only have good things to say about this book from a literary point of view. The characters are well-developed and Christopher Stone’s writing style is superb. I enjoyed going with Grant on his journey of self-discovery and look forward to seeing what happens next in his life. In case the description of the book isn’t clear enough, this is a gay romance, so readers should not be surprised about the fact that the sex scenes are between two or more men. The sex scenes are not the whole of the book, and they are not overly-explicit, but they are more explicit than the average romance novel.
I truly enjoyed this offering by Christopher Stone, and I will definitely be putting him on my list of authors to look for in the future."- Brriske, Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock

"This book is definitely not in a genre I ordinarily read, so when a friend recommended it to me, I was admittedly a little skeptical. Skepticism, however, soon turned into genuine delight. Using an almost Christopher Isherwood, I-am-a-camera-like precision, Stone expertly evokes the world of a young gay man from a small town who struggles to establish himself as an actor in Hollywood.
Written vividly and wryly, the book is by turns touching, exciting, erotic and dark, and is always compelling. The characters were full-bodied (in more ways than one!) the dialogue was realistic, the situations off-beat and interesting. When I finished the book, my first thought was, "Bring on the sequel!" I can give "Frame of Reference" no higher praise than that!"- Robert J. Van Dusen, Amazon Reviewer

"I stumbled on Frame of Reference at the nail salon. A lady was reading it and would read passages to the entire shop. So, I bought the book. What an eye opener into the world of gay young men. Being raised in Hollywood as a non-gay, I had no idea about this vibrant subculture. Being mature and growing up in a movie family, I understood all the references to movie stars, TV shows, and cinema. Do read it, you won't be able to put it down!"- Dee Lewis, Amazon Reviewer

Christopher Stone About Christopher Stone:

Born in Bronx, New York, and raised in Fresno, California, Christopher Stone’s early years were dominated by school, watching television and motion pictures, bicycling, skating, and reading avidly. Summers were spent swimming, and doing whatever it took to survive the oppressive San Joaquin Valley heat. But he also remembers fondly the yearly summer trips to New York, to visit family and friends – and to see Broadway shows.

Christopher left Fresno, for Hollywood, California, during his college years after being accepted into the Writers Guild of America’s Open Door Program, a two-year, scholarship, training ground for aspiring screen and television writers. As it happened, rather than a teleplay or screenwriting gig, his first professional writing job was in journalism – as the Los Angeles Editor for Stage Door, at that time, Canada’s equivalent of the U.S. entertainment trade weekly, Variety.

Christopher would later use his Writers Guild of America training to co-author and sell the original screenplay, The Living Legend, with Jon Mercedes III, to the Erin Organization, and later, and also with Mercedes, to write two seasons of The Party Game, a Canadian TV game show.

As a young freelance entertainment journalist, he contributed to many Los Angeles-based publications, among them The Advocate, for which he wrote a breezy film column, “Reeling ‘Round,” and the Los Angeles Free Press. During this time, he became a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.

Christopher dipped his toes into the world of motion picture advertising and publicity, as assistant to the West Coast Director of Advertising and Publicity for Cinerama Releasing Corporation, in Beverly Hills. At the same time, he also did special advertising and publicity projects for 20th Century-Fox. Christopher went on to become an Account Executive for David Wallace & Company, a public relations firm specializing in entertainment accounts – and located on West Hollywood’s legendary Sunset Strip.

Returning to his first love, writing, Christopher became a full time freelance contributor to national consumer publications including Us, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, McCall’s, In Cinema, and The National Enquirer, among others. Many of his stories were syndicated worldwide by the New York Times Syndication Corp.

Another important area of endeavor for Christopher Stone was Re-Creating Your Self. A Blueprint for Personal Change that he first developed for himself, the journalist went on to teach the principles and processes of Re-Creating Your Self to others – first, in private sessions, later, in workshops and seminars, and, finally, for California State University Extended Education. Eventually, one of his students suggested he write a book version.

Re-Creating Your Self was first published in hardcover by Metamorphous Press, and subsequently published in a trade paperback edition by Hay House. It has since been published in Spanish, Swedish and Hebrew language editions.

When not writing, Christopher used his longtime interest in, and study of, metaphysics, to teach meditation and psychic development classes – first in Beverly Hills, then later, in Manhattan Beach.

He went on to co-author, with Mary Sheldon, four novellas for a Japanese educational publisher, and then, also with Mary Sheldon, the highly successful The Meditation Journal trilogy of hardcover books. Subsequently, he returned to journalism, this time, contributing hundreds of print and online entertainment features, columns and reviews to magazines and websites. For eight years, Christopher was the Box-office Columnist for, a popular online motion picture site.

In his private life, Christopher Stone met David M. Stoebner on May 17, 1994, and they have been together ever since. ?In 2008, they were married in Los Angeles.

They share a home with their three pets in Coastal Los Angeles County.

In 2013, Christopher’s pet project has been transforming their rarely used kitchen table area into a killer, retro 1950s Diner Nook, complete with a 1952 Seeburg Table Top jukebox, a neon diner sign, and a malt machine.

Christopher’s first novel, Frame of Reference was e and print published, in fall 2012, by MLR Press. A short story, Sweet Homo Alabama was published by MLR Press, December 19, 2012.

Stone spent much of 2013 writing Frame of Reference 2: The Dark Side of Stardom, a sequel novel to Frame of Reference, as well as, Abracadabra, and a short story, published at Halloween. But the indefatigable scribe also found time to contribute weekly reviews, columns and interviews to Queer Town Abbey.

Christopher is currently writing Going and Coming, a novel laced with metaphysical themes, and wrapped around the character of Dr. Minnow Saint James, a highly successful Past Life Regression Therapist, and the author of a best-selling nonfiction book. Christopher hopes Going and Coming will launch a series of Dr. Minnow Saint James Metaphysical Adventures novels. As of this writing, Going and Coming is tentatively scheduled for November 2015 publication, by MLR Press.

On a personal note, Christopher and David adopted a five-month-old Yellow Lab puppy, Sammy (Samantha Stevens), on February 6, following the sudden passing of their beloved Yellow Lab, Gracie, on January 22.


Buy 'The Dark Side of Stardom' by Christopher Stone:

MLR Press
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound

Follow 'The Dark Side of Stardom' by Christopher Stone Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews  June 18 Giveaway

Nautical Star Books June 22 Excerpt

JJ's Kinky Books June 23 Review & Excerpt

Deborah Patterson June 24 Review

Sapphyria's Steamy Books June 29 Excerpt &Giveaway

Teddy Rose Book Reviews June 30 Review

Love Bytes July 1 Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway July 1

Michael Mardel July 2 Review

Zipper Rippers July 14 Review & Giveaway

Michael Mardel July 2 Review

Nessa Book Reviews July 28 Review

Steve W.July 29 Review

Alpha Book Club July 30 Review

De-Blog July 31  Review & Excerpt

Christopher Stone