This steamy anthology has something for everyone in it! Check out all of the stories within by some of your favorite authors, as well as an excerpt. And Jennifer Patricia O'Keeffe is telling us a bit more about her own story. Be sure to download your own copy and leave comments and questions for the authors as you follow the tour. Best of luck entering the giveaway!
Although I’ve been toiling with writing for a few years, I’ve only recently ventured out into the publishing world. My first step into this wonderful industry was with DCL Publications’ anthology The Greatest Gift of All. I was invited to submit a story for it and wrote a romantic comedy for it called ‘We Made Snow Angels.’ I got some pretty good comments on it, which made me feel really good and encouraged.
I was then invited to join in on another anthology titled Queens of Hearts, also through DCL Publications. Immediately, I knew that I had to write something special, something funny, something with a bit of romance, and something that would honor my LGBTQ friends. I’m a proud LGBTQ ally and wanted to express my love for the community with this submission.
In keeping with the Queen theme of the anthology, I based my story ‘All I Want is to Be Happy’ on a young black man who works in a bookshop during the day and moonlights at night as a drag queen. Michael – under the guise of stage name Rayne – becomes Queen Rayne after stealing top crown from long-time ruler Madame Vivian at an annual drag competition.
After seeing how devastated Madame Vivian becomes after losing her crown, Queen Rayne begins to consider how her life will be when the day comes that she too is dethroned. In turn, as Michael, he begins to realize how lonely his life has become and decides he needs to make some major changes to find happiness.
Michael was a hilarious character to write – both in and out of drag. Michael is one of those guys whose nerves sometimes get the better of him. I think a lot of us can relate to that, and with Michael, his intentions – sometimes genuine and sometimes a bit dubious – lead him into some hilarious situations that have so far left the readers in stitches and, thankfully, wanting more.
One of my favorite things about ‘All I Want is to Be Happy’ is that I got to honor one of my favorite Queens in the world – RuPaul. There is a scene in the story where the queens gather together before their show and pray to RuPaul for guidance and support. RuPaul has taken the love and appreciation of drag queens into the hearts of new generations and has helped to bring them mainstream, with shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race. After all, no one does it better than the Drag Queen Supreme.
I’d like to extend my thanks to Books to Light Your Fire for hosting me! Thank you to the visitors and readers who have stopped by, and to DCL Publications for including me! Thank you, Goddess Fish Promotions. This is my first virtual book tour, so I hope I managed to keep you interested!
Queens of Hearts
A romance anthology unlike any other, Queens of Hearts will seduce you, romance you, make you laugh, and make you afraid with four very different stories from four different, talented authors.
‘Regina’ by Adesanya
Her name is Queen by definition, and she wears her dreads – dreads she spent half of her life growing – atop her head as her crown. Her name is Regina, and as romance sweeps through the wintry air with promises of Saint Valentine and Cupid’s mighty arrow, she finds herself entangled with a handsome man who knows all the right things to say. As a love affair blooms and romance comes into full blossom, Regina and Clive seem like a match made in Heaven. But is Regina really the woman that Clive believes her to be, or will a dark secret put an end to their cold-weathered fling?
‘All I Want is to be Happy’ by Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe
Michael is feeling down over his life. He works two jobs, has four roommates, can’t afford a car, and he’s as single as they come. Worse yet, after winning the crown at a local drag competition, he begins comparing himself to his nemesis – Madame Vivian, whom he stole the crown from. Now, as a popular author and a missing wallet come into his life, Michael finds himself on a series of misadventures that will either help him see the silver lining of life or drive him further into his self-despair.
‘On Bended Knee’ by Anarie Brady
As the Greek goddess of Springtime and the queen of the underworld, Kora divides her time equally between her husband, sweet and gentle Aides, god of Hades and her dominant, Grant, a.k.a. Grannus, Celtic god of salt water and spa. This arrangement suited all three of them perfectly for years. However, when Hecate, Kora’s handmaiden and supposed best friend decides she’d make a better paramour for Aides, things could change drastically for everyone.
‘You Don’t Eat People You Love’ by Jae El Foster
An infection is spreading throughout the town, and it has made its way to the countryside where a party of high school seniors is underway. When the infection spreads through the party in a most savage way, Bethany and Tommy must flee for their lives before they too are either eaten like their friends or they become a part of the living dead. Will sheer determination and the love that bonds their teenage romance be enough to keep them alive, or will they face a fate that is much worse than death?
Read an excerpt:
All I Want is to be Happy by Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe
As he set his cell phone down, the store phone rang.
“Why won’t people just let me wallow in my misery?” he complained, lifting the receiver of the phone. Then, in his most chipper voice, he said, “Thank you for calling Thompson Books. My name is Michael. What reading enjoyment can I help you find today?”
“Is this the guy that was behind the counter a few minutes ago?” came the reply.
“One and the same. Just me until the boss man gets here. Who’s this?”
“This is Stevie Basil,” the voice replied and Michael felt himself go weak. What did the man want? Was he going to lodge a complaint? Michael just knew that he was about to become the latest man brought down by the Me Too Movement.
“Hi, Mr. Basil,” Michael said upon clearing his throat. He was beginning to sweat. “I’m actually reading your book right now.” More flattery, he knew, but maybe directed in a better direction.
“I was just in your store, remember?” Stevie Basil asked him. “I’m the brother on the back of the book.”
Flipping the book over, Michael looked at Stevie’s picture and acted surprised. “Why, oh, my goodness. Mr. Basil, it is you. How about that?”
Stevie took a moment to respond. “Listen,” he said, and Michael perked in his seat – his nervous smile disappearing to a nervous frown. “I think my wallet fell out of my pocket while I was there. Did you happen to see it anywhere?”
His wallet, Michael thought, shaking his head. There goes a fantasy.
He had hoped, somehow, Stevie would have found his memory of Michael so attractive that he’d wanted to call and ask for a date. His head had been stuck in the clouds – a way to advert the thought of being in trouble for flirting.
“Hang on,” he said, now feeing imposed upon. “Let me check.” He stood from his seat and peered over the counter, looking to the ground. There lay the wallet. “I don’t see it,” he replied, suddenly feeling a bit devilish. “Maybe you lost it in the street?”
Available on Amazon
About the authors:ADESANYA:
Although born and raised in Chicago, Adesanya often draws inspiration for her writings from her Nigerian heritage. Her love for the written word developed at a young age, and today, she enjoys sharing her own stories with the world. Sometimes the tales are romantic. Sometimes they are frightening. Adesanya believes that these traits and more are what make up Life in all of its pain and glory, and no matter the genre she tackles, it is always Life that she is writing. Currently, Adesanya resides on the West Coast, USA. ‘Regina’ in Queens of Hearts is Adesanya’s first release with DCL Publications. She can be found online by following her on Twitter @theindieauthor or on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/adesanyaindieauthor.
JENNIFER PATRICIA O’KEEFFE:
Jennifer Patricia O'Keeffe is an author of romantic comedy and anything quirky. She resides in Tennessee, just outside of Nashville where she shares a home with her cats. Ms. O'Keeffe loves to make the world laugh and to find humor and love in the least likely of places. Readers may keep up with her and her writings by following @authorjpokeeffe on Twitter. She is currently working on her first full-length novel Runaway Heiress, and her short stories ‘We Made Snow Angels’ and ‘All I Want is to Be Happy’ can be found in the anthologies The Greatest Gift of All and Queens of Hearts, respectively.
When not dreaming up steamy romance novels, Anarie Brady spends her time cooking delicious meals, sipping beautiful wines, and enjoying her time with her husband of over 30 years. She published her first novel, Conquest of a Fairy, in 2008 and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her novels are available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. She’d love to hear from readers. You can find her at https://twitter.com/AnarieBrady or on Facebook, Instagram, and https://anariebrady.blog. Her recent DCL Publications releases include ‘As I Follow, So Shall I Lead’ in Kings & Queens and ‘On Bended Knee’ in Queens of Hearts.
JAE EL FOSTER:
Jae El Foster is an author with whom you question going to bed with at night, but you dare to venture beneath the sheets with him anyway. As the venture concludes, you are perhaps romanced by it, or perhaps you are frightened by it. Don’t worry because you are always satisfied by it. Despite the title or genre of the book, Jae El sets out to please you with climatic and unexpected conclusions that will make you tremble with emotion. Hop aboard the Jae El train and give it a good ride. Follow him on Twitter @jaeelbooks, ‘like’ him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorjaeelfoster and visit his website at www.jaeelbooks.com. ‘You Don’t Eat People You Love’ from Queens of Hearts is Jae El’s tenth release with DCL Publications.
Adesanya, Jennifer Patricia O'Keeffe, Anarie Brady, Jae El Foster will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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