How to Celebrate the Holidays…

…when you hate them.

Or, in other words, how Scottie celebrates Christmas.

Scottie Monk loathes the holidays. It’s the worst time of the year in his opinion. Here are a few suggestions he has for how to make it through December holiday parties and celebrations:

  1. Don’t.
  2. Seriously. Just fucking don’t.
  3. Have a drink.
  4. Repeat Step 3.
  5. Start over at 1.

As to why, here’s a list of what he hates about them:

  1. Everything.
  2. See above.

Do you love celebrating the holidays? Or, like Scottie, do you prefer to hide until all the fun is over?

 

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Review: The Sin Bin Series

Tracy and Mari from Bayou Book Junkie were kind enough to do a series review of Books 1 – 4 of The Sin Bin.  Here are a few their thoughts on the books:

The Wanderer

“The story is well-written and although a little slow-paced in places, it was an extremely enjoyable read filled with laughter, love and a little steamy sex, as well. ” 4.5 Stars

The Caretaker

“Overall, the book was really good. Fun and enjoyable, sweet and hot and intense, just remember that there are some BDSM elements in it, in case you’re not into it. Very recommendable!” 4 Stars

The Botanist

” Fast paced and easy to read, perfect for a lazy afternoon lounging around. I love the back and forth banter between Wyatt and his fellow Seals as well and Wyatt and Aled. They were funny and had me chuckling throughout.” 4 Stars

The Royal Marine

“Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It was angsty, sweet, fun, hot and passionate. I’m really enjoying every installment and getting to meet this group of great men.” 4.5 Stars

 

Review: The Royal Marine

“By the end of the book, I was giddy and so glad to have had the opportunity to fall for these two men. I’m rating this at four solid stars and recommend reading the entire series.  You’re in for a treat!” ~ Four Stars from Cat Clontz at Divine Magazine

Review: The Royal Marine

“The book keeps its upbeat tone even in face of complications arising in their lives. The relationship shifts and grows as we get to know characters better. It has a nice, unhurried pace. The “I love you’s” come in emotionally charged moment.

It’s a lovely upbeat read designed to lift reader’s spirits and bring a smile on his face. In my humble opinion, everyone can use something this funny and sweet.” ~ 4 Stars, Maya with Gay Book Reviews

The Royal Marine is Live!

Title: The Royal Marine
Series: The Sin Bin, Book 4
Genre: Gay Romance
Release Date: October 14, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
 Add to TBR
 On sale for half price! 
 
Who keeps the Royal Marine’s heart safe when he’s running headlong into danger?
Akash Robinson fuses his Indian and British heritage into his baked creations. His life is all things sugar and spice, especially when a blind date leads him to the older military man of his dreams. Family, friends, and an unwanted admirer all threaten both his sanity and his budding romance.
Hamish Ross carries the names of his lost soldiers on his back. He takes his work seriously with no time for love. All it takes is one impulsive kiss to lead him into uncharted romantic waters.
When a sarcastic baker mixes with a stoic alpha marine, who will come out on top when the flour settles?
The Royal Marine is book four in Dahlia Donovan’s international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.
 On sale for half price! 
 

 

~~~~~~~
Other Books in The Sin Bin Series
The Wanderer
Book 1
The Caretaker
Book 2
Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

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Sloppy Seconds.

Or, why I love secondary characters. lol

If nothing else in my stories stands out, I hope what does is the depth and diversity of personalities. The goal is always to make readers want to know more about the characters—and not only the main couple. The word is so rich and diverse so should the books we write.

I write a quirky collection of characters.

Love writing them.

Love reading them.

L.O.V.E. Them.

One reason why I often include bits and pieces of personalities of people that I’ve met or observed is it adds authenticity. Maybe it’s because I’m autistic, but I’m always drawn to the odd ones. I enjoy building those types of people into my stories.

One of my favourite examples of brilliant secondary characters comes from The Botanist and The Royal Marine. Both are stories where I introduce a group of retired military men and women into The Sin Bin series. They’re an interesting bunch who never shies away from making their presence felt.

For example:

“That explains why I found him underneath his desk snoring like a busted engine and cuddled up to an empty bottle.” Lily propped her feet up on his desk. “I thought you two stopped overindulging after that time in London when you were in your twenties.”

“Lils.” Hamish had tried to block out the memory of getting so wasted that their clothes, wallets, and even socks had been nicked off them. Lily had rescued both of them before their commanding officer had found out. “What happened to being sworn to secrecy? Hadn’t we decided to chalk that up to youthful enthusiasm and stupidity?”

“Stupidity being the keyword. Okay, okay.” She sipped her coffee; her green eyes alight with pure amusement. “So, Earp tells me you met someone last night.”

Some of my other favourite characters are Francis’ grandmother, in After the Scrum. She’s a riot. Her personality shone through from the very beginning.

Dr. Gen who makes her first appearance in The Wanderer is another example. She initially started out as someone who I only intended to be in a few chapters, but her personality brought her to the forefront in The Caretaker.

Genevieve turned her gaze away from Taine and smirked at Freddie. “You’ll thank me later when you’re thinking more clearly.”

Freddie choked on his last bite of spring roll. “Yes, thanks. Twmffat.

“I heard that, Whittle,” she called over her shoulder. “You will thank me later—with a bottle of wine. You know the kind.”

The pets of The Sin Bin are definitely shining stars in their own right. From Speedy the hamster to Ganesh the cat to  Zeus the Yorkie. They bring humour and life, filling in gaps. In many ways, Aled’s plants are equally as important—at least to him.

“I keep telling you not to mock Ringo. You’ll hurt his feelings, and he’ll stop growing.” Aled brought in a tray with two unmatched mugs and a plate of chocolate treats. He set it down and pointed around the room at the various flora. “Mr Navy SEAL, you’ve already meet Ringo, Paul, John, and George. Have I not introduced you before?”

“And you called me bizarre?” Wyatt accepted the Frodo mug, resigning himself to the dubious pleasure of hot tea, and studiously ignored the tightening in his jeans at the brush of their fingertips. “Do you always name your plants?”

“Friends have names.”

For Aled, his plants are important enough that it seems wrong not to treat them as characters in their own right.

What do you love most about secondary characters in novels?

10 Things to Know About Hamish

(this has nothing to do with the post–but who cares lol)

As I wrote The Botanist, I knew the novel to follow it would be called The Baker. It would feature Scottie and Akash. I knew it.  Well, I was partially right. Somehow in the midst of writing Wyatt & Aled’s story, my plans went to hell.

Akash’s story would be next. Only a handsome Royal Marine, of one of Wyatt’s friends, decided to insert himself into the situation. In the end, book four of The Sin Bin turned into an entirely different novel than I intended.

It was better for it.

I thought I’d share a bit about the man who stomped all over my plans for book four.

  1. Hamish didn’t earn his nickname—the hamster. No one actually remembers who started it (probably Lily), but it stuck, much to his chagrin.
  2. His family has a century’s long tradition of military service.
  3. He has the names of all the service men and women lost under his command tattooed on his back.
  4. He makes excellent spaghetti.
  5. All of his friends consider him the most level-headed of their group.
  6. Pets aren’t his thing.
  7. The dating process is a waste of time to him. He’d rather be in a relationship or single.
  8. He loves The Rolling Stones.
  9. He should wear glasses to read, but refuses most of the time.
  10. With the deaths of his parents, Hamish is really the last member of his family left.

So there’s just a bit about The Royal Marine who sweeps Akash off his feet.

Which character of The Sin Bin would you like to learn more about?