Cover Reveal: Love Unmasked

I got the cover art for my short romance, Love Unmasked, from Dreamspinner Press. Pretty! The story is due out in June:

Aaron Loreto can’t lay claim to being anything as sexy as a werewolf or bearman. Once in a blue moon, he turns into a raccoon. With the predatory members of the shifter community looking down at him like he does actually spend his days rummaging through the trash, he prefers to keep his condition private.

When he meets Philip MacRory, Aaron falls head over heels. Philip is hot, sweet, and open-minded about shifters. Given his past experiences, Aaron’s still terrified to come out… until a night of passion with Philip shows that Aaron’s not the only one keeping secrets.

I’ll post links when it goes up for sale.

And thanks @redheadgleek and @nerdyfangirling for betaing!

Author Interview: Phil Marcello talks about Finding Shawn

Today I’m excited to have Phil Marcello, author of the young adult novel Finding Shawn (Wayward Ink Publishing, aka WIP) on my blog. It’s book one in the new series Dangerous Lives of High School Athletes.


Shawn and Alex have been friends since first grade. Alex, the rock star quarterback, appears to be basking in the limelight of his success and his new romance with Pam. But appearances can be deceiving. 

Shawn is the key man in the football team’s solid defense. He’s also the senior class’ most eligible bachelor. But Shawn has no time to get involved with a girl—at least, that’s what he tells his friends. In reality, he does have a love interest… Tony Valito. 

Side-by-side, the relationships between the two couples blossom.  One in the open. The other in secret. That is, until Shawn’s world erupts when the rumor that he’s gay gathers momentum. In trying to find Shawn, perhaps his friends will end up finding themselves. And everyone will discover how dangerous are the lives of high school athletes.

Read below the cut for an interview, excerpt, and a chance to win a $4.99 giftcard to the WIP bookstore!


Finding Shawn is about a pair of best friends on the high school football team who both fall in love for the first time—Shawn falls in love with another boy, Tony, and Alex falls in love with Shawn’s sister. What inspired you to write this story?

Originally, the story was about Alex and high school bullying. I started writing the story after reading about teenage suicides that resulted from prolonged abusive behavior by their peers. It started out simple. Prominent athlete bullies teen and faces the consequences. But as I developed the characters, to give them depth, the story took on a life of its own. Alex was a reluctant participant transitioning into manhood. Shawn was a modern day Romeo maneuvered into circumstances beyond his control. For him, it was a variation of kismet. As I built Alex and Shawn’s lives I added more characters. For one thing, they both needed a love interest and so on and so on. When a story pours out of you, you have to let it happen.

The writing in this story feels very immediate and fast-paced. At times I got the sense I was watching a movie.

Hmmm. I wonder if they’ll let me play Shawn’s father in the movie? The pace wasn’t planned. It was dictated by the events and the fact the whole story takes place over the course of just one week. It also seems fast because I have to keep two separate story lines going until they merge. What actor would you pick for Shawn and Alex? Come on. Work with me here?

Hmmm … I’m afraid if I told you, you’d figure out that the only movies I’ve seen in recent history are The Hunger Games and Star Wars. What actors would you pick?

Alex is a rock star of a quarter back. So I’d go with Riker Lynch, bass player for R5. Mitchell Hope from Descendents embodies a touch of Shawn’s macho side with his sensitive side.

For a young adult novel, one thing that’s unusual about Finding Shawn is that it’s written in omniscient point of view. We don’t just hear from one or two characters. The reader gets to see the story from many perspectives and learns what’s going on in a lot of different characters’ heads. In that way, the story becomes almost the story of the whole city, or at least the whole high school community. Why did you decide to write the story this way? Was there a particular message or point you were trying to get across in doing so?

Omniscient is the way I write. Why people do what they do fascinates me. If you want a character to grow, they have to work through their inadequacies. They have to be molded by their environment. They have to learn their lessons. Villains don’t have to be 100% evil. Or do they? A good person can make a bad mistake. It can be hard to explain, in a story, why a person did this or that unless you understand what was in their head. I wanted the reader to feel the love, the hurt, the passions, the confidence and the doubt. To me, character development is the meat of the story. I want unforgettable characters. I want you to know them inside and out.

Who’s your favorite football team?

The New England Patriots of course. Is there any other good team?

Finding Shawn is the first story in the Dangerous Lives of High School Athletes series. Can you tell me more about the series and the other kinds of stories readers can expect?

Books two and three are already complete, in short story form. Straight and simple stories. They are self-contained communities of high school athletes embroiled in some type of challenge. There are good guys and bad guys. There is love, drama, fun, and lessons to be learned. But in book two, there is a very dark thread. It deals with athletes who are desperate to succeed and to what lengths they will go to be great. It also deals with the hidden dangers of the Internet. There are mixed-race relationships, sane and dysfunctional families, loyal and not-so-loyal friends and lovers. And just like in the real world, in every community, there are gay people fighting to survive, striving for happiness, just like everyone else.

Finding Shawn isn’t your first book. Tell me about some of your other projects, past and future.

I have four self-published books. Dog Tales contains over 50 short stories about dogs. Almost all are real life stories. A third of them are my own experiences based on four of the most terrific best friends that a man could ever have. The others are stories submitted by family, friends, and internet contributors. They are funny. They are wild. They are sad. And they are rated so you know what you are about to read.

K9-Rescue: A new beginning. A step by step process of rescuing a dog based on details of my last K9 rescue, Barron, who is featured on my website.

Two other books, Nightmare Feast and Unnatural Houses are a collaboration of bizarre and supernatural short stories that my brother Richard and I worked on. They come from the far side of our subconscious. They are as unique as you can get. I love the “Quantum Settlement.” It deals with an initial post life experiences. “I Like These People” deals with a house that has a mind of its own.

But the big one is a young adult fantasy story, which, well, I can’t really say. It sort of, Maze runner goes to Disney Land. So far, I have a collection of twelve short stories that are crying out to be nurtured into full-blown novels.


Pam enjoyed it all. The night, the atmosphere, and Alex. Especially Alex. But she was curious. “I’ve never seen you dressed up. Not even when we used to go to church. You look so….”

“Robert Redford?”

She wasn’t sure how to handle that one. Thankfully, Alex had more to say. “I have many façades, my dear. One for the team, one for my mother, one for school teachers, but only you get to see the real me.”

“I like this side of you. I like every side of you. You make me feel good.”

He could have said the exact same things, plus one. She made him feel like a man. He tried to express it. “I’m the guy who just wants to hold you and protect you from the cold, cruel world.”

Pam got starry-eyed. “I know. Whenever I do something stupid, you’re always there to make me feel better.”

“And looking out for you is a full-time job.”

“So why do you?”

Alex had to think for a second. He knew the answer, but he wanted to make sure that he used the right words. “I’ve always felt close to you. I’ve had a dozen crushes on you. The first time, I was just eight years old. I didn’t know what it was. Girls were supposed to be icky at eight. But you weren’t. It just seems like something always happens to distract me. A new school, schoolwork, Shawn, football, jobs, Shawn. Did I mention Shawn?”

Buy Links

Don’t miss the March Sale! All Wayward Ink titles are 35% off on the WIP website, 30% off on AllRomance, and 30% off on Amazon

About the author

PHIL MARCELLO started writing as a boy in the sixties. Growing up in the projects wasn’t easy, but reading and writing were a couple of healthy vices he picked up along the way. Life happened, but Phil never entirely lost his interest, and over the years he started, but never finished, over a dozen stories. Fortunately, he saved them all and now has the time and desire to complete them. Phil knows it will take years, but as he enjoys writing and views it as his art form, it’s a labor of love he gladly undertakes.

PHIL MARCELLO can be found at:

Licked Author Interview with Adrea Kore

In December I had the opportunity to contribute to Licked, a wonderful pansexual anthology of short stories about oral sex. One of the others to contribute to the anthology was Adrea Kore, an erotic writer based in Melbourne, Australia. She publishes fiction and non-fiction, and is intrigued by both the transcendent and transgressive aspects of sexuality. She did a wonderful in-depth interview about her story with our editor, Jillian Boyd!

Licked is available on Amazon and

JillianWhat would you say your story is about?

Adrea: My story Wet Satin Plaything started off as several scenes of hot oral sex and intense, somewhat kinky sex, where a generally non-dominant woman is driven to a point where she finds her Inner Dominatrix.  It centred around a man and woman in relationship, the man is very into the act of cunnilingus, and gets off on all things associated with it – a woman’s sexual scent, lingerie, wetness, squirting. Seeing how many times he can get his lover to orgasm and assisting her to go deeply into that altered space of sexual pleasure.

But as I wrote those scenes, I realised something darker and more complex was trying to come out – an actual story where I wanted to explore the dynamics of something like addiction – addiction to sex with a certain lover.


Guest Author: Angora Shade

Angora Shade is one of my fellow contributors to the Holiday Want Ads anthology from Torquere Press. She wrote a sexy piece about a woman who takes the bus to look at an apartment she saw advertised in the want ads. On her way there, she has an unexpected erotic encounter with another woman. That’s certainly one way to make a bus ride more interesting!  Get a taste of the action with the summary and excerpt below.

About Compatible Gardens

Bella enjoys making up names for strangers on the city bus and telling herself stories about them. But when Mr. Widebottom pushes Ms. Greencoat’s body and hand into her lap, Bella realizes that for the first time, she’s become part of the story.

Excerpt from Compatible Gardens

Ms. Greatcoat is moving. Her legs, which had shuffled a bit back toward the middle of her seat, press together while her knees angle toward me like an arrow. Her fingers flex under the corner of her bag in my lap, and the back of her hand presses down into me with deliberate force. At first I think she must just be adjusting to the continuous weight of her bag pinning her hand in my lap, but then I question her intentions as things go further. Each bump in the heavily used city street seems to allow her a moment to defy gravity: all passengers bounce, their bags and purses bounce, rise into the air, allowing for Ms. Greencoat’s hand to twist, slightly turn, or roll, until her hand is palm down, leaving it to rest like it’s natural to grasp a high inner thigh. But it’s not natural. Each small motion of her rotation makes my body grow more still, and shivers run down my neck and spine. My breath is loud as I inhale through my nose, and each wave of air burns inside my chest. My stomach drops a little too—a motion my jaw mimics for a moment, but as Ms. Stinkeye catches my face, I close my mouth and swallow hard: pray for me Sister; wickedness knows no boundaries. But is it the wickedness of Ms. Greencoat, or my mistake in thinking her intentions wicked? Apparently, I’m just as wicked. I can’t utter a word to stop her because I don’t want her to. A cold sweat begins to coat my back, as if it’s not enough to battle the heat growing continuously inside my gut and filling every vein from my navel down. It’s not enough to keep my clit from screaming a little lower, a little deeper, a little harder. And it happens. Is this happening?

Agora’s Bio:

Angora Shade is an American author living in what she lovingly refers to as “Sheep Shit Nowhere” Europe. In an attempt to add some spice to her small town life, Ms. Shade began writing explicit erotica as a form of self-entertainment. Exploring the boundaries of acceptable sexual literature, she often seeks to create stories not only to entertain others, but also expose and push against the negative stigma surrounding sex in modern day society. She believes sex in literature, art, personal thought, and physical nature should be celebrated and expressed openly and as easily as any God-given freedom. Her favorite themes in writing include revenge, self-discovery, alternative materials for love play/bdsm, as well as anything that produces a good tingle, sizzle, or laugh. When not writing, Ms Shade enjoys red wine, travel, dancing, classic cartoons, baking, and creating fine art.

Author Links:

New Anthology: Licked

I recently had the opportunity to contribute to Licked, a wonderful pansexual anthology of short stories about oral sex edited by Jillian Boyd. Jilly was a blast to work with! Here, she asks me a few questions about the story, and I attempt to answer:

What’s your story about?

Marcus first learns about oral sex at the age of eight by hearing about the Clinton impeachment proceedings on the BBC—and is immediately grossed out. Funny that just a decade later he can’t get enough of tasting Tommy MacDonald, a fellow teammate on his college’s rowing team.

“Sucker For Love” is a love story told in four acts of oral sex.

What made you want to write a story for Licked?

I love writing about oral sex. It was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.

What was the inspiration behind your story?

Oral sex can be such an intimate act. I thought it would be fun to use it as a focusing lens for a love story; different acts of oral sex over the course of a relationship could show the character’s deepening affection for each other. I also wanted to explore different kinds of oral sex. Marcus is pretty creative with his mouth.

When did you first become aware of oral sex being a thing people did?

I’m not sure, but I had an idea what it was by the time I was seven or eight—even though, like Marcus, I didn’t see the appeal.

Do you like incorporating variations of the act into your stories? Or was it something you wanted to try specifically for this anthology?

My erotica and erotic romances include oral sex more often than not. Mouths are fun!

What’s your favorite euphemism for oral sex, if you have one?

Licking the rainbow-flavored lollipop!

Story Snippet: Sucker for Love

My M/M romance “Sucker for Love” comes out Monday as part of Licked, a House of Erotica anthology edited by Jillian Boyd. I loved writing this piece about a British expat and his American boyfriend—the first time I really let my inner Brit fly in fiction. (People keep telling me I sound British online, so I might as well embrace it.)

Thanks to @agent-girlsname for the Brit-pick!

Here’s the cover for House of Erotica’s upcoming multi-orientation anthology Licked, which will include my M/M erotic romance “Sucker for Love.” There are lots of great authors in this collection, including one of my M/M faves, Rob Rosen. Stay tuned for the release date!