Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit & Giveaway: Con Riley

Con Riley is here! Have you read her Salvage books yet? You neeeeeeeeeeeed to! Lucky for you, she's giving away a copy of winner's choice from her backlist. And there's MORE! We have an excerpt from her upcoming, True Brit.

BMBR: What are your favorite M/M themes? 
CR: I’m pretty open to most themes, but I love reading about men who own their flaws, and I adore it when characters get a second chance at love. I’m particularly fond of ‘gay for you’ stories — add a slow burn, and some hurt/comfort to the storyline and I’m a happy reader. My ideal book would encompass all of these factors – people drawn to each other, no matter their past relationships or mistakes, because love trumps all. I’d love any recs readers might like to pass on.

BMBR: What books do you consider Desert Island Keepers? 
CR: That’s easy.

1. The Falls Chance Ranch series by Rolf and Ranger. I started reading these books expecting a little bit of spanky kink, but they turned out to be about so much more. I read them over and over. Although the books are set in America, perhaps it’s the fact that the authors are British like me that makes their writing so accessible. The setting is so well drawn that I like to think the ranch is real, and that I can visit it one day to share a cup of tea in the kitchen with Paul, and then watch Riley, Flynn, Dale, and Jake wash off a day’s dust in the river. Simple pleasures, told beautifully. Even writing this little summary has me tearing up, and that’s why these books are keepers.

2.The Lost and Founds series by Edmond Manning. This series is, in my opinion, the absolute best in recent MM publishing. The talent and the heart in these books stagger me. They are utterly wonderful, full of love, humour, and slivers of utterly perfect heartbreak that make me want to snap my writing pencil.

BMBR: What's your go-to tasty beverage? 
CR: Tea! I am a true Brit, in that respect. I run on strongly brewed tea, milk, no sugar.

BMBR: Do you have any secret talents? Inquiring minds want to know. 
CR: I have a complete inability to care about ‘stuff’. I recently downsized from a very large home to a very small one. Culling possessions was a relief, and I now have only what I need. Life is simple when you only keep the things that matter. I have my kids, my computer, and a comfy chair to read in. I’m a lucky woman.

BMBR: If you had to choose to be one magical beast, what would it be and why? (you don't have to say unicorn...but we won't say neigh either) 
Con: Ha! I’d choose to be Reepicheep from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Small package; huge heart. I have a fanfic work in progress that incorporates a similar character. The summary of that story is, “Patrick’s mouse is magic,” and that’s pretty much the whole plot. LOL

BMBR: Who's your favorite porn star? 
CR: I don’t make a point to seek out porn. It finds me on Tumblr. ;) However, Samuel Colt (@MrSamuelColt on Twitter) is the only porn star I’ve even sent fan mail after he wrote a thoughtful piece on open relationships and being in love. He wrote back to me, so that makes him number one in my book. He’s also has beautiful eyes, so there’s that, too.

BMBR: Do you have author envy? Whose words do you read and think, "GAH, I wish I wrote that!"? 
CR: Edmond Manning seems to write fearlessly. There’s no standard MM format to his work, and I really appreciate that he trusts readers to expect more than the same old same old. Sarah Black writes similarly in that every single story I’ve read of hers provokes real emotion I identify with. I ‘hear’ real lives lived in her words way beyond the text on my e-reader. Jordan Castillo Price can do no wrong. Again, this is a writer who seems driven by story first above everything else. Her characters are very real to me, every time, in every book, and that’s a gift.

BMBR: Any new projects you're currently working on? 
CR: This is where I have to give a shout-out to the best writing group in the world: Jay Northcote, Annabelle Jacobs, N.R. Walker, Teegan Loy, T.M. Franklin, and Posy Roberts.

Their relentless bullying support means that I just completed my sixth novel, during a year I hadn’t expected to even finish a short story.

This time, I’ve written a book set in Britain about two guys, Ed and Pasha, who have every reason in the world not to fall in love. Its working title is True Brit, and I hope I’ve captured the spirit of my diverse nation as well as Ed and Pasha’s journey from enemies to lovers.

True Brit is about a contest that has a single prize. Winning means the world to both men for very different reasons. Working together could get them to the final, but Ed’s background as a British soldier and Pasha’s Afghan heritage add layers of pressure.

This excerpt reveals one of their strategies for success.
“And I don’t think that verbal affection on its own will cut it either. We should… We should probably touch. A lot. But naturally, you know? As if we have a hard time keeping our hands off each other.” 
“Like this?” Ed reached for the half-full mug Pasha clutched to his chest, and made sure both of his hands covered Pasha’s for an extended heartbeat as he slowly took it from him. 
“And like this?” Ed pushed the strands of hair that covered his eyes to one side. “Hi.” 
This time Pasha slowly smiled instead of answering. 
“And what about if we hold hands?” Ed awkwardly threaded his fingers through Pasha’s. “Is that too much, do you think?” 
Pasha shook his head. “No.” He cleared his throat. “No, that’s exactly what I meant by natural.” He tugged his fingers away, and wiped his palms on his trousers as if they were sweaty. “You’re taking to this much faster than I thought you would.” 
There wasn’t much Ed wouldn’t do to get to the finals. “It’s all about motivation,” he explained. “And repetition.” He grabbed Pasha’s hand again and looked carefully where their fingers knit together. “Like stripping down a rifle and putting it back together. You do it over and over until it stops feeling clumsy.” He turned their joined hands over, studying them from another angle. “And then you do it some more.” 
 Ed let Pasha’s hand fall. He didn’t look down at all when he next reached out. Their hands slid together easily—a key snug in its lock. “There.” Ed held on for longer this time, and Pasha returned the steady pressure. 
They were both quiet. Traffic was a constant rumble that kept them company, and somewhere close by there was the faint sound of music. 
“Can I sit with you at dinner?” Ed asked. He smiled when Pasha nodded. “Then maybe we could find somewhere out of range of the cameras. Talk about how to play tomorrow.” 
Pasha silently agreed again. 
Ed twisted his wrist to look at his watch, Pasha’s hand still firmly in his. “We should go and join the others.” 
Still Pasha said nothing. 
“Is this okay?” Ed squeezed his fingers. 
“Yeah,” Pasha blinked a few times. “Yeah. It’s perfect.” 
“Let’s go, then.” When Ed tugged at his hand one more time, Pasha followed where he led. 

True Brit will be my first self-published title. I’m aiming for a December/January release date, and I can’t wait for you all to read it!

Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook or Goodreads for regular updates about the publication route I plan to follow. 

You can find my books here:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Dreamspinner Press

Thank you so much for letting me celebrate the blog’s anniversary!

Thank YOU for stopping by with goodies AND an excerpt! Woot!

To enter to win an ebook from her backlist please leave a comment on this blog post and let us know your name and a means of contacting you (e.g., email, Twitter handle, link to Goodreads account, etc.) 

The giveaway is open until 10:00PM (Pacific time) on 12/2/14. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner whom we will select using a highly scientific "names in a hat" method (or, you know, an internet randomizer). Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner.

Thanks for celebrating with us & GOOD LUCK!


  1. Thanks for the interview, excerpt and contest! Congrats on completed your sixth novel! True Brit sounds great.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  2. Thanks for the post and interview! I need to go look at your books, I was only aware of two of them. Congrats on finishing #6.
    Jen, jczlapin(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. I need to learn to downsize more stuff myself and a good ability to be able to let go.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

  4. I feel like I'm not a True Brit now! I hate tea and love black coffee! LOL bjel at btinternet dot com

  5. Oh, I love that excerpt! I'll have to check out some of Con's books, because I don't think I've read any of them yet. ;)


  6. Oooh, a new book. Can't wait. Aiden' s Luck is one of my absolute favorite books. I just added the audio book to my collection and it was fun to listen to also. I have been waiting forever for more of the guys in this series. Dmdkindle at gmail dot com

  7. Thanks for the excerpt. I have 2 of your books. Have to reread them. thanks for a chance to win something from your back list

  8. Congrats on self-publishing! I loved all of the Seattle Stories but After Ben was my favorite, so beautiful and moving. Also really liked a Salvage but haven't gotten a chance to read Jamie's story. Thanks for the chance to win.

    waxapplelover (at) gmail (com)

  9. Yay I'm so glad you're having another release, I'm sure I've read all your books and have been waiting for more. That was an awesome interview and you mentioned all my fav authors.

  10. Thank you for a chance to win one of Con Riley books, awesome :) After Ben is one of my favourite reads and I have admit that within the first few paragraphs I did cry as the author sensitively portrayed the the profound loss of a life partner by a few simple words and actions.

    Oh I love Rolf & Ranger's Falls Chance Ranch series and I am currently following two of the ranches extended family, Tom & Jake's, Mount Everest journey and at the moment we* have been left literately on a cliff hanger and the next chapter should be out soon. *You have to belong to their Yahoo group to read current episodes, but the first few books are available to read online.

    I am looking forward to True Brit.

    1. sorry - slholland22 {at} hotmail {dot} com

  11. Congrats, Denise! You are the winner of this giveaway. :)