Do you have a favourite genre to read and is it what you write?

I’m a huge contemporary gay romance reader and have been since I first stumbled on the genre back in 2012. I love the stories, ranging from lighter stories, right through to those loaded with angst. It’s because of my love of reading that I fell into writing m/m romance – I felt there were stories of my own to tell. My own books are usually on the sweeter side as I have a tendency to write that way. That doesn’t mean everything is happy and coming up roses, my guys usually have issues to overcome before they get their happy ever after ending.

What are your favourite types of characters (to write and read)?

I’m a big fan of reading stories about everyday guys – the regular sort of guy you’d meet at the supermarket or a friend’s barbecue or be introduced to at work. That’s not to say I don’t love strong alpha males in traditional hero roles (my Heroes series features paramedics and firefighters) or enjoy writing/reading characters such as bikies or shifters, but my heart belongs with the boy next door.

Quickly, tell us 5 books you love recently.

I’ve just finished a couple of Tal Bauer’s books – The Murder Between Us and The Night Of. All I can say is wow! I love Tal’s characters and the stories he weaves. Before that it was I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour. This was a sweet story with a single dad and I also love to support Aussie authors. Speaking of Aussie authors, I also read the Missing Pieces series by NR Walker. You can’t go wrong with one of her books, so reading three in a series is a treat! And to round out the five, Blood Truth from JR Ward. It’s the 4th book in her Black Dagger Legacy series, a spin-off of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (I’m up to #18 in that series). It’s mainly MF but there are a couple of male/male pairings. Currently it’s the only MF series I read and most of the enjoyment comes from the kick-your-arse alpha vampires!

Can you tell us how you get your ideas for your books?

Everywhere and anywhere! I’ve had books inspired by random ideas that pop into my head, from photos, from book covers that I just had to buy, from YouTube clips and music videos. For example, the Rustic Melody cover came before the story. I have a huge collection of story ideas. I always note them down, so I don’t forget them. I probably have enough ideas to get me through the next decade!

Do you have a favourite type of setting for your books?

I like a small-town setting for books. There’s something special about small towns and their communities. That being said, I’ve written books set in Sydney too. I’m in the lucky position of being able to split my time between Sydney and my house in the country – the best of both worlds – and that comes through in my writing. But largely, each story is unique and the location/setting is determined by the type of story to be told.

And lastly, what advice would you give a new writer?

My main suggestion would be to simply get on with writing the first story. I’ve seen so many people delay beginning their writing journey, perhaps out of fear. They don’t feel in a position to start because they think they don’t know enough about the craft, or the publishing and marketing processes. But none of those processes matter if there’s no book to release and promote. I understand the desire to write a quality story, but I think it’s important to get into the habit of writing, and at the same time, learning about the craft. Research, read, and listen to others. Seek out support groups – other authors are amazing at offering advice and bolstering newbie authors. I’ve found that my own writing has evolved over time, and I’m continuously learning new things. So jump straight in!

Give us 5 points about your book - Fragile Heart.

1. It’s a workplace romance - Jason has a crush on his colleague and the story starts when he decides to act on his feelings.

2. Sean is a good-looking guy, but he lacks confidence and has let his past tragedy alter his enjoyment of life.

3. Both guys have supportive (or maybe interfering LOL) friends who sometimes given them the push they need.

4. Jason’s name was originally Dave - Fragile Heart is an expanded rerelease and as part of the revision process I changed one of the main character’s names. Why? Because I’d given a side character in another book his own story (Rustic Moment) and I didn’t want to end up with two Davids. I couldn’t change Dave from Rustic Moment’s name because he appeared in the first book of the series, but revising this book provided the perfect opportunity.

5. It ends with a romantic gesture – I love grand gestures of romance!

Fragile Heart

The past doesn’t have to dictate the future.

It’s hard to focus on work when Sean Vargos sits a couple of desks away. He’s quiet, well-respected and dedicated to his job, not to mention he’s gorgeous. Jason can’t get him out of his thoughts. Acting on his attraction is frowned on in the workplace but talk of Valentine’s Day and an upcoming business merger gives Jason the push to finally make a move. He’s tired of being alone and he doesn’t want his career to be his key priority anymore.

Sean isn’t looking for an office romance. He isn’t looking for romance, period. Putting the past behind him has been a struggle and he knows better than to think he can fall in love again. But Jason Simpson is hard to ignore. He’s passionate about his job, and he’s also interested in Sean.

The temptation is too much to resist, and they embark on a tentative relationship. Jason falls head over heels, fast. Sean runs.

All Jason wants is to win over Sean’s heart, but first he needs to earn his trust.

Fragile Heart is an office romance featuring hurt/comfort themes, well-intentioned friends, and a happy ending.

Note: This story has been previously published (as A Day At A Time). This edition has been revised, expanded, and re-edited, adding approximately 7,500 words, but the story largely remains unchanged. It is approximately 26k words.

Release Date: 21st April 2021



I have a giveaway open to all readers of the Once and Books blog. You can win my ‘first in series’ books. One lucky winner will get a copy of Charlie's Hero, Rustic Melody, and More Than A Superstar. Plus, as an added bonus, the winner will receive a copy of my upcoming release, Fragile Heart (note: the release date for Fragile Heart has yet to be confirmed).

Click here to enter the giveaway:

Rustic, #1

Rustic Melody

Can a boy from the country and a guy from the city ever make it work? Adam Chambers has never seen eye-to-eye with his father and is reluctant to take over the family’s property-development company. To clear his head and work out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, Adam leaves his responsibilities in the city and heads out to see the country. He isn’t much closer to deciding what to do with his life when he arrives at one of Australia’s largest events, the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and meets Joey Callaway. Since Joey’s father’s tragic death left Joey the family’s debt-ridden pub, Joey has struggled, desperate to turn the business around and give his mum the life she deserves. A break away from the pressures of running the pub is just what he needs, and a hook-up with Adam is the perfect way to forget about his troubles. The one-night stand might just be an opening act. If Adam and Joey can follow the music in their hearts, perhaps they can heal each other and create a melody that will last a lifetime. Honorable Mention ~ 2016 Rainbow Awards

Rustic, #3

Rustic Moment

Betrayal, heartbreak, and financial ruin are only the beginning. The last few months have been tough on Grant Parnell. He discovered his boyfriend was having an affair and it's taken its toll, both emotionally and financially. With his business facing ruin, Grant could lose everything. Dave Monroe is excited to start a new phase of his life. He's following his dream and pursuing an exciting career opportunity. When Grant visits his friends in the country and finds out Dave might be moving to Melbourne, he offers him a place to stay. For Dave, life's looking good. Dave had only met Grant a couple of times before moving in with him, but the simmering sexual attraction is undeniable. As he settles into Grant's home, deeper feelings develop. It's hard not to fall for Grant's gorgeous exterior, but it's the strong man underneath who captures Dave's heart. Grant always craved success. His business and his home are testament to just how far he's come, proving his family wrong and making something of himself--or he had. Now everything is falling apart. As Grant's world spirals out of control, Dave is the one sure thing in his life. But if they are to have any chance at happiness, Dave will need to teach Grant what's really important.

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world. Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told! When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find all my social media links by clicking on the following link:

For Him, 2

Ethan, About last night... I could blame the bourbon. I could say I let things get out of hand, that I should have never called you, but I'm done lying to myself—to you. I know what you're going to say. You're not very good at keeping your opinions to yourself, but this can't happen. It's inappropriate, at best. I'm your boss. Not to mention, you're clearly still hung up on him. I'm not a consolation prize.



Anders, You didn't think it was inappropriate when you had your tongue down my throat, but I digress. As for your accusation, I'm not the only one stuck in the past, but at least I'm not running from it. I can't believe I'm about to say this… Maybe you're right. You shouldn’t have called me. Especially if you never intended to own it. Own that you wanted it to happen. Admit that you wanted me.

Not so sincerely, Yours

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Ethan. Leaning back in my chair, I took in his appearance as he shoved his hands into the pockets of his gray slacks. His hair was damp, a few stray pieces falling over his forehead, dusting his brow line. The sleeves of his blue button down were rolled to his elbows, exposing the lean muscle of his forearms. His pants hugged his thighs as he walked into the room. He even had on a tie. I’d be lying if I said he didn’t look fantastic. His usual cocky demeanor faded as I met his eyes.

“You showed up.” Ethan’s scowl was comical.

“On time.”

I checked my watch, knowing it would piss him off. I couldn’t explain my need to rile him like I did. Our last few email exchanges had made me laugh as much as they’d infuriated me. He was flippant in a way I envied. It made me want to pick at him even more. It was too easy. As predicted, Ethan’s shoulders stiffened, and he sighed.

“I’m running for coffee with Nora,” he said, the strain in his voice evident. “Did you want us to grab you anything?”

“That’s thoughtful of you,” I said and meant it, despite my sarcastic tone. He’d made an effort today, showing up dressed to kill. It pleased me.

“Thoughtful?” Ethan’s lip twitched, holding back a smile. “I figured it was part of my job.”

“Oh…well…”I dropped his gaze and opened up the files I needed for my morning meeting. “In that case, I’ll have an Americano.”

“Do you always get the same thing?”

“Yes…Why? Is that a problem?”

“It’s boring. You should try new things, Anders. You might be surprised.”

I raised my eyes and found his smug smile had returned. Was he mocking me or flirting? Both were inappropriate. “I don’t like surprises. They leave too much room for disappointment.”

“You’re depressing before you’ve had coffee.”

“Usually,” I said as sardonic as ever. He laughed, soft and husky, unflappable. “I’ll make sure they give you an extra shot of espresso then.”

the Giveaway

To celebrate the exciting release of Not So Sincerely, Yours, A.M. is giving away an Exclusive Paperback Bundle featuring a copy of Not So Sincerely, Yours AND Love Always, Wild in BOTH original covers and exclusive special addition covers only available on Amanda's website!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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For Him

Love Always, Wild, No So Sincerely, Your

the Author

Amanda lives in Utah with her family where she moonlights as a nurse on the weekends.

If she's not busy with her three munchkins, you'll find her buried in a book or behind the keyboard where she explores the human experience through the written word.

She's obsessed with all things Austen and Oreos, and loves to connect with readers!

Stay up to date by signing up for her newsletter here:

Connect with Amanda: Instagram @am_johnson_author

Owen Lipke is looking for adventure. When he hears about a ranch in the Muskokas catering to kinky men who don’t want to settle for backroom amateurs, he signs up in a second.

The Braided Crop Ranch

At the Braided Crop Ranch, Owen finds what he’s looking for: A sex-positive space with safety protocols and Doms (trainers) who know their business. And a stable full of well-behaved ponyboys to prove it.

Owen thinks his trainer, Kamal, is hot as hell but finds being a ponyboy isn’t as intuitive as he expected. As he struggles to learn the basics of equine pet play under the firm hand of his trainer, he finds himself falling for the experienced older man.

And perhaps Kamal is developing a thing for the young, adventurous newcomer. But there are rules about fraternizing with staff at the ranch. And Owen wonders if it’s wise to fall in love with the pragmatic trainer who unravels him layer by layer to expose his deepest needs and most secret proclivities.

But perhaps wisdom is overrated. And maybe the rewards of adventure are only achieved when you abandon caution and take a huge leap of faith.

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/12/2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage

Length: 71200

Genre: Contemporary BDSM, LGBTQIA+, BDSM, pony play, puppy play, cowboys, entertainment, sex toys, menage, rewards, punishments, insta-love, voyeurism

Goodreads Link

NineStar Press:



Shadows and dim lighting made the inside of the club appear deceptively edgy. The Stocks boasted a selection of the most overrated brews and clientele in the city, in my opinion. But this particular club was one of the few places I could go to try to find the kind of man I was looking for.

“Hey, Lipke, what are you doing here again?” Sandro smiled, clapping a hand on my shoulder and taking the stool next to me. “I thought you had the real deal? You know, a nice cozy apartment with your man.”

“We broke up,” I said, staring at the bar and trying not to let the fact I didn’t feel much disappointment about the end of my relationship bother me.

“Ah, shit, that’s too bad,” Sandro replied, but I saw a glimmer of satisfaction in his eyes as he motioned to the bartender. “Hey, a drink for my buddy here, Paulo.” He turned back. “What are you having, Owen?”

I shook my head and tossed the dark hair out of my eyes. It was getting way too long in front. I’d been meaning to get it cut, but I was so unmotivated to do anything these days. “Thanks, but I’m hoping for some action tonight.”

I never trolled for Doms with alcohol in my system. I’d learned that lesson a long time ago.

“How about a Coke, then?”

“Okay, sure. Thanks.”

He was trying to butter me up because he wanted to hook up. He’d tried with me before, but I had been in a relationship that didn’t allow for “extras” so I’d had an excuse to turn him down.

“A Coke for Owen, please. And a ginger ale for me,” he said, throwing a tenner on the bar.

“Thanks,” I said again, looking Sandro over and wondering if he could give me what I wanted.

He wasn’t a bad-looking guy; a little heavier in the gut, but it worked for him. He had a decent “Daddy” vibe going on and appeared to be pushing forty. Maybe he had the experience to give me something…more. Something solid and demanding and ruthless.

The Stocks was an underground fetish bar, where I’d come innumerable times to find the type of hook-up I was after. But anyone I’d ever gone home or played downstairs with, had disappointed. It wasn’t operating on the down-low. The club was literally underground, which made it even darker and dingier inside than most places—almost claustrophobic.

Everyone played games. That was often the point with fetish and BDSM, and a lot of guys were perfectly happy with that. But I was tired and bored with it all.

I’d had a connection with Simon, my ex, but even he couldn’t give me what I wanted in the end. I couldn’t define that particular desire but I knew I hadn’t fulfilled it—ever.

At night I’d dream about a Master who took total control, put me in my place easily and perfunctorily, without a thought to my comfort, yet took care of my needs like they were his own. This mystery man became a shadowy, elusive presence in my waking world. I’d never encountered an actual human being who could measure up to the Dom in my dreams. Maybe no one ever would.

Maybe I should make the most of what I could get, here and now.

Sandro handed me the Coke and winked. “So, you’re a free agent tonight,” he said.

I grinned. “Yep. Trolling for Doms.”

He laughed, looked away, and then back. “Wanna come home with me? We could have some fun.”

I picked up my glass and sipped the cold, sugary-sweet syrup, considering his offer. “You live close?”

Sandro nodded. “Down the street. Walking distance. You can leave your car here, and pick it up later, or in the morning if you decide to stay over.”

It was thoughtful of him to offer me the whole night. Such an invitation was rare in this environment, where most people simply wanted a quick fuck or a fun kink session and didn’t give a shit what you did with yourself after.

“Yeah, okay.”


I found his excitement flattering, if misplaced. I didn’t feel like anything special these days, but I was up for a quick screw.

“Sure. But let’s enjoy our drinks first. We’ve got all night.”

Sandro had fair-to-good conversation skills. He was intelligent, perceptive, and witty. I warmed to my decision over the time it took to finish our drinks. Maybe the evening wouldn’t be a washout after all.

Sandro sighed. “I wish there were more kink places in this city. I mean, this place is fine but it gets boring after a while.”

I agreed with his observation completely. There were several options across the river from Ottawa in Quebec that offered more hard-core entertainment, but in terms of convenience, this place was closest. And even when I had ventured as far as Gatineau or Montreal, I’d been largely disappointed.

“I hear Toronto is the place to be for this kind of scene,” I said. “Maybe I should move to the Big Smoke.”

“Maybe. I thought about it a couple of times. But my family is here, and my job.”

“I don’t know if I could sacrifice the green space,” I said.

The easy access to nature was one of the things I loved about Ottawa. There were a multitude of parks and treed spaces; bike paths, beaches, and water everywhere. And the Gatineau hills were right across the Ottawa River. I enjoyed hiking and camping more than almost anything else. Spending regular time in nature was essential to my being. I doubted I’d be happy in a concrete city like Toronto.

Then again, was I happy here?

“I heard about this place in the Muskokas,” Sandro was saying. “It’s a ranch, but not the kind of ranch you’d expect in that touristy area.”

“Huh?” I asked. A ranch? I had absolutely no interest in horses.

Sandro nodded. “It’s set up like a real ranch, but instead of horses, they get men to dress like ponies.”

If I had been a pony, my ears would have swung toward him. “What? No way.” Something in me thrilled to the thought of it.

He laughed. “Yeah, they put them in harnesses and bridles and make them do stuff. It’s all set up to make the experience as realistic as possible. At least that’s what I heard.”

I pretended not to be as interested as I was. “Hmm. Weird.”

“Yeah, well, I guess some guys get off on that stuff. Not me. I’m happy with the regular kink experience myself, although it would be nice to have a few more bars to go to.”

Men in harnesses and wearing bridles? A ranch for pony fetishists? Why hadn’t I heard about this before? My balls ached at the thought of it. I’d never explored animal role-play, but the thought of being a pony at a fetish ranch rang every one of my bells. Maybe a fetish ranch was the kind of immersive experience I needed. Sure, it was still a game, but maybe they did it so well you forgot it was a game and became fully invested in submission and objectification.

I drained the rest of my glass. “Ready to go?”

Sandro beamed as his gaze raked over me. “Absolutely.”


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Card!

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the Author

AE Lister/Elizabeth Lister is a Canadian non-binary author with a vivid imagination and a head full of unique and interesting characters. They have published many other books, one of which (Beyond the Edge) received an Honorable Mention from the National Leather Association–International for excellence in SM/Leather/Fetish writing.

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