Behind the Name, Storm Moon Press and Its Imprints

SMP Blog Tour 2013

Thank you to Rainbow Book Reviews for having us on the blog. It’s so great to celebrate our third anniversary and enter our fourth year! Exciting things are afoot at Storm Moon Press!

One of the questions I get asked most often―other than what I might be actively acquiring―is where the name of the press and its imprints came from. It’s not a very complicated answer, and it tells a lot about who we, behind the press, are.

When we decided to officially become an LLC, we needed a name for ourselves. I’ve identified as pagan for as long as I can remember, and when it came time to choose a name, I turned to my pagan roots for an answer. It’s an old tradition that each full moon in a month was given a name, and it’s there that I looked for our name. I’ve always been fascinated by moon rituals, stories of insanity during the full moon, and even have a character I’m writing based on the The Moon tarot card. In fact, whenever I do spreads for tarot for myself, The Moon often shows up for me. So, our name needed to have ‘moon’ in it somewhere.

K. Piet (my business and writing partner) was born in March, and so was I. I looked to the March names for the full moon. The primary name was Storm Moon, though there were also Crow Moon, Sugar Moon, Sap Moon, Chaste Moon, and about half a dozen others. None of them really struck like Storm Moon, though. Add to it the color correspondence for the March full moon, green (K.’s favorite color) and purple (my favorite color), we thought it was really meant to be! And so, in January of 2010, Storm Moon Press was born!

When it came time to name the imprints that would be associated with Storm Moon Press, it made sense to, once again, turn to the names of the moon. I picked up my book and wrote down all known names for every moon, and then brought the list to K. and Roger (our other business partner). We sat down and went over every name, narrowing it down bit by bit until our list consisted of three names we thought expressed the feel of each imprint best.

Wild Moon Press, our heterosexual imprint. This, actually, isn’t an official reference to a moon. I put ‘wild’ in front of ‘moon’ and ‘press’ because I felt that’s what the imprint was. We didn’t really want run-of-the-mill het fiction. We wanted fiction that pushed the envelope, that challenged our readers and took them on a wild ride.

Thunder Moon Press, our non-erotic QUILTBAG imprint. Thunder Moon refers to the July full moon when wind and storms can be at their worst. It’s a bold month, beginning the second half of the year, and we wanted Thunder Moon Press to be bold, to be something new, to be an imprint where authors could take their works that weren’t romances, weren’t erotic, and give them a proper home.

And finally, Budding Moon Press, our young adult QUILTBAG imprint. It refers to the April full moon, the full moon of growth. Of renewal. Of beginning. It’s exactly what Budding Moon Press is. We feel that the best investment for us is in fiction geared toward QUILTBAG youths. It’s a demographic without much representation, and most of what is represented is still romance centric. We wanted QUILTBAG young adult stories that are not just romances. We also want fantasy, science fiction, horror, paranormal, anything and everything under the sun a young adult struggling for content with their gender and sexual orientation might want to read. Budding Moon Press is one of Storm Moon Press’ most important imprints, and it’s the one we’re most aggressively seeking submissions for.

What’s in a name? At Storm Moon Press, quite a lot. We’ve put a lot of thought into our name and into the names of our imprints. Our names tell readers and authors exactly what each one is about, what we’re seeking, what we’re publishing. Of course, the name is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to see each imprint flourishing with fiction to please whatever mood a reader happens to be in that day!

S.L. Armstrong is the Managing Editor for Storm Moon Press. She is also the co-author of Making Ends Meet and Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley. S.L. can be found at www.slarmstrong.net or on Twitter @_slarmstrong.

Giveaway Opportunity!

This guest post is part of Storm Moon Press’ 3rd Anniversary Blog Tour! Comment on this post or any other post on the blog tour with your e-mail address, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize of receiving 1 FREE e-book each month of 2013 from that month’s new releases for a total of 12 free e-books! Runners up will receive a $25 gift certificate to their choice of Amazon or All Romance eBooks. For more details and to find out about our 3rd Anniversary, head over to Storm Moon Press’ Official Blog. Thanks for joining us!

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #31

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This is a great Christmas story, reviewed by Serena, who thinks “This story blew me away. I wasn’t really sure what was going on for a while, but had a feeling the mystery about to unravel was going to be devastating, interesting, or both. It ended up being utterly emotional on top.” You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

Thirteen years ago, Eli went on a summer trip with his mother and never came back. Now, existing in a new life as Jacob Somerville, he’s again running from fear and memories, only to end up where he started. As Jacob struggles to reconnect with his father and brothers, he realizes that his lover, Craig Zhao, was the only thing filling his empty heart and standing between him and ghosts of the past. It will take the power of love—from his family, from Craig, and from himself—for Jacob to see that his life truly is filled with the promise of what can be.

Book Review

This story blew me away. I wasn’t really sure what was going on for a while, but had a feeling the mystery about to unravel was going to be devastating, interesting, or both. It ended up being utterly emotional on top. Not only was I totally invested in the main character who tells the story in first person, I was also fascinated by the psychology of what was going on, the slow reveal of the reasons behind his behavior and the final revelations and solution had me tearing up. A truly amazing story, firmly settled in real-life psychology with love playing the central part in solving the issues.

Jake/Eli is clearly a troubled soul. He has a past, and as he meets the family he has been separated from, we learn more about him and what happened in small steps. It kept up the tension for me, and the love and acceptance Jake/Eli finds from his two elder brothers, his father and even his father’s new wife was touching. Whether it was the Christmas spirit that was upon them or whether they were just nice people, the situation, as grim as it was, became a lot more bearable through their support. And not just for Jake/Eli!

Craig, the boyfriend Jake/Eli ran away from, is an absolutely amazing guy. He doesn’t seem so at first, because we see him through Jake/Eli’s eyes and he isn’t too sure what to think or how to deal with everything. As Jake/Eli realizes what is going on and how he really feels, my impression of Craig improved. That and the fact that Craig’s actions speak a lot louder than words ever could.

On the whole, this is one amazing book. If you like psychological insights, deep emotional drama and families finding each other again, you will probably like this story as much as I did. And while the story is set at Christmas time, and there is lots of Christmas spirit (if that is what you want to call it), this is a positive, uplifting story that is good to read at any time of the year. Just be ready for quite an emotional roller coaster ride before you get to the very rewarding ending.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Buy the book here.

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #30

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This story “has magic, struggling lovers and tough decisions with potentially fatal results, as well as a little elf fighting for his (mental) freedom”, reviewed by Serena. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

Being stranded in rural Yorkshire on Christmas Eve offers Elijah and Dust a romantic vacation from their dangerous work, until a strange man with unfathomable motives appears in need of their assistance.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title includes MM and MMM scenes.

Book Review

I liked this story a lot. It has magic, struggling lovers and tough decisions with potentially fatal results, as well as a little elf fighting for his (mental) freedom. All of the above make for a great mix, and even though this book is a spin-off from a series (one I haven’t read), I found it easy to follow and enjoyable. I liked the mix of ‘real world’ and the magic elements that are introduced into it.

Elijah is the human who tries to defend his lover, Dust, from a sorcerer who is intent on making Dust his slave. Rather than allow this, Elijah will do anything to fight the evil man, ready to die himself if needed.

This heroism inspires Wisp, an enslaved elf, to start thinking about his own situation. The promise of freedom seems more scary than hopeful at first, but Wisp makes great progress as the story develops.

Dust loves Elijah more than his life, and is just as ready to suffer and die for him as Elijah is. He is more skeptical toward the elf at first, and the challenge for him is to learn to trust someone other than Elijah.

If you like stories about battles for freedom, if magic is your thing and if evil sorcerers don’t scare you, you may like this short story.
DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Silver Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Buy the book here.

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #29

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This “is a wonderful story about new beginnings and hope for a better future”, reviewed by Serena. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

After grieving over the death of his partner for a long, lonely year, Matt is finally starting to feel the need to pursue love again. Andy, an A-List model just back from Milan, longs for someone special to spend his life with but for the time being, sets out to find the hot guy he tried to pick up the year before from the local Christmas tree lot. The magic of a snowy Christmas Eve may prove that Saint Nick’s not the only one who can ring in the Yuletide—sometimes you just need a hottie from St. Barts.

Book Review

This is a wonderful story about new beginnings and hope for a better future. Both Matt, who lost his lover of four years a year earlier, and Andy, a successful fashion model, are very lonely and more than ready to start a (new) relationship. I liked their interaction, the careful approach that quickly blossomed into more. While the physical intimacy was immediate, I could feel these guys starting to bond on a mental level as well.

Matt is so dreadfully lonely and miserable, I didn’t see how he could possibly start making real progress within the time of a short story. Even a year later after his lover’s death, he still talks to him. While his head knows it is time to move on, and his body is in definite need of another man’s touch, his heart is another matter. I was very relieved to see that meeting Andy and getting to know him very quickly led to Matt being able to truly take a step into a new life.

Andy may be very successful professionally, but, in his own way, he is as lonely as Matt. He may not have psychological hang-ups, but he lacks the opportunity to meet ‘regular dudes’, as he calls them. He is very attracted to Matt and decides to go for it.

If you like stories about new beginnings, about new lovers who give each other hope, and want all of these elements plus a Christmas mood, you are bound to like this story.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Buy the book here.

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #28

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This “is a Christmas story with sizzling hot boys”, reviewed by Nerine. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

Kasey, Gram, Garrett and CJ celebrate Christmas.

Book Review

Four Gold Rings is set between books two and three of the Love of Sports series. This short story takes place, of all places, at Garrett and Kasey’s parents’ house over the respective couples’ first Christmas together. A sweet, enchanting free read, written in a contemporary style, T.A. finishes off loose threads from books one and two in this same series.

Without giving too much away, Gram and Garrett each have a special question to ask the significant other, Kasey and CJ respectively, in their lives.

I found it endearing through both couples’ intimate moments, that each came to the same conclusion at around the same time; Garrett and Kasey’s mum was going to have a field day with this. Funnily enough, none of the four was stupid enough to do anything but agree that the floor was hers to make this into whatever celebration she desired. Got to love mothers of boys!

Although short, T.A. still manages to find the heat and these boys sizzle just as much as in each of their own stories. You could read this one on its own, but honestly, there are a few things that won’t make total sense. Plus, it’ll just make you want to read the other books anyway!

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book is a free read.

Download the book here (FREE read by the author).

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #27

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This “is a Christmas story with a paranormal twist that will make you smile”, reviewed by Serena. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

Gavin’s always loved Christmas, but his boyfriend? Malcolm would rather be staked and beheaded, and since he’s a vampire, that’s saying something! Their quarrel threatens to make the holidays less than merry, but when they spend Christmas Eve apart, Malcolm starts thinking of reasons they should keep their Yule fire burning bright.

Book Review

This is a great paranormal variation on the Christmas Grinch story. Can you imagine a big, badass vampire liking Christmas? Well, I’d never thought about it before, but when the question appeared, I must admit it made me laugh. This story examines what happens when a human’s enthusiasm and a vampire’s ‘grinchiness’ meet head-on.

Gavin has also never thought about it, just assumes everyone shares his enthusiasm and gets ready to share his first Christmas with his vampire boyfriend. Gavin’s disappointment when Malcolm reacts less than favorably is huge and he starts to wonder whether they are meant to be together after all. Confronted with real vampire prejudice and even hatred at his sister’s Christmas part, he starts to come to his senses, though.

Malcolm is baffled by Gavin’s sudden enthusiasm. He’s never liked Christmas (well, not since he can remember). As soon as he realizes how much he’s hurt Gavin, he reconsiders. I loved the way he makes it up to Gavin.

If you like stories about ‘cultural differences’ with a paranormal twist, enjoy hot make-up sex and prefer a story with some humor that will make you smile, you will probably enjoy this one.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Buy the book here.

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #26

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

New Legs, New Year (A Hammer/Forged Story) by Sean Michael “is a Christmas story about a couple who are deeply in love”, reviewed by Serena. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

Jeremy should be happy — he and Simon (who first appear in the Hammer novel, Forged) had a great Christmas and are looking forward to New Year’s Eve. He’s got new legs, though, and he doesn’t like them at all. Can Simon convince him to focus on the positive, and help him do it, too?

Book Review

This short story brings back Jeremy and Simon from Forged. It was great to see them again, find them dealing with some of the issues Jeremy goes through with his new prosthetic legs. I like that they talk about it, make sure that Simon understands Jeremy’s feelings. The love between them is evident, but Simon doesn’t let that sway him. He is still tough on Jeremy, making sure his lover can deal with all the difficult bits. It’s just what Jeremy needs as well, someone to push him. Of course, there is a whole lot of hot sex which Simon uses as a distraction, but that is just what Jeremy needs as well, at least sometimes.

If you liked Forged, if a couple who are deeply in love and still challenge each other to become the best they can be fascinates you and if you like stories that deal with real life (including disabilities), you will probably like this one as much as I did. It can be read alone, but I think you will enjoy it more if you read Forged first.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Torquere Press for the purpose of a review.

Buy the book here.

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #25

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This “is a Christmas story with deep space pirates”, reviewed by Serena. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

Harlon is Dark Rogue, a pirate wanted all over the planet. He’s looking for a cabin boy. Nakhoda’s on the run. He needs a ticket out. In a ruthless world where one misstep can be your last, what happens when a pirate falls in love with his cabin boy?

Book Review

This is a futuristic story which begins to build quite an interesting world. I say ‘begin’ only because it is so short, and I wanted to see more. Luckily, it looks like it will become a series. The vision of the future isn’t entirely positive, and the few glimpses I got sounded depressingly realistic. The type of men able to survive and thrive in an environment like that will be fascinating to observe.

Khoda, some kind of convict, tells this first story, He has some sort of psychic abilities and is wanted by the law. When his ‘contract’ gets bought by a ‘sky pirate’, his entire world changes and he doesn’t know what to expect. I learned as he did, and this definitely kept my interest. He is insecure and scared but has an irrepressible curiosity and a big mouth. Both get him into more trouble than fits into one short story and I hope he’ll be back in the next volume.

Harlon is a big, bad pirate, with a body and attitude to match. He clearly has some dark secrets in his past as well, and Khoda keeps digging for them. Harlon however, will only reveal so much. For now. One of the biggest surprises is his need for intimacy and he is clearly willing to compromise with Khoda (up to a point) to get what he wants. A willing partner. The ending was surprisingly sweet.

If you like futuristic stories and want to read about people driven into corners, if you like interesting, somewhat dark men, if a bit of mystery and trying to figure out what is going on appeals to you, and, oh, yes, if you have a soft spot for pirates, you will probably like this story.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Silver Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Buy the book here.

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #24

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This “is a Christmas story without a single snowflake,”, reviewed by Serena. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

It’s twelve days ’til Christmas and Devon Callahan is a dental hygienist with a very big problem…make that two. He’s been unemployed for months and now a thief’s stolen his cell phone. Tracking the guy through MobileMe, he’s got a cyber lead on his purloined phone, but he’s also hot on the trail of a mysterious new job. What’s a guy almost maxed out on his credit cards to do?

He goes to his interview and discovers he could soon be gainfully employed. The catch is he’d have to fly to sunny Waikiki within twenty-four hours to start work at Schofield Barracks, caring for the dental health of thousands of US soldiers stationed in the islands.

Devon is thrilled to be part of such an important post, but what’s his boyfriend, Manco, going to say? His movie producer lover is expecting his entire family to visit from Peru. Will Devon see the sunny side of Christmas in flip flops, or will he be feasting on dinner for one?

Book Review

Spending Christmas in flip flops sounds good, right? I thought so until I started reading Devon’s story and realized the price he might have to pay to get there. Getting a job in Hawaii sounds like a dream, but potentially celebrating Christmas alone and losing his boyfriend are pretty major dampeners on that one bit of good news. The basic problem as much as the lively nature of the story pulled me in right from page one and didn’t let me go until the end. AJ had me in stitches with some of the situations around the stolen phone, the mysterious scratches on Devon’s face and, yes, even with Devon’s patients. But as funny and lighthearted as it is, the story also carries a message about love and family that I found very touching.

It was good to be back in Hawaii, even though this is ‘only’ a story. But the descriptions are so perfect, the background information about the troops stationed there and the civilians who work to support them are so accurate, and the ‘island feeling’ that AJ manages to convey is so realistic that reading this came pretty close to the real thing. Of course, at the core of it was a great romantic story about two lovers who are pulled apart by reality, their jobs and families. Luckily this is fiction, and they manage to deal with it and find a solution in the end.

If you like stories in a tropical setting and with lots of details about life in Hawaii, if you are a romantic at heart and want to see two men get their happy ever after, and if a Christmas story without a single snowflake strikes you as interesting, you will love this book as much as I did.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Buy the book here.

December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #23

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This story “is an interesting love story, written in the language of the past”, reviewed by Lena. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.

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Book Blurb

To discharge a debt to his friend, Andrew Nash, Lord Thomas Barrington returns to the family estate he fled six years earlier after refusing to marry the woman his father had chosen. To Thomas’s dismay, Barrington Hall is no longer the joyful home he remembers from his childhood, and his young niece has no idea what Christmas is.

Determined to bring Christmas back to the gloomy estate, Thomas must confront his tyrannical father, salvage a brother lost in his own misery, and attempt to fight off his father’s machinations. As the holidays near, Thomas and Andrew begin to realize they are more than merely close friends… and those feelings are not only a threat to their social positions but, in Victorian England, to their lives as well.

Book Review

Being in love with another man in Victorian England is a risky proposition, one that Thomas Barrington and Andrew Nash of ‘The Christmas Wager’ by Jamie Fessenden, know well. Men of that sort were shunned at best and imprisoned and possibly hanged at worst. So valued is their friendship, neither wants to admit their true feelings for fear of losing the other. As stated in their Christmas wager, Thomas takes Andrew to his home for Christmas. Their visit leads to revelations which changes their lives forever.

Jamie Fessenden ushers us into the elegance Victorian Era with flair, describing daily life, including customs, dress, and language. He leads us into a time when life was simpler in some regards – no cars, cell phones or internet, and more complicated in others—the strict social order, traveling by horse and carriage and no running water or electricity.

Because of the book’s formal language, identifying with the characters was more difficult than usual; however, once I got the hang of it, Thomas and Andrew quickly worked their way into my heart and I became emotionally invested in their relationship. All of the characters are interesting, but my favorites, aside from Thomas and Andrew, are the twins—Hew and Duncan. They are great ambassadors, bridging the gap between the upper and lower class people. They are hilariously impertinent at times and loyal to a fault when it comes to Thomas and Andrew.

If you would like to read an interesting love story, written in the language of the past, and, of course, a happy ending, you may enjoy ‘The Christmas Wager’.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Buy the book here.