Tell us a little about yourself!
L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.
L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.
L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.
You can find L.J. here:
In Thirty Things, Nate and Finn check of a list of 30 things to do before Finn turns 30. What would be on your list?
Let's see if I can think of thirty off the top of my head!
1. Visit China and travel along the Silk Road.
2. Visit North Korea on one of the approved tours. I'm just fascinated by it.
3. Travel on the Trans-Siberian rail.
4. Go to France and visit all the towns/villages and the winery that are named Labarthe.
5. Learn Russian.
6. Pick up learning Chinese again.
7. Learn to drive a car!
8. Take mum up to the Flinders Ranges.
9. If I win Lotto, I'd love to have a trip on Virgin Galactic and see Earth from space.
10. See the Sex Pistols play live. (Very wishful thinking!)
11. Attend GRL.
12. Travel around Canada in a car with Cate Ashwood. :)
13. Have morning tea with Daniel Craig.
14. Visit friends in Hong Kong.
15. Return visit to Centralia with a bit more exploring.
16. Spend the summer solstice at Stonehenge.
17. Live in Quorn in the Flinders Ranges.
18. Buy a dozen bottles of wine from Domaine de Labarthe vinyard so my family and I can all enjoy--and keep the bottles as souvenirs!
19. Eat at Adam Liaw's restaurant, when he opens one.
20. Eat at Luke Nguyen's restaurant, Red Lantern.
21. Visit India and watch a Shahid Kapoor or Shahrukh Khan or Hrithik Roshan film at the cinema.
22. Take mum to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum.
23. Spend a week staying in a restored colonial cottage in the Innes National Park.
24. Shop at Hay-on-Wye, a little Welsh town full of bookshops!
25. See an elephant in the wild.
26. Go back to visit Shaniko in Oregon with T.
27. See Avenged Sevenfold play live.
28. Swim in mudpools in Rotarua in New Zealand while visiting Meredith Shayne.
29. Ride in a Ferrari.
30. Visit Istanbul.
Woo! I made it!
Tell us about something you've already checked off your list. Was it everything you thought it would be?
Well, as it's a return visit I listed, I went to the ghost town of Shaniko in Oregon with a good friend several years ago. Shaniko is a "living ghost town," which is to say that it's curated and cared for by residents who live in the next town over, called Antelope.
Shaniko was incredible, I loved it. It was lovingly looked after and the buildings were all in good condition, though one large shed housing all manner of antique vehicles wasn't as well maintained--the vehicles were all showing signs of rust. They included a horse-drawn hearse and vintage cars.
The town was really something special, and I have very fond memories of visiting it.
Same goes for visiting Centralia, Pennsylvania, which is a town that was forcibly abandoned due to a coal mine fire. The fire will burn for another 75 or so years, as it's too big now to be put out, so it's being left to burn itself out. There's something quite eerie and sad about seeing footpaths overgrown, lines of where there used to be homes, street signs where only overgrown plants remain.
Centralia has been the inspiration for many things, most notably the "Silent Hill" franchise, and while I am a horror wuss, Centralia itself was a fascinating place.
While traveling the country, Finn and Nate visit some amazing places. Where have you been that has stuck with you?
The Flinders Ranges in the north of the state of South Australia, my home state. I was a kid when I first visited, on a school camp. I think I was eleven at the time. It was a week-long camp, and we visited Wilpena Pound, the towns of Hawker, Quorn, Leigh Creek, Lyndhurst, Blinman and Farina. We went to Parachilna Gorge, Brachina Gorge, various lookouts, Kanyaka Ruins, the Pichi Richi railway, and Talc Alf, who's something of a local character and carves sculptures out of talc rock, from which comes talcum powder. I bought a small piece and I still have it all these years later.
The Flinders is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, the landscape is rich in colour and wildlife, and it's quite common to see emus crossing the road or kangaroos in paddocks, having lunch. I went back there in my early 20s, and saw many of the places I'd seen previously, but also saw the Yorumbulla Caves, which have some fine examples of indigenous Aboriginal art as well.
It's a beautiful land and the people are lovely. The food is great and overall, it's one of my favourite places ever.
If you could only do one of the things on your list, which would it be?
See an elephant in the wild.
What items would be on your writing bucket list?
A m/m murder mystery. I'm not sure that I could do it.
Which books are on your TBR Bucket List?
None, really. I find them, I read them.
L.J. has a new book out, and I count myself incredibly lucky to have been one of the people to read this before it was released on March 9th. It's AMAZING. If you haven't read it, and all the other books in the series, do yourself a favour and pick them up now. This girl knows how to tell a story!
Sequel to The Bone Cup
Archangel Chronicles: Book Seven
After the theft and recovery of the Holy Grail, saving all of creation from destruction, and almost losing Michael, Archangel Gabriel devoutly hopes for nothing more dangerous than a stubbed toe. So when Archangel Michael sends a pack of his Venatores and two of Gabriel's trackers on a rescue mission, Gabriel believes it’s purely routine.
No one is prepared for the danger and terror the Venatores find. What they face is torture, kidnapping, medical experiments, vivisection, and the enemies’ desire to remove all nonhumans—including shifters—from Earth forever. The supposedly routine rescue mission turns into a struggle for survival, and Gabriel and Michael face a terrifying new foe, and a threat to not just their existence and love but to the existence of everything they know. If the Brotherhood of Archangels and their allies can’t prevail, all will be lost.
Gabriel made sure no one was watching and then teleported, moving them straight to the beach on their island of Belle Coeur.
It was cool there, the sky overcast and gray, but the sea was calm, almost like liquid metal. The overcast seemed to somehow make the colors of the plant life around the beach more vibrant.
“Shall we go into the house?” Gabriel asked. “It looks like it might rain. I didn’t realize when I moved us.”
Michael got to his feet and took Gabriel’s hand in his own. “I would like that.”
Hand in hand, they walked from the beach to the house, and Gabriel unlocked the french doors with his power. It occurred to him that it was a little ridiculous to keep locking the doors, but old habits did die hard after all. Once they were inside and the door closed behind them, Michael suddenly shoved Gabriel back against the wall and kissed him hard.
“Mishka?” Gabriel was a little confused by the sudden onslaught of passion.
“Do you wish me to stop?”
“No, I’m just wondering where this came from.”
“I love you and I have behaved badly. I wish to reconnect with you, intimately. Talking to one another is wonderful, being together is even better, but I feel that being intimate would be perfect at this moment.”
“Oh. Then I’m all for that.”
Gabriel groaned as he felt Michael’s hand on his skin, snaking beneath his shirt. He wound his arms around Michael and pulled him even closer, nipping his lower lip and pressing his thigh against Michael’s groin. The moan that elicited made heat surge through Gabriel, and he slowly rubbed his thigh against his lover.
The next thing he knew was the sound of tearing fabric and Michael had ripped off his shirt. Gabriel broke the kiss, panting a little, and laughed. “Eager, eh?”
“Hush,” Michael said. His cheeks were pink.
“But I thought you liked me loud, baby,” Gabriel teased.
Michael nipped his shoulder and Gabriel groaned again, using his power instead of his hands to get Michael’s clothes off and away. He felt a familiar surge of energy from Michael as the last of his own clothing was removed, and naked now, skin to skin, the two of them pressed against each other, rubbing, too hungry for one another for any finesse.
“This is gonna be over before we start,” Gabriel warned.
“That is fine. We can do it again after a short rest.”
“I’m all for that.” Gabriel lowered his head and nuzzled the curve of Michael’s neck and shoulder, breathing in the scent of him. He felt Michael’s hands on his hips, and he growled, nipping Michael’s skin.
Cate Ashwood's books on Goodreads
Keeping Sweets (Newport Boys, #1)
ratings: 1018 (avg rating 3.75)
Brokenhearted (Hope Cove, #1)
ratings: 764 (avg rating 3.72)
A Forced Silence (Zero Hour, #1)
ratings: 635 (avg rating 3.90)
Married for a Month
ratings: 407 (avg rating 3.80)
Wholehearted (Hope Cove, #2)
ratings: 458 (avg rating 3.51)