Second-Story Man Excerpt

May 29, 2015
The Brownstone Hotel with an open window or two.

The Brownstone Hotel with an open window or two.

Hello again. It’s Robert P. Rowe taking over the Dreamspinner Press blog to tell you about my novel Second-Story Man. You can find my book here:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/robert-p-rowe

But you can read an excerpt here and now:

A hot August night is always good for an open window or two, and I’d spotted one on a deserted street. It looked like an easy climb. From the entrance stair it was a short hop onto the balustrade, an arm’s reach to the segmental pediment, and one last stretch across the brownstone wall. By the time I reached the second-story window, I figured out the climb wasn’t as easy as the construction-site scaffolds I was used to. Biker boots aren’t made for climbing. A tank top was great for showing off my brown-skinned muscles, but for climbing up a building it was stupid—I was all scratched up. If I’d planned this, I’d’ve worn a heavier shirt, with long sleeves.
My raw hands throbbed, but at least I made it. I peered inside. The room was dark, but the streetlight showed me enough. Just what I was looking for: a laptop on the dresser. I’d seen ’em at the pawnshop going for five or six hundred—that’s all the money I needed. Across from the dresser was a bed with some white guy—sleeping like a baby. His blanket was pushed down. The guy was half-naked because of the heat, and leaner than me. If I had to, I could take him.
I climbed in without a stir from the bed and headed straight for the computer. Shit! What was that? My own reflection in the dresser mirror made me jump. Suck it up, Carlos—you can do this. Still, my nerves were on edge. How did that gringo not hear my heart pounding? My sweaty hands were shaking as I struggled to unplug the laptop. Suddenly, something caught my eye. The reflection was big and looming up behind me—
Everything went dark. Sound was muffled. I was suffocating.
Gasping, I struggled against a fabric trap, clawing to free myself until I felt a full body blow take me down to the hard floor. The wind was knocked out of me, and the gringo was on top of me. Then I felt an excruciating whack across my forehead, and my world spun out of control.

Oh, man. What happened?
My head was whirling. I wasn’t sure I could open my eyes.
I took a deep breath, then forced one eye open. Too bright. Blurry. I think I was still in the same room. I opened the other eye, tilted my head. Man, did it hurt. A table lamp was glowing and I must’ve been in the bed. Hey, where’s my shirt? I looked around and there’s that gringo, sitting in the chair next to the bed. How’d that guy manage to get the jump on me? He was still half-naked, wearing some boxers, and he was holding—a bat!
“What the… I’m gettin’ the hell outta here.” I started to get up, but my head was spinning and— “Where’re my pants, ya faggot?” I was naked in this guy’s bed. “What’d ya do to me?”
“Me? I didn’t do anything. I picked you up at the bar. On the way home you got gay-bashed. I brought you up here because I think you might have a concussion. You’ll need to get some sleep.”
“Hey, man, I’m no faggot,” I yelled, making my head hurt all the more.
“Really? Then why are you naked in my bed?” Man, he was right. This really didn’t look good. “Whacking you with a bat could get me into trouble. Climbing in my window could get you into trouble. Nobody will bother to investigate some random gay-bashing.”
“So what now?” I felt trapped, but I defiantly dared him to answer. “Ya wanna fuck me?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. I don’t waste my time with straight guys—too much drama.”

***

This is a very unusual way to meet and it sure doesn’t seem like these guys are off to a very good start. But stranger things have happened. In fact I’m hoping that you’ll tell me some strange way that you’ve met someone special in your life.

I’m running a contest to give away an ebook copy of Second-Story Man. All that you have to do is have the best answer to this question:

“What’s the most interesting accidental way that you have met someone special in your life?”

Post your answer in the comments and I’ll be choosing a winner just before 11AM Eastern Time. Feel free to post any other questions or comments that you may have too. I’ll be here answering questions for another hour.

Here are links to my website and my blog:
Website: http://www.robertprowe.com/
Blog: http://artofrobertrowe.blogspot.com/

If you missed this Release Party contact me through my Contact page on my website. I’m always interested in your comments.

Second-Story Man Release Party

May 29, 2015

Hi everyone. I’m Robert P. Rowe and I’ve taken over the Dreamspinner Press blog site to tell you all about my novel that has just been released today, ‘Second-Story Man.’

Here’s the address to find the novel at a discount for the release party:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/robert-p-rowe

Many readers choose books by simply following their favorite author. But how does that author become a favorite in the first place? Somebody has to take a chance and then they tell their friends. This release party should give you a chance to get to know me, and my writing—and maybe help you decide to give me a chance.

The next thing that draws a reader in is the title. These are just about the most important words in the book—especially for the first time novelist. The title has to be intriguing—it has to promise the reader something.

I carefully chose the word play of ‘Second-Story Man.’ The obvious definition is for some sort of a thief. But the title also offers the subtle promise that the story of our lives is not written in stone—we have the power to change that story—we have the power to choose a second story for our lives. I’m never satisfied following the same path everyday and neither are my characters.

They say, “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but people do anyway. For that reason the cover has to grab your attention. Dreamspinner Press art director Paul Richmond created the cover, but I created the cover concept. I’ll tell you more about that later. For now I hope that you’ll just enjoy the cover.

Second-Story Man Cover

Second-Story Man Cover

‘Second-Story Man’ is a 260-page, 95,000 word novel and believe it or not the most important words aren’t even in the book they are in the blurb. These are the words that will get a reader to decide to open the book or move along to the next option. Here’s the blurb:

Offering a would-be thief a second chance is risky—especially when he could steal your heart.

Carlos had it all: a good-paying construction job, a truck, a rental house and his girl. Then he lost his job and everything else along with it. Desperate, he turns to crime—only to fail in his first attempt when he accidentally climbs into the wrong window. Carlos has to rethink his life when his victim becomes his only friend.

Michael has lost too many times in love. Prince Charming won’t be knocking at his door, with its do-not-disturb sign permanently in place, when fate finds Carlos climbing into his window. Michael’s compassion for this down-and-out lost soul turns to friendship. But Michael can’t allow things to go any further and still feel safe from heartbreak.

There are no accidents, and the second-story man discovers that in life and love there can be a second story.

***

When I signed up for this blog I was told that most authors have some sort of contest and offer some sort of giveaway. That sounded like a great idea to me. I wanted to offer a trip to Hawaii to the hottest single guy. I couldn’t think of a better way to promote myself than to let some lucky guy really get to know me.

Sadly I was informed that DSP really wants to promote the book instead. They recommended a contest that offers an ebook copy of ‘Second-Story Man’ as the giveaway. It seems rather ordinary to me, but I guess they know what they are talking about.

In an effort to make the contest a little more extraordinary I decided that the winner should have the best answer to this question:

“What’s the most interesting accidental way that you have met someone special in your life?”

It would be nice if this person became a love interest, but meeting a friend will do. It just needs to be an unusual meeting. Of course, I’m asking the question because it’s an unusual meeting that triggers the events of ‘Second-Story Man.’

Again, the reader with the most interesting answer will be the winner of the giveaway. I’ll be announcing the winner later on this morning.

I’ll be posting more about the book and answering your questions too. I’m here until 11AM Eastern Time. You’ll have to do the math to figure out what time that is where you live. Send me your comments, questions and answers.

Oh, and here are some links to my blog and my website:
Website: http://www.robertprowe.com/
Blog: http://artofrobertrowe.blogspot.com/

If you missed this Release Party contact me through my Contact page on my website. I’m always interested in your comments.

Once Upon a Dream with Lex Chase

May 21, 2015

Hello! I’m Lex Chase, the quirky action adventure author for Dreamspinner Press. Each month, Dreamspinner is giving me the reigns to discuss what it is to be a Dreamer. As the author of the fractured fairy tale series, Fairy Tales of the Open Road, this month’s theme, “Once Upon A Dream,” is right up my alley.

The first book in the FTotOR, Americana Fairy Tale, I’ve become obsessed with Disney Princesses and their once upon a dreams and happily ever afters. But my princess is a dude by the name of Taylor Hatfield who’s a complete fuck-up of a human being.

His dreams consist of the simplistic from binging on Netflix in his Dollar Store tiara and boxer shorts….

Taylor_Tiara_Time_by_Lex_Chase_S

To the more substantial with going his own way and living his life. His life is not always perfect. It can be lonely. But it’s his.

Taylor_Lonely_by_Lex_Chase

Taylor is someone we can all identify with. He’s the voice of the everyman. He’s the guy that shoots for the moon and always lands short. His “Once Upon A Dream” is the ideal of being a kept boyfriend to a Type-A genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.

RDJ_Buzzfeed

Not that genius billionaire playboy philanthropist…YouknowwhatImean.

But sometimes we’re so dead set on the one dream, we lose sight of the dream right in front of us. It’s when we fall short of shooting for the moon, the true discovery begins. Taylor dreamed of the billionaire. What he got was…

Henry_Ian_Cusick_Tumbr

…A rugged fixer-upper of a huntsman that lives in his garbage dump of a pickup truck. Instead of being brainless arm candy, Taylor discovered his independence, courage, and that his true love may be disgusting, but he’s perfect.

We all have our “Once Upon A Dream” we all hold tight to it and shoot for the moon, the stars, and the universe beyond. It’s a lofty ideal. It’s good to have. It gives us hope.

But our lives are journeys. They’re not destinations. It was never about what happens when you get there. It’s about who you meet along the way, what you discover about yourself, and following the detours that lead you to the exact place you’re supposed to be.

The dream you longed for may be right in front of you.

Just open your eyes and realize you had met once upon a dream.

Taylor_Challenging_by_Lex_Chase

Tune in next month where we discover dream beaches! Wouldn’t you love to be on a deserted island with your favorite books?

***

GIVEAWAY: Everyone loves a good fairy tale. What’s your favorite fairy tale and why? Tell me yours and you too can get a $5.00 DSP Gift Certificate!

Come on now. Give me your awesome stories! I need fodder for more installments to Fairy Tales of the Open Road!

***

Keep up with my shenanigans over the Interwebz? Find me here!

Dreamspinner Author Arcade: Lex Chase

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LXChase

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lex_Chase

Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/lexachase

 

Photography Credits

Photography: Lex Chase

Taylor Model: Mae Wynn Talley

Robert Downey Jr. via Buzzfeed

Henry Ian Cusick via Eye Candy Deluxe at Tumblr

WRECKED Blog Party – Post 4 – The Quotes

May 16, 2015

Wrecked

In my final post, I want to talk about the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. When I first started writing WRECKED, it was after visiting the Key West Shipwreck Museum in Florida. I was so fascinated by this intriguing pocket of history that I began reading everything I could about the era. While doing this, I found all of these awesome quotes like this one:

Key West is a little village of hardy seamen undisturbedly reaping a rich harvest from the enormous losses of commerce on the Reefs.” —Gov. William P. Duval; 1st civilian governor of Florida, 1832

Does the name Duval ring a bell?

Well, if you’ve ever been to Key West then you probably walked down Duval Street…..one of my favorite things is doing the Duval Crawl! Those are some of the best times I barely remember. LOL #goodtimes

But on a serious note, while I was reading these great Key West specific quotes, I decided that I needed to find a quote to open each chapter. I was also in the process of reading the books that my hero Mathew would have read, like Moby Dick…aka The White Whale in 1858 when my story takes place. And yeah, I read it! That is where I got my favorite quote from the entire book:

Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.” —Herman Melville; an American novelist, 1819-1891

One of my favorite quotes of all time (which did not end up in WRECKED) is this:

There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” —Jane Austen

What about you? Do you have a favorite quote that touches you in some way?

~D

THANK YOU so much DREAMSPINNER for hosting me this evening! I had a great tme and I hope everyone piks up their copy of WRECKED and enters to win one of the two copies of WRECKED
A Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blurb from WRECKED:

Off the Key West coast, Rief Lawson works as a wrecker, salvaging ships and their cargo. Exiled to the outskirts of society because of his mysterious gift of sight, Rief’s only respite from his loneliness is painting an unknown blond man. When a merchant ship wrecks during a violent storm, Rief rescues a drowning victim and comes face-to-face with his destiny.

It is the man from his art!

Heir to an English barony, Mathew Weston entered the merchant trade with his greedy father and soon-to-be father-in-law. Dominated by his father and smothered by the people around him—including his sweet but tiresome fianceé—Mathew is terrified to follow his true desires. Marriage and obedience seem safer than a life of secrecy and possible prison.

After the daring rescue, a fire ignites between the two men. Powerless to resist his desire, Mathew learns what it means to be a man in Rief’s arms. With this newfound confidence, Mathew teaches Rief through gentle touch that he deserves the affection he’s long been denied. Yet their affair is doomed from the start. Two desperate men, wrecked in heart and mind, must find a way to salvage the chance at love fate has given them.

 

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestgoodreads

You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller

WRECKED Blog Party – Part 3 – The Cover!!

May 16, 2015

Wrecked1

Wrecked

 

Yeah, are all of you in love with this book cover Paul Richmond made for WRECKED? I know I am! And I just ADORE seeing the stages of creation he goes through to give me the masterpieces he’s done for my other books! #love

When Paul asked me to fill out the form for what I envisioned, I attached a bunch of vintage eighties romance novel covers—you know the ones with Fabio and ripped bodices? LOL I explained that I wanted an epic, classic romance novel cover. When Paul first sent his sketch, I almost FREAKED out, I was so excited. I mean, even in the black and white sketch, he NAILED it, right?

So why did I want a vintage style cover?

Well, firstly because, old school covers like this are few and far between. Rarely do you see them in gay romances. But mostly, I felt it really expressed the mood of WRECKED. This book is a 96K read full of wanting, romance, love, surprise and a dash of gypsy magic.

Magic, you might say?

Yes, like my awesome cover artist Paul Richmond, the hero of WRECKED Rief is also an artist. And when things got bad in his life he turned to his art. And what his mind’s eye created was a beautiful blond man, someone who did not judge him and always made him feel safe.

What Rief NEVER expected was that one day he would rescue that very man from drowning at sea!

Will the real man be someone that Rief can trust? Or, like the oil and canvas, will Mathew become nothing more than a memory, gone before Rief ever has a chance to heal from his broken past?

Well, I guess you will just have to read WRECKED to find out!

While Rief uses his art to cope with stress and depression, what about you guys? What sort of things do you do when life gets to much? What is your escape which brings you peace?

Mine is reading with a glass of wine. Or perhaps a hot bath and a glass of wine… maybe all three if it’s really been a bad day!

~Deanna

 

Enter to win WRECKED here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestgoodreads

You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller

 

WRECKED Blog Party – Part 2 – Sexy Excerpt

May 16, 2015

Wrecked

Thank you for joining me, Deanna Wadsworth, for my blog party to celebrate the release of my historical romance WRECKED. Earlier I was talking about inspiration and where I got the idea for WRECKED.

Now I have a question for you….

What is your favorite era in American history to read about?

The Wild West? Revolutionary War? Civil War?

I’m a huge American history fan, so I like all the eras because it feels like my history. J

If you don’t know the setting for WRECKED, here is a quick peek at the blurb:

Blurb from WRECKED:

Off the Key West coast, Rief Lawson works as a wrecker, salvaging ships and their cargo. Exiled to the outskirts of society because of his mysterious gift of sight, Rief’s only respite from his loneliness is painting an unknown blond man. When a merchant ship wrecks during a violent storm, Rief rescues a drowning victim and comes face-to-face with his destiny.

It is the man from his art!

Heir to an English barony, Mathew Weston entered the merchant trade with his greedy father and soon-to-be father-in-law. Dominated by his father and smothered by the people around him—including his sweet but tiresome fianceé—Mathew is terrified to follow his true desires. Marriage and obedience seem safer than a life of secrecy and possible prison.

After the daring rescue, a fire ignites between the two men. Powerless to resist his desire, Mathew learns what it means to be a man in Rief’s arms. With this newfound confidence, Mathew teaches Rief through gentle touch that he deserves the affection he’s long been denied. Yet their affair is doomed from the start. Two desperate men, wrecked in heart and mind, must find a way to salvage the chance at love fate has given them.

 

Now would you like a quick, naughty excerpt? Please leave a comment about what era in American history is your favorite for a romance novel and then check out the naughty excerpt from WRECKED! I mean, if any of you read EASY RYDER or A CUPID’S WAGER, you know that I like to write some steamy stuff!! And don’t forget to enter to win your own copy WRECKED!

~D

 

Enter to win WRECKED here:a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

EXCERPT for WRECKED:

With a soft moan, Rief clung to him for a moment. Then he rolled over. “Take me again before you go.”

Mathew groaned when that ass brushed against his cock. Already pretty stiff from being so close, his groin throbbed at the sight of such submissive posturing.

Sideling up to him, he brushed Rief’s mussed hair off his face before cupping it possessively and kissing him. An intensity of emotions roared inside him knowing Rief trusted him enough to share his secrets. It made Mathew want to protect Rief’s heart while bringing every pleasure to his body he had ever been denied. He would give anything to this man, anything to make him heal and to prove, more than any drawing, Mathew would give Rief peace. Their time together would surpass any joy Rief experienced while painting him.

He would be immortalized, not on a canvas, but upon Rief’s very soul.

Drawing back, he asked in a pant, “Where is the oil?”

Rief found it and poured some in his hand, passing it to Mathew to coat his cock. He stared, enthralled at the indecent pleasure on Rief’s face as he plunged his own fingers into his ass with expert precision.

“Please,” Rief begged, lying on his side and raising one leg.

Never before had Mathew heard a more rousing word, nor seen such an erotic sight. He’d first believed buggering was something done to a woman or someone less than a man. Perhaps doled out as a punishment.

How foolish he had been!

This morning, he saw everything so differently.

To all outward appearance, Rief was the heartier of the two. Big and masculine. Yet pleading for a cock inside him did not make him less of a man, nor did it render him weak or feminine. His need to release all control, to be vulnerable before Mathew, made him incredibly enticing. Mathew had been living in fear most of his life, but when they were in this bed, he was empowered. Bold and courageous, just as Rief painted him.

There was no greater or lesser between them. Being connected this way made them both whole.

Enter to win WRECKED here:a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestgoodreads

You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller

WRECKED Blog Party – Post 1 – Inspiration

May 16, 2015

Wrecked

Hello, everyone!

My name is Deanna Wadsworth and my newest book from Dreamspinner is called WRECKED. If you love historical romances then this one Is for you! At a full 96K, this one is is definitely a book you can get lost in all afternoon.I brought along a Rafflecopter giveaway so you can enter to win a copy!

I was inspired to write WRECKED on a trip in 2009 when my husband and I went on vacation to Key West, Florida. One afternoon we decided to tour the Key West Shipwreck Museum. I thought we would see some relics from under the sea, but I never expected to be inspired to write this book…..let alone find the name for my hero Rief in a video of a salvaging operation in the 80s, LOL.  I wonder what that guy would think? LOL

Did you know that in the 1850s Key West was the wealthiest city per capita in America? Yeah, neither did I. That money was brought in by salvaging ships wrecked on the Florida Reef, a dangerous occupation which was sanctioned by the US federal courts. These hearty sailors had a reputation as pirates in some circles, and rumors abounded that they tricked mariners into hiring them, or even had a hand in wrecking the ships to begin with. When a merchant wrecked his ship, the wreckers were always there, ready to hire out their services to salvage ship, cargo, and survivors.

I had just finished reading My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok and was in an artistic mood because of it. So I began thinking….what if a wrecker was out on patrol and he saves the life of a person he’s been painting his entire life?

Whoa! That sounded like the kinda book I liked to read….historical, romantic, and with just a twist of paranormal.

Thus WRECKED was born! You can check out an excerpt here: http://deannawadsworth.com/archives/463

It took me six years to see it in print and my box of author copies came in the mail on my birthday #BestGiftEver

I always come up with a new book idea when I take a vacation, even if it’s just a camping trip in Indiana.

What about you? What kind of inspiration do you get from vacations or travel? I would love to hear from you!

~Deanna

 

Blurb from WRECKED:

Off the Key West coast, Rief Lawson works as a wrecker, salvaging ships and their cargo. Exiled to the outskirts of society because of his mysterious gift of sight, Rief’s only respite from his loneliness is painting an unknown blond man. When a merchant ship wrecks during a violent storm, Rief rescues a drowning victim and comes face-to-face with his destiny.

It is the man from his art!

Heir to an English barony, Mathew Weston entered the merchant trade with his greedy father and soon-to-be father-in-law. Dominated by his father and smothered by the people around him—including his sweet but tiresome fianceé—Mathew is terrified to follow his true desires. Marriage and obedience seem safer than a life of secrecy and possible prison.

After the daring rescue, a fire ignites between the two men. Powerless to resist his desire, Mathew learns what it means to be a man in Rief’s arms. With this newfound confidence, Mathew teaches Rief through gentle touch that he deserves the affection he’s long been denied. Yet their affair is doomed from the start. Two desperate men, wrecked in heart and mind, must find a way to salvage the chance at love fate has given them.

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Wrecked-Deanna-Wadsworth-ebook/dp/B00XDINXCS

 

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestgoodreads

You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Royal Treatment with John Wiltshire

April 27, 2015

The Royal Treatment

 

Readers who know me well will probably be amazed at me doing this blog post. My name is John Wiltshire (http://johnwiltshire.co.nz/), and I’m a social media virgin. There, confession over, apologies made in advance if I press the wrong buttons and end up answering questions that were never asked. I’m only here today because the sequel to my novel A Royal Affair is out today. Aleksey’s Kingdom picks up the tale of Nikolai Hartmann and King Christian X (Aleksey) two years after Nikolai finished narrating the events of the first book, which took place in Hesse-Davia. I very much wanted A Royal Affair to be a complete and satisfying read without the need for a sequel, and I think I achieved that. The novel has an almost lyrical, fairytale ending as Nikolai and Aleksey carve their new life in the freedom of the great woods of the New World.

However, although it has a romantic ending, A Royal Affair is an exploration of conflict—political ones, the war in which the protagonists are engaged and the reformation they attempt in Hesse-Davia, but also a very personal one between Nikolai and Aleksey. At the end of the novel, they are still two very different men with very different experiences and outlooks on life. So, leaving them in a perfect relationship in the dreamlike innocence of the New World and just concluding ‘they lived happily ever after’ would have been a denial of this central premise. I’m fascinated by the idea of what lies beneath the surface of things, what you discover if you journey into the heart of darkness. In other words, I couldn’t help but picture Aleksey’s face, tool (hammer) in hand, as he was expected to build and live in a cabin in the woods…So, the personal conflict for Aleksey’s Kingdom was very easy to establish—these men haven’t changed who they fundamentally are, and Aleksey, a king and the general of a victorious army, is now stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing very much to do. I envisaged mischief ensuing.

I then had to plan the dramatic clash—the plot. I’d recently watched a little-known (well, I’d never heard of it) film called Ravenous (1999), in which a group of soldiers travel to an outpost to unravel various nefarious goings on. There’s nothing better for any plot than to have a small group of people trapped together with mysterious emanations (and possibly cannibalism). Today, such stories need to be set in space (or perhaps the Arctic) to establish such a profound sense of isolation, but in the late seventeenth century everything was unknown and can be used to create a wonderful sense of fear and menace. It’s no coincidence that the most infamous witch trials in history took place in the New World at this time—Salem. So, I borrowed the very basic premise of Ravenous, mixed it with the atmosphere and hysteria that surrounds The Crucible and had the skeleton outline for my story. I also have to give credit to John Connolly, one of my favourite authors, who explores the idea in his novels that evil does exist in this world—that the fallen angels still walk amongst us.

So, in Aleksey’s Kingdom, Nikolai and Aleksey join a small band of soldiers and colonists travelling to a deserted outpost that lies alongside a vast waterfall on the border between the English and French occupied regions of the New World. The falls, which dominate the book, are real, and based on Niagara. I once visited this out-the- world place and, for a dare, paddled in the river above the drop off. I leave it to Nikolai to describe the impression that foolish action had on me…This natural cataclysm comes to represent the great metaphorical descent he has to make to save Aleksey—his own personal journey into the heart of darkness and the final abandoning of his scientific, rational way of seeing the world.

I think most of my readers have worked out by now that I don’t write conventional m/m fiction. I’m rather proud of the eye scrawled in blood on the cover of Aleksey’s Kingdom—thanks to L.C. Chase, who did such a great job bringing this to life. Trust me that smear of blood sets the tone for this novel. It’s not a book for the faint-hearted. No adorable presents are exchanged; no romantic dinners eaten; no babies adopted or fluffy kittens were purchased during the making of this novel. There is death and horror—after reading one scene, my editor came back to me and exclaimed, “You have to leave this out; you’ll have no readers left!” The scene is still in. I have faith. And sometimes, as with soldiers in war, there’s great humour in adversity. I find Nikolai extremely amusing, and I know Aleksey secretly does, too. Ultimately, this novel is about bravery and sacrifice. It’s about Nikolai and Aleksey, Faelan, Xavier and Boudica. It’s about love. Always love.

***

To celebrate the publication of Aleksey’s Kingdom, I’d like to give away a copy of the first in the series: A Royal Affair. I said earlier that I’m fascinated by the concept of what lies beneath the surface of things—the journeying into literal and metaphorical darkness. To win a copy of A Royal Affair, comment on this blog post and let me know of a book you love that you think also explores these themes. We’ll pick the best answer and a copy of A Royal Affair will be winging its way to you.

***

I have a very active fan club on Goodreads, where they discuss all the novels (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/151017-john-wiltshire-fan-group). Tempers flare; emotions heat up, because these books are controversial. I have a feeling there will soon be a very long thread on Aleksey’s Kingdom, especially after some of the scenes in it. This is your chance to challenge me—ask me anything…I could give some hints to up-coming events in the More Heat Than the Sun series about Benjamin Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen (Book 8 of which is currently being written). Or I could chat about my new novel set in New Zealand (where I’m currently living): Ollie-Always.

I love discussing books (especially mine). I’m sitting comfortably, so let’s begin…

Embarrassing Parental Moments – Giveaway

April 22, 2015

We all know some parents live to embarrass their children… naked baby pictures, anyone? Lila Ann Montgomery is no different, though maybe she’s not hide-in-a-corner-until-the-next-millennia type of embarrassing. What was the most embarrassing thing a parent ever did in front of a bf/gf?

Best answer receives a free copy of A Midsummer Dream.

The Winner will be announced at 11:30pm EST.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6298

MidsummerDream[A]_postcard_front_DSP

 

 

Threefold Love-Thank You!

April 18, 2015

Thank you very much for joining me today and on through this evening! I had a great time with everyone, and I’m looking forward to doing this again in October when The Shape of Honey is released.

The winners of the signed copies are Angela and Susan.

Please e-mail me to give me your info to send out the books. My e-mail address is Kibrightly@gmail.com. Thanks again for a great release party!

 

 

Ki

E-book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6278

Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6279