Threefold Love-The Shape of Honey

April 18, 2015

I’m going to start the production process on The Shape of Honey with Dreamspinner Press soon. It’s a shifter book about werewolves, maybe my favorite paranormal subject of all time. Yulian Volkov kind of hates everyone, mostly, except that he doesn’t, not really. He loathes the way other werewolves behave here in the United States, so different from what he grew up with in Europe. Not that werewolves weren’t violent there, and there weren’t territory wars, but it’s nothing compared to the shear brutality of the packs here. To get away from it all he moved out into the country away from the seat of pack power in his territory, taking over his Grandmother’s land, turning it into a top notch Meadery. He still has to attend pack meetings occasionally, however, and here and there’s he’s caught glimpses of Rolly Witten, and he likes what he’s seen.

Rolly is young, and unlike the older members of the pack and most of his agemates he’s done with being a wolf. As far as he can tell it’s a never ending pain in the ass—pack meetings, animal instincts, and being beholden to the moon? No thanks. He likes shopping in a grocery store and he’s seen animal planet. He’s definitely not “Werewolves, Yay!” like the rest of the pack seems to be. And it doesn’t help matters that the only profession he’s ever aspired to has been honing his breaking and entering skills with his best friend Violet. She’d actually picked the profession for both of them because wherever she goes Rolly follows. They’ve always been best friends, and she knows all of his secrets, even the one he’s worried will get him kicked out of the pack. As it turns out, it’s getting arrested that finally gets him ripped away from the safety of the pack, leaving him to the dangers of fighting into another pack because Rolly knows trying to mate in will be a disaster of apocalyptic proportions.

Except fighting in is kind of synonymous with suicide.

Or will Yulian be able to convince Dean, the pack leader, there is something more useful that can be done with Rolly? Something that will keep him safe and keep him out of trouble?

I’m excited to start working on The Shape of Honey with Dreamspinner Press because I had such a wonderful time getting Threefold Love ready for public consumption with them. <3

 

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Threefold Love-Redheads

April 18, 2015

Andrew Landry is a redhead. Why, oh why, is he a redhead? First of all, I’m one of those people who adore redheads—actually, I adore every color combo people come in, if we’re measuring for attractiveness, so long as the people attached to them have attractive personalities—but, I have a special fondness for red hair. There’s something wonderful about pale skin, especially when paired with striking green or blue eyes with fairy kisses of freckles dusted here and there on cheeks. (Andrew’s eyes are a hunter green.) I fell into a daily habit of ogling things like this when I was writing Threefold Love.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinlarosa/for-everyone-who-has-a-thing-for-redhead-men#.qga1BON5v

The internet is a wonderful thing, yes? Who is your favorite redhead? (Feel free to drop pictures.) Or, failing favorite redhead, favorite picture to ogle. *grins*

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Threefold Love-Shifty LaRue

April 18, 2015

Duncan loves his mean, ornery cat because she loves him. It’s an affair no one else can understand because, frankly, Lala hates everyone else. We’ve all met those cats. The cats we can’t understand, or we just want to pet only to pull back a bloodied hand and shout, “But why!?” When I met my significant other his roommate had a gorgeous cat I simply loved. He was about the size of a small Cocker spaniel, jet black, and had an extra little cat digit on each hand with extra large knives on his paws. He was so pretty everyone wanted to pet him, but he was also testy, and even when he wasn’t? He bit you to show he loved you. The first time it happened to me, I’d taken my life into my hands to scratch the wee beast’s chin, and he turned his head and nipped hard enough I was sure he’d broken the flesh. My significant other crowed joyfully, “OH, he likes you!,” while I tried to decide if he was insane or not. Over the next few months I watched the cat draw blood and minimally maim my significant other and his roommate while they both fawned over him, and I decided I would never fall for that trap just because he’s cute. In the end I climbed on board too though because he was soft and warm and a lovely nap companion, until you woke up with a claw hooked in your nostril. The best cat love is apparently the most dangerous. So, Shifty was based on this cat that I loved, though Shifty definitely has a personality all her own. Beware of Kitty Ninjas!

Grumpy-Cat

Anyone have a cat they loved to hate, or just plain love?

 

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Threefold Love-What is Wicca?

April 18, 2015

“Well, Wicca is a religion, so you can be Wiccan like you can be Christian or Jewish. A lot of it is about being in tune with nature and the cycles of the seasons. I became Wiccan while I was trying to be my real self instead of staying in the box everyone expects to find me in. The path of a witch is about personal power and using it responsibly. You can be a witch without being a Wiccan and you can be a Wiccan without being a witch, but most Wiccans are witches. Capiche?” –Duncan McNeil, Threefold Love, Page 55

besom

I briefly touch on spirituality in this book. I wanted to give a quick explanation to readers who might not be familiar with the terminology without being too in depth, too topical, or too blasé, which was a maddeningly difficult task. Imagine Christians trying to sum up their entire religion in about three sentences. Difficult, right? As a kid, fairly young, I started looking into everything there was out there, as far as religions of the world go, and Wicca really resonated with me. I try to integrate the paranormal aspects of the book seamlessly into the rest of it so there’s never a moment when you’re reading the book and you go, “WAIT, what?”, so I wanted to establish that yes, Wicca is a real religion that people follow, even though I was creating a fictionalized version of the world where things go on that don’t normally happen in real life. I liked the idea of Andrew and Duncan being Wiccan because the pagan community so vibrant and interesting, something entirely unique in and of itself, and I was excited about giving people not a part of it a glimpse inside. Overall, I find the pagan community to be populated by open minded, accepting, wonderful people, although every gathering of people is going to have a few downsides.  I also liked this scene because there’s nothing more brain scrambling to a pagan, who tends to only talk about their practices with other pagans, than to have someone who is unfamiliar with it ask, “What in the world is that?” People also have varying comfort levels with it as well. It’s a strange thing to be given the role as speaker for an entire community of people simply because the person you are talking to has never met anyone who is pagan before, though they probably have and don’t know it. You kind of feel like if you screw up you’re definitely giving every other pagan out there a bad name. It’s a lot of pressure.

 

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Threefold Love-Excerpt 2

April 18, 2015

Hi! I thought everyone might want another small peek into the book.

ThreefoldLove_headerbanner

Andrew Landry

I don’t know why I was so nervous about Duncan meeting Xavier. I mean, I know why I was, but Duncan seems to like him a lot. Hell, he seems to like him better than half our friends from our pagan group, and we’ve been friends with those people for years. And we promised Ger and Linda we’d help them move tomorrow. Ugh. Damn it. I probably shouldn’t actually drink too much tonight.

 

“So, Duke, what do you think?” I ask, sliding my arms around my boyfriend. He’s warm and fits comfortably in my arms. I can bitch all I want that he won’t go running with me, but I love the way he feels when I’m pressed against his back. He’s the perfect height to be the inside spoon. He’s busy mixing something in a bowl already. I have no idea how he gets things together so fast.

 

“He’s great! He seems a bit off, but most of the best people are. I vote yes for new friend.” He looks over his shoulder at me before going back to what he was doing.

 

“Yeah.” I kiss his neck and run my lips along his cheek. He’s so warm and comfortable. Having him in my arms is always grounding for me. I give him an extrahard squeeze and realize we haven’t actually had any sexy alone time together all week.

 

“And he’s easy on the eyes too,” he says on a laugh, moving out of my arms to the fridge for something.

 

“I know.” I stand there peeking into the bowl and it looks like gloop to me. If I didn’t know to have absolute faith in his abilities, I would be worried. I look up and he’s watching me. I can see the speculation there. My gut twists with guilt. Glasses. Wine. I came in here for booze. I move to the red wine on the counter and meticulously peel the foil away from the cork. I screw the simple pull corkscrew in and hold my breath.

 

“He reminds me a bit of you, actually. I think you guys could be really close,” Duncan says quietly while I struggle with the cork. The merlot hates me, I decide, giving the cork one more vicious yank. It pops and I spill some on the counter.

 

“Damn it. Yeah, me too,” I reply quickly, trying to mop up the wine and keep it from running onto the floor.

 

“We need more people like that in our life.” He’s quiet and serious. I turn to look at him, but he’s busy and I have wine dripping down my hand off the sopping-wet dish towel. I dash to the sink and rinse the cloth out.

 

“Yeah. I thought so too.” I pour three glasses and leave one next to Duncan on the counter near his work. He proceeds to douse the counter with flour and a white cloud puffs up around him. I back away and pick up the other two glasses.

 

“I’ll yell when I want some help. I’m going to get everything working first. You two do the salad?” He doesn’t stop to look at me, kneading dough and doing his version of dancing along to the radio. It mostly involves moving his shoulders around to the beat.

 

“Okay.” I nod even though he can’t see me.

 

“Give me a few minutes. Go chat. Maybe we can watch a movie after dinner?”

 

“I’ll ask him what he thinks about that. I love you.” I hesitate. My guilt is demanding that I should go back and kiss and grovel for even eyeing up the demigod in our living room, and more importantly, having the audacity to bring him here to eat Duncan’s food.

 

“I know. I love you too,” he answers with a smile. I’m almost into the dining room when he calls my name.

“Andy?”

 

“Yeah?” I answer and move back to stand near him. He tosses the dough out onto the floured counter and begins to divide it up into smaller portions.

 

“I’m not going to be angry about it, just so you know.” I hold my breath and he stares through me in that annoying way he’s been able to pull off since we first met.

 

“About what?” Should I play dumb and hope for the best? What does he think he knows?

He doesn’t answer, just keeps giving me “the look” and a half smile.

 

“I don’t know what you’re….” I fumble my words and can’t get my tongue to work properly.

 

“I love you, and that isn’t changing.” He stops looking at me and goes back to his work, hands moving almost in a blur as he massages the dough out into a long length. My eyes are stuck for a moment, but my feet know enough to back away toward the living room.

 

“I’m not… I haven’t… I wouldn’t….” But I want to. I wouldn’t, but I want to. I swallow. Are we about to have a huge fight? We don’t have them often, but I don’t want one now.

How close am I to fucking up the only relationship I’ve ever wanted? Before now.

———————————————————————————————————-

 

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Threefold Love-Duncan Isn’t Perfect

April 18, 2015

 

I struggled with the decision to allow Duncan to be his chubby self. He’s a guy who likes to eat with a low physical activity job, so OF COURSE he’s carrying around a few extra pounds, but that’s not really something we see a lot in novels, especially romance novels. Most times people in the novels we like to read are damn near perfect, which is cool, but, I really wanted to show someone who was perfect for the people who love him, even if he wasn’t perfect to the world at large. I like the idea of writing real people in the real world even though Threefold Love is a paranormal romance. My significant other is short and trim with a wide, captivating smile, but his front teeth are ever so slightly crooked. I’ve become endeared to that smile and wouldn’t want him to change it, even for it to be “perfect”. Xavier and Andrew love Duncan just the way he is (even if Andrew is very willing to acknowledge that Xavier is brawny, muscled awesomeness). While I was writing I thought back over every person I’ve ever dated, and they all had something, that one charmingly imperfect THING that made them completely different from every other person on the planet. What do you like best about your partner?

chubbyguys

 

 

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Threefold Love-Fueled By Lack of Sleep

April 18, 2015

popcorn

Coffee addiction and lack of sleep fueled Threefold Love. It wasn’t a pretty time for me. I wrote this book with a grueling determination that it should be finished within three months, which stretched into five because of my day job. I was struck by the inspiration for Threefold Love while I was writing a completely different, heartrending book (Which I have not yet gone back to finish, but have plans to.) as something “light and fluffy” to work on so that I wouldn’t depress myself. My popcorn piece (something you can devour and then forget about) turned into a real story that I couldn’t stop writing and then, before I knew it, I had a notebook with me at all times when I was at work so I could jot down ideas and notes, recipes that Duncan might like to cook for Andrew and Xavier, and all sorts of other odds and ends I was convinced I would forget if I didn’t have instant access to a notebook. (To be fair, me forgetting things isn’t uncommon.) I was writing before work between the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. when only truckers and other extremely determined individuals are up haunting their local fast food and caffeine dispensaries. When I was finally done with Threefold Love I took a deep breath, smiled, and started writing another book because the words and stories are always there, boiling around in my brain, waiting to get out. I guess writing has become my obsession and reason for getting out of bed in the morning on certain days. What drives you? What little things do you need to do for your day to be complete?

 

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Threefold Love-Exceprt 1

April 18, 2015

I thought everyone might be interested in an excerpt!

ThreefoldLove_headerbanner

***

Xavier Hobbs

“Didn’t mean to startle you.” Andrew smirks and takes a sip from whatever he’s ordered. “I’ve never seen you here before.” His glasses catch the overhead lighting, hiding his eyes, so they just look an ordinary brown again with stars dazzling at me. I know better, though. I have trouble making my brain work for a few seconds while he looks at me intently. Jesus H. Christ, I want to crawl across the table and devour him, inch by inch. It’s been too damned long for me and he’s perfection.

 

“I had the urge to bounce off the walls for a few hours.” My mouth works again and I pick up my mug to take a sip. It is cold now, but I don’t mind. I’ve drunk worse.

 

“Might hurt. The brick in here is rough,” he deadpans, eyeing the walls.

 

“Mmm… brick burn might be hard to take care of. Much worse than rug burn,” I agree. He makes a face.

 

“Yeah, rug burn is definitely bad enough. The last time I had it on my back, I couldn’t reach it by myself to put a bandage on it, and I sweat when I go running and then it would sting and burn, and I’m just going to pretend I didn’t say that to you,” he finishes into his coffee cup. While I watch the blush rise and fade on his face, my brain is 100 percent happy to supply several ways my fair friend could have gotten rug burn on his back. Silence seems like it would be the better part of valor here, so I dutifully ignore his embarrassment and use a napkin to hold my place in my book.

 

“So, how often do you find yourself here?”

 

“Only every day, except Sundays. I need the caffeine.” His lips twitch upward into a smile for a moment before they touch his mug again. As far as lips go, they are nice to look at. They’re a natural pink, not exactly full, but plenty enticing as he licks a bit of whipped cream off them.

 

“Why… why not on Sundays?” I ask, clearing my throat, looking down at my own mostly empty mug.

 

“For some reason I’m always busy on Sundays. I have trouble telling people no, so I end up doing stuff with my… religious group or helping someone move or raising money for something or other…. It never ends.” He chuffs out a small laugh. “During the school year between that and grading, I feel like I don’t have much of a life.” He shrugs.

 

“You and I seem to have opposite problems.” I lean back, getting as comfortable as I can on the metal chair.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I’m so new to town that I don’t have any commitments whatsoever. My days are wide open, more or less, after work, and especially the weekends.” I can feel my friendly smile trying to slip into something cynical, but I try to keep it where it is.

 

“In that case, there’s a dart tournament at One-Eyed Pete’s tomorrow night. I was going to go. Want to come?” He sits there looking interested and excited and sincere and I flounder. “Date!” my brain screams, but I try to ignore it. This is most likely just friendly. The chances of him being interested in me the way I am interested in him are slim to none, but I’ll never find out if I don’t spend time with him, and I won’t know if I don’t try. He has been flirting with me, sort of, and if nothing else, I will have a new friend or two from the adventure. He takes another drink from his mug and licks his lips again. My erection swells in my jeans as lust slams me in the stomach.

 

God, I’d love to take him home and strip him down and….

 

“Sounds like a plan.” I nod at him and he beams back, happy as I’ve ever seen anyone.

——————————————————————————————-

I hope you enjoyed your first peek into the book!

Anyone ever have that awkward “is this or isn’t this a date” moment?

 

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Threefold Love-Food Memories

April 18, 2015

gnocchifromepicurious

*Photo of gnocchi from Epicurious.com

Whenever you dip into Threefold Love you’ll realize right away that Duncan loves food. Food is part of the entire book in many ways because, well, people have to eat several times a day. Food is a fact of life, and something that would be easy to skip over. If I don’t read about someone eating I assume they did in fact get around to that at some point, but I would rather use the smaller points of a person’s life to add to the story. The kitchen is kind of the meeting place for the day in a lot of ways because everyone who lives in a house together has to go there sometime whether they want to ignore everyone else, hate them, love them, or any other thing. It’s hard to argue that the fridge is only in one room. The kitchen can become an area of cohesion or contention.

I like to think about food a lot, and I generally like to know what’s in my food, and that’s reflected in some ways in the book. Duncan cooks most of his and Andrew’s food from scratch. One particular food in Threefold Love was a sweet potato gnocchi that I had the good luck to learn to make with one of my best friend’s now deceased brother in law, Peter Grammatico. He was a great guy, warm and robust, and he was perfectly content to teach me, almost a complete kitchen novice at the time, how to make sweet potato gnocchi by hand. I was terrible too. I didn’t know how to do anything at all, was worse than a shrinking violet, so he took everything very slow, step by step. I didn’t remember every single point and had to look up some things later, but I was touched that someone who didn’t know me very well would kindly and patiently teach me something new, just for the sake of spreading the food love. He also made a sage syrup to go with the dish, and that is something I’ve used endlessly to this day. (At the same meal he also made prosciutto stuffed mushrooms that were a rich gift to the taste buds.) It’s utterly delightful and simple to do, and adds an earthy note to any breakfast or sweet dish it’s used in. All you do is throw about ten fresh sage leaves into a pan with syrup, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer for about ten minutes or until you can really smell the sage. Some people like to pick out the leaves, but I don’t. They’re a nice pop of green on the plate.

What are some of your favorite foods? Who taught you to make them?

 

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Threefold Love-Duncan’s Maple Mustard

April 18, 2015

I found something from Duncan when I was going through my files. What are some of your favorite recipes? (Click to see full view.)

 

Duncansmaplemustard

 

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