“Rode Hard, Put Away Wet” by Kate Sherwood, in the ‘Riding Double’ Anthology

February 20, 2011

Cowboys.  Sexy as hell, obviously, but kind of hard to write about, at least for me.  My characters like to talk, but the thing I like best about the cowboy ideal is that they’re laconic and stoic.  If I was going to write a cowboy, I wanted to make myself write a cowboy.

And them that don’t know him won’t like him and them that do
Sometimes won’t know how to take him
He ain’t wrong, he’s just different but his pride won’t let him
Do things to make you think he’s right.
(“Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”, by Ed and Patsy Bruce).

But that wasn’t quite enough.  Hell, I wanted to write a desperado.

Oh, you’re a hard one
But I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow.
(“Desperado”, by Glenn Frey and Don Henley.)

I wanted my guy to figure out that he needed to play the queen of hearts, and I wanted him to let somebody love him before it was too damn late!

And I also wanted to keep it short, because if I was given the opportunity, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep myself from making the poor guy babble on like some character from Dawson’s Creek.  I knew I couldn’t do laconic long-term, but I hoped I might make it if I kept things short.

So, I wrote my first short story, “Rode Hard and Put Away Wet”.  I’m really pleased with it.  Some of my early readers encouraged me to expand it, and turn it into a novella or even a novel, but I didn’t trust myself.  I felt like I got it just right, as a short story – any longer, and I was sure I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to start babbling.

As always, I’d love to hear what you think.  I’ll be in and out of the blog today, or I can be reached through my website at katesherwoodbooks.com.

Facing Up

February 20, 2011

Donovan looked at me like he was still trying to figure me out, and I guess he was debating my honesty as well.  I must have passed muster after a while, because he reached down and took my hand in his and brought it back to where it had been.

“I like you too, Kyle,” Donovan replied. “I’ve been waiting a hell of a long time to hear you finally admit that.”

I was more dumbstruck by his words than the feel of his hands pressing against me once more. Maybe I was drunk after all.  I leaned toward Donovan, hoping I wasn’t reading this all wrong. A thing like that could get you killed out here, but I found I couldn’t care less about that once Donovan met me halfway and our lips touched for the first time.



 

It’s party time!

February 20, 2011

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Riding Double anthology release party! Normally Anne Regan, our intrepid editor, would be doing this post, but she’s traveling this weekend and asked me to make it in her stead.

We’ve got another great mix of stories for you this time around a long-time favorite theme of mine: cowboys! The anthology is a great mix of contemporary and historical, light-hearted and intensely powerful, but more than anything else, as always where Dreamspinner is involved, what you have are tales of love. Not always romance in the traditional sense, but always of love.

To get things started, we’re offering a free eBook copy of the book to one lucky winner who can e-mail the titles of the six historical stories in the anthology to ariel@dreamspinnerpress.com (Hint: Click the excerpt tab to read the blurbs.)

“Wings of Love” – my favorite part

February 19, 2011

My favorite scene is the opening.  I wrote it in one try and never changed a single word or letter.  The pain and emptiness Brad experienced in the moments leading up to Jeff’s death and then when the end came still gets me every time.  It’s the part of the book I read at my book signings.  As I slowly close the book at the end of the reading, it’s clear from the expression on people’s faces that they truly relate. .  After all, everyone has experienced a loss at one time or another and it’s only natural to associate Brad’s loss with one of your own.

I can’t tell you my other favorite scene because it would give away too much of the book, but it shows Mac’s determination to make things right and Brad’s sheer willpower to keep Mac safe and it too overwhelms me still.

You know most writers draw upon personal experiences to fill the pages of their books in one-way or another.  The most personal part of the book for me was Brad’s struggle to survive after Jeff died.  To not give up, to deal with the loss and never forget, but also move forward.  It takes place throughout the book and well into “Treasure of Love,” the next book in the four book series.

When I started this book I knew what Brad’s character would be like and he so lived up to my expectations to the end. On the other hand Mac surprised me throughout the story.  I never thought he would react to things the way he did and so readily trust and accept them.  But love is a powerful emotion and he chose to stand up to it and embrace it rather than fight it.  Sure he stumbled a time or two along the way but he got up and dusted himself off and took off again with a vengeance.

Well – enough about me – how about your?  Our time is almost done here and I really want to thank everyone who read “Final Encore” and now “Wings of Love.”

If you like “Wings of Love” stay on the lookout “Treasure of Love” which will be released in May and book three of the series “Bounty of Love” in August. And, do leave your comments to get your name in the hat for a free e-book. Drawing is after 6PM today.

Thanks!

Why Alaska as the setting for Wings of Love?

February 19, 2011

I’ve had quite a few questions about why I chose Alaska for the setting.  Well, the backdrop of the story calls for a remote area accessible only by floatplane with a lodge and great scenery.  I started my search on Google and ended it with a call to the owners of the Hiline Lake Lodge, who were very friendly and helpful.  They filled me in on the areas surrounding the lake and lodge and after looking at the pictures on their website, the spot seemed perfect.

I became attached to the two main characters very quickly and because of that, the book almost wrote itself.  Brad stayed extremely strong through Jeff’s fight with cancer but quickly fell apart after Jeff’s death.  He blamed himself for not being able to beat the cancer and knowing he could no longer have the life he and Jeff shared he left it all behind for a place that they both loved.  Mac, on the other hand, was content to go through the motions of life day after day, nit bad, but not really living.  In many ways Mac was very vulnerable, but every bit as strong as Brad.  He’d faced many obstacles in his life but did the right thing for everyone around him and never worried about his feelings until he meets Brad.

Up next – my favorite chapter or ‘scene’ in the book…

Thanks for dropping by!

Meet Scotty Cade – and win an e-Book!

February 19, 2011

Hi -Scotty Cade here.

Today I’m blogging from New Orleans where I spent the first 28 years of my life.  Although I moved away in 1988 I get back a few times a year to visit family and friends.  My dad, who is 84, has Alzheimer’s. He has some good days now and then and I try to spend as much time with him as possible.  Tomorrow after a short trip to the Bahamas, we start our journey back home to Martha’s Vineyard. With spring almost here it’s time to begin preparing for our seventh season as Owners and Innkeepers of the Lambert’s Cove Inn and Restaurant.  Heavy smiling and hospitality required but we truly enjoy it.  It’s a bit of southern hospitality in New England.

Last November Dreamspinner Press released my first novel  “Final Encore”. I can’t thank them enough for their support. It did far better than I’d ever dreamed and in turn inspired me to continue writing.  Just last week my second novel, “Wings of Love”, was released and all indications and reviews look pretty favorable.  To celebrate we’ll have a drawing today at 6pm. Three people will win a free “Wings of Love” e-book.  If you respond to my blogs by 6:00 I’ll put your name in the hat for the drawing.  Please feel free to ask any questions you like.  My life is an open book, so to speak.

As for “Wings of Love”, most of the story takes place in a little cabin high atop the Alaskan mountains in an area called Hiline Lake.  The lead character is Dr. Bradford Mitchell, who is devastated over the death of his partner of 15 years from cancer. Brad tries to escape the emptiness and loss by leaving his life in Seattle behind. Traveling to the Alaskan mountains where he and his partner often vacationed, Brad reconnects with Mac Cleary, the ruggedly handsome, straight floatplane pilot who had flown them to Hiline Lake many times in the past. Brad and Mac form an unlikely friendship and buy an old log cabin together, and as he and Mac begin to bring the old cabin back to life, Mac watches Brad come back to life as well, stirring emotions in him he’s never felt for a man before.

When fear, confusion, and a near tragedy threaten to force the two men apart, they’ll face some tough questions. Can Brad let go of Jeff and the guilt he feels about beginning to care for another man?  And can Mac deal with his fears of being gay and accept the fact that he is in love with Brad? It will be a struggle for both men to keep their heads and hearts intact while exploring what life has to offer.

Up next – I’ll answer the question I am asked the most about this book – why Alaska?

Thanks for dropping by!

Home Again by Cardeno C.

February 16, 2011

Can Noah overcome his amnesia to secure a future with the man he’s always loved? Home Again (m/m) by Cardeno C., available from Dreamspinner Press.

Noah Forman wakes up in a hospital and can’t remember how he got there. He holds it together, taking comfort in the fact that the man he has loved since childhood, his partner, Clark Lehman, is on his way. But when Clark finally arrives, Noah is horrified to discover that he doesn’t remember anything from the past three years, and he simply can’t understand why. It will take some painful confrontations if Noah’s going to figure out why he’s lost all memories of his recent past… and secure the future he’s dreamed of having with Clark.

Buy in eBook
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella

The Cabin on the Hill by Shae Connor

February 16, 2011

The Cabin on the Hill by Shae Connor

Jesse hadn’t planned for anything more than a break from the noise and heat of Atlanta when he returned to the cabin he rented each year in the Smoky Mountains – but that was before he met Eli, the handsome man renting the other side of the cabin. Eli’s plans to mix a little hiking with his relaxation match Jesse’s perfectly, and before long the two men are sharing more than just a wall and a view. Jesse’s not one to let an opportunity like this pass him by, though it remains to be seen whether the weekend encounter can turn into something more permanent.

Buy in eBook
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story

Sweet Dreams, My Love by Julie Lynn Hayes

February 16, 2011

Can Jakob trust his senses and help the man only he can see? Sweet Dreams, My Love (m/m) by Julie Lynn Hayes, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Can love conquer all? Is there such a thing as Fate? Do dreams really come true?

To help pay for his mother’s convalescence, Jakob Kohl leaves his musical studies in Germany in order to be a paid companion to his distant cousin Albert. It’s not a pleasant existence, but Jakob does get to travel to Paris, where he meets a beautiful man who asks for his help… a mysterious man no one else can see. Jakob soon fears he may be going crazy, because he finds himself falling in love with Damien, who says they were brought together by Fate—Jakob is the only one who can rescue Damien from the shadowy world where he sleeps and waits for his dream of everlasting love and freedom to come true.

Buy in eBook
Genre: Fairy Tale
Length: Novella

In Dreams He Came by Trina Lane

February 14, 2011

Can Nick be Gabe’s knight in shining armor? In Dreams He Came (m/m) by Trina Lane, available from Dreamspinner Press.

With a very active imagination and passion for all things history, University of California senior and veteran on the swim team Gabriel Mason often finds himself traveling to distant lands and times. There’s always one constant in Gabe’s dreams: a nameless man whose love completes Gabe’s soul. Gabe is waiting for someone special in his “real” life as well, and his best friend Phil is determined to find Gabe his elusive knight in shining armor.

Nick Jackson, a university alum and Olympic swimming champion, immediately recognizes the quiet young man from the swim team and convinces Gabe to give them a chance at building something special. Considering the palpable attraction between them, Nick surprises himself by quickly agreeing to take their budding relationship slow. Unfortunately, real life is not a fantasy, and Nick’s demanding schedule as a professional athlete and Gabe’s obligations to the swim team and his degree make finding time to spend together difficult.

Have the two men found everlasting love, or will it all prove to be just another dream?

Buy in eBook
Buy in print
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel