KC Burn German Interview

June 18, 2015

Ich bedanke mich herzlich bei KC Burn, die sich bereit erklärt hat, an diesem Interview teilzunehmen und euch Lesern Frage und Antwort zu stehen. Auch ein großes Dankeschön an euch Leser, denn ohne euch wäre dieses wunderbare Interview nicht zustande gekommen.

Zuallererst: Verrate etwas über dich, das deine Leser überraschen würde.

Ich erhalte sehr oft Kommentare von Lesern, wie sehr sie die Familie O’Donnell mögen würden. Deshalb würde es wohl die meisten Leute überraschen, dass sich meine Eltern scheiden ließen, als ich ein Teenager war. Ich bin ein Einzelkind, und meine Mutter neigt zu emotionalen und verbalen Missbrauch.

Was hat dich dazu gebracht, M/M Romanzen zu schreiben? Wie lange schreibst du schon und wie lange hat es gebraucht, bis du von einem Verlag publiziert wurdest?

Mir war seit meinem 10. Lebensjahr bewusst, dass ich eine Autorin sein möchte. So gesehen war es ein langer Prozess! Ich habe mein erstes Buch 1999 fertiggeschrieben, und es war schrecklich. Aber ich hab weitergemacht. M/M Geschichten zu schreiben war eher ein Unfall. Ich hatte den Plot einer Geschichte im Kopf, realisierte aber, dass der Konflikt zwischen meinen Charakteren stärker wäre, wenn meine Protagonisten männlich sind. Deshalb hab ich das Buch so geschrieben und hatte Spaß dran. Und es war das erste Buch von mir, das veröffentlicht wurde – und zwar 2010.

Wurde dir jemals bei einem deiner Manuskripte nahegelegt, eine Änderung vorzunehmen, die dir überhaupt nicht zugesagt hat?

Ja, aber es waren nur geringfügige Änderungen, und meine Lektoren akzeptierten die Gründe, warum ich diese Änderungen nicht machen wollte. Zur Zeit arbeite ich an einem Buch, wo der Lektor um größere Änderungen bat. Zuerst hab ich nicht zugestimmt, aber schlussendlich doch entschieden, dass ich es ausprobieren werde. Ich denke, es wird ein starkes Buch, auch wenn es nicht komplett so sein wird, wie ich es mir vorgestellt habe.

Wie viel Einfluss hast du bei der Gestaltung deiner Buchcover?

Das hängt vom Verlag ab. Bei allen drei Verlagen fülle ich ein ellenlanges Formular aus, wo ich die Charaktere beschreibe, die Handlungsorte, den Hauptplot und signifikante Details. Aber wenn der Künstler mal etwas gestaltet hat? Nur einer der Verlage erlaubte es mir, um Änderungen bei dem Cover zu bitten.

Es gibt ziemlich viele weibliche Autorin und Leser in diesem Genre. Hast du eine Idee, warum dem so ist?

Laut den amerikanischen Autoren, die Romanzen schreiben (US-Daten, nehme ich an), sind über 80% ihrer Leser weiblich. Bei M/M ist die Zahl möglicherweise etwas niedriger, aber Fakt ist, dass Frauen die primären Leser dieses Genres sind, unerheblich bei welchem Pairing. Deshalb macht es Sinn, dass die meisten Autoren dieses Genres ebenfalls Frauen sind.

Hast du schon einmal an einer Schreibblockade gelitten? Wenn ja, was hast du getan, um diese zu überwinden?

Ich weiß nicht, ob ich jemals eine Schreibblockade hatte. Ich weiß vielleicht nicht woher ich einen speziellen Handlungsstrang nehmen soll, aber ich habe immer Ideen. Mein Problem entsteht eher, wenn ich mal vor dem Computer sitze. Manchmal habe ich dazu einfach keine Lust. Wenn das geschieht, schaue ich mir meist einen Film an oder spiele Gesellschaftspiele mit meinem Ehemann. Das hilft mir, meine Gedanken in eine andere Richtung zu lenken, damit ich mich wieder vollkommen erquickt an die Arbeit machen kann.

Ich hoffe, die Frage ist nicht zu privat, wenn ja, musst du natürlich nicht darauf antworten: Wie vereinst du deine Liebe zum Schreiben mit deinem Real Life (Familie, Freunden, dem Partner etc.), ohne dass einer dabei zu kurz kommt?

Hahaha! Ich vernachlässige meinen Ehemann! Aber er ist sehr unterstützend, und er editiert all meine Bücher. Er weiß, wie wichtig mir das Schreiben ist, und sagt oft: Solltest du nicht eigentlich schreiben? Meine Freunde und Familie wissen, worüber ich schreibe, und ich habe keine Kinder, das hilft. Mein Mann spielt außerdem viele Computerspiele, deshalb ist er oft ziemlich zufrieden, wenn ich schreibe, da er zu der Zeit zocken kann.

Schreibst du an mehreren Büchern gleichzeitig oder konzentrierst du dich lieber nur auf eines?

Ich habe einen Vollzeitjob, deshalb fällt es mir leichter nur an einem Buch zu schreiben. Würde ich Vollzeit als Autorin arbeiten, würde ich wohl versuchen an zwei oder mehreren gleichzeitig zu schreiben.

Hast du einen bestimmten Schreiballtag und wie lange schreibst du durchschnittlich an einer Geschichte?

Das letzte Jahr war schwierig für mich, weshalb mein Zeitplan ein totales Durcheinander war. Nun ja, normalerweise versuche ich immer am späten Nachmittag oder am Abend zu schreiben, nachdem ich von meinem eigentlichen Job nach Hause komme. Ich habe Rückenprobleme, weshalb ich normalerweise 45-60 Minuten durchgehend schreibe, dann eine Pause mache um das Abendessen oder den Abwasch zu machen oder mit meinem Mann Zeit zu verbringen. Ich brauche ca. 3 Stunden für 1000 Wörter (schreiben, es selbst noch mal überarbeiten, Szene ausfeilen). Das heißt, für eine Geschichte mit 60 000 Wörtern brauche ich ca. 180 Stunden, ehe ich sie meinem Lektor zukommen lasse.

Was für eine Szene war die am schwersten zu schreibende?  

In meiner zweiten Sci-Fi Geschichte „Alien ‚n‘ Outlaw“ war einer der Hauptcharaktere ein Alien. Die erste Szene seiner Erzählperspektive war vermutlich die schwerste zu schreibende Szene, weil ich es schaffen musste, ihn glaubhaft nichtmenschlich aber trotzdem für Leser greifbar zu machen, die eben alles Menschen sind!

Wenn du mit einem Protagonisten irgendeines Buches einen trinken gehen könntest, für welchen würdest du dich entscheiden und warum?

Amelia Peabody von Elizabeth Peters. Amelia Peabody ist eine weibliche Ägyptologin im späten 1800, die zu einer Amateur-Detektivin wird, da es in ihrer Umgebung zu mehreren Morden kommt. Ich habe das alte Ägypten schon immer geliebt, und ich liebe auch Kriminalromane. Und ich mag es sehr, dass sie so ein starker weiblicher Charakter ist, der gegen die Stereotype dieser Zeit ankämpft. Und sie entdeckt einen Haufen vergrabener Schätze.

Gibt es einen Protagonisten, der dir charakterlich ziemlich ähnlich ist?

Eigentlich gibt es in jedem meiner Charaktere ein wenig von mir. Aber ich denke nicht, dass mir einer von ihnen wirklich ähnlich ist. Ich bin eher langweilig – und niemand will darüber ein Buch lesen!

Gehörst du auch zu den Autoren, die von der Muse ständig Arschtritte bekommen, vor allem, wenn sie etwas will, das dir aktuell so gar nicht in den Zeitplan passt?

Meine Charaktere schlagen oft Wege ein, mit denen ich manchmal niemals gerechnet hätte. Aber ich plane auch nicht wirklich viel, ehe ich mit dem Schreiben beginne, so kann ich mich gut treiben lassen. Falls währenddessen eine Idee für eine völlig andere Geschichte aufkommt, mache ich eine Pause und schreibe die Idee nieder, sodass ich dann meist wieder zum eigentlichen Projekt zurückkommen kann.

Hast du schon einmal abfällige / beleidigende Bemerkungen zu deinen Büchern erhalten? Wenn ja, wie hast du darauf reagiert?

Ich wurde nie beleidigt, nein, aber ich bekam schlechte Reviews, wie es jeder Autor tut. Bei den ersten paar habe ich geweint, und mein Mann kaufte mir Eiscreme. Hätte ich jetzt jedes Mal, wenn ich ein schlechtes Review bekam, Eiscreme gegessen, würde ich wohl nicht mehr durch die Tür passen. Mittlerweile kann ich besser damit umgehen, sie tun natürlich etwas weh, aber beeinflussen mein Schreiben nicht.

Letzte Woche veröffentliche DSP die deutsche Übersetzung von deinem Buch Küss mich, Bulle (Cop Out). Was inspirierte dich zu dieser Geschichte?

Ich bin mir nicht sicher. Ich habe an einem meiner Sci-Fi Bücher gearbeitet, und plötzlich hatte ich eine Szene in meinem Kopf, wo ein Cop zum Haus seines toten Partners geht, um die Angehörigen zu benachrichtigen. Dort findet er heraus, dass der Partner einen Ehemann und keine Ehefrau hatte. Offensichtlich änderte sich die Szene als ich mit dem Buch begann, aber sie war sehr kraftvoll und die Charaktere beharrten hartnäckig darauf, dass ich ihre Geschichte erzähle.

Wird es noch weitere Bücher der Serie Toronto Tales geben?

Es gibt derzeit drei Bücher. Ich habe immer beabsichtigt ein weiteres Buch dieser Serie zu schreiben, und ich ziehe ein Spin-off ebenfalls in Erwägung.

Wer war der am schwierigsten zu schreibende Charakter der Toronto Tales Serie?

Definitiv Kurts Mutter. Meine Mutter war eine gefühlskalte Frau, die sehr ausfallend werden konnte und mich nicht im Geringsten unterstützte. Daher fiel es mir sehr schwer, eine sympathische, liebende Mutterfigur zu schreiben.

Zu guter Letzt. Woran arbeitest du zur Zeit?

Pornostars! Oder eher, ein Ex-Pornostar trifft einen Handwerker. Klingt wie ein schlechter Porno Plot, nicht wahr? Aber ich bin beinahe fertig damit, und ich denke, es ist eine gute Story. Danach werde ich an einem Sequel von einem meiner Bücher arbeiten – aber ich hab noch nicht entschieden, welches es sein wird!

Vielen Dank für die Fragen – ich liebe es über mein Schreiben zu reden, und ich hoffe, ihr hattet Spaß dabei mich ein wenig näher kennenzulernen.

 

Get Lost on the Dream Beaches with Lex Chase

June 18, 2015

Hello Internet! I’m Lex Chase, and this month we’re talking about this month’s Dreamer theme, Dream Beaches.

Think fast! You were in a plane crash on a deserted island, out of your limited supplies, what two books can you not live without? The easy answer is you have them. They were in your luggage.

But!

Charlie Pace photo Charlieboomahhhwhat.gif

What if your luggage didn’t make the connecting flight and was sitting happily at the airport in Sydney? Now what?

Here you go. Dig deep. Tell me what books would you have then? What books do you think other survivors might have? Do you think there would be someone you could bond with over a certain author? Or would you discover a totally new to you author with a book you absolutely adore…only to find out it’s a book from the middle or even the end of the series! And here you are, stuck on this deserted island with 48 other survivors awaiting rescue that may or may not arrive.

And there’s whispers about a smoke monster out there…

What?

Wait a minute… Out of 48 survivors there has to be someone into gay romance, right?

Dream Survivor

Is seems the Island has answered! Remember, everything happens for a reason.

Dream Survivor 2

Fairy tale princess guys and effeminate gender-fluid cannibals? The Island has spoken and how!

But there’s another unanswered mystery…

Swan Station Failsafe Key

….Just what the frig do you do with this thing? There’s a guy around here babbling about a hatch.

Desmond Hume

Oh yeah. That guy. He is a bit weird in that cute damaged sort of way.

So, you’re stuck on this Island of Mystery and might as well get used to the insanity and lack of Internet. With your limited reading material available to you, just what do you hope to find?

For a chance at a $10 USD Dreamspinner Gift Certificate, my question is two-fold! Ready?

If you were stranded on a presumably deserted island devoid of smoke monsters and hatches, what two books would you want with you? And the second part is if you couldn’t have those books, what two books would you hope to find instead? Dig deep!

Tune in next month as we get off the Island and celebrate the American Dream. Did someone say baseball?


Photo Credits: 

Lost Gifs and Graphics courtesy of ABC Television and Bad Robot

Beach Photography by Lex Chase

Modeling by Mae Wynn Talley

No polar bears were harmed in the writing of this post. But yes, those copies of Americana Fairy Tale and Chasing Sunrise took a dunk in the Gulf of Mexico and are still drying out. They have made a noble sacrifice in the name of art.

Fragmented by Indra Vaughn – Excerpt & Giveaway!

June 17, 2015

Hi guys, still Indra Vaughn here, with an excerpt of my new release, the second Shadow Mountain book!

____________________________

So what are you up to today?”
“I’m going to the university to talk to the latest bullying victim,” he said, sinking deeper into his chair.
“Oh no. Another one? What did they do this time?”
Bullying was usually handled by the university itself, but they’d called in the police because someone was gathering private information and using it to blackmail the victims or publicly humiliating them if they didn’t pay up.
“Created a porn website,” Hart said, and Freddie winced. “She’s a devout Christian too, so you can imagine how well that went down.”
“Pun intended? Jesus. This has to be someone with a grudge. Who’s going with you?”
“Miranda was supposed to.” Hart had brought Miranda Roth with him when he’d made the transfer from lieutenant in Riverside to chief inspector of Brightly’s finest, and Freddie had taken the young officer under her wing from day one. “But her sister is having a baby”—he glanced at his watch—“as we speak, actually, so she’s back in Riverside. I was thinking of going by myself since I really don’t want to take one of those idiots out there who’ll crack dirty jokes the entire time.”
Freddie had cleaned house a little just by accepting the position. Two guys, including Lassiter, had left of their own accord since they couldn’t stand the idea of reporting to a black woman. And while that was good riddance, Hart would send at least two more packing, but they needed to keep their numbers up.
“I’ll come with you,” Freddie said, and Hart raised an eyebrow at her. “I know, not my job anymore, but I miss going out in the field, okay? There’s only so many vacation slips I can sign and rounds of golf I can play before I lose my mind. You going now?”
“Yes, and fine, you can tag along.”
“Well, there’s actually something else.”
Hart mock-glared. “I give you an inch….”
“My mama wants to see you,” Freddie said, and Hart stopped gathering his things.
“What? Why?”
“She didn’t explain, but she said it was important. She had a vision.” Freddie’s mouth pulled into a flat line. “I wouldn’t bother you with it if these predictions of hers weren’t sometimes scarily accurate. If you can make sense of them. It’s probably nothing. Don’t—”
“I’ll go see her. You can come.”
“Okay. University first. Meet me outside in twenty minutes. And there’s no way we’re taking your dude-bro car.”
“You wish you could ride in my dude-bro car,” Hart said as Freddie made a rude gesture and he left her to it.
Hart stuffed his keys, phone, badge, and wallet in his pockets, and thought, not for the first time since he’d made the move to Brightly two months ago, that life was good. He’d sold his house in Riverside for a nice profit, William and Freddie were renting his father’s house from him, and he was renting Freddie’s apartment in turn.
One of the two idiots Hart would boot out of the door with pleasure, Nic Turnbull, coughed, “Faggot,” under his breath as Hart walked by.
It didn’t get to him, and he wouldn’t use that as an excuse to have Freddie fire him either, but that didn’t mean he would let it pass. Hart swiveled to face Turnbull’s desk at the last moment, planted his fists on whatever papers were scattered about there, and smiled. “I heard a team of convicts are going to be cleaning up the highway from Brightly to Riverside over the next few weeks.” Hart grinned. “And you just volunteered to oversee them, kid. Well done. Buy yourself some sunscreen and bug spray. You’ll need it.”
Turnbull made a sputtering noise, but by the time he’d managed to string a sentence together, Hart was already out the door.
Freddie was leaning against her blue Camry, sunglasses perched on her nose, black hair shining in the spring sunshine. The winter had been brutal in a lot of ways, and even now some perpetually shaded areas held stubborn pockets of dirty snow. They’d be gone within the week if the weather held. High above them the Mountain peak began to shimmer green again. Another two weeks and leaves would sprout everywhere with fresh abundance when May came along.
A little pocket of air filled in Hart’s chest, a little easing of an ever-present pressure he hadn’t been aware of until it stopped causing as much pain as it had, and he breathed a little deeper, the scent of renewal washing away cobwebs of longing.

________________________________________

All right, so let’s get this giveaway started. I will pick two winners from the comments below, and each of you will win an e-copy of FATED, the first Shadow Mountain book (unless you’ve read it, then you can chose any other book from my back list).

All you have to do is tell me:

Who do you think would solve a murder first, if they were on the same case, and why?

Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes?

sherlock_holmes_vs__hercule_poirot_by_darclight-d5g1yrq

(Picture source)

——————

Fragmented:
The capture of the Tattoo Murderer has demanded a heavy price. Doctor Tobias Darwin is dead, Lieutenant Hart is back in Riverside licking his substantial wounds, and he needs to gather his courage and tell Isaac he made a mistake. Isaac will forgive him—he knows that—but he can’t promise Isaac an easy life. Being a cop comes with its own risks, after all.

When they finally reach the same wavelength, their idyllic reprieve is cut tragically short. Hart doesn’t know yet that Isaac is terminally ill, that he will take off to find the Phoenix to heal him as a last resort. This time, it will be Hart who pays the price.

In the meantime, a new killer roams the streets of Riverside. He kidnaps, tortures, and kills gay men in horrific ways, and he has the newly healed Isaac in his sights. Hart’s time is running out on every level.

———————

Links:

Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, Dreamspinner Press

Find me on:

Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.

Release Party: Fragmented by Indra Vaughn

June 17, 2015

Fragmented_headerbanner

 

Hello, Indra Vaughn here ready to keep you lovely people company this morning. My latest novel, Fragmented, is released today!

This is the second book in the Shadow Mountain series, and if you haven’t read the first one yet, I will be giving away two e-copies of Fated later on, so stay tuned.
(Or, I should also mention that Fated is still 50% off at the Dreamspinner store. I think that sale ends today!)

Like most authors, I have playlists for each book I write, and each book has a theme song, so to speak. For Fragmented that was Oscar and the Wolf – Princes. I couldn’t find that song for sale anywhere (they’re a small Belgian band) so about half those YouTube hits are mine…

I found it a very soothing song to listen to, because I won’t lie, Fragmented has parts that were very tough to write. Generally it’s considered a good sign when authors get emotional over their own writing, but if it’s to the point that you can’t see the screen anymore…

So yes, Hart and Isaac are put through the wringer in this book, more than once.

My first question is, what are some of your favorite angsty books? I find you can’t go wrong with a Garrett Leigh. Her Roads series is my go to re-read when I need a good dose of angst.

PS: Isn’t the Fragmented cover amazing? LC Chase is the best.

 

Fragmented_FBprofile_OptizimedForFeed

——————

Fragmented:
The capture of the Tattoo Murderer has demanded a heavy price. Doctor Tobias Darwin is dead, Lieutenant Hart is back in Riverside licking his substantial wounds, and he needs to gather his courage and tell Isaac he made a mistake. Isaac will forgive him—he knows that—but he can’t promise Isaac an easy life. Being a cop comes with its own risks, after all.

When they finally reach the same wavelength, their idyllic reprieve is cut tragically short. Hart doesn’t know yet that Isaac is terminally ill, that he will take off to find the Phoenix to heal him as a last resort. This time, it will be Hart who pays the price.

In the meantime, a new killer roams the streets of Riverside. He kidnaps, tortures, and kills gay men in horrific ways, and he has the newly healed Isaac in his sights. Hart’s time is running out on every level.

———————

Links:

Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, Dreamspinner Press

Find me on:

Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.

New Releases: June 15th, 2015

June 15, 2015

The Answer Is by Dawn Kimberly Johnson

 

For their love to last, Lonnie and Jamison will have to be brutally honest not only with themselves, but with each other.

Sequel to Good Question; Q&A: Book Two

 

Two men from different worlds must realize they deserve to be loved and what they have together is real and worth fighting for.

 

Though Jamison Coburn and Lonnie Bellerose have been a couple for a month, each worries he’s not good enough for the other. Lonnie has always doubted his worth and right to be loved, despite a superb education and international upbringing. Jamison, an undereducated laborer, grew up in a loving family who never knew he was gay.

 

As Jamison struggles to find his way as an out gay man, he fears the occasional stumble will send Lonnie packing. Lonnie doesn’t trust that anyone would choose him and worries that Jamison will see better options.

 

When Lonnie’s abusive ex returns, he’s determined to reclaim Lonnie. He works to exacerbate the new couple’s differences and doubts in the hopes of splitting them up, which is proving too easy.

 

For their love to last, Lonnie and Jamison will have to be brutally honest, not only with themselves, but with each other.

 

Length: Novel (216p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: June 15, 2015

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63476-230-4) | Buy as Paperback  ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-63476-229-8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving Faithless Creek by Andrew Grey

 

The attraction between Blair and Royal is hard to ignore, but it could all evaporate once the land deal Blair’s father wants is sealed.

Blair Montague is sent to Newton, Montana, to purchase a ranch and some land for his father. It’s a trip he doesn’t want to make. But his father paid for his college education in exchange for Blair working for him in his casinos, so Blair has no choice. When he finds out he’ll be dealing with Royal Masters, the man who bullied him in high school, he is shocked. Then Blair is surprised when he finds that Royal’s time in the Marines has changed him to the point where Blair could be attracted to him… if he’s willing to take that chance.

 

Royal’s life hasn’t been a bed of roses. He saw combat in the military that left him scarred, and not just on the outside. When he inherits his father’s ranch, he discovers his father wasn’t a good manager and the ranch is in trouble. The sale of land would put them back on good footing, but he is suspicious of Blair’s father’s motives, and with good reason.  The attraction between them is hard for either to ignore, but it could all evaporate once the land deal is sealed.

 

Length: Novella (220p.) | Genre: Western | Release Date: June 15, 2015

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63476-090-4) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-63476-089-8)

Where did it begin?

June 15, 2015

That’s a Good Question. Ha! See what I did there? I’m closing out my time here at the DSP blog with an excerpt from the novella that started Lonnie and Jamison’s love story.

Excerpt:

GQ200Torp grimaced. “What the hell is that fag listening to?” he asked around a mouthful of sandwich.

“Don’t say that,” Jamison said.

Torp looked around for Lincoln and, not seeing him, asked, “Why the fuck not? He is.”

“You don’t know that.”

Torp snorted and then choked, prompting Jamison to slap him hard on the back a couple of times until he’d regained his ability to breathe properly. “Uh-huh, y-yeah I do. I’d have to be blind not to notice that.”

Jamison opened his mouth to argue, but suddenly he noticed the music above them had stopped. Did he hear us? From deep in the house he heard someone running down the stairs. He turned to look over his shoulder and saw the art student stumble into the hallway, pause, and turn their way, spotting them. Shit. Jamison turned back around quickly and sipped his tea, his gaze riveted on the grass.

“Hey, fellas. I’m done for today. Got a late afternoon class. See ya tomorrow.” Jamison felt some tension drain out of him, but then the young man gave an exasperated sigh and a chuckle. “Sorry. Introductions?”

Jamison sensed the man come closer, and to his left Torp leapt up, quickly wiping sandwich crumbs off on his jeans. “I’m Theodore Machado III, but most folks call me Torpedo.”

“Uh… really? O-okay. Good to meet you, Torpedo”—Jamison smirked at how carefully the man repeated his friend’s name, as if trying it out on his tongue—“I’m Lonnie Bellerose. The very pregnant lady of the house is my sister.”

“Good to meet you, Mister—”

“Lonnie. Just call me Lonnie.”

“Good enough.”

The silence that followed brought some tension back into Jamison’s shoulders as he realized they were waiting on him, probably staring at his back. He began to sweat just as his eyes caught sight of a parade of ants moving across a worn, brown patch in the yard to his right. They looked hell-bent for the grass forest on the other side of their tiny clearing. Take me with you.

“He don’t talk much,” Torp explained, then smacked the back of Jamison’s head. “Jam, introduce yourself, man.”

Jamison took a deep breath and slowly stood, turning to face them as he did. Lonnie’s gaze followed him, his eyes widening as Jamison continued to rise above him. Lonnie’s lips parted slightly, almost gasping when he had to tilt his head back a bit to look Jamison in the eyes.

Green. His eyes are green, Jamison noted. He almost stepped closer, almost revealed the pull he felt, but he stopped himself, fearing the same reaction from Lonnie that he’d gotten since his first growth spurt. When you don’t smile much and you’re big and you’re black and you’re tattooed and you’re silent, people—strangers—all react the same way.

It had served him well growing up, carrying him safely through adolescence in a rough neighborhood and keeping bad influences—and even some good ones—at a distance. But as he looked into Lonnie’s bright green eyes, it suddenly hit Jamison that the last thing he wanted from this man was distance.

A smile slowly spread across Lonnie’s beautiful face—full lips, narrow nose, long dark lashes, and high cheekbones. Yum. He was almost as pretty as a girl, but so very much a man.

“My… you’re… you’re—”

“Jamison.”

“Huh?”

“I’m Jamison Coburn.”

Lonnie slowly extended his hand, and Jamison took it. “I’m… I’m….”

“Lonnie.”

“Huh?”

Jamison allowed himself to grin. “You’re… Lonnie Bellerose.”

Lonnie barked in laughter, snorted, and smacked himself in the forehead. “Ha! Yeah, yeah, I’m Lonnie. Sorry.” He shook his head, his curls bouncing. “Spaced out a bit there. Nice to m-meet you, Jamison.”

“And you, Lonnie,” Jamison said softly. “Enjoy your class.”

“Right,” Lonnie almost whispered, nodding, staring, grinning. “Thank you.”

They stared at each other for several more heartbeats, and then Lonnie turned on his sockless but sneakered feet, juggled his drawing pad and art bag, and walked right into the closed half of the French doors. He stumbled backward, but Jamison grabbed him and steadied him by the shoulders, aiming him properly at the open door.

Lonnie looked back at him and laughed again. “Thanks f-for that.”

Jamison simply nodded and pointed at the doorway, silently urging him to watch his step. He watched Lonnie walk through the kitchen, all the way down that long hall to the front door, heard Lonnie’s noisy VW grind to life, and caught a flash of purple as he drove away.

“You can’t see that?” Torp asked, shaking his head and shooing a fly from the remainder of his sandwich before taking another bite.

I saw it, all right, Jamison thought, smiling.

*****

I hope that was fun. Setting it up for this post made me smile again.

Thank you all for joining me today, and if you take a chance on my novel The Answer Is, I hope it’s an entertaining read for you.

Remember, you have until 11 a.m. EST, Wednesday, June 17, to leave a comment on the giveaway posts in this release party for chances to win.

Take care and have a great week, people!

What are you reading?

June 15, 2015

We’re only half way through the sixth month of 2015, but I bet you’ve been doing a lot of reading, haven’t you? I know I love curling up with my Kindle each night. Right now I’m reading Murder & Mayhem by Rhys Ford, one of my favorite authors.

What are you reading right now? What have been some of your favorites so far this year? Leave a comment below for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist, which you can find here.

I’ll draw a name at random from those comments on Wednesday, June 17. Good luck!

The Answer Is: Lonnie Bellerose

June 15, 2015

It’s time for Lonnie’s introduction.

Excerpt:

Lonnie sighed and hugged himself, trying to appear at ease as the crowd moved around the room. After all, he was an artist standing in a gallery that displayed some of his best work to date. He should be all smiles and charm and wit. Instead, he felt as though he stood out like a two-headed goat, afraid to move, all hooves and confusion, bleating above the conversations.

On top of that, Lonnie had the distinct impression of being watched. He couldn’t shake it. He looked to his right and his left, then settled again on examining the campus beyond the wall of windows at the gallery’s entrance. He searched the mist-shrouded grounds for any sign of Jamison, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“Here, have a drink, Mr. Bellerose.” Professor Eloise Bink smiled and sipped her champagne, urging him to do the same from the flute she’d provided. She taught several art history classes, and Lonnie had been her assistant while earning his master’s.

He took a sip, then said, “Just call me Lonnie, please. I’m not your TA anymore.”

She smiled and tossed her short and sassy new haircut out of her eyes, the silver-gray strands catching the light. “I’ll call you Lonnie when you call me Eloise.”

He frowned in thought. “I think I can handle Bink but nothing more casual. Will that do?”

“Acceptable.”

They sipped in unison, the bubbles nearly making him sneeze.

“You appear agitated. Waiting for someone?”

“Jamison’s coming, though he should be here by now.”

“No family?”

He shook his head. “Parents in France, Amber birthed a new human being, and brother-in-law is hovering, so… no. No family tonight.” A chill ran through him, so he took another sip of his champagne. It didn’t warm him, and this time he did sneeze, loudly, causing a few heads to turn in fright. His face heated, and he nodded his apologies before depositing the flute on a passing tray.

He turned to the entrance again and gasped softly. Through the floor-to-ceiling windows, he caught a glimpse of a tall, broad-shouldered silhouette hurrying toward the building. The campus lights along the path reflected off what little fog lingered above the lawn, giving the approaching figure a mysterious, superhero-like quality. To Lonnie, he seemed to be moving in slow motion and to his own soundtrack. Lonnie’s heart soared, and he excused himself from Bink to cut through the crowd and meet his man at the door.

“Hi,” he said, beaming up at Jamison as he walked in looking all kinds of gorgeous.

The worried frown on Jamison’s face vanished as he smiled down at Lonnie. “Hi, yourself.”

“You look fantastic.” He stood on tiptoes to give Jamison a peck on the lips, but Jamison pulled back, the frown returning, his gaze darting around the gallery. Lonnie sighed, took his hand, and tugged him deeper into the room. “I have someone I want you to meet.” He paused to look over the faces surrounding them, and when he spotted Bink again, he resumed his tugging.

Glancing around as he followed Lonnie, Jamison asked, “Isn’t your fam—?”

“No,” Lonnie said, “but they sent their congratulations.”

“Ah, Lonnie, back so soon?” Bink said, turning to face the two of them as they reached her. She blinked up at Jamison, her expression remaining warm and friendly. “Whom do we have here?”

“This is Jamison Coburn. Jamison, this is Professor Eloise Bink. I’ve mentioned her before. I was her teaching assistant.” His words rushed out as he gripped Jamison’s big left hand tightly. Mine.

“Yes,” Bink said. “I’m certainly going to miss you in that capacity. Perhaps I’ll find something else for you.” Lonnie laughed at that.

Jamison’s hand swallowed hers. “Good to meet you, ma’am.”

“And you, Mr. Coburn.” She grinned at Lonnie before continuing. “Anyone who can make him daydream at his desk is definitely someone I want to get to know.”

Lonnie gazed up at Jamison and caught the embarrassment as it crossed his handsome features. His chest filled with joy and pride that Jamison was here for him.

“Oh… I don’t know about that, ma’am,” Jamison said.

“Bink, Mr. Coburn. Please call me Bink.”

“If you’ll call me Jamison.”

She grinned. “Agreed. Champagne?” she asked, grabbing fresh flutes from a passing waiter. She handed them each a glass, and they clinked them in a toast to Lonnie’s accomplishment.

*****

I think Lonnie is more delightful than annoying, but he walks a fine line. What do you think?

Win a DSP ebook

June 15, 2015

For those people who have read my work, you’ve probably noticed I usually have a lot of people whirling around my main characters, people who love them, are too hard on them, or are outright threats. This story is no exception. I believe the people we surround ourselves with can feed who we are, for good or bad.

It’s no different for my main characters. Lonnie has a mentor in Prof. Elosie Bink, supportive (for the most part) parents in Arthur and Ginger, a loving twin sister in Amber, and a scoundrel of an ex in Jerry Pool. Jamison has his struggling mother, Alanna, his understanding Aunt Jo, his boss, Lincoln, his best friend, Torpedo, and those folks from his old neighborhood who don’t know his secret.

They’ll both meet new people along the way: some will help, some will hinder. Such is life.

Who is someone in your life who has made you a better/stronger person? Comment below for a chance to win an ebook copy of the DSP book of your choice. I’ll draw a name at random on Wednesday, June 17. Good luck!

The Answer Is: Jamison Coburn

June 15, 2015

I’d like you to get to know Jamison a bit better.

Excerpt:

“You gonna eat with me, baby?”

Jamison turned toward his mother, Alanna, who stood in the back door of her house watching him. He wondered how long she’d been standing there, and he suddenly felt guilty. The original reason for stopping by was to see her, catch up with whatever was going on in her life, but instead he’d ended up working on his latest piece in her garage. He’d heard it calling to him, urging him: finish me, make me pretty, show me off.

His living arrangement didn’t leave any space to store his equipment, let alone use it. Jamison supposed a decluttering of the Standleas’ garage—a family’s furniture and keepsakes collected over the decades—could make room. But deep down he knew keeping his equipment where it was would please his mother. It meant he would always come back. Tonight she probably thought he was avoiding her, but that wasn’t his intention. Unfortunately, now he had to leave.

“No, ma’am. Thank you, but I’m taking dinner over to Lonnie. He’s babysitting tonight.”

He saw disappointment play over her beautiful features, but she quickly brightened.

“How is that new baby?” she asked as he shut down and secured any tools he’d used.

“He’s fine, but Remmy’s just a month or so old, Mama. He doesn’t do much.” He just sort of lies there… and leaks.

He turned off the light and locked up before joining her at the back door. After following her inside, he turned on the security light and bolted the door behind them.

“Everything a baby does, no matter how tiny they are, is precious. It’s hard to believe you were ever that small. And Remmy? What sort of name is that?”

“Short for Rembrandt. Some famous painter.”

“Lordy, what will these people think of next?” she asked as she opened the refrigerator and removed a pie dish.

Jamison’s mouth began to water at the thought of homemade peach pie.

“Does he… does your friend babysit his nephew a lot?”

Jamison shrugged. “Uh… so far the baby’s been passed back and forth between his parents and grandparents. This is Claude and Amber’s first night out in weeks, and since Claude’s parents finally left, Lonnie’s jumping at the chance to have Remmy all to himself tonight before the next pair of grands arrives in a couple of days.”

“Well… do you think you should intrude?” she asked as she cut two pieces of pie and placed them on a sturdy paper plate.

“Intrude?” Jamison frowned as she secured a sheet of plastic wrap over the pie and plate. “I’m surprising him with dinner. I….” He hesitated as he thought it over. “I don’t think he’ll see it as intruding, Mama.”

She nodded without looking at him, then sighed. “Where are the other grandparents?”

“In France. There’s a family farm there.”

She nodded. “I see.”

“They were supposed to be here right after the little guy arrived, but since the paternal grands were already here, they decided to take their time, get Great-Grandma Bellerose ready to travel.”

She nodded and held out the pie-filled plate. “Take this with you for dessert, baby.”

Jamison smiled. “Thanks, Mama. I appreciate it.” He leaned in and kissed her still-smooth cheek. “Lonnie will appreciate it too.” He held the plate in one hand and bent over to hug her tiny frame with the other arm. “You know, if you’d like to meet—”

She pulled away suddenly and held up a hand to silence his suggestion. “No… no, baby. This is fine. Just fine,” she said, not looking at him. “You have a good night with your friend.”

Jamison deflated a bit and allowed her to usher him to the door. “Good night, Mama. I promise to spend more time with you next time.” As always, she watched until he climbed in his truck, then shut her door. He stared out his windshield at the neighborhood, the streetlights creating puddles of illumination every few yards, and wondered at her comment. What does “I see” mean? Does it mean anything? No. He was reading shit into it, feeding it with his own doubts about him and Lonnie. They enjoyed each other. What else mattered?

Before starting the truck, he glanced at the house again and caught his mother peeking at him through a curtain. As he pulled away from the curb, he tapped out a quick good-night on his horn, then turned onto Little Avenue and headed for Ming Empire to pick up dinner.

*****

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you thought.