The Living Desert

March 19, 2015

When I was promoting my last book, Playing Hard To Forget, I talked a bit about my weird experiences in the desert. Something To Die For was born out of some of those experiences.

I, being of red hair and see-through skin, really don’t belong in hot, sunny climates, but I keep finding myself in them. My skin keeps saying, “Move to Seattle. Save on sunscreen. Buy a pine tree farm,” but fate keeps flicking me off and throwing me to the hottest places on the whole of Earth.

It takes a special type of person to survive in extreme climates. My stupid body is stupidly efficient in temperatures above 90 and even more so when there’s the oppressive humidity of a tropical rainforest climate added to it, like where I live now.  I have the horrible feeling that even if I managed to outrun my destiny and move to a place unlike the desert or the tropics, where everything tries to kill you all at once, I would probably be dead of hypothermia within six minutes of any temperature under 50.

So, maybe there’s a reason I keep finding myself living amongst the palm trees, yucca, and agave I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with. I mean, it’s not all bad, I guess. Extreme climates tend to harbour extremely weird subcultures of people and I guess I have to count myself among their numbers. Beach bums, desert rats, island bums, we can’t do things the way the rest of the world does things and that’s okay.

And our stories are amazing.

 

Something To Die For takes place in the Mojave Desert. Things exist there that don’t exist anywhere else, like Joshua Trees and Palm Springs’ obsession with midcentury modern architecture.

But beyond that, the desert is alive. It’s its own character with a personality and motivations. As a child I used to frequently dream about being there at night. The desert protected me. The plants hid me from danger and the coyotes (and, unrealistically for modern times, the gray wolf, which is no longer roaming the deserts and hasn’t since well before I was born) stood guard.

Today I will be talking about some of the experiences and stories that led to Something To Die For, as well as other inspirations from music and pictures and I will be doing a giveaway as well.

 

 

 

I like painting the desert. I also like torturing myself with those 50 cent bottles of acrylic paint from the craft store instead of oils or whatever I’m supposed to use that probably costs a lot more.

I hope you’ll join me for the story behind the story.

 

Something To Die For

(a brief update on the Southern Living Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER recipe experiment mentioned in my first post: it’s 3/4 butter and 1/4 shortening. Is that the secret to making it the best? Stay tuned)

Something To Die For Release Party!

March 19, 2015

Okay, boys and girls! Sit down and strap yourselves in ‘cuz we gon’ have a release party!

The Dreamspinner Press people were so kind to let me, Piper Doone, steal the blog today to talk about Something To Die For, out March 18.

I mean, sure, I had to sneak past three security guards, four locked doors, and barricade the door behind me, but the point is that they haven’t broken that door down yet, so until that happens, this baby is all mine!

 

Stay tuned for behind the scenes insights, music, inspirations, a giveaway, and possibly even an honest review of the new cookie recipe I’m trying out in between posts (I picked up an old Southern Living cookbook that promises they are the best cookies ever. We’ll see).

Something To Die For

Josh Tucker lives a blessed life—great job, great family, perfect husband, and two wonderful children—but a mysterious man named Adam who haunts his dreams and soon his waking life threatens everything when he stirs doubt as to whether any of it is real. Adam makes Josh question the world he’s taken for granted—as well as the origins of Adam himself.

Even if Adam’s claims are true, Josh has nothing to live for beyond his fabricated life—except the possibility of a real man out there somewhere who can love him. Josh is left with an impossible choice: stay in his delusion where he’s assured some happiness or take a great leap of faith for a chance to make a life with Adam.

Release Party MOMENT OF TRUTH (Book 2 of the Moments In Time series) – part one

March 5, 2015

 

new-avatar-1

Hi everyone! I’m Karen Stivali and I’ll be here for the next few hours to talk about my brand new release MOMENT OF TRUTH!

 

I’m super excited about this release because MOMENT OF TRUTH is the second book in my Moments In Time series. I have absolutely loved every minute that I spent writing about Collin and Tanner, the two college students who experience all the ups and downs of first love together over the course of the three books in this series.  The first book in this series, MOMENT OF IMPACT (on sale this week for 99 cents!), is a coming of age/coming out story that shows how Tanner and Collin, college roommates, discover that they think of each other as a lot more than friends. Here’s the blurb:

MomentofImpactFS

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.

 

 

MOMENT OF TRUTH takes place a few months later, when Collin and Tanner decide to spend the summer together in the much more liberal and accepting environment of Fire Island.

MomentofTruthFS

Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he’s living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being “out” takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.

 

 

This is definitely a series that’s best read in order because each book is a complete story that takes place at very different times in their relationship. There are no cliffhanger endings (I can’t stand them as a reader, so I’d never write one—I promise!), just an opportunity to watch their relationship evolve as these two young men are confronted by a variety of life’s trials.

I don’t usually title my books until I’m well into writing the story. At some point while I’m writing I’ll think of something that just “fits” and that’s never been more the case than in the series. While writing the first book it occured to me how many specific moments there were in the story where Collin, the point-of-view character, had his life completely change. You know the kind of moments I mean. The ones where you look back on a memory and you realize that there was a specific second where something happened that altered everything that happened after it. Collin has several moments like that in book one, several experiences where the IMPACT of that one MOMENT changes everything. Hence the title MOMENT OF IMPACT.

When I decided to write more of Collin and Tanner’s story, I focused on what the defining moments would be in each phase of their relationship and that’s how the other titles were born. I loved finding the different pieces of their lives that would be so life-altering and would change them as individuals and as a couple. There are several MOMENTS OF TRUTH in book two as this couple grows and matures.

So now it’s time for my question to you. What were some of the most defining moments in time in your life? The realization you were in love with someone? The decision of where to go to college? A mean thing you said and couldn’t take back? A good choice? A bad one? A freak accident? Tell me one of your most memorable moments in the comments below and I’ll choose a random winner (at the end of the day) to win an e-copy of MOMENT OF IMPACT (and if you already have that, then it’ll be your choice of my other titles).

Illusions – Unattainable Love

February 13, 2015

Have you ever wanted to be with someone until you were? Have you ever wanted someone that you considered unattainable and when you had them, you lost interest? I think I’ve spent my entire life looking for that unattainable man. I even wrote a book (that I still need to finish) titled The Quest for the Unattainable Man. So it’s no surprise to me that the books I write always have an unattainable person.

Unattainable can mean many things. It can mean that person is not available physically, emotionally or maybe it just means that person simply doesn’t know you.

In Illusions, Skylar is what I like to call a “commitment-phobe”. He  wants what he wants when he wants it and with no complications. It’s only when he meets Aiden that his rules for dating get a bit out of whack. Along with every other rule he’s created in his mind. One of Skylar’s self imposed rules is that he won’t date fans. THAT came specifically from one of my actor friends from many years ago.

This friend of mine (I won’t give his name because he might kill me..LOL) told me years ago that he would never date a fan. I asked why not? Fans are people too and who knows, you might fall in love with one.  He said, I’ll give you three reasons right now. One, they usually have you so high on a pedestal that you will never be able to live up to that image in their mind. Secondly, some had already decided that they love you and have preconceived notions from day one. And last but not least, he said that he didn’t date fans because heaven forbid they think you are the character that they fell in love with and upon learning you are nothing like that character, they freak out. So dating/sleeping with fans was a no go for him. Now, bear in mind, this was right before he left with a beautiful blonde fan and walked in with her the next morning. I didn’t say word but he came over to me and said, “just so you know, I didn’t sleep with her.” Yes…and I was born yesterday. :)

But the point of my story is rules are made to be broken.

Have you ever wanted someone that was unattainable to you? Please share your story. I don’t want to be alone in my quest. :)

IllusionsFS

Genre: M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Christy Caughie

Link: e-book http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6041

Link: paperback http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6042

BLURB

Ever since arriving in Hollywood, Skylar Murphy has been loving life. He’s starring in a hit television show and on the verge of grabbing the lead role in the most anticipated movie of the decade. Poised on the edge of superstardom, he doesn’t want or need any complications to distract him from that goal. Whether he’s sleeping with a woman or a man, his noncommittal, no-strings-attached love life suits him perfectly, and despite his rep for playing gay roles, the world still thinks he’s straight.

At the launch party for his new show, Skylar meets Aiden Moore, an openly gay firefighter by day and cater waiter to the stars by night. Skylar is immediately attracted to him, but Aiden rejects him. When an arsonist appears to have targeted Skylar, their paths keep crossing. Always up for a challenge, Skylar works to win Aiden over, and he agrees to a date. Soon enough they can’t stay away from each other. Despite hiding their relationship away from the ever-present paparazzi, they’re happy together until a jilted fan joins forces with the arsonist to sabotage their future.

Illusions – Let’s cast the movie version

February 13, 2015

Hi everyone! It’s S.A. Ozment again taking over the DSP blog. My new book, Illusions is being released today and I”m super excited. Did you all have a great Saturday afternoon? I live in North Carolina where the weather is sunny and hot one day and freezing the next. But speaking of hot, that’s one hot firefighter that Christie came up with for my cover. I want to use him in every cover from now on.

IllusionsFS

 

Have you ever read a book and immediately knew who would cast in the roles if the book were made into a movie? I know I have and Illusions is no exception.  If you don’t mind, I’d like to share my ideas for Skylar and Aiden and perhaps you can share who could see in the role?

Let’s start with my favorite character:

Skylar – is a Hollywood playboy. He has the world at his fingertips, ready to break out into superstardom. He is about six feet tall with dark hair and beautiful blue eyes. He works out so he is in great physical shape. He is a television star and is known for playing gay roles.

For me, there was never anyone but this particular actor for Skylar. In an earlier blog, I shared the fan video that inspired Skylar in my mind. For those that missed it, the song is The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars.

The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars

sebastian
His name is Sebastian Stan. You might know him as Prince Jack from the critically acclaimed NBC show, Kings or as the Mad Hatter from Once Upon a Time. Or if you are a big comic fan, he was the Winter Soldier/Bucky in the latest installments of Captain America. I think Sebastian is hands down the best American actor of his generation. One day, others will see it, just as I have. :)

Aiden - Aiden is an openly gay firefighter for the Hollywood Fire Department. He’s hardworking and dedicated to his job. He is six feet tall with blonde hair, blue eyes and hot as hell in that firefighter uniform.

Aiden was harder for me to see. As I wrote the book, I saw the guy from Chicago Fire (the blonde) but even he seemed too old for who I had in mind. I just kept writing and as I was finishing the book, I saw him. One night, I was watching a movie on Netflix called Adored. His name was Xavier Samuel. I believe he was in one of the Twilight movies as well.

adore-picture01

I finally had my Aiden.

So tell me, who would you cast in the two main roles of the movie, Illusions? I can’t wait to see your thoughts.

If you want to buy the book to meet Skylar and Aiden, it’s available at DSP , Amazon and All Romance Ebooks.

Illusions_bookmarkH_DSP

Genre: M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Christy Caughie

Link: e-book  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6041

Link: paperback http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6042

BLURB

Ever since arriving in Hollywood, Skylar Murphy has been loving life. He’s starring in a hit television show and on the verge of grabbing the lead role in the most anticipated movie of the decade. Poised on the edge of superstardom, he doesn’t want or need any complications to distract him from that goal. Whether he’s sleeping with a woman or a man, his noncommittal, no-strings-attached love life suits him perfectly, and despite his rep for playing gay roles, the world still thinks he’s straight.

At the launch party for his new show, Skylar meets Aiden Moore, an openly gay firefighter by day and cater waiter to the stars by night. Skylar is immediately attracted to him, but Aiden rejects him. When an arsonist appears to have targeted Skylar, their paths keep crossing. Always up for a challenge, Skylar works to win Aiden over, and he agrees to a date. Soon enough they can’t stay away from each other. Despite hiding their relationship away from the ever-present paparazzi, they’re hap

Illusions – Author Interview

February 13, 2015

This is my last post here at DSP until 5pm tonight. I hope you will come back and chat with me. And bring your ideas on who you would cast in the movie, Illusions.

Right now, let’s give away a copy of Illusions. All you need to do is say hello and maybe something about yourself. For example, what are your favorite types of stories to read?  Tomorrow (Sat, Feb. 14th) I will chose one of the names from the comments to win either an e-book or a paperback version of Illusions.

I realized that I have been jabbering about the book so much and it occurred to me that you all might not know me at all. I had answered the following questions for a blog tour I did this week over at the Purple Rose Tea House with Charlie so I thought I would share it here.

************************

What was the most challenging part of writing this story? 

Illusions is my first book, so everything seemed a bit challenging in the beginning. Probably the most difficult thing in this story was finding exactly the right way to end it.  I ran through several scenarios in my head before finally deciding on one that I liked. I hope it was the right choice.

What  are you working on now?

My second book Demons was very emotional for me, dealing with abuse and feelings of being unlovable,therefore, I want my next novel to be all about fun and fluff with a bit of romance. I have several ideas, I just need to pick one and run with it.

Why did you decide to write M/M Romance?

I discovered m/m romance when I started watching Queer as Folk about 10 years ago. I fell in love with Brian and Michael and wanted the two of them to have a happily ever after together.  However, it wasn’t until I discovered “Chrolli” that I wanted to actually write a love story. “Chrolli” is the story of Christian and Oliver in the German soap opera, “Verbotene Liebe”, which means “Forbidden Love”. I found them one day on You Tube in 2008 and fell in love. When I say that is a beautiful love story, I mean it’s a BEAUTIFUL love story. The entire storyline in on YouTube and it’s subtitled in several languages. It was very popular for a long time.  Jo Weil (Oliver) became one of my closest friends as well as the wonderful man who wrote the story, Tom Chroust. After watching that amazing story, all I wanted to do was write my own beautiful love story.

Christian and Oliver

Make sure you click on the subtitles.

What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

I’m a big fan of anything Hollywood and I enjoyed sharing some things that I had seen and heard from various people through the years. When I wrote about the studios, I recalled going to Paramount Studios and visiting some of the Roswell cast.  A lot of what Skylar has to say is from things I have heard my actor friends say in the past or some of the behind the scenes stories that they have shared. It was a lot of fun for me to write.

What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?

I don’t usually plan anything. For example, when I started Illusions, I had no idea that there would be an arsonist involved. That just happened. I started writing the book because I wanted to tell a story about an actor falling in love with non-celebrity person. After a while, the book started to write itself. Honestly, there would be times when I didn’t know, until my fingers started typing, what would happen next. It was all very strange to me, the entire process of Illusions.

How did it feel to sign that first contract?

It was the most surreal feeling. When I started writing “Illusions”, I had just been laid off from my job of twenty-two years and I was frustrated at the job hunting process. Once I started writing, I quickly realized that it very therapeutic. While it felt great to write and be able to say anything I wanted on paper, I never once thought about the story being published. An author friend of mine suggested that I send it to Dreamspinner. When they accepted the manuscript, I jumped up and down. It was a fantastic feeling.

 What advice would you give to an aspiring author looking to get published?

Being so new, I’m not sure I can give good advice but I can offer the steps that I took. Once you write your book, have it reviewed by several of your friends for grammar, pacing and anything that may need to be added or removed. Once it’s cleaned up, it’s time to pick a publisher. Make sure you submit the manuscript exactly as they asked and then move on to your next book while you wait. That makes the time go a little faster and hopefully, once you hear they want your book, you’ll be well into your second.

What are your plans for the future? What more can we look forward to from you?

I’ve just submitted my second novel “Demons” to Dreamspinner Press and I’m waiting to hear back if they will publish it or not. Other than that, I’ve been promoting “Illusions” and haven’t had time to start another book but I hope to very soon.

What are your five favorite songs and why?

1)  Right now, my number one favorite song is Demons by Imagine Dragons.  It was my inspiration for the book that I just completed. I feel like everyone has demons that they battle everyday and sometimes it’s easier to just avoid love rather than face down these demons.

2) My second favorite song is The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars. This fan video of Sebastian Stan (who I love) in Kings was my sole inspiration for Skylar in Illusions.

3) I recently found my second favorite. It’s Take Me to Church by Hozier. I have to say that I don’t completely agree with the song. I believe in Church and God, but I know that there are many so called Christians who use the Church to hide behind their own bigotry.  I chose to believe the song is about those particular people.

4) Stay with Me by Sam Smith. I absolutely love everything about this song. Besides the fact Sam’s voice is so beautiful, the words break my heart. “Oh won’t you stay with me, ‘cause you’re all that I need.” I believe he wrote this song for his straight best friend, whom he was in love with. Such a sad, yet beautiful song.

5) I’m Not the Only One – Another Sam Smith song that I’m obsessed with.  “You say I’m crazy, ‘cause you don’t think I know what you’ve done.” Another song that is so incredibly sad, because his lover is cheating on him and I can feel Sam’s feelings in all of his songs. That is a gift of a true songwriter.

I could go on and on as l love music. I really enjoy the 80’s music, BonJovi, REO Speedwagon, “LoverBoy”, all of those hair bands. They were my favorites.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in lust at first sight. I can’t imagine loving someone until I knew more about them. I do think that you can see someone and be very overwhelmed with feelings but again, I think it’s more physical at that point.

Name 5 favorite movies. Why?

For someone who isn’t really a “fall in love” type of girl, the majority of my five favorite movies are all romantic. Go figure.

Notting Hill – This is probably my all time favorite movie. I love the premise; I adore Hugh Grant’s acting and Spike! Who could not love “Spike”. The soundtrack was beautiful…so many things to love about that movie.

Latter Days – I adored this movie!! I felt so sorry for Aaron when he was thrown out of the Mormon Church for being gay. This movie touched me in so many ways. I still find myself watching it at least once a year.

Love Actually – I’m a huge Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fan so it’s no surprise that this movie is high on my list. I watch it every year, sometimes more than once and it never gets old. Just the love stories, especially the little boy who loves the girl in his class, it’s just so sweet.

Life as a House – I love this movie because the story of the man building the house at the same time he was building his relationship with his son was so beautiful to me. Of course, I cried like a baby at the end. Lovely movie.

Legends of the Fall – This movie introduced me to Brad Pitt and while I could stop there, I did really enjoy the drama of the three brothers and their father in the wilderness.

About Illusions

IllusionsFS

Genre: M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Christy Caughie

Link: e-book  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6041

Link: paperback http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6042

BLURB

Ever since arriving in Hollywood, Skylar Murphy has been loving life. He’s starring in a hit television show and on the verge of grabbing the lead role in the most anticipated movie of the decade. Poised on the edge of superstardom, he doesn’t want or need any complications to distract him from that goal. Whether he’s sleeping with a woman or a man, his noncommittal, no-strings-attached love life suits him perfectly, and despite his rep for playing gay roles, the world still thinks he’s straight.

At the launch party for his new show, Skylar meets Aiden Moore, an openly gay firefighter by day and cater waiter to the stars by night. Skylar is immediately attracted to him, but Aiden rejects him. When an arsonist appears to have targeted Skylar, their paths keep crossing. Always up for a challenge, Skylar works to win Aiden over, and he agrees to a date. Soon enough they can’t stay away from each other. Despite hiding their relationship away from the ever-present paparazzi, they’re happy together until a jilted fan joins forces with the arsonist to sabotage their future.

Music and books

February 12, 2015

Here’s the link to my The Shifters part 1 book trailer – check it out! I had a lot of fun making it and it is office appropriate.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDh7v193dFE&feature=youtu.be

 

Let me know what you think! Good, bad, meh? Be honest!

I plan to do another trailer when all of Part 2 is published.

 

I often listen to music when I write and it’s often instrumental – but not just any instrumental. I love EPIC music!

 

I listened to the following groups a lot when I wrote “Hearts and Minds” and they are very inspiring, and I don’t have to focus on them, like I do if there are lyrics. They fade into the background but not all the way.

 

A couple of my favorites are: Two Steps from Hell, E.S. Posthumus, and Mary McLaughlin (piano, Irish).

Here are some links to my favorite albums on YouTube. (all work appropriate – you’re welcome)

Two Steps from Hell: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7B16C924C1FAD7BD

E.S. Posthumus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmbuwZXtsS0

 

My question to you is – What music do you listen to: to write, read, clean the bathroom, whatever? Fav artists, music groups, musicians…? I want to know!

 

-M.D.

Xavier and Josh – so in love!

February 12, 2015

Hello and welcome to my release day party! I’m here promoting my newest release: “Hearts and Minds.”

Xavier is so in love with Josh and the intensity is indescribable. He truly sees Josh as his savior and in some respects he is. But because of that he might get a wee bit overprotective, which can lead to some interesting moments… some of which are in “Hearts and Minds.” See what I did there?

 

I’m very proud of this book and where I leave my guys at the end. But another reason I really enjoyed this book is that it takes place in my favorite place of all time: Haven, Montana. A town founded by shifters for shifters. Who wouldn’t want to live in a town where someone could shift into a wolf or fox or cat anytime they wanted to right in front of your eyes? Because it’s in Haven, Sheriff Jack and his mate Travis (“Blind Devotion” book 3) make cameos. It was fun running into them again.

 

For those of you wondering, Haven will be a vital location in later books. I’m sure some of you smarties already guessed that.

 

Also, for those curious, I do plan on 20ish books in this series, and I hope you all join me for the ride! I will have 5 parts with 3-5 books in each. I have a climactic battle planned in the last one (of course) that I hope you all will enjoy! It’s very possible that Xavier and Josh will pop up again in later books. I love having cameos of previous characters.

 

And now another excerpt!

 

 

“I should take a shower,” Xavier murmured even as he tugged Josh against him, his hands cupping Josh’s butt.

“No, I want to smell you,” Josh said. He then literally jumped into Xavier’s arms and wrapped his arms and legs around him. Xavier staggered backward in surprise but recovered quickly. Josh smashed his mouth against Xavier’s, and Xavier thrust his tongue into his mouth. Groaning, Josh yanked the tie out of Xavier’s hair and drove his fingers through the black locks as Xavier squeezed Josh’s ass. Josh rubbed his encased erection against Xavier’s stomach.

“Hell yes,” Xavier growled as he carried Josh to the bed and laid him down. Josh yanked off Xavier’s tank, needing to feel hot flesh. His fingers dug into Xavier’s back, feeling the muscles, the strong bones. Xavier was so strong and ruthless, but also so loving. Josh kissed Xavier’s corded neck, moving lower, licking his sweat and sucking the skin lightly.

Xavier shivered and groaned. “Jesus Christ, Josh. I’ve missed you.”

Josh had never felt such need in his life, this sense of urgency. Perhaps it was the fact that they could be interrupted at any moment, or perhaps the knowledge that Xavier hadn’t been inside Josh for far so long. Josh suddenly needed him, right then. He needed to feel his strength, to feel that connection again. Xavier was Josh’s first and only, and Josh craved him like a dying man does water.

Xavier pulled off Josh’s shirt before unzipping Josh’s pants. Rearing up, Josh began kissing Xavier’s arms, and the muscles quivered under his touch, the skin heated under his palms. Josh had to taste all of him; he had to love all of him.

When Xavier gripped Josh’s exposed erection, Josh fell back on the bed with a gasp. Xavier stroked him with one hand as his other continued to push Josh’s pants down his legs. Josh stared and groaned at Xavier, whose eyes were bright gold, lust and need naked within them. He really, really loved Xavier’s eyes.

Xavier lowered his head—

“Xavier, Josh! Come quick!” The voice sounded distant, as if down the hall or stairs, but they both heard it clearly.

They both froze for half a second before Xavier pushed off the bed, his eyes now flashing a dark green, his skin rippling as if he was fighting the urge to shift.

Josh felt just as pissed as Xavier and actually growled. “What the fuck is going on?” he demanded.

“They better have a fucking good reason,” Xavier growled, sounding more like a wolf than Josh ever could.

“Xavier, Josh!” The voice became louder, and then someone pounded frantically on their door.

Xavier yanked it open even as Josh got out of the line of sight and tugged his pants back on.

“What is it, Misty?” Xavier demanded.

“I’m so sorry, but it’s Allen, he’s—”

“Allen?” Josh grabbed his shirt from where Xavier had tossed it on the floor and ran to the doorway. He saw the panic and fear in Misty’s eyes, and the last of his raging lust died. His own fear rose up to replace it.

“What happened?” Xavier asked.

 

 

What will happen next? You’ll have to purchase the book to find out… http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6031

 

Don’t forget to post comments and give me some of your own questions! I’m ready!

 

-M.D. Grimm

Shifters are fun

February 12, 2015

I don’t re-read my published stories as a rule since there is always something I want to fix, and I can’t. But “Healing Minds” is one of the rare exceptions. I just like the “getting-to-know-you” portion of the book which is literally all of it. I enjoy the journey they took and the way they began to depend on each other. But I felt as though they needed another chance in the limelight, which is why I picked them for a sequel. Some couples I can step away from and feel satisfied that their stories are completely told, but others I have to return to. I find it amusing that “Healing Minds” was the book I least wanted to write, but ended up becoming one of my favorites. Typical, right?

 

“Hearts and Minds” http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6031

was longer than I expected it to be, but that’s never a bad thing in my opinion. It simply means I had a full story to tell.

 

If you wish to know more about The Shifters series and my future plans for it, check out my blog at: http://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/#!Shifters-explained/c1o5e/3AB7F857-F8F4-4032-829D-A151576ED328

 

I explain everything you could ever want to know about my direction for the series (without spoiling too many of the surprises).

 

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If so, how?

 

-M.D.

Valentine’s Day sequel – why?

February 12, 2015

(A few SPOILER ALERTS for those who haven’t read “Healing Minds” – proceed at your own risk)

 

I chose Valentine’s Day for these two because it’s one of the romance-mushiest holidays out there, and I liked the pairing of the holiday with Xavier’s badass image. He had a rough past, what with being a (SPOILER ALERT) criminal, and being trained by a para-military wolf pack in Australia. Josh does feel like a romantic to me, despite his inexperience with it, and I wanted him to flip back and forth whether to attempt to celebrate the holiday or not.

 

Since this is a direct sequel to “Healing Minds,” I don’t have much furthering of the overall plot of my series, i.e. the conflict between the Knights and the Agency, introducing new characters (though a new character does make a brief appearance at the end—watch for him, he returns later in the series!), new couples, etc. I also decided early on that it would be fun to make all the sequels center around holidays. I started the trend with “Celtic Warrior and Wolf Spirit,” the sequel to “Psychic Moon.”

 

However, there will be a few books that return to earlier couples, but I don’t consider them sequels because they further the overall plot. To name a couple: Derek and Brian from “Psychic Moon,” and (everyone’s favorite) Poe and Nordik from “Master’s Blood.”

 

But back to “Hearts and Minds.”

And another excerpt!

 

 

Josh jerked back to the present. He realized he was standing in the reception area of the counseling wing, and Misty—their efficient secretary, a petite woman with long red-orange hair, bright green eyes, and a narrow, pointy face—was holding out a file folder. They weren’t able to pay their clinic employees yet, but that never stopped people from applying for positions and volunteering their time. They had a chef, two other counselors with degrees in psychology, and an elderly elk shifter who acted as custodian.

Where would they be without these generous Haven citizens?

There was a bunch of red and pink construction paper on Misty’s desk, and she seemed to be cutting them up into hearts of different sizes.

“What’s with the hearts?” Josh asked.

Misty tilted her head slightly and gave him a look that clearly said he was a dummy. “Valentine’s Day is coming up, duh.”

Josh blinked, flipped through the calendar in his head, and said, “Oh, right.”

Misty shook her head and rolled her eyes. “I’m making these for the class my brother’s in. They’re having a little party.”

“They’re looking good.”

“Yes, they are,” Misty said proudly. “But just wait till you see the necklace I had specially made for my girlfriend. She’s going to flip.”

Josh chuckled even as something occurred to him. “Is V-Day the reason you’ve been using pink and red highlighters and pens, lately?”

Misty sighed loudly and rolled her eyes again. “Wow, Josh. You’re Mr. Observant.”

“Hey, I have been a little busy, you know.”

“What? And I haven’t? You think this enterprise of yours runs itself?”

Temper sparked in her eyes, and Josh barely resisted a wince. Then he said, in all seriousness, “No, Misty. We all know how invaluable you are.”

“Damn right, I am.” Misty smiled cannily, her eyes now twinkling with humor as she continued to hold out Allen’s folder. He took it.

“Thanks. Is Allen’s mother with him?”

“Yes.” Her smile warmed, softened. “She’s so sweet and devoted. I really think he has a fair chance at full recovery with such support on his side.”

“I think so, too.” Josh promptly forgot about Valentine’s Day and its implications as he walked into the small counseling room. Allen sat on the couch, hunched over, his hands clasped in front of him. His mother sat right next to him, her hand on his. Allen’s cane was set against the couch, and his left leg was tucked under his right. It was understandable that he was still self-conscious about his severed left foot, but that was one of the things they were working on. He needed to accept what had happened to him and move past it. But, as Allen had only been with them for about a week, Josh knew it was a slow process and might take years. Allen and his mother were bear shifters, and he’d proven nonviolent, but Josh had seen flashes of rage in his eyes when they attempted to discuss his abuse. Josh had Xavier on speed dial if Allen proved too much to handle.

 

 

What is your favorite holiday to celebrate with your significant other?

 

Got anything you wish to ask me about my series? Ask away! I shall answer!

 

-M.D.