The stress of moving…. MOMENT OF CLARITY release party (post 3)

May 6, 2015

 

MomentsinTime_FBbanner_DSP

The Moments In Time series features a couple in their early 20s and in the course of the three books one of the things they had to do several times was move—from their dorm to their summer residence on Fire Island, from Fire Island to one of the character’s brother’s house because their dorm room wasn’t ready, from the brother’s house to the dorm, from the dorm to an apartment. It’s been many years since my college days and until I wrote this book I’d forgotten how many times I moved house in my late teens and early 20s.

Moving is stressful. Putting your whole life in boxes. Remembering what you packed where. Physically packing, moving and unpacking. Waking up those first few nights exhausted and not entirely sure where you are. I don’t miss that! I’ve lived in my current house in New Hampshire for over a decade and that’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. I don’t miss moving at all!

Now the closest I get to having to pack up a zillion belongings is conference time. Right now I’m packing to attend the RT Convention in Dallas next week. (If any of you are going, please find me and say hello—I love meeting readers in person!)

In addition to the stress that moving puts on Collin and Tanner, several of the places they live in the beginning of MOMENT OF CLARITY are not places where they have any privacy. Collin’s brother has three young children, the friend they crash with has a roommate who’s up till all hours partying—they are both longing for time alone together.

Here’s an excerpt from the time that they’re living with Collin’s brother…

Between classes, my work at Gino’s, Tanner’s shifts at the bookstore, and commuting back and forth to Sean’s house, Tanner and I were busier than we’d ever been. I always knew it was more convenient to live on campus, but I had no idea what a hassle it was to make the added drive daily. By the time we got to Sean’s, had dinner, spent time with the girls, and did some studying, we were exhausted.

I hadn’t touched Tanner for yet another week, and I didn’t think I’d last the day without changing that. Tanner must have felt the same. I’d seen the looks he’d been throwing me, particularly the night before while we were watching a movie together, but I wasn’t about to do anything with Sean and the kids in the house. I didn’t care that the doors locked. It didn’t feel right. And I didn’t trust either of us to be quiet enough. Especially since it had been so long.

Sean handed me the last dirty dish to load into the dishwasher while Tanner put the juice and milk in the fridge.

“I’m gonna run to the grocery store while the kids are at preschool. Any requests?” Sean asked, grabbing his wallet off the counter and shoving it in his pocket.

“If you get a can of crushed tomatoes and some spaghetti, I’ll cook.”

“Thanks. The kids loved that the other night. Anything else?”

I tried to think but couldn’t. All that registered in my brain was that Sean was going out. Tanner and I would be alone in the house. My entire body was totally onboard with this thought.

“I think that’ll do it. Tanner, you need anything?”

Tanner looked up from wiping off the kitchen tables. His pupils were huge. I knew that look. I loved that look. He was thinking the same thing I was. I twitched with anticipation.

“I’m good,” Tanner said, tossing the rag on the counter.

“Okay, then.” Sean headed for the door. “It’s my turn to drive carpool home, so I’ll probably take the kids to Mickey D’s for happy meals. Lock up if you both leave, okay?”

“Sure.” My heart raced as I watched Sean trot down the back porch steps. I held my breath, listening as the car door slammed, the engine revved, and the tires crunched down the gravel driveway.

I turned to look at Tanner, but before I could even focus my eyes, he was on me. Hands on either side of my face, body pressed up against mine, lips prying mine open, tongue—oh, God, I’d missed that tongue—swirling in circles with mine.

Groaning, I grabbed him and tugged him closer. I needed to feel as much of him as possible. All of him. Immediately, if not sooner.

MOC teaser 3

 

For another chance to win an ebook from me, tell me how many times you’ve moved in your life or the longest you’ve lived in any one place. I’ll announce winners in the comment section of each post at midnight tonight (EDT).

Food and Memories —MOMENT OF CLARITY release day (post 2)

May 6, 2015

 

Food has always been a big part of my life. Not only do I love to eat, I also love to cook. I come from a half Italian, half Jewish family and the main thing the two sides of the family had in common was a compulsive need to feed people! Many of my favorite memories from childhood involve food—special occasion meals, holiday treats, or just lazy days at my grandmother’s houses anxiously awaiting the next special meal or snack.

 

O

My grandmother’s butter cookies. I make them every Christmas.

I’ve carried that tradition on to my adult life. I love cooking for friends and families, making traditional foods and trying new recipes. I’m pretty sure that whole need-to-feed thing is genetic, because if you’re at my house, odds are I’ll make you eat something!

I’ve also carried on my love of food to my fiction writing. The characters in my books will always be seen enjoying meals together. Whether they’re dining out or preparing meals together or for one another, there’s always food involved. I think sharing food with people promotes bonding. It’s also a great way to create memories. There are still scents—a certain roast of coffee, a pot of tomato sauce simmering on the stove—that will transport me back to my grandmother’s kitchen when I was a kid. There are also foods I’ll associate with a particular trip—gelato in an outdoor cafe in Florence or fudge on the boardwalk at the Jersey shore—and if I smell or taste those things it’ll bring back memories of being in that place.

Food can also become a ritual. Pizza at the same late night spot after seeing your favorite band play. A certain diner for weekend breakfasts. A favorite restaurant for birthday celebrations. You come to associate those places and foods with the people you’ve had the experience with.

In MOMENT OF CLARITY, the third book in my Moments In Time series, Collin and Tanner wind up spending some time apart. During that time, while Collin is missing Tanner, he comforts himself with Chinese takeout from the place they used to go to together. It’s sad and sweet and comforting all at once.

 

Take Away BBQ Noodles

Mmmm….noodles. Why does Chinese food taste better eaten right out of the carton?

What’s your favorite (or strongest) food memory? A holiday item you only eat once a year? A meal you grab with a favorite person? Something you haven’t had in a long time? Share your food associations and I’ll choose a random winner (later tonight) to win a copy of an ebook!.

 

Release Party MOMENT OF CLARITY (Book 3 of the Moments In Time series)!

May 6, 2015
new-avatar-1
Hi Everyone! I’m Karen Stivali and I’m here today to celebrate the release of the third book in my Moments In Time series, MOMENT OF CLARITY.
If you’re new to the series, let me give you a brief summary. All three books in this series are about college roommates Collin and Tanner. Book one, MOMENT OF IMPACT, is a coming of age/coming out story where they realize that they’re both interested in each other as more than friends. Not everyone is accepting of this, so they leave their conservative college town behind and spend the summer waiting tables on Fire Island in book two, MOMENT OF TRUTH. The freedoms to be publicly “out” as a couple, without judment makes for a summer filled with fun and exploration, but trust and jealousy are issues they have to confront in order to stay together. When the summer ends, they return to college for their senior year in book three, MOMENT OF CLARITY. Being back in the conservative environment proves challenging in even more ways than they expected.
I know some readers worry that the books in a series will have cliffhanger endings. I assure you, that’s not the case with any of these stories. As a reader, I don’t like cliffhangers. As a writer, I choose to write romance because I’m all about the happy ending and I leave my characters in a good place at the end of every book.
3 ebooks and paperback photo 2nd version (2)
One thing has surprised me about readers of series, and that’s whether they read the books one at a time as they release, or wait until all the books are out and then binge read them. I guess I’m an old-fashioned girl. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life and I remember sometimes waiting a year or more for the next book from a favorite author. Even as recently as the Harry Potter books I remember pre-ordering the final volume and anxiously awaiting its delivery at my doorstep. It’s not that I like waiting—I don’t—but I love to read things as soon as they come out, even if that means a bit of anticipation and longing involved before I can get my hands on the next book. The same is true for TV viewing. If I find a show I like I’ll look forward to the weekly episode and axiously await the start of new season rather than skip the airing of the show and then Netflixing the whole season and watching it in a weekend.
What’s your reading or viewing style? Do you like to wait until you can read/see all the episodes at once? Or do you need to read/see things right away? Do you like the anticipation or need to know you can see what happens immediately? Tell me in the comments and I’ll choose a random winner (later tonight–I’ll be here until midnight EDT) to receive a free ebook!
(Sorry for the formatting errors. WordPress is giving me a hard time today! I’ll try to get it fixed by my next post!)

The Connection Between Food & Love with Rick R. Reed

May 1, 2015

Food & Love

 

Whenever I read a book and the author mentions that the characters are having a meal (or even a snack), I always, always, always want to know what they’re having. If the author just tells me that the characters just had dinner and gives no details, I’m disappointed. “But what did they eat?” I whine, before flinging the book at the wall.

So when I write a story, I never leave out that important detail. Why? Because what we eat matters. Eating and loving are probably two of the most significant, life-affirming, and joyous activities we can engage in as human beings.

So why on earth wouldn’t you want to know what our couple-about-to-fall-in-love had to eat on their first date?

In my latest, Dinner at Fiorello’s, it’s all about passion—whether that passion is for cooking, for eating, or for someone else, it’s the kind of universal stuff we can all identify with. In the book, I meld my main character, Henry’s, passion for food with him falling in love for the first time.

Through the lens of food and wanting to do something meaningful with his life, he discovers his first real, true love—Vito, the quiet chef with a secret who works at Fiorello’s. Henry aspires to being a chef just like Vito, yet he also comes to fall in love with him. But while he’s falling in love with Vito’s technique in the kitchen and the magical food he makes, Henry is also falling in love with the man. They’re inextricably linked.

There’s a certain alchemy that goes on when one makes good food. It becomes more than the sum of its parts. The same is true of two people in love. That’s what I tried to bring together in my new book. I hope that, just like when you take a bite of something delicious and you sigh and have the instinctive reaction of joy, you’ll have the same experience when you read about Henry and Vito’s torturous but ultimately rewarding path to love. Because, whether you’re cooking or falling in love (or even writing a book), to do it well, you have to do it with your heart.

In closing, I’d like to share with you a little taste from Dinner at Fiorello’s, this taken from when Henry interviews for his job working in the kitchen of Fiorello’s. You can see even at the tender age of eighteen, Henry Appleby understands what makes food—and love—good (here he talks about his family’s housekeeper and cook, Maxine):

“Well, she sees it as more than a means to an end, which is why I love her so much. She sees food as something that isn’t just about filling your belly, but filling your heart. She didn’t just feed me growing up, she nurtured me. She showed me that making food for someone can be a way of showing them you love them.” He looked at Rosalie, trying to make sure she was taking in, understanding what he was saying. “When I understood that, I knew that food can actually be a very powerful thing. I don’t know if I knew it right away on a conscious level, but I knew it. When I was about ten, I began asking her if I could help her make meals. My parents didn’t know what had gotten into me. My father said that I shouldn’t be helping her, because that’s what he paid her for. But I wanted to learn what she did to make her food not only good, but good for the soul.”

 

***

BLURB

Henry Appleby has an appetite for life. As a recent high school graduate and the son of a wealthy family in one of Chicago’s affluent North Shore suburbs, his life is laid out for him. Unfortunately, though, he’s being forced to follow in the footsteps of his successful attorney father instead of living his dream of being a chef. When an opportunity comes his way to work in a real kitchen the summer after graduation, at a little Italian joint called Fiorello’s, Henry jumps at the chance, putting his future in jeopardy.

Years ago, life was a plentiful buffet for Vito Carelli. But a tragic turn of events now keeps the young chef at Fiorello’s quiet and secretive, preferring to let his amazing Italian peasant cuisine do his talking. When the two cooks meet over an open flame, sparks fly. Both need a taste of something more—something real, something true—to separate the good from the bad and find the love—and the hope—that just might be their salvation.

***

GIVEAWAY!

DinneratHomeFS

Share your most romantic meal, either eating or being served, in the comments below for a chance to win an ebook copy of my other romance that revolves around food, Dinner at Home!

 

***

BIO

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

Web: http://www.rickrreed.com 

Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed

E-mail: jimmyfels@gmail.com

 

***

BUY LINKS

Dreamspinner ebook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6333

Dreamspinner paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6334

Amazon (to come)

AllRomance Ebooks (to come)

 

 

Kristi Lee’s Irish Surprise

April 29, 2015

Kristi_Lee

Hey there! My name is Kristi Lee. It’s not a pseudonym, that’s really my name. I’m thrilled to announce the release of my first completed original fiction work, Surprised at Nothing, published today by Dreamspinner Press. I started writing it a year and a half ago intending for it to be a Harry Potter/Secret of Kells crossover story of all things, but then I realized that essentially all of the characters were original characters, so I challenged myself to do my own world-building and here we are. :) I knew from the beginning I wanted the story to be set primarily in Ireland, a country I haven’t yet visited but have been somewhat obsessed by since I was a child. I also have an obsession with red-haired men, so the protagonist in Surprised at Nothing has a head of beautiful red hair.

This is a ‘how they get together’ story, introducing Reggie (the protagonist) and ’Kelp’, whose real name is Ian, and the small cast of characters around them. Reggie is a magus archeologist, and Kelp is ostensibly a historian and lecturer, though he drifts rather like seaweed on the tide in this story. There’s also a dragon egg, or perhaps it’s just a fossilized rock- you’ll have to read to find out. ;) I had a very interesting moment while writing it— I was driving to a workout and had a sudden vision of a climactic, dramatic incident that needed to happen. The image and scene was so vivid in my mind that I nearly turned left on a red arrow into oncoming traffic! Thankfully I didn’t suffer a car crash while writing this story. :)

I wrote slash (m/m) fanfiction for over a decade, and am most comfortable writing male/male stories, exploring male relationships in their myriad forms. I’m also used to immediate feedback, so while writing this, I sent sections to a couple of fandom friends to hear what they thought since this was my first time relying on my own world-building. Like me, and Reggie, they all fell for Kelp pretty hard. Since Surprised at Nothing is from Reggie’s point of view, we get to learn a lot about him, including a particularly challenging handicap Kelp has: he’s an Unfortunate. That means that while he’s born of magus parents and lives primarily in the magus world, he can’t perform any spellcastings or other magic himself. He copes remarkably well despite that, but Reggie is witness to some comments and an emotional storm that indicate Kelp has had to deal with a lot in the past— and still does.

As I was writing this, I had sequels in mind already, and that’s what I’m working on now: sequel #1, as of yet untitled. The editing process for Surprised at Nothing really helped me hone in on Reggie and Kelp’s motivations, to flesh out their backstories in my mind, and to let my imagination run wild in what they could get up to next. I love to do research, and did a lot of searching to decide where to set the next story. The small town of Letterfrack features in Surprised at Nothing, selected both because it’s by the water, but also because I loved the name. The sequel-in-process is primarily in the Boyne Valley, featuring the Neolithic passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Irish legend and the power of myth are prominent in these stories as I’m personally drawn to Celtic mythology— and it’s a perfect backdrop for these two young men to begin to fall for each other.

***

Symbolic tattoos make an appearance in Surprised at Nothing, and that thread continues on in the sequel I’m writing now. As a reader, do you find yourself visualizing tattoos described in the stories you love, perhaps even drawing them yourself? Where on the male body do you think they are potentially the sexiest? And so near and dear to my heart: who here thinks that red haired men are particularly compelling? ;)

Please reach out to me— I’d love to hear from you!

 

https://ramblingruadh.wordpress.com/

astrid.astrolabe@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/kristen.lee.338658

@ItsirkEel

Wrap up and our winner – (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

GerrysLion_headerbanner

 

 

Ashavan Doyon here to wrap up and award one of you with the final give-away – an e-book copy of Gerry’s Lion.

As for my quirk? Like Leo, I love the tropical shirts… so much so that they even let me wear them as business attire at work!

LEO LOOKED through his closet. It was hopeless.

“What do I wear?”

“It’s my mama, and my sister, and some kids. Wear something comfortable. It’s not a service.”

“She’s gonna hate me,” muttered Leo, sliding hanger after hanger to one side.

Gerry grasped his arm and turned him, staring at him in that intense way that made all thought flee from his head.

“You’re telling me that John didn’t make one of these for Easter?” Gerry asked, indicating one of the tropical shirts.

“But that’s so casu—”

“It’s you, baby. That’s who I want them to meet. If they’re going to hate you anyway, at least let them hate you for who you are, not someone you make yourself in hope they’ll accept you.”

“But—”

Gerry pulled him close. “I love you, baby, but I watched Adam do this for years. It didn’t help. If it didn’t help him, what’s the point in you repeating the mistakes Adam and I made?”

Leo did have a tropical shirt for Easter. Several. He turned as Gerry released him and with two quick slides had the hanger he needed. Stark black with Fabergé-style eggs covering the surface in metallic colors. Bunnies hopped along the bottom hem. How John had justified the custom print, Leo still didn’t know. Leo pulled the shirt out and held it against his bare torso. “The neck is low. They’ll see….”

Gerry reached in and pulled out a lavender turtleneck.

Leo shook his head. “Not on your life.”

“Another color, then? That tan would match the bunny rabbits.” Gerry hung up the shirt and pulled out another. “Come on. It’s not that bad. Aren’t layers supposed to be in? Anyway, you’re wearing tropical shirts. How fashion conscious can you claim to be?”

And our winner? Denise Dechene. Please email me at ashavandoyon@gmail.com and let me know what email you use for your Dreamspinner bookshelf. We’ll get Gerry’s Lion added for you.

Thanks everyone for attending. I’ll stick around for a little while to answer any lingering questions. I hope you learned something about Gerry’s Lion and I want to take this final opportunity to ask you to buy the book:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305 – it’s still on sale until April 28!

Brown Eggs in the Woods — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

GerrysLion_headerbanner

 

 

Ashavan Doyon here, celebrating the release of Gerry’s Lion.

It wouldn’t be fair to talk about family traditions without speaking to my own. For me the tradition is for Easter. And while I’ve made up a lot of the traditions Gerry and Leo speak about, this one comes from my own family–so we have a little bit of an excerpt from the middle of the story:

“It’s just Easter,” Gerry said. He was trying to be reassuring. It was sweet. Also terrifying.

“Yeah. Just Easter.” Leo shook his head. “You’ve only told me about a million times how it was his mom’s favorite holiday.”

“She won’t hate you.”

“Maybe. But she’s not going to love me either.”

Gerry swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “She’ll understand.”

“Will she?”

Gerry’s voice was very quiet. “I hope so.”

Leo glared at the snow and ice. “At least we’ll be able to see the eggs.”

Gerry laughed. “She’ll just huck ’em into the woods.”

“You’re joking.”

Gerry’s laugh became a grin, and it was a broad one.

“Oh, fuck. You’re not.”

“It’ll be fun.”

“You weren’t joking, were you? She paints them brown?”

“Afraid of the bears?” asked Gerry.

“A little!”

“It’s a tradition. Don’t worry, you’re not actually expected to find any.”

“But the little kids will, won’t they?” Leo sighed.

This was a little bit of a memorial to my Grandmother. Yes, we hold an Easter egg hunt every year. And yes, the adults have to search for brown plastic eggs, hidden in the woods, with the bears. I’m totally not kidding. For the record, the hiding of these eggs in the woods (with the bears) is now my job, with the help of my husband. And the place we hide them? Black Bear Pass. You thought I was kidding about the bears, didn’t you?

I like putting these bits of myself into stories now and then, because honestly, I think it helps the stories come alive a little bit more.

So, final giveaway. The winner will receive a copy of Gerry’s Lion as an e-book (delivered to your Dreamspinner Press bookshelf): If you were writing a romance, what quality or quirk of your own would you lend to a character to help give them life? I’ll have an answer for myself at 9 pm when we wrap up, along with the winner.

Of course, everyone is welcome to BUY A COPY NOW at: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305 <–25% off because of the sale going on now! or in print (sadly not on sale) http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6306

Presents! — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

GerrysLion_headerbanner

 

 

This is Ashavan Doyon and I thought I’d spread some good cheer! I mean, giving presents is very much a part of Christmas, and the story does start with a Christmas cruise.

So, I’m giving away two prizes. I mentioned that commenters would be entered to win a giveaway! The first went randomly to a commenter on all the posts for the New Release Party up to this one. Yvonne is the winner - please contact me at ashavandoyon@gmail.com with the email you use at the Dreamspinner store. You’ve won a free copy of anything from my Dreamspinner backlist (that’s any e-book I’ve written for Dreamspinner EXCEPT my new release, Gerry’s Lion).  Pick from The King’s Mate, The Colors of Romance, I Almost Let You, The Byte of Betrayal, or A Wounded Promise.

I’ll also be giving away an e-book copy of Gerry’s Lion a little later tonight, so stay with me!

The start of Gerry’s Lion focuses on Christmas, and I think we see that both Gerry and Leo are very much drawn to their traditions. That was also part of my attraction to doing a story based around holidays, because I think those traditions can be very meaningful. For Gerry, they are so meaningful that he actually packed a small artificial Christmas tree to put up in his cabin on the cruise.

What is your most meaningful holiday (not necessarily Christmas) tradition?

EDIT: because I want to forget about this, but you know I need to remind you! PLEASE BUY THE BOOK:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305

 

 

 

Time for an excerpt — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

GerrysLion_headerbanner

 

 

This is Ashavan Doyon, talking about my new release Gerry’s Lion.

There’s a scene where Leo has discovered that Gerry loves art and goes to the gallery on the Sunrise. He’s trying to learn more about Gerry, and he gets a little more than he bargained for.

Leo thanked him and took the stairs down to deck six. The hallway where the art was displayed wasn’t difficult to find. It was the only one that hadn’t been specifically decked out for the holiday.

Leo walked down hesitantly, looking at the artwork. Most of the names he didn’t recognize. He studied the paintings, wishing he knew anything about the artists or art. He could spot what he liked: bold oil paintings where you could see the texture of the paints. And there were a few. But the ones on the wall were painfully melancholy. Trees about to lose their last leaf. A single leafless birch surrounded by the fiery colors of autumn. They were vivid and almost angry.

“Brilliant, aren’t they?” said a quiet voice behind him.

Leo gulped and nodded.

“They are quite a departure for this artist. He’s known for more modern abstract work. His focus is usually on color and texture as much as content, conveying location and…. Well, he’s brilliant. These were his first works on the market in a couple years. But you can tell it’s him. See the birch, lonely, white, depressed… you can see the bark peeling. Look at how it’s so much more vivid than the brilliant colors of the trees surrounding it.”

“I like the textures,” Leo said, turning to find a well-dressed man in a suit. “I don’t really understand the rest.”

“Perhaps a Christmas-themed piece?”

Leo shook his head. “I’ve met someone. And he’s into art and I like art, but I want to understand it better.”

The attendant smiled. “I’m Nate. I can help you.”

Nate walked him down the hall and stopped at each piece of art. He spoke passionately about the pieces, describing the virtues of each one. Occasionally they’d come to a piece virtually locked to the wall, and Nate would drop a name even Leo couldn’t miss. Rembrandt. Picasso. When they reached the end of the hall, Nate led him into another small room. Leo stood in the doorway, transfixed.

“That’s another Tanner,” said Nate. “It’s the last modern piece he put on the market.”

“It’s pain,” Leo said, starting at the name.

It can’t be.

“You’re close. The title of the piece is Loss.”

Leo looked at the painting, studying it. Making his way through the sweeping strokes to find the objects in the sea of white and pale blues. To make out the figures. The sweep of the strokes conveyed a line. Peaks and valleys fading and then flat. And at the end of it a figure at the door, alone. A hospital room. The painting was a hospital room. An empty bed. A weeping black figure alone.

Choosing character traits for characters can be a struggle for an author. How does one convey a painting if one doesn’t paint? How does one convey the taste of a delicacy? The exhilaration of life on a motorcycle? I tried to pull Leo’s discovery of appreciating the artwork into his feelings for Gerry–important because for Gerry that artwork is very tied into Adam and Gerry’s loss.

Is there something innocuous that you associate with loss? For me it’s a cologne. A whiff can send me spiraling for days.

Sailing on the Sunrise — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

GerrysLion_headerbanner

 

 

This is Ashavan Doyon, here talking about the release of Gerry’s Lion.

I have a confession. This story originally started life as a submission for the Advent Calendar. I wrote it in the middle of my vacation in July two years ago. Competition for the advent calendar is really tough, and when it didn’t make it, I was heart broken. I loved the story of Gerry and his lost love Adam. For months it drove me nuts, until I finally just sat down and said to myself, what if this is the middle of the story. And I tried starting the story at Thanksgiving instead. For anyone who thinks this version has too much angst, try to imagine the Gerry that emerged in THAT story.

With Thanksgiving not working, I turned instead to the next holiday–Valentine’s Day. It was here, I think, where Gerry really started to shine again, and the angst balanced out enough to work. But I owe this story, in many ways, to a cruise I took with my long suffering husband, who endured me writing over 17 thousand words on a one week cruise to Bermuda.

norwegian-dawn-ship

I chose holidays to focus the scenes of this story around because they are moments of glorious potential drama, and that is magnified for many LGBT folks, as there’s additional layers of acceptance or lack thereof with their families. And we see a lot of that nuance in this story – from the angsty Christmas cruise that starts it, to the nervous wrangling of traditions for Valentines Day, to the mystery Easter egg hunt where they hunt for eggs painted brown and hidden in the woods. I actually found focusing on holidays a good way to move the story and also to jump it forward every so often, and I think it helped a lot with pacing the story.

What’s your favorite vacation/holiday story (either personal or in a romance?) I’ll be using the comments to help determine who wins the prizes!

Don’t forget to buy the book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305 (or in print) http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6306

–> my vacation story: On this infamous cruise, I was in one of the bars on the cruise ship in the middle of the day (it was almost completely empty) when I was approached by one of the other cruisers, who asked what I was doing. I explained that I was an author, writing gay romances. She blithely explained how those were her favorite, while her husband got redder and redder, sure she hadn’t heard me say “gay” romances. To this day I don’t know if she did, but I gave her my card, it would have been hard NOT to tell from that.