Posy Roberts North Star: Flare – last chance to play!

January 13, 2014

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This will be my last post.

I’m sad that North Star (Spark, Fusion, and Flare) are over. Yet, somewhere along the way, I realized Hugo and Kevin’s teenage story wasn’t one to just throw away, so I reworked it.

I’ve taken their junior year in high school, revamped it, and added 66% more (yes, I’ve done the math).  This book is called Private Display of Affection and written under the pen name Winter Sandberg. Yes, components of Spark are in it but the sexual bits are toned down. If you have a gay or bisexual son or nephew or friend, this might be a book for them. I address issues in PDA that men having sex with men will never get in a traditional sex ed class. I did that so teens might have a place to go for answers. You may enjoy it even more than them, because you get a better glimpse at what’s happening in Kevin’s head in this book, unlike in Spark, where he was often left out of the equation because of how the story was structured.

And It is my hope that I can write Hugo and Kevin’s senior year in high school as well. So far, it is much more Kevin’s story than it is Hugo’s in the planning stage, but that makes sense after Hugo’s tumultuous junior year.

One thing I tend to do is keep storyboards alive on Pinterest. I try to do this for each and every story, so if you want to follow me, feel free, or if you want to follow individual stories, peek around. I play on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterst, Google+, and other places too. I love connecting with new people, but I may be a bit shy at first. I also try to keep Winter Sandberg separate from Posy Roberts for the most part, but keeping up with the various sites does get exhausting.

So for my very last question of the night, what changed between the time you were 16 and the time you were an adult in your romantic relationships? I got a lot more practical or “realistic, ” if you will. How about you? I still expect magical kisses and moments that sweep me off my feet, but not nearly as often as I did at 16 years-old. :)

Symbolism – Flare and North Star – Posy Roberts

January 13, 2014

Have you ever started out writing a story and ended up incorporating a ton of symbolism you never knew you’d truly add until later? Maybe that only works for writers or film makers. But, yeah. The North Star. That wasn’t the title of this trilogy in the beginning. In fact, there was no fancy title tying the books together. And then after North Star was chosen, I felt I had to completely retitle each books.

Yes, I’m a total dork. Let’s just get that out of the way. I live in Minnesota, North Star is set in Minnesota, and… dun, dun, dun, the nickname of Minnesota is the North Star state. It’s all over the place here. We used to have the Minnesota North Stars who were then sold and became the Dallas Stars. That’s hockey in case you didn’t know. Don’t feel bad. All I knew growing up next door in North Dakota was the Vikings (cuz they could never be counted on to win) and the Twins (for occasionally pulling it out of the bag – 1987 and 1991!).

I will now share my working titles because they are so lame. Spark was logically The Lake. Fusion was called The City. Flare was called Grounded or Suburbia, depending on what part of the process I was in. After all, I wrote all three rough drafts very quickly so being creative with the titles wasn’t really on my list of priorities. There were very few edits along the way because I wanted to get my thoughts down as fast as I could. Then I spent ages—a year—editing before I submitted all of these stories.

The North Star became very important after Kevin gave Hugo a gift in high school with an engraving on it. There’s a quote right on the front cover of Spark that shows how important those word were, even if not immediately recognized.

So you’ll always know your way.

Sometimes our characters surprise us, and Kevin certainly shocked me. I knew he was thoughtful when he gave his gift of a keychain to Hugo, but I had no idea how important this would become for years and years. And that wasn’t it. There was more with these guys. They were comfortable with each other in a way that they never felt with anybody else, even lovers or best friends they had over the years. Hugo almost felt this close with his best friend Summer, but not quite. Kevin always had something over him, even if we can never define it. And I’m totally okay without defining it.

Have you ever had that? Have you had some symbol (words, pictures, stars) that had meant more to you than you can share with most people? I think of jewelry I shared with boyfriends in high school. With my husband, I think of little notes he wrote to me, poems, haiku he wrote for me. You don’t have to share exactly what those symbols are if you’d rather not, but how did they transcend typical communication so you truly knew things were different this time?

Also, for those of you who are caught up until book 3, Flare, do you think the first two working titles worked? Why? What should new readers know before delving in?

 

 

 

Posy Roberts Delves Beneath the Surface in Flare

January 13, 2014

So, how do you fit the real world into romance? Or why would you even want to? In Flare, I wanted to.

I started reading romance novels written for teens in the 1980s. I think they went under the monicker Wildfire Romances. OMG, I found a link to the spines of some. LOL! They were set in modern times, and the story almost always ended after boy and girl got together. And then I quit reading romance altogether for years. When I started again, my tastes quickly morphed.

I’ve obviously moved past boy and girl meeting and falling in love, and shifted to men going crazy for each other. But I also love a romance to go beyond the “Yes, I want to be with you” and the “I love you” moments.

I like to go deeper.

I like to see how those couples will survive outside the bubble of initial romance and lust, because that is the true test! Getting past “I love you” is hard, but it is nothing compared to dealing with real life or a chronic illness or a secret you’re positive will change everything.

Some of this comes from my personal experiences. I deal with chronic illness that has transformed me from the very energetic 18 year-old my husband met in college into someone who needed to temper herself and slow way down or I’d be bed bound for days. And then our baby was born. She was beautiful and sweet, but the poor child couldn’t swallow her own saliva without choking/aspirating, and she needed multiple operations to resolve all of her birth defects, not to mention the years of using a feeding tube before she could eat like the rest of us.

So how does a couple survive difficulties like these? Hugo and Kevin lived through the challenges they faced in Fusion. When I named book 2, I was thinking of cold fusion, even if it is still a hypothetical. But how do you survive beyond a bonding crisis like they experienced? How do you still live and love each other without the intensity of emotions you felt during the crisis? Sometimes you can cope better than you can in everyday life. When things become mundane, how do keep interested? And what do you do to keep life from getting stale?

This is what Flare is about and why the cover is green! Haha. It’s about finding life after death. Of course, Hugo and Kevin’s lives are much more interesting than my own ever could be.

That is reality for most of us at one point in our lives or another. Is it grief from the loss of a parent or partner? Is it being laid off or fired from a job? Or substance abuse to cope with? Or is it a medical crisis?

I think this is truly where the meat, the heart is in relationships. This is where it is enriching to watch and read about people growing and becoming more than they were at the beginning, especially when life is crisis free. “I love you” is easy now, but “I like you” or “I’m disappointed in you” might be harder. And how do you move past that so you can continue to grow, not just individually but as a couple?

That is what I really want to explore when I write romance. I want to explore the iceberg underneath.

What sort of depth do you enjoy in romance stories? When is too much, too much?

Have you ever related so much to a character that it’s scary?

Harmony Ink New Release: January 2, 2014

January 2, 2014

Cold Moon (Insolita Luna: Book Three) by M.J. O’Shea

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Xan follows Charlie to Romania, where Charlie is almost killed. If the two can survive a political mess, they might find love together. Cold Moon (Insolita Luna: Book Three) by M.J. O’Shea, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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2nd Edition

Insolita Luna: Book Three
Sequel to Hunter’s Moon

Charlie Fitzgerald is sick of being the kid nobody takes seriously. His older brother Colin is fighting vampires and other troublemakers in New York City, and Charlie wants in on the action—but no one will listen. Then he overhears the lycan council is looking for a human emissary to take a message of peace to a werewolf in the forests of Romania, and Charlie decides he’s the man for the job.

Xan is furious: his best friend, Charlie, one of the Fitzgeralds he’s vowed to protect, is walking into danger, and Xan chases him all the way to the freezing Romanian forest to save his stubborn butt. When Charlie is almost killed, Xan realizes he feels much more than friendship for his charge, and emotions that have been bubbling under the surface of his calm façade threaten to boil over and flood them both.

They end up in the middle of a political mess involving lycans, werewolves, and nosy vampires, and if they make it out alive, the friendship between the headstrong hunter and his bullheaded protector might turn into a love neither can live without.

1st edition published by M.J. O’Shea, April 2012

Length: Novel (180p.) | Genre: Paranormal-Other, Paranormal-Vampires, Paranormal-Werewoves, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: January 2, 2014

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-458-4) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-459-1)

Harmony Ink New Release: December 19, 2013

December 19, 2013

The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Treasa feels claustrophobic in her own skin. As she spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she may want to be him more than she loves him. The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she’s an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn’t find out she’s a freak.

As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.

But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.

Length: Novel (216p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Transgender | Release Date: December 19, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-644-1) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-643-4)

Harmony Ink New Release: December 5, 2013

December 5, 2013

Hunter’s Moon (Insolita Luna: Book Two) by M.J. O’Shea

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Miles and PC must learn to live together. Miles falls for PC, his friends and their adventures. PC is determined to break their bond. Hunter’s Moon (Insolita Luna: Book Two) by M.J. O’Shea, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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3rd Edition

Sequel to Blood Moon
Insolita Luna: Book Two

New York City has been calling Miles Hunter for as long as he can remember, but he’s sure the imaginary monsters in his stories are all the adventure he’ll experience—until a mugging and daring rescue leave him wondering what else is out there that he had never believed in before.

PC has spent eighteen years doing the opposite of what everyone expects. He hunts supernatural troublemakers, hangs out with vampires, and refuses to settle down—to the disapproval of his respectable parents and the stuffy lycan council. Then one confusing night, his instincts turn him to wolf form to save a stranger.

Miles and PC must learn to live together, because even minutes of separation mean extreme pain. Miles falls for the unpredictable PC, the wolf’s strange friends, and their nightly adventures, but his reluctant lover is determined to break their bond. As they are drawn into a mystery involving werewolves, rogue vampires, and a lot of dead humans, finding the truth might mean the hunt of PC’s life—especially if he wants to keep Miles alive.

1st Edition published by Republica Press, August 2010.
2nd Edition published by M.J. O’Shea, April 2012

Length: Novel (250p.) | Genre: Paranormal-Other, Parnormal-Vampires, Paranormal-Werewolves, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: December 5, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-455-3) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-456-0)

Harmony Ink New Release: November 21, 2013

November 21, 2013

Triane’s Son Learning (Bitter Moon Saga: Book Two) by Amy Lane

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

The evil from Torrant’s homeland becomes too much to be ignored while he’s in school and he must choose: will he be a healer or a hero. Triane’s Son Learning (Bitter Moon Saga: Book Two) by Amy Lane, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Bitter Moon Saga: Book Two

When Torrant Shadow fled his homeland of Clough, he hoped to leave its threats behind.  He spent four years living with the Moons, making sure Yarri had a home; now it’s time for Torrant and his foster brother, Aldam, to leave for the University of Triannon, where Torrant hopes to create a new life enmeshed in healing arts and politics.

Torrant’s new school friends Trieste and Aylan want to teach him about love as he settles in, and at first, Trieste’s tenderness seems to make her the logical choice for an interim lover, while Torrant waits for Yarri to grow up. But Torrant has learned the hard way that nothing is simple when Clough still wields its influence over their lives. More and more, Torrant must call on the cold predator in himself, the part that Aylan most admires. The truth is, Torrant has certain gifts that give him an advantage of self-defense, but using them to protect the ones he cares for may destroy the part of him Trieste and Yarri love best.

As the four schoolmates progress to life beyond education and the evil from Torrant’s homeland becomes too pernicious to be ignored, Torrant must choose his destiny: Will he be a healer or a hero? Only Triane’s Son can be both.

Length: Novel (324p.) | Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: November 21, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-338-9) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-337-2)

Harmony Ink New Release: November 14, 2013

November 14, 2013

Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Timmy feels betrayed when longtime friend Ben denies his feelings. If they can find forgiveness, they may be able to move forward together. Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Braving the start of high school, longtime childhood friends Benjamin Wells and Timmy Norton quickly realize they are entering a whole new world colored by their family responsibilities. Ben is trying to please his strict father; Timmy is taking care of his younger sisters. While their easy camaraderie is still comfortable, Ben notices Timmy growing distant and evasive, but Ben has his own problems. It’s easier to let concerns about Timmy’s home life slide, especially when Timmy changes directions and starts to get a little too close. Ben doesn’t know how to handle the new feelings Timmy’s desire for love inspires, and his continuing denial wounds Timmy deeply.

But what Timmy perceives as Ben’s greatest betrayal is yet to come, and the fallout threatens to break them apart forever. Over the next four years, the push and pull between them and the outside world twists and tears at Ben and Timmy, and they are haunted by fear and regret. However, sometimes what seems broken is just a little bent, and if they can find forgiveness within themselves, Ben and Timmy may be able to move forward together.

Length: Novel (180p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: November 14, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-528-4) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-527-7)

Harmony Ink New Release: November 7, 2013

November 7, 2013

Here’s to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Dusty’s new life is a struggle, after appedicitis ruins everything. At what point in life do you keep climbing your mountain or turn back? Here’s to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

Fact: When Zebulon Pike attempted to climb what is now known as Pikes Peak, he got stuck in waist-deep snow and had to turn back.

That’s the last thing Dusty Porter learns in his Colorado history class before appendicitis ruins his life. It isn’t long before social services figures out that Dusty’s parents are more myth than reality, and he and his siblings are shipped off to live in Vermont with an uncle and aunt they’ve never met.

Dusty’s new life is a struggle. His brother and sister don’t seem to need him anymore, and he can’t stand his aunt and uncle. At school, one hockey player develops a personal vendetta against him, while Emmitt, another hockey player, is making it hard for Dusty to keep pretending he’s straight. Problem is, he’s pretty sure Emmitt’s not gay. Then, just when Dusty thinks things can’t get any worse, his mother reappears, looking for a second chance to be a part of his life.

Somehow Zebulon Pike still got the mountain named after him, so Dusty’s determined to persevere—but at what point in life do you keep climbing, and when do you give up and turn back?

Length: Novel (180p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: November 7, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-525-3) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN:978-1-62798-524-6)

Harmony Ink New Release: October 31, 2013

October 31, 2013

Blood Moon (Insolita Luna: Book One) by M.J. O’Shea

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Noah walked away from Zack after a summer kiss. He returns one year later sweeter than ever, but something’s not quite right about him. Blood Moon (Insolita Luna: Book One) by M.J. O’Shea, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

3rd Edition
Insolita Luna: Book One

Zack met his best friend, Noah, at Harper Lake when they were five years old. Summer after summer, his feelings grew, but he assumed Noah didn’t feel the same. But one night when they were seventeen, Zack kissed Noah… and Noah kissed him back. Zack was sure he did. But the next morning, Noah put an end to their friendship and walked away, leaving Zack with a broken heart.

A year has passed, and Zack goes back to the lake—where every leaf, rock, and turn in the road remind him of the biggest mistake he ever made. He hates thinking about what he lost, and more than anything he wants his best friend back. He figures it’ll be the longest summer ever. But then Noah shows up out of the blue, apologetic and more gorgeous than ever. Noah is sweet and attentive, and Zack can almost believe nothing had ever gone wrong. But there’s something different about his old friend, something not quite right. Zack doesn’t want to ruin the fragile new bond between them, but he has to know… What secret is Noah hiding?

1st Edition published by Republica Press, May 2010.
2nd Edition published by M.J. O’Shea, April 2012.

Length: Novel (160p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Other Paranormal, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: October 31, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-452-2) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN:978-1-62798-453-9)