Exploring a Story with George Seaton

December 22, 2016

Exploring a Story with George Seaton

 

After my short story, “Whispers of Old Winds,” appeared in Dreamspinner’s 2015 Advent Calendar, several reviewers rued the lack of detail about the relationship between the main characters, Sam Daly and his husband, Michael Bellomo. I agreed with those reviewers’ criticism, and began to expand the story into a novel even before the short story was published. Though the original story is included in the first few chapters of the novel, the ensuing narrative goes back to Sam’s and Michael’s first meeting, their decision to move to the Colorado mountains, and the discovery of the secrets the mountain community of Pine County reveal.

Here’s the blurb: Sheriff Sam Daly, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and his husband, Michael Bellomo, have made a life for themselves in sparsely populated Pine County, in the Colorado mountains. Sam oversees the small sheriff’s department, and Michael sells his paintings and  tourist items out of his shop, Needful Things. From the beginning, Sam had known Michael possessed gifts: the ability to see and hear things Sam cannot.

When a report of a body in a massive snow-filled depression up a mountainside sends Sam and his deputy, Digger, to investigate, Sam struggles to reconcile the existence of skinwalkers in Pine County with the world he’s familiar with. Michael, though, deals with this reality through his art, and through the mysticism he’s been gifted. Sam’s effort to discover what is happening cause him to examine his life with Michael from the time they first met. The inevitable conclusion might be that he’ll never understand the mysteries of the mountains, but for the sake of Michael and their love, he’ll have to embrace them.

 

Excerpt

“Michael, I don’t want to…. I’m trying my best to understand this thing you’ve got. This extra set of eyes and ears that seem to transcend… reality—at least my reality—and I really, really don’t want to—”

“Sam,” he interrupts. “How long have we been together?”

I’m surprised by his question, but I answer him. “Well, we’re going on five years.”

“And in all those years, have we ever really discussed this extra set of eyes and ears, as you say, that I’ve been blessed with?”

“I might not say blessed, but yes, a couple times we have. You told me about the caul, and then when that freak bear fell on top of Digger and me, you made the painting and…. Yeah, we’ve talked about it.”

He pulls his legs up on the couch and tucks them under him. “And when I told you I couldn’t touch your dog tags anymore?”

“Yes. That too.”

“Okay,” he says, smiling. “But we’ve never discussed how I filter all of this… weirdness. How I, oh, put everything in its place so that I can function as a—God, how I hate the word—normal person.”

The occasional funks I’ve seen him in over the past four years come to mind, but they’ve never lasted longer than a few days. It occurs to me that, yes, he has to have some way to filter the weirdness or I’d be living with a fucking zombie.

“No, we’ve never discussed that.” I take another sip of bourbon as he slips off the couch and then places another log on the fire. He returns to the couch and, once again, pulls his legs under him.

“When I was a kid,” he says, “the perceptions I received would sometimes scare me. They really would. But gradually I figured out how to deal with them. It’s like I set up some file cabinets in my brain where I could put the scary stuff away. I gave all the drawers locks, and only I had a key. That worked for a while. I’d see something, or perceive something, and I’d quickly shove it into a drawer and lock it down. When I got over the initial fright of it, I’d usually unlock the drawer and take a second look. Those second looks were always more, um, insightful than when the perceptions first hit me. They’d come from nowhere, and I wasn’t able to understand them until I locked them away for a while and then eventually pulled them out again.”

“You still do that?”

He shakes his head. “No. I learned how to deal with them without locking them down. Now I just shove them way, way back in my mind where I can retrieve them whenever I want.”

“What about when you painted that picture of Digger and me under that freak bear? You did that before it happened. What were you thinking when you painted that?”

“Oh, that’s something else. That’s… I guess it’s precognition. Or if you have to call it something, that’s what it would be. No, when I was painting that, I was just reflecting what was in my mind. I had no idea that what I had envisioned would actually come true. In real life.”

As he leans over to grab his glass, I want to ask him, Why you? Why were you picked to carry what must be a burden no man should have to deal with? “I know you said it all has to do with the caul, but why…? Who? What’s the reason for all this? Why?”

“Magic,” he says with a smile on his face that makes me smile too.

 

Check out Whispers of Old Winds today!

 

Whispers of Old Winds by George Seaton

 

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

About George

George Seaton’s short stories, novellas, and novels capture contemporary life mostly set in the American west—Colorado and Wyoming in particular. He and his husband, David, along with their Alaskan malamute, Kuma, live in the Colorado foothills just southwest of Denver.

Website: http://www.gmseatonauthor.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/george.seaton
Twitter: @GeorgeSeaton

 

The Royal Treatment with John Wiltshire

April 27, 2015

The Royal Treatment

 

Readers who know me well will probably be amazed at me doing this blog post. My name is John Wiltshire (http://johnwiltshire.co.nz/), and I’m a social media virgin. There, confession over, apologies made in advance if I press the wrong buttons and end up answering questions that were never asked. I’m only here today because the sequel to my novel A Royal Affair is out today. Aleksey’s Kingdom picks up the tale of Nikolai Hartmann and King Christian X (Aleksey) two years after Nikolai finished narrating the events of the first book, which took place in Hesse-Davia. I very much wanted A Royal Affair to be a complete and satisfying read without the need for a sequel, and I think I achieved that. The novel has an almost lyrical, fairytale ending as Nikolai and Aleksey carve their new life in the freedom of the great woods of the New World.

However, although it has a romantic ending, A Royal Affair is an exploration of conflict—political ones, the war in which the protagonists are engaged and the reformation they attempt in Hesse-Davia, but also a very personal one between Nikolai and Aleksey. At the end of the novel, they are still two very different men with very different experiences and outlooks on life. So, leaving them in a perfect relationship in the dreamlike innocence of the New World and just concluding ‘they lived happily ever after’ would have been a denial of this central premise. I’m fascinated by the idea of what lies beneath the surface of things, what you discover if you journey into the heart of darkness. In other words, I couldn’t help but picture Aleksey’s face, tool (hammer) in hand, as he was expected to build and live in a cabin in the woods…So, the personal conflict for Aleksey’s Kingdom was very easy to establish—these men haven’t changed who they fundamentally are, and Aleksey, a king and the general of a victorious army, is now stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing very much to do. I envisaged mischief ensuing.

I then had to plan the dramatic clash—the plot. I’d recently watched a little-known (well, I’d never heard of it) film called Ravenous (1999), in which a group of soldiers travel to an outpost to unravel various nefarious goings on. There’s nothing better for any plot than to have a small group of people trapped together with mysterious emanations (and possibly cannibalism). Today, such stories need to be set in space (or perhaps the Arctic) to establish such a profound sense of isolation, but in the late seventeenth century everything was unknown and can be used to create a wonderful sense of fear and menace. It’s no coincidence that the most infamous witch trials in history took place in the New World at this time—Salem. So, I borrowed the very basic premise of Ravenous, mixed it with the atmosphere and hysteria that surrounds The Crucible and had the skeleton outline for my story. I also have to give credit to John Connolly, one of my favourite authors, who explores the idea in his novels that evil does exist in this world—that the fallen angels still walk amongst us.

So, in Aleksey’s Kingdom, Nikolai and Aleksey join a small band of soldiers and colonists travelling to a deserted outpost that lies alongside a vast waterfall on the border between the English and French occupied regions of the New World. The falls, which dominate the book, are real, and based on Niagara. I once visited this out-the- world place and, for a dare, paddled in the river above the drop off. I leave it to Nikolai to describe the impression that foolish action had on me…This natural cataclysm comes to represent the great metaphorical descent he has to make to save Aleksey—his own personal journey into the heart of darkness and the final abandoning of his scientific, rational way of seeing the world.

I think most of my readers have worked out by now that I don’t write conventional m/m fiction. I’m rather proud of the eye scrawled in blood on the cover of Aleksey’s Kingdom—thanks to L.C. Chase, who did such a great job bringing this to life. Trust me that smear of blood sets the tone for this novel. It’s not a book for the faint-hearted. No adorable presents are exchanged; no romantic dinners eaten; no babies adopted or fluffy kittens were purchased during the making of this novel. There is death and horror—after reading one scene, my editor came back to me and exclaimed, “You have to leave this out; you’ll have no readers left!” The scene is still in. I have faith. And sometimes, as with soldiers in war, there’s great humour in adversity. I find Nikolai extremely amusing, and I know Aleksey secretly does, too. Ultimately, this novel is about bravery and sacrifice. It’s about Nikolai and Aleksey, Faelan, Xavier and Boudica. It’s about love. Always love.

***

To celebrate the publication of Aleksey’s Kingdom, I’d like to give away a copy of the first in the series: A Royal Affair. I said earlier that I’m fascinated by the concept of what lies beneath the surface of things—the journeying into literal and metaphorical darkness. To win a copy of A Royal Affair, comment on this blog post and let me know of a book you love that you think also explores these themes. We’ll pick the best answer and a copy of A Royal Affair will be winging its way to you.

***

I have a very active fan club on Goodreads, where they discuss all the novels (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/151017-john-wiltshire-fan-group). Tempers flare; emotions heat up, because these books are controversial. I have a feeling there will soon be a very long thread on Aleksey’s Kingdom, especially after some of the scenes in it. This is your chance to challenge me—ask me anything…I could give some hints to up-coming events in the More Heat Than the Sun series about Benjamin Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen (Book 8 of which is currently being written). Or I could chat about my new novel set in New Zealand (where I’m currently living): Ollie-Always.

I love discussing books (especially mine). I’m sitting comfortably, so let’s begin…

Sweet Fire Release Party – Sarah and Shannen Brady Part 2

January 3, 2015

SweetFire_headerbanner

Hi again.  Sarah here. Now that it’s midmorning  in our part of the world and we’re thinking about food, I thought I’d share with you Aaron’s favorite chocolate cream puff recipe.  Ramón’s quite a chocolate fiend and Aaron doesn’t hesitate to exploit that weakness, using food to reel his reluctant man in. He brings gourmet goodies to the hospital as Ramón is getting ready to start his shift as a paramedic, charming not only Ramón but all his EMT co-workers as well.

Sweet Nothings Mini Chocolate Cream Puffs

choc cream puffs pic small

 

Pastry

½ cup water

½ cup whole milk

½ c unsalted butter (cut into pieces)

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup all purpose flour

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil Add salt and flour all at once and stir until a mixture forms a smooth ball. Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each one. Drop batter by level teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Immediately split each puff and cool on wire rack. Remove any soft dough in the center.

Chocolate Cream

 7 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

3 cups cold heavy whipping cream

¼ cup sugar

Chop chocolate into small bits (if not using chocolate chips) and set aside

Combine 1 ½ cups cream with sugar and heat to just barely boiling, then pour over chocolate. Whisk until combined and chocolate is melted. Refrigerate to cool completely. Once cooled, whip chocolate mixture with remains of heavy cream until smooth and fluffy.

Pipe chocolate cream into pastry puffs. A drizzle of dark, milk or white chocolate is optional. Top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Anyone who answers one of our questions today will be entered to win a gift basket of locally made Spokane yumminess, including Bruttles’ signature soft peanut brittle. The treat was originally invented 60 years ago for the turn down service in the beautiful Davenport Hotel. Food of the gods, I swear. Goodie bag also includes Huckleberry coffee, chocolate covered huckleberries, mocha espresso bark and a sampling of locally made sweets to die for. Retail value over $30 but priceless if you live outside Spokane and can’t get any.

Bruttles-Soft-Peanut-Butter-Brittle gift for giveaway

 

First question for you:  Anyone out there ever been courted with food?  Ever tried to impress a date with your awesome culinary skills?  How’d it go?

(I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.  My Thanksgiving stinkbug story’s pretty epic. Fortunately that one’s over 30 years old.  I can almost look my in-laws in the eyes by now.)

 

Excerpt – Ramón’s being Mr. Grumpy Pants, though it doesn’t stop him from pigging out:

“Ohgodohgodohgod!” The sighs and low curses coming from around the table already sounded more like an orgy than breakfast, but Terrell Sato’s sultry groan rose above the general noise. They both turned to watch in amazement as Terrell finished sucking the cream filling out of the end of one of the little éclairs with an orgasmic shudder. Ramón shot Aaron an embarrassed look and caught him staring at Sato’s performance with wide eyes. A faint pink flush highlighted his chiseled cheekbones. For some reason that was really annoying.

“Oh, come on. It wasn’t that hot.”

Aaron responded with a slight shrug but didn’t stop watching Terrell chase the last of the cream on his lips with his tongue.

“Yeah, it kind of was.”

The rest of the crew was watching the show now too, some with grins, a couple with grimaces of distaste, and a few of both sexes with eyes as wide as Aaron’s. Oh, enough already.

“Sato, you’re not even an EMT. What the hell are you doing here?” Terrell was a nurse in the ER and really shouldn’t be in this room anyway.

“I’m on escort duty. You don’t think your friend here got past security with all this just ’cause he’s cute, now do you?” Terrell prowled toward them, stripping their visitor naked with his eyes the whole way. “Though I would have let him in even without the goodies.”

Apparently the food supply was running low, because more of the greedy piglets had stopped scarfing long enough to play along.

“I would have let him come in too.”

“For food like this, I would have let him do anything he wanted.”

“For this, I would have let him marry me.” This from a woman who knew damn well she’d never have to deliver.

“For this, I would have let him do me in the broom closet.” That, surprisingly, was from a man who wasn’t Terrell.

Aaron was eating it up, blushing bright red and laughing hysterically as the offers got more and more outrageous. It seemed the whole EMT staff was made up of food whores who’d do anything for a cream puff. Ramón found himself chewing hard on the inside of his lip to keep from joining in. These clowns weren’t nearly as funny as they thought they were, but this man was positively stunning when he smiled like that. Still, he was more trouble than he was worth, and that hadn’t changed. It wouldn’t do to encourage him.

 

P.S. – Terrell Sato’s story is book 3 in the series.  Stay tuned…

Click here to go to our web site and see descriptions of Terrell’s story and all the other books in our Gifted and Gifts of Fate series. Just don’t forget to come back and give us a food story to get your entry to the goodie drawing.

 

Sweet Fire release party – Sarah and Shannen Brady Part 1

January 3, 2015

  SweetFire_headerbanner

             shannen and sarah

 Good Morning. It’s finally here!!! (pause while I do a really silly happy dance…….. OK, I’m back. Sorry.)  We’re so stoked about the release of Sweet Fire.  That’s partly because it’s our first Dreamspinner book and partly because we both just love these characters so much.  I’m thrilled to finally get to share them.

Don’t get confused if you hear me say “I” or “We” interchangeably.  We are a mother/daughter team and we write paranormal romance, both m/m and m/f, together.  I’m Sarah, the mom part of the team.  Shannen will be chiming in off and on throughout the day and we’ll try to make it clear who’s talking. There will be lots of opportunities later today to fill you in on the details of how and why a family would do something so weird as to write steamy romance together but I want to get to the really good stuff first.  Let’s have a look at the book.

SweetFire Cover

Love this beautiful Christy Caughie cover, yeah? That night scene is Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington.

Between Homeland Security’s Gifted Agenda and the bigotry of a fearful populace, having paranormal Gifts is a dangerous thing. Pyrokinetic Aaron Flores knows firsthand how difficult it can be to control his power. Still, he runs his bakery and never gives up on finding his Happily Ever After. When Aaron’s cousin asks him to check on her former EMT partner, Aaron’s chance has finally arrived. He’s determined not to let anything stop him from catching (and keeping) his man.

Ramón Del Rio spent three days at the tender mercies of HOMSEC agents when his former partner was taken. He wants nothing to do with a Gifted guy, but Aaron is nothing if not persistent. He’s a pastry chef after all, and the way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach. The physical passion they share is the icing on the cake. Just when Ramón decides that having Gifts might not be a deal breaker, someone close to Aaron decides his fire needs to be put out—permanently. Ramón will have to face his fears to save them both.

Click here to check it out on the Dreamspinner site.

Die-hard Kindlers can get it on Amazon here.

 

Excerpt:

“I hear we had company this afternoon.”

Sophia’s voice was amused, and Victoria hid her face behind her napkin with a giggle as Ramón glared at her. He was going to have to tread carefully here. There was no way he was going to discuss Alex’s escape from Homeland Security in front of the girls. He held his sister’s eyes for a long moment. Her sculpted eyebrows rose, but she nodded. He’d still have to fill her in, but it would wait until the girls weren’t around. Too bad Victoria didn’t share her mother’s discretion.

“He was super cute, mama, with fancy hair, and he had sparkles on the pockets of his jeans, just like mine.”

Sophia’s eyebrows rose again. “Really? A cute gay guy comes to visit you, and you didn’t even invite him in? That’s not very good manners at all, brother.”

Both girls laughed hysterically to hear Uncle Ramón getting “told” by Mama, and six-year-old Adelina’s singing was gleeful.

“Un-cle’s in trou-ble.”

“That’s enough of that, Adel. Eat your dinner.” Ramón kept his voice calm. She was being rude, and singing at the table was against Sophia’s rules, but it wasn’t that much of an offense. Most of his aggravation was with himself and the flush of heat that ran through his body at the thought of this afternoon’s visitor.

“We just had to talk about a few things, that’s all. I don’t imagine he’ll be back.” Too bad, though. It’s a damn shame an ass that fine should turn out to be on a Gifted guy. Ramón turned his attention back to his food, but the girls weren’t finished with him yet.

I think he should come back and you should go out with him. You need a boyfriend.”

Jesus, Victoria. Ramón choked and tried not to spray iced tea across the kitchen table while Sophia cracked up. He never made any secret of the fact that he was gay, but he didn’t rub anyone’s nose in it either. He certainly never brought men around the girls. Victoria eyed him smugly across the table, but Adelina only looked confused.

“Why would you need a boyfriend, Uncle Ramón, instead of a girlfriend?”

Oh, jeez. Here we go. Adel was so cute sitting there with her thick black curls, her mouth covered in enchilada sauce and her perfect eyebrows wrinkled in confusion. Ramón sucked in a breath, stalling for time while his mind raced in circles, trying to figure out just how much to say. Thank heaven, Sophia rescued him.

“Adelina, Uncle Ramón doesn’t like women in that way. He’d rather have a boyfriend.”

Now Victoria choked and snorted milk out of her nose. For a minute he was able to occupy himself mopping up and patting her on the back, but eventually he had to look at Adelina. Sophia’s littlest sat there with her messy little mouth pursed thoughtfully for a long moment. Then her expression cleared.

“I don’t blame you, Uncle Ramón. I’d rather have a boyfriend too. Tommy Adkins says he wants to be my boyfriend, and he gave me one of his cookies at snack time yesterday. Can I watch my princess movie now?”

That’s it? That’s all there is to it? Ramón shared an incredulous smile with his sister. Still grinning, Sophia shrugged and got up to start the movie. I guess that’s all there is when you’re six.

Too bad things got more complicated once you grew up. Ramón got up and started cleaning the table, and he couldn’t help but think how long it had been since he’d had a boyfriend. Since his run-in with HOMSEC, he hadn’t even been to his usual club for dancing or a quick hookup. The image of his hot visitor popped into his head in spite of his best efforts to keep it out. The guy smells like sugar and works in a bakery. I bet he’d give a good “cookie.”

 

 

 

We’ll be giving away some yummy goodies today.  Come back and see us a little later for a chance to win and to get the recipe for Sweet Nothings’ Sweet Shoppe’s signature chocolate cream puffs (or How to Win Your Man – Lesson 1.)  Yum!

 

JD Ruskin’s Finding Matt Blog Party: WINNER!

December 7, 2014

party

The winners of the free e-book are JJ and Angela. Please e-mail me at jdruskin1184@gmail.com. I will need to the email address you use in the DSP store and whether you want a copy of Finding Matt or When One Door Opens. I will request that the title be added to your bookshelf.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful and interesting comments. I really appreciated the opportunity to talk with you today.

How to Contact JD Ruskin

E-mail | Website | Facebook | Fan Page | Twitter | Google + | Goodreads

#5: JD Ruskin’s Finding Matt Blog Party: Thanks!

December 7, 2014

JDRuskin

Thank you for joining me today as I fumbled through my first blog release party. I hope I’ve piqued your interest in Finding Matt. Once last time, here’s the cover and blurb.

Finding Matt

 

Blurb: When six-year-old Matt Wilson and his Shih Tzu, Pixie, step out of the Stanton Community Hospital and disappear, his desperate parents convince Jaron Greenberg, a local pet psychic, to aid the police in the search. Jaron specializes in finding lost kitties and fixing problem pooches. He isn’t prepared for a case with so much at stake. And as soon as he starts, the abilities he’s had since childhood begin changing and growing in unexpected ways.

Paulo Silva is a veteran detective new to the small town of Stanton. As the low man on the totem pole at Stanton PD, he isn’t happy when the chief assigns him to babysit the pet psychic instead of actively working the missing child case. As Jaron uncovers clues, Paulo starts to wonder if he might be the real thing. Or maybe it’s just his testosterone reacting to what he’s sure is mutual attraction.

Length: Novel (230p.) | Genre: Other Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense

Dreamspinner: Buy as eBook | Buy as Paperback |Amazon |All Romance E-books

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For those of you that have read When One Door Opens, be sure to visit my website next weekend. I will be posting a free Christmas short story featuring Caleb and Logan. It will not be work safe!

*****E-BOOK CONTEST*****

I will be giving away two e-books today. To enter, you need to ANSWER the question given on at least ONE of the five blog posts in order to get an entry. The more questions you answer, the better your chances of winning.

Each post has a question, just comment on the blog entries before 7:00 P.M. CST, and you could win a copy of When One Door Opens or my new release Finding Matt. Your choice of which one. If you’re the winner, Dreamspinner Press will have your book placed on your bookshelf. You will need to e-mail me the email address you use in the DSP store.

Post #5 Question: Did I forget anything? Is there anything else you want to know about me or my novels?

Check back at 7:00 P.M. CST to see the winners of the giveaway. 

How to Contact JD Ruskin

E-mail | Website | Facebook | Fan Page | Twitter | Google + | Goodreads

#4: JD Ruskin’s Finding Matt Blog Party: Ripped From the Headlines

December 7, 2014

missing

I’m an avid reader of newspaper and magazine articles. Both of my novels, When One Door Opens, and Finding Matt, were originally conceived after reading newspaper articles.

When One Door Opens focuses on Caleb Klass, a housebound agoraphobic. I read an article about a woman who died in a fire in Chicago because she refused to leave the building. The woman was agoraphobic. I remember being so shocked and saddened by this article. Imagine a fear so great that it can override your instinct for self-preservation. I’d never considered agoraphobia could be life threatening. The article also made me think about my own experiences with panic attacks. I’ve been fortunate enough to have only two in my life, but they left a strong impression. There is actually a reference to the original article hidden in the novel.

The inspiration for Finding Matt is based on a real life kidnapping case that happened in my small town. The details for the case are completely different, but reading the articles helped me to understand how a small town handles these types of cases. Unfortunately, the case that compelled Paulo to leave the ISP is actually based on a real case. Reality can sometimes be far more horrifying than fiction.

On a happier note, Jaron’s Newfoundland dog, Bear, is based on a very sweet Newfie that meet.

Bear

 

In this excerpt from chapter 4, Paulo takes Jaron to the site of the kidnapping, a small park.

_____________

[Jaron] walked in a slanted line toward the road that separated the park from the hospital parking lot. After a couple of minutes, he stopped. Paulo didn’t need to look around to know they were at the edge of the hospital parking lot’s surveillance video. The very spot Matt disappeared. How the hell had Jaron found the location? His department hadn’t sent the video to the media, opting to send screenshots of Matt exiting the hospital instead since his visibility was better. Jaron must have connections in the hospital. Could someone in security have talked to him? It was doubtful Jaron had seen the footage. Officers had arrived at the hospital thirty minutes after Matt left his father’s side, and secured the footage immediately.

Paulo’s line of thinking derailed when Jaron stumbled. Arms flailing, Jaron would have fallen if Paulo hadn’t grabbed him.

“Are you all right?”

Jaron didn’t answer right away. His eyes were focused on something in the distance. Up close, Paulo could see a ring of gold around Jaron’s irises. The morning sun made his long, thick lashes look like white feathers.

Jaron blinked rapidly. “I’m okay… thanks.”

Paulo unhooked his arms from around Jaron’s waist and took a step back.

Jaron stepped on the road, causing Paulo to grab him again and yank him backward. A station wagon came within inches of clipping Jaron. “Jesus, watch where you’re going!”

Jaron looked chagrined. “Sorry, I don’t normally do this without Bear.”

Paulo stared at him. “The dog is in charge of making sure you don’t end up roadkill?”

Jaron patted him on the arm. “I’m sure you’ll do just as good a job.”

Paulo wasn’t sure whether to be offended by the comparison or not. Since Jaron seemed to take better care of his dog than himself, Paulo settled on feeling flattered that Jaron was trusting him.

_____________

 Finding Matt

Length: Novel (230p.) | Genre: Other Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense

Dreamspinner: Buy as eBook | Buy as Paperback |Amazon |All Romance E-books

 

*****E-BOOK CONTEST*****

I will be giving away two e-books today. To enter, you need to ANSWER the question given on at least ONE of the five blog posts in order to get an entry. The more questions you answer, the better your chances of winning.

Each post has a question, just comment on the blog entries before 7:00 P.M. CST, and you could win a copy of When One Door Opens or my new release Finding Matt. Your choice of which one. If you’re the winner, Dreamspinner Press will have your book placed on your bookshelf. You will need to e-mail me the email address you use in the DSP store.

Post #4 Question: What inspires you? 

How to Contact JD Ruskin

E-mail | Website | Facebook | Fan Page | Twitter | Google + | Goodreads

#3: JD Ruskin’s Finding Matt Blog Party: Somewhere, Illinois

December 7, 2014

My debut novel, When One Door Opens, takes place in Chicago, Illinois. I’ve lived within a couple of hours of Chicago nearly my whole life. But I wouldn’t call myself an expert on the city. More like an enthusiastic suburbanite. My recent trip to Chicago was the inspiration for a Free Christmas short story with Caleb and Logan. The story will be posted on my website next weekend as a thank you to all the readers who took a chance on a newbie author. *coughs* It is definitely NWS.

WhenOneDoorOpens

Blurb: Logan Sellers’s parole officer has issued three commandments: stay sober, stay employed, and stay out of trouble. At first Logan thought those three simple rules would be easy to follow. But that was before he accepted a side job assisting his boss’s housebound agoraphobic nephew, Caleb.

Caleb is deceptively normal for a guy who hasn’t left his apartment in three years, and his friendly, caring personality tugs on heartstrings Logan didn’t know he had. But hitting on his boss’s nephew is asking to be unemployed. Logan has enough problems with booze on every corner and a supervisor trying to jump into his bed. He doesn’t need to work out how to free Caleb from the anxiety that keeps him in his apartment; he needs to keep his nose clean, attend his AA meetings, and make a fresh start—alone.

If only his heart would get with the program.

Length: Novel (210.) | Genre: Contemporary, 2014 EPIC’s eBook Awards, Award-Winning Books

Dreamspinner: Buy as eBook | Buy as Paperback |Audiobook | Amazon |All Romance E-books

 

paulo2

My new paranormal romance release Finding Matt also takes place in Illinois in the fiction town of Stanton. I’ve lived in small towns like Stanton since I graduated college, so I’m very familiar with small town life. Detective Paulo Silva has only recently moved to Stanton. He used to work with the Illinois State Police (ISP) in Springfield, IL. After a devastating case, he left ISP and came to The Stanton Police Department (SPD). Paulo also left behind his former friend/lover, Sergeant Devin Morris. Adjusting to the change hasn’t been easy for Paulo.

_____________

Devin had mocked [Paulo] for picking a town with less than thirteen thousand residents, where he’d be the token minority in the police department. Even knowing the demographics, Paulo hadn’t been prepared for an all-white police station. He’d tried to explain that he was Brazilian, not Hispanic, to the few baffled people who asked him. They’d seemed equally baffled by the fact that he spoke Portuguese, not Spanish.

Paulo shook his head. He didn’t have time to ponder the disturbing lack of diversity and cultural awareness in Stanton. He rose and walked over to the printer station. After picking up the report, he headed for the chief’s office.

_____________

The Matt Wilson missing child case requires that the SPD request help from Illinois State Police, bring Devin back into Paulo’s life. When Paulo learns that he’s been assigned the job of babysitting the psychic, he phones Devin.

_____________

Paulo had his phone out of his pocket before he exited the chief’s office. Pulling up Devin’s number, he hit the Send button. Devin picked up after only one ring, like he’d been expecting the call.

In lieu of a greeting, Paulo asked, “What is your problema, babaca?”

“Oh, he must be pissed if the Portuguese is slipping out.”

Paulo could tell by his voice that Devin was smirking.

“I have ten active cases, Devin. I don’t have time to babysit a psychic. Get one of your troopers to hold his hand.”

“Get over yourself, Silva. Keeping the parents happy is important, especially in a case with this much media attention. Someone needs to be on babysitting duty and you’re the low man on the totem pole at the SPD. You chose to hide in the land of pig shit and windmills. Now deal with it.”

Paulo gritted his teeth. “I’m not hiding.”

“The hell you’re not. I’m one floor away, but you decided to bitch at me on the phone instead of in person.” Devin sighed and his voice softened. “Eventually, everybody gets a case that gets to them, baby. But you work through it instead of running away from the job and the people who care about you.”

“Maybe it was a mistake to transfer here, but staying in Springfield wasn’t an option.”

“You’re wasted in this town and you know it. You should be thanking me for taking you away from investigating cow tippings and bootleg liquor.” Devin snorted. “And from what I hear, you’re the perfect man for this job.”

“What are you talking about?”

“People in this town love to talk about their resident psychic. Especially since he’s shacked up with Stephen Miller, the gay son of the former mayor.” Devin could perform a soft interrogation better than anyone Paulo had ever seen. He used his bleached-blond hair, pretty-boy face, and toothpaste commercial smile to his full advantage, and people willingly spilled their guts. “Are you thinking Greenberg’s involved? Because the chief is his alibi.”

“Just because he didn’t do the snatch, doesn’t mean he isn’t involved. Hell, this could be some publicity stunt.”

Paulo wished that was the case, but his gut told him otherwise. “What’s your read on the parents? Would they be involved in something like that?”

“Mr. Wilson is trying hard to stay positive, but he’s tearing himself apart with guilt. If it’s a stunt, no way does he know about it. Mrs. Wilson might be a possibility. She’s a real cold fish, that one.” Devin sighed. “Odds are Greenberg’s either a con artist or a wackjob.”

“I still don’t understand what you want me to do. Do you want me to investigate Greenberg?”

“I need you to put on those ass-hugging jeans I know you’ve got stashed in your apartment, and take the guy around town to let him soak up his supposed psychic vibes. If people see Greenberg walking around with a uniform, word will spread quickly. If tongues are wagging about their newest detective hanging out with a gay man, then they won’t be wondering if the police have resorted to hiring a psychic to save Matt Wilson.”

“Are you seriously fucking asking me to pretend I’m on a date with this guy?”

“Who said anything about a date?” Devin said, feigning innocence. “Though I hear there’s a great Chinese place on Main Street.”

“Keep it up, babaca, and you will get your face-to-face meeting with me when I smash your teeth in.”

Devin snickered. “I love you too, Silva,” he said, before ending the call.

Sighing, Paulo pressed the End button on the phone.

_____________

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FINDING MATT by JD Ruskin
Length: Novel (230p.) | Genre: Other Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense
Dreamspinner: Buy as eBook | Buy as Paperback |Amazon |All Romance E-books

 

*****E-BOOK CONTEST*****

I will be giving away two e-books today. To enter, you need to ANSWER the question given on at least ONE of the five blog posts in order to get an entry. The more questions you answer, the better your chances of winning.

Each post has a question, just comment on the blog entries before 7:00 P.M. CST, and you could win a copy of When One Door Opens or my new release Finding Matt. Your choice of which one. If you’re the winner, Dreamspinner Press will have your book placed on your bookshelf. You will need to e-mail me the email address you use in the DSP store.

Post #3 Question: Have you read When One Door Opens? Are you interested in a follow up free short story?

How to Contact JD Ruskin

E-mail | Website | Facebook | Fan Page | Twitter | Google + | Goodreads

#2: JD Ruskin’s Finding Matt Blog Party: Do You Believe In Psychics?

December 7, 2014

fish

Finding Matt features a pet psychic named Jaron Greenberg. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of horoscopes and psychics. When I looked at the sign characteristics for my sign, Pisces, I realized that I had all of the weaknesses and very few of the strengths. The Pisces is also known as having more an intuitive and psychic ability than any other sign. I haven’t bought a lotto ticket yet, but I expect to win when I get around to doing it. Eventually. Did I mention Pisces can be really lazy?

I went to see a psychic once when I was in college for a tarot card reading. The part I remember most about the reading was when she asked about what I was studying to be for my day job. After I told her, she was silent for over a minute, staring at the cards and avoiding all eye contact. Then she said, “Um…that…might be…okay for you.” Weakness attempt at reassurance ever. I did, in fact, go on to graduate and get a job. I sometimes wonder what she would’ve said if I told her I planned to write gay romance novels. What would the cards have told her?

Jaron Greenberg

My pet psychic, Jaron Greenburg, operates his business out of a walk in closet of his best friend’s pet salon. He charges barely over minimum wage, because he’d rather be seen as a freak than a fraud. He’s had this ability since childhood, but the Matt Wilson missing child case will force him to push his abilities beyond what he thinks he’s capable. Jaron desperately wants to find Matt, but first he needs to convince skeptical Detective Paulo Silva that he can help.

In this scene from chapter 2, Paulo Silva learns about Jaron’s history from Chief Tucker, who believes in Jaron’s abilities.

“I’ve known Jaron his whole life. He was the first major case I caught as a detective. When he was four years old, his parents took him out to the forest preserve to experience the fall colors.” Chief Tucker put finger quotes around the words “fall colors.” With a shake of his head, he continued, “Jaron had been missing for two hours before they sobered up enough to contact the police.”

Paulo had tracked down a group of liquored up teens in those woods his first week on the job. Miles of choking trees, sharp brambles, and snake holes. It was hard for an adult to navigate the twisting paths of thick foliage and tree roots, let alone a young child.

“We didn’t have a K9 unit back then, so I called Nathan Jefferson and asked if we could use his hunting dogs. He tells me they’ve run off and his son is out looking for them. I head out to the parking lot where volunteers are being mobilized, and I see two hounds that look like Nate’s dogs, a poodle, and a chocolate lab running by. I wondered about it, but with only an hour of daylight left and weather expected to drop into the 20s, I needed to get moving and find that boy before he froze to death.

“I drove the five miles to the forest preserve quick as I could. The chief started handing out search assignments. Then I see those dogs again, standing together and looking anxious. The lab stepped forward and started barking, going quiet as I approached it. I swear to God that dog stared at me like he was Lassie and I was the dumb shit who hadn’t figured out Timmy was in the well. So I trotted after the dogs, and just about the time I’d decided I’d lost my mind, the dogs raced ahead, barking their heads off. I caught up to them and found them circled around this white-haired child covered in dirt and scratches. He put his little hand on the lab’s head and said, ‘Thanks for coming.’”

Paulo felt a chill race down his spine.

“I found that boy three miles away in the opposite direction of where his parents said they had last seen him. We would’ve never found Jaron in time without those dogs. I think God gave that boy a gift, probably as compensation for his good-for-nothing parents.” The chief shrugged. “There are plenty of other stories.” He pulled out his wallet, slid out a business card, and handed it to Paulo. “If there is even a chance Jaron can help, it would be wrong not to act on it.”

The business card featured a close up picture of a man in his midtwenties and an enormous dog that looked like an all-black Saint Bernard. Jaron Greenberg had a mop of white blond hair that many boys have, but few retain as they age. Greenberg must have Photoshop skills, because no one had eyes that blue. Looking at the man’s face, Paulo could understand the impulse to believe in him. The thought of someone so beautiful swindling people out of their hard-earned money was unthinkable. But bad guys came in all shapes and sizes, and from the sound of things, Greenberg’s parents were likely excellent teachers.

Finding Matt

Length: Novel (230p.) | Genre: Other Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense

Dreamspinner: Buy as eBook | Buy as Paperback |Amazon |All Romance E-books

****E-BOOK CONTEST****

I will be giving away two e-books today. To enter, you need to ANSWER the question given on at least ONE of the five blog posts in order to get an entry. The more questions you answer, the better your chances of winning.

Each post has a question, just comment on the blog entries before 7:00 P.M. CST, and you could win a copy of When One Door Opens or my new release Finding Matt. Your choice of which one. If you’re the winner, Dreamspinner Press will have your book placed on your bookshelf. You will need to tell me the email address you use in the DSP store.

Post #2 Question: Do you read your horoscope? If so, how well do you match your sign characteristics? 

How to Contact JD Ruskin

E-mail | Website | Facebook | Fan Page | Twitter | Google + | Goodreads

#1: Welcome to JD Ruskin’s Blog Party for Finding Matt

December 7, 2014

party

Hello! I’m JD Ruskin. Today is the release party for my new paranormal romance Finding Matt, which was released 12/5/14. I will be posting five blogs throughout the day, giving away prizes, talking about the making of the book, and sharing excerpts.

Finding Matt

 

Blurb: When six-year-old Matt Wilson and his Shih Tzu, Pixie, step out of the Stanton Community Hospital and disappear, his desperate parents convince Jaron Greenberg, a local pet psychic, to aid the police in the search. Jaron specializes in finding lost kitties and fixing problem pooches. He isn’t prepared for a case with so much at stake. And as soon as he starts, the abilities he’s had since childhood begin changing and growing in unexpected ways.

Paulo Silva is a veteran detective new to the small town of Stanton. As the low man on the totem pole at Stanton PD, he isn’t happy when the chief assigns him to babysit the pet psychic instead of actively working the missing child case. As Jaron uncovers clues, Paulo starts to wonder if he might be the real thing. Or maybe it’s just his testosterone reacting to what he’s sure is mutual attraction.

Length: Novel (230p.) | Genre: Other Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense
Dreamspinner: Buy as eBook | Buy as Paperback |Amazon |All Romance E-books

 

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the book trailer I made on YouTube.

Book Trailer for Finding Matt by JD Ruskin

 

****E-BOOK CONTEST****

I will be giving away two e-books today. To enter, you need to ANSWER the question given on at least ONE of the five blog posts in order to get an entry. The more questions you answer, the better your chances of winning.

Each post has a question, just comment on the blog entries before 7:00 P.M. CST, and you could win a copy of When One Door Opens or my new release Finding Matt. Your choice of which one. If you’re the winner, Dreamspinner Press will have your book placed on your bookshelf. You will need to tell me the email address you use in the DSP store.

Post #1 Question: Do you have a pet? If so, tell me about your furry friend.  

How to Contact JD Ruskin

E-mail | Website | Facebook | Fan Page | Twitter | Google + | Goodreads