Release Party – MOMENT OF TRUTH – Part Three

March 5, 2015

Hi everyone, Karen Stivali here again to talk a little more about MOMENT OF TRUTH, Book Two of the Moments In Time series.

MomentofTruth_headerbanner

In keeping with the themes from the Moments In Time series, I want to talk about summer jobs in college. I went to college at NYU in New York City and spent summers either there or at my parents’ house in New Jersey. I had so many jobs I can barely remember them all but I’ll list all the ones I can think of offhand:

waitress

wedding planner’s assistant

secretarial temp

hand drawn animator

espresso bar manager

script reader for an agent

receptionist

bartender

reader for the blind

teaching assistant

Several of those overlapped—I worked a lot. It’s expensive to live in New York City, nevermind the cost of tuition!

In MOMENT OF TRUTH Collin is working as a waiter at an upscale restaurant (he needs money badly as when he came out his mother stopped tuition payments and he’s got to make sure he has enough money to get through senior year) and Tanner is bartending at a trendy nightclub.

I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t mind having this young man as my waiter..

H

 

And I definitely wouldn’t mind having this young man shake me up a cocktail or two…

F

Do you have a preference for blonds or brunettes? Or are redheads your weakness? Or shaved heads? Or no preference at all as long as they’re (fill in the blank)?  Tell me below and I’ll choose another random winner to receive an ebook of their choice (winners announce later tonight on each post). Thanks for chatting with me and making my release party more interesting! I love learning things about my readers and their experiences.

Moment Of Truth Release Party – Part Two

March 5, 2015

LIFE’S A BEACH!

IMG_1216

Hello everyone, Karen Stivali, back again. I think the harshness of this winter has finally gotten to me (looking out my window in New Hampshire I see about five feet of snow on everything, and that’s after two days of thawing) so I’m going to talk about the location where MOMENT OF TRUTH takes place: Fire Island.

For those of you not familiar with the northeastern US, Fire Island runs parallel to New York’s Long Island and it’s a beautiful beachy paradise. There’s not much there other than tons of beaches, a few shops, some cool restaurants and night clubs, and miles of trails to walk or bike. No cars are allowed on the island so when you’re there you really feel like you’re away from it all. Like a summer vacation should make you feel!

For Collin and Tanner, spending the summer living on Fire Island not only means an escape from their conservative college town to a much more liberal environment where it safe for them to be “out” as a couple, it also means that Collin is free from the prying eyes of family. It’s like a fresh start for them as a couple. But, as with any summer, the time is limited, so the future—back at school—is always looming in the background.

That’s not to say Collin and Tanner don’t make the most of their summer. They do! From time on the beach to enjoying some of the local clubs and restaurants they definitely get the full vacation experience even though they’re both busy working (Collin as a waiter and Tanner as a bartender).

I’ve been to Fire Island a few times but the beach I visited most recently was Nantucket (pictured in the lovely sunset above and again here).

IMG_1197

I love the beach but I’m not a typical beach person. Too much sunlight makes me jittery and gives me a headache. My favorite time on the beach is sunset or later. I love strolling along the water or sitting on the sand and watching the waves roll in and out in the moonlight. It’s so peaceful and relaxing and beautiful.

My favorite beach is probably Ocean City, New Jersey because it’s the perfect old-fashioned (homemade fudge and donut shops, fresh salt water taffy, miles of boardwalk to bike or stroll) beach town but it’s close enough to Atlantic City that if you want something more lively it’s only a twenty minute drive away. I also love Narragansett, Rhode Island  and Nantucket because their beaches are covered in gorgeous polished stones that look more like river rocks than something you’d find on a beach. I can never leave without a heavy collection of them weighing down my beach bag!

IMG_1274

Are you a beach person? Do you have a favorite beach to visit? Would you rather live at the beach full time if you could, or do you prefer it as a special vacation getaway? Tell me in the comments below and again one random winner will be selected to win an ebook at the end of the day today!

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

March 5, 2015

 

new-avatar-1

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

 

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

MomentofImpactFS

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

 

 

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

MomentofTruthFS

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

Music and books

February 12, 2015

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

-M.D.

Future books in The Shifters series

February 12, 2015

Hello! I’m still here promoting my newest release “Hearts and Minds” – the sequel to “Healing Minds” book 5 of my The Shifters series. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6031

 

Hearts and Mind-seqel

 

And also, don’t forget to check out my other books in the series here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/md-grimm

 

Since the books are all dependent upon each other and grow more so as the series progresses, I’d suggest reading from book #1 if you haven’t already.

 

To wet your anticipation for the future: “The Serpent and the Angel” (book 8) will be released on March 27th (I have another DSP blog scheduled that day), “Ghosts of Halloween Past” (sequel to “Blind Devotion”) will be released in October, and I’m working on book 9 “Predator and Prey” (who likes sharks?). Then I will swing out of the “past” and be firmly in the present for later books.

 

“Ghost of Halloween Past” will focus around Halloween and I think you’ll be surprised by the secret Travis has been keeping from Jack about what happened to them years before the events in “Blind Devotion” (book 3).

 

“Predator and Prey” (book 9) is only half done and currently frustrating the hell out me. But, it’s all worth it. I know I will love this story when it’s finished. The greatest challenge was the research I had to do for it. I predict I will soon become an expert when it comes to the skill of research. J

 

And for those curious, the strong Agent Poe will return. He’s scheduled for book #12, I believe.

 

Just a reminder, if you want to know more of my plans for this series, check out my blog here: http://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/#!Shifters-explained/c1o5e/3AB7F857-F8F4-4032-829D-A151576ED328

 

That’s where I put all the info you could ever want to know about The Shifters series.

 

What is your idea of a romantic night with your significant other?

 

-M.D.

Fated Release Party Winner!

December 31, 2014

Hey guys, Indra Vaughn here for the last time. I thought I’d be able to stick it out until midnight and wish you all a REAL happy new year from my neck of the woods, but apparently 6 am starts turn me into a complete sad potato and I need my beauty sleep.

In any case, I gathered all your names into my party hat (aka Random.org) and the winner is…

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 10.14.43 PM

SC Wynne! Whee! *throws confetti*

One e-copy of Fated coming your way!

This is me signing off for the night then. Thank you all for making some time in your schedules to join me. I wish you all a wonderful 2015. I can’t remember who said it, but it stuck with me: May all your wishes come through, bar one, so you have something to look forward to.

*pops champagne* Who wants some?

Fated Release & New Year’s Resolutions!

December 31, 2014

Hey guys, Indra Vaughn here, checking in for the last time (well, not quite, but you’ll see) during the Fated blog party.

I just finished prepping the New Year’s Eve dinner–nothing special, just turkey and stuffing, a salad, some roast veggies and potatoes–and I think it’s time to bring up the dreaded New Year’s Resolutions. C’mon, you know you want to share. I’ll start.

In 2015 I will
- Stop drinking coffee
- Run 10 miles without dying. Actually, let’s just stick to Run 10 miles and see what happens
- Try to be more patient with Bam Bam (my three-year-old for those not in the know)
- Go for a few doctor’s appointments I’ve been putting off for too long
- Write at least three more full length novels

That’s about it. How about you? Tell me your greatest desires, or darkest secrets. I’m not asking for a lot, am I?

I know one that would be on Lieutenant Hart’s list: stop drinking so much…

By the way, this is who I had in mind for him, in case you’re curious *g*

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 5.32.29 PM

I’ll come back later tonight to announce the winner of the giveaway, and then that will be it for me today!

If you want to hang out again, I’m taking over the DSP Facebook page on Saturday and there will be more prizes and a discount code!

Have a wonderful evening, guys <3

More info: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter.

And psssst… let me just quickly add that today is the last day of the DSP 20% off sale too…

Fated Giveaway!

December 31, 2014

This is still Indra Vaughn, here to chat with you guys about my latest novel, Fated!

I didn’t have a particular setting in mind when I started writing the Shadow Mountain series. The towns are entirely made up, but a few months ago I went on a trip to the Smoky Mountains, and I have to say it fit my imagination perfectly.

IMG_2718

Since you can’t have a murder mystery without a fair few dead bodies, Hart spends some of his time on a cemetery. I had a fairly idyllic place in mind, and quite by accident I came across a graveyard near Gatlinburg that fit the image completely. I took some photos with the idea I could share it with you here today.

IMG_2709

There are some sad moments in the book, I won’t deny that, and one of the most difficult ones to write takes place in that cemetery. Hart is largely shaped by the loss in his life and it’s Isaac, his younger, gorgeous neighbor, who’ll be able to reshape him into the man he’s supposed to be. (It might just… take a while. But not three books, I promise.)

Now, I wouldn’t call this controversial, but it is a choice some readers might not agree with (and that’s totally okay!), and I spent a lot of time umming and erring whether or not to cut the scenes… Before Hart and Isaac get together, Hart has sex with another man. Twice! I didn’t cut them in the end because I felt they developed the other guy’s character in a way that was necessary. It isn’t love and they both know that, but they’re both living, breathing men, they’re single and lonely, and sometimes… people don’t make the right choices. So my question to you:

Do you absolutely nay books where the main character has sex with someone else? Why or why not?

At the end of my time on the blog today, I’ll toss all names of those who comment here in a hat and the winner will get an e-copy of the book!

Here’s another favorite song from the Fated playlist!

Welcome to the release party for Fated (Shadow Mountain book 1)

December 31, 2014

Faded_headerbanner

Hello, my name is Indra Vaughn and I’m here to have a chat with you awesome people. My latest novel, Fated, releases today!

I’m so thrilled to be here, guys! Hopefully you’re ready for me to talk your ears off, because I have lots of things planned for you. (Including two giveaways!) But first of all, let me just say thanks for joining me today, and an even bigger thank you for being avid readers. Us author-types wouldn’t be able to do it without you. *smooches*

So, I should probably tell you a little bit about the book first, right? Fated is the first book in the Shadow Mountain series and it’s a paranormal mystery with a gay romance thread woven throughout the three books. The main character is Police Lieutenant Hart, and currently he’s stumped by what he’s calling the Tattoo Murders. The awesome and hardworking people over at Dreamspinner Press have put together a great blurb, so I’ll just share that!

Two towns flank the looming Shadow Mountain. A dark myth of the Predator drifts through the dense trees, a tale Police Lieutenant Hart never paid much attention to. When one unresolved death follows another—some people dying without discernible cause while others are clearly, and often brutally, murdered—he can’t ignore it any longer. Truth may lie in myth, but this one is spread to deceive everyone. The Predator exists, but he’s not entirely human. Hart will have to find the connection between the mysterious figure and victims with only one thing in common: a faint tattoo on the backs of their necks, a mark left when someone healed their incurable diseases.

Isaac Lasko has been in love with Hart since he moved in across the street seven years ago. He’s been helping Hart renovate his home, and their friendship grows more intense with the years, but Isaac can’t help wishing for a deeper bond. When he finally breaks through the lieutenant’s armor, the mystery surrounding the Predator threatens them both. Help will come, but at a price.

So, I hope that tickles your fancy…
If you have any questions you can pose them below. It can be about the new series or any of my older works, or if you want to be nosy now’s your chance ;-) . Ask me anything you like!

I’ll be adding a song that was part of the Fated playlist as I was writing at the end of every post. And I’m always looking to expand my playlists, so what are some of your favorite songs that released this year?

This song is one of my absolute favorites. I love The Editors.

 

More info: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter.

And psssst… let me just quickly add that today is the last day of the DSP 20% off sale too…

 

Let’s Talk THIRDS with Charlie Cochet

November 5, 2014

Dreamspinner: So, Dex? Where did you get the inspiration for this 80′s-music-singing, high-octane cop with the mouth of a sailor who can’t hold his liquor?

Ah, Dex. Dex popped into my head in all his Cheesy-doodle-crunching, power-ballad-singing glory. It’s kind of scary how many traits Dex and I share. The 80s quirk was easy for me because like Dex, I’m a child of the 80s. I love the music, the movies, the cartoons, and toys. The clothes maybe not so much, but I definitely enjoy looking back at the fashion horrors. The coffee obsession is something we also share. Brain function is difficult without my cup of java in the morning. All that frothy goodness. Mmm….

I’m also big fan of John McClane from the Die Hard movies. This every day cop with amazing wit who always found himself embroiled in some kind of trouble that ends up with him beat up or almost getting blown up. That whole kind of “every man” trait that John McClane has is something I wanted for Dex. He’s not this invincible action hero who knows three kinds of martial arts and can walk away from an explosion without a scratch on him. I wanted Dex to be fun but complex. He’s the kind of guy you’d love to have as a friend. He’s a genuinely nice guy, loyal, always wants to do the right thing, loves his family, and knows when to be serious. Trouble has a way of finding him. He might be on an elite team, but he’s just a regular guy. Just weirder.

Dreamspinner: Are we only going to get three books in the THIRDS series?

There are quite a few books planned for the THIRDS series. At the moment, I have 8 books planned. It’s a continuous timeline, though book 5 will be from Ash & Cael’s point of views, and Book 6 from Calvin & Hobbs’s point of views, Book 7 & 8 will return to Dex and Sloane. I also have a book planned in the THIRDS world with agent Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn. After that, we’ll have to see. You never know which characters will demand to have their stories told. I have a few couples that might get their own novellas.

Dreamspinner: What scene in any of the THIRDS books do you still laugh about?

I admit that I still laugh at a good deal of Dex’s antics. It’s hard to pick just one. The training scene in Blood & Thunder is a top favorite. Sloane is in his jaguar form and he takes off after another agent who screams “like a pre-teen at a Bieber concert”. That scene still makes me chuckle. Also the scene with his ex at Bar Dekatria with the goats and Waking Dead secrets coming to light.

Dreamspinner: Who was the most difficult character to write in the THIRDS series?

All the characters in the THIRDS are challenging in some way, but I think Dex is still my most complex character because there’s the image he portrays of this happy go-lucky guy who’s always smiling and joking, but inside he’s very sharp and perceptive. He feels things deeply. Plus there’s his humor. Humor is incredibly difficult to write because it either happens or it doesn’t. You can’t force humor. Dex’s one-liners and snappy comebacks have to come during that moment. There are just so many layers to him, so many instances where he’s doing one thing but thinking or feeling something completely different.

Dreamspinner: Coffee or tea? Ebook or print? Vanilla or chocolate? Rap or country music?

Coffee. Sentences and words don’t happen without coffee. I love both eBook and print. For research, I prefer print books. Chocolate for sure. I do enjoy vanilla, but chocolate is right up there just below coffee. I’m not big on rap or country. I’m more into 80s music. ;)

____________________________________________
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From historical to fantasy, contemporary to science fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too! Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and, boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.