Unexpected Joy with Shell Taylor – Post + Giveaway

October 5, 2015

Unexpected Joy

Hi, everyone! Shell Taylor here, and I’m over-the-moon excited to share my very first release, Redeeming Hope, the first book of the Home for Hope series. This story is so close to my heart for many reasons, but the most obvious is it’s my first published story. My baby. My firstborn. I feel like my child is heading off to college as I get ready to ship the book off to you. This particular baby of mine, this little plot bunny that hopped around in my head for months started out as a  playful-but-angsty story inspired from a picture of two celebrities dressed to the nines in their tuxes. One of my favorite things about writing, though, is that literally anything can become an unplanned detour, and that’s exactly what happened when I fell in love with one of the secondary characters.

Adam and Elijah were supposed to live in a world where discrimination was nearly non-existent. Adam was a college professor, and Elijah was meant to be a personable asshole. (I had lofty goals!) While they struggled to figure out their attraction to one another and how, or even if, they wanted to make a go at a relationship, this kid name dKollin would wreak havoc with those plans. And then I wrote Kollin’s first scene. He was such an effervescent, breath of fresh air, I immediately scrapped my entire plot. Adam became the founder of an LGBT center so he could give today’s youth options he himself didn’t have as a teen. Elijah became a closeted bisexual, who after a great tragedy in his life locked away his heart. And the force of nature that is Kollin demanded his own story of rejection be told on behalf of the scared, lost, hurt, and voiceless.

In a lot of ways, Redeeming Hope tells the story of why I began writing M/M romance. Like many others, I fell in love with the genre hard and fast. As an avid reader, I found the different dynamic, chemistry, and personalities of two male main characters refreshing. The vast diversity of the genre enabled me to discover more ways to support the community and enlightened me to issues that I didn’t know still existed. Through Kollin’s story, it quickly became clear that what I really wanted to do was write a story about how I see the LGBTQ+ community—strong, brave, flawed, loved, sometimes rejected—and be sure my own admiration for not only surviving but thriving shined through.

A recurring theme throughout the series is how sometimes we meet people who unexpectedly change our lives. I’d love for you all to share an experience about an individual who made a tremendous impact on your life. The kicker—this person never realized how profoundly his or her actions affected you?

To be fair, I’ll go first! I’ve met a few people who’ve helped me more than they know, but I’ll go with the most recent. I’m pretty shy, so when my husband got a new job about two years ago, and we moved away from all of our friends and family, I was absolutely terrified to meet new people. And so I didn’t. As a stay-at-home mom, there were no opportunities for me to form friendships on the job, and I had no other social opportunities besides church. Even for an introvert, this can get a bit depressing! Finally, after about a year of attending a really wonderful and open-minded church that we truly love, I got an email from one of the members, inviting us to the new Sunday school class. Through that class, I’ve been able to create individual and familial friendships I never would’ve had otherwise, and I never would’ve taken the step to join the class without that simple email. Even though I thanked the sender afterward, he will probably never know how grateful I am for his invitation. After all, he was just trying to grow his class!

So now it’s your turn! I can’t wait to hear from you guys. DSP will select one of you to receive a free copy of Redeeming Hope, so don’t be shy! I hang out a lot on Facebook, but you can find me on Twitter and Tumblr too (where I reblog a lot of stuff about comics, hot guys, Once Upon a Time, and food)!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shelltaylorpens

Twitter: @shelltaylorpens

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/shelltaylorpens


Check out Redeeming Hope!

12 Responses to “Unexpected Joy with Shell Taylor – Post + Giveaway”

  1. Susan says:

    I’ve loved libraries my whole life, but other than checking out materials almost weekly, I never was involved with them. Then a librarian friend of my mother’s nominated me for my local public library board and it added so much to my life. Now I’m the chair of a committee to build a new library, as the old one is too small and falling apart. I’m sure she had no idea I would become a major player in the local library scene!

  2. Shell Taylor says:

    @Susan… I LOVE that! How cool that someone noticed your love for books just by observing you. And even more awesome that you’re now so instrumental in building a new library. That’s really amazing. Congrats and good luck with your project. It sounds like a big undertaking!

    Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. Domie says:

    A friend encouraged me to write a story. Even though she was busy writing and editing her book that was getting ready to be published she still took the time to encourage me and to help me. Writing that and putting it out there for other people to read, was a HUGE deal for me. Seriously, HUGE. I’m shire she understands that, and I’ve said thank you count
    Es times, but, yeah…..it was a big deal to me. Lol <3

  4. Shell Taylor says:

    @Domie …. I think you know how I feel about that! I can’t wait to see how that one ends. :) *mooshy hugs*

  5. Ravyn says:

    Congrats on the newly published first book! Military brat here, in my case became an introvert. Meeting people has always been hard. I go to conventions, temporarily can be something I am not. My mum was a librarian, however I got scolded for reading and not making friends. I started to write as a teenager. Now have kids old enough to be on their own and tell them to find a way to express themselves. Looking forward to reading your book. Enjoyed reading the intro above. Here’s to more in the future! :)

  6. Shell Taylor says:

    @ Ravyn… Thank you so much! It’s a very exciting day for me :) Obviously from my post, I feel you on the meeting new people. I wish I could easily talk to people, but I suppose that’s not my lot in life. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the book!

  7. Kaye says:

    Congrats on your release! I have to say I LOVE your comments about why you started writing m/m romance. Your reasoning pretty much echo my own feelings, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it put quite so eloquently. As for my “person”- I’m afraid he doesn’t qualify because he knows it (I married him!), but soon after I met him, he began showing me how to find my voice in every way. I have already devoured your book and absolutely adore the characters and how they help bring out the best in each other.

  8. Shell Taylor says:

    @Kaye… THANK YOU so much. Sounds like your “person” is pretty awesome :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by. <3

  9. Jayme says:

    I love your book and you! ❤️

    I don’t really have a person per se, but rather I have my people. I’m talking about the friends who insisted I read “That Book Series” and cheered me on and held my hand while I cried over the worst parts of it. That series changed what I read, and it makes my heart happy to have your words published in the genre that I love so much.


  10. Shell Taylor says:

    @Jayme …. Thank you! I love you too! Thanks so much for all of your support. I have to love your peeps too!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Lee Todd says:

    congrats on your debut release :)
    sounds like an excellent read…added to my wishlist

  12. Shell Taylor says:

    @Lee… Thank you so much, Lee! I hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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