What Inspires a Story

April 4, 2011

Last July I had a craving. Don’t some of the best things in life start out that way? I had ice cream on my mind, never suspecting that a brief stop at my favorite store, Oberweis, would be the spark to ignite my muse. The guy who attended to me was all smiles and quite gorgeous. Being an m/m writer, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m always checking out faces and bodies and transferring them to my writing. There was something about this man that spoke to me. I suppose if I were a guy, certain body parts would have twitched. In any case, he served up my Heath Bar Frostbite with a smile and told me to come back any time. I left with five hundred calories in my hand and the seeds of a story planted firmly in my brain.

The next day, I attended the Taste of Chicago, and my idea for this novel started running rampant in my head. How I was inspired while sweat rolled down my back, is beyond me, but I was. Instead of letting the heat and discomfort bring out my internal bitch, I imagined I was Lil and took in the sights through his perspective. I’d been meaning to give this much loved character from my novel Horizons his own story, and after two years I would finally have an opportunity to do it.

That night I went home and poked my head into the wonderful m/m group over at Goodreads. Their erotic picture threads have been a source of inspiration in the past, and I clicked on the link that said “Ink”. I have this thing for tattoos. I saw a photo that blew my mind, and my character Grier was born. There were several other photos that caught my attention, and fired up the muse, but I won’t embellish as it would be a major spoiler. I wrote this novel in about five weeks. I was inspired. Wouldn’t you be looking at this guy? I still have him up as my screensaver!

This is how Taste was born. Stay for a while and read a couple of excerpts and an interview I did recently over at SJD Peterson’s blog. Anyone who comments on this post will be in the drawing for a signed paperback with a free bookmark. I’m celebrating my second year anniversary with Dreamspinner and handing out bookmarks to anyone who buys one of my paperbacks in the month of April. It’s my small way of saying Thank You to all my wonderful readers.

Interview with Tyler Ward

March 30, 2011

And now for Tyler’s interview.  He’s a little bit chattier than Kevin!

We caught up with Tyler on his way back from the gym one evening, once again at Celestial Café, where we both opted for a cup of decaf Earl Grey tea with a shot of vanilla flavoring.  Tyler is freshly showered, his dark curls are still damp, and he seems to be still on a post-work-out endorphin high as his smile is energetic and his chatter is effusive.

Jessica Skye Davies: Thanks for stopping to talk with us, Tyler.  We promise we won’t keep you too long.

Tyler Ward: No, it’s great, I’m totally down for a chat and Kev’s got the biz association meeting tonight.  I’d have probably just gone home and talked to Teddy – or sat here and annoyed the fu-…  um, annoyed Luke.

JSD: No need to censor yourself, Tyler, the editors will take care of that if they feel the need.

TW: Oh, thanks!  I sometimes don’t realize what I’m saying till I’ve already said it.  Luke sometimes tries to tell me what color my “aura” is, but I’m convinced all he’s seeing the air I’ve turned blue with my language.

JSD: That’s ok, Tyler, it’s all about being yourself.  So shall we start?

TW: Yeah, let’s do it.

JSD:  Great.  We had a good time talking to Kevin, so let’s jump right in.  You’re not from around here, are you?
TW: Nope.  Moved here from the UK about six years ago.  I’d just finished art school and decided I’d come here and try my “luck,” as it were.  My luck really sucked at first because one of the first things I did was end up in a bad car crash that really screwed up my back, but that’s what happens when you forget which side of the road to turn onto to I reckon.  Good things did happen though, too.  I made a friend from the “old country” here right off because the imports shop was one of the first places I found when I got here.  It was Danny who helped me get through rehab and then introduced me to Kev, and I can’t think of anything better than that in my life.

JSD: Do you visit home often?
TW: I’ve gone back a couple times, and my mum has come to visit Kevin and I here as well a few times.  My mum’s a former flight attendant, so she knows how to get the best deals on flights and stuff, a fact she’s frequently reminding me of!  But really, my home is here now, with Kevin.

JSD: We know Kevin is an artist and gallery owner, and you mentioned going to art school.  Do you and Kevin have similar artistic styles, and can we find your work in Kevin’s gallery?

TW: Our art is actually really different.  Kev likes his canvases and is really kind of more traditional in his style, kind of impressionistic at times.  My stuff is really… 3D.  I like to say that space is my medium, in a Zen sort of way.  I play with all sorts of materials and forms and love to create hanging pieces.  I also enjoy working in clay and really getting my hands into something.  I usually have several pieces up in the gallery at any given time.  As well as selling my work, I also help out frequently at the gallery.  Got to earn my keep so Kev doesn’t turf me out!

JSD: What’s your favorite book?

TW: William Shakespeare’s classic Gay Boys in Bondage.  A distant second favorite is probably The Bridges of Madison County.  Yeah, it’s pulpy, but the strength of Robert and Francesca’s feelings is so powerfully written.  What can I say, I’m a fool for love!

JSD: What’s something that nobody knows about you?

TW: That I’m secretly straight and just passing as gay because I don’t want to be singled out when they take over the world.

JSD:  Do you have a favorite childhood memory?

TW:  The best times I had as a kid were summer holidays.  Our whole family, aunts and uncles and cousins, the grandparents, we all used to go the beach for holidays.  We’d usually rent out a couple of beach houses for a fortnight.  It was a really big deal.

JSD:  At what point in your life did you first really think you were grown up?

TW:  When I left home for university.  The first couple weeks were brilliant, just like taking a holiday.  Then reality set in and I realized I didn’t know shite about life!
JSD: When and where were you the happiest?

TW:  As much as I enjoyed those beach holidays, I’ve never been happier than I am now.  I’m genuinely content every day and I don’t think anyone can ask for more than that.

JSD:  What is something that you dislike?

TW:  I don’t always have a lot of patience for all that superstitious hocus-pocus kind of stuff.  When people say something like finding a twenty dollar bill was “good luck,” I usually point out that their definition of good luck was clearly someone else’s bad luck, so isn’t the more logical explanation that someone just wasn’t paying careful attention to their money?  What I really dislike more than anything, though, is dislike itself.  There’s way too much hate in the world and I hate it!

JSD:  Who do you admire?

TW:  Anybody who lives their life their way without caring about other people’s criticism has my admiration.  There’s always going to be somebody who thinks “you’re doing it wrong,” but if it’s right for you and the people who matter to you, what anybody else thinks should be meaningless.

JSD: Are you afraid of anything?

TW:  In that sort of superficial way, mice kind of freak me out.  Fortunately our cat, Teddy spares me from worrying about that too much, and Kevin spares me having to deal with the remains.  On a deeper level, that’s kind of hard to say.  I think, deep down, we all really have the same fears, don’t we?  I think we all fear abandonment or loss, isolation.

JSD:  What’s your biggest vice?

TW:  Oh god, vintage clothes and shoes!  It doesn’t help at all that one of my mates is the owner of a vintage shop so I usually get first dibs.  Clothing is a form of self-expression to me.  Maybe it’s because I had to wear a uniform through most of my schooling until uni, but I just won’t wear anything that I don’t feel is me at the moment.  If I’m feeling shitty, I’ll hide in sweats and hoodie.  If I’m feeling confident, I’ll pick out my favorite jeans and a jacket that’s tailored to hell and back, an awesome pair of slick, square-toed loafers and a scarf for an accent of color….  Yeah, you get the idea!  Suffice to say, Kevin has totally learned to read my moods based on what I’m wearing at the moment.

JSD:  I think we might know the answer to this next one.  Tell us a bit about the most important thing in your life?

TW:  Yeah, I’m pretty obvious about that, right?  Kevin really is the best thing that’s ever happened to me though.  He’s been the most supportive partner I could imagine.  I definitely hit the relationship jackpot when I met him!

JSD:  What’s your favorite food?

TW:  I love sweets of any kind, but also good, fresh, healthy food as well.  Things taste so much better when they’re fresh.  That’s another thing I have Kev to thank for, because I used to survive on take-away and canned food until we met.

JSD:  And finally, what’s your favorite “couple” thing to do, besides the obvious?

TW:  That kind of goes with the last one, actually.  I really love spending time in the kitchen with Kevin.  I’m not much of a cook myself, but it’s really nice to be able to work together and sort of unwind at the end of the day, just chatting, sharing a drink or two.  That and working together in the studio, but that’s really almost the same thing, really, all very creative.  And really, it’s those little moments that make a life.

JSD: Thank you so much for sharing your time with us, Tyler.  We wish all the best for you and Kevin, and look forward to visiting the gallery to see some of your work.

TW:  You’re totally welcome, it was a fun chat.  Just let me know when you’re going to stop into the gallery and I’ll come round to give the grand tour, and another cup of tea as well.

Interview with Kevin Strabane

March 30, 2011

For a little something fun, I thought I would share “interviews” with my boys, both Kevin and Tyler.  Here’s my “interview” with Kevin, and Tyler’s is coming right up!

It was a chilly Thursday morning when I sat down for a chat with Kevin at the Celestial Café.  I ordered a cup of maté, perfectly brewed by café owner Lukas Zamora, and Kevin sat down with a mocha latte and a breakfast quiche, apologizing that he hadn’t had much time for breakfast before leaving the house that morning.  Despite that, Kevin is obviously relaxed and in a good mood, as evidenced by his warm smile and handshake.

Jessica Skye Davies: Kevin, welcome.  Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today

Kevin Strabane: You’re welcome, Jessica, it’s a pleasure.

JSD: Tell us a bit about yourself, Kevin.  What do you do for a living?

KS:  Well, I’m either a gallery owner who flagrantly displays his own work or an artist lucky enough to own a gallery.

JSD: Where do you make your home and have you always lived there?

KS:  I live here in the Westcroft neighborhood, just a few blocks away from the gallery.  Once the gallery took off I went house hunting in the area and found an awesome old Victorian place.  I put some work into it and it’s a real gem now.  Of course, it wasn’t really my home until Tyler moved in with me.  I actually grew up in the next county on a small farm with my grandparents.

JSD: How’s the love life going?

KS: Great as ever, thanks!  Tyler is the single most incredible part of my life, ever.

JSD: You and Tyler have any pets?

KS: We do.  We’ve got a cat, Teddy.  Tyler named him that because Teddy reminded him of a teddy bear when he was a kitten.

JSD: When you’ve given yourself a calorie “hall pass,” what’s your favorite pig out food?

KS: I could very easily destroy my physique on barbecue pizza and a few India pale ales.

JSD: Who’s your favorite entertainment icon?

KS: Humphrey Bogart.  An understated performance is worth a thousand words.

JSD:  Absolutely.  Favorite movie?  Bogey or in general or both.

KS:  For Bogart it would be Casablanca, naturally.  That’s pretty high on my all-time list too, but my favorite favorite would probably be Greg Peck’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

JSD: What was your resolution for the New Year, or did you have one?

KS: Nah, I quit doing that a long while ago.  I never honestly meant it when I did try to make them.  I find it difficult to just sit down and single out some thing about myself that I’m going change beginning January 1.  I prefer to use the end of the year to take some time to take stock of the past year and assess my hopes for the upcoming one.

JSD: Is there anything you wish you could quit doing?

KS: Some people think I’m a little bit of a control freak when it comes to the gallery.  My safety codes put OSHA to shame.

JSD: Tell us something you’re a complete sucker for?

KS: Ty has a habit of hanging around the house in pajama pants and practically threadbare t-shirts.  I think he looks better like that than in anything he wears going out.

JSD: If there’s one thing you could teach the next generation, what would it be?

KS: Everyone is special.  And that doesn’t mean that some people are more special or less special than others.  Everybody is different and those differences should be thoroughly accepted.  Nobody starts life hating, and nobody has to hate, ever.

JSD: What’s the worse advice you were ever given?

KS: Keep your head down and your mouth shut.

JSD: What’s your pet peeve?

KS: Clichés?  It’s really intolerance, though.

JSD: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment in life so far?

KS: I own a successful gallery/studio and I have established a local business association specifically for GLBT friendly businesses.  But finding the love of my life has been a lot bigger than either of those things.

JSD: What was your most humbling experience?

KS: I can’t remember ever feeling as helpless as I did the first time I saw Ty’s back go out.  I’ve woken up with mine pretty locked up a few times, but seeing Ty go through that and not really being able to make it stop was difficult.

JSD: Off the top of your head, what are a few things that are in your refrigerator right now?

KS: A couple loaves of the zucchini bread I baked Sunday, leftovers from last night’s Chinese takeout (we had rice noodles with chicken and peanuts and Tyler always orders extra so he can have some for lunch the next day), an assortment of fresh veggies, and some salmon steaks I’m planning to cook up tonight.

JSD: That sounds great, Kevin.  How about inviting us to dinner some night?

KS: Absolutely, Tyler and I love to entertain guests.

JSD: Well thanks for entertaining us this morning and letting us get to know you a little better.

KS: You’re welcome, anytime.  Come on down to the gallery some time and have a look around, you might fall in love with something and want to take it home right away – I know I did!

Bringing Punch to life

March 30, 2011

Possession is based on a true story.  Sort of.  The setting exists, though with place names changed to protect the innocent.  Punch does exist, though I can’t vouch for any malice that might be attached to it.  Much of what I write has some genesis in things I’ve experienced or places I’ve been.  “Write what you know,” after all.  So this is how the seed, the kernel of Possession came to be implanted in my cranium:

It was late August 2009.  I was spending a Saturday (or was it Sunday?) afternoon in a neighborhood of Pittsburgh known for antiques, vintage clothes, and gay bars.  That’s one end of the main street anyway; the other end has some of the highest end residences in the city.  I stopped in to just browse around one of the antique shops (stuffed with stuff!) and I spotted a really garish little thing by the stairs going up to the next level of the house-turned-shop.  I couldn’t help just studying it for a few moments as it really caught my attention.

It was a cast-iron doorstop (though the way it was displayed sort of made it look like a wall decoration), showing in profile Punch from the “Punch and Judy” puppet show.  It sort of looked like it was meant to go in a child’s room by the way it was colorfully decorated.  He’s sitting on a stack of books with a little dog beside him.  He has a paper and quill in one hand (victims list?) and is either sucking his thumb or thumbing his nose.  The worst part, however, is the base that the figure sits on.  Raised, bold, capital letters read: “DONT YOU TELL.”  Don’t tell?  Is that supposed to be the Victorian equivalent of “stop snitchin?”

He’s scary and weird and creepy and I couldn’t begin to imagine why anyone would want a thing like that in their home, especially if it was originally meant as a children’s decoration!  Later that day I joked about someone putting that thing in their dining room and inviting guests to dinner just to observe the level of discomfort with that thing in the room.  Well, throughout that week, I couldn’t stop thinking about that creepy thing.  I had to know more.  What was it, why would anyone create such a thing?  I ended up taking a trip one afternoon back to that antique shop, armed with a camera and questions.  I did get a couple pictures but not really any answers beyond that it was 19th century and from England.  Googling didn’t really have any answers either.  That meant there was only one thing I could do – make my own answers.  Mr. Punch wasn’t leaving my head, so clearly he had to be written out.

I spent September and a fair bit of October working on the story and when it was done, Mr. Punch was satisfactorily exorcised from my mind.  Or so I thought!  It was nearly a year later when I decided I’d had plenty of time to work on my writing craft through the years and it was time I thought about trying for publication.  I took some time in the summer 2010 doing real manual editing, adding, removing, and rewriting.  Fall 2010, the story moved into its next stage when I got the contract for publication.

It hasn’t escaped me that it’s almost as if a force has compelled me throughout this entire process.  From leading me into that antique shop that afternoon to see that creepy little doorstop in the first place, to drawing me back and inspiring a story, and even to leading me to pick Possession from any number of other things I’ve written as my first shot at publishing.  Perhaps Punch has been driving me all along, and it seems he never really goes away….

And here is a short selection of photo’s from the neighborhood that inspired Westcroft and it’s environs:

Tyler and Kevin’s street

Tyler and Kevin’s home

Aspen Avenue (aka Ellsworth Avenue)

A peek inside a certain antique shop

One of the antiques?

It’s… him!!!

Author biography for Jessica Skye Davies

March 30, 2011

As Possession is my first published work of fiction, I’ve decided to share my author’s biography and expand upon it in a meet-the-author style.

Jessica has been a writer since her first works were “published” in her grandparents’ living room and written in crayon.

I think this is the first memory I have of doing any “writing.”  I was probably about four or five years old at the time, and did a lot of drawing and coloring in grandma and grandpa’s living room.  Sometimes I would fold a couple pieces of paper in half and draw a “picture book,” which, in retrospect, were probably rather incomprehensible to anybody but me.  After those years I didn’t do a lot of writing for quite a while and not a great lot of reading either.  I’ve always been great at language arts, but I think some of the junk literature they made us read in primary and intermediate school just turned me off too much.  It wasn’t until junior high school when I read Of Mice and Men and Romeo and Juliet that I realized I liked reading quite a lot, as long as it was actual literature and not tripe.  It was around that time when I began to try writing as well – journaling, which I’m never very good at, and poetry which was terrible I’m sure.  A few years later, after high school, was when I really began writing prose.  Though fortunately I’ve developed my style quite a lot since then!

Today she is a former administrative assistant who is now happily pursuing a degree in social work. She is a lifelong native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she has been active in the local GLBT community for a number of years.

Social work and my involvement in the GLBT community are closely related.  One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” which famously states, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  I hope to be able to use my social work to serve the unique needs of GLBT community.  I’m proud to be an ally and want my voice and abilities to work toward the social justice that I believe strongly in.

Outside of writing, Jessica has a wide range of interests and hobbies: from Mozart in a music hall to punk in pubs, from Shakespeare to Vonnegut, from nights on the town to afternoons at country farm markets. She enjoys working on both sides of a camera and studying other cultures, languages and history. She loves meeting new people and exploring new places, always open to whatever elements might inspire her next writing project.

Diversity is one of the themes of my life, in just about everything I do.  When it comes to my interests, I can thoroughly enjoy such broad ranges on things that I always hate those questions like, “what kind of music do you like?”  There’s no short answer to that for me!  For example, on one particular occasion, I went from hearing Gustav Holst’s The Planets at Pittsburgh’s cultural district crown jewel, Heinz Hall, to a “folk metal” show at my one of favorite dive bars in town, to dancing to techno at the afterhours gay bar.  Good times!

Release day excerpt for “Possession”

March 30, 2011

It’s release day for Possession, my first novella, so I thought we’d get the party started with the excerpt that can also be found at the Dreamspinner Press site where you can buy your copy of Possession:

IT WAS a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Westcroft neighborhood. A mild autumn breeze stirred Tyler Ward’s dark curls as he strolled along, crunching the dry fallen leaves underfoot. The trendy end of the city was a cross between an artist’s village and boys’ town, a close-knit community that often felt like one big family. Most every storefront on charming yet chic Aspen Avenue was a small, locally owned business that proudly sported a rainbow flag on the premises, and everyone knew their neighbors.

Tyler rolled his eyes as a particularly flaming couple across the street circumvented a ladder leaning against a building, despite having to walk into the street to do so. Some people were so gullible about that sort of thing. Wasn’t it more dangerous to walk into the road and risk being hit than to walk under an empty ladder and risk some vague, mystical punishment of “bad luck”?

The smell of fresh roasted coffee from the Celestial Café, a block down the street, was a perfect complement to the scent of turning leaves in the cool, crisp air. Tyler’s stomach rumbled slightly; it was definitely time for his Saturday afternoon snack. Tyler knew most everybody in their little “gayborhood”—many of the shop owners were good friends of his, and Saturday was usually his day to visit and shop with friends.

“Hey, Ty.” Lukas Zamora, the owner of the café, smiled from behind the counter. Tyler could always be trusted to show up on a Saturday afternoon while business was slow. Lukas put down the local indie paper and automatically poured a cup of hot water, knowing exactly what British expatriate Tyler would be having.

“No extra business from the fair on Chestnut?” Tyler asked, sitting down at the bar.

“Yeah, we were pretty busy earlier. Probably pick up again when they all come back to their cars this evening. Oh, Ty, if you’re shopping, this isn’t a good day for you to… um…. Wait a minute,” Lukas said, pulling up the astrology website on his ever-present laptop. “Here: ‘not a good day to bring home anything impish’.”

“Well, I wasn’t going to hit the sex shop, but now you’ve mentioned it….” Tyler grinned at Lukas.

“Hey, it’s serious, man. Says here it could have ‘disastrous and far-reaching consequences’. See, Mars and Saturn are conjunct right now with Uranus, during a freakin’ Jupiter retrograde. And I think Mercury is also square Saturn, which just reinforces the whole point. You being a Capricorn and all….”

Tyler quirked his brow and smirked at his friend. “Just give me my cuppa, yeah, mate?”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Lukas said, handing Tyler his usual cup of Earl Grey with vanilla syrup mixed in.

“I consider myself duly warned.” Tyler nodded gravely, handing over a five, taking a peanut-butter brownie, and telling his friend to keep the change.

“You and Kevin coming over for dinner tomorrow?” Lukas asked, putting Tyler’s change in the tip jar, where he knew it would end up even if he’d forced Tyler to take it. Tyler and his partner, Kevin Strabane, had been joining Lukas and his partner, Daniel, for Sunday evening dinners for the last few years. Daniel worked in Kevin’s art gallery and was also a former Briton who had been one of Tyler’s first friends in the US.

“Yeah, of course,” Tyler said, munching on his snack at the counter. “What are you cooking?”

Lukas shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ll probably figure that out when I’m in the store at one in the morning.”

“You need to let other people close up shop once in a while, mate. Well, I’m off. See you guys tomorrow,” Tyler said, finishing his brownie. He headed across the street, sipping on his tea and leisurely window-shopping the avenue. He was tempted to try on a new pair of shoes, the red-brown alligator oxfords in the shoe boutique window really catching his eye, but his shoes already outnumbered Kevin’s by about five to one.

Instead, Tyler continued on to the vintage clothes shop a block up. Stefan, the shop owner, couldn’t wait to show him the collections of Levi’s he’d just gotten in, and Tyler ended up gleefully taking two pairs of the jeans, along with a dark brown corduroy jacket, a belt, and a couple of autumn-toned scarves.

Tyler and Stefan chatted for a bit about news in the neighborhood and around their little circle of friends. Tyler couldn’t help snickering and grinning at the aging drag queen that passed by the shop, waggling fuchsia fingernails at Stefan through the window. Stefan just smiled back politely before shooting Tyler a glare.

“Aw, c’mon, don’t you like Tierra?” Tyler cackled. “I guess I oughta get outta here, though. I think she wants to stop in while you’re not with a ‘customer’.”

“Sometimes I really hate you, Ty,” Stefan muttered.

“Yeah, of course you do, Steffers. You won’t be saying that when I’ve brought you some of Kev’s pumpkin bread.” Stefan was an absolute addict for Kevin’s sweet autumn breads, as were most people who’d ever tried them. “Okay, I’m gonna go poke around in the antiques for a bit. I’ll ring you sometime this week,” Tyler said.

“Alright. No, wait, don’t call me till like Thursday. Lukas told me this morning that there’s something bad about communication for people born too close to each other’s signs or something.”

“Bloody hell. You two are too susceptible to that shite. He told me not to bring home anything impish, for fuck’s sake. What’s that even supposed to mean?”

“I dunno. Don’t pick up any flavored condoms?” Stefan grinned.

“Yeah, well, Kev and I don’t need those anyway. I’m leaving now. I promise I won’t ring till Thursday.”

Tyler just shook his head at all these silly ideas as he crossed the street again to the antiques shop. The prices were a little high-end for him, but he hadn’t been in there in ages, and he really enjoyed just looking at the old and odd things acquired there. He quietly wandered about the three levels of the old house-turned-shop for a little while, looking at hand-painted fireplace screens and paintings of people’s grumpy-looking grans, barley-legged tables and cut-glass wine sets, old porcelain dolls and heavily embroidered ottomans. The soft hum and vibration against his thigh told him Kevin was calling, and Tyler started back down to the main level of the shop as he answered and told his boyfriend he’d be home in about ten minutes.

Just as Tyler hung up, though, something caught his eye. In front of the shop’s downstairs fireplace, amongst several sets of fireplace tools, was a painted cast-iron figure of the mischievous puppet Mr. Punch, in cameo. The prominent chin and drooping jester’s hat made the form of a crescent moon, with a hooked nose, hunched back, and evil grin. The words DON’T YOU TELL were painted along the base of the figure.

It was a rather grotesque thing and patently creepy, but it made Tyler chuckle. Out of pure curiosity, Tyler moved closer to look at the tag, which simply said, “19th Century English Punch doorstop: $50.00+.” It was an incredibly low price for anything in that shop, and Tyler felt like he really couldn’t resist. Sure, it was ugly and disturbing, but Punch and Judy shows were so nostalgically British that Tyler just had to have it as a little reminder of home.

As he signed the check and handed it to the old woman who ran the shop, he couldn’t help grinning as he thought of that horoscope’s warning. It didn’t get much more impish than Mr. Punch. Maybe this would show Lukas and Stefan to see reason when nothing bad happened just because he brought something “impish” home. Because, of course, nothing would happen….

I’ll have a few more goodies to share today as well, including a little bit about me, some background on how Possession came to be, and interviews with my wonderful MCs Tyler Ward and Kevin Strabane.

Enlightened Release Party: Giveaway

March 14, 2011

Welcome to the Little Boy Lost: Enlightened Release Party!

Two ways to enter and win your very own eBook copy of the exciting first novel in this epic series:

1. Twitter – Simply copy this tweet and enter as many times as you wish:

Enter me to win the new release Little Boy Lost: Enlightened by J. P. Barnaby http://tinyurl.com/4s4peu3

2. Don’t have Twitter? Send an email to jp@jpbarnaby.com:

Subject: Enlightened Giveaway



Little Boy Lost, Book One

Little Boy Lost is the story of Brian McAllister, the boy next door.

Brian goes to school, does his homework, and helps his foster parents around the house. Brian also has a secret: he is in love with his best friend, Jamie. But in Crayford, Alabama, being in love with another boy is the worst kind of sin.

Brian and Jamie will discover just how deep their emotional bond runs, and at what cost. What will they do if their secret is discovered? From fumbling through their first sexual experiences to hiding all aspects of their relationship from everyone in their lives, Brian and Jamie battle for the one thing that is truly theirs—love.

Enlightened Release Party: Computer Wallpaper

March 14, 2011


Welcome to the Little Boy Lost: Enlightened release party!

As a special gift to thank you for attending, please click the image for the desktop wallpaper to enlarge it for use as a wallpaper for your computer. Stay tuned for more posts including a special interview of the author by Brian and Jamie.

Remember that the first 20 paperbacks sold by Dreamspinner Press have been signed!

Instructions for making an image your wallpaper:
Right click on the enlarged image and select Set as Background

Undercover Sins Giveaway

March 7, 2011

I’ve had fun sharing some excerpts and blogging here. Thank you for reading my posts! I’ll hang around a bit longer to answer comments and any questions.

Remember you can buy Undercover Sins from Dreamspinner Press now. Paperback and ebook!

Before I sign off for tonight, I have one more ebook to give out to the first person to answer correctly! (must have an account on www.dreamspinnerpress.com)

What sea animal do I find adorable?

I’ll give a hint! Find the answer on my blog under the “about me” section.

Thank you so much for joining me. Have a wonderful evening and if you pick up a copy of Undercover Sins, enjoy it!

Undercover Sins Giveaway

March 7, 2011


I’ve talked a lot…and now it’s trivia time! I mentioned in my intro post when I wrote Undercover Sins. First person to answer correctly gets an ebook! (must have an account on www.dreamspinnerpress.com)

How long did it take me to write Undercover Sins from planning to finish?