Hearts and Minds release party

February 12, 2015

Hello and welcome! M.D. Grimm here, ready to chat with you lovely people. Today the DSP blog is mine, and I’m promoting my newest release “Hearts and Minds.” http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6031

 

Hearts and Mind-seqel

 

This story resides in my Shifters series universe and is a sequel to “Healing Minds” (book 5). As a reminder, the couple in that story was Josh (Agency aide) and Xavier (psychologically damaged wolf shifter).

 

In “Hearts and Minds” we visit them nearly a year later, and they are working on their clinic that will eventually house shifters who were once prisoners of the evil Knights.

Here’s the blurb:

 

With the construction for their shifter rehabilitation clinic in Haven underway, Xavier and Josh couldn’t be happier, professionally. But their busy lives leave them little alone time. It’s putting a strain on their relationship, and they still haven’t had anything close to a honeymoon. Josh realizes Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and sees an opportunity he can’t let get away. But never having observed the holiday before, he has no idea what Xavier might want. All Xavier knows is that Josh wants to celebrate, but he has no clue how. Before either of them makes a concrete decision, a bear shifter attacks Haven and tramples their romantic plans.

 

What is your favorite shape-shifter? Mine’s a dragon (If I’m going to dream, I’m going to dream big!)

 

I’ll be back with more info and excerpts, so stay tuned!

 

May dragons guard your dreams,

M.D.

And That’s a Wrap!

February 11, 2015

Thank you so much for joining me here today to celebrate the release of my novella, Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds.  I hope you had as much fun as I did!

As promised, thanks to a random number generator, the winners are Angela  and H.B.!  Congratulations!  I’ll contact you both with the details in short order.

Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds is available at Dreamspinner, Amazon, and ARe.

PumpkinRollsAndPornSoundsFSWill Grant only attends the PFLAG meeting because his mother guilts him into it. But the instant he hears the night’s speaker, Will is glad he showed up. Joshua Rhinehardt is dynamic and engaging. Although Joshua isn’t physically Will’s type, Will can’t get the man out of his head.

Joshua may be comfortable in his own skin, but it isn’t often men like Will are attracted to him, and he’s not comfortable changing for someone else. He wants to make a life with Will, but his own insecurities keep getting in the way.

Will’s unwavering acceptance helps Joshua see that when two people connect, physical appearance just might not matter at all.

 

I love to hear from readers!  You can find me at:

Blog: www.kristbethke.com

Twitter: @KrisTBethke

Party Is Near Done So How About an Excerpt?

February 11, 2015

I’ve had an absolute blast hanging out with all of you today.  It’s been so much fun talking about my story, and seeing all your great, thoughtful comments.  There’s a half an hour left to comment if you want to be entered to win one of two copies of Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds.  You can comment on any or all of the posts.  At 4:45 PM, I’ll announce the winners right here.

I thought I’d leave you all with an excerpt.  It’s one of my favorite scenes in the book, when Joshua and Will are still getting to know each other, and they are having trouble connecting for their next date, because Joshua is having to work extra hours:

“Lucas?” I questioned. Then winced. That absolutely sounded jealous.

Joshua gave a soft laugh. “He’s the baker. It’s his pumpkin rolls you moaned so wantonly over.”

Embarrassment flooded my cheeks. “Oh.”

“He’s also my brother-in-law,” Joshua added. The amusement was clear in his tone. That didn’t help my embarrassment at all. In fact, my face grew even hotter.

“That’s nice,” I said, trying to control my blush. “Do you like working with him?”

Joshua’s laugh was rich. “Very much. He’s been a friend for a long time. Since college, actually. I introduced him to my sister. The two of us came up with the idea for Pounds and Grounds because I wanted to run my own business and he wanted to quit his job and bake. He owns forty percent. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be as successful as we are if it weren’t for him. We get along very well. And you can certainly attest to his talent in the kitchen.”

He just had to bring up the noises again, didn’t he? And just when I’d gotten myself to stop blushing, too. I was glad he couldn’t see me. I shook my head, cleared my throat, and smiled. “That’s really great to hear.”

Joshua wasn’t fooled by my attempt at a casual tone. He laughed heartily. But the sound cut off quickly. The smile fell off my face.

“Joshua?”

“Will, listen, until we….” His voice trailed off. There was silence for a long minute that made my heart pound. Then he sighed. “Until I get this sorted out, until I hire new people and get them settled, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see you again. I want to. God, do I want to. But the long days aren’t very conducive to dating. I’d probably fall asleep on you.”

“That’s okay,” I said. Then scrunched up my nose at the way that might sound to him. I added quickly, “I mean, I understand. You have to take care of your business and yourself. I can wait.”

“Really?” He sounded surprised.

I shook my head, even though he couldn’t see. I didn’t understand why his confidence got shaky when it came to us, but this wasn’t the first time I had heard it. “Of course. I should have said it the other night instead of making a joke, but I really enjoy spending time with you and getting to know you. I want to see where this goes. And I’m willing to wait for you.”

There was silence from the other end. I would have thought we had lost the connection, but I could still hear him breathing. I tried to be patient, but it had never been my strong suit. When another minute passed and he still didn’t say anything, my gut clenched.

“Joshua?” I asked. A sudden attack of nerves made my voice tentative.

“Thank you,” he said fervently. “That means a lot to me. I want to see where this goes, too. I promise that I’ll get this sorted out as quickly as possible.”

“Doesn’t matter how long it takes, I’m not going anywhere.” My tone was full of conviction. I wanted him, and it was time I stopped questioning why. I would wait.

“Neither am I,” he said softly.

Don’t forget to comment on this or any post.  I want to give away some free books! :D

The Angst vs The Fluff

February 11, 2015

I love reading angst-filled books.  I love stories that make me feel and pull at the heartstrings.  The stories that are filled with heartbreak and challenges that make the happy ending all the more satisfying.  There’s definitely something to be said about those kinds of stories.

Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds is not one of those stories.

In fact, it’s actually fairly low on the angst-meter.  Because as much as I love angst, and the emotions that go with it, sometimes I just want a fluffy, feel good story.  I was to see two men falling in love with only a little bit of drama. I go into a romance knowing it’s going to end happy, and sometimes I don’t want to work for it.

That’s what I was going for in this novella.  I wanted fluffy and sweet, and I just wanted to tell the tale of two men meeting and falling in love.  Yes, Joshua and Will have a few things they need to work through to get to their HEA.  Of course they do.  But these guys work as a couple, and they just fit.

So of course I want everybody’s opinion here.  Do you reach for the angst first?  Or the fluff?  What about these kinds of stories appeals to you?  You have until 4:30 PM EST to comment, and I’ll put you in the running for a copy of the ebook!

So Why Pumpkin Rolls?

February 11, 2015

Of all the desserts in the world, all the yumminess that there is to partake of, why did I choose pumpkins rolls?  Well, honestly, it didn’t start out that way.  In the very first draft, they were, in fact, cinnamon rolls.  And the ones that I thought of, when I think of cinnamon rolls, are the ones my grandmother used to make.  They were just so good. But cinnamon rolls…they’ve been done before.  I mean, really, that’s a treat that a lot of people put in their books.  Of course, there’s a reason for that.  They are really dang good.

But I wanted something different, something other, so I started thinking about all the different desserts that I enjoy.  Now, granted, I’m a really picky eater.  I’m not a big fan of cake (don’t judge me) and cookies are too generic.  I wanted something that couldn’t be bought at any old store, something that stood out, something that would make your mouth water.

Therefore, the one treat that I don’t have often, but enjoy immensely when I do.  Pumpkin roll. pumpkin rolls

I’ve only made it once, but my local grocery store makes an awesome one I can only get in the fall.  Pumpkin season, you know.  But it’s definitely a dessert that catches my eyes, and makes my mouth water.  It’s something I like to savor, having a slice in the evening.  And I mourn a little when it’s gone.

So I knew what Will was tasting when he took that first bite.  And while it doesn’t inspire in me the same reaction that it inspires in Will, I knew what deliciousness he had on his tongue in that scene.

Now I want to hear from you.  What are your favorite desserts?  What is something that makes you make the yummy appreciative noises?  Comment by 4:30 PM EST and you’ll be entered to win an ebook copy of my story!

Let’s Talk About This Title, Shall We?

February 11, 2015

I’m bad at titling my work.  I’ll admit it.  I really struggle with coming up with the right title for a story.  Most of the time anyway (I always love it when something clearly presents itself).  And this story was no different.  I had written the whole thing, edited and tweaked, and gotten feedback from my betas and still no title.

Yeah, I was frustrated.  Everything I thought of just didn’t fit.  Or it fit, but it was like the wrong size sweater, and the wool chafed.  I was complaining (read: bitching) about it to a good friend, who also happens to be one of my beta readers.  We went back and forth for a bit until he suggested Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds.

For a second there, all I could do was stare.  And then, all I could do was grin.  Because, honestly, it was rather perfect.  Exactly fitting for the story.  And I was thrilled!

I’ve gotten a few comments about the title since it’s gotten out there.  Mostly along the lines of “I love that title!” which definitely makes me happy.  In fact, the only negative comment I got was from Mom, who wasn’t all that happy with the word porn being in the title (she’s adorably conservative about some things).

But if you read the book, you’ll see just how perfect this title is for the story within.  In the end, I couldn’t call it anything else.  And though I might have to whisper it when there are little ears about, it’s definitely the right title for the story.

Time for you to weigh in.  Answer me this, by 4:30 PM EST, and you’ll have a chance at winning a copy of the book: is a title of a story the thing that draws you in and makes you look twice?  Or do you not care what the heck the book is called, as long as it’s got an intriguing blurb?

The Way They Look

February 11, 2015

If you’re reading this post expecting to see pictures of how Joshua and Will, from my latest release Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds, look, then you’re about to be disappointed.  Because the truth of the matter is, I don’t have any.

I know that a lot of writers get inspired for their characters’ look by pictures of famous people or models or something they see on the Internet.  But for me, it just doesn’t work that way.  The only picture of my guys that I have is the one my brain has created.  And sadly, until they invent technology that allows the thoughts in your brain to be directly translated, you’ll never get to see how I see them.

But I have to wonder; is that necessarily a bad thing?  When I’m reading a book, and rest assured I read a lot, the image I create of the MCs is often more real to me than anything else.   Even if I’ve seen the picture the author says inspired his or her character, even if the cover art has the guys right there, in my head they often look differently than they do to the author.  But I like that because it helps me connect with the character I’m reading about.

This is from the first chapter, and how I see my boys:

He absolutely wasn’t the type of guy who normally turned my head. Joshua Rhinehardt was at least three inches over six feet and, well, beefy. Not exactly fat, but solidly muscled and a little soft in the midsection. He had a mop of curly brown hair he was constantly pushing out of his bright blue eyes and a full beard and mustache, though it was neatly trimmed. I could see the dark dusting of hair on his forearms where his sleeves were pushed up, and more than a bit of chest hair peeking out above the top button of his shirt. He was good-looking, but not gorgeous, and if I had just passed him on the street I wouldn’t have given him a second look.

My driver’s license said I was five foot eight, but that was a blatant lie. The truth was about two inches shorter. I’d never had any luck growing facial hair, and I kept my own red-brown locks cut close to my head. I was overly thin though I worked out; I still possessed a teenager’s metabolism despite the fact I’d left my teen years behind almost ten years ago.  When I was out trolling for a hookup, or even a date, I tended to be attracted to guys who were built like I was and hardly any taller. I had a type and I wasn’t ashamed of it. It was as much a part of me as the fact I liked men

PumpkinRollsAndPornSoundsFSSee my delicious cover lovingly crafted for me by AngstyG?  There was nothing to work with but my descriptions, and somehow that amazing piece of art was created.  And though it’s not a perfect representation of Joshua and Will as I see them, it’s pretty dang close. Joshua, in particular, with his floppy, curly hair and his neatly trimmed beard and that very sweet smile.  The instant I saw that cover, I knew.  These were the guys that were going to represent Joshua and Will

Would you rather have a concrete picture of what the MCs look like or do you like to be able to make it up in your own head?  Answer in the comments by 4:30 PM EST and you might win a copy of Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds.

Crafting The Story

February 11, 2015

Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard it before.  The author is a strange breed of human, and often has weird quirks or necessities for writing.  I am, admittedly, stranger than most.  Especially when it comes to writing.

I get inspired by any manner of things, and music plays a huge role.  In the before, when I’m plotting in my head or even on paper.  But when I’m actually writing, I need silence except for the white noise of a fan.  The sound of the water in my fish tank is also acceptable.  But nothing else.  Anything else is a distraction for me, and the words end up blocked, unable to make it from my brain to my fingers.

fishI need my chair in a certain position and my computer facing a certain way.  I need to be able to see the tank, because sometimes when I’m stuck I zone out, watch the fish, and things become clearer.  I need my drink on the left; coffee if I’m writing in the morning, tea the rest of the time.

I write better in the evenings, and that may be due in part to having an evil day job that I must report to five days a week.  My brain is conditioned to putting words on the page after work.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about my story all the time.

I’m definitely a combination plotter and pantser when it comes to the actual story.  And the plotting happens at the oddest times.  I usually keep a little pad on the side of my desk so I can jot thoughts down when they strike me at work.  I usually write in first person, and only occasionally in third, but always past tense.  Except when I write my notes. Then it’s always third person, present tense.

A good deal of Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds was jotted in those notes during the work day.  Especially after I got the opportunity to expand it. The original version was a complete story, one I was happy with.  But when I had to add more words, I had to think very carefully about what would enhance the story and flesh out what was already there.  I was very conscious of there not being gratuitous scenes.  It took me three days of plotting and planning before I was ready to write additional scenes.

One of those scenes was when Joshua and Will attend the Youth Gala. It was something I’d had the thought of when I was writing the original version, but didn’t make it into the final cut of that draft.  So one day at work, in between doing actual work, I plotted out the scene on my little pad of paper. But when I brought it home and set about writing it into the MS, as my fingers were flying over the keys and I was referring back to my notes, it changed.  Rather than fight where my brain was taking the story, I rolled with it, and it’s now one of my favorite scenes in the entire story.

So time for you to weigh in.  You’ve got until 4:30 PM EST to tell me if you have any weird quirks.  I want to hear ‘em!

Inspiration Behind Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds

February 11, 2015

Okay, so you have to start with an idea right?  For me, the impetus to start writing this story was the submission call for the Taste of Honey anthology.  Through a twist of fate, it ended up as a standalone novella.  Which was awesome for me, because I got to delve a little further into my characters and really get to show them off.

But it was that sub call that got me thinking about a character who was a bear.  Joshua formed rather quickly in my head.  I knew exactly who he was; a selfless, kindhearted, generous soul who was comfortable in his own skin.  But he’s also a dichotomy, and even though he doesn’t want to change anything about the way he looks, he’s also insecure about it.  I loved getting into his head and figuring out what made him tick.  But I also knew fairly quickly that he wasn’t the one to tell the story.

So I set about finding Joshua’s other half.

It wasn’t until I saw the opening scene in my head that I figured out what was going on.  Will was listening to Joshua speak, and that right there was what triggered his attraction.  If Joshua had been less engaging, Will wouldn’t have given him a second thought.  But Joshua’s heart shone through in his speech and captured Will’s attention. Before Joshua, Will was only attracted to a certain type of guy and he wasn’t ashamed of that.  But that didn’t stop him from going after Joshua.  And I loved that Will was willing to break his normal convention for a chance at happiness.

Tell me this: do you have a clear, set type that you’re attracted to?  Or is there a certain physical aspect that draws your attention?  Answer in the comments by 4:30 PM EST and have a chance at winning a copy of Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds!

Welcome to the Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds Release Party!

February 11, 2015

Hey everybody!  I’m Kris T. Bethke, and I’m here to chat with all you wonderful people about my newest release, Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds—out today!  Check it out, here or at Amazon.  I’m super excited, and really nervous too, because this is my first standalone novella.  I’ll be with you pretty much all day, talking about the story, but feel free to ask me anything you like.

Let’s start with the guys because the truth is, they wormed their way into my heart and wouldn’t let go.  Will Grant is our narrator, and he takes us on his journey of meeting Joshua Rhinehardt, getting to know him, and falling in love.  Will is a law clerk who loves nice clothes, and is unapologetically exactly who he is.  Which is why he doesn’t question it, much, when he finds himself attracted to Joshua…who normally he wouldn’t look at twice.

One of the things I really wanted to explore was my theory that people can get better looking, or not, depending on their personality.  Joshua is a good looking guy, but for Will, he gets even more gorgeous and sexy the more Will gets to know him.  So here’s what I want to know: have you ever had the experience were some became better or worse looking the more you got to know them?  Comment here before 4:30 PM EST and be entered for a chance to win one of two copies of the book!

PumpkinRollsAndPornSoundsFSWill Grant only attends the PFLAG meeting because his mother guilts him into it. But the instant he hears the night’s speaker, Will is glad he showed up. Joshua Rhinehardt is dynamic and engaging. Although Joshua isn’t physically Will’s type, Will can’t get the man out of his head.

Joshua may be comfortable in his own skin, but it isn’t often men like Will are attracted to him, and he’s not comfortable changing for someone else. He wants to make a life with Will, but his own insecurities keep getting in the way.

Will’s unwavering acceptance helps Joshua see that when two people connect, physical appearance just might not matter at all.