Finding Balance with Kelly Jensen + Giveaway

January 12, 2017

Finding Balance with Kelly Jensen

 

When I sit down to write a book, I don’t necessarily ponder themes. I usually start with a voice. A character will start whispering to me, their voice growing louder as the idea for that character slowly coalesces in my head. I then try to tell their story. It isn’t until afterward that I think about themes. One is always loud and clear. It has to be; otherwise my story would be pointless. It’s when I’m revising and refining that I usually uncover the other themes, and these are often like little messages from my subconscious—especially when they’re things that crop up in all my stories.

The theme I began with for Block and Strike, the reason I wanted to tell this story, was finding confidence. I started with fairly broad strokes, one being the title.

 

Block and Strike Teaser

Max has been blocking (or failing to block) for most of his life. Jake has been striking. In other words, these guys are struggling. They’re prolonging the fight. Jake is supposed to know better, but sometimes we only remember how something works when we explain it to others. It’s in helping Max that Jake puts all the pieces together. Coordinated moves take more confidence and that’s what self-defense is all about: learning the moves, practicing them until they’re second nature, and then trusting your instincts—which is about the same as finding confidence. You have to trust who you are.

What if you don’t know yourself, or don’t like who you are?

Well, that’s another journey and another major theme in Block and Strike. Accepting yourself is something I write about a lot. It took me a long time to accept myself. I still have a few questions… and I know I’m not alone. Life is a series of questions, and so many of them are directed inward. While I can be philosophical about a lot of it now, at Max’s age (21) or even Jake’s age (26) I did a lot of mental and physical flailing. Life can hurt, and figuring out who you are, and then being okay with that, requires some bruising and scarring.

Max is ashamed of his sexuality and his perceived weakness. Jake is ashamed of the incident that landed him in jail, and the decisions that led up to it. Both of these guys need to recognise their strengths and accept their weaknesses. Learn that both of these aspects are important. That everything they are has value—which leads me to the third theme in Block and Strike, the hidden one I didn’t see until all was said and done: yin and yang, or balance.

 

Jake's Tattoo

Once identified, it’s obvious. I poke at it everywhere, from the lopsided beginning of the story to the house of cards set off by certain events toward the end. It’s in the opposing personalities of my heroes: Max is quiet and shy, Jake is loud and outgoing. It’s in their living spaces: Max’s apartment is a hole in the ground, Jake’s is nice and full of light. They even have a conversation about balance when Max discovers Jake’s tattoo:

 

Excerpt:

Max smoothed his hands across the patterned skin, over the circle of two fish, each chasing the tail of the other. One was outlined in sinuous strokes of black ink, the other almost all black, unmarked skin forming the outline and suggestion of movement. Max had seen the design before, but not with fish. One dark, one light.

“Is this a yin and yang symbol?” Max traced the outline of the darker fish, his finger running over a strip of smooth, unmarked skin.

Jake glanced over his shoulder, as if he’d forgotten he even had a tattoo. His cheek rounded as he smiled. “Yeah.”

“Do the fish mean anything?”

“I liked the idea of one driving the other, or chasing. It could be either, right? That’s what balance is about. Movement. Life isn’t a spectator sport.” Leaning forward, Jake braced against the wall, hands flattened against the tile. “It’s also me, in a way. I spent a lot of time wondering who I was when I was younger. I guess we all do. Being attracted to both guys and girls had me spinning in place a little longer than most, I suppose. When I got the tattoo, it was my way of making peace with the duality of being, of not being what I sometimes appear to be.”

Max’s post-coital state lent both more and less meaning to Jake’s explanation. On the one hand, he understood it perfectly, and the confession—if it had been that—warmed him. He wasn’t the only guy to struggle with his identity. On the other hand, he didn’t get it at all. Jake was the strongest guy he knew. The most settled and even. He saw no yin to his yang, or vice versa. But he did appreciate the fact Jake had a new depth to him, a thoughtful, almost philosophical nature that made absolute sense. This was why Jake was kind and good. Why he took the time to do things right. Why he breathed easily and contentedly. Why he laughed and sang. Why he seemed to be such a complete person.

Jake turned around and slid his hands around Max’s shoulders. He didn’t pull Max into a hug, just rested with him in a loose and easy embrace. “We’re all struggling, Max. Each and every one of us. Every day. Some of us just hide it better. Or cope better.” He moved one hand up over Max’s shoulder to caress his neck, the underside of his jaw. “You’re going to get there before I do.”

Max shook his head.

An easy smile pulled at Jake’s full mouth. “Oh, yeah, you are, and I’m gonna be the one clinging to your coattails. I’m going to ride up with you.”

“Why?”

The hand at his jaw tipped his chin up so Jake could lean in to meet his lips. “Because that’s what I want to do.”

Not a philosophical answer, but honest.

***

I love this scene. It’s one I considered cutting on and off because it’s one of those quiet moments that maybe didn’t really need to be on the page. But every time I read over it, the idea of balance and self-acceptance resonated so strongly that I had to keep it. This is my story, right here. This short scene basically covers every theme in the book and I didn’t really recognise it for what it was until later. Some part of me knew it was important, though, just as Jake—while still struggling—gets it and wants to pass the idea on to Max.

Sometimes we don’t really know why we’re struggling or what we’re fighting for, but we do it anyway, because that’s what accepting yourself and finding balance is all about.

 

Reader question: What are your favourite themes in fiction and romance? What kinds of stories resonate most deeply with you? Comment for a chance to win an ebook from my Dreamspinner Press backlist!

Check out Block and Strike today!

 

Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen

Blurb:

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

 

About Kelly Jensen:

Kelly Jensen was born in Australia and raised everywhere else. Currently, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and herd of four cats. After disproving the theory that water only spins counterclockwise around drains north of the equator, she turned her attention to more productive pursuits such as reading, writing, writing about reading, and writing stories of her own. She also enjoys volunteering at her local library, playing video games, and holds a brown belt in Kiryoku, a martial art combining Shotokan, Aikido, and Tang Soo Do. Her family is not intimidated by her.

Twitter: @kmkjensen
Website: kellyjensenwrites.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/kellyjensenwrites

 

Faulty Memories w/ Aidee Ladnier + Giveaway

January 11, 2017

Forbes and Oliver’s Faulty Memories with Aidee Ladnier

 

I’m so excited to be blogging at DSP today as my novella, THE APPLICANT is being released! It is a story near to my heart and I’m excited to give you a little “behind the scenes” information on how it was written.

You might notice at Forbes and Oliver’s romance in The Busted Labs series is not typical of most heroes. The actual timeline of their relationship is convoluted and confused because it jumps from present to past to future throughout the books. So you won’t be surprised to find that I wrote it at different times in my writing career.

In 2012 I wrote the short story “The Applicant (or Virgins, Robot Bears, and Other Disasters)” for an anthology published in the WEIRD SCIENCE anthology by Torquere Press. Then I wrote the novella, THE BREAK-IN in 2014, which was published by Dreamspinner Press. And finally in 2016, I dusted off the original “The Applicant” short story and expanded it to novella length to be published by Dreamspinner Press this January.

The Break-In by Aidee Ladnier

As “The Applicant” was owned by another publisher, Dreamspinner asked that THE BREAK-IN contain scenes which harkened back to the original story but were entirely new and therefore not in violation of copyright. This was a daunting task, but I accomplished it through flashbacks I wrote into the between times of the story—those moments that weren’t necessarily on screen because story pacing was affected or they were in the wrong character’s POV. Remember, “The Applicant” was a short story and by definition had to be short. Since THE BREAK-IN was a novella, I had much more room to expand, stick in moments that might be missing in the original narrative and also reverse the scenes to put them in Forbes’s POV. This made sense since by THE BREAK-IN, Forbes was the only person who remembered the time-travelling Oliver from the future.

The Applicant by Aidee Ladnier

However, when I set out to expand “The Applicant” into a novella, I faced an even more daunting task—including those new scenes into the already present text from THE BREAK-IN. I couldn’t do them from Forbes’s point of view because these were still Oliver’s scenes. So instead, I kept them as Oliver’s scenes but layered in more internal thought and action from Oliver. But that didn’t feel right either.

So, I changed the action. I altered the movement of the scenes. The dialogue stayed almost the same, but their actions were subtly different.

I did this on purpose because when I’m remembering, I can recall the majority of the dialogue, but I’m fuzzy on details. Was my partner standing on the right side of me or the left? When did I sit down or stand? Those things don’t register as much for me. So I used myself as a template. I thought Forbes and Oliver would remember the same scenes but slightly different.

There’s even a name for this. It’s called the Rashomon Effect. It explains differences in perspective and eye-witness error at crime scenes. Everyone sees a scene differently, remembers something someone forgot, or leaves out a detail someone else found vital. Our memory is shaped by our own biases, our history, and our desires.

I could have slavishly made each scene exactly the same, but I think this way is more realistic, more like what I would experience. So I hope you don’t mind that Oliver’s memories in THE APPLICANT are a little different than Forbes’s recollections in THE BREAK-IN. Hopefully it tells a better story and maybe one a little more like what you’d experience if you met a time traveler from the future. ;)

So have you ever experienced the Rashomon Effect? Tell me in the comments below.

 

✯✯Giveaway✯✯

Don’t forget to sign up for my Rafflecopter Giveaway. There are prizes and gift cards!

The Applicant by Aidee Ladnier

 

Blurb

How can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time-traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now. Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.

If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job.

 

Available from Dreamspinner Press

 

Excerpt from THE APPLICANT by Aidee Ladnier

Forbes Pohle worked the needle-nose pliers carefully behind the eye sensors of his teddy bear. He needed to make one little adjustment—

The buzzer on the door sounded, nerve-jangling and insistent, from the speaker overhead.

Startled, Forbes jerked the wire he was fiddling with free from its connection, rendering the small robot blind. The head-plate spring snapped, and the access panel clipped his hand as it closed. Forbes swore and shook his stinging fingers as the front door buzzer blared again.

Frustrated, he threw down the pliers and ran both hands through his mop of brown hair. Reacting to the clatter, the tiny robot turned its head left and then right before running off the table.

Luckily the teddy bear caught itself with its face when it hit the floor.

Undaunted, the bear scrambled to its furry feet and darted toward the other side of the lab. Forbes sighed at the sound of another imperative buzz.

“You won’t get the job if you don’t stop with the doorbell.” He stood and shoved the ends of his wrinkled white dress shirt back into his khaki pants. He typed in the power-down sequence for the bear before shutting the lab door and walking toward the front of the house. His visitor had graduated to using the door buzzer as percussion, the drone now going off and on in a jaunty rhythm.

Forbes still wasn’t sold on hiring a research assistant, but he wanted a lab assistant and he needed an administrative assistant.

Most of all, he longed for a friend.

Hiring someone wasn’t the best way to go about finding one, but working with somebody was a good start, right?

Forbes checked his reflection in the foyer mirror. The dark brown of his eyes was almost invisible against the bloodshot whites. His stomach rumbled, and he promised himself he’d take a break and eat as soon as the interview concluded.

At the next buzz, he spun and yanked open the large front door. Holy crap.

He wished he’d gotten a little sleep last night instead of staying up to tinker with the bear.

A wiry man stood on Forbes’s doorstep. He was dressed in a T-shirt, tight black jeans, black nail polish, and red Chuck Taylors. His strawberry blond hair was spiked up in front. The corners of his eyes and his freckled nose wrinkled.

Forbes blinked back his surprise and opened his mouth, expecting words to come out. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Come in.” Forbes waved him inside the house. “I’m Forbes Pohle. I’m the one who posted the job listing.”

The man grinned and held out a hand. “Very pleased to meet you, Dr. Pohle. I’m Oliver Lennox. Please call me Oliver.”

Forbes blushed at the title as he clasped Oliver’s warm hand. Forbes was a PhD three times over, but he hadn’t put that in the advertisement.

“If you’ll come this way, we can talk in the lab.” He turned and walked back down the hallway to the adjacent laboratory, assuming the applicant would follow.

“Oh, I didn’t come about…,” Forbes heard him say before he ran into Forbes’s back. To be fair it wasn’t his fault. Forbes had stopped short in the lab doorway.

During the few minutes he’d stepped out to answer the door, the laboratory had been destroyed.

 

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About the Author

Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, send ping pong balls into space, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

You can find her on her blog at http://www.aideeladnier.com or on her favorite social media sites:

Tumblr: http://aideemoi.tumblr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aideelad
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AideeLadnier
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6570769.Aidee_Ladnier
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/aideelad/

For Love of the Anti-Hero w/ Thianna Durston

January 10, 2017

For Love of the Anti Hero with Thianna Durston

 

Will he kill the one who can save him… again?

 

Some books are out because the author wants to write them. Other books are out because the author’s muse insists. And yet, others are out because the character wants their story told. Thus was the case of Vespar, my wonderful anti-hero.

Do you like anti-heroes? I have to admit I love them. Ever since I saw the first Indiana Jones movie and watched as Indie was fighting the bad guys and a huge bad guy stepped up with a huge sword. Instead of continuing to fight with his whip, Indie groaned, pulled out his gun, and shot the guy. I’ve had a love affair with the anti-hero ever since.

So what is an anti-hero? A character that isn’t all shiny and bright – not your typical hero at all – who is thrust into being the hero. Such as Vespar is a killer. He was born to be a killer and had spent years honing his skills. And as he turns from Special Ops to Professional Killer, his intent is to do his job and then disappear until he has to do it again. Only his first professional kill is a man who throws his entire world off kilter and just might make him a hero, whether he wants to be or not.

It was kind of fun. Even though Vespar was very clear about telling his story, I sometimes felt as though I was dragging him kicking and screaming into being the good guy. He glared at me quite often.

I don’t know how other authors feel, but my characters become very close to me and when you have a character who you know is a killer who glares at you, it can put you off your supper… And he found ways to get back at me for it. He woke me up at 1 or 2 every morning to tell me his tale. He would be quiet all day long and then as soon as I got to sleep? He’d want to talk.

I loved writing this story and hope you enjoy reading it as well. This book is dedicated to all the anti-heroes I’ve ever loved :)

 

Excerpt:

Vespar McKauley slid the blade along the stone and stared blankly at the room around him. While he noticed the utilitarian off-white walls and tan furniture of the hotel room, they were so bland that he paid them no attention. He had swept the room when he came in. There were no weapons that could harm him hidden there. And yet there was no way he would let his guard down entirely.

He lifted the long knife and observed the edge. Still a little rough. Not sharp enough. He flipped the blade over in his hand, stroked it along the stone, and gave it far more attention than he would any of his other weapons. For while guns had saved his life most often over the last fourteen years, Vespar still clung to his knife. There was something far more personal about a blade than a gun—the way it felt as it slid into skin and that moment of resistance as it finally punctured and slid home.

While he had only used the knife as a defense in the past, he hoped to use it more often. When he needed to.

A deep frown pulled the corners of his mouth downward. “Need to,” he grunted. A small amount of the fury he usually felt leaked through with that one reminder. He needed to kill. Not all the time, but as long as he could remember, that singular yearning had run his life. From his first deer at age ten to the last bastard he killed as a member of a covert-ops team in the Army, the desire was insurmountable. As if to agree, a small birthmark throbbed on his left shoulder, just underneath the clavicle.

His birthmark was in the shape of a sword with half of the blade missing. Maybe that was why he was so attached to his knife.

He thought—or perhaps wished—that his time in the military had fulfilled the compulsion to kill. There he was allowed to hunt and kill a mark every few weeks. Sometimes even more often. When he left the team, it was by mutual agreement. He wanted out because his time was up and he had mistakenly assumed his sheer number of kills had muted the killer inside. The CIA tried to recruit him, but he ran away from that option. There was no way he wanted to be a permanent killer. At least not then.

But six months later, Vespar had to admit he’d been wrong. The peace afforded by his time in covert ops lasted barely a couple of months before the need came back. Deep in his muscles, a tension began that could only be assuaged one way. The intense burn and throb around his birthmark intensified every day. And yet he fought it.

For some reason he could not understand, his body needed to kill, even though he didn’t want to. Vespar longed for nothing more than to find a hut in the middle of nowhere and live there for the rest of his life. But that was impossible. In just three months, the need kicked back in and he finally gave in to his anxiety and put his skills up for sale.

Now he waited for information on his target.

 

Question:

Who would you rather be on the run with? A perfect hero or the anti-hero? And is there a specific one that comes to mind?

 

Check out Vespar today!

 

Vespar by Thianna Durston

 

About The Order of the Black Knights:

Every century has seen its knights. But there are those who are never seen. They do what must be done—what has to be done—when nobody wants to get their hands dirty. They are called the Black Knights. First created in the 1100s by the wizard Moriel, these men seem cold and hard, and it is said that some have no soul. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man who waits inside. The question is whether or not he will kill the individual before he figures it out.

Through the ages, they’ve conquered and ruled and taken what they wanted. And they have adapted to modern times. Instead of being bullies for hire, they have taken their skills further—the Internet, the CIA, government infiltration, hacking, special ops, assassination, but each one of them has a need they don’t understand—to squash, kill, or destroy.

If the Knight pardons his enemy, he will no longer be cursed. If not, he will continue to live the same life again and again, and each life will make him harder and more unyielding. And each life will make it less likely that he can be saved.

 

Blurb for Vespar:

Special ops turned professional killer, Vespar McKauley is hired to take out Marcolm Rogers, son of his employer’s worst enemy. But Marc isn’t like any hit he’s ever done. He’s just twenty-one, he goes to a private university studying English Lit, and for fun he plays computer games with his friends. No drugs, no partying, no crime. The day he bumps into Marc and looks into his azure eyes, the world drops out from under him.

With his father in the Chicago Crime Syndicate, Marc and his mom have stayed out of the limelight, hiding from those that might harm them. He figures he’s safe at a small liberal arts university all the way across the country. Only midway through his senior year, he feels eyes on him and the shadows encroaching. Just as he’s about to run, he meets Vespar and experiences an instant attraction. When Vespar tells him he’s in danger and offers to protect him, Marc wants to believe him. But he’s been hunted before, and this time he isn’t sure he’ll get away. Especially when he finds out he is Vespar’s target.

 

Buy Links:

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About the Author:

Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

Find her Online:

Website – http://mm.thiannad.com/
Blog – http://blog.thiannad.com/
Newsletter – http://mm.thiannad.com/newsletter-signup
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ThiannaDurstonAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ThiannaDurston
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ThiannaDurston
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536433.Thianna_Durston
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/thiannad/
Tumblr – http://thiannad.tumblr.com/

Timber Manor Redux w/ F.E. Feeley Jr + Giveaway

January 9, 2017

 Timber Manor Redux with F.E. Feeley Jr

 

Hey,

My name is F.E. Feeley Jr and I am the author of several books with DSP including Objects in the Rearview Mirror, Still Waters, Contact (with various other authors) and the book we are talking about today, The Haunting of Timber Manor.

But I already read that one.

I know. And I thank you. I thank you for reading it, possibly reviewing it, and I also want to apologize.

But, why?

Okay, here’s the thing. I didn’t like it. I mean, I liked it well enough but I wasn’t wild about it. And that was my fault. Once the book released I began, as every author does even though they say they don’t, I started reading the reviews. And while most of them were great, some of them – a lot of them – brought up some seriously important issues over dialogue and pacing. So, after I wrote Objects the following year and Still Waters the year after that, as my craft began to mature – uh, how do I say this –

Once I stopped sounding like a dumb ass who didn’t know what he was doing and was in way over his head with this whole writer/ editor stuff we have to do…. once it sunk in that I had to like – help edit the work – then I begged DSP to let me go back and tighten it up.

And they – graciously – agreed.

I remember writing this big long email about how much I had grown as an author, how much my voice had matured, how much I would really love to go back and fix this and described – in detail – how much this would benefit the company  -Elizabeth, much like Beatrice in Dante’s Inferno – looked upon my poor humble *snicker* self and gave me her blessing.

And here we are.

And boy, it wasn’t easy either. First off, I had someone help me outside of the DSP editorial staff. And then I was like – aww, yeah, see don’t sweat this, this is going to be easy. You all probably only need to go through this once more and we’ll be good to go.

Psssh – my ass. Three (much needed) edits later and someone who saw a huge time gap in the plot – and we arrived to the finish product.

I could beg off and feign ignorance – which I have in the past – over this book but it’s a pilot book in a series and that would should be the best or at least, on par, with the other two. I didn’t plan on it being a series. I had no idea that Memoirs of the Human Wraiths would take me down this lone path with two other standalone books – I didn’t know jack shit about what I was doing.

But that’s life, right?

I just felt like the readers deserved better. I feel like the company deserved better. And I deserved better.

You can expect some storyline alteration. A little bit of clarification. A little bit more maturity wise when it comes to the characters. Cleaner and more realistic dialogue and a tighter story.

To those of you who loved the story – who five stared it etc. thank you and thank you for sticking with me over the years even though I’m probably not the easiest person to live with, so to speak. Thank you for the positive feedback and the encouragement.

And to those of you who didn’t like it – this is really for you. I listened. I wasn’t able to address it directly with this novel in the beginning – but I did in the later works, so I appreciate what you said and hope that you’ll maybe give it another shot. If not – I totally understand.

Why do you write scary stories?

I’m seriously sitting here having a self-motivated interview. LOL *My other half looks like Katie Couric* I do this bullshit all the time. I have these whole scenes just go on in my head where there is this dialogue exchange sometimes with fictional characters – duh – or real life people while I’m going on about my day.

Anyway.

I believe in ghosts. I do. I believe in life after death, I’m not sure if the religious have it done 100 percent on what happens but I do believe in an afterlife so to speak. And as a kid – my head was always wandering around those places to the point where my mother worried about me being so macabre. I wasn’t a goth kid or really into the occult, I just felt like there was something there. Like I could almost sense it. In this new Gilded Age where we find ourselves there’s been this huge uptick in paranormal interest. Each channel on t.v. I swear – has some kind of ghost hunting related show.

Well, which one do you watch?

Me? I used to watch Ghost Hunters but quit after that handsome dark haired guy – Grant, I think his name was – left. I was totally crushing on him. I tried Ghost Adventures but Zach is so alpha persona that it turns me off. Like all those dudes grunt and yell so much I half expect a porno to break out at any moment. Plus, the first ever show – he got the shit scared out of him so bad he ran screaming out of the building. Like, now I feel like it’s all compensating for that. I know I probably pissed someone off saying that but I have this dialogue from that show going on in my head. Here’s an example:

“Dude, something just grabbed me.”

“Where?!”

“Right here. Right here on my big muscle trainer ass. Point that camera right there,” he says as he leans over and he palms his right butt cheek. “Riiiiiight there. I hope it was a lady ghost.”

And I imagine some real ghost leaning against the wall talking to his buddy, “Dude, did you touch his ass?”

“Nope. But I think a porno is about to break out.”

Like, for real. That show is like what happens when Ghost Hunters met Abercrombie and Fitch.

But like the freakiest one I found lately – is Dead Files with Amy Allen and Steve could-you-be any-fucking-cuter-if-you-tried Di Schiavi. And it’s sort of funny – and freaky at the same time – but there was one episode of The Dead Files that may have come right out of this book. Not the wolves, or the romance, but the haunting and what the haunting was doing to a woman living in that particular house AND what the ‘entity’ looked like.

It startled me. I looked over to my husband and he looked at me, “Is that one of your books?”

I nodded.

So, from that point forward my obsessive nature allowed me to buy all 9 seasons and binge watch them. It’s really freaky and makes me wonder if I don’t know more than I know. If that makes sense.

Okay, then. Would you like to do a giveaway?

Yes. I would. And to do that, I would like people to answer a question.

Okay.

What’s the scariest/ spookiest thing that ever happened to you? It could be a dream, it could be thought, it could be something you saw or a story someone told you. Or, do you believe in ghosts? Answer that question and you’ll get a book of your choice, from my backlist.

Where can readers find you?

Hahahaha. Do you really want to? Is this such a good idea? Okay. I do have a blog that I write stuff on. And before I give it to you, I am going to be honest with you. I am honest with you. I write a lot of poetry. Some of it bad, some of it good, I write about things that cross my mind. Things I feel deeply about. Sometimes it can be nice, sometimes I can be abrasive, but I struggle always to be honest. So – you know – just going in I am not trying to blow smoke up your ass hoping you buy all my books. That’s just not me.  My blog is my place to vent, to scream into the void. So – you’re more than welcome to come and scream with me. The more the merrier.

 

https://soulfultroubadourdotcom.wordpress.com/

 

I should probably create a facebook page with my name huh? I’ll get on that. Look for it. It’ll be there.

We can scream there, too.

Or whisper, if whispering is your thing.

Or if you want me to scream something for you because you’ve never done it before…or, if you need a place to scream and want to try it out before you go scream in other places just to be sure…I’m totally here to support you.

Okay, I’m done. Thanks inner Katie Couric and DSP for having me today. I’m going to go back to being just one person again. Have a good day!

 

Check out The Haunting of Timber Manor today!

 

The Haunting of Timber Manor by F.E. Feeley Jr

Blurb:

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father had seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s curiosity and need for family compel him to visit.

Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.

Sheriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows to protect the young man who has captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.

 

About F.E. Feeley Jr:

F.E. Feeley Jr was born and raised in Detroit. In the midst of chaos, he sought refuge in the written word. Through books, he was transported to far of places and while his body was trapped in a concrete world, his mind soared. He loved young adult novels such as R.L. Stein and Christopher Pike, but soon found his appetite whetted by the likes of Stephen King and Dean R. Koontz.
As an adult, F.E. lives in the Deep South, married to his wonderful husband, John. Together they are accompanied by their five-year-old German Shepherd, Kaiser. They spend time cooking, talking, and reading, drinking wine, and watching the sun set together from their patio. John is supportive and is always encouraging F.E. to keep on writing. So, as long as there is love, and as long as there is wine, hopefully there will be words.
Website: soulfultroubadourdotcom.wordpress.com

Love and Mining w/ T.A. Chase

January 5, 2017

Love and Mining with T.A. Chase

 

Hey everyone. It’s great to be stopping by again. This time I’m chatting about my newest release, A Coal Miner’s Son. It’s part of Dreamspinner’s States of Love series. I think after reading the title, you might be able to figure out where my story takes place, but in case you can’t…it’s West Virginia.

I’ll admit this story idea had been floating around my mind for a while and when Dreamspinner put out the call, I couldn’t resist actually getting around to writing it. The story and the characters morphed as I put the words to paper, but it still turned out close to how I originally planned it.

I wanted to show how in a lot of the rural places of the Appalachian mountains, the people who lived there might not have a lot of money, but they take care of each other. They prove that you don’t need money to have a good and full life. They take their traditions seriously and family isn’t just those related to you by blood.

Coal mining is a hard profession. It can still be dangerous, even with all the precautions in place and new safety equipment being used. So many things can go wrong and men can get trapped down in the mines. Yet in a lot of the small towns in West Virginia, mining is the only option for the men.

As much as I wanted to show the mining, I also wanted to show how those people took care of their own. And also how much James wanted to be included in the family feel of the town.  Being the owner’s son isn’t as important to him as being friends with Owain and the rest of the Rees family.

I love the idea of the States of Love series. The state itself becomes a character in the story, which is great. We can learn something about each state that makes it unique.

I might have changed one of the words for my title, but A Coal Miner’s Daughter is very much like what I imagined Cai would feel like, though he wouldn’t have put it into words—or song for that matter. Yet he’s proud of where he came from.

One of my works-in-progress is called Shangra-La in the Clouds and it takes place in Nepal. I wanted to write a story featuring a person who was born in Nepal and carries the very country in his blood. In many ways, it’s like the States of Love series and I hope to immerse the reader in the beautiful landscape that is Nepal. Not just the peaks of the Himalayas, but valleys, rivers and caves as well.

If I’m doing my job right, I use the words to create an image of the place where my men meet and fall in love. Whether it’s the rolling hills of West Virginia or the sweeping majesty of Mount Everest.  I can imitate the accents of the Welsh descendants whose families were miners back in Wales and came to America looking for a better life or the accented words of a Nepalese Gurkha who was educated in Britain.

Have you ever read a book that made you feel like you were in the country/city/state it was set in? Like if you could, you would get online and buy a plane ticket to visit there as soon as possible? I’d love to hear where you’d like to go visit and if there was a book that made you long to go. Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for letting me come and chat with you all today. I’m including the blurb for A Coal Miner’s Son. I hope you get a chance to check it out today.

 

Check out A Coal Miner’s Son today!

 

A Coal Miner's Son by T.A. Chase

 

Blurb:

James Callahan is the only son of Nicholas Callahan, owner of the Willow Hollow mine in West Virginia—but he’s never considered himself any better than the miners. He’s best friends with Owain Rees, one of the miners’ kids, and he’s been attracted to Cai, Owain’s older brother, for years. James gets the feeling he might not be the only one sensing the tension between them, but Cai avoids him religiously.

Cai has been working the mine since he was sixteen. He acknowledges James is cute, but he’s grown up privileged while Cai’s family has always been working class, and Cai fears that chasm is too wide to cross. When family drama pushes them together, will Cai and James see they’re more alike than they realized?

Take a leap of faith as two men from different worlds, employer and employee, rich and poor, discover that love transcends social barriers.

 

Author Bio:

T.A. Chase lives in the Midwest with her neurotic but still wonderful senior cat. She believes there is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates T.A., and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how she shares those insights. When not writing, she’s watching movies and reading. She’s also a part of a line-dancing group that takes over a bar on Tuesday nights and entertains at assisted living homes. It’s all about living life to the fullest.

She loves hearing from fans. But don’t be too upset if she doesn’t get back to you right away. Life has a way of making her lose track of days and hours. Don’t worry, though. You will hear back at some point.

www.tachase.com
Twitter: @TaChase

 

 

Nostalgic Inspirations w/ Avon Gale + Giveaway

January 4, 2017

 Nostalgic Inspirations with Avon Gale

 

Hello! I’m Avon Gale, and I’m here to talk about my new release, Whiskey Business.

I had a really fun time writing this novella for Dreamspinner’s States of Love series, especially because I’m from Kentucky! I don’t live there currently, but it’s always been home for me. There’s a lot of family-related stuff in the book, from town names to characters, but the town of Gallows Grove is, unfortunately, fictional.

However, I did base a lot of it on a real-life town, where a lot of my family live and where I’ve spent countless summers, Christmases, etc. The town is called Augusta, and it’s located on the banks of the Ohio river in Northern Kentucky. It’s a quaint little town that is known mainly for antique shops and being George Clooney’s hometown (my aunt lives across the street from his parents), and is a popular day-trip destination. It’s also a place where my family keeps retiring to, meaning when I went for a run over Christmas I was probably related to half the people who waved at me when they drove by. Which was everyone who drove by, because it’s a small town. Really small. As in, no stoplight kind of small. There are less than 1200 people that live there. It was my inspiration for Gallows Grove in a lot of ways, with real-life buildings serving as a basis for the landmarks in the book, even though Gallows Grove is located in a totally different part of the state.

So, since I was lucky enough to be in my old Kentucky home for the holidays, I thought I’d share some pictures. If you’re ever able to visit Augusta, you should. It’s lovely, and while there’s no distillery and I don’t think George comes home that often, it’s still a fun place to visit!

Ever After Funeral Home

This is the funeral home as I envisioned it when writing Whiskey Business, where Adam stays when he first comes to town.  I imagine his bedroom is the one at the top with the three windows.

My grandmother used to live next door, and would sometimes go over and sit in that big front room (directly beneath Adam’s bedroom) to “man the phones” (though I’m not sure why, because I mean, it’s not a small town in a Stephen King novel so they weren’t that busy). But I would go with her because they had HBO (what?), and I remember that the Parkers kept ice-cold bottles of Coke (real Coca-Cola, which was a forbidden delight in my house) in the fridge. I was always afraid to go get them, though, and my granny would laugh at me because she was like, “They keep the dead people in the basement, not the kitchen,” which is not what you should tell a freaked out eleven year old. Thanks Granny.  Obviously my sense of humor came from somewhere.

 

Creepy Doll House

This house is across from the funeral home, and when I was a kid, I think I was related to the person who lived there (it is also across from my grandma’s house, if you’re keeping up on your mental geography). Anyway, one time we went over there and the woman who lived in the house made life-sized dolls. I remember being absolutely terrified especially because she made me take one home. I have no idea what happened to the doll.

(It’s right behind me, isn’t it.)

That’s what inspired me to put a room full of creepy dolls in the funeral home, in case you’re wondering what in the hell is wrong with me.

 

The Trapdoor/Ryder’s Apartment

This is the Augusta Pub, which was the inspiration for the Trapdoor in Whiskey Business. Just like in the book, there are apartments that have been renovated above it, so that’s my idea of what Ryder’s apartment looks like from the outside.

(I tried to get a picture of the small house that I decided belonged to Ryder’s mom and where Ryder grew up, but uh, the people who live there were outside and I’m not sure that wouldn’t have been extremely creepy, regardless if we were related or not.)

 

Main Street/Kentucky Fanatics

AvonGale1

My inspiration for downtown Gallows Grove. This was taken on Christmas Day, and true story, when I went to take this picture I didn’t notice a car coming down the street behind me. Apparently I’m the only person who can get hit by a car on Christmas in a totally deserted town. Luckily, the driver was nice and just waved and smiled.

 

And as you see, the UK love is strong ;)

 

AvonGale2

Believe me, I could have taken a LOT of pictures featuring some kind of UK Wildcat fan paraphernalia affixed to a building. Including my Mom’s house, my aunt’s house, my cousin’s…you get it.

 

So there you have it! I had a lovely Christmas, and I hope you did, too! One of my favorite things about being in Augusta was that, having spent so many Christmases there, I have this lovely memory of being with my cousins on Christmas Eve, and hearing the whistle of a train that always went by as I fell asleep. I heard the same train when I was there this year, (I mean, not the same one, unless it’s some kind of ghost train, which omg, amazing) and it was a lovely memory.

What’s your favorite Christmas memory? Share and I’ll choose one random commenter to win a copy of any book on my backlist.

Thanks, and happy new year to all!

 

Check out Whiskey Business today!

 

Whiskey Business by Avon Gale

Blurb:

Ryder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder aims ultimately to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he’s worth the investment.

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers, who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder are to his taste.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

 

About Avon:

Avon Gale was once the mayor of Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon, and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal Midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing, you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories—either real or made up in her head.

Website: www.avongalewrites.com
E-mail: avongalewrites@gmail.com
Twitter: @avongalewrites
Facebook: www.facebook.com/avongalewrites
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/avongalewrites

New Year’s Resolutions with Julia Talbot

January 2, 2017

New Year's Resolutions with Julia Talbot

 

Happy New Year!

My wife and I were chatting about how I had to do a blog post (and how late I was, sorry to the poor blog organizer) and she wanted to know what book.

“Jackass Flats,” I said, “so it’s a reprint and I’ve blogged all the blogs to be blogged.”

“Tate and Dave! I like them.” She grinned at me. “Have them do New Year’s Resolutions.”

Tate is a cowboy in southern New Mexico. Dave is a military guy stationed at White Sands when the story begins. They have a bit of an age gap, and they have very different lives.

Tate: I plan to build up the ranch a little, maybe adopt a few more horses so Dave can have one. I also promise to talk more. Like out loud. Dave is always telling me to use my words.

Dave: That’s it?

Tate: Well, honey, what else is there?

Dave: Stares

Tate: shrugs

Dave: Okay, so I resolve to make everyone proud this year.

Tate: You already do that.

Dave: Hush and let me talk. I resolve to get back into shape. I’ve eaten a lot of green chile enchiladas.

Tate: You’re just fine. I promise.

Dave: I need to get my paperwork in order.

Tate: You got me there. The guest room is a wreck because of you.

Dave: Well, there you go

They wander off, still chatting…

 

As for Julia, my resolution is to get blogs in on time.

XXOO

Julia

 

Check out Jackass Flats today!

 

Jackass Flats by Julia Talbot

 

Blurb:   

Can a traveling military man and a set-in-his-ways cowboy find a way to make things work?

Tate feels like the best part of life has probably passed him by, which is why the thirtysomething cowboy hits the bars every night. When he meets Dave, a young soldier from a nearby Army base, though, Tate figures things might be looking up. He and Dave get off to a rocky start, but Tate soon finds that he and the kid have enough in common to make things interesting.

Dave isn’t really into the whole don’t ask, don’t tell thing, and he doesn’t bother to hide his relationship with Tate from his friends. Once he realizes he should have been more careful, it might be too late. But Dave is willing to fight for Tate, even if it means taking on the military.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2008.

 

Author Bio:

Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner as well as many other small presses. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe.

Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com

“The mountains are calling, and I must go”

Julia Talbot: http://www.juliatalbot.com
Minerva Howe: http://www.minervahowe.com
Julia’s Blog: http://juliatalbot.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliatalbot

New Beginnings with C.L. Etta

December 30, 2016

 

New Beginnings with C.L. Etta

 

Hi everyone. Happy New Year! I’m here to introduce you to my newest book and to C.L. Etta. Oh, wait a minute—that’s me—the new kid on the Dreamspinner block. Following ten years working as a nurse, I retired three years ago, and vegged in front of the television and read an abundance of books, before returning to school. There I took a creative writing class to prepare me for my next venture—writing a book. Now this wasn’t a novel thought, but something that which niggled my mind for decades.

Drawing on my experiences as a nursing-home nurse and as a caretaker for my mother, I sat in front of my computer and wrote. I was in the middle of writing my second novel when the idea for Love’s Tethered Heart was conceived. The tale unfolded in my head while I struggled to complete the manuscript in front of me. No longer able to keep Mico and Danny in the shadows, I saved my work and opened a new file.

Love’s Tethered Heart was born.

The story is told from Danny’s perspective and through a series of interview he conducts with Mico and his family.

Here is a short excerpt.

His blank gaze locked on mine as I pleaded, “Mico, don’t cry. They’re gone. You’re safe. Please don’t cry.” I spoke but didn’t know what I was saying. Crooning to comfort Mico and pleading for him to acknowledge me, I kept talking. I had to bring him back to the present, to pull him back from the bleak vortex of memories that threatened to imprison him. I laid my forehead against his and begged him to show me a sign of recognition. For five agonizing minutes, the white noise of the ventilator and my own anxious breaths were the only sounds in the room.

“Danny?” I lifted my head upon hearing the welcome symphony of Mico’s raspy whisper. “No, don’t go.”

“Mico?”

“For only a minute, just stay there—exactly as you were.”

Puzzled by his appeal, I again rested my forehead against his. As I continued to hold his face in my hands, I noticed the prickle of his stubble against my palms. Unconsciously I petted his face, and my stomach clenched at the sound of his small groan. I focused on his luminous eyes with their dark and dilated pupils.

“It’s been so long—so incredibly long.”

“What? I don’t understand what you mean.”

“Since someone has touched me with anything other than… efficiency.” I stared with wonder into Mico’s eyes, saddened that he had lost so much that my simple touch could evoke this response.

***

Please join me on the remainder of my blog tour. There may even be a prize or two along the way.

December 26 - MM Good Book Reviews
December 30 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
January 2- Divine Magazine
January 3 – Book Breeze
January 4 - Alpha Book Reviews
January 5 - Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
January 5 - Love Bytes
January 6 - Open Skye Book Reviews

 

Check out Love’s Tethered Heart today!

 

Love's Tethered Heart by C.L. Etta

Blurb:

Two years ago Mico and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mico a quadriplegic—and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archaeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive, with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.

Assigned to interview Mico and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the fragile enigmatic man. Mico is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mico is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mico, and he’s determined to show Mico that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mico’s existence.

If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mico will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone—no matter what obstacles they face.

 

About C.L. Etta:

With a shriek heard from sea to shining sea when her first book was accepted for publication, C.L. stepped into the world of storytelling. Having raised a husband and family, C.L. now spends her free time reading and writing. After four decades working, C.L. is now nurturing her creative muse.
A self-described romance novel junkie who considers tequila a food group, C.L. heard voices and put the tequila away. Still the voices continued, demanding their stories be told. So she and her computer became BFFs. She hasn’t slowed down, knowing more pretty boys await her attention.

Blog: clettabooks.wordpress.com
Twitter: @clettabooks
Facebook: CL Etta
E-mail: clettabooks@gmail.com

Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Sylvre + Giveaway

December 29, 2016

Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Sylvre

 

Check out Falling Snow on Snow today!

Blurb: 

Beck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.

Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.

Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Sylvre

Dreamspinner
Amazon (US)
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Indigo Books

 

Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Sylvre

About Lou Sylvre:

Lou Sylvre lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State, penning mostly suspense/romance novels because she can’t resist giving her characters hard times but good love. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow, and he makes a point of letting her know when she’s taken a plot tangent too far. Apparently an English major, he helps a lot, but Lou refuses to put his name on the byline. (Boudreau invites readers to give their feedback as well!) When Lou isn’t writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though—she avoids zombies like the plague unless they have a great sense of humor. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s most often smiling and laughs too much, some say. Among other things and in no particular order, she loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, his sister George, and their little brother Nibbles, a chihuahua named Joe, a dachshund named Chloe, and a slew of chihuahua/dachshund puppies. She takes pleasure in coffee, chocolate, sunshine, gardens, wild roses, and every beautiful thing in the world.

Blog: http://www.sylvre.rainbow-gate.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouSylvre
Twitter: @sylvre (https://twitter.com/Sylvre)
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4873260.Lou_Sylvre
E-mail: lou.sylvre@gmail.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday Soundtracks with Raine O’Tierney

December 28, 2016

 Holiday Soundtracks with Raine O'Tierney

 

Hello all! My name is Raine O’Tierney and I’m here to talk with you today about the music behind my brand new novel, The 12 Days of Hipster.

So!

My holiday playlist is a THING OF BEAUTY.

I exaggerate not. Curated over the last eight years, this playlist features the most indie, alt, punk, weird, fantastic mix of holiday songs known to man.

But my very favorite tunes?

All by the Winter Sounds.

My family discovered the Winter Sounds years ago through a Christmas track of theirs called The Anthem is a Gift and we were SOLD.

I love this band so much, even when they do music that’s not Christmas-related (though my secret wish is that they would turn into an all-Christmas all the time band… but that might not be good for sales).

And Tyler Lang– the main character of The 12 Days of Hipster– loves them too.

That’s why when I started writing his story, I knew, knew, knew I wanted to use lyrics from of their Christmas tunes. I’ll admit, I was TERRIFIED to write to Patrick Keenan, the lead singer, and ask permission.

Of course, when I did his reply was, “Wow! Sure! Honored.”

He’s literally the coolest.

That’s why The 12 Days of Hipster truly has its own soundtrack, which you can check out here:

https://soundcloud.com/thewintersounds/sets/its-a-winter-sounds-christmas

What is your all-time favorite Christmas/Holiday song?? Comment below with your answer for a chance to win an e-book copy of the first title in this series: Bowl Full of Cherries!

 

With Kindness and Xmas Tunes!

Raine O’Tierney

 

Excerpt:

Okay, fine. If he couldn’t get out of this with direct and sound logic, he would try the irrational. The completely, totally—did he say completely?—irrational. Tyler tightened his grip on David’s hand, leaned forward, and kissed him. But before a full second had passed, David burst out laughing against Tyler’s lips.

Tyler yanked back, heat suffusing his face.

“What?”

“That was the sourest prekiss expression I’ve ever seen.”

“That’s it, I’m leaving.”

“Tyler, you don’t have to go.”

“No sparks. Only laughter. Must leave.”

“No sparks because you looked like you were in physical pain and made me laugh. Why don’t you be a little more romantic about it?”

“Because I….” Don’t know what in the hell I’m doing. It was probably the first time in his life he really could say that. He’d learned things before. There had been a time when he hadn’t known how to knit, when he hadn’t known how to make gourmet chocolates, when he hadn’t known how to use a soldering iron—but those were just learning opportunities. But with this? He felt like he was standing out naked on the corner with only mistletoe to cover his bits.

“More like this.”

The second kiss was what Tyler would have called sweet if the word had been in his vocabulary. David’s lips were warm, soft, giving, and for a moment the kiss lingered on that edge of innocent, like a snowflake dancing through the sky. Then the world tipped and Tyler’s hands were in David’s hair and David was drawing him closer and, motherfuckinggod, they were kissing. Hard, searching lips, taking and giving, and it took him way too long to realize what he was doing. In fact, he might not have ever realized it if they hadn’t needed to breathe like humans do. It took a long moment for rational thought to come back to Tyler.

 

 

Check out The 12 Days of Hipster today!

 

The 12 Days of Hipster by Raine O'Tierney

Amazon
Dreamspinner Press
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

Blurb: 

Last Christmas, Tyler Lang accidentally accepted David Griffith’s invitation for dinner. Yes, it was an accident. See, hipster (don’t call him that!) Tyler doesn’t date guys, and even if he did, he certainly doesn’t date jocks. A rude and hasty exit right when the date was getting good left things awkward between them.

David Griffith isn’t really a jock. Well, he’s a former athlete who loves sports, but “jock” has a certain connotation that doesn’t quite fit the intelligent, hardworking store owner. A jock wouldn’t have given Tyler Lang the time of day. But even after that little, ahem, stunt with the fire escape, David can’t stop thinking about the hipster a year later. Which would be fine if fate didn’t keep butting her nose into their business, making it impossible for the jock and the hipster to avoid each other this Christmas.

A hilarious holiday romp, set to the music of the Winter Sounds.

 

About Raine O’Tierney:

Called “Queen of the Sweetness” (well, two or three people said it anyway!) Raine O’Tierney loves writing sweet stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and…friskiness?

Raine in Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Siôn O’Tierney. When she’s not writing, she’s either asleep, or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers!

Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

Website: http://raineotierney.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raineotierney
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/RaineOTierneyAuthor/
Twitter: @raineotierney
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7770350.Raine_O_Tierney