Longtime Obsessions with Louise Blaydon – Post + Giveaway

February 18, 2016

Longtime Obsessions

Hello, ladies and gentlemen of the blog!

I’m not entirely sure how to begin this post. I suspect this might be evident in my wavering introduction. I’ve been a Dreamspinner author since 2010, but this is actually the first time I’ve written a post here. I have a blog of my own which I update periodically (come and find me at http://louiseblaydon.wordpress.com!) but I’m pretty new to the world of book tours and guest posts.

I’m grateful to DSP for giving me this platform to talk a little bit about my latest novella, In Balance With This Life, which comes out February 17th. In many ways, this is my favourite of all the stories I’ve written, because writing it allowed me to wallow for months in a world that’s intrigued me since I was a little girl. In Balance With This Life owes a lot to the obsession with the Royal Air Force and World War II flying that hit me when I was about eight and has never really abated. It’s a story about a very motley crew of RAF pilots from all over the world who’ve come together to fly in the Battle of Britain in 1940. It was very important to me that this novella have an ensemble cast. The RAF was a very multinational organisation during WW2. The lead character in my novella, Jeff, is Northern Irish, but among the cast there are Poles, Americans, Russians, and various others, from all walks of life, representative of the way the service really was then. I was always interested in the stories of those who’d been “other” all their lives, but who found a home in the wartime RAF. When I was younger, I read memoirs by Poles and Indian pilots. Then, more recently, I read the stories of the gay men who had fought the war in the air.

I am British – I’m originally from the Scottish borders, and now I live in southern England with a lot of cats – but this is the first DSP publication of mine with a British setting. I’ve travelled a lot, particularly in the southwestern USA, and have made use of that experience in my other stories, but here I got to write about the wet and windy weather of my homeland, and I really enjoyed that. Another thing I liked about writing this book, though, was getting to focus on more characters than just the two major components of the romance. There are several romances at play in In Balance With This Life. It’s an M/M story, and a little bit of an M/M/M story, and I’ve left my boys in a place that leaves room for new dynamics to develop in the future. Most of all, though, the romance in In Balance With This Life is between the boys and their squadron as a whole. It’s a story about how war makes strange bedfellows, and how people pull together in intense situations. I’m very proud of it. I hope you’ll like it too.

A lot of you may be unfamiliar with my writing, so I’d like to offer an opportunity for commenters to win a book of your choice from my backlist. To enter this giveaway contest, please indulge me in answering a couple of questions:

  1. The wartime RAF is the novel setting that I’ve had in my mind since childhood. What’s yours? What longtime obsession would you love to turn into a story backdrop?

  2. The guys in this story start off in England, but they end up flung around as Higher Command dictates. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

You can follow me on Twitter @louiseblaydon, and on Facebook here (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010531029395&fref=ts) I’d love to keep in touch with you!

InBalanceWithThisLife

Get a copy of In Balance With This Life today!

Blurb: 

Irishman Jeff Riley left the Royal Flying Corps in 1918, hardened by war. He survived those harsh years with the help of his quick-witted English friend, Sean McClean, although Jeff would never want to admit it. When the Battle of Britain erupts in 1939, he’s once again drafted and forced to leave his flourishing commercial pilot career and join a new squadron. Although another war disrupts his life, he’s not disappointed to find himself reunited with Sean.

Jeff is attracted to many of the men in his new squadron of misfits. Never before has he seen such a diverse group assembled for a single cause, including Jimmy Dupont, a handsome, strong Texan who joined the Royal Air Force to help the war effort, and his constant companion Filip, a young and talented Polish airman. It’s evident from the beginning that there’s something special about the connection between Filip and Jimmy, but as time goes on, Jeff feels himself not alienated by it but drawn into it.

Jeff tries to focus on staying alive, but he’s only human, and there’s more to life than survival. There’s also loving, and Jeff can’t get by without it, especially when any day could be his last.

Assembling A Dream Date With Lex Chase

February 18, 2016

SAR_Dream_Date

Hello, everyone! I’m Lex Chase and thank you for joining me on this month’s edition of #Dreamer! Today, I’m sharing a special date from my new release with Bru Baker Some Assembly RequiredIf you haven’t heard, it’s a meet-cute about two dead guys haunting a purgatorial affordable home goods store called CASA. Y’know, everyone considers that particular big box store purgatory, but in this case it really is. ;D

So what do you do when you do when you’re trapped for all eternity in the land of particle board and meatballs? You can’t exactly go out on a movie date. So, you have to get a bit (okay a lot) creative. So presenting here is the excerpt from Benji and Patrick’s dream date. Patrick, who hasn’t seen a current movie in decades, doesn’t know what to expect when Benji our “newly deceased” teaches him the meaning of “watch Netflix and chill.”


Some Assembly Required
by Lex Chase and Bru Baker
Excerpt


Benji would have had a hard time figuring out what to screen for Patrick on their movie date, but after an hour agonizing over his choices, he’d settled on The Avengers. It was the perfect mix of comic book geekery, fists meeting faces, and the three-way dilemma of Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, or Tom Hiddleston. Robert Downey Jr. went without saying. But Hemsworth and Hiddleston were always a difficult choice that usually settled in a tie. It was exactly the type of movie he bet Patrick would have lined up to see on opening night.

Benji was going to be kind of devastated if Patrick didn’t love it. Which was ridiculous, all things considered. But he wanted to give Patrick something special, to do something for him that no one else could. He and Patrick were alike in that way. They were both prone to grand gestures. Benji’s were just usually a little better planned out and a lot more well intentioned.

“You’re doing a very nice thing here, Benji,” Karin said, and there was no mistaking the wistful smile on her face. She was definitely a little jealous.

He grinned. “We could make it a weekly thing, you know. Movie night,” he clarified when both Agnes and Karin gave him a confused look. “Not that I wouldn’t like to have a weekly date with Patrick. I would. But we could have a movie night. For everyone, I mean.”

It felt a bit silly now that he’d said it out loud. Could the Impressions even watch a movie? He wasn’t sure. There was still so much he didn’t understand about CASA. But Agnes and Karin definitely could, so it would at least be the four of them. Like a family night, since they were the only family he had now.

“I’d quite like that,” Agnes said after a moment of consideration.

Karin clapped her hands together. “Me too! How many digital movies does this thing have on it?”

Benji smothered a laugh behind his hand, pretending to yawn. “Uh, they’re not on the laptop, exactly. We’re streaming them from a service that has a bunch of movies. Old television shows too.”

If Karin was young enough, there might be an unfinished plotline out there that had been nagging at her for decades. Maybe she’d spent all this time wondering who shot J.R. He had to bite his lips together to keep from laughing at the thought of Karin with Farrah Fawcett hair and bell-bottoms.

Agnes shot the laptop a look of deep mistrust but grudgingly nodded. “Streaming. Laptops. Digital movies. What’s next, cars that drive themselves?”

They all looked up when someone cleared his throat in the doorway. Patrick leaned against the frame, looking reluctantly amused.

“I figured the very vague note you left on my MILAN this morning to meet you here tonight meant you were reconsidering my blow-job offer. I didn’t realize it was a meeting to talk about future cars. I’d have dressed with more care,” he said wryly, gesturing at the stained Despicable Me shirt he’d plucked from Lost and Found a few days ago. Benji hadn’t had the heart to tell him it was a minion and not a Twinkie with a face. Patrick had been absolutely delighted by it.

Agnes made a disgusted sound and wrinkled her nose at him. “If you cared about anything at all, you’d stop raiding that box and start materializing your clothes like the rest of us.”

Patrick’s eyes widened. “What’s that I hear in your voice, Agnes? Concern? So you do like me!”

She fixed him with a withering stare and rolled her eyes. “I’d like you to be gone,” she muttered before disappearing.

Karin shook her head and followed suit, leaving the two of them alone in the conference room.

Benji watched Patrick for a few seconds, sighing softly when he saw Patrick’s easy posture tighten up when it was just the two of them. “Just so you know, cars that drive themselves actually exist. Or at least, the prototypes do. They’ve had several moderately successful tests.”

Patrick gave him a thin-lipped smile. “Time does march on, doesn’t it?”

Benji cleared his throat, uncomfortable with the maudlin turn things had taken. He knew life was moving on out there without him, but he didn’t like to be reminded of it. And there was no better remedy for escaping reality than slipping into someone else’s.

“Would you go to the movies with me?” he blurted, wincing at the abruptness of the subject change.

Patrick’s brow furrowed. “Are you forgetting that pesky business of us not being able to leave the premises?”

There was definitely interest behind the snarky attitude, and Benji gave himself an internal high five. Operation Movie Date was cleared for takeoff.

“Welcome to the CASA Cineplex, sir,” he said, bowing low. “We’ll begin our screening momentarily. Please help yourself to concessions and find a seat.”

Patrick was still looking at him like he was crazy, but his eyes were sparkling, a sure sign that Patrick was enjoying himself.

Benji fiddled with the light switches while Patrick roamed around the table, finally settling on one of the two seats at the end of the table farthest back from the projector.

“So we don’t disturb any of the other customers in our movie theater if we get frisky during the imaginary movie,” Patrick said with a conspiratorial wink. “I was always a back row kind of guy.”

Benji snorted. He had no trouble seeing Patrick in the back row of a theater, though it had probably been to throw popcorn instead of get up to anything lewd. For all his bravado, Patrick was surprisingly prudish. Benji knew he’d been hurt by someone before, which accounted for a lot of his hesitancy to get intimate, but that didn’t explain why Patrick flustered so easily when their hands brushed. It was endearing.

“It’s not an imaginary movie,” he said, pointedly refusing to engage in Patrick’s childish innuendo. He brought up Netflix and logged into Charles’s account.

His hand hovered over the projector button. “I have a really important question for you,” he said, looking over at Patrick.

“Gee, Beaver, I don’t know where babies come from. You’d better ask Pop,” Patrick said, his eyes wide.

Benji’s lips twitched. “Asshole. Seriously, this is life or death.”

“Afterlife or death, you mean?”

Benji drew his hand back and crossed his arms. “Maybe I was wrong about you. I doubt you’d like this anyway. You’re probably all Superman all the time.”

Patrick gave him an offended tsk. “Earth isn’t so badly off that it needs to import aliens as superheroes,” he scoffed. “Marvel all the way.”

Benji grinned and flicked on the projector. The title credits for The Avengers popped up on the large screen. “Right answer.”

Patrick’s mouth dropped open. “No. They did not make my favorite comic ever into a movie. Did they? Did they really make Avengers into a movie? Who played Thor? Val Kilmer, right? Had to be Val Kilmer.”

Benji snorted a chuckle. “What?”

Patrick shrunk down in his seat a little bit. “Nothing.”

Pure happiness bubbled through Benji. For the first time in a long time, he was exactly where he wanted to be. He could count the number of perfect moments he’d had during life on one hand, and he was thrilled beyond belief to realize he’d get to have them in the afterlife too. A lot more of them, too, if he had anything to say about it. He bet he could easily fill both hands and both feet with happy Patrick moments if he really set his mind to it.

“Oh my God, I can’t tell you how happy I am to get to be the one to introduce you to the perfection that is Chris Hemsworth,” he said, delighted.

“But first, we have a score to settle.” Benji would have pulled on his handlebar mustache if he had one. It was the ultimate villain moment. “I believe you promised to teach me how to eat.” He looked pointedly over at the popcorn and candy Agnes had arranged on the table.

“Come on! That could take forever! I’ll teach you after, I promise.” Patrick pouted and rubbed his face when Benji didn’t unpause the movie. “Benji, it’s The Avengers,” he whined.

Benji raised his eyebrows, holding Patrick’s gaze.

“Oh, fine,” Patrick said. He didn’t bother getting up. Instead, he just teleported over to the table, appearing on it sitting with his legs crossed underneath him. “I hope you choke on it,” he said as he held a piece of popcorn up to Benji’s lips.

“Now who’s forgetting that we don’t need to breathe?” Benji teased, the words muffled by the food.

Patrick’s lips twitched and he withdrew the popcorn. “You don’t get to be the funny one. That job is already taken, by me.”

“I’ll just settle for being the pretty one, then,” Benji said, batting his eyelashes coquettishly.

Patrick choked on the Swedish Fish he’d just tossed into his mouth. “No arguments,” he rasped when he finally managed to swallow it. “Basically, it’s just like everything else here. Mind over matter. Be the change you want to see in the world and all that metaphysical jazz.”

Benji smiled fondly. “That’s a Gandhi quote.”

“Whatever, it still fits. If you want to be able to eat, eat,” Patrick said with a shrug. He ate another Swedish Fish.

“So that’s it? I can eat because I want to eat?”

Patrick saluted him. “Make it so.”

Benji eyed the popcorn with distrust but picked up a piece. It smelled amazing, and he could feel the salt crystals on the surface of the buttery kernel. “So I just go for it, Captain Picard?”

“It’s hard to explain. Why don’t you fall through the floor when you walk? It’s not because you’re corporeal, because you’re not unless you concentrate and will it. But your feet hit the floor and you don’t sink through because you expect to be able to walk on it. It’s never occurred to you that you couldn’t, so you can. Eating is the same basic principle. It takes a fair amount of energy, so we don’t do it often, but some things are worth it, you know?”

Patrick shot him a wicked grin. He grabbed a handful of popcorn and stuffed it into his mouth with a decadent groan.

Benji took a breath and tried to center himself like he did when he was practicing object manipulation with his Yoda figure. He gingerly placed the popcorn kernel on his tongue and focused on the weight of it. He willed his taste buds to engage, but it was like having a piece of cardboard in his mouth. There was no salty zing or smooth, oily roll of butter across his tongue.

He spit it out into his palm with a grimace.

“Do you actually taste things or are you just fucking with me?” he asked, narrowing his eyes at Patrick, who was licking the salt off his fingers with exaggerated bliss.

“Oh, sweetheart, if I was fucking you, you’d know,” he purred. Instead of continuing on with his teasing, though, he straightened up and took one of the chocolates off the pile. “Try this. It’s easier with softer foods at first. Just put it in your mouth and remember what it was like to eat. Think about what you want it to taste like. Think about the feeling of chewing it, or how it feels to swallow.”

Benji snickered at that, and Patrick flushed. Clearly the innuendo had been accidental that time. He really was adorable. Benji leaned forward and let Patrick put the chocolate in his mouth. It was cool on his tongue, and he thought about it melting and spreading sweet, thick chocolate across his taste buds.

He nearly choked when he realized he wasn’t just remembering the taste of chocolate—he was tasting it.

A grin spread across Patrick’s face. “Right? See? You’re doing it, aren’t you? Now chew it and swallow it.”

Benji did, amazed to find his mouth flooded with saliva that definitely hadn’t been there before. Tears pricked at his eyes, and he blinked quickly to dispel them. What a stupid thing to cry over.

He looked away, but Patrick slid his thumb across Benji’s eyelids, gently collecting the unshed tears. “Hey, no. It’s cool. I get it. It’s a lot.”

Benji took a breath and opened his eyes, grinning into Patrick’s. He brought his hand up and caught Patrick’s, twining their fingers together.

“Let’s watch this movie,” he said. He pulled himself up onto the table, settling in next to Patrick.

“Avengers assemble!” Patrick crowed, and Benji laughed, happiness spreading over him like a blanket.

 

 

It was a good thing that Benji had the bowl full of popcorn to keep himself occupied, because otherwise he’d never have made it through the whole thing without cooing over the adorable furrow between Patrick’s eyebrows that appeared while he craned his entire body toward the screen.

Benji had assumed Patrick would be the kind of guy who talked all the way through a movie, critiquing the acting and special effects or making predictions about what was going to happen next. And maybe he was that kind of guy—Benji would be amazed if he wasn’t, because being a bit of an asshole just seemed to be part of Patrick’s DNA—but Patrick didn’t utter a word through the entire movie.

Patrick gasped when Thanos made his brief appearance in the first end credits, his excitement dancing across his face like a five-year-old at Christmas. He watched with rapt attention, like he was trying to memorize every cast and crew member’s name, and then cracked up when the battle-weary team went for shawarma. He didn’t let Benji speak at all until the entire thing ended and the Netflix menu came up.

“Let’s watch it again.”

That wasn’t exactly what Benji had envisioned Patrick saying to him at the end of their first official date. He’d kind of hoped Patrick would be overcome with emotion and throw himself into Benji’s arms, cursing himself for wasting so much of their time together by running away.

And while any excuse to spend time with Patrick was a good one, even if it didn’t involve Patrick emoting, Benji was dead tired.

Ha. Dead tired. Because he was tired. And dead.

Benji bit back a grin at his unintentional pun. Normally he’d share it with Patrick, but he didn’t want to break up the oddly charged mood with a bad joke.

“Tomorrow, maybe? We could have a movie marathon with the Avengers’ back stories.”

Patrick’s eyes grew comically wide. “There are more Avengers movies?”

Benji rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, yeah. There are a couple Captain America movies, and there’s the Hulk’s movie. Oh, and Thor. And Iron Man, of course. There are a bunch of those.”

Patrick held his hand out imperiously toward the laptop. “Let’s watch them now.”

Benji felt his aura flicker, which he’d learned was the ghostly equivalent of a yawn. He’d expended too much energy setting everything up, plus all the energy he’d used eating the popcorn. As much as he’d like to spend the night watching movies, he needed to sleep.

“I’m glad you liked it, but I’m beat.”

“I can fix that,” Patrick said with a heavy-lidded smirk. He slid across the table, and Benji nearly fell off the edge when Patrick wrapped his arms around him. His nose knocked against Patrick’s collarbone, and he felt a zing of energy rush through him when the soft fabric got pushed aside. Benji couldn’t help but nuzzle in closer, chasing the addictive charge.

Patrick curved around him, pressing open-mouthed kisses against Benji’s neck. “So good like this. I’d forgotten,” he muttered. “Orgasms for everyone, and then we’ll watch more movies.”


Now how about a giveaway for you and your dream date? I’m not giving away one but two $5 USD DSP Gift Certificates! What do you have to do? Tell me about your ideal dream date. Or tell me about the one you had between you and your true love (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever!) And then nominate someone you’d gift with the second DSP certificate! Spread the love to your valentine!


Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of sweeping cinematic adventure—depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and she unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/lexachase


Bru_Headshot

Bru Baker got her first taste of life as a writer at the tender age of four when she started publishing a weekly newspaper for her family. What they called nosiness she called a nose for news, and no one was surprised when she ended up with degrees in journalism and political science and started a career in journalism.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now works in reference and readers’ advisory in a Midwestern library, though she still finds it hard to believe someone’s willing to pay her to talk about books all day. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

www.bru-baker.com
Facebook
Twitter


PS: I’m waaaaay behind with naming giveaway winners from previous dreamer posts! No worries! I’ll be picking them out this week! Watch your inboxes! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

For the Love of Country Music with Remmy Duchene

February 17, 2016

For the Love of Country Music

Hello Everyone!

My name is Remmy Duchene. For those of you who have no clue who I am – here’s a brief rundown. I have an evil day job and by night I dawn a cape and fight crime in Gotham City…wait…no, that’s Batman—sorry about that.  Okay, here goes. I am a Jamaican living in the cold white north who enjoys writing romance and erotica that is infused with a rather healthy dose of cultures. It is true, I do have a day job, but when I can steal time, I love working on stories that entertain me.  Today, I’m here to speak with you about Country Soul, 2nd edition.

In Jamaica, country music was unheard of. I mean sure, we know how Garth Brooks is and a few of us have kind of an idea about Reba McEntire but on a whole, we do Reggae, Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, some hip-hop, maybe a few Latin singers but that’s about it. Then I moved to Canada in the winter time and since I was terrified of the snow (which my mother wanted me to go outside and play in—the nerve of that woman lol), I stayed indoors for the first few days of my move to the new country just flipping through the television channels.

I crashed into CMT (Country Music Televison) to Alannah Myles’ Black Velvet. What a day that was. I went crazy dancing around my living room. To me, this song wasn’t really country—it didn’t fall under the same sound I was used to hearing from Garth Brooks when I was in Jamaica. Still, I fell in love with the sound of Ms. Myles voice so I kept the channel playing all day. From Shania Twain, to Brooks and Dunn and the list went on and on.

As I grew and matured in this new place, country music took on a whole new life. I began listening to it more than I did Reggae. In college I met one of my best friends (I call her Aster) and she is from a place so deep in Ontario, I thought didn’t exist at first. She drives a truck and LOVES country music.  With her by my side, that love of a music so foreign to me, grew into something a little more real and almost obsessive.

It always weirds people out when I’m in let’s say, a Walmart and a country song comes on, and I start singing while strutting up and down the aisles while doing a little dance. Why? It must look super strange watching a black woman, singing something like Conway Twitty.

But I digress—years I was watching Lost In You by Chris Gaines (Garth Brook’s alter ego) on Youtube (thank goodness for Youtube) –and I remember sitting there watching the video over and over because a story idea was forming and each time I watch it, the idea became clearer and clearer. I’m not sure how many times I watched it so the plot bunnies could work but Country Soul formed in that day.

After the first publisher to take Country Soul went under, it almost broke my heart. You see, as writers we pen these tales and even though we love all the stuff we write (to a point) some we adore more than others.  Country Soul is one of those for me. It came from a place of pure sadness—if you listen to this song you will see what I mean.

 

I would like to thank DSP for giving me a second chance to expose this tale to new readers. I really hope you enjoy reading about these two men as much as I enjoyed writing them.

 

Before I go, quick question – for me, my inspiration behind this story was Chris Gaines’ Lost in You.  We all have these songs –you know the ones that rip your heart out and show it to you?  I’m being dramatic but you know what I mean. What song does that for you that you think I MUST listen to? Please comment below.

 

Thanks again for stopping by! Have a lovely day!

Hugs,

Remmy Duchene

Website: http://remmyduchene.wix.com/remmyduchene

Twitter: www.twitter.com/remmyduchene

Blog: http://remmyduchene.blogspot.ca

Check out Country Soul today!

COUNTRY

Blurb: 

When Jackson Rawlings comes out of the closet, he loses everything: from his record label to the self-confidence he needs to perform on stage. Jackson feels as if the world is out to get him. Broken and afraid, he escapes to Hallesford and the ranch he calls home. All he wants is to live out the rest of his life peacefully and out of the spotlight.

But the fates just love interfering in his life.

Marques Lopez is the owner of Phoenix Records, and not only does he hate what happened to Jackson, he feels Jackson Rawlings has plenty more to contribute to the music industry. He ventures into small-town USA to find the singer and when he does, Jackson is a mere fragment of the man he used to be. To make matters worse, Marques’s body and heart step in to present him with a choice between business and pleasure—unless he could have his cake and eat it too….

 

No Smoke Without Fire with Kay Ellis

February 17, 2016

No Smoke Without Fire

In the words of the song – whoa oh, my sex is on fire. Literally, in this case!

Hi, I’m Kay Ellis and I’m here to talk about my latest release, The Fire King. This is the third book in the Evolin series and continues Sully and Tylan’s story. Mostly Sully’s as Tylan is conspicuously absent, assumed to be dead, for most of the book, and Sully’s head is turned by a handsome newcomer.

It first became clear that the fire had its own personality during The Fallen, when Tylan said he thought the fire was in love with Sully. Now, their roles are reversed. Tylan is trapped inside the mind of the fire and the fire is flesh and blood and out to claim Sully for its own.

The evolvement of the fire seemed a natural progression and I liked the idea of giving it human traits and a personality. I’m a great admirer of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, in particular, the character Death. One of my favourite Pratchett books is when Death takes a holiday because he wants to know what it means to be human. I love the part where he gets bored of being drunk so he stops and goes home. Death wants to understand why life is so precious; people will do anything to hold onto it.

In The Fire King, Okhela (aka the fire) wants Sully to teach him to be man. I guess it would be unsettling to any of us to know that our most human traits, mannerisms and odd little habits, are not yours at all, but belong to someone else. Personally, I think I have some habits nobody else would want to lay claim too. I’m rather OCD about a lot of things from not touching the car after I’ve locked it to only using even numbers!

Writing is such a great release for me. It’s good to lose myself in my little fantasy worlds. Right now, I’m working on a piece that is probably half contemporary and half fantasy. It’s a bit of a change for me because it involves an alien invasion!

If we ever were invaded, I would definitely want to hide behind Daryl Dixon and his crossbow. So let’s throw it out there. In the case of an alien invasion, who would you want protecting you and why? Where would you go to escape? My favourite answer will win a copy of either Fireheart or The Fallen, the first books in the Evolin series

Check out Kay Ellis on Facebook!

Get “The Fire King” today!

FireKing[The]

Blurb: 

Sully is summoned back to Maestraad by the entity who took control of Tylan’s body when Tylan perished. This Fire King—now calling himself Okhela—offers Sully a bargain he cannot refuse: if, after six months, Sully fails to fall in love with him, Okhela will return Tylan. The trouble is, as much as Sully wants to hate Okhela, the Fire King rules with wisdom and generosity… and Sully cannot resist the attraction he feels toward the handsome king. Though his heart will always belong to Tylan, Sully gives in to his body’s demands.

But can Sully trust Okhela to keep his word? With assassins on the loose, can Sully keep the Fire King alive long enough to find out? With the future of the kingdom—as well as his heart—at stake, Sully must call upon old friends and new to protect the Fire King, who might hold the keys to both.

 

Embracing the Spark with Nicole Godfrey and A.J. Marcus – Post + Giveaway

February 12, 2016

embracing

Hello! My name is Nicole Godfrey and I’m one half of the author duo who wrote Hoofbeats.

From the beginning this was a story that spoke to my heart. I’ve read a few books with an American Indian as the lead character, and they always left me wanting to write my own. Hoofbeats was not my first, but the concept of a Horse Shifter/Horse Whisperer romance couldn’t be ignored once it took root. Not that I’ve ever been one to ignore a good story idea.

Passing the story back and forth between chapters proved a challenge, but through combined efforts we managed to find a way to tell a story that shows how wild horses are still being destroyed. That became the awareness we wanted to create, intertwined with American Indian mythology, and what could happen if horse shifters originated from one of the Native lines of North America.

The idea came along after I’d done a beta read for A.J. Marcus, my co-author. He wrote a book with three shifters, two big cats and an owl. The owl was a law man of the shifter world, and I thought the concept would be fun to connect several stories in the same universe. The characters have the potential to overlap in the future, but the stories stand on their own. For that reason A.J. and I have plans to writer several more novels with bird shifter enforcers. We are currently working on the second of these novels, starring a pair of golden eagle shifters. Well, in addition to our own solo projects, that is.

I have found that going to a coffee shop, staking out a corner with a tasty beverage, and writing for hours really helps me crank out the word count. The ear buds go in and I listen to a mix of all the different kinds of music I like on Pandora. Being at home generally leads to distractions, even when I’m alone. Coffee shops offer a small amount of social interaction, the opportunity to have writer friends come join me and do work, as well as getting to support local businesses. A well made cup of Joe can be quite inviting, and a change of scenery is never a bad thing either.

Overall, I guess you could say the right set of circumstances can lead you to the spark of an idea, which in turn can lead you to writing stories from your heart. A.J. asked me if I’d like to write a book with him, asked me to come up with ideas for shifters, and that was all it took to push the gears into motion. Generating ideas is my favorite part of writing, which A.J. knew, and shifters have always been a source of fascination for me. I attribute that passion to watching werewolf movies as a kid, specifically American Werewolf in London.

What kinds of movies inspire you? Like A.J. and I, do you have a passion for spreading awareness when it comes to the treatment of wild animals? Or do you have a special source of mythology that tickles your ideas into bold brilliance? Leave your answer in the comments below and we’ll randomly select one to get an e-copy of your choice from A.J.’s back list.

We’d love to hear about it, and how these things influence your choices for reading fiction. Leave a comment and we’ll do our best to address each one. Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy Hoofbeats!

HoofbeatsFS

 

Blurb:

After a run of bad luck, gifted horse trainer Cole Frasier thinks he’s lost his touch. When he’s offered three times his normal rate to gentle a stallion, he needs the money badly enough he jumps at the opportunity, even if his boss is of questionable morality.

Once he meets Midnight Blood, he knows there’s something special about the horse, but he doesn’t know how special until he begins sharing dreams with the magnificent steed.

Derek Dancing Hawk is a horse shifter trapped in his horse form due to guilt over losing the wild herd he was guarding. When he meets Cole, as Midnight Blood, he wants to find a way to be human again. During a fight between Cole and the ranch foreman, he manages to shift and save Cole, but his transformation from horse to human is captured on camera. This not only gives Cole’s boss blackmail material, but also creates the need to warn the horse shifter council of the threat to their anonymity. The existence of shifters is a closely guarded secret, one they will go to great lengths to keep.

Check out Hoofbeats today!

Author Bios:

A.J. has been writing to pass the time since high school. The stories he wrote helped him deal with life. A few years ago, he started sharing those stories with friends who enjoyed them and he has started sending his works out into the world to share with other people. He lives in the mountains with his extremely supportive husband. They have a lot of critters, including dogs, cats, birds, horses, and rabbits. When not writing, A.J. spends a lot of time hiking, trail riding or just driving in the mountains. Nature provides a lot of inspiration for his work and keeps him writing. He is also an avid photographer and falconer. Don’t get him started talking about his birds, because he won’t stop for a while.

Web Contact Info:

Website: www.ajmarcus.com
Email: andy@ajmarcus.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aj_marcus
Facebook: http:// www.facebook.com/authorajmarcus

 

Nicole Godfrey is a writer who calls the beautiful city of Colorado Springs home, along with her fury children. She was born in Omaha, NE. and has lived in Florida and Tennessee. Her writing career started with poetry at a young age, leading to her first publication at the age of twelve. Poetry eventually evolved into the love of storytelling, and any good story, no matter the genre, is open to her creative mind. She has two short stories published through Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group; A Page Lost in An Uncommon Collection, and The Power of the Word in Remnants and Resolutions: Tales of Survival.
When she’s not writing, Nicole actively participates in Amtgard and loves to play table-top RPG’s. Art has also been a part of her life since a young age, so she spends as much time as possible playing with different mediums.

https://www.facebook.com/authornicolegodfrey1983/?ref=br_rs
authornicolegodfrey@gmail.com
@NicoleGodfrey

My Hometown & the Setting for Mute Witness

February 12, 2016

Mute_Witness_Final

If any of my family or anyone I grew up with reads Mute Witness (published by Dreamspinner’s sister house, DSP Publications and out on February 3, 2016), they’ll know I based the town in the book, Summitville, PA, on my own hometown of East Liverpool, OH.

In the book, I describe Summitville like this:

As Sean drove through the streets of Summitville, with their curves and rises as the concrete mapped out a destination on the hills, he couldn’t help but think what a contrast the little city presented: the beauty of the hills, rising up above the town, tree-covered, the Ohio River twisting through its valley, all scarred by the evidence of human habitation. The houses perched, clinging to the hillsides, most of them in need of paint or repair, the rusting carcasses of cars littering many of the driveways. People, too poor to afford air conditioning, sat on front porch stoops fanning themselves, staring dumbly at the traffic passing their homes. Sean wondered why he even bothered to live there. He was a good, if not great, writer, passable enough to maybe not write the great American novel as he had once dreamed of doing, but adequate enough to at least work at a larger newspaper in someplace like Pittsburgh or maybe even Chicago. But he knew the reason he stayed. And it wasn’t because his roots were here. Nor was it because of Austin, whom he had once figured would be happy to pull up stakes and follow him anywhere. Nor was it because of his job, which valued his writing ability at the majestic sum of $32,000 per year.

No, he stayed because of Jason. To be near his little boy. The only child he would ever have. He wanted to watch his son grow up, to shepherd him to adulthood, to make sure he grew up compassionate….

An article on rustwire.com “East Liverpool and the Unforgiving Economy of Rural Appalachia”, (from 2014) describes East Liverpool today sadly, yet accurately. Just a disclaimer—this little town is where my roots and most of my family and some dear old friends are, so I don’t mean to disparage, but only to illuminate my inspiration for the fictional town of Summitville. I think it’s interesting to see how a kind of grim story arose from these grim surroundings.

But, like the fictional town and the real one, and the book and real life, where hope lives, redemption can arise. Read for yourself and see.

448_IMG_2555_adjusted

“About 100 miles Southeast of Cleveland, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, along the Ohio River sits the small city of East Liverpool, Ohio. Once known as the pottery capitol of the world, many of the China and glassware factories have closed, as have the steel mills where many East Liverpool residents once worked. In its heyday during World War II, almost 50,000 people lived in East Liverpool. Today the city’s population tops off at just above 10,000.

“Nearly 30 percent of all residents live below the poverty level. The per capita income is just more than $16,000. The unemployment rate is 13 percent. It’s a city where almost every second or third house seems to be abandoned, and not just abandoned. Some are burnt out. Some are falling down. The locals talk about the incessant and merciless drug traffic. They say dealers have come up to the city from the east coast – having found a robust market for heroin and other opiates. The drug trade wreaks constant havoc on the streets. In late September, five people were shot there in a single night.”

BLURB

The abuse of a little boy turns a community against a loving gay couple, and nobody comes out of it unscathed.

Sean and Austin have the perfect life: new love, a riverfront home, security. Their love for one another is only multiplied when Sean’s eight-year-old son, Jason, visits on the weekends.

And then their perfect world shatters.

Jason goes missing.

When the boy turns up days later, he’s been so horribly abused he’s lost the power to speak. Immediately small town minds turn to the boy’s gay father and his lover as the likely culprits. What was a warm, welcoming community becomes a lynching party out for blood.

As Sean and Austin struggle to stay together amidst innuendo, the very real threat of Sean losing the son he loves emerges. Yet the true villain is much closer to home, intent on ensuring the boy’s muteness is permanent.

 BUY
DSP Publications ebook: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/mute-witness-by-rick-r-reed-206-b
DSP Publications paperback: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/mute-witness-by-rick-r-reed-207-b

Note: When you buy the paperback from DSP Publications, you get the ebook for FREE.

NOH8Rick

RICK R. REED is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.”

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

FIND RICK:

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER
Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/
Website: www.rickrreed.com
Email: jimmyfels@gmail.com

 

Do Not Read When Hungry: Guest Post for the release of Ghosts with Jackie Keswick

February 11, 2016

Do Not Read When Hungry

Hi everyone, this is Jackie Keswick – writing from England, where it’s damp and grey and chilly. Just the weather to stay indoors with a huge mug of hot chocolate and a good book. I’ve come out to hang out with all of you, though, and I’m very pleased to be here since it’s the release day of Ghosts, the second instalment in The Power of Zero series.

GhostsFS

Ghosts is the book I hadn’t actually planned to write. Until quite a few of you asked about Nico and Daniel, the boys Jack and Gareth rescue from a pimp in Job Hunt. The questions got me wondering what was happening with Jack, Gareth and the boys between the end of Job Hunt in October and the beginning of House Hunt in April. So Ghosts turned into a bit of a bridge between the two longer books, and into a contemplation of families and Jack and Gareth’s relationship. It’s set between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and before I do anything else, I need to warn you: do not read Ghosts when hungry!

Because there’s food. Delicious food. And lots of it.

You see, growing up hungry has left Jack Horwood with an appreciation for good food. Which plays right into the hands of Gareth Flynn, who takes looking after people damned serious. And who loves nothing better than to hang out in his kitchen after a hard day’s work.

Gareth has another endearing habit, one he developed during his time in the Army. Every Christmas he holds an Open House, a Christmas dinner for anyone who can’t make it home, can’t cook or would otherwise be alone. It’s a celebration for the family he’s made for himself over the years, and it gives him the chance to spend the coldest, darkest parts of December in the kitchen surrounded by relishes, pickles and chutneys, mince pies, fruit cake and chocolate truffles, clove-studded, honeyed hams, Cumberland Sauce, roast goose and venison pie.

It’s all a far cry from Jack’s way of celebrating Christmas, which usually consists of brewing a large pot of coffee, settling down to work and ignoring the whole circus completely. Not surprising for a man who associates Christmas with unpleasant life changes. Jack lost his home on Christmas Even when he was eleven. Years later, he almost lost Gareth and that failure still haunts him. As for family… don’t go there. Jack really doesn’t want to remember the scariest, loneliest Christmas he’s ever spent. It’s much easier to leave those ghosts well buried.

Except now there’s Gareth and Gareth values family. He makes no distinction between the family he was born to and the family he’s made for himself – something Jack finds tricky to wrap his head around. Being there for Nico and Daniel distracts him from the stuff that makes no sense, and of course he’ll never say no to sampling Gareth’s cooking.

I blog about English history and traditional English food in my other life, so writing Ghosts was pure indulgence for me. It gave me a chance to dig out my favourite recipes and experiment a little, never mind that it was the middle of summer. One of the dishes Gareth makes for his Christmas Eve dinner with Jack is this stunning looking, smelling and tasting celeriac soup that’s rather boldly labelled “Christmas” in my mind, but is too delicious not to share. If you live in the northern hemisphere, then celeriac is very much at its best right now and well worth cooking with. So imagine it’s Christmas and cold out – or simply stick your nose out the door to remind yourself – and then turn your kitchen into orange-and-fennel-scented heaven.

© Vivilweb | Dreamstime.com

Here’s what you need to feed maybe six… though I’m sure Jack can polish off most of that quantity without breaking a sweat.

- The peel from half an orange (leave as much of the white pith behind as you can manage)
- 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced thinly
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 6-8 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 head celeriac (about 1kg or so), peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon sugar (soft, brown if you have it)
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- 250ml dry white wine
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
- To serve:  a handful of chopped parsley, a few spoonfuls of double cream

 

First, dry the orange peel in a medium oven. This takes about 30-40 minutes and your kitchen will smell like Christmas and good things. Don’t let it burn.

Next, heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan and soften the leeks, carrot, garlic and red pepper. You want a medium heat under the pot and the vegetables should be soft-ish after about 10 minutes.

Now add the fennel seeds, saffron, orange peel, celeriac and sugar and fry for about 5 minutes until the celeriac is nicely coated and you can smell the fennel. Then add the stock and another glug of olive oil and simmer briskly until the celeriac is soft. 30 minutes should do it.

When the celeriac is almost there, add the wine and the parsley stalks. Cook for a couple more minutes, then blend the soup and push it through a sieve. Add a couple of spoonfuls of cream and the chopped parsley, plus salt to taste. You should be left with something velvety soft, gorgeously coloured and tasting like… mmmmh.

So that’s the soup taken care of.  And what of Valentine’s Day? Is the pink festival as off the menu for Jack as Christmas? Or is Gareth whipping up something special? Well… maybe. See if you can guess and let me know what you think. For now, I’ll keep mum on that one, except to say that love comes in all shapes and sizes. And sometimes it’s heart-shaped.

Get your copy of Ghosts today! 

Blurb:

The Power of Zero: Book Two

Jack Horwood doesn’t do families. Or Christmas. From the time his mother sold him to her pimp to the moment he walked out on the man he loved, Christmas has always been about change and painful choices. This year seems no different. Helping Daniel and Nico recover from their imprisonment and hunting down those responsible puts Jack in a frame of mind he doesn’t want to inflict on anyone. Least of all Gareth and the tentative relationship they’ve started to rebuild.

But Gareth, for whom Christmas is all about new beginnings, won’t let Jack take the easy way out. He makes him face his ghosts instead. Even when said ghosts invade their bedroom.

When Daniel’s parents are found, Jack is determined to settle the matter without involving Daniel at all. But fate decrees otherwise, and it’s Gareth who helps him finally understand that the strongest bonds are those forged together. Once he gets that, Jack can step up and make a decision designed to lay his ghosts to rest—for good.

 

About Jackie Keswick:

She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

When she’s not working or writing, she… doesn’t exercise. Instead, she cooks and researches English history and traditional English recipes. She has a thing for green eyes, all things suede and cyclist’s tight butts, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for anything and everything, including her characters and the cat. And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places.

Be Your Valentine with Xara X. Xanakas

February 10, 2016

It’s that time again. Valentines’ Day. Chalky hearts, boxes of chocolates, flowers. Commercials hawking the perfect piece of jewellery. Restaurants featuring special, guaranteed romantic meals. If you’re anything like me, you’re already over it. Don’t get me wrong, I love romance. It’s just… a bit much. Cram an entire year’s worth of wining and dining into one day, and do it bigger than the next person.

If you have someone special in your life, for the love of Dog, don’t wait for that one day to show them. Make sure they know, every day, that you love them. That you’re there for them. That they’re it for you. Why not go different this year? Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

http://www.yourtango.com/201167466/9-unconventional-valentines-day-ideas

http://www.details.com/story/8-clich-busting-valentines-day-ideas

http://indexdigital.co.uk/10-top-alternative-valentines-day-ideas/

http://www.cheapism.com/blog/4101/what-to-do-for-valentines-day

http://www.refinery29.com/alternative-valentines-day-ideas

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mallorymcinnis/you-repulse-me-the-least#.gbZKrjY4l

 

You may find yourself at a Singles Party, helpfully set up by one of your Valentine’s loving friends. Make sure you’re prepared:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2013/02/14/the-top-20-grammatical-pick-up-lines-for-valentines-day/

http://www.pickuplinesgalore.com/valentinesday.html

https://pickupline.net/holiday-themed-pick-up-lines/valentines-day-pick-up-lines/

http://www.gotlines.com/lines/cheesy.php

 

If you know someone who is staunchly Anti-Valentines, here’s some gifts you could surprise them with. Maybe you’ll make a convert out of them.

http://giftcanyon.com/anti-valentines-gifts/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/down-with-v-day#.mdBrQ0MgJ

http://nerdist.com/6-movies-for-people-who-hate-valentines-day/

http://www.oddee.com/item_97438.aspx

http://www.hexjam.com/uk/news/9-incredible-anti-valentine-s-day-presents

 

If you don’t have someone, then take the day to spoil the one person you absolutely cannot live without: YOURSELF. Be as selfish as you want. You deserve it, just as much as the next couple. Here’s some tips:

http://toomuchonherplate.com/10-selfcare-tips-valentines-day/

http://www.yourtango.com/experts/kanya-daley/3-things-you-must-do-if-you-re-single-valentine-s-day

https://thegirlwhoknows.com/be-your-own-valentine/

 

Don’t let some marketer’s idea of ‘romantic’ make the rules for your life. So what if your Valentines doesn’t look like the idealized versions they wave in your face. Only you have the right to define what works for you.

 

~xXx~

Wild Foxes, Hampshire Woods and London Grammar with Lane Swift – Post + Giveaway

February 10, 2016

Wild Foxes, Hampshire Woods and London Grammar

Hi! I’m Lane Swift, and I’m excited to be able to share some of the things that inspired the writing of my newly-released novella, Dormant Heart.

About a year ago, someone on my Facebook feed linked to an article posted on “We The Urban,” a Tumblr account dedicated to fashion and art, showcasing the photography of Katerina Plotnikova.

The photographs were amazing. Plotinikova had photographed models in fairytale-like poses with various animals, from foxes to bears to snakes. They were romantic and utterly compelling. A friend of mine, similarly moved, left a comment on the Facebook post along the lines of, “I need the story! Except with a man, and he can’t speak.”

Check out the photographs here!

I don’t know what possessed me to think I could write that story, except that I had building work going on in my house at the time, and I was stressed, and looking for a light-hearted project to work on. In the end, that obscure plot bunny became Dormant Heart and it turned out rather deeper and more emotional than I thought it would.

It was an easy decision to set Dormant Heart in the woods on the South Downs, which are a few miles from where I live in Hampshire, in the south of England, and somewhere that I regularly cross-country run. England is a small country, and it might be hard to believe that it’s possible to get lost in our tiny stretches of countryside. Believe me, it is. Only last weekend, I got lost in the woods on a run and ended up trespassing on a country estate, in the middle of a shooting range, a field away from a huge herd of deer!

Once I had the setting, Josh had to have a reason for being lost in the woods with a camera. That was as much as I had of a plan!

I’d intended to write a short story, 20k words maximum, told entirely from Josh’s point of view. But as Callum started to evolve as a character, I realized he needed a “voice,” so to speak. So, the second half of the story was written from Callum’s point of view, and the word count went up to 30k. Then my first reader told me that I’d ended the story too soon—and there were other scenes that needed more detail. By the end, this short story had grown into a novella of 50k words. Almost a novel! All that, through banging and drilling and regular interruptions for cups of tea and biscuits (English builders really do need to be fed and watered every couple of hours).

DormantHeartFS

Ordinarily, I like to work in silence. However, I always, always make a playlist for whatever story I’m writing, and use it to get me into a mood, or zone. I might play the music while I’m running, or doing things like driving, housework or cooking. For Dormant Heart, I listened almost exclusively to London Grammar, particularly their songs, “Hey Now” (the live KEXP version on Youtube is stunning), “Wasting My Young Years” and “Night Call” (a Kavinsky cover).

I like a wide variety of music, from many eras, and usually my playlists feature at least ten or fifteen songs, each from different artists. But London Grammar’s songs seemed to completely capture the mood of this story, most especially Callum’s mental state. I have no doubt that in this instance, the music definitely shaped the direction the story took, and inspired its overall tone. Again, this wasn’t what I was expecting to happen. London Grammar’s musical style isn’t one I usually listen to—it’s described as ambient or trip hop (don’t ask me to explain what that is!). Nonetheless, I haven’t tired of their sound, despite the hundreds, maybe thousands, of times I’ve listened to their songs since April last year.

(I did also listen to Don Henley’s song, “Boys of Summer” more than several times. You’ll find out why if you read the story!)

***

What about you? I’d love for you to tell me about a song that has inspired or inspires you, and in what way. Leave your answer in a comment before 14th February for a chance to win a $10 credit for Dreamspinner Press.

***

Check out Dormant Heart here!

Blurb:

Amateur photographer Josh Thornton is out but not so proud. He’s estranged from his family, his boyfriend dumped him, and his job at an estate agency is in jeopardy—especially after he crashes his boss’s car in the middle of nowhere on his way to Hartley Manor.

Callum Black works at the English country estate and lives there in an isolated cottage. Left mute by a childhood accident, he’s more comfortable in the company of animals than people. But when Josh—literally—crashes into his life with his camera and his friendship, Callum realizes his peaceful solitude has been more than a little lonely.

Josh’s affection for Callum deepens even as he’s consumed by doubts over Callum’s sexuality and whether Callum could ever love him. And Callum is haunted by the secret that stole his voice—a secret that keeps him tethered to Hartley Manor. When the past comes hurtling painfully back into the present, Josh and Callum have to overcome their fears and breathe life back into their dormant hearts in order to have a chance at their own picture-perfect future.

 

You can find out more about me, Lane Swift, at:

Website: http://laneswift.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lane.swift.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaneSwift

Or you can email me at mrslaneswift@gmail.com

 

Whippersnapper: My First Southern Novel by Michael Rupured

January 29, 2016

Whippersnapper- My First Southern Novel

Hey y’all! Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michael Rupured, author of Whippersnapper—a new release from Dreamspinner Press. I’m mighty pleased to meet you.

I was born in North Carolina, grew up in Kentucky, and for going on twenty years now, have called Georgia my home. Whether by accident or design, a touch of Southern flavors everything I write. Whippersnapper reeks of the stuff.

My earlier books aren’t all that Southern. A desire to show how much gay life has changed in my lifetime motivated me to write them. The semi-historical stories take place in Washington, DC and New York City. Though below the Mason-Dixon line, diehard Confederates haven’t considered DC a Southern city since the War of Northern Aggression.

Writing about real people, places, and events created a lot of extra work and stress. Concern about getting things right kept me awake at night. After Happy Independence Day, I wanted to write something less constrained by matters of fact.

Mom suggested a funny story. She’s my biggest fan and has enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout my previous novels. The multi-talented Charlie Cochet suggested a contemporary story about a May-December romance where the older guy talks about how things have changed. The more I thought about it, the more the idea appealed to me. Whippersnapper was born.

Whippersnapper is a contemporary story set in Fallisville, Kentucky—a fictional town midway between Lexington and Cincinnati. None of the characters are real people. Making everything up made Whippersnapper the most fun I’ve had with a writing project since a college creative writing class I took forty years ago.

Two gay men see each other at the gym. Crotchety Oliver Crumbly is set in his ways and bitter after a string of failed relationships. Tellumo Magnamater has a thing for older men and likes what he sees in Oliver. Unfortunately, Tellumo exemplifies everything Oliver hates about the younger generation.

Peggy Tucker also sees Tellumo and Oliver at the gym, but she has no idea they are gay. Determined to marry again, Peggy sets her sights on Oliver, one of the few eligible bachelors in Fallisville.

The premise still cracks me up.

I should clarify that Whippersnapper is NOT an MMF story. Tellumo might be open to the idea, but Oliver wouldn’t stand for it, and Peggy—an active member of the Trinity Baptist Church, for Christ’s sake—has never been that kind of girl.

Do our three protagonists find love? Who lives happily ever after? I’m not telling. To find out, you’ll have to read the book. Tellumo, Oliver, and Peggy will show you around Fallisville, introduce you to their friends and family, and fill you in on the rest of the story.

An appropriate setting is one of many characteristics of the Southern novel. Fallisville fits the bill. What else do you expect to see in a Southern novel? Leave your answer in a comment for a chance to win a $10 credit from Dreamspinner Press.

Find out more about me and my books at http://rupured.com. Connect via Twitter (@crotchetyman), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichaelRupured/), or by email (mrupured@gmail.com).

Whippersnapper

 

Check out Whippersnapper today!