Memory and Imagination with George Seaton

September 12, 2016

Memory and Imagination

Greetings! I’m George Seaton, and I’m happy to be here because Dreamspinner Press has been so kind as to publish and release my novella, “Shane Thorpe Knew Jesus and Rode Bulls.” A long title, but an apt one given the storyline. This novella was submitted for the States of Love submission call which asked for stories specific to an American state. I chose Texas. (As an aside, I believe it was two fellow Colorado authors, Caitlin Ricci, and A. M. Burns, who suggested this themed project to Dreamspinner.)

 

Here’s the blurb:

Eighteen-year-old Joe Vasquez leaves Denver for Texas with Harley Bray, the cow kid who never fit in at their high school. In spite of discovering there’s another side to Harley’s natures—occasional “withdrawals” from roadside convenience stores, a nefarious skill he teaches Joe—Joe shares Harley’s dream of riding bulls and a life together on the Texas plains outside of Abilene. A life that will hopefully see the fulfillment of another of Joe’s dreams—to become a veterinarian.

When a rank bull kills Harley in a rodeo in Longview, Texas, Joe accepts an offer from another bull rider, Shane Thorpe, to partner up and ride the circuit together. The problem is that the blond-haired, blue-eyed Shane found Jesus a long time ago, and he’s torn between his faith and his attraction to Joe. As they make their way across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona to their final top on the circuit at the National Western Rodeo in Denver, Joe bides his time for what he hopes will be a relationship with Shane as fulfilling as the one he’d had with Harley. His hope for the future, however, are challenged along the way when he discovers that his “withdrawals” have captured the attention of a very dedicated Texas Ranger.

 

That’s the gist of the story without the twists and turns it takes. And certainly without the development of the characters, which is something I think storytelling cannot do without. I fell in love with character development when I first read Charles Dickens—a master of that essential component to all stories worthy of reading.

I had already finished nearly half a story about two young men infatuated with bull riding who happened to live in Texas when Dreamspinner issued the States of Love submission call. Little of the first half changed as I completed the manuscript for submission. Suffice it to say, I was thrilled when Dreamspinner accepted it for publication.

When I tell my husband, David, about story plots I’m working on, he always says, “How do you come up with that stuff?”

My usual response is simply raising my arms, my palms outstretched, and saying, “I don’t know. It’s just there.”

Actually, I do know where it comes from. I think an author has two primary tools—memory and imagination.

We all know what imagination is. As I wrote in a short story not long ago here’s what imagination gives us: “I have a friend who writes in the erotic romance genre. Several years ago he found a publisher for his stuff who just adored his boy-meets-boy, boy-fucks-boy, boys-live-happily-ever-after storylines that defy real life scenarios to the point that he is now interjecting shifters, zombies, vampires, dreary dystopian sagas, and Apocalyptic backdrops into his writing. Suffice it to say, his publisher didn’t bat an eye when he lately presented her with one-hundred thousand words about a beaver humping a muskrat, the critter timing his thrusts to the thump, thump, thump of a steam engine that somehow, in some way powers the production of greenery upon a landscape leveled by the unfortunate effects of several hundred-thousand kilotons of atomic energy released three hundred years prior. I believe it’s called speculative fiction.”

Then there’s memory. For me, memory is the font I dip into for characterization. All of our experiences, whether sight, sound, touch, or smell are cataloged somewhere in our brains (though I read years ago that lab experiments theorized that memory is not in any one place in the brain, but may well reside within the entirety of the organism). Our first love, the loss of a family member, a dog or cat, joy, the smell of onions and green peppers in the frying pan, the sound of a child’s laughter, the sensate reaction to danger, how we perceive the Grand Canyon the first time we see it, the sight of a dead body, the spread of the stars and planets above in a place with no ambient light, the lilt of an Oklahoman’s or Texan’s voice; all of this and so much more is who we are and, for an author, provide the components of characterization. From my memory, I give my characters the traits, idiosyncrasies, movements, expressions, voices, odors and aromas, and certainly, appearances that I’ve cataloged in those overstuffed file cabinets, I keep in my brain for just such a purpose. And, thankfully, I’m able to convey through words what I see in my memory.

As readers, and probably some authors, too, I’m curious what you find interesting or even fascinating about an author’s ability to make a character come alive? How thoroughly do you want to know what makes a character tick?

Once again, I’m grateful that Dreamspinner Press chose to publish this little story.

Website: http://www.gmseatonauthor.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/george.seaton
Twitter: @GeorgeSeaton

Check out Shane Thorpe Knew Jesus and Rode Bulls today!

Shane Thorpe Knew Jesus and Rode Bulls

Coming Home to Sylvan by Jan Irving

August 27, 2016

Coming Home to Sylvan

I’m Jan Irving and a Westener as well as a long-time author. I think that’s why I love to write books set in small towns like those I experienced growing up.

Sylvan, the fictional setting for my anthology of four country stories, is actually also a real country lake town I spent summers in growing up. I walked to the well to get water. We had an outhouse, and no plumbing. You took a bath under a hose or in the lake. And when a summer storm hit, you put pillows on the windows so the glass didn’t shatter from a lightning blast.

I think that the appeal of country life is it puts us in touch with the real rhythms of life. Since I recently moved back to the country, I’m totally aware of this. Bio-regional eating? Oh, yeah. You eat what is in season out here. I go to farmer’s markets twice a week—and often just to the farmers themselves. My flowers come from roadside stands with honor system rusty cans you put your cash into. When you get hot weather, you can smell cow manure coming up from the valley.

There’s an honesty to living in tune with what is truly the real world on our planet. People are, it’s true, friendlier and likely to be a lot more nosy.

Recently I won a bouquet of flowers in the country fair. And everyone in town was saying they’d seen that picture! I had never enjoyed such publicity.

Jan Irving Contest Winner

Wilde Wunder Gardens Contest Winner Jan Irving

I first wrote the Sylvan stories, Sylvan, the story of a down-on-his-luck ex Olympic athlete named Mal and a carpenter  named Leif nine years ago when I was struggling with a diagnosis of dementia for my mother. Like the character Leif, in the story, my parent was my best friend. It hit me hard and I became pretty depressed. So I wrote the story to get some of those feelings out, letting Leif experience them. The story offered me a surprising healing.

I wrote Luke as almost a light hearted comic romance. A cowboy wakes up on a wrinkled bed with a hangover…and discovers a baby lying beside him! What now? Turns out she’s his from a one-night stand. Luke has no idea how to care for a baby. Fortunately Morgan is the town doctor in Sylvan and he offers Luke not only support but a place to live. And of course, Luke the cowboy is going to be attracted to Morgan, a polished Bostonian. Opposites attract.

Nate is another story of healing. A young cowhand helps a father with a mute son to find each other again. It’s my own favorite.

I had long wanted to write a sequel to Luke, called Luke’s Baby and see how my men were progressing. Life keeps moving on and sometimes love can be shattered. I did something terrible to my guys in the new novella and then left them to pick up the pieces. It was an intense story that had me in tears the entire time I wrote it—which was one day since I couldn’t stop writing.

Shortly after I wrote Luke’s Baby, my mother passed away. And Sylvan again offered me a lot of comfort as I did my edits and reread the stories.

I also found myself rereading classic favorite books for about a month, reaching for that solace that only books can provide.

Have readers here experienced that, gone through an intense time and only found comfort in reading? I’d love to hear your stories.

You can find me at my website: www.janirvingwrites

And on facebook: Janice Irving

Check out Sylvan today!

SylvanCollection

Blurb: 

Return to small-town Sylvan in Jan Irving’s bestselling series—reimagined and re-edited with an all-new bonus novella.

The small Western town of Sylvan is a place for new beginnings for those who won’t settle for anything less than true love. These sweet tales of slow-simmering romance and the old-fashioned values of commitment and pulling together when times get tough prove that sometimes the best matches are also the most unexpected.

With the help of a storm, a washed-up Olympic swimmer and a carpenter cracking under the strain of caring for his Alzheimer’s-affected father learn that opposites sometimes really do attract.

A likable cowboy called Happy Nate is determined to help a mute boy speak again—and to help his father move beyond the repression of the Mennonite community to find the love he deserves.

When a hard-partying cowboy is suddenly saddled with a surprise baby, he’s at his wit’s end. Luckily the local doctor is available to help, and if the two men can find the courage to accept themselves and step into a new life, they might just make a real family. They’ll need to lend each other strength when an unspeakable tragedy strikes—and when it’s time to pick up the pieces.

Gratitude for Second Chances with K-lee Klein

August 3, 2016

Gratitude for Second Chances

Hi I’m K–Lee, I’m new to Dreamspinner Press, and I’m really excited to be here. I guess I’m new and old at the same time because to use Brett Taylor’s voice, “This ain’t my first rodeo.”

Unbreak My Heart goes live on August 5. It’s my first book with Dreamspinner and since it’s a re-release, it’s been meticulously re-edited with a few add-ons and tie-ups to some scenes and interactions between characters. I’m so happy to know that it will soon be available to readers, in this new, even-better version.

You see, this book is my own personal favorite, and in 2013 it was my first book with a new and excellent small publisher, who sadly closed their doors earlier this year. That was heartbreaking, not only for the grief of losing a company that I considered to be my family, but for the loss of so many other friends and family members in the form of my characters in books that went out of print. I can tell you that when you lose a publisher and your books vanish off retailers’ shelves, it feels like they’ve disappeared off the face of the earth. They will no longer be swimming in the online ocean and no one new will be able to meet those beloved characters or read their struggles.  Basically, it’s like starting from scratch to get your books back into play.

Self-publishing was an option for me, but not for Unbreak My Heart. It’s special and meaningful and I couldn’t even think about it simply disappearing, or being released imperfectly in my early attempts to figure out self-pub. Brett Taylor and JT Campbell are the most important characters I’ve written to date—that’s to say, they are closest to my heart. (Something we definitely won’t tell the rest of my guys.) I had also already written and published four sequels for Brett & JT and if the original book in the series wasn’t safe, the others would be lost as well. So it was a great comfort when Dreamspinner offered to give Brett and JT a new home.

I have Cody Kennedy to thank for helping me find the courage to submit the manuscript to Dreamspinner for re-release in the first place. He was with me every step of the way, a real trooper in my corner when I was afraid to try. Thank you, Cody. Of course, I highly doubted the book would be accepted, but when I received the contract from Elizabeth North, I’m certain that I squealed like a teenager at a One a Direction concert or me at a photo op with Sebastian Stan.

13423985_10153550038972793_381138425107203478_n

It could be said that Dreamspinner Press stepped-in to unbreak my heart. You know I had to go there.

I have to thank my publisher for giving me the chance to work with and have an actual cover designed by the fabulous Reese Dante. Her art sweetened the pot to cavity-prone proportions. I also had the best experience working with my new editor, Sue Adams. So here’s a shout-out to Reese and Sue for being helping me so much during this new beginning. I’m excited about being part of this publishing family and the excellent attention and assistance I’ve already been given. I’m also thrilled to have the opportunity to have my book translated and possibly turned into an audio book—I will admit this is an ultimate dream for me.

So if I haven’t mentioned it enough yet, I couldn’t be more grateful to see Unbreak My Heart up for pre-sale on the Dreamspinner site. It’s surreal and awesome and so many other words you don’t want to hear me go on and on about.

Before I go, I’d like to offer a giveaway of an ebook copy of on my backlist to one lucky commenter. Since Unbreak My Heart is a book about second chances, tell me about a second chance you’ve been grateful for in your life or even something you’d like to get another shot at. Leave your second chance memory and an email address in the comments section below.

So that’s it for me. Thanks for stopping by and whether you’re a new reader to the series or have already being introduced to Brett and JT, I hope you enjoy their little world. Peace out.

 

Check out Unbreak My Heart today!

UnbreakMyHeart_postcard_front_DSP

Dreamspinner Press

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All Romance ebooks 

Kobo

Goodreads

Blurb:

Brett Taylor’s world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he’s starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it’s time to move on. They’re flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he’s doing just fine. He doesn’t want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude.

JT Campbell’s world has been defined by his parents’ money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he’s desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett’s failing ranch. It’s supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone’s savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can’t help wanting this gruff and grieving man.

JT’s mind knows it’s a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett’s rough and broken exterior. Brett’s not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett’s world to unbreak his heart.

Bio:

K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

Places to find K-lee.

Website – kleeklein.com
Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/

BA Tortuga’s Thoughts on Love, Luck, and Loss

June 24, 2016

BA tortuga's

I’m writing this blog post the day after the tragedy at The Pulse in Orlando, and I have to tell you, I don’t know what to say.

It’s my job to say the right things – to be charming and clever and a little ribald. It’s my job to be down-to-earth, a little sexy, a little funny. It’s my job to tell y’all that happy endings can be real. I’m supposed to cheer on my book and shake my pompoms and be the happy little goofball redneck that all y’all know.

I can’t.

I cannot do that right now.

Happy endings can be real. I know this. I am unbearably aware of my own luck that I am married to the woman I love more than I can bear. I’m lucky that my son is still with us. Happy endings can be real.

Today that luck is draped in sorrow.

Today I’m in mourning. Today I look at the blank page and I cry for all those kids that died because someone else didn’t approve of who they loved. Today I don’t have charming or clever. Hell, today I don’t have words.

Today I have tears.

Today my heart is broken. Today I’m furious that my family has been attacked. Today I’m sending love to those left behind – the ones with empty arms, the ones with injuries, the ones crying for reasons so much more immediate.

I write books about happy endings. I will continue to do so. The world needs happy endings and I do believe. I believe that each and every one of us deserves our happy ending. That’s why I do what I do. It’s my job, it’s my joy, and it’s my calling.

Too bad there are so many people who keep stealing them from us.

Much love, y’all. Seriously. Much love.

BA Tortuga

 

Want to help the victims of Pulse? Check out the GoFundMe campaign and donate!

 
 
 
 
 

***

Mud, Movies, Bullets, and Bulls

MudMoviesBulletsandBulls_postcard_front_DSP

Official blurb: Four men in need of a helping hand….

When a cowboy finds he has grit in all the wrong places, what is he to do? Meet the man of his dreams, of course. But what will save two cowboys from getting bogged down in the mire?

An ex-rodeo cowboy who hates working with Hollywood actors meets a movie star who is looking for something real. Will they get a happy ending, just like in the movies?

A redneck ends up injured and stranded, and his old friend comes to the rescue. It’s the old story of the one that got away. What will they do to keep each other in their lives—and will it be too late?

A professional bull rider is starting to feel his age. When he’s injured far from home and his career is threatened, it’s up to his best friend to step in and point out the other options. Both men have plans—but will they include each other?

 

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

 

You can find BA at:

Website: http:www.batortuga.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/batortuga
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/batortuga/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/batortuga
Blogger: http://batortuga.blogspot.com/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/batortuga/
Tumblr: http://batortuga.tumblr.com/

 

BA Tortuga bio:

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

 

A Pictorial Emotional Thesaurus AKA The Many Faces of a Cowboy w/ BA Tortuga

March 15, 2016

A Pictorial Emotional Thesaurus

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and daughter to the best daddy in the history of daddies.

Y’all, Lew Squires. Lew Squires, y’all.

My daddy helped me out with a lovely pictorial layout of the many emotions of a cowboy.

Here goes:

 

SORROW

 

JOY

 

LUST

 

 

AGONY

 

 

WORRY

 

 

FURY

 

 

WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER READS HER M/M SEX SCENES ALOUD

 

Much love, y’all.

BA

 

Trial by Fire blurb:

One Aussie. One Texan. One baby. One hell of a fight.

When his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, Aussie cattle station owner Lachlan McCoughney rushes to Texas to rescue their infant daughter, Chloe. He expects to find his niece living in squalor with the Sheffields, a rodeo family.

Instead, Lachlan finds Holden Sheffield, a salt-of-the-earth cowboy running a huge business operation. They want to explore their mutual attraction despite the many problems thrown their way, and together, they must find a way to give Chloe a new family and find a love that spans thousands of acres and two continents.

 

Available March 15 from Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7492

In print: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7493

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Trial-Fire-BA-Tortuga-ebook/dp/B01C8V5U44/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1456771802&sr=8-1

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-trialbyfire-1991421-149.html

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trial-by-fire-ba-tortuga/1123451801?ean=9781634769815

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

 

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….

 

Wrapping it up folks!

March 27, 2015

One of the fun things about writing a book is that I can make playlists for it or identify unofficial theme songs. For “The Serpent and the Angel,” there is a song by Falconer called “Wings of Serenity” that is such a perfect fit, it’s eerie. If Tobias could sing, that would be his song for Angel.

 

Here it is and it is work safe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-lTBVsaZ2I

You can find the lyrics here: http://www.metrolyrics.com/wings-of-serenity-lyrics-falconer.html

 

I love his voice, I love the lyrics, I love the music… everything! This is the sort of music I listen to frequently.

 

I don’t always find a theme song or a love song from one character to another, but when I do, it’s magical!!

 

That about wraps it up for me this time around. I’ll probably be back when “Predator and Prey” is ready to be released. One of my favorite things about writing is coming up with the titles for the stories. Sometimes I already know the title even before I start to write and other times I have to edit the story a few times before the title reveals itself. It can be the most frustrating part, yet also the most gratifying especially when I come up with that perfect title.

 

I enjoy this title because of the contrast—”serpent” often means evil and “angel” often means good. But nothing is ever so black and white, there are always shades of grey (and no, I’m not talking about that book).

 

May dragons guard your dreams,

-M.D.

Series plan and another excerpt!

March 27, 2015

Find “The Serpent and the Angel” here! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6201

 

Remember, while this might be Book 8 of my series, it is also book 2 of my Part 2 of the series. I have 5 parts planned and while the entire series should be seen as a cohesive whole, to make my life easier, I split the books into parts to make sure I stayed on track and told the story that needed to be told.

 

It’s certainly a struggle to balance the romance with furthering the overall plot, but I welcome the challenge. I feel that with every book I grow stronger in my writing skills (and research skills), and I really enjoying seeing my series unfold and reveal itself. Every single book offers me at least one surprising moment.

 

That is the struggle with these later books since the dominoes need to start falling as the series unfolds. Part one (Psychic Moon through Master’s Blood) was more of the introduction to my universe, and the characters and the groups I will be dealing with for the rest of the series. Now the rest of the parts will be focused on the various romances (of course) but also the workings of the villain Arcas and his allies. But the core of the series is still love and how each couple tries to save the day and prevent Arcas from reaching his goals.

 

Another excerpt!

 

 

The snake slowly slid out of the small hole it had been coiled in. Flicking its tongue, sensing no danger, it slithered and scraped over rocks and boulders, easily finding a path out of the rubble. It was hungry, but it didn’t smell any prey, which caused it to focus on finding an exit out of the tunnel. For some reason it didn’t want to hide and wait for prey, it wanted to find open air. Always going with instinct, the snake never questioned or doubted its senses. The long serpent easily made its way down the open tunnel, seeming to glide over the uneven ground and disjointed tracks. It wound around the mine carts, past the fallen pickaxes, constantly flicking its tongue.

It began to feel cool air over its scales and hesitated. Slithering to the side of the tunnel, the snake eyed the opening, flicking its tongue, again sensing no danger. It moved slower now, wary of the open air, the lack of protection. But something inside it urged it out, into the open; something seemed to push it forward. Keeping close to the side of the tunnel, it peeked out of the opening, into the dark. The moon was high, the stars shining, but the snake paid it no mind. All it saw was the wide expanse of land, and all it thought about was food and shelter.

But even as it was about to move across the darkened land, it sensed movement just outside the tunnel. Coiling into itself, the snake lifted its tail and lowered its face. Sound followed the movement, and the cause of that sound formed a shadow across the land. The snake flicked its tongue out, tasting the air, oddly familiar with the scent upon it. It wasn’t prey. It wasn’t predator. What was it?

A creature walked into sight. Again, there was an odd sense of familiarity. The known scent grew stronger as the creature seemed to notice the snake. The snake coiled tighter, muscles trembling. Its rattle shook louder.

“Never seen a rattlesnake as big as you before,” the creature said.

The snake didn’t understand. But Tobias did. It felt as though he surged upward, as if he was rising out of water toward the surface, straining for air. He saw through his snake’s eyes, smelled Angel’s scent. The snake fought, of course it fought, but Tobias knew he’d win. The snake wasn’t stronger than he was. It had never been stronger.

The snake shuddered as if in pain, and the rattle stopped moving.

Angel knelt in front of the snake, at a safe distance from a potential strike. Tobias stared into Angel’s face, using it as an anchor. He knew that face. He liked that face. When he’d changed, he’d been too scared, nearly panicked with the thought of death, that he hadn’t fully prepared himself mentally for the change. This caused his snake to take over fully, for him to lose who he was, his memories, his purpose, his personality. But now he fought, and he knew he would win. But he couldn’t allow Angel to see him change back. He couldn’t even allow himself to consider the outcome of that travesty.

Tobias took full control of his snake and struck out at Angel, never intending to bite, but trying to scare Angel away. Angel jerked back in shock with a yelp. Then Tobias turned and shot down the tunnel, into the dark. But even as he did, and as Angel’s scent faded, his snake began to fight back. Tobias held onto Angel’s face, his voice, his scent, and kept control. But he couldn’t hold the snake’s form as he kept remembering what it was like to be a human. He could only move past the first corner of the mine before the air shimmered. His skin rippled violently, and he fell to the ground, a human once more.

Gasping, shaking, Tobias’s skin flashed hot then cold. He was going to be ill; he knew he was, just like the first time. He curled into himself, his throat dry, his lungs heavy. He must have made enough noise to draw attention, because he suddenly heard someone running down the tunnel. It wasn’t long before Angel ran around the corner and skidded to a stop. They stared at each other for a long, humming moment before Angel dropped to his knees and yanked off his own coat, wrapping it around Tobias.

Then, to Tobias’s great shock, Angel pulled him into his arms and hugged him hard.

“Oh, thank the spirits. I knew it, I knew you had survived.” Angel’s voice was thick with tears as he rocked them both, his arms in an unbreakable hold.

Tobias didn’t know what to say. He still felt ill and was becoming more so by the minute. But right then, he closed his eyes and allowed himself to indulge for a moment. He took a deep breath, coughed, but still relished the scent of his deputy. Angel was so warm, the kind of warmth Tobias’s skin had never exuded. He curled into his deputy, remembering acutely the reunion with his parents so many years ago. It had been so different from this. He’d been slapped by his mother, yelled at by his father. His arm had been grabbed, and he’d been dragged to their carriage and berated the entire way home. There’d been no tears, no words of relief or joy.

He didn’t know what to make of Angel’s obvious affection or how to handle it.

Angel suddenly pulled back, and their eyes met again. Tobias’s eyes had adjusted to the darkness, and he could see his deputy’s face well enough to see something in his eyes that sent a spike of fear down Tobias’s spine.

“It was you,” Angel whispered. “You were the rattlesnake.”

 

 

Want to learn more? My website is here: www.mdgrimmwrites.com

 

Do you like long series (20+ books) or would you rather a short one (under 10?) or do you prefer trilogies?

 

-M.D. Grimm

Villains

March 27, 2015

Hi there! Still promoting my story “The Serpent and the Angel” book 8 of my Shifters series. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6201

 

As I stated in my first post, “The Serpent and the Angel” continues the story of the scrolls and their guardians. But I also wanted to mention that it also furthers the story of the main villain of my series: in present days, he’s known as Arcas, but he’s had many names over many centuries. Some of my readers might have guessed it already and that’s great, I really don’t want it to be a secret, but I also wanted a little intrigue and mystery surrounding my villain.

 

There’s a reason I spent some time describing Arcas’s sapphire blue eyes and his beauty. Lady Anne Blackthorn (Hunted Guardian) had sapphire blue eyes and was a great beauty. Another character will appear in “The Serpent and the Angel” that has the same eyes and similar beauty. Try and spot him! (yes, it’s a man).

 

My villain is just as important as my heroes, perhaps even more so. He works behind the scenes as well as occasionally stepping to the front. He has a goal/plan and nothing will stop him from executing it. ;) I really love to hate that guy.

 

What are your thoughts on villains? Do you love to hate them? Just plain hate them? Or would you rather see more of them in a story?

 

-M.D.

Excerpt!

March 27, 2015

Hello everyone! M.D. Grimm here promoting “The Serpent and the Angel,” the latest story in my Shifters series.

 

“The Serpent and the Angel” continues the story of the ancient scrolls and their bird guardians. For those of you puzzled by the direction I’m taking with this series, rest assured I have a plan, the scrolls are very important and that’s why I’m diving into the past to introduce them. And because it’s fun J

 

If you want to learn more about my “grand plan” for the series, you can check out my blog at: http://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/#!blog/cqsg

I share all you ever wanted (or not wanted) to know!

 

I’m not too familiar with historicals, which is why I wanted to challenge myself with “Hunted Guardian” (book 7), “The Serpent and the Angel” (book 8), and the nearly-completed book #9 “Predator and Prey.” I wanted to introduce the scrolls in a historical setting to set up where they are in the present (which will be books #10-#12, and possibly later ones).

 

Now here’s a short excerpt:

 

Tobias knew how to intimidate, to make others fear. Lord knew it was his greatest skill. He had a deadly stare, aptly like that of a rattlesnake, and his eyes, his expression, were blistering cold. His boots thumped up the two steps of the general store’s long porch before he entered the building itself. He turned smartly to the counter where an older gentlemen, one in a snappy suit, stood, waiting for the few customers inside to purchase their items. The man’s gaze shot to Tobias’s, and he visibly paled, his eyes widening.

With a casual lean on the counter, which didn’t fool anyone, Tobias lifted the brim of his hat a fraction before considering the man.

“Good morning, Mr. Thompson.”

Mr. Thompson had to clear his throat before he found his voice. “Good morning, Sheriff.”

“I hear we might have a problem.”

He blinked. “Problem, sir?”

“Aye, a problem. Namely, a problem you might have with a few of the hardworking miners the coal mine employs.”

“I got no problem with those men.”

Tobias’s lips lifted slightly. It wasn’t a smile. “Right glad I am to hear it, Mr. Thompson. That puts my mind at ease. Now, I’ll just leave here and go tell those nice hardworking Chinese men that you don’t have a problem with them.”

Mr. Thompson scowled, his wrinkled face becoming more wrinkled. “Damn Chinamen. What kinda trouble they causing now?”

Tobias lifted his eyebrows. “They claimed, mistakenly, I’m sure, that you be raising the prices for them, while keeping the prices reasonable for the other miners. I reckon that ain’t true, is it, sir?”

Mr. Thompson, while obviously still wary of the sheriff, didn’t seem to want to appear cowardly. There were a few decent women in the store, including his seamstress wife, who were obviously staring at the two of them, eager to see what transpired.

“They come to this country, stealing work from decent folk. Lord knows they gotta damn pay for it.”

Tobias tilted his head slowly to one side, his eyes flat, his face emotionless. Then, without warning, Tobias lashed out. He gripped Mr. Thompson’s collar and yanked him forward, causing his upper half to lie flat along the counter. Mr. Thompson gasped and choked, his eyes reeling. Tobias shoved his face near the older man’s, their noses almost touching.

“Let me make myself perfectly clear, Mr. Thompson,” Tobias said in a low voice only the two of them could hear. “Consider this your only warning. Whether it’s a Negro, Chinaman, Indian, or a damn dandy who walks into this store, you had better treat them with the same decency you treat those who look like you.”

Mr. Thompson sputtered. Tobias tightened his hold, his strength absolute.

“I don’t got a use for bigots in this town, and you know how I feel about useless folk.”

Mr. Thompson paled even further, his eyes growing dark with terror.

Tobias paused, making sure his point sunk into the man’s thick skull. “If a person got a use in this town, they get the same damn items for the same damn price. Have I made myself clear?”

“Aye.” It was nearly a squeak.

Tobias let go and shoved Mr. Thompson lightly on the shoulder, sending him back across the counter. Mr. Thompson stumbled and panted, his hands shaky as he tried to straighten his clothing.

Tobias gripped the hem of his vest and gave a light tug to resituate it, before smoothing out his shirt. He sniffed and lowered the brim of his hat again, casting his face into shadow, his eyes the only things gleaming.

“Remember, Mr. Thompson, I only give one warning.”

Mr. Thompson nodded vigorously, gulping. “Y—yes, sir.”

Tobias spun on his heal, tipped his hat to the ladies who stood behind him, stunned. Then he was gone, striding out of the store and back down the lane. The sun glinted off the sheriff’s star pinned to his vest as he now observed his surroundings. Parkers Hollow was a tough town with tough people, and he had damn well be tougher. That had never been hard for him. He was cold, detached, and merciless. He’d never pretended to be otherwise. Lord knew he was exactly the type of sheriff a town like this needed.

He lived by one rule: If a person had a use, then that person deserved his protection. In these rough lands, there wasn’t any room for laziness or parasites. The last sheriff had learned that lesson quickly… when Tobias had put a bullet in his brain. The man had been a corrupt, drunken horse turd in fancy suits. He’d certainly had no use whatsoever.

 

Which do you prefer: series with the same couple/characters every book or different characters/couples but with a related theme?

 

I shall be back!

-M.D.