Blog Tour: Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer

Interview with Karen

1.What does your writing process look like?

To make sure writing happens, I need to schedule it, sometimes with friends who are writers and willing to meet me at coffee shops for thirty-minute writing sprints evenings or weekends. I’m a discovery writer, so everything springs from character for me. When I’m trying to find a story, the first thing I do is write from all three different points of view, first, second, third, until I stumble across the voice and appropriate psychic distance for a story. Sometimes I think I’ve found it, but then discover I haven’t, and I have to go back and try again. After I have a pretty good idea of the voice, I complete a seven-point loose outline (see Dan Wells’ Story Structure)—sometimes I don’t figure out the final point, but I get a decent idea of where I’m going. Then I return to my voice and write toward the vague seven points. When the ending suggests itself, I try it on for size and make adjustments. Sometimes it can really help to have in mind the editor I want to send my story to and what they like—it’s not that I’m writing a story to satisfy them, I write to satisfy me, but thinking about entertaining my audience will often suggest a better ending to my creative process. Then I bounce my story off three to five writer friends for critique, and send it in. If it’s rejected, I’ll often revise before submitting again.

2. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name-choosing resources you recommend?

Names are very important to me. I often change the characters’ names as I discover their voices and stories (this annoys my critique groups to no end, so I try to only give them versions with the names finalized). Most of the time my names have a deeper symbolic meaning. I believe what we are named affects us in life, so I try to select names that may have guided my character down the path they are on. One resource I love to use is Gary Gygax’s Book of Names. It’s out of print now, but it’s full of names from different cultures and time periods. I often use it to make sure fantasy characters from the same region/culture-group all have similar-sounding names.

3. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

Making the expansion deadline on SWIFT FOR THE SUN and writing over 40,000 words in just three months was a pretty big accomplishment. But I think my best was writing a 17,500 word epic dark scifi novella in just six weeks to meet a deadline after the editor didn’t like my in-progress submission of a different idea. I’m still quite proud of “Failsafe”–Ellen Datlow gave it an honorable mention for 2013’s Year’s Best Horror. I’ve sold it in reprint a couple of times.

4. Were you already a great writer? Have you always like to write?

I always wanted to write—I loved making up stories—but I struggled with dyslexia as a child. I had trouble reading until I was about ten years old, and my sister used to tease me terribly about my awful spelling so I tore up the stories I made in elementary school. The desire to write was always lurking though, and it expressed itself through vivid play with Star Wars figures and the other little kids in my neighborhood. In fifth grade, I bought a copy of Dungeons and Dragons from a garage sale for ten cents, and it was so enthralling I managed to push myself through reading it. After that, I got hooked on Tolkien and Choose Your Own Adventure books and then my reading improved by leaps and bounds. After that, writing came more naturally and I started writing stories again in high school and have never stopped.

5. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

First, keep writing. Without developing your skill, nothing else will follow. You don’t have to write as well as everything you’ve read though—don’t let your lack of perfection keep you from sending out your work. Make sure it’s something you’re proud of, the story has real heart and you’ve crafted the best you’re capable of in the moment, then send it out. Something else that was immensely helpful for me was slush reading. I worked for a few magazines and one book company doing volunteer slush pile reading and final copy edit reading. These helped me understand the quality level I was shooting for to submit.

6. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I have a passion for teaching. Currently, I work full time at a university and write in the evenings and on weekends. I love helping new writers discover a love of creative writing and giving them both craft and career advice. We also have a family Christmas tree farm, and I love nature, but I think I will always seek other writers to help.

7. Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I’m mostly a pantser. I spent many years trying to teach both myself and others how to plot novels chiefly because I think the best way to learn is to teach something to someone else. The novels I have completed outlines for, I haven’t finished, while the ones I wrote just playing around, I have. So I think it’s really important to study your own process and what helps you write and what stops you from writing. I think I’ll continue trying to teach myself to outline, because it saves a lot of revision time, but I haven’t quite learned how to meld my discovery writing style with a sufficiently complex outline.

8. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I was told not to read reviews. However, I haven’t been able to follow through on that advice. I’ve read the Goodreads and Amazon reiews for SWIFT FOR THE SUN and enjoyed them very much. Purely by chance, the first review I read wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t glowing either, and I spent one evening depressed that I’d failed to impress the reviewer. I decided I wasn’t going to read any more reviews because I lost an entire evening’s writing time fretting over it. But then I read more, and they were mostly favorable. After a few, I realized that the reviewers were like my students. A class session one student adored and wanted more of, another student thought was a waste of time. Reviewers were commenting on the same book, but one person’s favorite part was another’s least favorite. After I understood “different strokes for different folks” I was able to calmly read reviews. The only ones I responded to were the ones written by people I’ve met personally, and I sent them my thanks over email. If I get a very bad review, I don’t plan to respond. I’m not sure what the use of me responding would be. The reviews aren’t for me—they’re to help readers understand what kind of a book they’re getting. My advice would be to take bad reviews with a grain of salt and read the good reviews a few more times to cheer up. I do admit to feeling a sense of validation when I read a good review, and I did read some aloud to my mom.

9. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Getting started and getting stuck are my least favorite parts. Sometimes it’ll take me a really long time to find a character’s voice and then I feel unsure about the story until I fall in love with the character and what they’re doing. After I’m in love, the rest of the story seems to flow pretty well—until I don’t know how to resolve a plot problem and get stuck. If too much time passes while I’m stuck, I lose the thread of the story and returning to it is really hard. Before SWIFT FOR THE SUN, I would have reported novel editing was my least favorite part, but honestly I had blast editing this book with Desi Chapman at Dreamspinner. I guess I love editing if I have a great editor giving me excellent feedback to follow.

10. Do you have a favorite conference to attend? What is it?

I absolutely adore the GenCon Writers’ Symposium in Indianapolis. It’s very friendly to new authors and helped me start my career. I highly recommend it to anyone who writes science fiction or fantasy and is new. Being a guest there is really fun too and I look forward to moderating panels and hanging out with other authors each year.

11. What secret talents do you have?

I can sing. I’m that lone voice in the congregation that’s really loud and on tune (most of the time). I sing in the shower and in my car. I guess you might say I polished my “noisy little sister” skills to amazing levels. I can whistle breathing in and out, so I can whistle songs without stopping for breath. Strangers stop me when I’ve visited another church and thank me for sitting behind them. I love to sing! I had a cat that hated it though, and he’d meow at me until I stopped.

12. If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

I’d love to have a British accent. Patrick Stewart’s to be specific.

13. What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I was probably pretty weird for a little girl. I loved snakes and Star Wars and Star Trek. I watched Battlestar Galactica with my dad and begged my mom to read me scary poems about goblins. I loved creepy things—my birthday is Halloween—and yet I was easily scared by movies most people don’t think are scary. Something like Gremlins would affect me for weeks and weeks. I was constantly digging mud pits in the yard and losing my ewoks. The boys across the street and I got into all kinds of trouble with our BB guns and slingshots and ill-conceived “zip lines” we’d try to string from second story bedrooms to promising-looking trees. I loved Indiana Jones and every kind of bug. I had a strong dislike for Barbie, but I loved my Cabbage Patch dolls and My Little Ponies. I refused to read The Bridge to Terabithia because my friends said it was sad. I lived off of Kraft macaroni and cheese and loved my Gilligan’s Island playset. On second thought, maybe I was pretty normal for an 80s kid.

14. Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

SWIFT FOR THE SUN is a historical romance. The seed story was: Han Solo and Tarzan fall in love and fight pirates.

15. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Anyone who likes historical romance, pirates, two people falling in love reasonably quickly and then learning how to help each other, and volcanos. Fans of action and adventure will find a lot to enjoy in my book. Also, there’s cursing in five languages, so who can resist that?

16. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

SWIFT FOR THE SUN is a play on the principal characters’ names. The main character, Benjamin, is impersonating an infamous smuggler named Captain Swift. When he meets Soli, my Tarzan character, he anglicizes his name to “Sun.” The title is about Benjamin’s journey from interested lover to total devotion and is a play on words for adventure on the high seas.

17. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

Anna Sikorska did an amazing job on the cover. I picked the initial layout from five she created, and then we refined Benjamin’s look. I’m extremely happy. My book has sex in it but it’s not overly erotic, so I didn’t want a lot of rippling abs. I wanted a quick glance to “read” HISTORICAL and PIRATES and HANDSOME SCOUNDREL. I picked a man in historical costume with a palm tree and pirate ship behind him, looking straight out at the reader, inviting them to go on this adventure with him.

18. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

This is a really hard question! It’s like picking between my children! I love both Benjamin and Sun, though Benjamin is a bit of an oaf sometimes. Reviewers really love Sun, though he’s the secondary character, and I tried to present a very real, multi-dimensional person when I created him. He’s a quiet man and does not boast about his skills, though he’s a deadly fighter and survivalist—he’s tough and he’s been through hell, but managed to keep his humanity. Even with this toughness, he manages to be innocent about some things and has a childlike sense of play. Showcasing the different sides of his personality was really fun, and Desi really helped me bring them out.

19. How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

Martio, the main villain, is my least favorite character on purpose. I needed someone who was terrifying and who expressed the worst parts of twisted love and possession. He’s the ex-boyfriend from hell, and meant to be. My readers hate him too, as they are meant to.

Swift for the Sun

Author: Karen Bovenmyer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska
Word Count: 80,000 Words
Page Count: 230

Buy Links
Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

Benjamin Lector imagines himself a smuggler, a gun runner, and an all-around scoundrel. A preacher’s son turned criminal, first and foremost, he is a survivor.

When Benjamin is shipwrecked on Dread Island, fortune sends an unlikely savior—a blond savage who is everything Benjamin didn’t know he needed. Falling in love with Sun is easy. But pirates have come looking for the remains of Benjamin’s cargo, and they find their former slave, Sun, instead.

Held captive by the pirates, Benjamin learns the depths of Sun’s past and the horrors he endured and was forced to perpetrate. Together, they must not only escape, but prevent a shipment of weapons from making its way to rebellious colonists. Benjamin is determined to save the man he loves and ensure that a peaceful future together is never threatened again. To succeed might require the unthinkable—an altruistic sacrifice.

Author Bio

Karen Bovenmyer was born and raised in Iowa, where she teaches and mentors new writers at Iowa State University. She triple-majored in anthropology, English, and history so she could take college courses about cave people, zombie astronauts, and medieval warfare to prepare for her writing career. After earning her BS, she completed a master’s degree with a double specialization in literature and creative writing with a focus in speculative fiction, also from Iowa State University. Although trained to offer “Paper? Or plastic?” in a variety of pleasant tones, she landed an administrative job at the college shortly after graduation. Working full-time, getting married, setting up a household, and learning how to be an adult with responsibilities (i.e. bills to pay) absorbed her full attentions for nearly a decade during which time she primarily wrote extremely detailed roleplaying character histories and participated in National Novel Writing Month.

However, in 2010, Karen lost a parent.

With that loss, she realized becoming a published author had a nonnegotiable mortal time limit. She was accepted to the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program with a specialization in Popular Fiction and immediately started publishing, selling her first story just before starting the program and three more while in the extremely nurturing environment provided by the Stonecoast community, from which she graduated in 2013. Her science fiction, fantasy, and horror novellas, short stories, and poems now appear in more than forty publications including Abyss & Apex, Crossed Genres, Pseudopod, and Strange Horizons. She is the Horror Writers Association 2016 recipient of the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship. She serves as the nonfiction editor for Escape Artist’s Mothership Zeta Magazine and narrates stories for Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Far Fetched Fables, Star Ship Sofa, and the Gallery of Curiosities Podcasts. Her first novel, SWIFT FOR THE SUN, an LGBT pirate romantic adventure set in the 1820s Caribbean, will be published on March 27, 2017.

Social Media Links

https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenbovenmyer
https://www.facebook.com/karen.bovenmyer
https://twitter.com/karenbovenmyer

Blog Tour: Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

Title: Dating in Retrospect (States of Love)
Author: Lila Leigh Hunter
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 15, 2017
Category: Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Sex Content: Explicit
Pairing: MM
Orientation: Bisexual
Identity: Cisgender
Length: Novella
Words: 38,800
Pages: 101

Buy Links
Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Nook | Kobo

Blurb

Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

Excerpt
©2017 Lila Leigh Hunter
All Rights Reserved

Clay—May ’15

Back to the future and all of that were Clay’s first thoughts as he stepped out of the car. The campus looked the same—Midwest Americana at its best. Redbrick buildings and perfectly pruned trees surrounded him, but as if the last fifteen years hadn’t happened, Clay’s world narrowed to the man waiting at the top of the portico stairs. The only thing time had changed? Them.

“Here’s your receipt, Mr. Keller,” the valet said, interrupting Clay’s musings. He didn’t remember being as young as the valet. Mr. Keller was his father, but Clay didn’t feel like correcting the man’s error.

“Thank you.”

“Not a problem. The man in the light gray suit is Professor Grant. He will be your escort today.”

“Perfect,” Clay responded, smiling at the mention of having an escort at his service, especially one whose body he knew well. With a nod and a tip, Clay left the valet behind, turning his attention back to Professor Grant. Professor. Aaron had done it after all. Clay had never doubted it, even after Aaron decided to stay and work at his family’s farm instead of moving with him to LA. Now he needed to find out if he had a chance with Aaron. At least having him there, waiting for him, had to be a good sign. Today was his lucky day indeed. True, he hadn’t expected to see Aaron so soon. He had planned to stop by the farm after the commencement, but he was ready either way. Life had been rough lately, but having the opportunity to see Aaron again was worth coming back to the middle of Nowhere, Iowa.

He walked casually toward the man he’d left behind many summers ago—a man standing like a prizefighter, waiting for Clay to reach him. With only a couple of feet between them, Clay’s step faltered. Aaron didn’t seem happy to see him, more like he was ready to bolt before Clay got to him. Shaking his head and keeping his eyes on his prey, he closed the distance and extended his hand in greeting.

“Professor Grant, I believe you’re expecting me?” He hoped his smile would ease Aaron’s frown.

“That I am, Mr. Keller. As the university liaison, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to your alma mater and to convey the president’s and the board of trustees’ deepest regards.”

“How long did it take you to memorize that spiel? As far as I remember, you weren’t fond of formalities.” Neither of them let go of the other’s hand. Aaron’s touch, familiar and foreign, branded him in seconds.

“Ass.”

Aaron didn’t expect the hug that followed. As soon as their bodies touched, Aaron tensed, but Clay held him tighter.

“Relax, sunshine. It’s been a while.” Clay let Aaron go, but not before he rubbed his trimmed beard against Aaron’s clean-shaven face as he moved back.

Rafflecopter Giveaway
(February 9th to February 28th – Winner to be contacted March 1st)

Dating in Retrospect Giveaway

Meet the Author

Lila Leigh Hunter is the pen name of a Puerto Rican author with a hyphenated surname. Born and raised on the island, Lila grew up making up stories her siblings pretended to like. But no matter what they say, as the youngest of six, she’s still their mom’s favorite. According to the dusty diplomas on her wall, she’s an architectural designer living in Southern Texas with her husband and four military brats.

She spends most of her free time writing homoerotic romances about middle-aged men finding happiness and the rest hiding from pesky house chores. When outside of her cave, she likes to observe people and try to guess their stories. Sometimes she wishes the voices in her head were real; going out with the boys in her books sounds like a plan made in heaven.

Social Media

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ctHk41
Author’s Page: http://www.facebook.com/HunterRomances
Lila’s Cabana on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/LilasBooks/
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/LilaLeighHunter
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Hunter_Romances
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lila_leigh/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Hunter_Romances/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/HunterRomances
Website: http://lilaleighhunter.wordpress.com
Email: llhunter.romance@gmail.com

Dreamspinner Press – 25% Off Sale

Looking to add to your eBook collection? Now is the perfect time! The entire Dreamspinner Press store is 25% off through February 18, 2017!!! Of course, this includes all of my stories, including those in the various Love Wins anthologies.

Love Wins Anthology – $5.24
One Pulse Anthology – $5.24
Wide Open Spaces – $3.74
No More Hiding – $5.24

Links



Blog Tour: Jaeger by Evelise Archer

Order of the Black Knights

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

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

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

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

Jaeger Blurb

US Marshal Jaeger Tripp is assigned to the Federal Witness Protection Program. The hurt and destruction he’s seen—along with protecting criminals who are only cooperating with the authorities to keep themselves out of jail—have left him with a bleak and jaded view of both life and people. His current assignment is Wren O’Riley, a computer wizard who witnessed a high-profile cartel hit.

To Jaeger, Wren is the same as any other job. He must protect him long enough to get him to testify at trial, and his personal feelings have no place in his work and must be set aside. But that’s easier said than done. On the run and fighting for their lives, Jaeger and Wren can’t help but grow closer. And Jaeger can’t help seeing beyond Wren’s nerdy exterior to a man who might be just what Jaeger needs to settle his soul and capture his heart—if they survive long enough to get that chance.

Excerpt

Wren looked out the dusty front window and admired the view from what would be his home for a while. He wasn’t just thinking about the studly marshal. The log cabin appeared to be modern-rustic—if that was a style. The sturdy log structure had a wide wraparound porch and sported three rockers made of rough wood.

Wren loved the to-and-fro motion of a rocking chair—something he learned from his mother on the countless days they spent together on the family property in New Mexico, whiling the hours away. He had fond memories of his mother, and even some of his family members during those days—before he started to work for his uncle and realized exactly what the family business was. He longed for those languid days again, and if Jaeger permitted him some respite, he’d take it on the front porch, rocking.

“Home for the next month.” Wren’s daydreaming was interrupted by the deep soulful voice of his watcher.

“There’s no place for you to go, so I’ll have those handcuffs now. You’re up shit creek if you have the balls to wander in the High Peaks on your own.” Wren lifted his cuffed hands from his lap and allowed Jaeger to remove the restraints.

“I’ll get our bags.” Wren rubbed his wrists as he extricated himself from the front passenger seat. The lock mechanism on the hatch of the SUV released, and Wren opened the door and pulled out the two suitcases. He also noticed the cooler and a few other bags. Provisions.

Dragging their luggage across the gravel and dirt clearing proved more difficult than expected. His arms were a little numb from being in cuffs for so long. Wren made it to the bottom of the steps and maneuvered each bag up onto the porch and then waited for Jaeger to unlock the door.

Jaeger grabbed his small bag from the backseat of the driver’s side and strode to the door as Wren carefully scrutinized him. The marshal definitely had a chip on his shoulder.

“Is there a problem with the accommodations, Mr. O’Riley?” Wren couldn’t miss the disdain in Jaeger’s voice.

“No, there isn’t. Actually I was thinking how beautiful it is here and how this would make a nice vacation home,” Wren replied.

“Well, don’t get too comfortable. We’re not here for a fucking vacation.”

Wren nodded and accepted Jaeger’s attitude and waited patiently as he punched a code into the panel and unlocked the door. Jaeger brusquely entered before him and offered no help with the bags.

Wren plopped them on the ceramic-tiled floor at the entrance and then did a three-sixty of the large, open room. The cabin truly was beautiful. Under other circumstances Wren could picture himself being fucked by the marshal in front of the large stone fireplace. Jaeger Tripp was just his type—bad-boy attitude, soulful voice, and a strong chiseled jaw. His legs went on forever, and Wren imagined himself wrapped around Jaeger’s tapered waist. They might be the same height, but Marshal Jaeger Tripp had a good fifty pounds on Wren’s slenderer body. He looked as if he could lift a small car.

“Marshal, should I put the bags someplace specific or leave them here on the floor?” Wren moved farther into the room where the ceramic tile turned to dark, notched-wood floors. Besides the large fireplace, the living space had two striped sofas in reds, blues, and tans, with accenting pillows and a large braided rug. The kitchen, although it appeared slightly older, was clean and contained a small table and two wooden chairs. The one thing Wren noticed right away was the coffee pot on the counter. What he wouldn’t do for a cup of coffee, but he dared not ask.

“There’s two bedrooms down the hall, last two doors. Toss my bag in the last room and yours in the second.” Jaeger motioned with his head as he made for the front door. “I need to get the cooler and rest of the bags. I’ll be right back.”

With that, Jaeger walked out the front door into the dusk. Wren strode down the hall, passed a bathroom on the left and a closed door on the right, and then came to what would be his room. He left his bag in front of the door and proceeded to move to the last door, open it, and enter with the marshal’s bag. The room was decorated in a country motif, and the focal point was a large, heavy wooden bed. Wren wondered if the marshal slept in the buff. A man could dream. The door to a separate bathroom was open, and Wren could see a large claw-foot tub. Nice.

Wren wondered if the government bought the cabin already made or if they had it built to suit their needs—secluded enough to attract no attention, yet within some distance of civilization.

Wren opened the door to what would be his new sleeping quarters and placed his bag on the quilt-covered bed. The room looked very much like the other bedroom, just a tad smaller and minus its own bathroom. He’d have to use the one in the hall.

He made quick work of unpacking his meager belongings, placed them in the chest of drawers, and stowed the bag in the closet. He heard movement outside his door but tried to keep his mind off the marshal. He grabbed his toiletries, stored them in the extra bathroom, and stopped in front of the third door in the hall, which was open—the door closest to the living space.

Wren’s pants tightened when he saw Jaeger’s taut, jean-clad ass. Jaeger was leaning over a chair, banging away on a keyboard. The temporary distraction gave Wren pause. He shouldn’t be lusting after the man who was assigned to protect him, especially when he held Wren in such disdain.

About the Author

Evelise Archer is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is a new-found lover of tea, and don’t look in her office because what you find may astound you. She currently has twenty tins of tea leaves just waiting to be brewed for her drinking pleasure. She is bilingual, lives in one of the original thirteen colonies, and is a lover of the cold weather and snow. It’s a safe bet that you may find her on the beach in the autumn and winter, but rarely in the summer. She’s been married for over thirty years to a loving man who puts up with her obsession to clean—she currently owns three vacuum cleaners—, read, and spin a tale when the voices speak to her. When she’s not in front of the computer, search her out in the local gym.

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Cover Reveal: On Fire by Alicia Nordwell

Today I’m happy to host Alicia Nordwell, a friend and fellow author, for her cover reveal for On Fire, a Dreamspinner Press States of Love novella.


I want to share a big thank you to my host for featuring the cover reveal today for my latest Dreamspinner Press release, On Fire, made by Garrett Leigh. Without further ado…

onfire_final

A fun tidbit: I actually took the picture of the mountain (it was not on fire at the time, lol)

A picture is definitely worth a thousand words when it comes to a cover, and these guys are hot, but I bet you’d like to know more about their story, so here goes!

Blurb:

Nothing beats getting out of the concrete jungle and into the quiet of the forest. Website designer Scottie Ness is taking a well-deserved vacation from the grindstone, and he plans to spend it in the solitude of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest around Mt. Adams. He’s prepared for everything—except the lightning storm that traps him in a wildfire.

The firefighter who rescues him sustains serious injuries and ends up in the hospital. Jax Quintero might be abrasive, but the guy saved his life, and Scottie wants to thank him. As they spend time together during Jax’s recovery and exploring the state’s landmarks when he’s released from the hospital, Scottie discovers there’s more to Jax than a smart-ass adrenaline junkie. Jax reassesses his opinion of Scottie as an arrogant city boy who has no business in the mountains. Though Jax’s wounds prevent them from taking things as far as they’d like for a while, they can’t deny the heat building between them—and this is one fire they don’t want to put out.

Where can you pick up your copy?

On Fire is available for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press now!

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/on-fire-by-alicia-nordwell-7675-b

Contest!!

Because I love my fellow readaholics, I’m giving away a $5 gift card to Dreamspinner Press to celebrate finally being able to share On Fire’s awesome cover and my photo inspiration for Jax and Scottie.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she’s a MM romance author: “Why gay fiction? Why write men when you’re a woman?” and her answer is: “Why the hell not!” Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out.

Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course!

She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Blog: http://ciasstories.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicia.nordwell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliciaNordwell

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Blog Tour: Taming the Wyld by Lucie Archer

Today I’d like to share one of my fellow author’s States of Love story. Please welcome Lucie Archer with her story Taming the Wyld.

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AVAILABLE NOW

Taming the Wyld
States of Love – Alaska

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Genre:
Contemporary
Length: 35,209 Words

Rating: Adult/Mature

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Blurb:

The Witness Protection Program dumps JD Smith practically at the ends of the earth—in Two Pines, Alaska—to protect him until he can testify against a dangerous gang. He tries to stick to his story and keep his head down, but it’s impossible to ignore bush pilot Jake Wylder, a sexy loner with quite a reputation around the small town.

Flying medical supplies around Alaska suits Jake’s wild streak and love of freedom. He’s perfectly content to keep his romantic encounters casual—at least until he meets JD. Something about the nurse makes Jake think settling down might not be such a hardship. Now he just needs to convince JD he’s serious—which won’t be easy, given his past.

For a relationship to stand a chance, JD must testify so he can return to Two Pines as the man he really is—and Jake must grow into the man JD needs him to be.


Hello everyone! Thanks for joining me on the last day of my blog tour, and a big thank you to Renee for having me. This was my first tour ever and I had a lot of fun discussing Taming the Wyld along the way, but I wanted to wrap things up with a look to the future. I have several projects in the works, and so I thought I’d offer up a sneak peak at one.

This is the opening of my short story, Abstract Heart, written for Dreamspinner Press’s Love Wins charity anthology to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. I’m super proud of it and happy I could help the innocent victims in a meaningful way. I hope you enjoy!


Abstract Heart
Love Wins Anthology
Release: December 2016

Nick Walters had a thing for abstract art. He took one random art class in college as part of his core curriculum, and a few of the finer points stuck with him. Of course that wasn’t the reason he spent nearly every lunch break sitting on the same bench outside the Pleasant View Museum of Modern Art before popping in for fifteen minutes to admire some of the pieces. No, that had a lot more to do with a very different kind of art appreciation.

“His name’s Kris, and technically, I’ve never talked to him,” Nick admitted. He’d done his best to throw Courtney off his scent, but his sister never turned down the opportunity to treat him like one of the suspects she interrogated on a regular basis. Sometimes he resented how well she did her job.

“Then how do you know his name?”

“Nametag.”

She smirked over the rim of her mug, mouth concealed, but he saw the amusement sparkling in her eyes. “And why haven’t you talked to him yet?” she pressed, taking a moment to blow on her coffee while he digested the question.

Nick sighed, fingers tightening around the warm ceramic in his hands. She knew damn well how hard of a time he had it when it came to talking to men. He had anxiety issues and problems with low self-esteem, but he did his best, practicing the techniques his mother’s therapist friend suggested that “normal” people took for granted.

It frustrated him when his own family couldn’t grasp how hard it was for him to initiate a conversation with a stranger on a train about the weather or comment on a random guy’s jacket without the heavy feeling in his chest trying to boil him in his own skin. And that’s exactly how it felt, pulse racing, palms sweating, and his shirt so soaked with perspiration afterward that he had no choice but to change.

Yeah, real sexy stuff.

“Seriously, Court? Do you know me at all?” He chanced a sip of his coffee as an excuse not to elaborate and accepted the burn his tongue received as a consequence.

“How are you going to meet someone if you can’t talk to people?”

He shrugged and took another sip.

“Really, what’s the worst that could happen if you just said ‘hello?’ ”

“Um, the Earth could open up and swallow me.”

“She said worst,” their mother interjected. She’d slipped in the back door and now stood in front of the sink, her hands caked in dirt from working in her garden. “I think that would be a dream come true for you,” she snickered. Courtney joined in much to his chagrin.

“I honestly don’t know why I come over here,” he mumbled to himself, shaking his head in annoyance.

“Because I feed you,” his mother replied.

She had a point, but he didn’t know whether food could make up for regular Saturday morning interrogations. Russell, his stepfather, saved him from further harassment when he joined them in the kitchen, but Courtney made him promise to at least say “Hi” to Kris the next time he saw him.

He reluctantly agreed. How hard could it really be?


There you have it! The aim is for a December release, so keep a look out. And in the meantime, grab yourself a copy of Taming the Wyld!

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Meet Lucie:

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

Website & blog: www.luciearcher.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/writerluciearcher

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lucie_Archer

 

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Blog tour:

September 14: MM Good Book Reviews (https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/taming-the-wyld-by-lucie-archer-blog-tour-intro-excerpt-giveaway/)

September 20: Dreamspinner Press blog (http://blog.dreamspinnerpress.com/2016/09/20/taming-wyld-research-lucie-archer/)

September 21 – Release day: Tammy’s 2 cents (http://www.ttcbooksandmore.com)

September 22: Alpha Book Reviews (http://alphabookclub.org/2016/09/22/taming-wyld-lucie-archer-guest-post/)

September 23: My Fiction Nook (http://www.myfictionnook.com)

September 26: Love Bytes (http://lovebytesreviews.com)

September 26: Renee Stephens (http://reneestevens.net)

 

Wide Open Spaces – Available for Pre-Order on ARe, Amazon, and DSP!

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

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Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Pre-order Release Date: 7/28/2016

Official Release Date: 8/31/2016

Genre: Contemporary
Series: States of Love
Length: 35,659 Words
Rating: Adult/Mature

Blurb

Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.

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

Excerpt

Devon sank down on his couch as exhaustion swamped him. Most of it was from moving in, but the change in elevation didn’t help. He’d gotten used to being closer to sea level, so going back to the dry air at over six thousand feet was going to take some getting used to.

Bloody noses had become the norm while he stayed with Blake. Devon didn’t want to deal with them repeatedly and considered getting a humidifier until he managed to acclimate.

He looked around his living room. Boxes were scattered everywhere, and he should be unpacking, but he was too tired. At least he hadn’t had to carry everything in himself. Blake, Travis, and Seth were waiting for him when he pulled into the apartment complex. They shrugged off his objections and insisted they had nothing better to do. Devon appreciated it, but he wasn’t comfortable around them anymore. He managed to be a proper host, but damn, he was glad they left after a couple beers each. They made noise about getting together again soon, but Devon had used getting settled in as an excuse to keep from committing to anything.

He stood and wandered into his small kitchen. He didn’t bother opening the fridge or any of the cupboards. He knew they were empty. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn’t eaten for a while. Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.

An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.

Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?

He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.

“Devon.”

He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.

“Levi.”

About the Author

Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of Admin, Blog Coordinator, and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.

When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.

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Blog Tour: When Fate Falls Short by Brooke Edwards

 A Bittersweet Dreams Title

It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

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BLURB

Childhood sweethearts Nathan Maxwell and Sean Adams took ten years to realize they belonged together, followed by ten years of bliss. When it is snatched away, Sean is left alone with the aftermath. Lost and grieving in a world that doesn’t make sense without Nathan by his side, he struggles to keep himself afloat… until he meets Jesse Lawrence.

The shadow of a congenital heart defect has hung over Jesse like a dark cloud all his life. Nathan’s death saves Jesse’s life by providing the heart Jesse needs to survive, and a chance encounter between their best friends plants Jesse in Sean’s orbit. But how well can a love triangle between a dead man, his grieving lover, and the one with his heart beating in his chest possibly turn out? Real feelings and pure intentions might not be enough.

EXCERPT

August 2015

It’s the twentieth anniversary of the day they first met when Nathan doesn’t come home from running errands, and Sean is in a panic. He’s over an hour late for dinner, and none of Sean’s five calls has been answered.

Sean is staring at the entryway expectantly, knees bouncing with anxiety, when his phone lights up and starts vibrating across the edge of the kitchen table. Sean lunges for it and sees the picture of Nathan, a candid snap with his eyes crinkled in laughter, flash on the screen. He’s filled with a strange combination of worry, anger, and relief all at once.

“Where are you?” he asks, a little garbled and strangled as he holds the phone to his ear. “Are you okay? Nate, it’s seven thirt—”

“I’m sorry, I’m not him!” an unfamiliar voice, shaky and female, rushes to say, and Sean’s words die in his throat. “You’re the emergency contact in this phone? I picked it up and checked. It’s not a name, it just says ‘Light of your damn life,’ so I assumed but I wasn’t sure, and I’m—” The woman breaks off suddenly and makes a garbled sound of her own. “Wow, I’m so sorry.”

Sean feels a heavy chill weigh him down suddenly. “What happened to Nathan?”

“There was an accident,” she says. “A couple of hours ago, I think? I’m sorry I couldn’t call earlier, but your—Nathan, you said? Nathan was crossing the road. A car hit him—”

Sean’s chest grows tight. “Where is he?”

“Cedars-Sinai. My name’s Katie. I was across the street when it happened. I called the ambulance and came to the hospital after them. I—he must have dropped his things. His phone. It’s kind of banged up. I grabbed it and realized I had the emergency information, so I came after them. Sorry I didn’t call right then, but everything happened really fast. It was—it was pretty bad.” She swallows audibly. “I’m here, but they won’t tell me anything so I can’t give you any news. I’m sorry, but you should come.”

“It’s okay.” Sean stands on unsteady legs, heavy and unbalanced with Katie’s words. He glances around for the keys. “I’m leaving now. Thank you. I’ll—I’ll see you there, okay?” He hangs up before Katie can say anything more.

He swipes the keys from the counter and leaves their dinner, cold and abandoned, on the table. His fingers are trembling as he stabs at the screen of his phone, trying to find one of Nathan’s parents’ numbers while heading for the front door. He doesn’t know which one he presses Call for, only that neither Tania nor Richard is the one to answer it. Lauren’s two-and-a-half-year-old, Ryder, starts babbling happily into the receiver as soon as the call connects.

Sean catches himself against the side of his car, fumbling with the keys, and takes a deep breath. “Ry, buddy, I need you to put Pa or Gram on.” His mouth tastes sour with dread. “Please. Pa or Gram.”

Ryder continues to babble for a few seconds before he grows distant and Richard’s voice, warm as if he’s just been laughing, replaces it. “Sean. How was dinner?”

Sean yanks the door open and half falls into the seat. “Nate’s in the hospital,” he manages to say, and suddenly his whole body is shaking along with his hands. “He was late and someone just called me. There was a car, he was crossing the road, something, I don’t know. She said it was bad and I’m going now.”

“Cedars?”

Sean can hear Tania calling out to Lauren in the background. “Yes—yes, Cedars,” he says. The first three attempts at getting the key into the ignition fail, but the fourth try is a success. He leans against the steering wheel and fumbles for his seat belt. “Are you coming?”

“Of course,” Richard says instantly. “We’ll meet you there. Are you okay?”

“I’ll see you there,” Sean says and hangs up, tossing the phone onto the passenger seat.

A lump settles somewhere in the back of his throat. He coughs as the engine idles, swallows against the taste of bile, and tries to ignore the burn in his eyes as he shifts the car into gear.

“Nathan Maxwell,” Sean says when he gets to reception. His hands are still shaking, haven’t stopped shaking since even before the phone call, and he rests them on the counter. “There was an—an accident? Someone called me and said he was here and I need to—I need to see Nathan, okay—”

“You’re here for Nathan?” comes from somewhere behind him.

Sean turns and sees a young woman struggling to get up from one of the seats. Her long hair is piled messily on top of her head with a bright hairband, and she abandons her handbag and coat on the seat to hurry toward him.

“You—you called me?” he asks. “Katie?”

She nods hurriedly. “Yes, that’s me. They haven’t told me anything, but I heard them say they took him into surgery.”

There’s a spot of dark red on the collar of her blouse and a smear across the cuff too, and Sean’s knees buckle a little. He forces one foot out in a half step just to stay upright.

Katie reaches out hesitantly and grips his forearm with strong fingers. “Surgery is good,” she says, and Sean almost laughs at the wavering conviction in her voice. She grips harder and repeats it. “Surgery is good.” Her voice is steadier. “Means he’s fighting, right?”

Sean doesn’t know what to say to that, so he just nods and tries desperately to ignore the fact that Nathan’s blood is on her blouse. He turns back to the reception counter. “Nathan Maxwell,” he repeats. “Please.”

The woman behind the desk gets up and comes around the desk. He doesn’t realize how badly he’s shaking until she puts a hand under the elbow of his other arm to get a solid grip and has to hold on as tightly as Katie is.

“This way, sir.”

AUTHOR BIO

Author, dreamer, fangirl and foodie – twenty-something Brooke Edwards will always call Australia home no matter where the wanderlust takes her. Her tertiary education bounced from history and linguistics to criminology and history and even went as far as nutrition and sports/exercise science. Making ends meet through a similarly wide variety of jobs from education, retail, fitness, hospitality and finance means she never has any shortage of inspiration for characters or their adventures. Writing, closely followed by the culinary arts, has been her longest-running and most consistent passion and her greatest dream would be to one day not have to do anything else but write. Until then, she can probably be found in a caffeine-induced haze either behind her computer or in the kitchen.

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Blog Tour: Town Man, Country Man by Jessica Skye Davies

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Music in Books

Firstly, let me thank Renee for hosting me here today.  I’m very pleased to be here, less than two weeks from the release of “Town Man, Country Man”, my fourth title with Dreamspinner Press.

One question frequently put to writers is whether they listen to music while writing or if they listen to certain types of music while writing certain scenes.  I don’t.  I prefer my writing environment to be as quiet and distraction-free as possible (which is probably why I rarely get as much of it done as I’d like!)

But I am a lover of all sorts of music, always listening to whatever fits my mood at the moment.  Music does often play a part in my writing by way of offering significant insight into my characters’ personalities and helping to enrich the backdrops.

The music in “Town Man, Country Man” starts offering clues about the characters straight away when Josh and Ben meet at a friend’s wedding and Ben asks Josh to dance by saying that he “kind of really” likes the song playing at the moment.  Josh’s best friend displays his characteristic snark, mouthing “Edge of Glory?” as Josh moves to join Ben on the dancefloor.

Later, though, Ben back-peddles a bit, saying he’d probably never attend a Lady Gaga concert or buy her music, but he does find it fun for dancing.  Overall, Ben is a more of a classic rock and 80’s music kinda guy, though he likes to work-out to his “RuPaul” Pandora radio station and has a few dance hits CDs in his glovebox.  Typically over-analytical Josh reads this as Ben being “safe” in his choices of personal expression.  Josh and Ben have a lot of musical taste in common, though.  Both can easily enjoy “fun” pop stuff, while also having an appreciation for old jazz music.

Josh gets a bit of a surprise when he takes Ben out to one of his regular gay clubs for their second date.  For one thing, Ben isn’t afraid of being the only ones dancing because it’s not even 11:00 PM yet.  For another, when the DJ plays a Marc Anthony song, Ben asks Josh if he knows how to dance salsa.  Josh, in fact, does and the two of them are a big hit, showing off more moves than the usual twerking and grinding.  The DJ even decides to play a few more Latin songs to let Josh and Ben show off and the bartender says it’s like watching “Dancing with the Stars”.  (And here I must fully disclose that ever since I started salsa dancing myself a few years I’ve wanted to write characters who dance, too.  Just a little of art imitating life, and after all, as Josh says, “who doesn’t like an excuse for thinking about Ricky Martin?”)

The next morning, Ben and Josh return to Pittsburgh’s Strip District to experience the phenomenon that is Saturday morning marketing on Penn Avenue.  This is an example of music describing a scene as few other things can, with various shops piping music onto the sidewalks, ranging from pop hits like Katy Perry to Pittsburgh Steelers fight songs.  Like the mix of goods and foods on offer, it is a unique representation of the city.

Josh also finds his thoughts about Ben and their deepening relationship echoed perfectly when Ben’s Pandora station offers them “I Got Rhythm” on their way home from a double-date golf outing.  Of course, when it comes to the logistics of a long-term relationship, sometimes those ‘daisies in green pastures’ aren’t quite enough to bridge a 50-mile lifestyle gap.

Music can often reveal so much about a person or place that aside from being its own language of notes and rhythms and harmonies, it becomes such an important part of understanding another person’s individual “language”.  While Josh does have a habit of reading rather a lot into every aspect of his time together with Ben, there is something to be said for cluing into someone’s “language” to help firmly establish a connection early on.

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Town Man, Country Man

“Town man” Josh Douglass meets “country man” Ben Bauer at a mutual friend’s wedding, and passion kindles immediately. As urbanite wedding planner Josh and closeted contractor Ben spend more time together, they develop a deep, comfortable romance despite the fifty miles between their homes—and despite the drastic differences in their lifestyles. But as they grow closer, it becomes apparent that Josh and Ben have been enjoying the first flush of love without giving much thought to longer-term logistics.

A crisis leads Josh to ask himself serious questions about how his relationship with Ben can realistically work. But just as Josh is feeling ready to talk about the next step with Ben, a misunderstanding threatens to put an end to their love affair. Compromise is the key to any relationship, but it isn’t always easy to balance careers, friendships, and family expectations. Josh and Ben just need to see that bringing together the best of both their worlds is well worth the sacrifices they’ll have to make to remain in each other’s lives.

Jessica Skye Davies

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Blog Tour: The Paranaturalist by Ki Brightly

paranturalistblogtour

To start off, I would like to say thanks to Renee Stevens for having me on her blog!

Today I thought I would talk a little bit about my inspiration for the world building in The Paranaturalist. The Paranaturalist is a paranormal romance not because the main characters are shifters—though for the keen eyed reader who has delved into my past works they may notice one or two of those in the background—but because regular people have “supernatural” powers. Most people in this ‘verse don’t though, it’s still extremely rare, and the average person certainly isn’t aware of the layers of reality that exist around them.

Owen, one of my main characters is an energy worker, and as such when we see things from his point of view we often see different energies that exist in the universe playing off each other either as he manipulates them or as they randomly occur. I walked a fine line when I was writing this ability of Owen’s because if it was too over the top it would become redundant, distracting even to the reader, and eventually just background noise. I had to make sure that it was woven into the story well, not just icing. I think some of my inspiration for this type of ability probably came from my extensive sci-fi/comic book addiction, ongoing theological research, and the fact that I was an 80’s child. The 80’s were a time of over the top flair and I internalized that and nurtured it with rainbows and love. Owen’s energy experiences are fantastical visual events—for him. It’s isolating for him that he sees the world this way and no one else does. Until he meets Joe.

Joe sees ghosts. This isn’t a unique idea, at all, in the world of paranormal books, but I tried to give Joe his own unique spin on things. I tried to have Joe’s powers evolve naturally, or at least as naturally as I can imagine something like that would come on. A lot of trying to make Joe’s character believable came down to how he reacted to the odd things that popped up in his life. I wanted him to react like a real person would. A lot of good character creation, in my opinion, comes down to making those characters believable. And some of Joe’s powers cross over with Owen’s, but, as you’ll see when you read the book, they actually occupy different spheres of influence in the paranatural order of things.

At the end of the day I had a lot of fun writing The Paranaturalist. It wasn’t an easy write, because unlike the last book I wrote, The Shape of Honey, which dealt with werewolves, I wasn’t picking, choosing, modifying existing lore, I was creating something brand new. And I hope you enjoy it!

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Blurb

As a kid, Joseph Appleyard saw things hidden from others. Now he is The Paranaturalist, an investigator and cohost of a television show that seeks to prove the existence of the paranormal. Some think Joe is crazy, but they don’t realize he knows firsthand there’s more to the world than what most perceive. The trouble is, somewhere along the way, Joe lost his vision and it left his world flat and dull. One night an investigation goes horribly wrong, and a powerful ghostly manifestation sends Joe tumbling into a river. Spirit worker Owen Watson saves Joe’s life, and once they are back on dry land, whatever has been blocking Joe’s vision has been washed away.

When a haunting goes from annoying to dangerous, people turn to Owen Watson. He hates those infuriating hacks from TV, but when he pulls Joe from the river, his mind begins to change. Joe is scared and confused, and Owen realizes he might just be the real thing. Together, they work to understand the part of Joe that has been shut away for so long. But just as Joe is reacclimating to his abilities, his career as a paranormal investigator is in danger of being ripped away. Owen would gladly battle a bloodthirsty spirit for Joe, but he’s out of his element in the world of reality television.

Bio

Ki grew up in small town nowhere pretending that meteor showers were aliens invading, turning wildflowers into magic potions, and reading more than was probably healthy. Ki had one amazing best friend, one endlessly out of grasp “true love”, and a personal vendetta against normalcy.

Now, as an adult, living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Ki enjoys the sandy beaches, frigid winters, and a wonderful fancy water addiction. Seriously, fancy waters…who knew there were so many different kinds? It’s just water…and yet…

Ki shares this life with a Muse, a Sugar Plum, and two wonderful children.

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