Evie Drae on Writing, Characters and her new release ‘Beauregard and the Beast (Once Upon a Vegas Night #1)’ ~ author guest blog, excerpt and giveaway

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Beauregard and the Beast by Evie Drae

Dreamspinner Press
Publication: August 20th 2019

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sales Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IGmc0N

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2UCn8oo

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Vv1Q0Q

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2DxeW3s

Dreamspinner Press: https://bit.ly/2VnRb7L

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Ro3VH6

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Evie Drae here today on tour with her new release Beauregard and the Beast.  She’s answering our author questions, has brought a wonderful excerpt and giveaway for all our readers.  Welcome, Evie!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Evie Drae

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I tend to be one of those writers who projects a great deal of myself into the characters I write. In an effort to maintain distinct voice, I only allow certain aspects of who I am to bleed into each personality, but there is definitely a part of me in every character I’ve ever written.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

When I was a tween, I used to sneak-read my mom’s romance novels. I didn’t understand the complexity of the emotions the same way I do today, but I devoured those books. Which, of course, set me up for disappointment in my own first experiences with love and lust as I grew older. It’s hard to find a man who stands up against a well-written romance hero, especially when the pool you have to choose from is filled with adolescent boys who haven’t “come into their own” just yet. However, those early reading experiences have affected my own choices for writing, as I only write romance. Granted, that romance does fall in a variety of sub-genres, but there is always a love story with an HEA at the heart of my work.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m a reader who absolutely must have an HFN or HEA. Stories that end on a negative note leave me traumatized for ages—and I’m not being dramatic. There’s enough heartache in the real world, I don’t want my escape into fiction to bring even more to the plate.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m against dark or intense subject matter within the plot of the story, but at the end, those issues have to either be resolved entirely or at least be on the way there. I like to lose myself in stories and my favorite part is seeing the characters overcome hardship and find happiness. It gives me hope and keeps me going through the reality of life.

I definitely prefer HEA over HFN, but if it’s a series and an HEA is on the horizon, I can dig a solid HFN. Just don’t leave me sobbing into my pillow—in a bad, non-happy tears kinda way—and I’m a happy camper.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

This is a very interesting question to me, especially after my recent experience with editing Beauregard and the Beast. I’ll admit, my first round of edits from my senior editor had me focusing on cutting back on a few of Bo’s flaws, as he came across a bit unlikeable. Once I saw him from her POV, I realized she was absolutely right—I’d created a bit of a selfish pain in the butt. When I made the adjustments, even I fell more in love with my own character. I had been trying so hard to draw conflict into the story to keep things interesting that I went a bit overboard. Yes, to err is human, but to be a butthead isn’t necessary. I have my goddess of a senior editor at Dreamspinner Press—Desi Chapman—to thank for her brilliant insight that saved Bo from being a rather disagreeable knucklehead.

 Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

This is actually something I do quite frequently. Writing is a form of therapy for me and often a way that I work through issues and events in my life, both the positive and negative. Many of the primary plotlines I’ve written about are based on true life events, one way or another. Perhaps not exactly as they play out in my manuscripts, but often that’s because I make adjustments based on the ways I wished I would’ve responded and the outcomes I imagine might have happened had I reacted in a different way. For me, fiction is used as a way to reimagine events or to work through more positive outcomes that allow me to process and reshape how I view my own experiences.

 What’s next for you as a writer?

As we speak, I have a proposal on submission with Dreamspinner Press to do the next book in my Once Upon a Vegas Night series. It’s a Little Mermaid re-imagining with an Olympic swimmer and the man who rescued him from a near-drowning incident eight years prior that I’m hoping to release during the Summer Olympics in 2020 if it gets picked up!

I also have the first book I ever hit “The End” on out on submission with an exciting group of publishers. This particular book—entitled All Your Broken Pieces—is a true passion project of mine. I wrote it for my best friend who experienced a traumatic period in his life and wanted to see his story told, both to raise awareness and to imagine the HEA of his dreams come true. Due to the subject matter, it’s a significantly darker read than Beauregard and the Beast, but it holds a very special place in my heart and I’m hoping to find it a home in the near future.

Blurb

A Once Upon a Vegas Night Tale

His greatest prize can’t be won in the octagon.

Champion MMA fighter Adam Littrell needs no distractions as he prepares for the fight that will determine whether he retires. But when he opens the door of his swanky Las Vegas home to his new personal assistant, Bo Wilkins, staying focused becomes a struggle.

Aware of Adam’s surly reputation, Bo doesn’t expect to like his new employer, let alone fall for him. But Bo is pleasantly surprised when a shared love of books leads them to study for their GEDs together and plan for a life after their current careers. Adam won’t be able to fight forever, and Bo wants a relationship on equal footing.

But just as their relationship is getting off the ground, the sister Bo raised needs his help, and he drops everything. With Adam’s final match looming and Bo in a different city, reuniting will be the real challenge.

TEASER SCENE EXCEPT:

The smell of fresh laundry mixed with strong cleaning chemicals assaulted Adam’s senses the moment he walked through the garage door after his morning training. He scrunched his nose in protest. The clean linen smell was pleasant, but what the hell kind of biochemical warfare was Bo waging on his home? The pungent scent of corrosive bleach and all manner of other caustic solutions burned his nostrils and left his head spinning.

He headed for the laundry room to drop off his gym bag and found Bo on his hands and knees in the hallway, scrubbing at the stone tile flooring.

“Fuckin’ hell, Bo, you’re gonna asphyxiate from all these fumes.” Adam tossed his bag down the hall in the general direction of the laundry room. “Why don’t you take a break? We can grab lunch somewhere and hit the grocery while we’re out.”

Bo sat back on his haunches and swiped a wrist over his brow. “I’m almost done here any—” His eyes bugged, and he scurried to his feet, the sponge dropping from his hand. “Holy crap on a cracker, what the heck happened to you?”

Adam froze when Bo’s soapy fingertips grazed his jaw. A jolt of electricity fired under his skin at the connection. He followed the tingling path of Bo’s touch with his own fingers, marveling at the intensity of the impression that brief contact left behind.

“Did you get jumped?” Bo’s brows pinched, his lips turning down at the corners. “Did you call the police? Are you hurt anywhere else?”

A laugh bubbled up Adam’s throat at the unexpected barrage of questions and the look of genuine concern twisting Bo’s face. When was the last time anyone cared he’d been hurt? Hell, unless they bordered on life-threatening, even he failed to notice his injuries more often than not. So was the life of a mixed martial arts fighter. Sparring was the best way to train, and sparring equaled wounds. Rarely as intense as those suffered at an official fight, but colorful and bloody nonetheless.

“I’m fine. Just a few scratches.” Adam tried to grin, but the act tugged at his already split lip and fresh blood trickled down his chin.

Bo gasped and clamped a hand over Adam’s wrist. “That’s more than a scratch. Where’s your first aid kit?”

“First aid kit?” Adam cocked a brow. He didn’t keep anything like that at home. If his injuries required mending, Eddie, his coach, would tend to him after he hit the showers. Today, the damage was minimal, so he’d left without patching up.

Gaping, Bo shook his head. “Don’t tell me you get beat up for a living and don’t keep basic first aid supplies around the house.”

Adam knuckled the blood off his chin and shrugged. “It’s a split lip. I’ll be fine.”

“A split lip, a black eye, and a gashed eyebrow. That is not fine.” Bo scowled and dropped Adam’s wrist with an adorable little huff. “I’m adding medical supplies to the grocery list. If you’re going to come home looking like roadkill on a regular basis, I’m going to need some necessities. In the meantime, will you at least let me put some ice on that eye?”

 

About the Author

Evie Drae is a registered nurse by day and an award-winning male/male romance writer by night. She has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® (RWA®) competitions, including the prestigious title “Best of the Best” in the 2018 Golden Opportunity Contest. She is a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart®, in both the Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense categories, and finished as a second-place runner-up in four additional RWA contests. As an added perk, she landed the fabulous literary agent Eva Scalzo from Speilburg Literary following a dual win in two separate categories of the 2018 Heart to Heart contest.

One of Evie’s favorite things to do is encourage her fellow writers. To that end, she started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support and promote LGBTQ+ authors and allies while providing a safe space to connect and grow as a community. She is married to the love of her life, is the mother of three wonderful fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.

Evie loves to link up with fellow writers and readers. You can reach her directly at EvieDrae@gmail.com or find her on her social media accounts listed below. Twitter is where she’s most active but be sure to check out her blog too. She focuses on reviews for LGBTQ+ authors and allies with the occasional quirky advice/recommendation post just to toss things up.

WHERE TO FIND EVIE:

Website/Blog: https://www.eviedrae.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EvieDrae

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eviedraeauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Evie_Drae

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eviedrae/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/eviedrae/

 

RELEASE WEEK GIVE AWAY (ENTER BY AUGUST 26th, WINNERS ANNOUNCED AUGUST 27th, 2019):

The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a personalized signed copy of Beauregard and the Beast, a $100 Amazon Gift Card, and an assortment of author swag! The RUNNER-UP will receive a personalized signed copy of Beauregard and the Beast and an assortment of author swag! Your followers can enter by clicking the following link: https://promosimple.com/ps/e886/b

 

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