Elizabeth Coldwell on Writing, Characters and her new novel,The Leprechaun Next Door (author interview)

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The Leprechaun Next Door by Elizabeth Coldwell

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Adrian Nicholas

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Elizabeth Coldwell here today talking about writing, characters and her new novel,The Leprechaun Next Door. Welcome, Elizabeth.

 

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interviews Elizabeth Coldwell

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

Not that much, I don’t think. When it comes to writing MM fiction, the characters are more how I feel I might be if I was a man, which might not always be positive traits. Part of what appeals to me as a writer is becoming someone who I could never be in real life – not because I don’t like who I am as a person, but because I like to explore different perspectives and possibilities.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

It all depends on the story. For The Leprechaun Next Door, I was bringing a fantastical element into the everyday world, but both parts of that equation required more research than you might think. Everyone knows the basic traits of a leprechaun, such as their green suit and their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but I needed to know if they had any other quirks I could work into the story, and that’s how I hit on every one of the wishes Johnny the leprechaun grants having a sting in its tail (but then there’d be no story if everything came easily to the hero, would there?) As for the real-world element, Devon is looking for work lands a job in a coffee shop, so I did a little bit of research into how to use an espresso machine, because that’s something he needs to be taught.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

Ebooks revolutionized book publishing. They opened up publishing to any number of people who would never have got a book in print due to the limited number of slots available via traditional publishers, but they’ve also allowed an awful lot of poor-quality writing to see the light of day. For a while now, there have been suggestions that the ebook market is saturated, particularly when it comes to romance, but I think good books and good publishers will always thrive.

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I don’t self-publish, so I’ve never had to create a cover of my own or commission one (which is probably a good thing, as my talent is writing, not art of creative use of PhotoShop). All my covers are put together by talented artists who work from the ideas I send them. For The Leprechaun Next Door, Dreamspinner cover artist Adrian Nicholas came up with a variety of images and I chose my favorite. I love it because it’s very colorful and light-hearted and it suits the mood of the book.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why?

This will sound like a cop-out, but it’s almost impossible to pick one out of everything I’ve ever written. I’m very fond of the Lionhearts series I wrote for Totally Bound. They’re MM shifter stories about various lion shifters around the world and the humans who are destined to be their mates, and the series as a whole takes in centuries-old conspiracies, human sacrifice, ghost hunters, murder, arson, obsessed stalkers – all the good stuff!

  • Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it? Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

That happened with a novel I wrote for Xcite Books, Someone Else’s Skin. It all sprang from an incident many years ago when I was hypnotized by someone who’s a well-known hypnotist in the UK at the launch of his self-help videos (yes, that’s how long ago it was – no such thing as DVDs in those days!). He claimed he could hypnotize you to show you who you were going to be in a future life, rather than who you’d been in a past one, and I thought that was such a great idea for a story, but I couldn’t make it work and I shelved the book. It was never meant to be an erotic romance, but when I changed the heroine’s self-absorbed, cheating boyfriend into a sympathetic character who enjoyed threesomes, suddenly everything fell into place and I had great fun writing it. But I’ve never been hypnotized since…

  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

It’s somewhere I’ve written in the past. A few years ago, my partner and I were on holiday in Amsterdam, staying on a houseboat that had once been a working barge. One day it rained, so I sat writing and watching the rain fall. Just the perfect creative atmosphere.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have an idea for a novel involving a vampire character who gets a tiny mention in The Leprechaun Next Door. Once I have the time to get into the meat of the story, I think I’m going to have a good time with it.

 

The Leprechaun Next Door by Elizabeth Coldwell

Blurb:

Happiness might be waiting at the end of the rainbow, but will it come with a price?

Devon’s down on his luck—he’s lost his job and discovered his boyfriend is cheating on him. His neighbor, Johnny, is not only cute, he also has a big secret: he’s a leprechaun with a pot of gold… and the ability to grant wishes.

Can Devon wish his way out of the hole he’s found himself in? He’d like a new job, some revenge on his lying ex, and maybe even love. Johnny can give him what he wants, but it won’t come for free… or in the ways Devon expects. Can he trust a sexy leprechaun to help him make a new start and wish himself into the arms of the man of his dreams?

Author Bio:

I am Rotherham’s foremost (okay, only) writer of quality erotica and erotic romance. Though I’m now based in London, family and football take me back North on a regular basis. Indeed, if you’re ever at a Rotherham United match (I know, what are the chances?) and you spot a small blonde with a large ‘London Millers’ flag, that’ll be me. Originally from South Yorkshire, Elizabeth Coldwell has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, only now she gets to people them with hot men. When she’s not got her nose in a book, she’s reviewing or trying to stop one or both of her cats from walking over her keyboard. She spends her time following her home town football team and baking the best brownies in East London.

 

Connect with Elizabeth Coldwell

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Goodreads

Andrew Grey on Memories, Tours, and his new story Borrowed Heart (author guest blog)

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Borrowed Heart by Andrew Grey
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

DreamSpinner Press

 

 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey here today talking about his new release Borrowed Heart.  Welcome, Andrew.

✒︎

 

When I started Borrowed Heart, I knew it was going to take place on a tour in Europe and since I had travelled in Germany many times, it was the natural choice.  However one thing I didn’t count on, it just crept in, was the fact that much of the story mirrored Dominic and my honeymoon some 23 years ago.  That was a pleasant surprise.  I got to relive some of the things we did through the book and what surprised me even more was the fact that writing the book recalled things I hadn’t thought about on years.  It was a great trip down memory lane.

The first stop on our trip was Freiburg in the black forest.  It’s a beautiful city with a vibrant central business district.  After a few days, before sunset, Dominic and I took a walk out of the town and up into the forest itself.  We past small garden houses and then were engulfed in trees and an umbrella of green.  We got off the beaten path to discover ruins that we climbed over and sat on for pictures.  I remember it as something out of Lord of the Rings, though without the carved faces and stuff.  Dominic and I never passed anyone else, it was just the two of us in the forest.  Irs funny what you remember and how important these little memories become.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Robin, the recipient of a brand-new heart, knows he can’t give it to just anyone….

Robin’s been through his share of upsets recently, from heart transplant surgery to a brutal breakup. But his experiences have taught him life is short, and he’s ready to seize the day and start anew. A job at Euro Pride Tours is just the kind of adventure he’s looking for. He gets to see the world and live a little, but love isn’t on his radar screen. He isn’t sure his heart can endure that again.

Johan might’ve disappointed his family by striking out on his own, but when he meets Robin, he has no intention of letting him down. Each man is just what the other needs to feel whole again, and while Johan might not be the man Robin originally thought he was, he’s exactly what the doctor ordered to make Robin’s borrowed heart beat faster. As the tour through Germany progresses, they grow closer, but when Robin’s ex joins the tour, he could bring their blossoming love to a dramatic halt.

Excerpt:

“Guten Morgen. I’m Robin, and I’m going to be your tour guide for the next eleven days. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the itinerary, and as far as I know, there aren’t any changes that we are expecting. Our driver, Johan—” He paused, and Johan waved quickly before merging into traffic. “—and I will be here to make sure you get where you need to. At any time during the trip, I will be happy to answer questions. Now, for most of our day trips, Johan will lock the bus, so you can feel free to leave your things in the overhead compartment, or we can put them in the locked compartments.”

“Even my laptop?” Grant asked, his hand shooting in the air.

“Yes. Your laptops, sweaters, jackets… all of it. We don’t recommend that you leave things on the bus overnight, because Johan will need to park it and he’ll be at the hotel with us.” Robin gazed out at the faces all looking back at him expectantly. “The drive to Würzburg is going to take about two hours with traffic, so I thought I’d give you a little overview of the country we’re going to be seeing. The country we know as Germany didn’t always look the way it does today. Up until a hundred and fifty or so years ago, it was many different sovereign states—Prussia, Franconia, and Bavaria, to name a few of them. They each had their own rulers and royal lines. You may have heard of some of them.”

“What about East Germany? Was that one of them?” Billy asked, and Kyle nudged him sharply.

“No. That’s because of the war,” Kyle interjected.

“What we know or knew as East and West Germany resulted from World War II. East Germany was the part controlled by the Russians. Germany was reunified in 1990.” Robin took a deep breath and continued. “We are going to see palaces, castles, and Roman ruins, taste wine….”

“And get drunk…,” a couple said together, and everyone laughed.

Robin tried to laugh along with them, but failed, waiting them out instead. Kyle and Billy started talking about beer, and the conversation took off on its own. Popping and hissing sounds followed, and both Kyle and Billy sipped from cans, offering them to others as well. Soon almost everyone was drinking, and Robin wondered how they’d gotten that much beer on the bus right under his nose. He was going to have to keep an eye on those two. Giving up on imparting any more information, he sat down and let the group talk while they rode.

“It is okay,” Johan said from just in front of him. “They need to get to know one another, and this is a good time for them to do it.”

“I suppose. I usually have get-to-know-each-other games,” Robin explained, and Johan snorted. “What?”

“I remember those games. The beer is better.” He returned to his driving, chuckling under his breath. Robin wanted to smack him, but as he turned to look at the rest of the group, he had to agree that the beer was better. They were having a good time, talking and laughing. Robin faced forward, watching the road and scenery out the front window as they entered the Autobahn. He opened the file and reviewed it once again, needing something to do.

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Emory Schneider on Characters, Contemporary Writing and their new release ‘The Truth Beyond the Bitterness (World of Love)’ ~ author guest blog

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The Truth Beyond the Bitterness (World of Love) by Emory Schneider

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Emory Schneider on tour today for their new novel, The Truth Beyond the Bitterness.  Welcome, Emory.

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interviews Emory Schneider

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I like both. I am always ready to do research and broaden my knowledge and I enjoy creating worlds for my stories, too.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m a big dreamer and I wish every love story would have HEA. Life doesn’t work that way, and that’s why so many people enjoy happy endings.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I didn’t read many romance books until I was sixteen or seventeen but haven’t stopped since then.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I live in the Czech Republic, so it is complicated and expensive to purchase any physical books by authors out of the Europian Union since I would have to pay duty on them and VAT twice. Therefore I prefer to buy ebooks. I do own a bookshelf full of books, love to hold them in my hands and sniff the pages, but ebook format makes books available for more people around the globe.

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?

That can happen. It might be an opportunity for the character to learn about their mistakes and change themselves. Of course, that requires a lot of time and the story would become boring, but I believe there is a way to handle it. I’m not so sure I would ever be able to write it, though. Also, it highly depends on the protagonist – if they are willing to support their love interest and wait for their transformation.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

This is a hard question. I find every trait somewhat interesting. The most challenging thing is to combine them so the character is interesting and readers see them in the way I want.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

About two years ago I started writing a fantasy story and I got stuck six chapters in. Everything seemed wrong about it. I decided to put it away and worked on The Truth Beyond the Bitterness. There were two reasons for why the first story didn’t work – worldbuilding and confidence. When I got the deal for my novella, it boosted me to get back to the previous story.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away? To move past? To wide our knowledge? Why do you write?

First of all, I write so my head doesn’t explode. I use it as a chance to také a break from everyday life, but in the same time, I feel other people might find it interesting to experience how someone from central Europe looks at the world. I mean I like to read stories from all around the world.

What’s next for you as a writer?

I am writing a fantasy novel right now. I hope I finish the story before the end of this year.

About the Author

Emory Schneider was born in Děčín, the Czech Republic, as the fourth of five children and later moved to the western part of the country to find a job. They ended up working as a brazer in Pilsen—yes, the home of the beer. Emory spent a lot of their childhood discussing possible scenarios for cartoon and manga series they watched with their brother and pretending they were a knight or a spy. Their love of books and stories in general motivated them to learn English, although they had nearly failed the subject for two years.

During their teenage years, they started to make up M/M romance stories, but it took them several years to put any of them on paper. When not working or writing, Emory tries to fight their laziness and burn some calories they probably gained from staring at chocolate bars at the shopping mall or drinking some of the Coke they bought for their husband.

You can contact me at:

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2DUKjY4

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2NY5vRH

Website: http://bit.ly/2OzZ0nw

 

The Truth Beyond the Bitterness

Can love erase a lifetime of fear and bitterness? Kuba flees the oppressive influence of his strict Catholic family as soon as he graduates high school. In the big city of Pilsen, Czech Republic, he can get a fresh start. Although he is fairly content sharing a flat with his coworker and filling it with books, he knows he’s destined to be alone unless he can come out of the closet. But he just isn’t ready to bare his soul to the world.

When he meets his roommate’s friend Emil, he begins to reconsider. Is a chance at romance with the gorgeous man—and fellow bibliophile— incentive enough for Kuba to face his demons?

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Available for purchase at: http://bit.ly/2ze9AaY

Cooper West on Thoughts about Beauty and her new novel ‘Mixed Signals’ (author guest blog)

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Mixed Signals by Cooper West

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Buy links

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Cooper West here today talking about her new novel Mixed Signals. Welcome, Cooper.

✒︎

When Beauty is a Mixed Signal

By Cooper West (2/18/2019)

Is there such a thing as “too beautiful”?

This question came to my mind years and years ago, when I made the accidental acquaintance of a truly astoundingly beautiful woman. By any measure of traditional beauty, she scored a 100%. Why she wasn’t a model, I’ll never know, but what I did come to know about her was that she was creative, intelligent, witty, a great dancer…

…and almost pathologically insecure.

It opened my eyes to the unique and often overlooked problems that people who possess exceptionally good looks have to deal with. For my friend, her astonishing features meant that she was in a constant state of being objectified and used by everyone around her. Men wanted her as eye candy and a status symbol; women wanted to be associated with her, or wanted to hate her for what she had that they felt they lacked. She believed that most people who tried to connect with her could not be trusted, and not without reason. On top of that, she was fully aware that her looks were transitory, that someday she would age out of the “beautiful young woman” category that she felt (incorrectly) was her only real social advantage, and that terrified her.

For someone whom I at first thought “had it all,” she was a person I eventually came to feel sorry for. What good is having it all if you are always alone and wary of everyone around you?

Years later, I decided to write that into a character, and that character is Frank (Francis) Sheldon in my new book Mixed Signals.

(Full disclosure: it’s not a new book, it’s a second edition, but instead of being a super short novella it is now a long and plotty book full of intrigue and, of course, romance!)

Frank is that guy: rich, privileged, gorgeous, popular. He’s got everything most of us think any guy would be thrilled to have.

And yet…

My goal with Frank was to show that sometimes, a charmed life might be privileged but not easy. Frank got washed out of the US Air Force under the old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that ended so many careers of LGBTQ+ service members. He doesn’t particularly want to inherit all the responsibility and drudgery of his father’s corporate empire, nor does he want to go into politics like his older sister. He’s constantly preyed upon by people who are out for his looks and his money, and he finds it hard to trust anyone completely. He spent years carefully living in the closet only to be outed and have his career goals destroyed in one fell swoop.

He’s a lucky guy, is Frank, but he’s the only one who doesn’t think that’s true.

Well, he was until he met Benjamin.

Benjamin is not quite the everyday-Joe character, as he’s a bit of a brilliant computer nerd and a brat. He shares some of the insecurities most of us would identify with, I think (or maybe just me!): not spectacularly handsome, not spectacularly wealthy, and not spectacularly noticeable at all. Unlike Frank, Benjamin’s life has been marred by tragedy after tragedy as well as financial frustrations. He got a free ride for his doctorate but he also had to raise his younger sister after the deaths of their parents. My goal with Benjamin was to make him the one we can all relate to, despite his IQ and social klutziness.

Frank’s expectation is that he can pretty much seduce whomever he wants without working for it while also not having to commit to a relationship with someone he doesn’t trust. But, in a nutshell: Benjamin is not impressed!!! Frank is used to people seeing the surface-value aspect of his life — handsome! Rich! Envied! — and not seeing him as a person. Benjamin, though, pretty much only sees Frank as a person, and not only that, but as a person he is not particularly interested in (or is he?).

It was fun to write his story because I enjoy turning tropes upside down. This could have easily become a “billionaire daddy” romance because technically, yes, Frank’s family are billionaires and he can drop millions of dollars on a hobby without thinking much about it. While I have nothing against billionaire daddy stories, I wanted to show how that kind of advantage in life can work against a person in unexpected ways. I hope you enjoy the twists and turns Frank and Benjamin go through on their way to true love!

 

Blurb:

Devastatingly handsome pilot Frank Sheldon is doing his best to avoid his inheritance of money, charm, and good looks by rebuilding his life on his own terms after being discharged from the Air Force just before the repeal of DADT. When he unexpectedly meets the eccentric geek Benjamin Kaplan, sparks don’t quite fly, despite Benjamin’s obvious interest. Frank is not one to back down from a challenge, but what does any of that have to do with his sister’s campaign for governor, or the muckraking political website attacking her opponent, who just happens to be Frank’s unlamented, very closeted, ex-boyfriend? It’s hard to fall in love when all you are getting is mixed signals!

 

About the Author

Busting out of the fanfiction scene in 2012 with the publication of her first original full-length book, Dawn in the Orchard, Cooper West writes stories that capture the heart and imagination. She is now known for her bestselling book The Protector, set in her unique Guardsman’verse of weredogs and bonded pairs, and plans to continue to release more books in that series but also enjoys writing modern, quirky contemporary romance stories.

She’s still a fangirl at heart, with an everlasting crush on Chris Evans and an ever-rotating list of OTPs. Bisexual and raised in a queer household, Cooper has been writing “slash” since she was a teenager and did not understand much about biology. She’s learned a lot since then! *wink wink nudge nudge*

 

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Andrew Grey on Unique Beginnings and his new story Reunited (author guest post)

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Reunited by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Hannelore Nistor

Published February 20th 2019

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey here today on tour with his new book Reunited. Welcome, Andrew!
✒︎

Andrew Grey on Story Beginnings…

This story has a unique beginning.  Last year at the Leipzig Book Fair I was speaking with the head of Cursed Verlag, they translate a lot of my work into German.  They have been a wonderful supporter over the years and I wanted to do something special.  So we agreed that I would write a short story for them.  That story is Reunited.  It was published in German first and then would be released in English.  So our German friends got to get it before my English speaking readers.  They really seemed to love the story.  The cover that you see is the German cover.  I wanted them to be the same across both languages.    I really hope you like Reunited and enjoy the story.

Blurb

Back in high school, nobody noticed quiet nerd Kevin Howard.

But everybody noticed handsome, athletic, and ultrapopular jock Clay Northrup.

They had nothing in common and lived in different worlds.

But a lot can change in fifteen years, and when they meet again at their high school reunion, Clay is no longer the big man on campus, and Kevin isn’t hiding in a corner anymore.

Can they put aside who they were? Can one night really lead to forever?

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Amy Lane on Courting a Demon and her new release Familiar Demon (Guest Post and Excerpt)

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Familiar Demon (Familiar Love #2) by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Reese Dante

Buy Links:   Amazon |   Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Amy Lane here today on tour for her latest release Familiar Demon.  Welcome, Amy.

Courting a Demon By Amy Lane

So, what’s it like to court a demon?

Well, in the case of Edward and Mullins, there’s quite a bit of preparation.

First, Mullins must be ready to get out of hell—it turns out that hell is mostly run by bozos and that the REAL devils are humans without restraint and without conscience who are given the power to hurt. With a judicious use of magic—and some self-realization on his part—Mullins is free to go.

Except, well, about that magic…

Turns out that the spell to release a demon from hell was cooked up a long time ago. All sorts of things—horns of ibexes, dodos eggs, dinosaur bones, three strands of hair from an elven king—are sort of hard to acquire.

And let’s talk about being ready to get out of hell. Lots of us live in hells of our own making. It’s comfy here. We know where the fridge is. The whips for self-flagellation are handy. We know who to blame when the world goes wonky. Why would we want to leave?

So talking Mullins out of staying in hell—and putting together the spell that will get him out when he’s ready—are two of the focal points of the book, and neither of them are easy. So how do you start a planetary scavenger hunt in a minivan and stop a demon for blaming himself for simple human failings?

Well, like so very much else in romance, it all starts with a kiss…

Familiar Demon—Exclusive Excerpt:

“Nice,” Edward said with a sigh. “This was one of few items I didn’t have in the minivan when it blew up.”

“Wait a moment!” Mullins protested. “You… you had most of the ingredients in the minivan before it blew up?”

“Yes. Yes, I did. And then we all went on a mission without Harry and they spotted us and were completely on our tail with guns and Emma pulled us out of the minivan with that boomerang thing she does in her sleep, and the minivan was sailing through the air like an unmanned cruise missile. Are you happy?”

“But… but you were doing this before? Without my knowledge? Edward—why?”

“Because I wanted it all done before we told you!” Edward exclaimed. “I wanted to offer it—and I know it’s silly and simplistic and sad—but I wanted to offer it, like a courting gift, and say, ‘Mullins, I’ve loved you forever. Will you leave hell for me?’ And then everything I’d collected went kaboom and….” Edward’s shoulders slumped. “Harry and Suriel were separated. And I know we told you about it afterward, but… but I thought I was going to lose my brother, Mullins. And I was terrified. So I gave up the search until Suriel was released from heaven, and now—”

“Now you’re ready to search again.” Mullins bowed his head. “Edward, you have nothing to be ashamed about. You should have asked me first—”

“So you could say no?” Edward demanded.

Mullins shook his head, eyes focused on Edward’s loopy scrawl. “I wouldn’t have said no,” he whispered. “Not to you.”

And Edward had to grin, his heart warming in his chest. “And that is the best thing I’ve heard all day. But about that last thing—”

“I’ll search for it,” Mullins told him soberly. “But sometime—not now—I think I’m going to have to tell you the story about how one young cotsman became a demon.”

“I’m waiting to hear it,” Edward whispered. “Mullins, you’re growing thin. Let me kiss you, and you can wear my love under your skin, to protect you until it’s time again.”

Growing thin was the expression Francis had coined for the transparency Mullins formed around the edges before Mullins asked for the words that would banish him back to hell.

“Kiss—”

Edward ignored him, turned his head, and cupped his jaw. His fingers slid through the façade of the beast like a photo projection on the wall, and he could feel the faint bristle of day-old beard abrade his palm. “I can see you, this close, Mullins. I know who I’m kissing. You are a very beautiful man.”

He found Mullins’s mouth unerringly, and Mullins’s gasp of surprise told Edward the touch was alien, and not unpleasant.

Edward breathed softly and found the seam of Mullins’s lips with the tip of his tongue, and Mullins’s breathy little moan sent wildfire ripping through Edward’s blood.

He slid his fingers along the back of Mullins’s round, human skull and plundered.

So many years of depending on this steady, practical demon. So many years wanting to escape the strictures of courtesy and magic that bound them.

And now Edward was tasting him, and he tasted rich, sweet, exotic—Turkish coffee and cinnamon.

Mullins groaned and lifted his hand to Edward’s temple—

And sliced his skin with the sharp edge of his hoof.

Edward gasped and Mullins jerked back, turning away and shrinking inward.

“Let me go,” he murmured, like the last hour of them working together, partnering as though they had a future, had never happened.

“Never.”

Edward reached for his chin and found it—still human under his fingers. He gave a little pull and Mullins reluctantly turned toward him. Edward couldn’t see him anymore, but he could feel him under his fingers. “That kiss is my vow to you, Mullins. I fell in love bit by bit, you understand? For the last fifty years, it’s been you, just you, in my heart, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t been there from the very first. You and me, we have things to do together. This isn’t the end. I may let you return to your cell, to gain strength, to think about the challenges we have together, but trust me, I’ll be summoning you again. And if you don’t come, I’ll know you’ve been taken, and thanks to you, I’ve got a plan—”

“What’s the—”

“Enough. Enough of the plan.” Edward smiled and tapped his forehead, calling up his brother’s mantra when things got really hairy. “It’s all up here,” he said.

Mullins didn’t smile back. “You’re right,” he said quietly. “I do have a soul. But if you get hurt before we can make this come true, you’ll break my heart.”

Edward nodded, suddenly sober. “Understood. I’ll say the words to let you go, and I swear I’ll call you back again.” A drop of blood dripped over Edward’s forehead from the cut Mullins had left, and before Edward knew how to react Mullins leaned forward and lapped.

The buzz of magic that passed through the room left them both breathless.

“What the—”

“I’m sorry!” Mullins muttered. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I did that—”

Edward’s cockiest grin took him by surprise. “I do. You locked that promise in blood, you clever boy. I’m sworn to it for real now—written right in the annals of hell, isn’t that how the blood oath goes?”

Mullins shut his eyes. “It was unconscionable—”

“It was heroic!” Edward crowed. “And I owe you the same sort of heart. I’ll get you out of there, beloved. Just hang on, understand?”

To his relief Mullins nodded, and Edward reached out and touched his face tenderly. “Get thee gone, demon,” he said, voice choking on the old words. “Return only when summoned, harm none in this house, harm none at my hearth. Get thee gone.”

And Mullins disappeared, fading into the air, leaving only the heat of his body and his hope behind.

Blurb: 
 

For over a century, Edward Youngblood has been the logical one in a family of temperamental magical beings. But reason has not made him immune to passion, and Edward’s passion for Mullins, the family’s demon instructor, has only grown.

Mullins was lured into hell through desperation—and a fatal mistake. He’s done his best to hang onto his soul in the twisted realm of the underworld, and serving the Youngblood family when summoned has been his only joy. Edward concocts a plan to spring Mullins by collecting a series of items to perform an ancient ritual—an idea that terrifies Mullins. He can’t bear the thought of losing Edward and his brothers to a dangerous quest.

But every item in their collection is an adventure in brotherhood and magic, and as Mullins watches from the sidelines, he becomes more and more hopeful that they will succeed. When the time comes for Mullins to join the mission, can he find enough faith and hope to redeem himself and allow himself happiness in the arms of a man who would literally go to hell and back—and beyond—to have Mullins by his side?

About the Author

Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of growing children, a passel of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. She’s been nominated for a RITA, has won honorable mention for an Indiefab, and has a couple of Rainbow Awards to her name. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Andrew Grey on Inspiration, Character Names and his new release Rebound (guest blog)

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Rebound by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: Feb 13 2019
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

DreamSpinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Grey back again with his new release Rebound.  Welcome,Andrew!

🏀

Rebound is a story that started quite differently for me that most of my others.  See with this book I started with the character names.  I’m not going to give them away, but that was where I began.  From there I had decided that I wanted to return to the universe of the Playmaker.  That world of sport gave me a great deal of happiness and I wanted to return there. 
You know, there are times when we all want a safe place.  I’m one of them.  In my writing for a long time, when I needed peace, I went to the world of the Love Means… stories.  After those books I worked on the Love Comes stories. Currently, I really don’t have a series that provides me with that same feeling.  But I will say that working on Rebound gave me some of that writing peace… at least for a while. 
I really hope you enjoy this story.  I had a great time writing it.  I hope you enjoy reading it. 

 

Blurb/Synopsis:

Professional basketball player Bri Early needs a physical therapist after an injury, and he’s heard that Obie is the best. Bri takes an immediate liking to the out-and-proud man with the magic touch, and even though Bri isn’t openly gay himself, he’d never let anything stand in the way of something he wants.

Obie can’t deny that the sexy athlete presses all his buttons, but he’s a professional and has no intention of getting involved with a client. While they’re working together, it’s hands off, no matter how great the temptation.

But being a pro athlete isn’t easy. Bri has enemies, and one of them is making his life hell. When his house is set ablaze, Bri can no longer pretend the threatening messages he’s receiving are jokes. He needs a safe place to stay, and Obie can’t turn his back. But the two of them in the same house is a recipe for combustion that could burn them both….

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance/ Sports Romance

Excerpt 

Just as Obie suspected, they got there only to stand in a line a block long. Worse, it hadn’t moved more than ten feet in the last half hour. At this rate, they would get in next Thursday. In desperation and because he was tired of standing there, he messaged Monty and got a quick response.

“I’m inside. I’ll send Hunter out to get you.”

“The guys are with me,” Obie said.

“I’ll warn him.” The message was followed with a happy face. And sure enough, five minutes later, Hunter, accompanied by one of the bouncers, found them and they were escorted around the rest of the line and into the club, which pulsated with energy.

“Oh my God,” David said, holding on to Obie’s arm as though he might faint. “Would you look at him.” He pointed, and Obie let his gaze follow. “Do you think he’d let me climb him like a tree?”

“No!” Obie said firmly. “Just don’t you dare.” Then he turned at the sound of a familiar voice. There was his newest client, propped up on crutches.

“Hunter,” he heard Bri say as they approached. “This isn’t my thing. I’m happy to support the AIDS Research Council, but it’s getting late. I think I’m just going to head home.”

Obie was definitely surprised to see Bri here, but then, the evening was for a good cause. He liked that Bri cared enough to help out.

He was just about to go over and say something, but his friend beat him to it.

“Hi, I’m David.” He held out his hand to Bri. “You’re Bri Early, aren’t you? I’m sure I’ve seen you on television. You do those luscious commercials for Chanel. I went out and bought some, just because of you.” He leaned closer. “Want to check it out and see?” He pressed his upturned hand forward so Bri could supposedly smell his wrist.

“Knock it off,” Obie said. “Be nice. He doesn’t want to smell you.” He definitely needed to run a little interference.

“Yeah, none of us do,” Chippy added, much to David’s visible consternation. Chippy tugged David in the direction of the bar as Monty joined Hunter, wrapping an arm around him.

“Dang, half of gay Philly is here tonight.” Monty looked up at Hunter, his partner. “I think I need to mark you, just so all the trolling queens will keep their damn distance,” he said, louder than was necessary. The circle of guys inching their way closer seemed to back away a little, but not for long. It seemed they had their sights on Bri as well.

“I know. Thanks, Hunter, for coming to our rescue,” Obie said. “I thought we’d be in that line forever.”

“Speaking of rescues, do you think you could give me a little help?” Bri glanced around, his deep brown eyes a little dazed as the vultures seemed to close in.

“No problem.” Obie walked to his left side, taking Bri’s arm. “Let’s see if we can find a table.” Obie gave the onlookers his best “He’s with me, bitches” look and guided his new client over to a table with a Reserved sign on it. Hunter slid right in with Monty, and Obie made sure Bri got settled before he took a place next to him.

“What can I get you?” a buff server asked, a black T-shirt, at least two sizes too small, straining over his chest and biceps.

“Club soda with lime,” Bri ordered.

“I’ll have the same. I need to make sure I can get my friends home in one piece.” Obie thanked the server as he was leaving.

“They seem a little feral,” Bri said, and Obie chuckled. Damn, he couldn’t help it.

“They’re good guys, believe it or not. Even if they’re a little over the top sometimes.” He turned to see David and Chippy on their way over, each with their hands full.

 

About the Author


Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Claudia Mayrant on Writing, Characters, and her new release Place Setting (States of Love) 

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Place Setting (States of Love) by Claudia Mayrant

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Purchase links:

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/place-setting-by-claudiamayrant-10094-b

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Place-Setting-States-ClaudiaMayrant-ebook/dp/B07MHSLTYM

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Claudia Mayrant

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Every character I write has at least a little something of me in them. What that thing is or how much there is varies.  Sometimes it’s something in their background, sometimes a hobby or an interest, and sometimes it’s in the way they approach a relationship with a person or persons they care about.  In Place Setting, both Gray and Cameron come from a place very familiar to me and I can see their hometown of Summer Corners clearly in my head because it’s very much based on some towns back home. My love of cooking comes through in Gray’s profession as a chef, but I also wrote Gray as coming to his profession after life through him curveball — his childhood dream wasn’t going to happen so he made a new dream and struck out on a new path which is something I’ve worked through myself.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Even if I wrote someone exactly like me in personality, appearance and background, I’d make an excuse to do research, because I love it so much (yes, I was one of those children who occasionally read the family’s World Book Encyclopedia for fun).  So, it doesn’t influence what genre I choose as I am going to find a way to do it anyway but I always look forward to it because no matter what I’m writing it gives me a more complete picture and makes the world of the book more real and solid in my mind.

I enjoy making up worlds and cultures but always have the reference books (and websites) close at hand when I do.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Yes, though I go through phases where I’m reading a lot of them and then hardly any at all; it’s always been that way for me, like I’m devouring a buffet and then take ample time to digest.  In these phases I’m also almost always sticking to one category. My first romance book love where the teen contemporaries that filled mass-market spinners at the local mall bookstore.  After that, I admit I started sneaking my mom’s racy historicals full of petticoats and pirates. After college, it was back to contemporary but usually it was a mystery or fantasy and lately I’ve been into regencies.  I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite kind, and I’d like to explore writing some of each.

What’s next for you as an author? Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?

I’m treating this as one question and answering out of order, to boot! Yes, I have put something away, a story with two characters that I love and I think, have some sweet and sizzling chemistry but something about their relationship journey together just wasn’t jelling like it should. That was a couple of years ago and since finishing Place Setting, I’ve come back to it and there’s a clearer path – so that is what’s next, getting these two fellas through their story to their happy end

 

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write to give myself- and hopefully my readers – an interlude away from real-life concerns and responsibilities for a little while.  I don’t think escapism and entertainment is mutually exclusive with explanation or education but as a storyteller, I’d say I’m most consciously trying to do the former though not at the expense of the latter.  I’ve found that experiencing hope, joy, and laughter often help make a fertile ground for a growing mind, so sharing those is something I strive to do with my writing.

 

 

Blurb

Cameron Dunlop has lived in the Lowcountry town of Summer Corners, South Carolina, his whole life. He loves his home, but his little town in the Deep South doesn’t offer much in the way of dating options.

Chef Gray Callahan has enjoyed success in the kitchen, but his last relationship sunk like a bad soufflé. When plans for his sister’s wedding go awry, it provides the perfect excuse to pack up and go home, where he can help out as he decides how to start his life over.

Gray’s path crosses Cameron’s, and he realizes together they might have all the ingredients to save the day—with maybe enough left over for something sweet just for the two of them.

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

About the Author 

Claudia Mayrant has been exploring the world around her since she was old enough to get around under her own power. Since then, she’s enjoyed visiting as many places as she can.

For all her love of travel, she’s most relaxed back in the South on a Gulf Coast beach with good friends, refreshing beverages, and plenty of sunscreen.

Author twitter: @ClaudiaMayrant

Author Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/claudiamayrant/

R.L. Merrill on Writing Characters, Romance and the new release ‘Typhoon Toby (Forces of Nature Book 2) (author guest blog)

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Typhoon Toby (Forces of Nature Book 2) by R.L. Merrill

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Kanaxa

Publication: January 22nd 2019

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner Press https://goo.gl/58pSJS

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words wants to welcome R.L. Merrill here today on tour for Typhoon Toby. Welcome, R.L., into our author’s interview chair.

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with R.L. Merrill

 

 

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

 

I never set out to be a writer, and I didn’t read much romance growing up. I read Stephen King and Anne Rice and I figured if I ever wrote stories, I’d want to scare the hell out of people. IO didn’t read for a long time because of college, being a brand new teacher trying to figure out what I was doing, then grad school. I read while I was pregnant with my daughter, a whole bunch of thrillers and mysteries, and then didn’t read a book again until I got sick in 2009. This time I started with paranormal romances. Sherrilyn Kenyon and Charlaine Harris were both authors I loved for their unique characters and great dialogue as well as flawed heroes who deserved redemption. My first self-published romance ended up being a contemporary so I have no idea where that came from, haha. I never really read much. I loved Colleen Hoover’s early books and I wanted to make people feel like she does. Her career is probably the one I’d love to have, although I don’t think our books are similar. I have yet to find anyone I read and think A HA! My readers tell me my characters and zany situations remind them of Kristan Higgins. I’ll take that. She’s pretty amazing as well.

 

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

 

As someone with diminishing vision, the ebook has been a lifesaver. I can’t read print books anymore. Between the dark spots in my vision and the fact that my progressive bifocals are tricky to read with, I’m struggling on a daily basis to do my job and sometimes to write. My docs are usually somewhere between 150-200% and I read on my phone or my paperwhite with the font enlarged. I’ll keep on keepin’ on as long as I can,

 

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?

 

Contemporary romance is tricky. I’ve given up trying to write the kinds of heroes people want to read and focus on who I’d like to know and hang out with. In that sense, a lot of times my characters are based on real people, my own heroes, or celebrities that I respect. There are things that would make me personally not want to be with a person so I avoid those traits in my writing, but then other readers love those types of characters, so I just have to hope there are enough like-minded readers out there looking for flawed-but-redeemable characters.

 

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

 

Lately I’ve been looking at the quirky ways people deal with stress and failure in my characters. I’m also fascinated by characters that survive in that gray area. My absolute favorite TV show ever is Justified. Talk about a whole bunch of flawed characters that wallow in the gray! There’s a delicate balance, though, between how much is too much. This goes back to my last answer. Where’s that line that readers won’t blur with you?

 

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

 

I’m not a drinker, but if it were possible for me to write amped up on too much caffeine and write something ridiculous, I’ll do it. My drunken exploits go back twenty years and involve drunk shopping haha. My husband loves to remind me of the awful red and orange dress I bought in Hawaii on our honeymoon that had to go back the next day.

 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

The best possible place for me to write is an old building. I’ve written some of my favorite stories at the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley which dates to the late 1800s, the Weller House in Fort Bragg, California… My friend’s house in Portland, Oregon which was built in the early 1900s and is all dark wood gorgeousness in the woods. I’ve had great writing sessions in the Jupiter, a beer pub in Berkeley as well. I’d love to find someplace old that’s closer to me that I could visit on a more regular basis.

 

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? Why do you write?

 

I write to give hope. I write to recognize the struggles people I respect go through. I write to save my sanity.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

 

This year is going to see a lot of different projects. After Typhoon Toby, I’ll revisit my boys Orrie and Dalton from Worst Holiday Ever and give them a Valentine’s Day Surprise. Then it’s on to a f/f story for a #loveislove anthology in June and hopefully a paranormal. Later in the summer, a new project from Dreamspinner will be out titled Summer of Hush. I’ve got lots of writing to do, including more stories in the Forces of Nature series and Summer of Hush, as well as some indie projects.

More about Typhoon Toby

Forces of Nature: Book Two

On the surface, Toby Griffiths appears to have it all—talent, money, a brilliant mind, and model good looks. With his best friend, Reese, he’s built an empire as a singer/songwriter.

But beneath that glittering exterior, Toby suffers the lasting effects of abuse. To keep his tempestuous past where it belongs, he insists on anonymity with lovers—no names, no personal information. But a vacation fling in Bali changes all that, and he can’t get his recent playmate out of his mind.

Therapist Spencer Hart left Bali with a bad case of pneumonia and a broken heart. Although he’s recovering, he’s shocked to find his secretive partner on TV, and he’s determined to see him again. Spencer arranges to attend one of Toby’s fundraising galas, and their reunion is tense.

Toby tries to stick to his rules… until a New Year’s kiss with Spencer washes away the last of his resistance. But Toby is a man with secrets, and when the storm comes ashore, it could devastate not just his professional life but his fledgling love affair and his longtime partnership with his best friend.

Will Spencer stand by his side and help him weather the storm as Toby faces his worst fears?

About the Author

Once upon a time… A teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock ‘n’ roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. Several self-published books and a debut from Dreamspinner Press later, with more tucked away in her evil lair, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, being a mom-taxi to two brilliant and busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.

 

 

Contact the author

Website

 

Twitter

 

Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton On Characters, Stories, and their recent re-release Second Hand (a Tucker Springs story) (author interview)

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Second Hand by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton
Dreamspinner Press

Cover art: Reese Dante

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton here today talking about their new release Second Hand.

✒︎

~ A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton ~

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Marie: A little piece of me goes into every single one, but how much varies from character to character. For most of them, it’s only small, random things, like their pet peeves or their favorite drink. Others have more. Trey from Family Man had a lot of my real life experiences, and Cody from Trailer Trash had a lot of my “not fitting in” teenage angst. 

Heidi: I’d agree that it’s mostly random things. I’ve had a few I identify strongly with, but no one has ever felt like a self-insert. They definitely end up with a lot of my personal stories and things I’ve witnessed/experienced, but it’s a real remix. For Second Hand, honestly, I’m the one who had El’s family making tamales, but that was all research. I’d never made them myself. Now I can make them like a pro and have had tutoring by people who know their stuff, and my tamales aren’t half bad. But at the time I wrote that, it wasn’t even borrowed from my experiences.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Marie: I’m going to be honest here — I despise research. My degree is in history, so it seems like something I should love, but I don’t. Which is why I mostly write contemporaries. Every time I’ve started writing something historical, I got bored and shifted it to an AU instead, largely so I could just make shit up and not have to do research. (Song of Oestend and Release being prime examples.)

Heidi: I research everything because it makes me feel grounded. I usually only write about something I have at least some familiarity with, but even then I’m always investigating. I don’t think it plays a role in my choices, but it does vary by project. Interestingly some of the least research I had to do was for Clockwork Heart, which I thought would have the most. There my biggest problem was all the dang languages.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Marie: Never. Growing up, I mostly read fantasy, with a smattering of horror, scifi, and mysteries in between. Back in about 2008, I read Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series. At the end of the second book, the two male protagonists become lovers, and I was blown away. So I started looking for more fantasy books with gay protagonists. I slid down a slippery slope into gay romance. I spent about a year reading every one I could get my hands on (which was only a few, really, because I was still reading paperbacks). Then, in 2009, I wrote my first book (Promises), and I haven’t read a romance since then (except for a handful that I’ve beta read for friends). These days, I primarily read thrillers and mysteries, with a bit of horror and fantasy in between.

Heidi: I started reading Harlequins in the library and sneaking them into checkout when I was a teenager, but I didn’t start formally reading romance until my choir teacher handed me A Knight in Shining Armor and told me I should read it. I really loved both the adventure and the female-centered adult story, plus the guaranteed HEA. In college I read a lot of them on the weekends after reading dead white men all week (I was an English major). Nowadays I still read romance, but I also read fantasy, Japanese fiction, and Japanese and Chinese manga and light novels.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Marie: Yes, I did this with Trailer Trash. I originally started it back in about 2011. But then I knew it was going to get heavy and angsty, so I put it aside for several years. I finally went back and finished it in late 2015. I loved those boys too much to leave them hanging.

Heidi: A lot of my stories take years to write because I get to spots where it’s like their a pudding that needs to set up. Sometimes I need to think about it, sometimes I need to wrestle with it, and sometimes I need to forget about it and come back. It’s never been because I was overly emotional about it, but sometimes I see what I have to do to it and think, I’m not ready for that. Antisocial was probably the most difficult. Honestly part of me wanted another six months on that one, but sometimes you have to write the book when you have to write the book. But this is why The Roosevelt series takes so long. Those books really make me sit and ponder stuff. I feel like I’ve been having an argument with David for three years now.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

Marie: My favorite is Song of Oestend, and its sequel, Saviours of Oestend. They have everything I love writing — friends to lovers, opposites attract, role reversal, a redeemed bad boy, and a touch of BDSM. And they have things I don’t get to write often — burly cowboys, paranormal elements, and an alternate universe setting.

Heidi: Double Blind is always my favorite, though while I wrote it Antisocial was. I began to get unwell as it was published and promoted, though, so it’s lost some of its luster for me with time. But pretty much Double Blind for life.

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?

 Marie: I don’t do this often, but yes, it has happened. Back in 2012 or so, Heidi and I started writing a book together. It was supposed to be just for fun — not necessarily to publish — and without really deciding to, I ended up dumping a whole lot of myself into that. All my issues growing up with an addict, and then as an adult, watching my mother’s addiction catch up to her, seeing her in the hospital over and over again, dealing with the constant victim mentality — I dumped it all into that book. In hindsight, it was quite cathartic. And I’m glad Heidi talked me into publishing it after all. (But it’s not Second Hand. It’s the other book we wrote together — Family Man.)

 

Heidi: Yeah, I don’t set out to do it, but I talk to myself a lot while I write, and I hate chaos, so writing is a way to put order to things. The books I’m finishing up now feel to me like my way of creating a place/world I don’t know is possible to exist, yet I enjoy feeling like here, it could. I don’t try to overtly work through stuff, though. In fact, I work to avoid it. It just happens to me. I feel like if I deliberately attempt to address an issue, it comes out a mess.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

Marie: I’m currently finishing up Spare the Rod, the third book in the Heretic Doms Club series. I have one more to write after that, to finish the series. But first, I have to squeeze in a new Tucker Springs book.

Heidi: I’m finishing up edits on the last of the Copper Point: Medical series out this year from Dreamspinner, and then I finally, finally get to write the books I was supposed to write in 2017, starting with Rebel Heart. Somewhere in there I have to write another Tucker Springs book, but I’m hoping to produce at least two indie works first. 2019 will be the Year of the New Books for me.

Check out Second Hand, revised and re-edited, re-releases on January 8, 2019 from Dreamspinner Press. We hope you enjoy it! 

Blurb:

A Tucker Springs Novel

Paul Hannon flunked out of vet school. His fiancée left him. He can barely afford his rent, and he hates his house. About the only things he has left are a pantry full of his ex’s kitchen gadgets and a lot of emotional baggage. He could really use a win—and that’s when he meets El.

Pawnbroker El Rozal is a cynic. His own family’s dysfunction has taught him that love and relationships lead to misery. Despite that belief, he keeps making up excuses to see Paul again. Paul, who doesn’t seem to realize that he’s talented and kind and worthy. Paul, who’s not over his ex-fiancée and is probably straight anyway. Paul, who’s so blind to El’s growing attraction, even asking him out on dates doesn’t seem to tip him off.

El may not do relationships, but something has to give. If he wants to keep Paul, he’ll have to convince him he’s worthy of love—and he’ll have to admit that attachment might not be so bad after all.

Tucker Springs Series

Welcome to Tucker Springs
Tucker Springs is located on the western slope of Colorado, in between Grand Junction and Silverton. One of the themes of Tucker Springs is that what you see is not what you get. Take, for example, the “springs”. Although many neighboring towns have actual hot springs, the spring here is more of a…

About the Authors:

Heidi’s Bio

Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys playing with new recipes, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com.

Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Colorado Eagles and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one teenage daughter, one adorable dog, and one very stupid cat, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Marie also writes dark dystopian erotic fantasy under the name A.M. Sexton. You can find her at http://mariesexton.net/, and on Facebook and Twitter.