John Inman on Writing, Research, and his new release Nightfall (author interview and giveaway)

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Nightfall by John Inman

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host John Inman back again, talking about his latest release Nightfall. Welcome, John.

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with John Inman ~

Q.–Does research play a role in choosing what genre you write.
A.–Well, research certainly had a lot to do with writing NIGHTFALL.  One of the reasons I had never tried writing science fiction before was because I knew that to write about a scientific subject, you have to know a little bit about it. Even with science fiction where the plot may not be exactly realistic, you still have to have a basic knowledge of the real subject before you can start skewing the facts.  Even so, I’m sure I made a few factual goof-ups.  So if there are any scientists out there looking to read a gay romance, you might want to pick up SHY instead.  In that one, at least, I knew what the hell I was talking about.  Haha.
Q.–How do you choose your covers?
A.–I’m glad you brought up book covers, because I think the cover for NIGHTFALL is absolutely beautiful.  It was done by Anna Sikorska at Triferet Designs.  I love the colors, the panorama of the red sky, and the two characters in silhouette are perfect.  The way I choose a cover is just try to pick a moment from the story that will maybe translate visually.  I give the idea to the incredible artists at DSP, and they come up with a few choices for me to pick from.  I’ve been happy with all my book covers.  Some are memorable, some are just nice, but I really have liked them all.  I’ve often thought how hard it must be for writers who self-publish to find the artwork for their stories.  I’m so glad I have a publisher behind me to make that job so much easier.
Q.–Do you have a favorite among your own stories, and why?
A.–I think some of my best stories are SHY, THE HIKE, LOVING HECTOR (love the donut fight) and the Belladonna Arms series, all five of them.  But my absolute favorite is THE BOYS ON THE MOUNTAIN.  That’s the book that got me to New York City with a nomination for the Lambdas, and that’s the book I fought hardest to write while my lover at the time was dying of cancer and my business was going to pot.  Everything at that point in my life was falling apart except for that book.  It’s my longest novel and it took me a flat year to write it, but that’s the one I’m most proud of.  I know it’s horror, but I love it anyway.  Maybe just because it was so hard to finish.  But most definitely because of the Lambda nomination.  That meant everything to me.  Even losing didn’t hurt.  Getting there was the main thing.  A highpoint of my life.  And having my husband there with me made it even better.
Q.–Why do you write?
A.–That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it.  I think I write just because it’s something I’ve always had to do.  It’s like a compulsion.  Even when I was a kid I was writing stories.  I don’t remember exactly, but maybe even with crayon, haha.   I’m happiest when I’m writing.  I love the solitude of it.  I like the fact that I can go anywhere I want and I can bring anybody in the whole wide world of imagination along with me when I go.  Some people talk about how they struggle to write.  Not because of the turmoil going on in their lives, but just the simple problem of putting down one word after another.  I get hungup sometimes in the middle of a story, but I never come to a screeching halt.  Knock on wood, not yet anyway.  I just plod along, move the story forward a little bit to get away from the problem area, and go back later to repair the damage.  Stopping is the worst thing a writer can do.  I think basically, the main reason I write is because I have never found anything else that makes me happier.
Q.– If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write where would that be, and why?
A.–I think the best place for me to write is right where I am right now.  I have my own office overlooking a birdbath and fir trees in the backyard.  I have the beautiful weather of Southern California shining down on the house.  I have a cat sleeping on either side of me.  I have total silence except for the sound of birds outside, and I have my husband piddling around in some other part of the house, humming to himself sometimes but always trying to be quiet about it.  I think if a writer is happy with himself inside, it doesn’t matter where he is physically when he tries to write.  The real story comes from the heart.  If he has peace and happiness there, then he’s got it made.  Nothing else should be a problem.
Q.: Any last words about your new release, NIGHTFALL?
A.: I just hope a decent percentage of the people who read it, enjoy it.  Book releases are always a little nervewracking.  A few reviews will hurt, a few others will make you feel good.  Then one day you get an email from some farm kid in Podunk, Arkansas, telling you how much your book meant to him, and all the other stuff is forgotten.
I want to take a minute to thank everyone at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for letting me spend a few minutes talking about my new book.   I hope NIGHTFALL finds a welcome home in a few laps and I hope everyone who gives it a chance will find a smile or a gasp here and there as they travel through the pages.
Keep reading, everybody!
John
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About Nightfall

Joe Chase and Ned Bowden are damaged men. They each bear scars from surviving the world they were born in. Deep scars, both physical and emotional.

When fate offers its first kind act by bringing the two together, suddenly their scars don’t seem so bad, and their lives don’t feel so empty.

Yet that kindness comes at a price.

Just as Joe and Ned begin to experience true happiness for the very first time, the world turns on them again.

But this time it turns on everyone.

_________

About the Author

John Inman is a Lambda Literary Award finalist and the author of over thirty novels, everything from outrageous comedies to tales of ghosts and monsters and heart stopping romances. John Inman has been writing fiction since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He and his partner live in beautiful San Diego, California. Together, they share a passion for theater, books, hiking and biking along the trails and canyons of San Diego or, if the mood strikes, simply kicking back with a beer and a movie.

John’s advice for anyone who wishes to be a writer? “Set time aside to write every day and do it. Don’t be afraid to share what you’ve written. Feedback is important. When a rejection slip comes in, just tear it up and try again. Keep mailing stuff out. Keep writing and rewriting and then rewrite one more time. Every minute of the struggle is worth it in the end, so don’t give up. Ever. Remember that publishers are a lot like lovers. Sometimes you have to look a long time to find the one that’s right for you.”

Giveaway

John has generously agreed to giveaway with this post, a book from his DSP backlist to whichever reader we choose.  So leave a comment for John, along with your email address should you be chosen.  And  may the force be with you!  Happy Reading!

Bru Baker on Characters, Writing, and Hiding in Plain Sight (the last in the Camp H.O.W.L. trilogy)

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Hiding In Plain Sight (Camp H.O.W.L. #3) by Bru Baker 

Dreamspun Beyond Title from Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:  Aaron Anderson

Buy links:

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Bru Baker today on tour for her latest release, Hiding in Plain Sight. Welcome, Bru!

 

~  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Bru Baker ~

 

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I think those are two totally different animals. We make our characters richer by using our own experiences to help shape them. That’s a far cry from a Mary Sue character where we’re inserting ourselves into the story and living vicariously through a character. Readers connect with our characters when they have personalities that leap off the page, and the way we as authors accomplish that is by giving them strong feelings and experiences that can appeal to a variety of people. Some of our first impressions of Harris in the opening scene of Hiding in Plain Sight tells the reader he loves sleeping in on his rare days off and he has a low tolerance for cutesy couples and PDA. These are traits I share, and Harris’s sarcastic take on them is definitely influenced by me. But that doesn’t mean Harris has my personality or that I’m envisioning myself as Harris as I write. Instead, by choosing a few things that I feel passionately about to include in his character, I’m able to write him with real emotions and quirks that I can easily describe to build a scene for the readers.

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

I read everything that wasn’t nailed down. I still would, if I had unlimited time in the day! I think reading across a broad swathe of genres has made me more well-rounded as a writer. I also went through a period where I was obsessed with thrillers, and I’m having fun incorporating some suspenseful elements in the Camp H.O.W.L. series. That will continue into the spin-off series, since the first book features a shifter NYPD detective and a werewolf who ends up on the wrong end of a crime ring.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Both! There are definitely times where I like that HEA wrapped up for me in a bow, both as a writer and a reader. But I also love shorter-form stories that end with that HFN and that delicious promise of an undefined but assumed amazing future for the couple. If I can end a book on a happy sigh, that’s a good ending–whether it’s an epilogue showing the couple married and established in their future or one that ends shortly after their first kiss and dangles the promise of that HEA down the road.

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

As a teenager I read all the romance of all genres I could get my hands on. Nora Roberts’ early books are still comfort reads for me, as well as Danielle Steel and of course, the Harlequin category romance books. The first book with romantic elements I read was Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying, stolen off my mother’s bookshelf when I was around nine. I feel like that explains a lot about my choice to write romance with erotic elements.

As an adult I still enjoy reading broadly across the romance genres. Paranormal, romantic suspense, gothic romance, category romance, historicals, contemporaries–basically as long as it has some great banter and a swoon-worthy love story, I’m in.

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?

I think it all comes down to the author’s skill in showcasing all the facets of a flawed person’s character. One of my favorite romantic characters in fiction is Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, and it’s hard to find a character more flawed than him. He’s by all accounts unlovable, but we understand why and we see how that haunts him, and we see him try, at least as best he can. For me, that’s what makes a character real and relatable. I don’t want to read (or write) someone who has a perfect life. I want characters who make mistakes and have fatal flaws but still manage to find love despite them.

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

I’m drawn to people who are comfortable with who they are as a person. Someone who has the confidence to be flawed or quirky and finds happiness in that despite what anyone else might think of them. Luna Lovegood is one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter series because she’s unapologetically herself. I love being with people who have a passion for something–even if it’s something I don’t personally care about. If they have the ability to throw all of themselves into something it usually means they’ll do the same for a relationship. (It also often means they’ll forget to eat/pick up the kids/be human, which is probably why I have developed such a love taking care of people!)

I do tend to write characters who share the same passions and hobbies as the people I surround myself with . Most of the main characters I write have a deeply rooted sarcastic side or a quirky sense of humor, and that comes from my circle of friends and family, too.

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?

I have multiple folders of unfinished WIPs on my hard drive, as I imagine most authors do. As readers have to put a book aside because it’s not the right fit for our mood, and the same thing happens to authors. Sometimes you have that lightning-strike moment where you feverishly plot out a book and you’re able to stay with that until it’s finished, and sometimes it’s a plod and you feel like you can’t do it justice at that moment. I wish I could say I’ve picked all those up and run with them later, but I probably have 20 or so unfinished WIPs, some pushing 50 to 60,000 words, in those WIP folders.

I did recently pull one out and finish it. Downward Facing Dreamboat is a novella that was part of a giveaway on Instafreebie a few weeks ago, and I hope to offer it in Kindle Unlimited soon.

What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m currently working on another Dreamspun Desires book that was inspired by an unexpected overnight layover in Dallas on my way home from the Romantic Times convention in Reno earlier this year. I’m also working on edits for the spin-off series for Camp H.O.W.L., which will follow the wolves to New York City as they integrate with the Connoll Pack. We’ll get to explore all the Supes we learned about in Hiding in Plain Sight and more, since the city is a hotbed for Supernaturals!

Blurb:

Hiding in Plain Sight: A Camp H.O.W.L. Novel


Happily ever after is right under their noses.

Harris has been keeping a big secret for years—his unrequited mate bond with his best friend, Jackson. He’s convinced himself that having Jackson in his life is enough. That, and his work at Camp H.O.W.L., keeps him going.

Things get complicated when Jackson applies for a high-ranking Tribunal job in New York City—far from Camp H.O.W.L. The position requires he relinquish all Pack bonds… and that’s when his wolf decides to choose a mate. Suddenly Jackson sees his best friend in a sizzling new light.

Their chemistry is through the roof, but they’re setting themselves up for broken hearts—and broken bonds—if Jackson can’t figure out a way to balance his career and the love that’s just been waiting for him to take notice.

About the Author

Bru Baker writes sophisticated gay romantic fiction with strong characters, real-world problems, and plenty of humor.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now balances her time between writing and working at a Midwestern library in the reference department. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

Visit Bru online at www.bru-baker.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Crystel Greene on Writing, Flawed Characters, and her new release Glacier Gold by Crystel Greene (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Glacier Gold by Crystel Greene

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Universal buy link |  Dreamspinner Press buy link

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Crystel Greene here today on tour for the latest World of Love story from Dreamspinner Press, Glacier Gold.  Welcome, Crystel!

 

Hello everyone! I’m Crystel, and I’m so happy to be here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to celebrate the release of my m/m romance novella  . Thank you for having me!

I’m going to answer two questions about writing romance and talk about what my protagonist, Justin, has in common with fairy tale heroine Rapunzel…

  • 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?
  • With so much going on in the world, do you write to get away?

Can a character be too flawed? Like, a murderer who has greasy hair and hates puppies? Yes, I guess there is such a thing as too many faults, but as a writer and a reader, I feel the bigger problem would be a hero who’s too perfect.

Any story needs a flawed hero. Contemporary or fantasy, the main character needs to have at least one major flaw. How else could they grow? Why would I want to read about a hero who only has to kill that dragon or hunt down a murder suspect or defeat an army of aliens?

What I really want to know is, will they overcome their fear of dogs and try to get to know the cute guy running the dog shelter next door?

A flawed hero is certainly a challenge for a romance author, because they have to make not only the reader care for the protagonist but also the love interest. As a writer, I’m aware I’ve got to draw the line at some point when it comes to a hero’s faults. A fear of dogs is acceptable in a protagonist, I’d say; hatred for puppies isn’t. The same goes for a habit of murdering people: a serial killer wouldn’t be a protagonist I’d be interested in as a reader, and I wouldn’t enjoy writing their point of view either, nor want to force another character to develop a crush on them.

In my opinion the one flaw that destroys a character (and their story) is a lack of empathy. A character can have trouble showing emotions, they can be rough or cold on the outside, but they have to hide a heart somewhere.

As a romance writer, I have another hard limit concerning character flaws: I won’t write a main character who cheats on their partner or is unable to commit to a relationship. 

But apart from that, flaws are fantastic! I love characters who are fussy, bossy, jealous, fearful, annoyingly meticulous, reckless, obsessive compulsive, or, like Justin in GLACIER GOLD, competitive and a little vain.

Character flaws are especially important in a love story. Because where’s the fun in writing about a perfect person finding love? It’s so infinitely more satisfying to write or read about someone who’s not that easy to love and who still finds someone who’ll put up with them because they’ve fallen for them.

What’s better than a protagonist making mistakes, making a fool of themselves, trying people’s patience with their deficiencies, and still winning the heart of the cool billionaire/sweet doctor/hot pirate? Because there’s good in them too, and the billionaire/doc/pirate can see that, and it counts more than the bad.

To me, the whole point of romance is to see love conquering all; to see it’s stronger than people’s (make that: my) flaws and weaknesses. In romance, there’s always the underlying certainty that ultimately the characters will find deliverance in love. No matter how much they might have fucked up before.

That’s something that never gets old, and it’s why I love this genre so much and couldn’t imagine writing anything else!

As a writer, I often fall in love with my characters not in spite of their imperfections, but because of them. I came to love Justin in GLACIER GOLD for his total lack of coolness. For being so emotional he’s sometimes a little irrational. Justin struggles with low self-esteem. He has a lot of talent as a graphic designer, he’s an artist really, but he has never seen himself as such. In fact, he’s rather self-conscious about his “doodling” on his graphic tablet and thinks of himself as a secret nerd. And as a loser who flunks their college exams: he has a history of academic failures, and since he hasn’t freed himself of his mother’s expectations and plans for his future, he seeks validation in hook-ups. To him, sex is just another opportunity for scoring, same as sports. His competitive streak is really just him coping with the feeling of not being good enough. He means no harm, he’d never hurt anyone, but he’s clueless about his true needs.

And here’s my answer to the second question: Yes, I am writing to get away, to help my readers get away. That’s romance. But that doesn’t mean I’m writing about perfect people whose journey to happiness is plain sailing. On the contrary.

Romance stories are like fairy tales: they seem to be the opposite of realism, but in truth they aren’t. They tell us about our flaws, how they lead us into trouble, and about how we need to put in work to grow. And about how we, too, can find love.

There’s this fantastic book by psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, “Children need Fairy Tales”. He makes the case that fairy tales, far from being simple bedtime stories, can be a tool for young people to understand their own soul and find confidence and hope. He argues that fairy tales deal with timeless human problems, and that they show us that we have the power to overcome them.

Rapunzel is probably the fairy tale character who’s closest to Justin (and not just because they both wear their hair long and like braids), so here’s a quick look at her story as an example: Rapunzel has to learn that she has allowed her foster mom to limit her and to define her future for her, and that she has to risk everything to break free, including taking a chance on the prince.

Translate: if we dare believe in our own strength, we will overcome what holds us back and find our way in this chaotic world, and we will find love, and all will be well.

This isn’t escapism; it’s a narrative of empowerment for young people and adults alike.

True empowerment starts with acknowledging we can’t do it all by ourselves. The Beatles got it right: We need love. In whatever form.

And here’s my bottom line: I think it’s not only legitimate to read and write romance with what’s going on in the world, I think it’s essential. The simple truth is, we can use all the empowerment we can get! And all the fun too.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading Justin’s journey to his happy ending as much as I did writing it! ―

Have you ever felt reading romance is more than just a guilty pleasure for you? Have you ever found images or concepts in a romance story that stayed with you for some reason?

*

About Glacier Gold

Up in the Alps, a single night can change your life.

Struggling college student and self-taught graphic artist Justin Bennet isn’t the most self-confident guy, but he knows he’s good at two things: snowboarding and sex. Why does Andi, the hot instructor at the Tyrolean ski resort, pretend Justin doesn’t exist?

Justin becomes all but obsessed with the idea of scoring with the young Austrian. Because for all the man’s reserve, he made it quite obvious he likes Justin—at least from the neck down.

When Justin books a private heliboarding trip with Andi as his guide, he thinks he’s one step away from striking gold.

But then the forces of nature take over, trapping the men in a snowstorm, and things get real. What was supposed to be about some freeriding fun and inviting a closeted guy to start exploring his options suddenly becomes about survival—and the hidden truths of the soul.

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

*

Excerpt

(After a series of failed attempts on Justin’s part to flirt with Andi in public, the two guys have met at midnight in the hotel’s ski room for a private heart-to-heart. Justin wants to convince Andi it’s a good idea for them to hook up.)

“I get you aren’t out, and you don’t want to do anything here in your father’s hotel. Perfectly understandable. But here’s what we could do. How about we go to Innsbruck tomorrow night and rent a room in the youth hostel? It’s just a two-hour drive, but at a safe distance from here. It would be all discreet. No one would ever know.”

That’s the central point of the speech I’ve prepared.

He’s still listening. It’s great, but also a bit unnerving.

“Here’s the thing,” I plow on. “I think, in case you want to start, like, exploring your options, I might be just the right guy for you.”

He sharply inhales.

“For experimenting, I mean,” I quickly clarify. “Like, I’m this random dude? I’m going to leave in three days’ time? What I mean is, with me, there’s zero expectations. No strings attached and all that. Please, Andi. Say yes?”

I stand before him, eagerly waiting for his response.

When he finally looks up at me, his eyes are very bright. He quickly casts them down again and gets up from the bench, walking a few steps away from me.

“You’re making this harder than it has to be, Bennet.”

The sinking feeling is so strong I feel I might slip right through the concrete floor.

“But I thought you found me attractive! You said… I thought… I’ve been hoping….”

I break off, choked by the unexpected force of my feelings.

He gives me a quick, loaded glance. For a short, crazy moment I feel he’s about to close the distance between us and pull me in for a kiss. I feel ready to swoon, as if this were an ancient Hollywood romance movie.

But the movie kiss doesn’t happen. He doesn’t step up to me or try to touch me. He just stands with his hands clenched into fists, looking at the floor again. Eventually he says, “You are super hot, and you know it.”

“So you do find me attractive.”

“I like you, okay?”

Before I can think about whether he might actually mean by this that he likes me, like, as a person or something, he goes on, a little breathless.

“But I’m not interested in sneaking off to grab a quickie with a tourist. I’m not the type who’d sneak off to some shady corner for five minutes of sex, okay? Or for a night. I’ve never done it, and I won’t start now. It’s not what I’m looking for.”…

“The point is, you want me because I’m gay, and around. For you, it’s all about fun and not missing out on an opportunity. This is not an accusation, it’s just how it is. You and me, that doesn’t make sense.”

Okay.

Okay, this sounds like not being out and his family potentially freaking out and all that is just part of the problem. This sounds like he wants someone who brings more to the table than just girth, muscle, and a good fashion sense. This sounds like he’s looking for a relationship.

And he doesn’t see me as someone who’d qualify for that.

“Maybe I want more too,” I say, floundering, feeling at sea. What he just said about me summed up my attitude about making out pretty accurately. Or what has been my attitude up to now.

He’s shaking his head at me.

“You just told me the best thing about you is that you’re going to be gone in three days’ time!”

I did, but I only said that because I thought he thought it was the best thing about me; I hoped it might tip the scales in my favor. Apparently it did the opposite. Fuck, I’m not used to having to navigate my way around all kinds of pitfalls in presex conversation, I’m not used to having to argue so much with guys who told me they liked me just to get them to act on it!

If he goes on like this, I’m going to crack and say something like I dream of you all the time, and I think I love you.

*

About the Author

The first man Crystel fell in love with was Beauty’s Beast. Next came Robin Hood, then Mr. Darcy. Two decades of married life later, she still loves fictional men—especially when there are two of them who are meant to be! She likes it best when she can create their plights and fights herself, and she can always be counted on to throw in some sizzling hotness and a lot of feels. Here’s her author promise: no fade-outs when things get steamy or emotional, and an ending that will leave you smiling.

Crystel is a lawyer by training, a lover of pastry, and a believer in Happy Ever Afters. Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, and a North Sea girl at heart, she lives in the beautiful Austrian Alps with her husband and four kids.

PS She loves reader mail!

crystelgreene@gmail.com

https://www.crystelgreene.com

https://www.instagram.com/crystelgreene/

https://twitter.com/CrystelGreene

https://www.facebook.com/CrystelGreene/

https://www.goodreads.com/crystelgreene

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/crystel-greene-1081

https://www.amazon.com/author/crystelgreene

 

Giveaway

The author is giving away a prize a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Andrew Grey on Feast or Famine and his latest release All for You (author guest post)

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All for You by Andrew Grey

Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Release Date: Sept 11 2018

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

DreamSpinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey today on tour with his new release All for You.  Welcome, Andrew!
Mostly in these guest posts, I try to say something original about the story that’s just releasing.  But I didn’t want to do that with this one.  See as I’m writing this post, I’m sitting in the writing room at home, listening to the rain.  Normally I love the sound of the drops on the trees outside my open window, but its been raining for two days solid and I’m getting a little tired of it.  Life is like that with a lot of things.  When it hasn’t rained in a while, we hope for it, and then we want it to stop.  Feast or famine is how it is with so much of life… at least for me.  But there are some things I hope I can never feast enough on and I hope famine stays away forever.
1)  Books – I can never get enough of them.
2)  Story ideas – So far the well hasn’t run dry and I hope it never does.  And the thought is famine is enough to… well let’s just not think about it.
3)  My Husband Dominic – I think you all have enough of an imagination to know what I mean.  Smile  After nearly 25 years together he;s still the center of my universe.
4)  My fans – I love each of you and am grateful for every single reader.
5)  Friends – You can never have enough

Blurb/Synopsis:

The only path to happiness is freedom: the freedom to live and love as the heart wants. Claiming that freedom will take all of the courage one young man has, but he won’t have to face it alone. In small, conservative Sierra Pines, California, Reverend Gabriel is the law. His son, Willy, follows his dictates, until he meets a man in Sacramento and reunites with him in his hometown—right under his father’s nose. Reggie is Sierra Pines’s newly appointed sheriff. His dedication to the job means not flaunting his sexuality, but when he sees Willy again, he can’t escape the feeling that they’re meant to be together. He’ll keep Willy’s secret until Willy is ready to let the world see who he really is. But if going up against the church and the townspeople isn’t enough, the perils of the work Reggie loves so much might mean the end of their romance before it even gets off the ground.

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance, Law Enforcement
Edition/Format: 1st Edition/Format ~ eBook & Print

Excerpt 

The reverend stood straight and met Reggie’s gaze. “And you feel free to do the same. My office and church are always open.”

“That’s great to know.” Reggie waited while the reverend looked to his left, and a man who had been sitting on one of the benches joined him.

Willy. It was Willy from the bar. Reggie opened his mouth to say something when the reverend turned back to him.

“Sheriff, this is my son, William.”

Willy looked even more scared than he had sitting at that table between the two rats. He was pale, his eyes downcast and his right hand shaking a little. Jesus, he was Reverend Gabriel’s son. Reggie was willing to bet that the reverend was not one of those new age, more enlightened men of the cloth. Somehow he didn’t think Reverend Gabriel had any sort of live-and-let-live attitude about gay people.

“It’s good to meet you.” Reggie extended his hand, and Willy blinked, seeming to realize that his life wasn’t going to come to an end.

“You too, sir.” They shook hands.

“What do you do?” Reggie asked.

Reverend Gabriel cleared his throat. “William will be following in my footsteps. He and I have spoken at length regarding his future, and we have come to an understanding.”

William didn’t argue, but he didn’t agree either.

“Have a good day, Sheriff.” Father and son left the station, and Reggie turned to the others, who were all watching him with wide eyes.

“Is something wrong?” he asked the room, and they all immediately returned to their work, so Reggie went back to his office. A throat clearing nervously drew his gaze up from his desk. “Yes, Marie?”

“Umm.” She now had that scared rabbit look. “I have the memos done.” She handed them to him and looked outside the room. “You… I…. Well… I’m going to miss you.”

Reggie narrowed his eyes. “Where am I going?”

“He… the reverend… well, he pretty much decides what happens here. People listen to him, and so do the town leaders. They’ll fire you if he says so.” She quivered like a leaf. “And you were doing such good things here already.”

“Don’t worry, Marie. Nothing of the kind is going to happen. First thing, I’m very good at what I do and will build a competent and well-run sheriff department if I have to do it from the ground up. And second, I have a sister who is married to the governor’s son. I can get a message to Sacramento that will be listened to within the capitol faster than the reverend can pass out communion wafers. That’s part of the reason I’m here.” Reggie leaned back in the chair. “I never use that connection unless I have to, which is part of the reason it’s very effective when I do. So don’t worry.” He looked over the memos, approved them, and handed them back. “Please get them to everyone today. Thank you.”

One thing was for certain—no one was going to get away with bullying him.

“I will, and there’s a call that just came in.” She handed him the details, and he got up and left the office, heading out to the scene of an apparent motorcycle race.

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

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

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

C.C. Dado on HEA and their new release Denying Fate (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Denying Fate (A Series of Fates #1) by C.C. Dado
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Brooke Albrecht

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have C.C. Dado here today on tour for their story Denying Fate. Welcome, C.C.

Thank you for having me on your blog.
I added an excerpt but this question you had made me laugh:
Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
I am HEA all the way. I read a book once where the love interest died in a car accident at the end and I’m still mad about it. That was like 9 years ago. 🙂
Denying Fate Blurb:
 A Series of Fates: Book One
 

Fate is a funny thing. Some try to cut its threads, while others wrap themselves in it like a blanket.

Young wolf shifter Max is cocky and crass. Unlike others his age, he has yet to discover a talent that will serve his pack. Since childhood, he’s been convinced the pack alpha is his mate, but Alpha Christian cannot envision unfiltered and directionless Max taking the place of his elegant mother at the head of the pack. As Max begins to build a life with his best friend, he also begins to see that maybe what he thought was inevitable was all in his head, and it’s time to move on.

Or are they both denying fate?

Excerpt:
The drive to the lodge was quiet. Max occasionally caught Christian’s eye in the rearview mirror, the moment made more intimate by the darkened forest surrounding them, as long as he could ignore his best friend currently falling asleep next to him.
As much as Max loved Seth, he kind of wanted to push him out of the moving vehicle, just so he could be alone with his mate. But since that wasn’t going to happen, he took the time to study him instead. He’d always thought of him as “Christian,” even though his official title was Alpha Christian.
His alpha, his mate… God, he was beautiful and strong. The best leader their pack had ever had, even surpassing his father in Max’s eyes. His only flaw was the fact that he wouldn’t acknowledge Max as his mate—it was a pretty big flaw, as far as mate flaws went, for sure. Max wasn’t certain why Christian denied him, but he knew that was his mate in front of him, his wolf knew that was their mate. Max would not give up on him, even if his best friend didn’t believe it would happen.
They were getting closer to the lodge. The gravel road jarred Seth’s head around onto Max’s shoulder. The vast pack land encompassed two hundred mountainous acres, which included the small town of Easter Valley. History had taught them how important their need for privacy was. Today their pack was over eighty shifters strong and growing, but it hadn’t always been that way. Their pack members were hunted in the sixteenth century for their ability to shift from man to beast. What was left of the pack had fled, seeking a safe haven, and eventually they created their own, a secured commune, and along with it, the small town of Easter Valley. The town was built outside the gates of the commune, allowing them to be a part of the human world while giving them the space they needed to be pack.
Max sighed as they reached the lodge that sat along a ridge overlooking the town. Christian shut off the truck and hopped out. The Hummer was so high that it put the alpha face-to-face with Max when he opened the side door. Max didn’t move. The look on Christian’s face was one he hadn’t seen often—regret, a smell rarely mixed with his scent.
“Does it hurt?” Christian asked, brushing the back of his fingers along Max’s bruised cheek.
“A little,” Max said, glad Seth had fallen asleep, because he knew the smell of arousal was rolling off him like heat waves in the hot desert sun. And Seth was always the first one to pop his cherry of hope when it came to Christian ever claiming him.
About the Author
A little about me:
I write about painfully awkward, usually embarrassing, romance because long confident gazes followed by sexy dancing NEVER happens to me. I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, and will probably never leave. I’m like a hypochondriac sundae, with claustrophobic sprinkles, and a big cherry of anxiety on top, so I don’t travel much. I read to relax my mind, so I love getting lost in someone else’s story, even if it is only for a little while.
Twitter: @C_C_Dado
Giveaway
The author is generously giving away an eBook copy of their story Denying Fate to one lucky reader.  Leave a comment below and your email address if chosen.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

BA Tortuga on 5 Top Things to Do with the Uncles from ‘Two of a Kind’ (new release tour and guest post)

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Two of a Kind by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga here today with a special post direct from Uncles Ap and Daddy. from Two of a Kind.  Welcome, BA.

5 Top Things to Do with Uncle Ap and Uncle Daddy

Hey y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things redneck.

Trey and Ap are two cowboys trying to raise their sister and brother’s five kids.

Really, isn’t that enough of a hook all on its own?

*grins*

The kids call their uncles Uncle Daddy and Uncle Ap. Trey “Uncle Daddy” is holding down the fort while Uncle Ap rides the rodeo circuit, to keep everyone afloat. They each wanted to tell y’all their favorite things to with their uncles.

Cole: I like to work on cars with Uncle Daddy, but I do like to rope with Uncle Daddy.

Bella: I like riding my barrel horse, April, with Uncle Ap and I like feeding April with Uncle Daddy.

Amelia:I like making cookies with Uncle Ap, and dancing with Uncle Daddy.

Bella: Uncle Daddy don’t dance!

Amelia: He does! Don’t you argue with me.

Braden: Can I pick just video games with both and shut the girls up?

Courtney: I like to play Shoot the Ladder.

Cole: I think that’s Chutes and Ladders, baby sister.

Courtney: Oh.

Bella: I like Shoot the Ladder better.

Amelia: Wanna play?

Courtney: Uh-huh.

😉

Much love, y’all,

BA

***

Two of a Kind blurb

Once upon a time, Trey Williamson and Ap McIntosh had quite the whirlwind romance—but that was before family tragedy left them the guardians of five kids. Their lives have changed quite a bit over the last six years, but Ap is still on the rodeo circuit, doing what he does best in an attempt to feed all those extra mouths.

That leaves Trey back on the ranch, isolated and overworked as the kids’ sole caregiver. Something has to give, and when Ap comes home, they’re reminded how hot they burned once upon a time. But is it a love that can withstand wrangling over time, money, and the future? They have to decide what kind of family they want to be… and whether what they share can stand the test of time.

Available at Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/two-of-a-kind-by-ba-tortuga-9841-b

About the Author

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

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

You can find BA at:

Website: http:www.batortuga.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/batortuga

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

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

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

Blogger: http://batortuga.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/batortuga/

Tumblr: http://batortuga.tumblr.com/

JL Merrow on Berlin, and her release Midnight in Berlin (author guest post and giveaway)

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Midnight in Berlin by J.L. Merrow

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:  Tiferet Designs

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host  JL Merrow here today talking about Berlin and her latest release, Midnight in Berlin, available now at Dreamspinner Press. Welcome, JL.

 

♦︎

 

 

My Berlin

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Midnight in Berlin, my second MM werewolf romance.

Berlin’s always been one of the coolest cities around. Okay, maybe not always, but for the last hundred or so years at least. It was cool in the 1920s, when jazz was big and the nightlife was decadent. For queer men and women, it was an all-too-brief taste of freedom to live and love how they wanted, before Nazism and the Second World War came to take it all away. Christopher Isherwood recorded the spirit of the times in a book that became the musical Cabaret.

In the late 1970s, David Bowie went there (thereby increasing the coolness factor of Berlin significantly) to recover from drug addiction, and wrote some cool music including the classic, Heroes. The song is about lovers kissing in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, which since 1961 had separated communist-controlled East Berlin from West, tearing apart families and severing streets. The partition of Berlin was, of course, a legacy of WW2, when the capital of a defeated Germany was split between the Allies.

I visited Berlin at an impressionable age, way back in the summer of 1989. Part of a group doing voluntary work, I stayed in a West Berlin high school which was as close to the Wall as we are from the end of this sentence. The first night I was there, one of the lads took me to the top of the building to look out over the wall: the searchlights, the watchtowers, and the death strip. All the things I’d read about were suddenly very real.

Even as a visitor, you just couldn’t get away from the Wall in Berlin. Using the subway often meant crossing under East Berlin. The trains would slow as they passed through dimly-lit, disused ghost stations, their street entrances long concreted over. (Londoners of a certain age: think of Mornington Crescent.) And to see the famous Brandenburg Gate, symbol of the city, meant peering over a graffiti-covered section of the Wall into the East, where it was patrolled by armed guards. The gate was closed, and seemed likely to be so forever.

East Berlin, which as a foreigner I was able to visit for a day, was a city apart from the West. Beautiful, quiet—and completely devoid of consumerism. So few shops, with so little in them. I saw only one shoe shop, and there was a queue of around 30 people outside it, waiting to get in and look at the shoes. It wasn’t that I hadn’t heard what it was like in communist countries back then—but I suppose it took seeing it for myself for it to finally sink in.

The House at Checkpoint Charlie museum was—and still is—a monument to all those who risked everything for freedom from the oppressive regime in East Germany, and a testament to human ingenuity and spirit. It was sobering, learning about all those who paid for their dreams of freedom with their lives.

Perhaps you can imagine how I felt when, only a few months later, I saw footage from Berlin of jubilant people crowding across border points, and tearing down the Wall to the accompaniment of David Bowie’s anthem Heroes.

And when, a few years later, I finally got to walk through the Brandenburg Gate. Appropriately, it was during an anti-war protest.

Question: What’s your personal favourite city? What makes it cool?

Giveaway

Giveaway: I’m offering a prize of a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate to one lucky commenter on the tour, who will be randomly chosen on Sunday 2nd September. Good luck!

Midnight in Berlin

One bad decision can change your life forever

It’s midnight in Berlin, and drifter Leon is hitchhiking home in the rain, covered in feathers after a wild festival in the city park. He can’t believe his luck when he’s picked up by a hot guy in a Porsche. That is, until he realises his driver is a creature from his worst nightmares—and plans to turn him into one too. He runs, but he can’t escape the werewolf’s bite.

Christoph made one mistake, but he’s paying for it plenty. He took Leon for a rogue werewolf on his way home from a hunt, and by the time he realises the truth it’s too late to do anything but make Leon a monster to save his life. That doesn’t save Christoph from the pack leader’s harsh punishment.

As Leon struggles to cope with his horrifying new reality—and his mixed feelings for the man who bit him—he’s desperate to discover not only what’s happened to Christoph, but the secrets their pack leader is hiding from them all.

Secrets the pack will kill to protect.

Available in ebook and paperback from Dreamspinner Press

Midnight in Berlin was previously published by Samhain, but has been completely re-edited and given a lovely new cover for this second edition by Dreamspinner Press.

 

About the Author

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. 

She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Two of her novels have won Rainbow Awards for Romantic Comedy (Slam!, 2013 and Spun!, 2017) and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: https://jlmerrow.com/, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

Parker Williams on Writing, Research, HEA, and Threepeat (Secrets #3) with K.C. Wells (author interview)

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Threepeat (Secrets #3) by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Reese Dante

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Parker Williams here today talking about writing, characters, and the latest story in the Secrets series he writes with K.C. Wells, Threepeat.  Welcome, Parker.

 

How much of yourself goes into a character?

K.C. and I always have tiny bits of ourselves in our characters. She reminds me of Maggie. Not in the naughty ways…well, not entirely, but in the fact she is a nurturer. When I’m doubtful, she’s there to prop me up. And you’ll see some of me in Tim. He likes to please people. He wants to make them happy, and he’s willing to do what he can to ensure that happens. In one scene, Tim takes on a top-secret project. When his family and friends find out, they rally around to support him.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

In the case of Threepeat, very few of our experiences went into the book. Neither of us has ever been involved in a ménage relationship, for example. But your experiences should help you direct the characters (assuming they listen to you), because they’re things you have intimate knowledge of.

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

Research definitely plays a part. In a book about BDSM, it’s important to get the facts right. There are too many books out there that paint BDSM as abuse, and if done right, nothing could be further from the truth. So KC and I exam all the aspects we can think of to ensure our books are not only factually accurate, but safe, sane, and consensual.

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

When we were teenagers, books about MM Romance were unbelievably hard to find. Even when books did exist, they painted men as generally unhappy. The stories today are crafted from authors all over the world and give you a lens on different cultures, norms, ethnicities, etc. MM Romance today is a true melting pot of people and events.

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?

I don’t know about KC, but I did. When I wrote Haven’s War, there’s an event in there that shook me so bad I had to put the book up for a time and write something happy. It took me months to get back to Haven after that.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

For me it has to be a HEA. Life is already hard enough to deal with to not have a bit of happy in the things I read.

KC. Me too. I want my men to be happy.

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

Okay, I’m going to be honest here. Every book I read has an influence on me as a writer. I’ve learned a lot reading things by Eden Winters, KC Wells, Sheena J. Himes, Mary Calmes, SJD Peterson, Silvia Violet, and so many others. I think if we close ourselves off to any influence we’re doing ourselves a disservice.

KC. For me? Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and about a million others. I ALWAYS had my nose in a book.

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

For me, any book I have through Dreamspinner, I ask if Reese Dante can do it. I absolutely love her work, and the fact she agreed to do my cover for Pitch (my first book) had me on such a high. She’s also doing the covers for the Secrets series.

KC. I usually find a photo that really speaks to me, and take it from there. Most of the Collars & Cuffs covers were photos I or Parker found.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’ve got Lincoln’s Park coming out in October from Dreamspinner. It’s a story of a man who loved, then lost, and when a hazel-eyed man walks into his diner, he discovers that the ability to love doesn’t die.

KC. And I’ve got my first ever murder mystery coming out the same month! Truth Will Out. And what else makes it a first is that the romance kind of takes a back seat to the mystery. Not only that, there is NO on-page sex.

The house we based Aaron and Sam’s home on. Check out that theater!

About Threepeat

Can two Doms open their hearts again for a young man desperately in need of their help?

Two years ago, Aaron Greene and Sam Thompson were devastated when their submissive broke the contract that bound the three of them together. They still wonder what happened and whether they can find a way to move forward. When Aaron finds a sick young man by the curbside, his protective instincts kick in, and after consulting Sam, he takes Tim home.

After being thrown out of his home, Tim Waterman finds himself on the street, doing whatever he needs to survive. Until a bear of a Good Samaritan scoops him up and saves him. Then one bear becomes two, and a chance discovery gets him thinking about what might be, if he’s bold enough to make a move.

So what happens when Aaron and Sam wake up one morning to find Tim naked in their bed? Will they get a new chance at life, or will history Threepeat itself?

About the authors:

K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.

She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.

If you want to follow her exploits, you can sign up for her monthly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cNKHlT

You can stalk – er, find – her in the following places:

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

                   https://www.facebook.com/kcwells.WildWickedWonderful/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6576876.K_C_Wells

Amazon:    https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00AECQ1LQ

Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/k.c.wells/

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/K_C_Wells

Blog:         http://kcwellsworld.blogspot.co.uk/

Website:   http://www.kcwellsworld.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kathryn.greenway.7

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.

Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Parker held his job for nearly 28 years before he decided to move on and try new things. He’s enjoying his new life as a stay-at-home author because work always frowned on naps.

Connect with Parker on:

Website: Parker Williams
Facebook: Parker Williams
Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor

Remmy Duchene On Writing, Romances, and their new release “Tempt Me” (author interview)

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Tempt Me by Remmy Duchene
Dreamspinner Press
Published August 17th 2018

Cover Art:  Kanaxa

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Remmy Duchene here today on tour for Tempt Me. Welcome, Remmy!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Remmy Duchene

How much of yourself goes into a character? Quite a bit. Sometimes I spend a few hours writing and at the end, I feel so exhausted. I seem to go on the emotional ride with my characters (as weird as that sounds). I cannot tell you how many times I message one or both my best friends with tears in my eyes saying “these characters are breaking my soul!” The struggle is real.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?: I generally use versions of people I know for my secondary characters. One or two times I’ve used someone for a main – I am always afraid I’ll write the characters too close to a friend or family member and someone they know will read it and well—down hill from there. I know, paranoid but things happen lol

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?: Any world I create generally has a touch of a real culture in it. Lately, I’ve been using quite a few made up small towns but I plop them down on top of an actual small town. So, though I make certain things up, some things are real. It’s weird to put it that way and I’m not sure it makes sense to anyone else but me lol.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?: It used to. But over the years the romance genre has morphed into something I don’t recognize. As a writer I have to find a way to adapt while still holding on to those imaginative wonder I am used to from my teenage years.

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?: Yes. My novel WHISPERS OF LOVE wreaked havoc on my emotions. It hit a little too close since Hilo went to school like he was supposed to, graduated and work just didn’t seem to want to find him. He had to work at a menial job, struggling to make ends meet, unable to find love—yeah, close to home.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?: It depends on my mood at that point in the story. I mean, everyone prefers HEA, right? And in this industry most people believe HFN means the story will have a book 2.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?: I jumped from Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys to romance. I grew up reading Catherine Coulter, Jayne Ann Krentz and Nora Roberts. There weren’t any LGBT books in Jamaica.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?: I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved the ability to get lost in a world not my own. Books took me to adventure, romance, dark places I can escape to and have the time of my life.  I think that is my major influence as a writer—the ability to take someone out of their everyday, and give them the ability to speak foreign languages, travel to places they probably cannot afford and meet spectacular people they wouldn’t have otherwise.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?: I am on the fence about the eBook format. I love the feeling of a paperback in my hand. I was recently at my BFF’s wedding and the power went out. I wasn’t phased in the least because I had my book with me and didn’t have to worry about charging it. On the other hand, I understand that the world is in progression and technology gives you the option of adapting or dying. I chose both—eFormat but still keeps my books around.

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part): For my self-published books I have three fantastic cover designs that are my go to. I’ve worked with one, StudioENP for years now. The other two are new. These three designers know me so well, I have never had to send a cover back and tell them it is wrong. I am fairly easy with covers. I understand this is the designer’s art as much as it is the face of my book, and I tend to tell them about my characters and suggest colours I love and then step back and watch them create. So far, I’ve been very lucky since I normally write interracial and stock photos alone are hard to come by.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?: Isn’t this a bit like asking which child is my favorite? Lol. Let me see now – My favorite….So far I have to say… Anywhere But Here and Call Me Gideon – I know, those are two. But Anywhere But Here is a tale about a black doctor who was raised in India and a John Doe that is brought into his hospital badly beaten up. I love the change of scenery in this story because it takes place in India and Sri Lanka and this was a first for me.

Call Me Gideon is another one I’d say is up there for my top. The emotions in this story breaks my heart just thinking about it and that was as raw as I’d ever written.

Whispers of Love is close up there as well but you said pick one lol.

What’s next for you as an author?: Currently, for this year I haven’t released much. Aside from TEMPT ME that was release August 17th through Dreamspinner Press, I am one of the lucky authors in the BEAUTIFUL SKIN anthology being released August 23rd that was put together by the fantastic Emmy Ellis at StudioENP. She recognized the need for awareness in the diversity area and has stepped up to do something about it. I’m also hard on work on my next novel tentatively titled BABY, COME TO ME (for those who know me, that title will change five million times before the final product is done lol)

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?: I’m not sure the answer to this. Readers say they want real but sometimes they tell you a character is too real – which I don’t know if that is possible.

 

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?: Loyalty. That is a very important thing to me. I generally write that into my good-guys. But my bad guys? Forget about it lol

 

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?: yes. All the time. Case in point, my short ONE FINE THING (That will be in the Beautiful Skin anthology), I was stuck on that one for years. I started it about eight years ago—wait, no more. Because I started it while I was in college. I graduated college, graduated university, graduated college again, worked for six years—so yea, WAY more than eight years. I just couldn’t make it work. Then Emmy ask for stories for this anthology and WHAM! Unstuck.

 

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?: Usually. Some of the hardships my characters go through usually is an offshoot of my some of my real life situation. I mean, some things happen in your life that you cannot make up, right?

 

What’s  the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?: LOL – yeah, we’re not going to answer this one. Lol. Nope.

 

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 did that last weekend lol! Granted I wasn’t completely blitz, just a little tipsy. I stared at the screen the entire day nothing would come out right so I poured myself a glass of wine that turned into four and voila! Love scene written that blew my mind lol. Never doing that again though. The consequences were dire lol.

 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?: Oh man I could go on and on with this.

  1. The Port of Naples – just watching the cruise ships come in on one side and the city with historic buildings on the other.
  2. On a beach in Cuba.
  3. In an open concept condo in Paris that sits right outside the Eifel Tower.
  4. On the ground in front of the louvre.

Like I said – I could do this forever…

 

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?: Most times to hide. I mean, like you say, the way the world is today you need that time of seclusion from most of it. You can’t keep getting bombarded by all the crazy and not take time away from it. Also, I write because I don’t think I’m remotely good at anything else lol.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?: I am not entirely sure. I make writing plans all the time and then my muse blows them out of the water. It’s better to not plan…just go with the flow.

About Tempt Me...

Officer Gabe Ford knows finding love could be a tad problematic—especially since he hasn’t come out to his partner of six years yet. But what’s a guy to do when his body wants what his brain is saying he can’t have?

A year and a half after a breakup, Jason Tomlinson isn’t actively looking for a relationship. Hell, he can do bad all by himself. But Gabe Ford is just too damn yummy to resist. Just as things are beginning to pick up, one bullet may end it all before it even begins.

About the Author

Remmy Duchene is a Canadian-hockey-watching-baseball-playing kind of guy. He loves walking in the rain and bugging his friends about his latest story ideas. Remmy believes that true love comes in all shapes, sizes, and sexualities. He is always saying “I’d rather see two gay people in love get married than two straight people that hate each other.”

Charley Descoteaux on Writing, Characters and Art House (Buchanan House #6) (author interview)

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Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date:  August 21, 2018
Cover Artist:L.C. Chase

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press eBook and   Paperback  

Dreamspinner Press, Buchanan House series page 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Charley Descoteaux here today talking about writing, characters and the lastest in the Buchanan House series, Art House.  Welcome, Charley.

 

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words Interview with Charley Descoteaux

Hello & thank you for visiting me on my Art House tour! I’m thrilled to be here—thank you for having me!

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

Yes and no. From the age of nine I loved sci fi—I watched episodes of Star Trek (the original series) every chance I got, and read anything I could get my hands on that was set in space. As a teenager, though, I read (and re-read) S. E. Hinton. It felt almost impossible to find books with characters who were like me—who didn’t live fancy, exciting lives and always got everything they wanted in the end. It took until I discovered Romance (by “borrowing” my mom’s when I was about 13) before I understood that escaping into a contemporary (or historical) book could be just as satisfying as heading out into space.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

They all get something from me, usually when I’m getting to know them. Once I get past the halfway point in the draft a story begins to take on a life of its own—and so do the characters. When that happens the characters are more like someone who’s had similar life experiences than fictional versions of me. In Art House, I gave the main characters pieces of invisible disabilities I deal with, but they experience depression and anxiety in their own unique ways.

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

Right now, Art House is my favorite. I think my favorite among my stories changes based on what stage the story is in—when I’m drafting or releasing a story, that one will be my favorite. If I didn’t have a new release, I’d probably say my favorite was either Torque or Speedbump. Both are under my other pen name, and are more bisexual fiction than Romance, but I think those are the stories I’m most proud of.

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?

I hope not! I love complex and conflicted characters—the more flawed the better! Hopefully that doesn’t make it impossible for readers to empathize with my characters. It’s true, many readers are looking for an escape, and not everyone loves angst as much as I do, but I think it’s worse for a character to be “too perfect” than to have so many flaws they might be read as “too real.”

 

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?

All. The. Time. I didn’t get much in the way of parenting while I was growing up so I learned most of what I know about how to be a good human from books. First I got that information by reading them, and then by writing them. I tend to work through issues in abstract ways, though, and usually don’t recognize the way my characters’ problems intersect with my own until after the book is drafted. Or edited. 😉

 

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

At the beach! I love the beach but haven’t been very often in the past five years or so. In February I went on an author retreat, though, and that was ideal. We had an Air BnB right on the coast and those few days were paradise on Earth!

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

This is a hard question, one I’ve been struggling with lately. I’m not sure what I want to write, and since I’ll probably never be able to write full time the joy is the most important thing for me. I’m open to suggestions!

Seriously. Suggest away! Every suggestion is an entry to my giveaway! At the end of the tour every name will go into a hat and the winner will get a signed paperback of Art House, some Buchanan House and Dreamspinner swag, and a surprise or two. This giveaway is worldwide.

 

While you’re thinking about what I should do next, here’s an excerpt from Art House.

Chase woke a half hour later feeling more rested than he had in the past two weeks of nights. And then realized he was alone in the large bed. He didn’t need to open his eyes to know that Garrett wasn’t lying beside him. His throat constricted, and in that moment, he thought he experienced true despair.

He rolled toward Garrett’s side of the bed, the sheet that might still smell like him, depending on how long ago he’d gone, and saw him. Garrett was sitting on the floor beside his easel, curled into a ball, hugging his legs and drawing on the wall near the floor. Beautifully nude. Garrett must have heard the rustle of the bed because his hand stopped.

“Are you tagging the bedroom wall?”

Garrett turned his head and rested his cheek on his knee. His smile warmed Chase to the marrow of his bones. “Sorry.”

“Finish it? I love watching you work.”

Garrett’s smile turned a touch shy and he resumed his work, not quite turning away to do so. Chase meant what he said about watching, but at the moment he couldn’t spare much energy for the actual content of said work. He was happy to lounge on the bed and watch the fine muscles in Garrett’s arm and shoulder, to draw his gaze down his lean torso and the curve of his delectable ass.

“You’re the most talented artist I’ve ever seen.”

“Am not,” Garrett answered quickly, with a smile in his voice. “You’re better.”

Chase sputtered out something that passed for laughter. “What? That’s crazy. I paint the equivalent of hipster advertisements. Corporate art.” Chase waved at the canvases in the corner nearest the door—views of Mt. Hood and Multnomah Falls and the Japanese Gardens in various stages of completion. He’d had more trouble than usual keeping his mind on a single canvas, but it didn’t matter much when the paintings were destined to hang in Puddle Jumper’s dining room to replace the ones purchased by tourists. He did like the two versions of the Portland Oregon sign, though: he’d replaced the words “Portland Oregon” on the iconic sign with the name of a local band on one, and a popular microbrewery on the other. At least they’re different.

“Just because you do that, doesn’t mean that’s all you can do.”

About Art House...

Chase Holland spends his days painting Portland scenes to hang in local businesses, neglecting his own surrealist style. After twenty-five years as a full-time artist, he’s frustrated that his career has stalled, but churning out the equivalent of corporate art is better than getting a day job. Chase and Garrett have been together—off and on, but mostly on—for a decade. If asked, they would both say the source of their trouble is the seventeen-year age gap. The truth is less clear-cut. Life would be so much easier if Chase could make a living with his own art, or if Garrett held less conventional ideas about relationships.

Garrett Frisch has been watching their friends get married for the past two years, and it’s taking an emotional toll. When he proposes as a way to keep them together permanently, he thinks he’s being responsible, but Chase is ambivalent and hurt and can’t hide it. It doesn’t help that Garrett’s anxiety is out of control and he’s dealing with insecurities about his own art career. They will have to do their least favorite thing—talk about something more important than which food cart to visit—if they are to get the happy ending they both want.

About the Author

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Rattle Charley’s cages: