Karen Stivali on Characters, Emotional Ties and Moment of Fate (Moments In Time #5) by Karen Stivali ( GUEST POST )

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Moment of Fate (Moments In Time #5) by Karen Stivali
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Available for Purchase at

           

and Apple

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Karen Stivali here today to talk about her latest release in her Moments in Time series, Moment of Fate. Welcome, Karen.

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STRW: 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?

Karen Stivali: It’s funny you should ask this question for this blog tour, because MOMENT OF FATE is the first book I’ve ever had this problem with, and I had it in spades.

I write fast. Always have. I finish most books in 2 months or less. Before I start any project I need to see the whole story in my mind and once I do, that’s it, it pours right out.

Except with this book.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t seen the whole story play out in my mind. I had. I knew the characters inside and out and knew exactly what happened—how they met, how and why they bonded, the path that took them from friends to lovers, the secrets that tore them apart, and how they found their way back to one another. It wasn’t a question of not knowing the plot or struggling with any other aspect of the writing. The problem was that I over-related to one of the characters.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Bryan. Not in any way, shape or form. He’s a young, sexy, charismatic front man in a band and an out and proud gay man. I’m none of those things. Can’t sing a note. Never seek the spotlight. Don’t consider myself particularly charming. And yet, Bryan shares one characteristic with me that threw me for such a loop this was a book that I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to finish writing, even though I really, really wanted to.

So, what was the issue? Bryan’s main challenge in the book is that although he’s one of those people who has always gone after what he’s wanted and gotten it, although he’s a ridiculously hard worker who’s driven to succeed, although he’s stubborn and self-reliant, he’s had a challenge that he didn’t know how to deal with. A challenge he didn’t want to accept and, worse, didn’t want anyone to know about. He has a chronic illness: Lyme disease. While not a fatal illness, like any chronic ailment it presents challenges. Challenges that are ever-changing and, due to the chronic nature, will never completely go away.

From the host of mysterious symptoms that come and go, to the aches and pains, to the unpredictable flare-ups, to the anxiety and panic attacks, he’s had to learn to cope with an array of problems that conflict with his Type A personality and his unwillingness to let anything stand in his way.

How do I know how much of a challenge all of that is? Because I’m a very driven, stubborn, self-reliant person who has had to deal with Chronic Lyme disease for many years.

So, yeah. I over-related a little. Okay, a lot. Every time Bryan had an anxiety attack, I found myself having one. Which meant every time I went back to reread or edit one of those scenes I had another one. I pride myself on never missing deadlines but with this book I blew the deadline by over six months because it got to the point where I couldn’t even open the file. I set it aside, came back to it, had to put it aside again.

The good thing? Part of Bryan’s character arc is that he has to learn that although he doesn’t need to let his illness define him, he does need to learn to work around it. And part of that includes allowing some other people to know what he’s going through. Why he can’t always do everything he used to or the way he wants to. What his limitations are and how much he doesn’t want those limitations to have an impact on his decisions or his goals or how he lives his life. For the majority of the book he’s told no one in his life what he’s struggling with. Just like almost no one in my life knows that I have Lyme. I don’t want to be defined by it either, and I won’t be. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t need to relearn right along with Bryan that sometimes you have to let other people know what’s going on with you, and that sometimes you need to give yourself a break.

That’s not an easy lesson for me. And it wasn’t an easy lesson for him. But it was one he needed to learn and that I needed a reminder of, in a big way.

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Blurb

A Moments In Time Novel

Bryan Dane’s been living the dream—photography student by day, up-and-coming rocker by night. His summer goals are to earn his last few credits, graduate from NYU, spend as much time in the recording studio as possible, and survive the next few months without sex so he can complete his yearlong goal of self-imposed celibacy. Everything is on track until he meets Oliver Newcastle.

For years Oliver planned a marriage of convenience with his high school BFF, but now that she’s fallen in love for real with someone else, it’s no longer convenient. So Oliver came out to his family, quit his job, and left small-town New England for NYC, an intensive summer study program, and a chance to find his own happiness.

From the moment they meet, the sexual tension between Bryan and Oliver sizzles. But Bryan wants no part of a relationship, and Oliver wants to sow his wild oats—he just isn’t sure how. Oliver seeks Bryan’s help navigating the NYC gay scene, which throws them together in increasingly more sexual situations until they can no longer deny they’re hot for each other. Bryan is desperate to keep things simple, but fate may have other plans.

This is a standalone novel set in the Moments In Time world. You do not need to have read any of the previous titles to enjoy this book.

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Words 80,385

Pages 244

ISBN-13 978-1-63476-546-6

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About the Author

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 Karen Stivali

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Full length bio:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Karen’s lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.

When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali/

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

Website: http://karenstivali.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karenstivali/

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

E-mail: karenstivali@gmail.com/

Other books in the Moments In Time series:

  • MOMENT OF IMPACT (Book 1)
  • MOMENT OF TRUTH (Book 2)
  • MOMENT OF CLARITY (Book 3)
  • MOMENTS IN TIME (a compilation of Books 1-3)
  • MOMENT OF DOUBT (Book 3.5)
  • MOMENT OF SILENCE (Book 4)
  • MOMENT OF FATE (Book 5)

Cover Reveal for Karen Stivali’s ‘Moment of Silence’ (a Moments in Time story) (cover reveal and giveaway)

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Moment of Silence (Series: Moments In Time) by Karen Stivali
Release Date: December 18, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

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Blurb

Growing up, Jason Stern led a charmed life complete with devoted sisters, a father who was one of Brooklyn’s most respected rabbis, and a mother who made the world’s best babka. He headed to NYU ready for anything—except falling for the wrong guy, coming out, and getting disowned by his once-loving family. In spite of that, Jason managed to graduate with honors. He’s got friends who treat him like family, and he’s proudly running the largest LGBTQ teen shelter in Manhattan. Life is good, but he’s still falling for the wrong men.

When charming, sexy Quinn Fitzpatrick begins work at the shelter, Jason falls hard and fast. Quinn is tall, blond, funny—damn near perfect. Only if Quinn’s gay, even he doesn’t seem to know it. If he does, he’s not telling anyone. And he’s about one ceremony away from becoming a Catholic priest.

Long hours of work turn to long nights of talking and laughter, and Jason dares to hope this time he’s falling for the right guy. But Quinn’s got a past to deal with and major decisions to make about his future. When Quinn leaves for a silent retreat, Jason knows the silence may change everything.
Pages or Words: 76,000 words
This book is a ‘Moments in Time Novel’.
It takes place in the same world, but can be read separately.
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance

Excerpt

Pierogi were just what the evening required. We got two orders, potato with fried onions, and cheese doused in butter. To round things out, we added a gigantic link of kielbasa and finished it all off with blueberry blintzes. By the time we were done eating, I was so full I could barely move.
“This was awesome.” Quinn licked a purple streak of blueberry off his fork before setting it down and pushing his plate away.
I was too mesmerized by the sight of his tongue to speak right away.
The waitress stopped at our booth. “All set?”
“Yeah, thanks.”
She placed the paper check between us, and Quinn reached for it, but I grabbed it first. “I’ve got this one. Make up for the popcorn you gave away.”
“You don’t have to do that.” He pulled out his wallet and put a twenty on the table.
“You can’t let anyone do anything for you, can you?”
Quinn’s eyes bugged, then softened. “Yeah, I guess I do have a problem with that sometimes.”
“Sometimes?”
“Okay, most of the time.”
“You know what they say. The first step is admitting you have a problem. And the second is letting me pay for dinner.” I stuck the check and enough money for the meal and tip under the glass sugar shaker, then grabbed Quinn’s twenty, folded it in half, leaned over, and tucked it into his shirt pocket.
My fingers were in the pocket before I fully realized what I was doing. Then the whole universe condensed into the drag of my fingers on that two-inch-square area of his chest. His rock-solid chest that tightened the instant I made contact. My own chest froze, devoid of air. I’d forgotten how to breathe. All I could do was think about the fact that I had my hand on this man who’d consumed my waking and sleeping hours for weeks. And I had to let go. Literally.
I pulled my hand away, trying to turn the rush of breath that returned to my lungs into something resembling a laugh. “Ready to get out of here?”
Quinn nodded.
Shit. He’s silent again. Did he notice that moment of fantasy lust I just played out? What the fuck is wrong with me? Way to make him uncomfortable. Fuck—My monologue of self-criticism was interrupted by his hand on my shoulder.
His hand was probably a normal temperature, but given the heat it generated in my body, he might as well have been the Human Torch . Great. I’m not only in love with a straight priest, he’s also a superhero.
Quinn chuckled, and for a second I worried I’d said my crazy thoughts out loud. My face flushed to match the heat that coursed through the rest of me. “What?”
He handed me my keys. “You left these on the table.”
“Oh.” I took them, heat flaring through me in another rush when his fingers brushed mine as he placed the keyring in my hand. “Thanks. Geez. That would have sucked if I’d left those here.”
“Yeah.”
My phone buzzed in my pocket, and I nearly tripped over the step as we left the restaurant. It was a text from Campbell. I laughed. “Apparently my roommate’s having an orange juice crisis, as in we’re out of orange juice. I need to stop at the bodega on the way home. I feel like we’re married sometimes. In a weird, sexless way.” Stop talking. Now.
“It’s good you get along so well.”
I gestured to the store on the next corner. “You need anything?”
“Nah. I’m too full to even think about eating or drinking anything.”
“The power of the pierogi.”
He grinned. “See you tomorrow?”
“Get some sleep. Tomorrow we’ll work on those shelves. Unless you think we need to run the math one more time.”
“Just triple-checking your skills.” The teasing sound in his voice made me want to stay on that corner and talk to him all night. Anything to keep hold of the pleasant hum that was vibrating through my body. But then he turned away, heading toward his place, hand in the air in a backward wave of sorts. “Good night.”
It was indeed. “Night.”

Buy the book:  Dreamspinner Press  eBook | Dreamspinner Press Paperback

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About the Author

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.
Karen’s lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:

Where to find the author:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenstivali
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karenstivali/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5170527.Karen_Stivali
Blog: http://karenstivali.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KarenStivaliAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Gay Book Reviews, Jessie G. Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Inked Rainbow Reads, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, V’s Reads, Open Skye Book Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Andrew Q. Gordon, The Hat Party, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Divine Magazine, Velvet Panic, Love Bytes

 

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: eBook copy of ‘Moment of Impact’ (Book one in the Moments in Time series).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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