Z.A. Maxfield on Writing Romance and her new release ‘Plummet to Soar’ (author guest blog, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Plummet To Soar (Plummet to Soar #1) by Z.A. Maxfield
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Sales Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Z.A. Maxfield today on tour with Plummet To Soar, her latest release.  She’s brought an exclusive excerpt and giveaway for all our readers.  Enjoy.

♦︎

Hi, I’m Z.A. Maxfield! Thanks again for inviting me to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to share my thoughts and talk about my latest book, Plummet to Soar!

I’m not sure I’ve ever been asked why I write. I’m often asked how I get my ideas or what my process is. How to get over writer’s block (I refuse to believe in it) and burnout (I failed to recognize it, until it was almost too late to save myself.)

But right now, I can’t remember anyone specifically asking why I write. Let me just put this out there — I write to change the world.

Maybe that sounds super-grandiose, but we’re supposed to aim for the moon, right? So we might fall among the stars…

When I was in college, I saw the film, “My Beautiful Launderette.” The story was different, and sexy and positive, even though life was so precarious for the characters. I found that story immensely compelling. I wanted the love affair to work out so badly my heart just ached for it. I looked for more stories like it, and was unable to find many books where LBGT characters got a happily-ever-after. Possibly, I didn’t know where to look, as there was no Amazon, or search engine optimization back then. I found–maybe–twenty that fit the criteria.

The lack of romance featuring LGBT protagonists still bothered me when I started writing for publication. I can’t say why, because I had no skin in the game. I lived in a traditional heterosexual marriage and my children were too young to date. It just seemed so stupidly unfair. Thirty years later, that feeling of isolation was still on my mind. What must that be like, I wondered…

God, was I ever naïve. I had no concept of my privilege. I had no idea what own voices, or diversity, or inclusion, or marginalized meant. I only wondered how it would feel to be a queer kid, looking for a book with a queer protagonist, where queer people can find love and don’t end up in a mental institution or dead.

Stories teach us, they comfort us, they take us places that would be impossible to visit without them. They give us whole new worlds to enjoy. They inform and interact with society in unexpected ways. They allow us to meet people we don’t know and get used to ideas we haven’t grown up with. Stories creep over the walls people put up between each other because human emotion is universal. Whether we’ve experienced something or not, a skilled author can create strong, unforgettable, and transformative emotions. That’s what I want to be, when I grow up. Who knows! I’m fifty-seven and it could happen any day now! 😀

Not all my ideas are awesome but fortunately, there are a geshmillion other writers out there trying to change the world with me. I am not alone in my endeavors. Whew!

But since you asked, I write because I believe people are more alike than they are different. I write because I believe that people are basically good. And I hope you’ll join with me and help change the world by telling your stories. Because the more often we strive for a world of peace, of plenty, of fairness, and kindness and decency, the more likely that world will become a reality.

Neil Gaimon said, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

 

 

Book Blurb:

Feckless, luckless, and charming, Mackenzie Detweiler is the author of a self-help book one reviewer calls “the most misbegotten motivational tool since Mein Kampf.” He’s maneuvered himself into a career as a life coach, but more often than not, his advice is bad. Really bad.

It’s even getting people hurt… and Mackenzie sued.

It falls to Mackenzie’s long-suffering editor, JD Chambers, to deliver the bad news. He chooses to do so face-to-face—to see if the spark he senses between them is real when they’re together in the flesh. Unfortunately, a snowstorm, a case of nerves, a case of mistaken identity, and finally a murder get in the way of a potential enemies-to-lovers romance.

There are many, many people who have good reason to want Mackenzie dead. JD must find out which one is acting on it before it’s too late for both of them.

Excerpt

Despite the white noise generated by the heater and the hum of someone’s television, silence threatened to overwhelm JD after Mac left. The room was nice—super-dated decor, traditional furniture. The linens, though, had that “international chain hotel” look—white on white with a colorful runner and fancy round bolsters to go with ample standard-size lumps for sleeping on. And right next door, lying on his back, among all those many pillows….

JD,

You can call me anything you want. You contracted the book, man. People have called me everything—Mac, Mackenzie, Z, and shit-for-brains.

I’ve never let anyone call me Kenzie.

Mac

Why’s that? Breathlessly curious about the odd new writer—the goofball his colleagues laughed at and jokingly called Humpty Dumbass behind his back—he switched to text.

Mac texted back, Dunno. I think I’ve been saving that one for someone who loves me.

JD thumbed, I love being inside your head during the journal entries. A long hesitation. Oh, God, was that too much? He always gave away too much, goddammit. He typed like lightning—I mean that’s how I felt when I first read it. I love these ideas, finding resilience. It resonates with me in a way I can’t really explain. I loved being in your head, reading words as you thought them. Wrote them.

My book is me, distilled. Maximum me. Call me Kenzie.

Like whisky, the words, the book, the man went to his head. All right, then, Kenzie.

JD loved their secret nicknames, loved knowing what it meant. He connected with Kenzie daily, over the minutiae of publishing his book and well beyond that, into late-night emails and intimate text conversations about the meaning of life. But while he coyly obscured all but a few details and kept his face, even his voice, hidden for no reason but his fear that if he broke the fantasy, he’d lose it, Kenzie was transparent. Since Kenzie Detweiler had become the single most important thing in his life, and since JD had nothing in his life to compare the experience to, he was ill equipped to handle such a thing.

Kenzie was made of minutiae, it turned out. He’d spent endless, generous time explaining how he saw the world and why he saw it that way and what it all meant.

Chambers Lighthouse Publishing published books by authors with whom JD had never spoken a single word. His name was on the door, but he had people for interacting with the authors. But the Lamplight line was his sole purview. He was its acquisitions editor and its executive editor.

Lamplight, started by his grandfather, put out almanacs, books of prayerful sentiment, and the journals of thoughtful, barely known but highly influential men. He’d kept his output to three or four titles per year. The authors were thought-provoking but never controversial—Norman Mailer and Truman Capote and Joan Didion need not apply.

His father changed all that, publishing astonishingly sexy memoirs and books by people who really set society’s hair on fire, becoming the enfant terrible of the legacy publishing world for about five minutes. And now, no matter how many pairs he tried, JD could fill neither man’s two-tone, lace-up, wing-tipped oxfords. Shortly after he took over, he vowed to publish books he liked, and people called him sir, or Mr. Chambers, or they got out of his way.

But not Kenzie, who called him JD.

Somewhere between the contract and the first marketing campaign, Douglas—oh, who was he kidding with the fake name and this ridiculous trip—Jacob Douglas Chambers IV—fell in love.

That Kenzie didn’t know who he was? Was both a godsend and a curse. A godsend because he could choose the perfect time for The Big Reveal, and a curse because if he was wrong about this? There was no perfect time.

He really expected Kenzie to know him. That was the thing. He told Kenzie that he was allergic to cameras, but who stops there? There were exactly five pictures of him online. One in a morning coat, top hat, and tails at a wedding, even. JD could have told Kenzie who he was at any time.

Why hadn’t he?

He’d foreseen the moment for so long. What was he protecting himself from? He’d developed a deep, unhealthy emotional attachment to the man who was taking a shower—if the running water was anything to go by—in the room adjacent. There was a gap under the connecting door, and every sound was amplified through it.

Kenzie, singing “Despacito.” The sexy slap of water on the tub floor. He didn’t dare take his imagination further than that. He’d believed in Mackenzie Detweiler, trusted his words, his thoughts, his heart.

And it seemed as though he’d been deluded, along with all the other saps who bought Mackenzie Detweiler’s spiel. But maybe that wasn’t fair, because even tonight, even in pain from an injury he got—not while following Kenzie’s very well-meaning advice, but Kenzie didn’t know that—right up until the moment he’d seen Kenzie face-to-face, JD wanted to believe that what they had was foreordained or somehow magical—celestial.

He wanted to believe there was some sort of there… there.

I’d ask your definition of freedom.

Kenzie always had a comeback. There was another reason not to get sucked into the happy complacency of letting someone else do his thinking for him. JD had tasted the Kool-Aid, siphoned a little to see how it felt, and then guzzled it. And when the unthinkable happened, and the scythe came too close to miss him, he didn’t have the revelations he’d been promised. He simply felt… pissed.

Yes. That was it. Pissed, because in no way did he believe Mac lied in the book. In Mac’s case a near-death experience solidified who he was. He seemed happy. Fulfilled and content. His weird personality traits and his inchoate yearnings had incubated—hatched into someone fierce and proud and unfailingly kind. JD would stake his life on the fact that Kenzie was legitimately happy.

JD was pissed because he felt goddamn nothing.

Stupid for hoping that, if he embraced the worst, his fears would go away.

Stupid for asking for more than he had when he was arguably the richest, luckiest person he knew.

Stupid for trying out any advice he got from a dumbass like Mac, who had turned out to be just another fucked-up human being after all—even if he was a delightful one.

They were all lucky no one had gotten killed. Yet.

Everyone from editorial to corporate had put in a word. Plummet was going to be pulled off the shelves the following Monday. Press releases had been written. Lawyers were on standby. And he had to tell Mac about that too.

Sorry. I’m the man you trusted with your career, and I’m here to pull the rug out.

It wasn’t right to keep it from him. Years back, they’d pulled a book on canning while the author reworked the section on food safety. Those things happened. But they wouldn’t offer Mac a chance to rewrite and rerelease. The ideas JD had embraced so fully only alarmed them after his ludicrous brush with death, though it had nothing to do with the book.

No. The board didn’t want anything to do with Mac anymore.

JD had argued at first. Thrown his weight around. What happened to him didn’t result from Plummet to Soar. All he’d done was attend a contentious co-op board meeting. Those were a bore but not normally dangerous. It wasn’t like he’d run with the bulls in Pamplona. No one could have foreseen his ex catching him in the parking garage alone.

JD absently rubbed his knee. And why, when his leg was broken on one side, did the other knee hurt so much? JD made a mental note to call his doctor and find out.

His eyes snapped open when the water shut off. From the other side of the door came the sound of more humming and rustling noises. Curiosity was killing JD truly. Killing him.

How did connecting doors in hotels work, anyway? Were there two doors or just one? It seemed kinda old-school—a knob, a dead bolt.

Is the lock engaged?

As though it heated before his eyes, the lock seemed to glow with some inner fire. The knob was the only thing he could focus on. God, his leg hurt. The buzz from the flight, from the bar, was fading. If he took a pain pill, it would knock him out too hard.

JD laid his cheek against the door and put his hand on the knob. Nope. Nope, Nope. Nope. The door between their rooms felt cool. He let go of the knob, as though it would brand him, but that was just more melodramatic bullshit. He could hear his mother’s voice telling him to get a grip on himself. Which, really, anyone who ever met him would have known that having a grip on himself was part of the goddamn problem.

Try the door.

It was almost as though the door were talking to him—or was that wishful thinking?

He wanted to try it anyway, and what was it they said about confirmation bias? You generally fall in with the data that supports what you already believe?

No. It wasn’t all a scam.

The doorknob turned in his hand. The door opened in his direction. He had to step back to get out of its way. And then he was standing there, staring at Kenzie Detweiler, who wore nothing but a towel.

 

About the Author

 

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Readers can visit ZAM at her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Links:

Website: http://www.zamaxfield.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorZ.A.Maxfield
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ZAMaxfield

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zamaxfield/?hl=en
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2738500.Z_A_Maxfield

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fVPEzw

Giveaway: Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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In the Release Day Spotlight: Confessions (Reno PD Case Files #1) by Ethan Stone (author interview)

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Confessions

Confessions (Reno PD Case Files #1) by Ethan Stone
D
SP Publications
Release Date    August 9, 2016

Sales Links DSP Publications | Amazon

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ethan Stone here today to talk writing, books and Confessions.  Welcome, Ethan.

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Welcome to the second stop of the Confessions blog tour. Today I’m going to answer some questions. I hope you get to know me a little better.

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

Yes. 😉 I draw inspiration everywhere. My friends, my boyfriend, my family—they all know they could become part of my stories. I can be driving along and see something as simple as a fallen free and come up with an idea. With Cristian Flesh from In the Flesh and that series it was just his name. I thought Flesh would make a good surname and then came his first name. Almost immediately I had his past in my head and the plot of the book came tome quickly.

  • Are you a planner or a pantser when writing a story? And why?

I’m more of a pantser. I usually start with the initial idea and some character sketches. Sometimes I’ll make a list of the beats I need to hit but it’s not ever long. Anytime I try a full outline I lose interest and it joins the pile of partial stories.

  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

I usually write mysteries. The few times I’ve written a contemporary romance with some sort of action or mystery I have a very hard tome finishing it. I like the romance interwoven in between the mystery. I’m not sure what it says about me that I like writing about murders and serial killers but I try not to think about that. I have written a couple paranormal stories (Including one coming out in September) but even those have a mystery element as well.

  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

When I wrote In the Flesh I wasn’t aware of the ‘rules of romance.’ If I were to write the book now I’d have those thoughts in my head and sometimes that leads to internal censoring. Flesh doesn’t follow those rules but he does have his own set of rules.

  • Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

Cristian Flesh was my first so he’s special to me. But Kash from Compromised is a favorite because of all my characters he’s the one I’m most like. There’s a lot in that book that mirrored my life at the time. I adore Linc from Bartender, PI because he’s so funny. So, yeah I’m not sure I have an absolute favorite. It’s kind of like trying to pick which child you love most.

  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

I’ve recently discovered an author by the name of S.C. Wynne. She writes some absolutely fantastic stories. I’ve been binging on her books lately and am down to a handful. I don’t know what I’ll do when I’ve read them all. I’m also a fan of Jay Northcote, Kai Tyler and L.A. Witt.

  • How early in your life did you begin writing?

I don’t remember a time I didn’t write or want to write. In third grade I wrote a story about a dwarf/elf combo named Hodey. He swung on ropes hollering “Hodey Hooooooooo.” In my twenties I wrote a book titled “A Gentleman Among Thieves.” That’s a book that will never see the light of day. For many years I wrote my own soap opera I called Fortune.

  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

I was a voracious reader until my early teens. There’s a great series of books that started with Bunnicula. I read that book and the sequels more times than I can count. I loved the Amelia Bedelia books. My favorite was Priscilla by Colleen Copeland. It’s a true life story written from the perspective of the pig.

  • What question would you ask yourself here?

Who put the bop in the bop do bop shoo bop shoo bop?

  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

Work in Progress.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and if you have other questions feel free to ask. A big thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me.

Confessions

Blurb

A Reno PD Case File

A serial killer known as the Confessor is kidnapping and torturing gay men, and Reno Police Department Evidence Technician Leif Carson is determined to catch him.

His personal life isn’t any less stressful. Despite being a virgin and having zero experience with men, he can’t stop thinking about his best friend’s ex, Rafe Castillo. Rafe is suffering from PTSD, but that doesn’t stop Leif from wanting to be with him.

Complete opposites, they’re an amazing fit once they do get together—until Rafe’s PTSD gets in the way and he walks away from the relationship before it has a chance to truly blossom. Even though he has intense feelings for the man, Leif has no choice but to let him go.

When the Confessor kidnaps Rafe, Leif does everything possible to locate him before he’s murdered. Rafe’s near-death experience changes him profoundly, but the danger isn’t over yet. Leif and Rafe will have to face pure evil together if they’re going to last.

About the Author

Ethan Stone

Romance on the Edge

Ethan Stone doesn’t write your typical boy meets boy stories. With a combination of love and suspense he makes his characters work hard for their HEAs. If they can survive what he puts them through, then they can survive anything. He enjoys Romance with an Edge.

Ethan has been reading mysteries and thrillers since he was young. He’s had a thing for guys in uniform for just as long. That may have influenced the stories he writes.

He’s a native Oregonian with two kids. One of whom has made him a grandfather three times over; even though he is way too young.

Readers can find Ethan online.

In the Spotlight: Book, Line, and Sinker by L.J. LaBarthe

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BookLineandSinkerLG

Book, Line, and Sinker by L.J. LaBarthe
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art by Reese Dante

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback

Blurb

After seventeen years serving in the Australian Army, Ash returns to his childhood home in the outback town of Quorn. Filled with the desire to live a happy life in peace and with loved ones, Ash is grimly determined to beat his PTSD and tackle his flashbacks.

What Ash isn’t prepared for is Jaxon, the new librarian in Quorn. Jaxon is calm, gentle, kind, and a rock for Ash’s battered psyche. Ash finds himself falling for the handsome newcomer, even as his mind and memories of the past torment him.

When he has the idea for a mobile library to bring books and entertainment to remote communities in the far north, Ash is delighted that Jaxon is with him every step of the way. But though the library, called Book, Line, and Sinker, takes off, Ash’s past continues to plague him. Can Jaxon’s love be enough to keep them together until Ash is strong enough to stand on his own?

Excerpt

“I’ll have a look.” Ash dropped down into a squat and leaned forward to read the spines of the books on the bottom shelves. There were several rows of children’s books, and he started pulling titles out, making a neat stack beside him. Before long, he had gathered quite a collection, and he stood up, grunting as his knees protested

from being in one position for so long.

“Not a bad haul,” Jaxon said, looking at the stack. “Need some help carrying it over to the register?”

“Yeah, thanks. Did you find anything?”

“A few things. I took my armload over to the counter already.”

“That was quick.” Ash grinned.

“Just call me Book Man, swifter than… something really swift.”

Ash laughed. “Righto, Book Man. Want to give me a hand here?”

Jaxon bent down to grab half the stack and stood, huffing out a breath. “They’re heavier than they look.”

“I know.” Ash grabbed the rest of the pile and stood.

“Where’s Evie?”

“Looking at toys. She thought a toy library would be a good thing to have as well, not just books and games.”

“She’s a bloody genius.” Ash followed Jaxon as he went to the counter, where a large cardboard box sat. An elderly woman was carefully packing it with paperbacks and a few hard covers, and Ash and Jaxon set their armloads of books down beside it.

“That’s a lot of books, boys,” the lady said with a warm smile on her face.

“Reading is awesome,” Jaxon said.

“I found some toys and games as well,” Evie said as she joined them. “No DVDs, though.”

“Sorry, love, a gentleman cleaned out our DVD stock last week,” the lady said.

“Oh well. Can’t win ’em all, right?” Evie grinned up at her brother and Ash grinned back. “Shall I go get the car? This lot’s going to be really heavy.”

“That’s a great idea.” Ash pulled the keys out of the pocket of his jeans and handed them to her. “Here. Go for it.”

“What about…?”

“I’ll pay for it. It’s all good.” Ash made a little shooing motion with his hands. Evie rolled her eyes at him.

“I’m going.”

About the Author

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

You can find her at the following places:

Chris Scully Talks “Open for You” and Her Latest Story ‘Happy’ – guest blog, excerpt and giveaway

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Happy

Happy by Chris Scully
D
reamspinner Press
Cover art by Bree Archer

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Chris Scully here today to talk about her  latest novel, Happy.  Welcome, Chris.

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Hello! I’m Chris Scully. Welcome to the blog tour for my new novella, Happy, from Dreamspinner Press. Join me at various tour stops, where I’ll be sharing some guest posts, excerpts and more. Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win a gift certificate and ebook of your choice. Thanks for stopping by and joining me on the tour! And a very special thanks to my hosts today.

**SPOILER ALERT** I don’t consider any of the below to be true spoilers, but if you really don’t want any hints, stop reading now

Happy was written long before the current discussion around “Gay For You” and bi-erasure in gay and m/m romance. But in a way it’s very timely. Happy is definitely an “Open for you” story. It’s not something I consciously set out to write, although at the start Peter was bi-curious, but it just developed that way. Peter Georgiou is well aware of his attraction to both men and women, although he’s hesitant to openly accept it because of how that would be received by his traditional Greek Orthodox family. Part of that involves not using the label for himself. He’s not in denial about his sexuality, but there’s a whole side of himself he represses a bit rather than stir up the inevitable trouble at home. He’s got an ex-fiancée whom he genuinely cared for, and a new girlfriend that his mother set him up with. And frankly, he’s never met someone he’s prepared to out himself for. Enter Louie Papadakis, who has returned home after a long estrangement from his family. Peter admires Louie’s bravery, not only for coming out at a young age, at great personal cost, but also for being able to be his own person and escape the demands of his family. But Peter also sees how Louie is still treated by certain segments of their Greek neighbourhood, including Peter’s own ultra-traditional mother. With his best friends’ relationship as a guide, Peter is encouraged to follow his heart, and the more time he spends with Louie, the more Peter begins to understand that true happiness can only come from being his authentic self. The question is will his family be so accepting?

About Happy –  Blurb

Growing up Greek-Canadian, Peter Georgiou always knew his duty was to his family, for whom twenty-first century rules don’t apply. HappyIn his early thirties, Peter still lives at home, dates who his parents tell him to, and works at the family restaurant. But watching his two best friends find happiness in each other’s arms has made him worry over his destiny.

When Louie Papadakis returns home to nurse his broken heart and start a new life, he can’t believe his sister is dating his high school crush, Peter. There’s a sadness behind Peter’s eyes that draws him in, and a chemistry he wishes he could ignore. After his closeted ex broke his heart, Louie is afraid to fall in love again, especially with a man who’s keeping secrets.

As Peter finds himself drawn to Louie in unexpected ways, old and new worlds collide. Then a family crisis forces Peter’s hand, and he must decide if he’s willing to sacrifice his happiness for family duty.

Excerpt

“Are you happy?”

It was a simple question. Should have been a simple answer. So why was it still rattling around in Peter’s head an hour after Adam had asked it? And why did his insides squirm uncomfortably every time he thought about it? Of course he was happy. Wasn’t he?

He rinsed his hands under the bathroom faucet and chanced a final glance in the mirror. The man staring back at him certainly didn’t look happy.

You’re a sad fucking case these days, Peter Georgiou, he thought tiredly, taking in the dark circles beneath his eyes and the retreating hairline that even the closest shave couldn’t disguise. His lungs grew tight, and he quickly averted his eyes before he looked too deeply and saw something he’d rather not see.

Peter cupped his hands beneath the water, letting it spill through his fingers before bending to splash his overheated face. He struggled to recall a time when he hadn’t felt this weight on his chest, but if it had ever existed, it must have been long ago. Before he knew what expectations were. What had happened to the boy who was going to get away and see the world? Be his own man?

He straightened and flicked his wet fingers at the mirror, shattering his reflection with droplets. With a sigh he reached for the nearby hand towel to dry it off. His image blurred for a second and then crystalized again as the water evaporated. He made a face and then looked away. Ugh. He shouldn’t have had that last beer. He was a gloomy drunk to begin with, but tonight he was more morose than usual.

When had it all started to go wrong? With his dad’s heart attack? When Elena ended their engagement? Or was it before that, even?

The sounds of laughter filtered up to the second floor through the floorboards of the old house. The party was winding down, but a few stragglers still hung on in the living room, having moved inside after darkness settled in and brought the mosquitos with it. Peter wondered if he could slip out without anyone noticing. Then he remembered he had no way to get home without Julian, unless he called a cab.

He was reaching for the door handle when voices drifted through the open window, too low to hear the words but loud enough for him to recognize the speakers. Curious, Peter crept to the window and squinted into the shadows. The bathroom overlooked the narrow backyard, and sound drifted easily. Through the fluttering streamers and paper bells stretching over the deck, two familiar figures moved about below, illuminated by the glow from the kitchen.

Adam hopped up to perch on the deck railing, facing the house as Joe filled a garbage bag with the litter from earlier in the evening. After a mumbled comment, Joe set down his bag and moved to stand between Adam’s splayed knees, his back turned toward Peter, his hands seeking out Adam’s hips. As Peter watched from his secret vantage point, Adam wrapped his arms around Joe’s neck and leaned down to kiss him.

It was slow and tender, and Peter’s stomach hollowed.

His best friends rarely displayed this side of their relationship in public. They’d always been affectionate with each other—Joe was a chronic hugger—even when they were only friends, so once they’d gone beyond that, not much had changed. Unless you happened to notice the way they looked at each other, or the way they finished each other’s sentences, or how one would know what the other wanted without him saying a word.

Peter did his best not to notice.

There was enough light from the house to see Joe’s hand slide up Adam’s pale thigh and under the leg of his shorts. Peter’s breath hitched. His groin filled with a slow heat.

About the Author

CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.

Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she’s found a home in gay romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.

Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.

Connect with Chris:

Website: http://chrisscullyblog.wordpress.com
Facebook: facebook.com/chris.scully.author
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/6152322.Chr…
Email: cscully@bell.net

Buy Links

Available March 30, 2016

Dreamspinner Press  | Amazon  | ARe

Giveaway

Link to Rafflecopter:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ff396dca2/

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Blog Schedule:

Other blogs on the Happy tour:

March 24: MM Good Book Reviews
March 28: Open Skye Book Reviews
March 29: Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy
March 30: Hearts on Fire
March 30: Divine Magazine
March 31: Love Bytes
March 31: The Novel Approach
April 1: Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Its Release Day for ‘At Your Service’ by Ariel Tachna – Join Ariel Tachna for Her Interview and Giveaway!

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At Your Service by Ariel Tachna
D
reamspinner Publishing

Release Date: March 14
Cover Artist L. C. Chase

Read An Excerpt/Buy It Here At Dreamspinner Publishing ebook or paperback

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ariel Tachna here today to talk about her latest novel and talk a bit about her writing. Welcome, Ariel.  Congratulations on  At Your Service!

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Thank you, Melanie, for hosting me today, and thanks to all your followers for taking the time to read this. In appreciation, I’ll be giving away one copy of At Your Service to someone who comments.

1. Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

Book ideas can come from anywhere. Sometimes it’s a dream (Partnership in Blood). Sometimes it’s an overheard snippet of Dance Off coverAllianceinBloodFSconversation (Dance Off). Sometimes it’s a situation I see or read about (Fallout). It might be a line from a book (The Matelot) or a movie (Under the Skin) or a song (The Inventor’s Companion), or a relationship dynamic I want to explore outside the context of that book or movie. I’ve had book ideas come from comments friends (Inherit the Sky) or readers (Cherish the Land) have made. They’ve come from places I’ve visited (Seducing C.C.), journeys I’ve taken (The Path), and people I’ve met (At Your Service). Sometimes it’s a personal experience (Home for Chirappu). In short, the inspiration comes from life. It’s up to me to be open to the world around me and to see everything as a potential source of creativity.HomeforChirappuFS

2.  Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?

Definitely a pantzer. The only time I’ve successfully planned books prior to writing them is when I’m working with Nicki, and even then, those plans are open for discussion as we write. I go into a story with a set of characters, a conflict (although sometimes I discover as I’m writing that the conflict I envisioned is not the real one), and an ending (happily ever after). I used to try to make more detailed outlines, but I discovered that when I do that, my stories either feel flat or I can’t finish them because the characters rebel against my preconceived notions of who they are and refuse to cooperate until I let them tell their own stories. Ultimately everyone is happier if I just let them have their way.

3.  Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

I’ve written in pretty much every genre out there at one time or another. Except humor. I don’t do humor. As a reader, I’m most drawn to fantasy because with fantasy (or science fiction), the writer can do away with a lot of the societal norms that irk me. In fantasy, you can have a matriarchal society or an egalitarian one or one where dragons partner with humans or one where interspace travel is a question of finding someone with enough psychic ability to teleport you across the universe. You can have magic and science and any combination of aliens and cultures and languages and races. The limits of the writer’s imagination are the only limits out there. That said, doing it well is not an easy thing. There’s a lot of mediocre fantasy out there. There’s a lot of knock-off fantasy as well. I remember taking my kids to see a children’s fantasy movie a few years ago and spending the entire movie thinking, “And that’s Aragorn. And those are the Orcs. And there you have the Rohirrim.” It was Lord of the Rings all over again with names and faces changed but no real originality. Now, we can’t all be Tolkien (don’t I wish I could be as brilliant as him), but it’s easy to fall into borrowing ideas here and there instead of starting truly from scratch.

4.  If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

I’m sure I have many characters who would be different if I started their story now rather than when I started them, but each book I’ve written is very much a product of who I was as a person and a writer at the time it was written. Even when I’ve had the opportunity to do second editions of books, I’ve chosen not to make a lot of changes in those characters, because whoever they might be if I started telling the same story now, that’s not who they are because I’m not telling that story now. I told it then in the best way I could and as true to those characters as I could. Have I progressed as a writer? Of course I have. Would the text have fewer POV changes or invalid simultaneous actions or epithets or other mistakes I’ve learned not to make if I wrote it now? Possibly. Would that make the characters in any way better? I don’t think so, because my growth as a writer is technical more than it is creative. I don’t create better characters now than I did ten years ago. Different characters, no doubt, but not better, and to try to change them is to deny who they were and who I was then.

5.  Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

It’s a bit like children or students, if you’re a teacher—you’re not supposed to have favorites, but you kind of do anyway. And yes, I have them. Caine and Macklin, Orlando and Alain, and Jean and Raymond are probably my three favorites, although then I start thinking, “what about Christian and Teo?” “But I love Leandre and Perrin.” “Oh, I can’t forget about Frank and Daniel.” So yes, I have my favorites, but I also love them all.

6.  If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

That’s sort of a loaded question because I have different books for different kinds of comfort, but they would have in include The Lord of the Rings, the Sunrunner series by Melanie Rawn, the first six (at least) of the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, Cursed and Betrayed by Rhianne Aile, and Change of Heart by Mary Calmes. That would cover most eventualities. 😉

7.  How early in your life did you begin writing?

I was twelve when I started writing. By the time I finished high school, I had five completed novels written. I’m pretty sure no one would want to read them now. They were very clearly written by a middle or high school student, but they were good practice for the art of pacing, dialogue, character creation, and more.

8.  Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

I can’t ever remember not reading. I know my mother read to me because I know my mother, but I can’t ever remember not reading along. I think the childhood book that had the most impact on me was the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warren. I read and reread those books so many times that in second grade, I have a vivid memory of recounting the entire first book to a classmate at the end of a field trip. And I don’t mean a two-sentence summary. A little bit later, more late elementary, early middle school, it was the Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper. Everyone talks about Harry Potter, but Will Stanton would totally take Harry to school. (Sorry to all the Potter fans out there, but read the books before you come after me. You’ll see I’m totally right.) Susan Cooper introduced me to two of my enduring loves with those books: King Arthur and fantasy.

9.  If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

I’m SO bad at titles. I’m not sure you want to ask me that question. I can honestly say I have come up with the titles for a total of four of my books. For all the others, I had to throw myself on the mercy of my friends and beta readers.

Blurb

When Anthony Mercer walked into Au cœur du terroir, he was looking for good food and a pleasant evening spent with a friend. He never expected to meet—and sleep with—Paul Delescluse, a waiter at the restaurant. After spending a magical week together in Paris, Anthony must return to his life in North Carolina, while Paul remains in France.

Despite the distance and the lack of promises between them—Paul wants sex, not a relationship—Paul and Anthony forge a solid friendship. Then Anthony’s job takes him back to Paris, this time to stay. Paul is thrilled to have him back, but Anthony has a harder choice: be another of Paul’s conquests or fight for the relationship he knows they could have, if only Paul would believe it.

About the Author

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When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.

She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands).

Visit Ariel:

Other Novels by Ariel Tachna:

Inherit The Sky coverPath[The]FSFalloutFSSedCCFS

Its Valentine’s Day. Treat Yourself to a Love Story. ‘Love at Roades End’ by Kris T. Bethke (author guest post)

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Love at Roades End by Kris T. Bethke
Dreamspinner Press

Goodreads Link
Cover Artist L.C. Chase

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kris T. Bethke here to talk about Love at Rhoades End, her latest novel, and her writing process. Welcome, Kris, thanks for sharing with our readers.

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Thanks so much for allowing me to pop in today, and thanks to everyone who’s stopped by to read!

Up until about a year ago, I was a complete and total pantser. Yep. I got a vague idea for a story and I’d start writing willy nilly with nary a plan to be seen. Sometimes, this worked. Several of my published stories were written that way and they turned out just fine. But just about a year ago, I had a story brewing in my brain and I saw so much of it that I wrote a rough summary.

And a new method for writing was born.

Now I’m a combination plotter and pantser. And , my newest release, is the perfect example of why. I wrote this story in four evenings, and only had to do a minimal of tweaking and editing before it was ready for submission. When I got the plot idea, and let it percolate in my brain, Sean and Hunter emerged to tell me their story. Before I actually started writing it, I worked out the major plot points and wrote it all down.  And then I worked off that when actually writing the story.

It didn’t stay exactly as I had plotted it, of course. And I allow for things to change. I don’t get bent out of shape if I don’t follow the outline exactly. Heck, sometimes my brain comes up with something on the fly and I follow that track instead of what I originally envisioned. Sean and Hunter didn’t veer too far off their original path, and since I’d already worked out plot holes while writing the summary, that made it a quick and fun write.

Their story is short and sweet, a perfect little Valentine’s Day story. I was writing it with a word limit in mind, and I worked hard to get only the necessary information on the page. Sean and Hunter were made to meet and fall in love, and I truly enjoyed writing their story. I hope you’ll consider picking this one up when looking for a happy, fluffy, Valentine’s Day romance!

About Love at Roades End

Sean Newvine is looking forward to his weekend at Roades End Inn so he can review his stay there for inclusion on his travel website. What he never expects is for the owner, Hunter Roades, to capture his attention from the very start.

The only problem is Hunter thinks Sean’s been sent by his brother on a blind date so that Hunter doesn’t have to spend Valentine’s Day alone. Once the awkward misunderstanding is resolved, Sean is charmed by Hunter’s formality and hospitality. And when they have a chance to really talk, sparks fly.

A passion-filled night has them both wanting more, but Hunter pulls away knowing Sean doesn’t live in town and the distance might be more than they can overcome. Sean and Hunter must figure out if they can make it work for longer than one night, or if their chance at love will end at Roades End Inn before it can begin.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press |Amazon | AReKoboBarnes and Noble

About the Author

Kris T Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with an aquarium full of tropical fish and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved and that all love deserves to be celebrated. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to drop her a line.

You can find her on Twitter @KrisTBethke or on her blog http://www.kristbethke.com

In Our Author Spotlight: Ava Hayden and her latest story ‘Table for One’ (guest blog)

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Table for One by Ava Hayden
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist Anna Sikorska

Sales Links

Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have  Ava Hayden here today to talk about her latest story, Table for One, and share with our readers a bit of the background into the plot and storyline.  Welcome, Ava!

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In “Table for One” I wanted to throw a big plot complication at Nick. Oilton, Alberta is a made-up place, but there’s one thing you can count on anywhere in Alberta in winter—snow.

Not that we can’t handle it—snow falling at a reasonable pace, that is, with plenty of time for plowing. When it arrives all at once—life gets complicated. I’d been living in Alberta three months when the worst snowstorm in 113 years hit on St. Patrick’s Day. I was at the airport, ready to fly to Vancouver for business. When the airlines cancelled a few flights and marked some delayed, it didn’t seem unusual—not at first. Traveling in snow is a fact of life here. Plenty of passengers assumed these were temporary annoyances—a little runway plowing, some de-icing, and no worries. The airline’s staff was playing coy.

The problem with having to make decisions in a hundred-year snowstorm is you don’t know it’s a hundred-year snowstorm until it’s over and the CBC is broadcasting videos and statistics. When my flight was cancelled, my gut told me not to join the line of people at the gate hoping to go standby on the next flight. Instead, I made a quick call to my Vancouver customer and headed for the cabstand as fast as I could.

Road conditions were already horrible. The trip took five times longer than usual. The worst moment occurred when the taxi was fighting for traction to climb a hill. A pickup hauling a refrigerator ahead of us began sliding backwards, and for a few seconds, the taxi driver and I both had no doubt that we were about to be squashed under a Kenmore. (We weren’t. Barely.)

Take one blizzard, add an eight-months-missing-in-action-without-a-word-of-explanation ex-lover seated at a table for two in Nick’s section, and it’s a Valentine’s Day he’ll never forget.

About Table for One

Nick DiGiaccomo waits tables at Fortissimo, an exclusive restaurant in Oilton, Alberta. He loathes drama, particularly the kind that makes its appearance on Valentine’s Day.

This Valentine’s Day is especially bitter. Eight months ago Nick’s heart was broken when his lover walked away without a word over a misunderstanding. Too proud to call, Nick’s heard nothing from him since. But on this, the most romantic day of the year, he keeps his feelings well-hidden and his professional smile firmly in place.

That is, until he sees his ex-lover, Mark Mishimoto, at a table for two in his section—and his Valentine’s Day goes from bad to downright horrible.

To make matters worse, a winter storm descends, hours earlier than forecast. When the restaurant closes, Nick finds himself stuck downtown in the middle of a blizzard with no way to get home and nowhere to go. Mark lives conveniently close by, and he’s offering up his couch. Nick could use a place to lay his head—but is it worth risking his heart?

Categories : Daydreams, Contemporary, Holiday. Gay Fiction

About the Author

Ava Hayden lives and writes in western Canada but grew up in the southern United States. She comes from a family of storytellers and began creating her own at an early age. She’s still telling stories, but now she writes them down.

Dedications, Inspiration and More: Writing ‘Foxes’ by Suki Fleet (guest post)

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Foxes by Suki Fleet

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist AngstyG
Release Date February 8, 2016

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Suki Fleet here today to share some insight into the background and inspiration behind Foxes, her latest novel.  Welcome, Suki.

  Homelessness and ‘Foxes’ by Suki Fleet

Be the change you want to see in the world.

This is the dedication at the beginning of the story. When I searched for whom to credit it to, I found it’s a quote often mistakenly attributed to Mahatma Ghandi. One source says the original quote of Ghandi’s is more something like this:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

  I like them both a lot.

For me this change goes hand in hand with kindness, on a big or small scale. Danny’s kindness in Foxes is a bright light in the dark that makes up a lot of his world. He is the change I’m talking about. He’s also badly scarred, and copes with the life a little differently, and he’s homeless, though he doesn’t live on the streets.

I’ve written about homelessness before in This is Not a Love Story. Foxes takes a very different approach. With This is Not a Love Story I focussed more on making a social statement about how society treats homeless people. This story isn’t as desperate or as hopeless as Romeo and Julian’s story was either. Foxes is about how it doesn’t matter what you’ve got, it matters what you do. It’s about making a difference to someone—about how small kindnesses can change someone’s life for the better.

Make a difference. Be the change.

Blurb

When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks—a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.

A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him—from what, he doesn’t know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realizes that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny can’t help him fight against.

To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don’t tear them apart first, that is.

Tags: Contemporary, New Adult, Gay Fiction

Foxes Buy Links

Amazon.co.uk  | Amazon.com | Dreamspinner Press | ARe |

About the Author

Suki Fleet grew up on a boat and as a small child spent a lot of time travelling at sea with her family. She has always wanted to be a writer. As a kid she told ghost stories to scare people, but stories about romance were the ones that inspired her to sit down and write. She doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing them.

Her novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards and was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

Links

Lex Chase and Bru Baker on Writing Together and ‘Some Assembly Required’ (authors guest blog and giveaway)

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lex Chase and Bru Baker here today to share with our reader something about their latest novel, Some Assembly Required and the process of writing it together.  Welcome, Lex and Bru!

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Hello, everyone! I’m Lex Chase and I want to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here today as a part of the Some Assembly Required blog tour! What is Some Assembly Required, you ask? It ís a fluffy meet-cute I had co-written with Bru Baker about two dead guys who meet in the afterlife in CASA, a big box affordable home furnishings store, which happens to be purgatory. And you say, “That’s a thing?” Oh, yes. Yes, indeed. And you never knew you needed it until now.

In this post, Bru and I have done a two-part interview. She got me to chat over at Open Skye Book Reviews, and now I’m putting her in the hot seat over here.

Bru and I come from radically different backgrounds as writers. She writes fluffy feel good contemporary that makes you feel warm and cozy on the inside. I write sci-fi/fantasy with guys that kiss as well as kick ass. I’m in my element writing elaborate battle scenes, bloodletting, beheadings, and body counts. As I always say: Its never a party until something explodes into a magnificent fireball.

So, Bru has joined me as I ask her a few questions!

What was the scariest part about writing more paranormal for you?

Bru: I am utterly terrified of worldbuilding. I have mad respect for writers who can do it well, but I’m not really one of them. So it was a relief that Some Assembly Required is kind of paranormal-lite, with a gentle introduction to the ghostly aspects and a contemporary feel for Benji and Patrick’s actual relationship. As much as CASA is its own character, we really didn’t bog the book down with too many detailed explanations about how purgatory worked. And every time you would go off on a worldbuilding tangent or try to work in a detailed paranormal storyline that wasn’t necessary, I would reel you back in, even if it meant literally sending texts that said things like ‘You can’t make that explode.’ You did manage to work in a few bits of massive destruction, but at least our beloved CASA was still standing at the end of it.

What did you dread most about going in a more paranormal direction or co-writing? (Did it come to pass?)

Bru: I hate paranormal books that are just retreads of old standards, and I was anticipating it being really difficult to put our own spin on a paranormal plot. That fear fizzled about ten seconds into our first brainstorming session because it was clear you felt the same way I did. We worked hard to come up with something that was different and interesting, and I’m really proud of it.

I was also worried about whether or not our writing would mesh, but it worked out better than I could have hoped. Our styles really do fit together perfectly.

I’m a planner, you’re a pantser. How did you feel when I gently (okay not at all gently) tried to steer you in creating an outline together? What is it about planning that makes you break out into hives?

Bru: Oh, man. So you have to understand, my idea of planning something out is writing a synopsis. We’re talking a few paragraphs that give the general arc of the plot and that’s about it. When we started writing Some Assembly Required there was this spreadsheet with multiple tabs and character summaries and chapter summaries that were more detailed than I usually am with an entire book synopsis…yeah. It was so far outside my comfort zone, but it was absolutely what we needed for this book.

We also wrote linearly, which is a first for me. I write more organically, hopping around and writing whichever scene is in my mind that day. I generally go into a book knowing a few key scenes and the plot arc and the rest just falls into place as I write. So having the action in every chapter nailed down was hard for me, and it led to a good deal more writer’s block than usually have, but you were always there to talk me through it.

You write such adorkable, sweet guys. What is it about the ‘Goody-Goody Guys’ that get you going?

Bru: I love banter and connections that go deeper than just physical attraction, and I’m almost always a fan of the slow build. So I need my characters to be well fleshed out and real with flaws and dorky moments they can bond over together. In Some Assembly Required, Benji is 100 percent sweet and goofy, and it was fun to write someone who isn’t bogged down with a lot of angst. I tend to have sweet characters with stormy backgrounds because I like to write about how they work through things and come out the other side stronger and more sure of themselves.† But I also need to connect to them and have the reader connect to them, and that’s harder to do when the character is a big jerk. And you can’t have witty banter when both characters are terse and uninteresting. So…dorky characters FTW.

You do realize, we wrote a book about dead guys meeting in the afterlife in a home furnishings store. And no one stopped us. Do you think we need we need adult supervision?

Bru: Well, we kind of do have adult supervision in the form of our editor at Dreamspinner Press, and she’s egging us on after not only encouraging us to write this book but also accepting our three-book proposal about a paranormal online dating service run by a Djinn. So I think we’re absolved of all blame here. It’s really her fault.

Question for you guys! Did you ever do something outside of your comfort zone? Did you enjoy it? Or vow to Never.†Do.†It.†Again. (Mine was going on Splash Mountain at Disney World. NOPE.)

Tell us and don’t forget to record your entry on the giveaway widget!



Genre:
†Contemporary Paranormal Comedy
Length: Novel
Published:†February 8, 2016
Publisher:†Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63476-810-8
Buy:DSPAReAmazonBarnes and Noble

Blurb:

Everyone wishes they were dead when wandering the purgatory of a home furnishings store, but these guys actually are.

Benji Goss is the quintessential good guy. When his boyfriend dumps him and moves out, Benji obligingly keeps the catóeven though heís allergicóbecause his exís new place doesnít accept pets. Heís always joked the cat would be the death of him, but not in a way he expects when a feline mishap crushes him under a DEL TORO bookcase.

Snarky loner Patrick Bryant is in such a rut he barely remembers the life he used to lead. The last thing he recalls is being decapitated by a DEL TORO bookcase in a freak accident. As a spiritual CASA resident, he haunts the aisles of affordable Italian furniture, assisting fellow spirits in moving on to their final destinations.

When Benji appears in the CASA cafÈ, Patrick considers the naÔve spirit just the man to cure his boredom. Benjiís relentless optimism chips away at Patrickís sarcasm, making him question if thereís something beyond what he can see. But the heart is like CASA furnitureóthereís always some assembly required.


About the Authors:

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Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “Weíre all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of sweeping cinematic adventure,depending on how she feels that day, Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and she unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldnít last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Lexchase.com


Bru Baker got her first taste of life as a writer at the tender age of four when she started publishing a weekly newspaper for her family. What they called nosiness she called a nose for news, and no one was surprised when she ended up with degrees in journalism and political science and started a career in journalism.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now works in reference and readers’ advisory in a Midwestern library, though she still finds it hard to believe someone’s willing to pay her to talk about books all day. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether itís 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.

www.bru-baker.com
Facebook
Twitter


SAR_Giveaway_BannerWe’re giving away two $25 USD Amazon Gift Cards to two lucky winners! Will it be you? Click on the graphic to enter!

Did you ever do something outside of your comfort zone? Did you enjoy it? Or vow to Never.†Do.†It.†Again.


Blog Tour Stops:

2/8 – The Novel Approach and Release Day!

2/9 – Gay List Book Reviews

2/9 -†My Fiction Nook

2/10 – Love Bytes Reviews

2/10 – Divine Magazine

2/11 – Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House

2/11 -†Open Skye Book Reviews

2/11 -†Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

2/14 – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

2/17 – Joyfully Jay