Author Spotlight: Kimber Vale On Shooting Stars and a Hard Act To Follow! (contest)

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The Shooting Stars of Kimber Vale!

Hard Act To Follow coverDouble Takes (Shooting Stars #2) coverForever is Now cover

Kimber Vale is here today to talk about her latest release in her Shooting Stars series, Hard Act To Follow and offers a contest as well as the ABC’s of Romance, K.Vale style!

The ABCs of Romance: D is for Denial by Kimber Vale

Hi, y’all! Kimber Vale here with my ABCs of romance. Today I want to talk about the letter D. I had Dogs written on my list, but I’m pretty sure I’d had a few glasses of wine when I wrote that. Not that dogs can’t be an integral part of a romance; it’s just that you can have romance without dogs. I’m a perfect example. My hubs and I have a crazy romantic relationship sans dogs. In fact, we have two cats, a rabbit, and lots of fish. Oh, and three kids. Maybe it isn’t all that crazy romantic now that I think of it, but I’m pretty sure the wine helps.

So, D is for Denial in the sober light of day. I defy you to name me a romance novel that doesn’t include denial in some form. Heck, name any novel that doesn’t. Any short story, even. It’s the conflict that creates the tension—whether it’s a hero searching for that elusive McGuffin or a lover unable to have the person he or she wants for whatever reason—denial fuels the story. It makes us read on. In romance, it makes us sympathize with the characters, pine with them, root for them, and stick with them until all of the obstacles standing in the way of their love are overcome.

In my new release, Hard Act to Follow, denial is the name of the game. It takes Greg and Kyrie a good chunk of book before they’re honest with themselves and each other about their feelings. There is some major freakin’ denial going on for a while—hey, I’m a poet and I didn’t know it—and (I hope) that the two best friends refusing to act on their attraction makes the reader all the more invested in their romance. I know I was invested in getting them to the happy ending. 😉

 

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HATFbanner6Excerpt from Hard Act To Follow:

“How can you see with that thing?”

“Some sort of one-way fabric.” Kyr’s voice was muffled under the dome.

Greg peered into the black bunny eyes, but couldn’t make out anything.

“Here.” Kyrie pulled the head off and held it out to him. “See for yourself.”

“Yeah, I don’t…”

Kyrie cut Greg off by cramming the thing down over his face.

“Hah!” Kyrie smiled on the other side of a grayed layer. “Can you see me now?” He turned and shook his tail at him. “How many fingers am I holding up?” He turned back around, flashing four fingers that changed to five and then to…

“One and a half?”

“See. Told ya. All right, give me back my head. We’re ruining the magic of Easter for these poor kids.”

Greg took one more deep breath, inhaling the magic of Kyrie instead. It was something he could almost recreate between his herb garden and his pantry—cracked black pepper, ginger, and a hint of orange zest. It was probably cologne, but was always subtle enough to pass as his natural smell. It worked with his natural smell. Greg pulled the bulky helmet off, holding his breath in for an extra moment.

“I need help.” A preschooler Greg recognized tugged on Kyrie’s white leg fur.

“Let’s hop to it!” His voice belonged on a cartoon. Bending both arms at the elbows, paws together, he swung them comically in the direction of the egg conundrum in question and bounced away with more juice than the Energizer Bunny. Greg shook his head. Kyrie hiked the kid up on his shoulders to reach an egg resting in the crook of a gutter, and then swung him back to the ground in a graceful arc. It was easy to think of Kyr as slight and delicate just because he was short compared to Greg’s six feet. And though he probably only weighed a buck fifty-five soaking wet, he was all muscle thanks to youth, regular gym dates, and great genes.

Skinny washboard—that’s what Greg always thought when he saw him bare-chested on occasion: rare weekends at the Lis’ beach house, those two times Kyrie decided to change into a different shirt before they went out. That instance where he spilled beer on his lap while they were playing Call of Duty, and he stripped down to his underwear still battling the enemy the whole time. Greg had gotten his ass kicked that round, his gaze sliding sideways instead of focusing on the screen. He hadn’t trusted himself to stand up until Kyrie was dressed and he’d guilted his dick into calming the hell down.

Stop!

Kyrie was sixteen when Greg and Jazz met. Eighteen when Greg graduated with his law degree and tied the knot.

You taught him how to drive after he failed his freakin’ test the first time, for fuck’s sake!

Greg closed his eyes and tried to twine that memory with this awful longing—big brother becomes big boyfriend. I wish.

You are fucking sick. Just stop, Greg. Stop. Before you do something you can’t erase. Before you ruin the best thing in your life.
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HATFbanner4Hard Act To Follow Blurb:

Kyrie is an actor with a physical aversion to telling lies, a one-eyed cat, and horrible taste in men. His ex-brother-in-law and best friend, Greg, harbors a secret crush he can’t shake. After denying his feelings for Kyrie for too long, Greg finally gives in to desire one drunken night. Come the morning, the facts get twisted. Kyrie pretends he doesn’t remember a thing—a lie that eats him alive—and Greg can’t stop thinking about how he screwed up the best thing in his life.
Before they can clear the air, Kyrie follows his dreams to New York City, but could he also be running away?

A mistake from Kyrie’s past detonates their silence, and Greg is forced to confront the man he loves. Is their new truth strong enough to support a relationship, or are they doomed to crumble under old fears? Their friendship could evolve into something a million times stronger, but maybe Kyrie’s act is just too hard for Greg to follow.

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: August 18th 2014 by Liquid Silver Books
edition languageEnglish
seriesShooting Stars #3

Buy links:
Shooting Stars Series from Liquid Silver Books
Kimber’s Amazon page
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
BeFunky_Stenciler_6Kimber Vale Bio:
K. Vale writes erotic romance of all stripes, from hot hetero to mouthwatering manlove. Find her MF work published under Kimber Vale. Come for the sex. Stay for the story.

Stalk Kimber on Facebook and Twitter @KimberVale, and check her site for updates, new releases, and freebies at her website linked below.

Contacts:

Website
Blog


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Kimber is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to celebrate her new release!
Rafflecopter code:
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Review: Double Takes (Shooting Stars #2) by K. Vale

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Double Takes (Shooting Stars #2) coverFor Giovanni Savale, lead singer of Three Deaf Mice, life could never be less like that of a rock ‘n roll star.  His band reached the heights of popularity in the ninties, until an experimental album almost destroyed their fan base.  Now Gio is trying to put together a new album in the midst of a personnel crisis.  After nine years of a tumultuous and unhappy marriage, Gio is trying to hold on to the only good thing that came out of that union, his son Marco.  In order to get the money needed for an expensive divorce lawyer and to provide a stable home for his son, Gio has agreed to be a part of a reality series about him and the band.  Only its not going the way Gio expected.

The series producer wants to increase the show’s ratings and to do so he intends to showcase Gio’s bisexuality and a new “fabulous” boyfriend, a fake boyfriend to boost interest in the show.  It all started with a comment made off the cuff in an interview Gio did for a rock magazine.  He never thought that lead to this mess and the revival of desires Gio thought he had buried in his past.

Kyrie, the flamboyant  and funny actor hired as Gio’s pretend boyfriend is cute but it’s Lance Garrett, the mysterious and sexy owner of the local antique shop, that sparks Gio’s interest and passion.  But Lance is hiding secrets of his own.  In between battling his ex for custody of Marco,fighting the producer for some sanity and privacy, and Lance’s past, can Gio find love and the happiness he seeks?

I throughly enjoyed the first book in the shooting stars series, Forever is Now.  That had a rock star, a former lover, a past to be reconciled and a love that burned brightly throughout the years.  It has a small cast of characters and a basic, endearing plot.  Double Takes, the second novel in the Shooting Stars series, is a whole different type of story.

I was intrigued by the premise of Double Takes.  A fading rock star with money and soon-to-be ex-wife issues agrees to a reality cable series about himself and his band in order to earn the money he needs for a high powered lawyer.  What a great concept for a story,  especially considering the ubiquitous nature of reality tv shows today. An additional element here is the fact that Gio’s true sexuality has been suppressed by the times and his long term marriage. Only a throwaway line in an old magazine interview brings his bisexuality back out into the light.  And once that item has been seized on by his unscrupulous producer to be used to launch the new season, then Gio has a whole new set of personal issues to deal with, including outing himself to his bandmates.  I liked the  way the author dealt with these concepts,uniting them in a cohesive manner into her narrative.

When Double Takes and Gio are dealing with these plot layers, the story is fun, frustrating, and pretty realistic.  Unlike the rockers of Forever is Now, I never got the feeling that music was all that important any more for these older rockers.  They’ve been there, done that, and are now just playing for the fans and money.  They need to tour but Gio is stuck in one place because of his divorce, and needing to provide stability for his son.  That’s another very authentic element here as is Gio’s love for his son.  So far, we have three plot threads that make this a interesting and terrific story.  Between a reality show, a disintegrating marriage and custody battle, a father and son relationship, and having to deal with a hither to unknown aspect of his sexuality,  that would  absorb the majority of any story.  Especially as you will throw in a romance as well that will have Gio reexamining his sexuality and desires.  Loved the way the author dealt with this element too.

There are two romantic lead possibilities here. One is Kyrie, the adorable actor hired for the role as Gio’s boyfriend on the series.  Vale is setting up Kyrie and his ex brother in law as the next couple in the Shooting Stars series, so the amount of attention given to this secondary player makes sense.  Gio’s “real” romantic interest is Lance Garrett, an antiques dealer he met when trying to sell off items to help pay for his lawyer.  They meet, are attracted to each other  and try to deal with the awkward situation created by the tv show and his “fake” boyfriend.  Again, another wonderful concept and it works to highlight relationsip issues and feelings of trust the men have to work through.  I really wish the author had left it at this because these men have so much to work through to get to a solid place with their new status as lovers that to portray their “relationship dance” alone could take most of this story.

But that is not to be.  And for me this is where the story starts to disconnect from everything the author had established in the preceding chapters. I don’t believe that I am giving away anything by stating that Lance is not what he seems.  The blurb  infers that there is something mysterious about Lance and there is a problem from the past that will arrive to cause problems.  And it does but not just for the characters but for the readers as well.

From this point, the story splits off into something totally unexpected and wildly dissonant from the rest of the story elements we were involved in.  It’s almost as if we have an entirely different book and plot going on.  It comes out of nowhere and soon the author starts piling on more surprises and twists than this story can or should have been asked to handle.  Left behind are all the other major plot points…the band, the tv show, the divorce, even the father/son relationship…all dissolves under the need to work this new angle into Double Takes.  For me, this story then crumbles under the weight of all that material and extraneous plot devices.

And that’s a shame because the promise of the original concepts and the wonderful manner in which this story started had me smiling in anticipation of the tale to follow but left me perplexed by how quickly it all fell apart.  I did like so much about Double Takes and what the author attempted to do with her characters and plot.  It was ambitious and interesting.  So I will be looking forward to the next story in this series, featuring Kyrie, an altogether different type of shooting star and Greg, his ex brother in law.  While we are waiting for that story to arrive, go back to the beginning and Forever is Now to get your rocker fix from Kimber Vale.

Cover art not credited but I like the cover.  Its eye catching and interesting.

 Books in the Shooting Stars series include to date:

Forever is Now (Shooting Stars #1)
Double Takes (Shooting Stars #2)

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 28th 2014 by Liquid Silver Books (first published April 20th 2014)
edition languageEnglish
seriesShooting Stars #2
Buy Links:   Amazon    ARe   Liquid Silver Books