In the Spotlight: Whispers of Home by April Kelley (author interview and contest)

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Whispers of Home by April Kelley

whispers of home

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has April Kelley here today to talk about her latest release, Whispers of Home.  Check out our interview below as well as the excerpt and contest to enter.

Our April Kelley Q & A…

Q. Where did the inspiration for this book and series come from?

He’s going to kill me for this, but I’m telling it anyway. So my best friend was dating this cowboy type of guy. The cowboy was a really smooth talker and very handsome. He talked the pants right off my friend, literally. The cowboy dumped my friend and we hated him after that, but he was still hot enough to inspire me to write Travis. Plus, I had to give my friend a happy ending.

The series was inspired by a character in the book, Jackson. I wanted to give him a story too. His story will be one of the last ones I write.

Q.  What is the series to be called and how many books are planned?

The series is called Pickleville, named after the town. I’m planning 9 books in the series, although I may do an extra Halloween story maybe.

Q.  Will they focus on the same couple in each book or a new  couple/book?

Each book is focused on a new couple although Jaron and Travis visit us in each book.

Q.  Why Pickleville as the name for the town?  Is it real?

Some of this goes back the inspiration for the story, so bare with me here. I’m a little weird and probably make sense to very few people with my logic. Naming the town Pickleville is a prime example of this. So first, I had a dream about a girl and boy who were on a date at the movies. They were maybe sixteen years old and were clearly in love with each other. It was really dark by the time the boy walked the girl home. He kissed her good-night and started for home. On his way home a group of older boys in a car stopped him, dragging him in the car. They took him to an out of the way dirty road and beat him to death.

Needless to say it was a very sad, terrifying dream that stuck with me for a while.

So what does all this have to do with how I got the town where Jaron and Travis live?

About this same time my best friend was dating the cowboy type guy I mentioned earlier. And I mention that he was the inspiration for Travis. Jaron’s character came to me and I began to write. A little into the first few chapters I had to come up with a name for this town, except the name for the town had to be unique because initially Jaron hated being there and couldn’t wait to leave.

Then I remembered the dream and thought maybe the boy that died felt a lot like Jaron did about his town. Neither fit it very well. I wanted something completely ridiculous sounding as a punishment for the group of older boys that hurt the geeky kid.
And that was my weird, twisted logic for naming the town Pickleville.

As for whether Pickleville is real or not well, there may be a town called Pickleville somewhere in this world, although I don’t know for sure. The town in this series is a complete a figment of my imagination.

Q.  It sounds as though Whispers of Home is not strictly a romance but has hints of suspense and a murder mystery as well. Had you planned in those elements from the start?

My main goal for this story was just to tell the romance between Travis and Jaron. The mystery and suspense part, are just minor parts of the story and were something that just sort of came as I wrote.

Q.  Do you like to read in the genres you write in?

I’ve been reading the M/M romance genre for many years now, long before I actually started writing in the genre. I think reading in the genre you write in is essential for the growth of any writer including myself.

Q.  Do you work on one book at a time or several?

I’m usually a one at a time kind of girl.

Q.  What’s next for April Kelly?

After wrapping up Pickleville? I’m working on a new series now called Lakehouse Security. The inspiration for this series is my own little part of the world here next to Lake Michigan. This one has more action and mystery in it which is a challenge for me.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Author April Kelley:

Born and raised in Southwest Michigan, April lives with her husband and two kids. She has been an avid reader for several years. Writing her first story at the age of ten, the characters in her head still won’t stop telling their stories. If April isn’t reading or writing she can be found outside playing with a farm full of animals or taking a long walk in the woods.

Where to find the author:
If you wish to contact her please email mailto:authoraprilkelley@gmail.com.
You can also find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/april.ott.12?fref=ts

 

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Publisher: eXtasy Books
Cover Artist: Carmen Waters

Sales Links:   eXtasy Books     Amazon

STRW Author BookSynopsis

All Jaron McAllister wanted to do was get out of the small town where he grew up. After being bullied all his life for being gay, that’s exactly what he does. He loses all contact with everyone in the town of Pickleville, including his emotionally distant mother and the only true friend he ever had.

When his best friend and mother of the child they share, get murdered he knows he must ask for help in the one place he thought he would never go back to. Coming back home isn’t easy and finding himself attracted to the town man-slut spells disaster. Travis Heath isn’t at all what his reputation suggests though.
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Jaron looked through the window of the diner from across the street. His mother’s hands gripped a mug, probably full of coffee. Jaron thought he was meeting Brian but apparently Brian had other plans. Brian always did think he knew best, the bastard. Jaron was fully aware his oldest friend had set this up, probably getting in touch with Gloria McAllister right after Jaron had called the first time, telling her when Jaron would be here. Brian had never understood that the relationship Jaron and Gloria had wasn’t like the relationship Brian had with his own father.

Looking at his mom through the glass was like watching a movie of her. He had never felt the connection with his mom that he thought he should, even as a small child. Maybe that had been his fault. That he wasn’t quite what she wanted in a son and therefore kept just enough distance to make it seem like miles. Which was why he was confused she had come instead of Brian.
When he was eighteen years old he had thought he left because of a burning desire to fit in somewhere, because he certainly hadn’t fit in very well in Pickleville. He needed that connection to another human being, that knowing he was so important to another human being they just couldn’t live without him. Ironically, it was a five year old boy he felt unconditionally connected too. Now that he knew the unconditional love a parent felt for their child, he wondered at his mother’s parental instincts.

He stood on the sidewalk in front of what used to be a place called the Hobbyist’s Dream but was now an Asian market. He noticed the place was empty when he had arrived but his back was turned now, his complete attention on the woman in the window. He thought the Asian place probably wouldn’t have lasted long back in the day. Who knows now? The diner was the only one in town, or was until they put in a McDonald’s by the highway. Jaron hadn’t realized that things in this town could change until the bus passed by the fast food restaurant. Somehow he expected everything to be the same, as if time would stand still just because he didn’t feel any different now that he was here.

Standing here, he felt that maybe he left to put the physical miles between himself and the only parent he had ever known. He had never fit in with her either.

He felt a tug on his hand and looked down at sweet blue eyes. This small boy was as dependent on the next few minutes and the woman in the window as he was. “I’m thirsty,”

Bobby said, around the thumb in his mouth.

“Me too. Let’s go.” Jaron stepped off the curb and onto the street, gripping onto Bobby’s hand just a little tighter, pausing for a car, and then continuing until he came within inches of his mother, the glass the only barrier now. She looked directly at him, showing more emotion in those few seconds than he had ever seen from her during his entire childhood. He looked away and walked through the door of the restaurant.

Pages or Words: 44,597 words

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Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Whispers of Home’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Rafflecopter link and prizes provided by Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
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Tour Dates & Stops:

17-Mar

Decadent Delights

17-Mar

The Novel Approach

24-Mar

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

31-Mar

Love Bytes

Hearts on Fire

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

7-Apr

MM Good Book Reviews

Prism Book Alliance

14-Apr

My Fiction Nook

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

Bayou Book Junkie

21-Apr

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

28-Apr

Divine Magazine

BFD Book Blog

5-May

Parker Williams

Bike Book Reviews

Focusing in On Books: April Kelley’s ‘Whispers of Home

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Whispers of Home by April Kelley

About April Kelley, including a few questions to get to know Author April Kelley better…

Q Do you have any particular music you listen to while you write?

At the moment, I listen to Sam Smith and the Beatles.

Q Do you prefer tea or coffee?

Coffee

Q Underwear: Sexy or comfortable?

Everything I wear is done so for comfort.

Born and raised in Southwest Michigan, April lives with her husband and two kids. She has been an avid reader for several years. Writing her first story at the age of ten, the characters in her head still won’t stop telling their stories. If April isn’t reading or writing she can be found outside playing with a farm full of animals or taking a long walk in the woods.

Where to find the author:

If you wish to contact her please email mailto:authoraprilkelley@gmail.com. You can also find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/april.ott.12?fref=ts

Publisher: eXtasy Books
Author Name: April Kelley
Cover Artist: Carmen Waters

Sales Links:  eXtasy Books

Blurb:

All Jaron McAllister wanted to do was get out of the small town where he grew up. After being bullied all his life for being gay, that’s exactly what he does. He loses all contact with everyone in the town of Pickleville, including his emotionally distant mother and the only true friend he ever had.

When his best friend and mother of the child they share, get murdered he knows he must ask for help in the one place he thought he would never go back to. Coming back home isn’t easy and finding himself attracted to the town man-slut spells disaster. Travis Heath isn’t at all what his reputation suggests though.
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

Excerpt:

Jaron had been to the grocery store three times this week. Going only once a week would be grand, but very unlikely to happen apparently. He seriously needed to start making lists every week.

“I want the little man cookies.” Bobby was practically bouncing in the cart, pointing at an elf.

“The fudge ones?”

Bobby nodded his head. Jaron grabbed them off the shelf and placed them in the cart.

“Good choice,” someone spoke from behind Jaron. The voice was deep and made him moan in appreciation. He turned to put a face to that wonderful voice.

It was as if Jaron’s thoughts had conjured him up and placed him right next to the Oreo cookies . Travis Heath got hotter since high school. And taller. When did men stop growing? Jaron was probably at the guys shoulder, but it was hard to tell from down the aisle. Travis Heath’s strawberry blonde hair was longer than it had been in high school and could be seen curling around the cowboy hat he wore.

The two women at the end of the aisle clammed up upon seeing him. Jaron didn’t blame them.

He wouldn’t want to be caught talking shit either.

“I haven’t seen you guys in town before.” His smile was kind but his brown eyes—oh God help him—held mischief, as if the guy was up to something.

Pages or Words: 44,597 words
Tour Dates: February 16, 2015

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Inked Rainbow Reads, Molly Lolly, Love Bytes, Wake Up Your Wild Side, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Fallen Angel Reviews, Decadent Delights, Cate Ashwood, The Hat Party, Michael Mandrake, Velvet Panic, Kristy’s Brain Food

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Whispers of Home’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway