Tag Archives: guest blogging

This week: news and a guest post from Chris T. Kat

I’ve been kind of quiet lately with blogging, because I’ve been working on so many things that aren’t blog posts. Beta-ing novels. (Not nice to gloat, but I’ve been elbow deep in Z. Allora and Eden Winters books.) Formatting books for print.  (Kate Pavelle’s memoir of leaving Czechoslovakia and her circuitous route to America as a teen was fascinating reading and my first non-fiction layout. Keep an eye out for Cancelled Czech Files: On the Run. Plus Eden’s novelette Highway Man )

And I’ve been building covers.

Piratev3Every time traveling pirate captain needs a sturdy ship. I found some moonlight for The Naughty Maid. Eden found love and a peck of trouble for her captain. The Pirate’s Gamble may pay off. Still working on the cover for Eden’s paranormal romance Same Time, Next Year. 

OCC600x960Dr. Keith Hoyer and Dr. Dante James plus their cats needed to be in one collected volume. Look for the compilation to be available for preorder any day now. I’ll keep you posted on when you can have all eight of the On Call stories in one volume as both ebook and paperback.

PrepWorkv3nudeNormally I don’t recommend cooking in the nude, especially breakfast. Bacon spatters, ack! Jude Marshall and Tommy Bell will be coming soon (yes, that way too, I wrote it into the story. Now get your minds out of the gutter, mine needs the room.) I suspect this cover for Prep Work might get the shaky finger from the sales sites, but if we don’t try, we won’t know.

This cover is all Anne Cain lusciousness, and it’s the face of Chris T. Kat’s newest shifter novel, Secret Energy. Chris will be joining us later in the week with a blog post about the second book of her Shifters series. Join us for some  insider information and an excerpt.SecretEnergyI can’t wait!

 

Call Me But Love– a guest post from Tracy Rowan

Call Me But Love 400x600Tracy Rowan’s new book struck me as a wonderful  take on a classic, so I invited her to come chat with us about the story.  Starting with the blurb, this is something I want to read.

Mercutio is a funny, moody, complex foil for Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but in the four stories presented here, each an independent tale, Mercutio’s love for his friend goes far deeper, always somehow entwined with the fates of Romeo and Juliet.

The first tale sets the trio back in Renaissance Verona, where Mercutio vies for Romeo’s love. Romeo is oblivious, but the love triangle has deadly consequences. Next, we find Romeo and Mercutio in Victorian England. Though Romeo knows Mercutio loves him and returns his passion, he struggles to fit his desires into the strict mores of the day. The third story takes us to post-WWII America, where war-weary Romeo, Juliet, and Mercutio long for the right to love whom they choose. The final story in the collection brings the three characters into contemporary times, a band on a road trip that will change their lives forever.

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I’d like to thank P. D. Singer for her very kind invitation to guest blog today.  It’s always good to expand your reach a bit and talk to new people.  I hope some of you will be intrigued enough to want to  read “Call Me But Love.”

I was sixteen when I saw Franco Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet.  Sixteen is an impressionable age — just ask Romeo.  I was familiar with the play, but had never experienced it so viscerally before.  It was cut for time and flow and the cast was far more age-appropriate than any production I’d ever seen.

It was no surprise that I came away from it loving Mercutio.  English poet John Dryden famously said of the character:  “Shakespeare show’d the best of his skill in his Mercutio, and he said himself, that he was forc’d to kill him in the third Act, to prevent being killed by him.” I’ve always presumed that mean that Shakespeare realized that he’d created a character so vivid and exciting that if Mercutio was allowed to survive the carnage, nobody would remember what the play was supposed to have been about.  As portrayed by John McEnery (who never had a better film role that I know of) Mercutio is bawdy, brilliant, moody, and definitely mercurial.  He caught my attention the moment he appeared on screen, and he held it, brilliantly, until his death, which was the point at which everything in Romeo’s life goes to hell in a handcart.  Watch his Queen Mab speech here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsRQSazjl4U)

Fanpop RM2What was a surprise, though, was suddenly seeing the characters of Mercutio and Romeo as something more than friends.  Now clearly there’s something about Romeo’s tendency to fall in love at the proverbial drop of the hat that provokes Mercutio to waspishness. Ian McKellen in an excellent essay on Elizabethan playwright Kit Marlowe (the possible inspiration for Mercutio) refers to the character as: “the roistering, iconoclastic Mercutio, who so resents Romeo’s love affairs with women” (http://www.mckellen.com/writings/930523marlowe.htm) But the Zefferelli Mercutio and Romeo relationship was more than just one man’s resentment of his friend’s affairs, and I saw it clearly, even at sixteen when I supposed I ought to have been sighing over the doomed love of Romeo and Juliet.

And this is why:

Fanpop RM3Our age has a mania for labeling things, particularly people and the way they love.  These days we parse gender identity and orientation down to micro levels in an effort to carve out just the right niche for our hearts and hormones.  For Romeo and Mercutio, the path was probably less overgrown.  There was duty, there was love, there was lust, and there was friendship.

Fanpop RM1 (2)I took the idea that these got mixed up sometimes and ran with it in the first story, “His Timeless End” which is the story closest to Shakespeare’s original. Here there is an understanding of what is expected of Romeo. He will grow up, marry, have children, and become a good citizen of Verona.  What has happened, and what might continue to happen between Romeo and Mercutio exists outside of those expectations.

“I am married.” Romeo doesn’t miss the expressions which play across his friend’s angular face, but young as he is, he neither understands nor cares that he doesn’t. “Last night, I beheld my destiny in the form of Capulet’s daughter. We spoke, I won her love and she mine, and we made a pact to meet with Friar Laurence who has joined us in the most holy bonds of marriage.  As with us, so too our families. There’s an end to the blood feud, and the start of great joy for a city too long torn apart by this foolish feud. Are you not happy for me? Are you not happy for us all?”

It is a moment before Mercutio replies.  “Very,” he says. “May I be the first to congratulate you? But your choice may not be as easy to reconcile as you hope.” In the sun his light green eyes are unnervingly pale, his pupils like pinpoints.

“I’d leave the city with her,” Benvolio suggests. “For a time at least.”  Benvolio is the careful one.

Romeo laughs. “There’s no life outside of Verona’s walls,” he insists, and picks up a pebble which he pitches at Benvolio, hitting him in the foot.

“Have it your way; you always do.”

“Hush,” Mercutio admonishes. “The boy is happy.”

At this Benvolio’s eyes open and he gazes at Mercutio with open curiosity. “And you, you’re happy for him.”

Mercutio shrugs. “This is the way of things, Benvolio. You know that as well as I.  Now let us put our heads together and find a way to keep this boy’s madness from becoming a terrible mess.”

By the Victorian era, the setting for “Give Me A Case to Put My Visage In,” deception and denial have become the way of things for two men who share this secret. This Romeo, more sophisticated than his Renaissance alter ego, doesn’t just understand duty, he embraces it like the political animal that he is, using the people around him to get what he wants.  For him, every interaction is a duel, every expression of love a transaction.

By the end of the second World War and “By Any Other Name” Mercutio, Romeo, and Juliet have grown tired of deception and duty, necessary though they still seem to be in the very conservative post-war era.  The three of them long for honest lives, but no one seems to want to allow them to be who they are.

Finally, with “The Children of an Idle Brain,” I’ve played a contemporary riff with a story about Romeo, Mercutio and Juliet, three young people trying to find their way through a maze of love, desire, and rock ‘n’ roll.  May Shakespeare forgive me, but I think there just has to be a happy ending in here somewhere.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading “Call Me But Love” as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Call Me But Love, by Tracy Rowan – Available 28 August 2013 from Dreamspinner Press

(http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4116)

Guest blogger: Diane Adams talks about her latest!

IftheStarsFall200x300Please welcome Diane Adams, who’s joining us with some insight on on the MCs of her Making of a Man series. Alex and Jared are back, this time with a good look at their missing years.  Thanks for sharing this, Diane.

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Hey everyone! Thank you for joining me today on PD Singer’s Blog. I hope you find the topic interesting!

The response to If the Stars Fall has been overwhelmingly positive, but a question keeps coming up, even among readers who love the book, about why I chose to jump ahead so many years in Alex and Jared’s lives. I’m not talking about the time shift within the book, which I believe most readers are used to by now, but the amount of time between Clark’s Story (book 4) and Stars. A lot of you want to know why I decided to ‘skip’ so many years. It’s a good question and I have an answer.

I always planned for The Making of a Man to be a six book series. At the beginning of my writing journey with Alex and Jared my inexperience as an author allowed me to envision the series following Alex and Jared’s lives without break, through college and onward. However, as I gained more experience I began to see trouble ahead for my original vision. It was while writing Clark’s Story and began to contemplate the next book that the problem became clear.

In the first three books Alex’s absence plays a big part in the stories and even in the fourth book his being away was an issue. A book set during his college years seemed in danger of being a rehash of the same theme.

Alex is gone. How does Jared cope? How does Alex cope? Will they drive Clark insane?

There was the option of focusing on the difficulties caused by a long distance relationship. There is good opportunity for plot twists and angst in that situation.

One of the guys being attracted to someone else, or one partner assuming there is someone else resulting in massive misunderstandings and jealousy, growing apart due to the separation, or one neglecting the relationship because of being caught up in the demanding and more immediate cares of life.

All good ideas, but unlikely to happen to our guys, life for Alex and Jared is not perfect, but their love is unfaltering. I couldn’t imagine writing them into a situation that represents their love as being anything less than what it is.

By that point I was really struggling. We all love HEA, but a book without any conflict or challenge for the characters are boring. No matter how I imagined writing the college years into a full length book, it felt like rehashing the theme of Alex’s absence, with lots of fluffy feel good moments thrown in. I was pretty sure that even with Alex and Jared there is a limit of how much fluffy sap a reader can endure.

I thought about taking up the story immediately after graduation, but so much of that had been told already. Alex graduates, they build the house together, they work together and everything is lovely and, well, perfect for them. When couple lives their HEA life is amazing, but not the kind of thing that lends itself to captivating story telling.

I was writing the last few paragraphs of Clark’s Story when inspiration struck.  I could take up their story where the last chapter of book four left off.

In book five the glimpse into their future could be on the occasion of some anniversary of high number. The original number was fifty but that proved a bit too far ahead. By doing so I opened up an entirely new area of their lives that we knew nothing about and anything could happen. I think it was a sound decision.

Don’t fear that the years not included in the series are lost. I anticipate writing more short stories both free at my blog and longer ones through Silver Publishing. I doubt I write them in any sort of order, but however inspiration strikes.

I suppose the next question is what’s next for Alex and Jared? Well, there will not be another huge time jump, I can promise that. I anticipate the next story being set within a year or so after the events in If the Stars Fall and there will be kids. I have a fantastic idea about that and…oh sorry I’m not going to spoil you. Let me just say that Jared is going to be faced with a situation he’s never had to deal with before.

Thank you all so much for taking time to come by and visit today! Please leave a comment. Share your thoughts about the progression of the series, how you feel about kids in romance books, or anything else you have to say and you’ll have the chance to win a free ebook of If the Stars Fall. And as an added bonus if you win and you haven’t read Clark’s Story, you really should read that first, so let me know and I’ll include Book 4 when I send you book 5.

Many thanks to PD Singer for hosting us today! Make sure you leave her love in the comments as well. It’s been fun talking to you and I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments.

You can buy the Making of a Man series, including the newest book If the Stars Fall at Silver Publishing

IftheStarsFall200x300Blurb: For sixteen incredible years Jared Douglas and Alex Ross share their lives and their hearts, each golden moment seeming to promise a lifetime of the same. When calamity strikes, it hits hard, leaving the couple shell-shocked in the aftermath.

As Alex struggles to recover from an injury and cope with the resulting depression, Jared’s efforts to help are ineffectual. Alex is slipping away and Jared can do nothing but love him and cling to hope.

When things are darkest, Alex and Jared continue their struggle to find common ground; what they discover comes as no surprise. Sadly, even the strongest love can be stretched too far. They don’t want to lose what they had but is looking back the answer?

Accelerating with Amelia Gormley

Well, it’s a week out. November 30 will be release day for Acceleration, the second book in my Impulse trilogy, and I have to say, I’m very excited. I feel overall that it’s a much more solid book than Inertia was in terms of story arc and character development, and just plain writey-crafty stuff. I’m improving as an author with each book I write and I think Acceleration demonstrates that. Or at least I hope it does.

As it ties in so well with this blog post, I’m going to take this opportunity to pimp another guest blog post. Inspiration struck again in the form of a Thousand-Word Thursday pic from Cryselle, so I wrote this little ficlet, which I think you’ll find rather apropos after reading the following.

So what are some of the things you can expect to see in Acceleration?

First, as you’ve probably guessed from reading the preview of Chapter One you can find here on my blog or at the end of Inertia, there’s more sex.

I know that’s not necessarily a selling point for some people, but I’ve always been an erotic romance writer. It’s just where I live, it’s where the stories flow from me most freely. I tell stories about characters through their sexual development. Which makes sense, really. There is a lot that happens when a person is expressing him/herself sexually that gives insight into the character: fears, hopes, needs, dreams. During sex, we are often at our most vulnerable, or sometimes our most guarded.

I don’t think I include the sex necessarily for titillation sake. In fact, usually when I try to write a scene solely for titillation, the characters balk, the scene doesn’t work, and I get writers’ block. Usually with a sex scene, I need to be saying something. So what am I saying in Acceleration?

Well, this is a story about Derrick’s development within this relationship, and I always conceived Derrick as a bit of a breaking dam. He’s kept his sexuality buried under layers of pain and loss for over a decade — longer, really. I don’t go into much detail about it in Inertia but Derrick’s sex life in his one previous relationship with LeeAnn wasn’t stellar. Not because he’s gay (he identifies as bisexual, though he’s at least a 4, probably a 5 on the Kinsey scale) but because by the time he and LeeAnn began having sex, their time together was sporadic and very short. He was burdened with the care of his grandparents and she was already off at college and the process of their drifting apart had begun.

So this story is as much about Derrick’s sexual awakening and exploration as it is about him crawling out of the emotional hole he’s been hiding in for over a decade.

On the other side, it’s also about Gavin’s… well, sexual re-awakening, I guess. I can’t say too much here because it deals with information that unfolds in Acceleration, but Gavin is learning to reclaim himself and the things he once took pleasure in after his experience within his abusive relationship. On top of that, in my experience, a new relationship almost always comes packaged with a honeymoon phase where lovers can’t keep their hands off each other. I think many of us cement our new bond with another person physically, and over the course of Acceleration Derrick and Gavin are very much in this phase.

So there’s a lot more sex. There’s also much more varied sex, more kink. This is about exploration and discovery, after all, and there are emotional needs for which the characters don’t have words that come out through their sexual expression. For Derrick, who has spent so many years very un-anchored, it’s a need to belong within a unit and to stop holding on to everything so tightly, and or Gavin, a need to reclaim control of his life and his sexuality.

Which leads me to the next thing you’ll see in Acceleration which is Derrick beginning to actually deal with a lot of this baggage that has kept him from connecting with other people for so long. We see how it impacts his developing relationship with Gavin, and also how it plays against Gavin’s own baggage from his previous relationship. We see Gavin begin to learn how to re-establish his boundaries and figure out what is okay for him within a relationship and what isn’t. I think it will be interesting to see which readers favor Derrick and which ones favor Gavin when all this is done, because neither of them are perfect and they both react badly to things at times.

We meet Lukas, Gavin’s ex, and begin to get some insight into the way he behaved within his relationship with Gavin and why it’s left the marks upon Gavin that it has. We also see more of Derrick’s friends

We learn a lot more about the genesis of Derrick’s issues and just how he got to where he was at the beginning of Inertia.

So I think (hope!) there is a lot that people will like in this book and I look forward to seeing the response.

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Acceleration

Gavin Hayes is everything Derrick could ask for in a lover. Gorgeous. Passionate. Great in bed. Derrick finds it very easy to just let himself go, to let Gavin guide him and teach him all the things he missed during a decade of celibacy. In the course of a single weekend, Derrick’s routine is transformed, his mornings and evenings filled with sex. Sweet, seductive, wild, or raunchy, Gavin offers Derrick all the pleasure he’s denied himself for so long.

But learning how to be a lover in bed is one thing. Learning to be one out of bed is another. For Derrick, being alone has become habit. Sharing his confidences doesn’t come nearly as readily as sharing his bed. And after so many losses, the last thing Derrick wants is to become dependent upon another person who might not always be there.

And Gavin always being there is far from certain. With an ex-lover lurking in the background, and the question of Gavin’s future health still outstanding, neither Gavin nor Derrick feel capable of asking for anything more than right now. But Gavin won’t be kept on the fringes of Derrick’s life. Can Derrick let someone in before the opportunity passes him by?

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Pam here: I read this book in its raw form, and it rocked even then, so I can hardly wait to get my hands on the finished story! Definitely check out the ficlet, and there’s another one from the very beginning of Gavin and Derrick’s relationship you’ll like too.

 

Kate Pavelle succumbs to temptation

My guest today has been doing some reading, and may just have drooled on her e-reader. Meet Kate Pavelle, author of Attack of the Hedgehogs in Dreamspinner’s new anthology, Don’t Try This At Home. (Read it and laugh!)
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Being a writer means sitting still. Sitting still, even whilst writing about hot guys who train horses and compete in triathlons, means I pay for my sedentary lifestyle by going to the gym and eating salad.  Chicken paprikasz, a delicious Hungarian dish redolent of paprika and onions that melts on the tongue in its unctuous, creamy sauce, is not a salad – nor is it a triathlon food.

It is seduction food, at least according to Mark and Allan in Fall Down the Mountain by P.D. Singer. See, I just finished reading the book and between the culinary exploits of the adorable and sweet Allan and the Hurricane Sandy’s incessant rain, I’ve baked two batches of Allan’s cinnamon roll and had seconds of chicken paprikasz. I am a hopeless food slut.

Instead of soup, salad, and whole grain bread, I succeeded in feeding my (grateful) family the sort of food that supplies Olympic skiers with their requisite 5,000 calories a day. Knowing it’s all Pam’s fault is cold comfort, because it will be me, not Pam, who will get saddle sores in spinning class tomorrow, fretting over carrying extra weight next triathlon season, or worrying about weighing down the horses while jumping them over obstacles come Sunday.

I am not an exercise nut: varied physical activity not only allows me to sit by the computer for hours on end, it also lets me carry out field research for my stories and books. In case of horseback riding, “Wild Horses” appears in the Animal Magnetism anthology by Dreamspinner Press. I will never ride like Kai or Attila, but I will always be comforted by the warm, uric scent of horse just like Kai, and I shall strive to attain Attila’s equine understanding. Reviewers and fans have clamored to read more about Attila and Kai, and I complied with their wishes: the Wild Horses novel will be submitted to Dreamspinner Press before Thanksgiving. Wish me luck on that! If you want to find out how Kai, a homeless street rat from Pittsburgh ended up bonding with not only the elegant and shy Attila but with his horses as well, I recommend you try the short story first.

The Don’t Try This At Home anthology contains my story “The Attack of the Hedgehogs”. Don’t let the title mislead you into thinking that this is an animal story… it’s rather spicier than the sour cream-laden chicken paprikasz. Boy meets boy, they experiment with a bit of well-meant control but their activities result in unintended, rather prickly consequences.

If you wish to stave off the holiday pounds, I suggest you indulge in reading Fall Down the Mountain and enjoy your cinnamon rolls and rich seduction food vicariously. Don’t look up the recipe, don’t roll out the dough. Unless you’re willing to put in the time at the gym, don’t try this at home! (And if you do anyway, you can blame it on Pam!)
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Too many calories lead to one kind of embarassment, but try Kate’s new anthology for a whole assortment of oopsies.

Don’t Try This At Home

Bonked heads. Rough carpet. Burned dinner. Awkward silence. Bitten lips. Startling length. Spilled wax. Pinched fingers. Shattered wineglass. Closet quickie. Flat souffle. Broken bedframe. Shower sex. Overzealous spanking. Embarrassing ex. Lost wallet. Terrible taste. Sore shoulders. Noxious odor. Absent date. Unbelievable girth. Kitchen canoodling. New toy. Stained sheets. Backward compliment. Stifling pillow. Locked handcuffs. Aching ass. Missing keys. Torn seams. Wrenched back. Angry cat. Overeager pass. Uncooperative zipper.

Something always goes wrong in real life. Fortunately, in these stories love blunts the edges so that romance always triumphs over adversity.

Stories included are:
Midnight Caller by Anna Birmingham
Snapshots by Rena Butler
Basil’s Luck by Henrietta Clarke
Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters by Taylin Clavelli
Outbursts by Bell Ellis
Tyler Wang Has a Ball by Kim Fielding
Boy Next Door by Ellee Hill
Gremlins in the Works by Kiernan Kelly
Good Food Gone Bad by Venona Keyes
Attack of the Hedgehogs by Kate Pavelle
It’s Not What You Think by Teegan Loy
Slippery When Wet by K. Lynn
Desperate Measures by E.T. Malinowski
Gordon’s Cat by Aundrea Singer
Photo Finish by AC Valentine

Find Kate on Twitter and Facebook.