Theme Songs, Characters, and Book Covers with TJ Klune

September 2, 2015

A big thank you to TJ Klune, who agreed to do this interview and answer the questions of his readers. I also want to thank you, the readers, who came up with the questions and thus made this interview possible.

Thank you for having me!

First of all, name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

I don’t know if I have any secrets left! I usually just tell my readers everything these days, no matter how uncomfortable it gets. I like to overshare. I suppose if I had to say something, I guess I can tell you that I can wrap the entire Vanilla Ice song from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies. The song is called Ninja Rap (Go Ninja Go). And yes, it is amazing.

What made you start writing M/M novels? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author?

When I started writing, I didn’t really think of it in terms of  M/M, but more in the fact that I just wanted to tell a story. Bear, Otter and the Kid was the end result of that. It was the first story I wrote to completion. It took over a year to write, and I thought I was going to have to submit it to a few publishers before it found a home. I sent it to Dreamspinner first, and they bought it a couple of weeks later. I finished the book in January, and it was published by August of that year.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

Shock. And joy. When I first learned BOATK had been bought by DSP, I really wanted to write back and say, Are you sure? Fortunately, I didn’t do that. And then when Paul Richmond did the cover of BOATK, it just made it all that much more surreal.

Complete this sentence: If I weren’t a writer, I would ______.

If I weren’t a writer, I would probably go insane from all the voices I hear in my head.

I hope this question is not too personal; if yes you of course don’t have to answer it. How do you unite your writing with your private life (family, friends, partner, etc.) without neglecting anyone or anything?

It’s a question of balance. I work full time, and I also write about 15-20 hours a week. It makes for a few late nights, but the people in my life know it’s worth it. It also helps that I’m working toward retiring early from my job so I can write full time. Hopefully, sometime next year that will be a reality.

When you write a book, do you plan it before you start writing or do you let things just develop themselves? Do you work at several books at the same time or do you rather focus on one? 

I can only focus on one book at a time. If I try writing on more than one thing at once, I tend to get distracted by whatever I’m not working on, and it never works out.

It depends on the book I’m writing if I plan it ahead. Books like Burn and Into This River I Drown are meticulously plotted before I write them, just because they are so intricate with large casts of characters. When it comes to the BOATK books, I like how they can meander at times, so I typically just write them with a vague end game in sight. Sometimes it works, other times I have to delete a lot of stuff just to get back on point.

Be totally honest, what’s the most difficult part of being a writer?

For me, it’s probably the social side of things. Before I became a published author, I didn’t have Facebook or a blog and didn’t belong to any online social media platforms. I’m typically uncomfortable in social settings and don’t really do well in front of large groups of people. When I was fortunate enough to have my books become successful, it was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I never thought something like that could ever happen. And a curse because it was difficult for me to get over my hangups about being in a spotlight. You lose a lot of anonymity when you find success, and I never thought I’d have that, so I didn’t prepare myself for it. But I’m getting better at it.

What’s your favorite cover of your books?

It’s a tie between Into This River I Drown and How to Be a Normal Person.

How do you come up with titles?

Depends on the book. BOATK is the more literal out of the titles as it’s titled after essentially what the book is about. I typically have a title picked out when I start writing a book, but 99.9% of the time, the title will change by the end of the book, when a phrase or an idea pops out at me while I’m writing.

Do some protagonists grow dear to your heart more than others? If yes, which are the ones you like best?

I wish I could say no, that I love all my characters equally, but that is a total lie. I have a soft spot for secondary characters, because I want my main characters to be surrounded by people that are real and true.

That being said, my favorites are probably the Kid, Benji from Into This River I Drown, Nana from Tell Me It’s Real, and Gus from the upcoming How to Be a Normal Person.

What character from one of your books would you like to have come alive and be real? Why?

Paul from Tell Me It’s Real. I don’t think I need to explain why.

Which character do you think most closely resembles your own personality?

Paul from Tell Me It’s Real. I don’t think I need to explain why. =D

If you get the chance to end up in one of your books which would it be? Why?

Probably Burn, just because I think it would be so epic to be an Elemental. I can’t wait to get back to that series and write some more. Felix and Seven need a happy ending.

You’ve just inherited a sheep farm. What do you do now?

Sell it, use the money from the sale to start a business where I pretend to be a psychic, but everyone already knows I’m not really a psychic, they just pay me money to make up shit about their future.

Have you ever got insulted because of your books? Or have your books ever got insulted? If yes, how did you react to it? And how do you react to negative reviews although it’s obvious the writer just want to do your book poorly?

Every writer gets negative reviews. It’s just part of the business. Some are honest critiques. Some people just don’t like the book. And some others just want to write something bad, even if it’s just meant to be an insult to the author.  Honestly, I don’t read any of those, or most reviews, really. If someone sends me a review they took the time to write, I’ll read it, because that is very kind of them to do. But reviews aren’t for me. They are for the readers. People can write whatever they want after they’ve spent their money on my book.

Rapid Fire Time

  • coffee or tea?  tea
  • contemporary or paranormal? paranormal
  • sweet or sour? sweet
  • handcuffs or rope? handcuffs
  • day or night? night
  • Rock or Jazz? Jazz
  • cats or dogs? dogs (don’t tell my cat because she will yell at me)

Last week DSP published the german translation of The Art of Breathing. It’s the third book of the series Who We Are. What aspect of The Art of Breathing came to you first – the setting, characters, something else?

The characters, specifically Tyson, aka the Kid. He’s been with me for years, and I was so happy to finally be able to tell his story. I always wanted to see what kind of person he’d grow up to be, and by the time I finished Who We Are, I knew it was going to be a bit of a rough road ahead for him. But I think it worked out okay in the end.

What part of the novel was the most fun to write and why? What made you struggle the most?

The dialogue was my favorite part to write, but then it usually is. I love writing how I think people talk in real life. It’s not always going to be perfect sentences. We ramble, we stutter, we talk in run-on sentences without proper syntax. I try to make it so when you’re reading the dialogue, it sounds like you could be listening in on a normal conversation.

The part where I struggled was with the angst. I absolutely hate reading angst, which is strange given that I’m so adept at writing it.  I’ve really put this family through the ringer, and it was painful to see the Kid stumble as much as he did. I was relieved he figured things out in the end, because there were a few moments I wasn’t sure he was going to.

If you had to pick a theme song for this novel, what would it be?

To Build a Home by Cinematic Orhestra.

Who was the most difficult character to write in this series? What inspired you to create the characters Bear, and the Kid, and their madness of thinking? Are you the same?

The most difficult character to write was probably Mrs. Paquinn. And not because of her age, or the way she spoke, but because of what I did to her in Who We Are. Yeah, that was probably one of if not the most difficult things I’ve had to write.

Bear and the Kid think like they do, because that’s the way I think. It’s manic, it’s oppressive, it’s too much for a lot of people, but it’s my reality. My thoughts are jumbled and I tend to blurt a lot of things out, whether the situation calls for it or not.

Can you tell us a little bit about the sequel of your novel Tell Me It’s Real?

The Queen & the Homo Jock King is the complete opposite of Tell Me It’s Real. Whereas Paul and Vince had a love at first sight relationship (at least for Vince), Sandy and Darren are more hate at first sight. They are very antagonistic of each other, and I love that dynamic. But something happens in the book that forces they together and Sandy learns that maybe Darren isn’t as bad as he seems (spoiler: he isn’t, and there is butt sex).

Tell us a little bit about your newest novel The Lightning-Struck Heart. What inspired you to write this? Who is your favorite character to write in this novel?

TLSH came at a time when I needed to laugh, to write something that made me feel happy. I sat down one Saturday morning in September 2014 and thought, “why not?” and then proceeded to write almost 12K words that first day.  It felt good, writing again, as I hadn’t written anything in close to a years.

 TLSH was inspired by my desire to write a fantasy novel for the Tumblr generation, using contemporary language, but taking it one step further and having every be a snarky asshole using modern lingo. It was also a partial ode to my love for The Princess Bride.

And I don’t think anyone will be surprised that I pick Gary as my favorite. There is something about a sassy unicorn that makes me happy.

Will there be a sequel or do we have to say goodbye to our darlings?

There will be a sequel to The Lightning Struck Heart.

 And one more book in the Tell Me It’s Real series.

And the final BOATK book.

Last but not least: What book will be published next, and what are you working on right now?

The next book will be How to Be a Normal Person, my asexual stoner romantic comedy out in October.

After that, The Queen & the Homo Jock King will be released in January 2016.

That will conclude what I unofficially call my Happiness Trilogy (TLSH, Normal, Queen) before we go back to the more serious, darker works that I also write.

Withered & Sere, part I of my post-apocalyptic story will be out April 2016.

June 2016 will most likely be the release of the book I’m finishing writing now, called Wolfsong.

 Crisped & Sere, part II of the post-apocalyptic story will be out August 2016.

And somewhere in there will be BOATK4. And Burn II.

 

Sex Scenes and the Importance of Internet Connection with BA Tortuga

September 1, 2015

DSP: Why did you choose a wounded veteran as your lead for The Articles of Release?

Cackles You say choose like I had any control over this. Win informed me that he had this battle buddy named Eric, handed him over and informed me that I had novels to write. Seriously. I never choose anything. They choose. I obey.

DSP: What’s your favorite sex act to write in a gay romance?

Frenetic, mad rubbing off, still mostly clothed. I love the intensity, the ferocity. The wild passion of it.

DSP: What does your writing space look like?

Writing space is a little bit of a misnomer, because my wife and I write all over — the rolltop desk in the front room, the sofa, the sunroom. I offer pictures of the office which is a crazy mish-mash of art and color and words and love. :D

BA desk       BA office wall          BA Wall

DSP: Name 5 things you can’t live without.

Things? Okay, I want to just point out that I don’t count living beings as things (because WIFE and puppies and best friends and all my 39 nieces and nephews and sisters and Moma and Daddy and and and)

1.  My internet connection. The internet and me? We’re buds. Totally. I would let them insert a jack (although when I say that my wife cackles and reminds me that I rant about the home DNA tests and people using that information for nefarious purposes).
2.  Coffee. Coffee is why I don’t kill people.
3.  My Apple products — MacBook, iMac, iPhone, iPod, iPad. Yes, please.
4.  Fabric. I’m a dedicated quilter. I need my stash.
5.  Yarn. YARN. ALL THE YARN! KNITTING, WEAVING, CROCHETING, YARN!!! ahem

DSP: If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be and why?

I’d move to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Hot springs, river rafting, mountains, skiing, snowmobiling. I’m all in. I just need to get that six-figure book deal first, right? ;-)

__________________

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia, her best friend, Sean, and coffee. Lots of good coffee.

Louise Lyons – Beautiful Thunder characters

August 31, 2015

My final post of the night. Who wants to know more about Alex and Lindsey from Beautiful Thunder? We all know they’re young pretty guys living in the early 1990s and they love rock music, but what else can I tell you?

Alex Randall is 22 years old, living in a maisonette (a two-story apartment) in a decent area of Nottingham. He has a sister Anna, ten years older, who’s a nurse. Their parents died when Alex was fourteen, leaving a small fortune which means that neither Anna nor Alex needed to work if they didn’t want to. But Anna’s a loving, caring woman who always wanted to help people, hence her career choice. Admittedly Alex hasn’t done much with his life prior to the start of the story. He spends his life singing in front of his mirror, dreaming about being a star, dressing up and going to the club, Rock City, and picking up one girl after another to the extent that he can’t remember their names. Of course he hasn’t met Lindsey yet!

Picture Alex, long dark hair, brown eyes, tall and slim, usually clad in leather pants, cowboy boots and a fancy shirt. He’s not much into the makeup wearing “thing” but he’ll go for a bit of “guy-liner” at a push. He pores over the local music press every week looking through the ads for bands who want singers, but so far he’s not found anything remotely suitable. Until Chapter 1 of Beautiful Thunder where he discovers the ad from the River Rats asking applicants to “call Lindsey”.

Alex scores an audition and goes to the drummer’s house. Mark Short, nicknamed Shorty, lives with his parents and uses the garage for rehearsing. The other musicians meet up at Mark’s house for practise.

Bass player, Ricky Wade, and Mark are both instantly friendly and welcoming to Alex. But guitarist Lindsey seems standoffish and arrogant – an act covering up his shyness.

Lindsey is blond (long haired of course), hazel eyed, and slim, with piercings, tattoos, and a heart-breaking past. He’s a natural guitar player, barely looking at the strings when he plays and there are times in the story when Alex watches him play and feels like he’s watching a real star, despite the fact that none of them have ever played a stage bigger than the one in Rock City.

Lindsey is the typical glam-rock boy, with his spandex pants, silk shirts, nail polish, makeup, and jewellery, but he’s tough with it, having had to fight in school to survive bullies.

Lindsey’s parents threw him out of the house when they discovered he was gay, leaving him alone to fend for himself in the city at just 16 years old. But he survived and now he works in a record store, behind the counter selling records and occasionally deejaying upstairs in the store. He’s a couple of years younger than Alex and in a relationship with a character called Steve, who crops up briefly on a couple of occasions in the story. He doesn’t make Lindsey happy and that’s all I’m saying!

Lindsey lives in a rough part of town, struggles to make ends meet, and holds his cards close to his chest. He doesn’t like to ask for help, even when he’s in desperate need of it, but luckily he has three good friends in Alex, Mark, and Ricky, who look out for him. When he eventually opens up to Alex and the pair begin dating, they keep it a secret from the other two guys, even though they already know Lindsey’s gay. Despite his feelings for Lindsey, Alex is still afraid to commit and worried about being with a man. With him dragging his feet and Lindsey’s shyness giving way to a volatile nature and temper, they struggle to move forward together.

The cover of Beautiful Thunder depicts Lindsey on stage, a scene from later in the story where Alex isn’t performing, but looks up at Lindsey and sees not only the man he loves, but also someone he admires – a star.

So, that’s my boys. I hope you like the sound of them and check out their story. Beautiful Thunder is available as eBook and Paperback of course.

AMAZON

I’ll be drawing the winner of the competition tomorrow so if you’re reading these posts after I’m gone, it’s not too late to comment and enter on THIS POST

And that’s all from me. Thanks to everyone who has dropped by. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts and if you’d like to find out more and keep in touch, please look me up on my social media pages:-

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

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Louise Lyons – history of my writing

August 31, 2015

Hi everyone, it’s still Louise.

Some of you may have heard a little of how I started writing from my author bio, but it’s only brief. So here’s how it all started.

nana and meWhen I was a very little girl, my Nana (grandmother, pictured above with me aged 3) used to stay at mine and my parents’ house for a few days every Christmas. We didn’t have a spare bedroom so she slept on the couch and early in the mornings I’d go and wake her up, then sit under the blanket by her feet while she told me fantasy stories. I’m sure that was one of the main things to spark my imagination, as well as the fact that writing runs in the family, with my mother being a published poet.

From storytelling as a young child, I progressed to writing short stories from around age 8, using my mum’s old manual typewriter, one letter at a time. It started with little girls and ponies (I was a keen horse rider), and developed into very basic MF romances in my early teens. I won a writing competition in my English class at school when I was 12, and had the mortifying moment of being called up on stage in the drama hall to receive my prize. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t speak and just stood there laughing!

After a friend showed me the British gay romance movies, My Beautiful Laundrette, starring Daniel Day Lewis, my cheesy MF romances developed into MM romances, usually featuring my favorite rock stars – my own version of Fanfiction before I’d ever heard of it. Of course, no one ever saw these stories except me and I never dreamed of trying to publish anything at that stage.

My writing was pushed aside for a few years when I got married, as my husband and I traveled a lot and I read instead of putting pen to paper. But it soon resurfaced when I accidentally stumbled upon Fanfictions based on Once Upon A Time n Mexico, a movie I loved at the time. I wrote a couple of my own, then branch into other fandoms such as Predator, Dr. Quinn, True Women and eventually… *cough* Twilight. Yes, I love Twilight and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Nor am I ashamed of the fics I wrote based on it, because if it hadn’t been for my loyal readers and fellow writers of that fandom, I wouldn’t have made an effort to submit something to a publisher. Several of my friends gave me a bit of a kick up the proverbial and encouraged me to try and be an original published writer.

The rest, as they say, is history. Beautiful Thunder is my fourth published novel, and there are four short stories and two novellas in between. Hopefully many more to come.

You can find all of my current works on my LOUISE LYONS AMAZON page.

If you’re a writer, how did it all start for you? If you’re a reader, what draws you to a book the most?

Louise Lyons – new release Beautiful Thunder and current works

August 31, 2015

Hi everyone, Louise Lyons still on the blog.

A few people have asked me lately what I’m currently working on, now that Beautiful Thunder has taken its first step out into the world.

Well, firstly I’ve been working on edits for a novella entitled Finding Beck and have just received the cover art for it. It’s set in the same time period as Beautiful Thunder (the 1990s) but is based in my old hometown, Grimsby and Cleethorpes (the two are merged together), in the UK. I used to go to another rock nightclub called Jezebels who had a rock night on Fridays, and my main character, Martin Lynch, meets his love interest Beck in that club. The pair quickly fall for each other, but worry about the potential reactions of Martin’s housemate Graham, and both sets of parents. Some responses are better than others! You can expect to see this available around the middle of October.

I’m also working on a full length novel set in Prague, another city I’ve visited. The book is entitled Cervena, which is “red” in Czech and is the name of a strip/dance/cocktail club owned by main character, Joel Jones, an Englishman who has lived in Prague for ten years. He discovers a young homeless Russian boy named Sasha, offers him a job as a dancer, and quickly develops a strong attraction to Sasha. But their new relationship is fraught with obstacles including the death of Joel’s mother in London, betrayal by his business partner, Karel, and threats from someone to whom Karel owes a substantial amount of money. Joel is convinced he will lose Sasha one way or another, and has to decide what is most important to him – Cervena or Sasha.

This story is about four chapters away from being finished so I’m hoping to wrap it up in the next month.

I also have my first sci-fi romance in the pipeline. Regeneration was written during NaNoWriMo last year and finished during the month following. Kim Fortune is the only survivor of a new type of enhanced human in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, far in the future. Having escaped the lab where he was created, he spends the first few years of freedom as an explorer, until he runs into a more successful member of his species – Christian Novak. Christian is everything Kim was supposed to be, but didn’t quite make the grade in, and he’s envious, confused, and insanely attracted to Chris. There seems no hope for them in the war-torn galaxy and Kim is convinced Chris will never feel anything for him – until Chris risks his life to rescue Kim from imprisonment after a crash landing on an inhospitable planet.

I’m reworking some of the story after advices from readers, and hope to submit this later in the year.

I have two other ideas in note form – a contemporary romance between two ex-jailbirds, and a paranormal romance featuring the ghost of a broken-hearted man who took his own life, so I have lots going on, which will hopefully all see the light of day during the next year.

But for now, Beautiful Thunder is my book of the moment. You can read another excerpt on my blog, during which Alex goes for an audition with Nottingham, UK band, the River Rats, and meets his love, Lindsey, for the first time. Click the link below.

Louise Lyons Blog

 

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons – giveaway

August 31, 2015

Hi everyone, Louise here. I’m giving away one eBook from my backlist to one lucky winner!

You’ve all heard a little about my new release, Beautiful Thunder, on the previous two posts. Alex and Lindsey, a singer and guitarist in a struggling rock band in the 1990s, fall in love despite many obstacles, including fears of commitment, a health scare, trust issues and difficulties in the band.

What difficulties have you overcome to be with the one you love? Everyone who comments on this post to answer the question, will go into a random draw to choose one of my previous eBooks.

The books available to choose from are:-

Conflicted

Cover art finalisedTwo competing gangs of car and drag racing enthusiasts with a shared history of pain and rivalry leading to outright hatred. Two men from opposite sides of the tracks, yet with more in common than they’d like to admit.

Paul Appleton is a troubled man who has never been in a relationship, having lost everyone he cared for in his life. His mother died when he was very young and subsequently, he lost his brother and his best friend. Now Paul is convinced love will always end in tears.

Greg was living on the streets after his parents died and was stabbed by a junkie, ending up in hospital. The Buchanans took Greg under their wing while doing charity work, and Greg joined their loving family when he was adopted. He and his siblings are also car enthusiasts with much more money and therefore better cars than Paul Appleton’s gang.

When they eventually find a connection, Paul fights his feelings and tries to convince himself his lover is only a temporary bit of fun, but Greg has other ideas.

The Eye of the Beholder

Final cover artVince Voss is obsessed with physical beauty. Influenced by his aunt, with whom he runs a modeling business, he has become unfeeling and cruel. Vince’s mother, who was a witch in life, returns to show him a better way to live. She casts a spell to take away his good looks and he finds himself challenged with searching for someone to love him, without the use of physical attraction.

Vince eventually meets a lonely male vampire, Peter, and despite his reluctance to get involved with him, he decides to use Peter to help him lift the spell. Little does he know that at first, Peter is using him too, and he finally realizes what’s really important when he falls for Peter along the way.

Beyond The Scars

Beyond the Scars final coverAfter years of physical and mental abuse, Tommy Chadwick finally finds the strength to leave Colin, his tormentor. But Tommy soon finds that escaping his violent boyfriend was only the first step on his path to recovery. Now he must overcome feelings of worthlessness in order to rebuild his battered self-esteem.

Tommy’s lack of self-confidence prevents him from going out… at first, but then has him ricocheting from one man to another, desperately trying to please them in his search for love and acceptance.

After being rejected on New Year’s Eve, and then beaten after leaving the gay bar, he agrees to accompany his best friend, Sarah, to a martial arts club. There Tommy meets Marcus, a strong older man, who at first becomes his friend, introducing Tommy to new interests, and later, tentatively asks him on a date.

Will Marcus be the man to help Tommy put his past behind him and fall in love for real?

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons – excerpt

August 31, 2015

Hi everyone, it’s Louise here again. In this post, I’m giving you a little taster of Beautiful Thunder.

In the excerpt below, Alex and Lindsey kiss for the first time after Alex blunders into a gay club in an effort to avoid being seen by Lindsey in the street.

……………………………………………..

“I, um, I came in by mistake.” I hoped the lack of light in the club would disguise my red face. My cheeks felt as if they were on fire. Avoiding his eyes, I let my gaze drift down over his white ruffled shirt—the same one he’d had on that time in Rock City.

“Right. First you can’t make band practice because you’ve caught my fictitious flu, and now you’re in a gay club by accident?”

I groaned. “Yeah, I lied about being sick. I’m an idiot. I came in here because I saw you down the street and I didn’t want you to see me and realize I lied.”

Lindsey frowned. “Why lie? Why not just say you can’t make it? Presumably you were going out to pick up a girl.”

“I’m sorry.” I couldn’t tell him the truth—that I hadn’t wanted to face him—and the only other option was to let him think I’d let the band down in favor of getting my rocks off. “It won’t happen again. What are you doing in here, anyway?”

“I come in here every couple of weeks. I was intending to catch up with some friends.”

“So you skipped practice too?” I raised an eyebrow.

“I didn’t skip. Mark rang me and said you were ill and asked if I wanted to practice anyway. We decided to leave it and have a longer session tomorrow instead, with or without you.”

“Sorry,” I repeated. I took a long gulp of my beer. “I told Mark I’d caught your flu. Stupid, I know. I wasn’t thinking. I’ll get out of here in a minute. I don’t want to cramp your style.”

“I’m not looking for a bit of fun, Alex,” Lindsey snapped. “We don’t all get off with some random stranger every other night.”

“Nor do I. Not for a while.”

“But you don’t date. I doubt you can even remember the name of the last girl you were with.”

He was right, I couldn’t remember, and I covered it up by trying to sound annoyed. “Why are you having a go at me? Because you think I’m a slut? Or because I lied about being ill?”

“Neither. I’m sorry. I’m going to get a drink.”

I stayed where I was as Lindsey went to the bar and engaged in a chat with someone while he waited to be served. He shook hands with the other man and then leaned on the bar and talked to the barman. Eventually, he returned to me, carrying a bottle of Bud.

“I’ve nearly finished this.” I indicated my own bottle. “Then I’ll go.”

Lindsey nodded and sipped his beer. He didn’t speak, and I fiddled with my bottle, trying not to stare at him. He looked good as usual, and for once he wasn’t wearing makeup. His jeans were so tight, he probably had to use a shoehorn to get into them. I couldn’t stop myself imagining us in various scenarios—dancing like the two guys a few yards away, kissing like the pair nearby who were still at it. Would Lindsey even be interested in me?

I didn’t know how long we stood there not talking. Lindsey interrupted my thoughts with a muttered curse, and I looked up. “What’s wrong?”

“Steve’s here.”

“Where?”

“The dark-haired bloke who just came in. The one in the red shirt.”

I looked toward the door and spotted the man Lindsey had described. His collar-length hair framed a rugged face, and his muscular body indicated he worked out regularly. I had no idea what Lindsey’s type was, but I hadn’t imagined him going for someone like that. The man looked like he had a lot of power to put behind a punch. I put my bottle down on a nearby table and clenched my fists. “Do you want to leave?”

“No, I’m going to speak to him. I’m sick to death of jumping out of my skin whenever someone rings me or knocks on the door.”

“I could talk to him.”

Lindsey shook his head. “Don’t interfere, Alex. Stay here.” He put his drink on the table and strode away from me. I watched, grinding my teeth, as he halted close to Steve and spoke to him. Sweat stuck my shirt to my back. I knew nothing about Steve other than that he’d hurt Lindsey, and I wanted to go over there and punch the man’s lights out.

The pair talked for a few minutes, Steve gesturing in what looked to be an effort to placate Lindsey. At least he didn’t look as if he was about to hit him. Lindsey kept shaking his head, and at one point he glanced over his shoulder in my direction and jabbed a thumb at me. I wished I could hear what they were saying. Steve shrugged and nodded. He stayed where he was as Lindsey came back to me.

“What…?” I began.

“Do me a favor, I’ll explain later, just kiss me,” Lindsey said, his words almost running into each other in his haste.

I didn’t have time to think or question. I cupped his face, then slid my hand into his hair as I drew him closer. He rested his hands on my chest, and his lips parted as they met mine. I closed my eyes and caressed his lips, and I was instantly reminded of Joey’s kiss. Lindsey’s lips were firm but soft at the same time, and he wasn’t gentle and delicate like a girl. He kissed back hard and crushed my lips against my teeth. I wasn’t sure what he wanted from me, but it was obviously meant to be a show for Steve. I slid my arm around his waist and pulled him tighter against me. I didn’t care if he felt I was getting hard. My pulse raced, and I trembled with a combination of excitement and fear. Deepening the kiss, I stroked my tongue over his, and his tongue bar clicked against my teeth as he responded. I groaned and wondered if Lindsey heard it. He was bound to have felt the effect he was having on me by now. My rock-hard cock was trapped against his thigh.

Lindsey broke the kiss and turned his face into my neck. Warm puffs of breath fanned my skin, and he continued to hold on to me as he spoke quietly in my ear. “He wanted me back. He kept apologizing for hitting me. I told him to fuck off and that I’m with you. He seemed to accept it.” He pulled away at last and put a few inches between us. “Sorry about this. It was pretty childish, rubbing his nose in it, but….” He shrugged, then lifted his gaze to mine and grinned. “Anyway… I didn’t expect that reaction from you. Is there anything you want to tell me?”

My face heated up, and I lowered away. “I, um, you took me by surprise,” I muttered.

…………………………………………..

Beautiful Thunder is available both as eBook and in paperback, and of course you can get these direct from Dreamspinner Press, as well as the usual online shops.

Louise Lyons on DSP

Beautiful Thunder coverLouise Lyons logo

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons

August 31, 2015

Hello everyone, I’m Louise Lyons and I’m taking over Dreamspinner Press’ blog for the evening to talk about my brand new novel, Beautiful Thunder, released today, August 31.

Beautiful Thunder cover

First of all, a big thank you to everyone at DSP who read, edited, gave me pointers etc. This is my second novel with DSP, almost exactly a year after the first one (Conflicted was released on August 20, 2014). The gorgeous cover was designed by the talented Maria Fanning.

Anyway, what would you like to know? How about I start with what inspired me to write Beautiful Thunder?

First you should know the story is set in the early 1990s, in the rock music scene, in the city of Nottingham, UK.

Nottingham has a well known nightclub called Rock City, which was established in the 1980s and is still popular today. I spent many a night there in the 1990s and 2000s either clubbing or seeing bands. Many up and coming rock bands wanted Rock City and London’s Marquee to be on their tour lists and I saw a lot of my favorites at Rock City.

Back in the early 1990s at that club, it was often difficult to tell who was male and who was female. Men wore just as much makeup as the women, and all backcombed their hair to within an inch of its life, rattled with jewellery, belts, spurs and so on. That “era” was a big part of my life and from time to time I’ve written short stories based around the club and the time period, but never really thought of doing anything serious with it. Then after my first year as a “real” author the idea for Beautiful Thunder came to me – hot, sexy, “pretty” guys in makeup, spandex pants, frills and ruffles, and cowboy boots, and even better – guys who sing and play guitar.

My main character, Alex Randall, is based on one of the many guys I came across at rock concerts and rock nights at the club. He fancies himself as a singer and although he’s had no experience, he’s convinced all he needs is to score an audition and eventually he finds an ad in the local music press from a band needing a singer – a band influenced by the likes of Motley Crue, Kiss, and Poison. At Alex’s audition he meets Richard “Lindsey” Lindstrum, the very gorgeous blond guitarist who quickly ties Alex in knots.

Alex “dabbled” with best friend Joey, when he was in school, but quickly panicked when he found out Joey was gay and not just experimenting. But Alex never really forgot that moment, despite spending the next few years jumping from one girl to another, never having a relationship longer than three weeks, scared of commitment and determined to stay free as long as possible. But when he meets Lindsey, his memories of Joey come flooding back and in his mind the words “hot” and “beautiful” are quickly applied to Lindsey, much to his confusion.

As I’ve said, the 1990s rock music scene was my “thing”. What was yours? What time in your life really stuck out, whether because of the music, or the places you went, or who you were with at the time?

You can find Beautiful Thunder HERE

What If? with Amberly Smith

August 28, 2015

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Anyone up for a game of what-if? That’s how my story Marriage Most Convenient all started, what-ifs and friendship. I’m Amberly Smith and I’m really psyched to chat you all up.

My best girlfriend and I have known each other for over twenty years, since high school. Our kids are of an age, our spouses are proud geeks, and we’ve got the good dirt on each other. A while ago she showed me a listing for a military silo and the what-ifs began. We probably drank oolong tea and ate homemade ginger cookies, though I can’t recall for sure. It might have been a Saint Mark for me and a Long Island for her. The silo’s previous owners had converted the bunker-grade home into a beautiful retreat and had several acres to sell separately. What if you wanted to buy this place? What if you could only fly in and out because there were no roads? Where would you get the money? Who would you have to kill, sleep with, or marry to have that kind of dough? I like my creature comforts, I don’t want to live in the middle of nowhere, so what kind of person does?

The thing about what-if, it’s a game that can haunt you. Play with caution, fellow readers, play with caution. I wrote Marriage Most Convenient as a way of answering those questions. And because marriage of convenience stories, who doesn’t love those? From back cover blurb:

No bank is going to give a nomadic thrill seeker a loan. Even if Tom Flynn wants to develop and run a retreat for disabled kids. Good thing he is finally old enough to pull from his trust fund. However, it would mean settling down—because accessing the money requires him to be married—so he asks his best friend, Luke, to marry him.

So this is where the friendship steps back in. I love stories with banter, with characters who know each other well enough to see the flaws. Yes, there is still the excitement of new love, a deeper connection but with friendship? That complicates things, makes things more vibrant.

Luke Marten’s goal is simple: don’t go on one more crazy adventure with Tom. Knowing how successful he has been in the past, Luke has a backup plan: don’t fall in love. He’s a goner when Tom not only proposes but confesses to one seriously hot kink.

For their friendship to survive this marriage, they’ll need to face DOMA, conservative judges, and long held beliefs about each other. Talk about getting caught by the short hairs.

 

The story I’m working on now is different, futuristic sci-fi, but it also started with a question. What if the government figured out how to make super soldiers but no one man can hold all the abilities?

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Now for a rousing game of what-if, your turn edition. What if you desperately need a vacation? How far would you go to get what you want? And, because all great adventures should involve friendship, who do you take with you?

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You can also chat me up on Facebook, my website, Twitter or Goodreads.

 

Check out Marriage Most Convenient today!

MarriageMostConvenientFS

Finding Your Guardian Angel with Diane Adams

August 27, 2015

Finding YourGuardian Angel

Hello, I’m Diane Adams and I’m here to share the second edition release of my book Rearranging Stars. It came out yesterday and I’m super stoked to have the book available again. It was published the first time in 2011, which was a long time ago, and yet not so long I can’t remember some details about writing it. One of those details is the song that inspired the book. Guardian Angel by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

I first conceived the idea for the book after listening to the song. Because of the title I found myself thinking about angels and it occurred to me how crowded the world would seem if we could see the angels following us around. My imagination drifted to the idea of being the only one who could see them. Of course a story about me seeing guardian angels would be ho-hum at best, but a hot guy like Grey, oh yeah, that was another matter. With the idea for his character firmly in mind I moved on to the stage of jotting down notes and began to flesh out the rules for the angels he could see. Soon after that Drake appeared to challenge the status quo.

It’s never easy to take a stand against long held rules and traditions. It takes a kind of iron will that not everyone possesses. Heroes are born from the people willing to step forward without thought of personal cost to make a difference. Sometimes such actions require the ultimate sacrifice. Those are some of the ideas I explored as I wrote Drake and Grey’s story.

Drake is an angel. Grey is human. They are not real but even in fiction some heroes emerge bold and bright and change the world. Others wake up each day care for the people in their lives and create a safe haven for the ones they love. Daily living requires a type of heroism that is often overlooked. I believe not giving up in the face of the minutiae of life requires more strength of heart than making a grand stand.

It’s fun to write and imagine beings like guardian angels taking special care of us. Of course reality isn’t populated by hot angels with magnificent wings, but the lucky among us have people in our lives watching over us. Those who love us not just during the best times but in all the times. They are sometimes those we expect, like family members, but sometimes a guardian angel turn out to be someone who takes us completely by surprise.

Thank you for stopping by today. Do you have a guardian angel in your life? Please take a few minutes to share the story with us. I’m looking forward to reading all about them and will give away a free book to someone randomly drawn from those who share their story with me.

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone at DreamSpinner Press who have helped with the rerelease of my book. Rearranging Stars isn’t my first time working with DreamSpinner. I published a few short stories several years ago. This is my first book published with them and I’ve enjoyed the experience very much. The editing experience was wonderful. My editors were supportive and helpful. My cover, created by the incredibly talented Paul Richmond, is a dream come true. When I saw the initial cover sketch I felt as if he had pulled an image of the passionate tenderness shared between Drake and Grey straight from my mind. The detail of Grey’s fingers tangled in black feathers. Perfection.

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I am so proud of this edition of Rearranging Stars. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

Get Rearranging Stars here!

Please keep in touch!

My website: http://dianeadams.virtualdelusions.com/

Facebook: Diane Adams

Twitter: @d_adams