March 8, 2014
Random number is … 3!
Congratulations to Andy! Please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get a copy to you.
Again, thank you all for helping this newbie along. At least now I can say I’ve done a blog release party! Maybe I’ll try to conquer Twitter next.
March 8, 2014
Figure I would celebrate my first blogging experience (and my first novella release) by offering a giveaway. I thank everyone for reading through my ramblings and being kind to a total newbie. Please leave a comment below and a number between 1 and 50. Tomorrow (Saturday, 3/8) at 1pm CST (that’s Chicago time) I will get a random number from good ol’ randomnumbergenerator.com and whoever is closest, wins an ebook copy of ‘Forever Fantasy.’
Thank you all again.
February 18, 2014
Okay, Guess who???
I’m here with the last excerpt and question. Good luck everyone. Remember, don’t posts your answers any earlier then two o’clock, EST. I’ll see you at the cocktail hour with a drink and three winners in hand. For you not familiar with cocktail hour, that’s 5pm EST. This so exciting!!!!
Hank was standing over the stove with a wooden spoon in each hand as the sound of Norah Jones wafted through the house. He was swaying and humming along to Norah’s sultry version of the “Tennessee Waltz” while stirring a pot of yellow cheese grits with one spoon and a sauté pan of jumbo shrimp and Andouille sausage with the other. A thought suddenly hit him, and he turned his head to one side, deciding what to do about it.
He lowered the flame on both burners, picked up his cell phone, and opened his contacts, choosing the contact he’d programmed earlier that day for Garner. While the call connected and started to ring, Hank found himself swaying again to Norah’s soulful sounds.
He stopped when he heard Garner’s voice. “Hey, Hank.” Garner had obviously checked the caller ID before he answered.
“Hey, man, how’s it going?”
“Pretty good. Thompson and I just finished checking in the last arrival, and I’m about to head down to the boat to unwind for a second and then shower.”
Hank felt a wave of panic and looked down at his watch. Six forty-nine. He went over his mental checklist. He still had to finish dinner, set the table, shower, and pick up Garner, and he had just over an hour in which to do it all.
“Yeah, I’m here. Boy, do I need to get a move on, though. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t allergic to shellfish or see if there was anything else I should know about your diet.”
“Nope. No food allergies that I’m aware of.”
“Okay, good. Gotta go! See you at eight.”
“Okay,” Garner said with a chuckle.
Hank ended the call and went back to the stove. He dipped his spoon into the simmering grits and brought the cheesy mixture to his mouth. “Ummmm, perfect. One down.”
He turned off the burner, covered the pot, and turned his attention to the shrimp and sausage mixture.
As he pushed the shrimp and sausage around in the pan, listening to Norah sing “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” he thought about Thompson for some reason. Garner mentioning his name on the phone triggered a couple of memories that had stuck with him all day and he wasn’t sure why. For starters, he’d stopped by the marina midmorning with some bagels for Garner and Thompson. When he’d found the office empty, he’d approached the large window and found them coming up the dock, Thompson’s arm slung over Garner’s shoulder and both of them laughing hysterically. The scene had struck him as odd because ever since Caroline’s death, Thompson had been very reserved and mostly closed off. In fact, Hank hadn’t seen him crack more than a smile for as long as he could remember. But then they’d stopped laughing suddenly, and it looked as though the mood or conversation had taken on a more serious tone. They had continued up the dock looking like each of them had more to say, and, not wanting to get in the middle of anything, Hank had slipped out unnoticed.
Then when he’d come back to the marina on that call, it looked like they were into something heavy again, so not wanting to interrupt this time either, he’d said hello, but chose not to stop and headed right for his boat. But as he was on the water leaving the marina, he saw Thompson throw his arms around Garner, saw Garner make some move to get free, then Thompson’s arm was around Garner’s neck, and they were walking up the dock laughing again. I wonder what is going on with those two? Then it hit him like a ton of bricks. Holy shit! Am I jealous?
Hank realized that he really liked spending time with Garner. He didn’t know where it was headed, but he liked him enough to go along for the ride. He hadn’t felt any type of connection to anyone in such a long time, and he was damned excited about it. Garner was smart, good-looking, sexy as hell, and had a wicked sense of humor. All the traits he liked in a man. Some of the excitement waned a bit with his next thought. Six weeks, Hank! He’s only here for six weeks. Be careful and don’t go getting your heart broken.
The sizzling sound of the food brought him back to reality, and he decided to push the thoughts to the back of his mind for now. Besides, he could ask Garner what was going on between him and Thompson tonight.
Hank tasted one of the shrimp. “Just about done,” he said under his breath. “I think I’ll let them marinate for a while and finish them off right before I serve them.”
He turned off the gas burner, moved about the kitchen getting dishes, silverware, and placemats together, and headed for the dining room. “That Yankee isn’t going to think twice about Thompson Gray when he gets a taste of my famous Southern Shrimp & Grits. A way to a man’s heart through his stomach and all that.”
When the table was set, he stood back and admired his work. He glanced at his watch again. Forty minutes to go. Not bad, Hank. Not bad at all.
Garner was standing outside the marina entrance when he saw the white F150 round the corner. He waved as the truck pulled up and stopped. The power window came down and the driver leaned out. “Hellooo, sailor! Looking for a ride?”
“If you’re going my way,” Garner retorted.
Hank grinned and winked. “Oh yeah, I go your way.”
Hank put the truck in park, hopped out, and stole a quick kiss on Garner’s cheek.
“Thanks,” Garner said. “You look great, by the way.”
Hank was wearing a nicely pressed blue chambray shirt over a bright-orange T-shirt, khakis, and brown driving shoes.
“Thanks. You too.”
Garner felt underdressed in his amber-colored V-neck T-shirt, blue jeans, and blue-and-gold Nikes. He ran his hands down the front of his shirt. “This old thing?”
Hank laughed and opened the door. “Yes, that old thing. I like the way it brings out the blond in your hair. Now get in there, silly.”
Garner watched Hank run back around, jump in, and buckle his seatbelt. He moved with a confident grace and Garner liked it.
As the truck sped up, Hank leaned over and patted Garner’s thigh. “How was the rest of your day? When I came back from my call, Thompson said you were out.”
“Yeah, he asked me to run a marina guest up to West Marine to pick up a replacement bilge pump.”
“God, I love that store,” Hank said. “If I ever sold my business, I would really like to work there. The only problem I can foresee is I’d buy so much shit, I’d owe them money at the end of every pay period.”
Garner nodded in agreement. “Me too. I’m afraid I’d be right there with you.”
The short ride back to Hank’s place was filled with the usual back-and-forth banter they’d become accustomed to in the short time they’d known one another.
In less than ten minutes, Hank pulled into the driveway of a beige bungalow-style home boasting a white wraparound porch with a swing, white wicker furniture, and green-and-white striped upholstery. Dark-green shutters and a pale-yellow door finished off the exterior. Garner thought it looked like something out of a magazine. The landscaping was perfectly manicured and the outdoor lighting was spot on. There was soft lamplight coming from all the windows, and the entire place looked warm and inviting.
“This is absolutely charming,” Garner said, taking it all in.
Hank put the truck in park, rested both hands on the steering wheel, and stared at his house as if he was seeing it for the first time himself. “Thanks, I’ve owned it for about a year and just finished renovating the entire thing.”
Garner opened his door. “Come on, I can’t wait to see the inside.”
Hank hopped out of the truck, apparently as eager to show off his place as Garner was to see it. They walked into a spacious foyer with at least twelve-foot ceilings. There was a round leather-inlaid drum table in the center with a bouquet of fresh flowers and a secretary with a Chippendale chair against the back wall. A powder room was recessed in the back right corner. Garner turned to the left and saw a formal dining room, complete with romantic table set for two. He stepped into the room, admiring one thing to the next. He stopped when he saw a large antique cupboard in the far corner loaded with some type of porcelain. “Everything is lovely, but this piece is spectacular.”
“Thanks. It was my grandmommy Ellen’s, right down to the very last piece of porcelain inside of it. It’s one of my two prized possessions.”
“And the other?” Garner asked.
Hank’s very being seemed to be filling with pride as he took Garner by the hand and led him across the foyer to the formal living room.
“And this is the formal living room,” he said with the wave of his hand.
Garner followed in awe, certain his mouth was hanging open from the sheer beauty surrounding him. There was a royal-blue tone-on-tone striped camelback couch sitting in the center of the room with two tapestry-upholstered Martha Washington chairs flanking a large fireplace. End tables and other accent pieces effortlessly placed here and there donned the room and created a comfortable but elegant feel. There was a hall at the far right, which Garner assumed led to the bedrooms, and closed double french doors across the back wall. But before he could ask where they led, he spotted a triple mahogany chest of drawers with shiny brass pulls against the back wall. “That’s got to be the other piece.”
“Bingo,” Hank said. “You have a great eye.”
He ran his fingers across the top of the long chest, admiring it. “I don’t know about that, but it’s hard to miss this example of fine craftsmans—”
Before he could finish his sentence, Hank’s lips were covering his. It was a long, deep, and slow kiss. Hank’s tongue explored every crevice of his mouth, and when it ended, it left Garner breathless and wanting more.
Hank brushed the side of Garner’s face with the back of his hand. “I’ve been wanting to do that since I saw you early this morning.”
Garner smiled at the compliment. Then something didn’t sit right with that statement. He thought for a second. This morning? I didn’t see him until this afternoon. “You mean this afternoon?” Garner corrected.
“Nope. This morning,” Hank restated with a nonchalant tone.
Suddenly, memories of an earlier time back in New York when he’d had an overzealous admirer that had turned into amateur stalking flooded Garner’s memory. Stop it, Garner. He doesn’t appear to be the stalker type. And besides, if he were really stalking you, would he tell you about it? He pushed those ridiculous thoughts out of his mind, but he must have still had a concerned look on his face that didn’t go unnoticed.
“Don’t worry, I’ll explain over dinner,” Hank volunteered.
Garner opened his mouth to protest, but Hank held up a finger. “It’s really nothing. I promise.”
Question: What color was the camelback couch in Hank’s living room?
February 18, 2014
Good Morning Again,
Scotty Cade here again with your second excerpt and question. Remember, you have to answer questions correctly from all three excerpts to be eligible to win.
Doctor Garner Holt stepped through the companionway of his fifty-five foot sailboat, AquaTherapy, carrying a hot cup of coffee and a plate containing a stale cinnamon bagel and what little cream cheese he could scrape out of the container. “Guess it’s time for a grocery stop,” he said to himself as he examined his breakfast. He balanced the plate and cup, trying not to spill either as he made his way onto the bow and took a seat. There was a gentle breeze blowing out of the east and the sun was now peeking just above the horizon. He looked up out of habit to check his rigging and was amazed how the impending sun was causing the lingering dew to glisten like little diamonds. He caught movement to his left and saw a very regal blue heron perched on an old log along the bank with its long beak hovering just above the water, waiting for breakfast to swim by.
His gaze was interrupted when he heard a splash and turned to see a pelican floating right off the starboard bow with its head tipped up and a lump wiggling as it went down its throat. “Damn, even the bird’s breakfast is fresher than mine,” Garner chuckled, taking a bite out of his bagel and chewing and chewing and chewing. After he swallowed, he inhaled the fresh air and sighed. Despite his breakfast, there was beauty in every direction, and he savored the simple moment. “I could never have seen this stuff from my office window at the hospital,” he mused.
For the last nine years before his early retirement, he’d been the head of psychiatrics for the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Back then he’d been a very career-driven man, working twelve to fourteen hours a day. In the beginning, the grueling schedule had been exhilarating, but over the years it had proven to be very detrimental to any sense of a personal life. His job had always come first, which didn’t leave much time for a healthy relationship, though in the beginning he’d tried to juggle both. One failed attempt after another had convinced him that he just wasn’t cut out for relationships, and eventually he stopped trying. Ultimately, the burnout he’d heard about started to descend on him, and the last two years had been a real struggle. One morning he looked in the mirror and realized he no longer recognized his own reflection. He had deep circles under his eyes. He was pale in color and looked much older than his thirty-six years. That morning, he’d decided enough was enough. In the weeks that followed, he’d resigned his position, sold his apartment and all of his belongings, and started to simplify his life. Growing up, he and his dad had been avid sailors. He’d always enjoyed the isolation and quiet pleasure it brought and had dreamed of sailing off into the sunset one day. The day he bought his shiny new Beneteau Oceanis was his “one day!” That had been almost six months ago, and as he made his way to points south, he’d not once regretted his decision to trade his hectic job for a life of exploration on the water.
Garner looked around again and mentally complimented himself. He’d made a great choice yesterday afternoon when he’d chosen to anchor in this very secluded cove just north of Savannah. He’d been on the water for a few months and recalled his journey, which had started in Manhattan. On his first day out, he’d followed the East River to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, spent a few days on the beaches of the Jersey shore, and then sailed the Atlantic Ocean to Cape May, where he entered Delaware Bay. From there, he’d made his way down to the Delaware River and through the manmade waterway connecting the Delaware River with the Chesapeake Bay called the C&D canal. He’d taken his time and enjoyed the many great anchorages along the Chesapeake, eventually ending up in Norfolk, Virginia, where he entered the Intracoastal Waterway, or the “Ditch,” as boat captains call it.
His plan would take him along this well-traveled waterway as far south as Biscayne Bay, where he would again venture out into the Atlantic Ocean and head for the Florida Keys. When he was tired of the Keys, he would head east to the Bahamas and eventually the Caribbean and the Virgin Islands.
Garner finished breakfast and rubbed his aching jaw. “I’ve got to get some groceries before my jaw gives out.”
He went down below, stowed his gear, secured the cabin, and headed topside again to raise the anchor and get his day started. He pressed and held the engine heater button for ten seconds, then pressed the starter. The Westerbeke diesel turned over several times, but it didn’t start. What the hell? She always starts immediately.
He gave it a few seconds and then tried again. Still nothing. “Damn,” he hissed. “This day is going downhill pretty fast.”
Garner glanced at the fuel gauge and mumbled to himself, “Half full.” He checked the other gauges. Engine temperature. “Good.” Oil pressure. “Good.” After verifying everything topside, he went down below and opened the engine compartment. He checked the oil and coolant, and both were well within the normal operating ranges on the dipsticks. Next he checked the fuel filter. It appeared to be clear. Lastly he inspected the water intake strainer to make sure it wasn’t clogged, and it was clear as well. He went topside again and gave it one more try. Nothing. The engine easily turned over so he knew it wasn’t the battery.
He put his hands on his hips and stared at the starter buttons, willing the damn things to work. It just doesn’t seem like the engine is getting any fuel.
“Fuck it,” he said as he went down below again and searched his boat files for his membership card. “That’s why I pay a yearly fee for a towing service.”
He unclipped his cell from his belt and dialed the number, requesting a tow to the nearest marina. He gave the guy his name, his boat’s name, and his GPS coordinates, then ended the call.
While he waited for the towboat, he checked his waterway guide and found the nearest marina was the Thundercloud Marina, about three miles north of his present location. He once again retrieved his cell phone and dialed the number from the waterway guide and waited. After several rings, someone answered.
“Thundercloud Marina, this is Thompson.”
“Good morning, Thompson, my name is Garner Holt. I’m anchored off the Intracoastal a few miles south of you, and I’m having some engine problems.”
“Sorry to hear that, Captain. How can I help?”
“I just requested a tow from BoatUS,” Garner shared. “The guy said he would be here in about an hour, and we’re approximately three miles south of you. Do you have a mechanic on site who can take a look?”
“Yes, sir, we do,” Thompson said. “What type engine?”
“A seventy-five horsepower Westerbeke diesel.”
“Got it,” Thompson said. “I’ll have someone standing by when you get here.”
“Thanks, man, I’ll see you in a couple of hours.”
“We’ll be waiting.”
Garner ended the call. Nice telephone voice.
Questions: What horsepower and make was the engine on Garner’s sailboat?
February 18, 2014
My name is Scotty Cade and I’m looking so forward to chatting with you today. I’d like to introduce you to my latest novel, “Sunrise Over Savannah,” which released yesterday over at Dreamspinner Press. Here’s a link if you want to take a quick look. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4716.
This book is very near and dear to my heart and was inspired by a real life person named Thompson and an event that happened at a marina where Thompson worked in Savannah GA. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version:
On one of our many October trips down south on our boat, my husband and I, traveling with our best friends stopped in Savannah GA for an overnight stay. The deck hand who greeted and docked us was one of those young, gorgeous, friendly, and charismatic guys you stumble onto every once in a while. He had shoulder length blonde hair, emerald green eyes and a smile that might, if bottled up, finally achieve world peace. Although we had just met him, we were all instantly drawn to him and knew he was the type that you and everyone else wanted to hang out with. He was just that amazing. As I mentioned, his name was Thompson and the best thing about him was that he seemed oblivious to his charm and good looks or the affect he had on the people around him. Now imagine four homosexuals on a boat, Kell and I in our mid fifties and our friends in their mid seventies all making conversation and batting our eyelashes at this kid. He didn’t blink an eye, just smiled and chatted us up for over an hour. I knew immediately that I wanted to write a book about him, the only issue was the plot line.
Much to my surprise, it didn’t take very long for that to present itself either. The next morning just before sunrise. I was awake early, as we were leaving at first light for our next day on the water, and I always checked my charts and the weather, you know, all the nervous nell stuff boat captains do. So I was on the fly bridge of our boat listening to the marine weather loop sipping my coffee and saw a man standing on the edge of the dock holding his own cup of coffee watching the sun peak over the horizon. For most of the time, all I could see was his back and even with my limited view, I recognized his well, defeated stance . His shoulders were slumped and his head was tilted to one side. It wasn’t until he turned and made his way past our boat that I really saw the solum and forlorn expression he was wearing. The sight took my breath away and haunted me for a long timer. The whole thing left me feeling empty and yearning for answers. I asked around a little, not wanting to pry and no one knew the guy or had even seen him, so I never got the answers I sought. But the image of him on that dock watching the sunrise??? It stayed with me and still today, it is as clear as if it happened yesterday. And for anyone who knows me, if something like this stays with me, it will surely end up a novel or at the very least, in a novel of mine. Weighing heavy on my mind, the story unfolded rather quickly, practically wrote itself and I’m very proud of it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Much to my dismay, when we stopped at the same marina on our latest trip, he was no longer working there, apparently chasing an acting career. Go Thompson! See you in Hollywood!
So with all that said, today I will be giving away three copies of Sunrise Over Savannah eBooks and here’s how I’m gonna do it. Over the course of the morning, I will post three excerpts from the story. At the end of each excerpt, I will ask a question related to that particular excerpt. Starting at two o’clock this afternoon, you can posts your answers and everyone who answers all three questions correctly will be entered in the drawing. At five o’clock I will posts the correct answers and announce the winners.
You’ll need to check in multiple times because you have to get all three answers correct to be entered into the drawing.
February 15, 2014
I drew out a name from the hat and Trix was the lucky one! :D Congratulations!
I will have DSP staff add my book in your shelf. Hope you like it as much as you have expected
Others – You get another chance on the 15th! Because I will be on DSP’s FB page for an hour to do a live chat there. And there will be a giveaway included Be there between 12-2 hours EST (9-11 hours PST) and find Cardeno C. having a chat in the first hour and I will be in the next… Hope you decide to stop by.
Here’s the event link – https://www.facebook.com/events/620815741305949/
With this post, I bid adieu! It was fun chatting with you guys
February 14, 2014
I am Sid Love – the author of newly released DSP Book titled – “Holding on to Hope” and today I am here to celebrate this special moment of my life. After all, my dream of becoming a published author has finally come true!
What am I planning on doing here?
To spend some time with you guys and have a blast!
Let’s start, why don’t we have some music on, eh? Here’s my pick of song – “Applause” by Lady Gaga! I have bribed the DJ and he will be taking requests from all of you, so don’t be shy and let us know what song you think would set the party mood.
And since, it’s Valentine’s Day, it definitely calls for a double celebration. I love this day so much because I believe in it strongly So does my main character Bradley Parker and that belief strengthens when he meets his Mr. Right on the Valentine’s Day -
Bradley Parker has waited twenty years for Mr. Right, and on Valentine’s Day, he finally finds him. It’s love at first sight, and Brad even loses his virginity to the man of his dreams. But when he wakes up the next morning unable to remember anything—even what the man looked like—his best friend, Leslie, is convinced he imagined the whole thing. Brad knows he didn’t make up the best night of his life, but he has no idea of the danger he’s putting himself in as he struggles to recall the details of his perfect man. His search may lead him to parts of New York City he never dreamed existed and a war being waged in the shadows.
If you wish to ask me anything about me or the book or anything in general, please feel free to post your question in the comments below. I will try and make sure that it is answered.
Also, I will be giving away an e-copy of my book. Every commenter to my posts gets entered into the contest automatically so don’t forget to leave a comment!
January 15, 2014
Hello, Andrew Grey here ready to chat with all you amazing people. My latest novel, Dumped in Oz was released today. Here’s a link to make things easy if you need one. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4577
I thought I would start things off with a giveaway to get the discussion going. So here’s what I’d like to do. Dumped in Oz is all about finding your way in life and at one time or other we’ve all felt a little lost. So to enter to win a copy of Dumped in Oz, please comment about a time when you felt lost and what happened to change that for you. I’m looking forward to chatting with each of you.
Because of an opportunity he’d be a fool to turn down, Lyle Powers transfers to his company’s warehouse in central Kansas. The last thing he expects is to meet another gay man in the small town, let alone one who captures his interest.
Roger Kypers is a recovering alcoholic with a twelve-year-old daughter he only gets to see for part of the summer. Neither Lyle nor Roger is looking for a relationship, and they fumble at the start, yet emotions build as Roger shows Lyle the landmarks of Oz.
But when Roger’s wicked witch of an ex-wife threatens to take his daughter away for good if he doesn’t act “normally,” he’s faced with the challenge of letting her get away with it, or fighting to accept himself and standing up for what he knows is right.
January 11, 2014
Congrats to MaryMary, winner of an ebook copy of Cupcakes.
Just send me an email to seanmichaelwrites @ gmail . com (without the spaces) letting me know what email your Dreamspinner Press account is associated with and I’ll let them know to put Cupcakes on your bookshelf.
Thanks to everyone for sharing your favorite cupcakes with me
January 9, 2014
Tell me what your favorite cupcake is for a chance to win a copy of Cupcakes! (Recipes are not necessary, but encouraged.)
I’ll pull a winner tomorrow after noon so all time zones get a chance to comment.