September 2, 2014
For the next interview, I decided to talk to a more verbose character, Holden. Surely he’ll play along. Continue reading “An Interview With Holden” »
September 2, 2014
In honor of the release of Infected: The Long Weekend (and the temporary hiatus of the rest of the Infected titles – look for the re-release in October), I thought I’d check in with some of the characters in the Infected universe. First up, the man at the center of it all, Roan. Continue reading “An Interview With Roan” »
September 2, 2014
Hello! And welcome to the launch party for Infected: The Lost Weekend. I’m Andrea Speed, thank you for joining me. Infected: The Lost Weekend was released yesterday, and it’s available here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5408&osCsid=tdf9jnuplbmhntk31u9nfr2j25 It’s a free download, so why not take a chance, even if you’ve never read the series?
For those who have read the Infected series, this is canon, and occurs between the events of Infected: Undertow and Infected: Epitaph, although don’t expect a mention of it in Epitaph. (Because I wrote it out of sequence.) And as is usual with my stories, there’s a soundtrack for it, available to listen to here: http://andreaspeed.com/2014/infeted-the-lost-weekend-is-available-right-now-for-free/
Which means this is a great time to ask the first question of the day: Do you like these little weird extras, like soundtracks or wallpapers? What kind of bonus content would you like to see more of?
August 20, 2014
Thank you to all who entered, by telling me where you met your other half.
The winner of the eBook of Conflicted is Ardent Ereader. Your first date sounded lovely I will contact you off the blog about receiving the prize.
Those who kindly entered, but didn’t win the book, will be offered a bookmark and postcard.
To everyone who has taken the time to drop by, read my articles, and leave comments – thank you so much, I really appreciate your support.
That’s all, folks. Take care and goodnight.
August 20, 2014
Time for one more post before I draw the prize winner of a copy of Conflicted, in 45 minutes time. Here I’ve answered a few random interview questions. Now’s your chance to ask me anything you like, whether it be about writing in general, my current release, Conflicted, or about me personally.
Conflicted, is of course available from Dreamspinner Press in both eBook and Paperback, and is now also available from Amazon for Kindle.
When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head or is it built progressively?
I usually have a basic idea for the plot with a few important events in my head, and the rest of it builds progressively once I get started. Quite often I will write whole scenes or sections of dialogue for a part of the story that I haven’t yet got to, and then mark them for inclusion later.
How do you come up with the titles?
Occasionally, but not very often, the title comes to me when I get the idea for the story. More often, though, I will get several chapters into what I’m writing and gradually the idea for the title forms, which I might well tweak a few times before I’m happy with it.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Wade Kelly’s new release, Names Can Never Hurt Me. It’s a long book and I read it in two days. I couldn’t put the thing down. A real tugger at the heartstrings and I adored the second main character, RC. He was very real and it was easy to fall for him from the off, even though he didn’t look appealing in the beginning.
Do you see writing as a career?
I would like it to be. I have a full time job at the moment and initially, I see writing as a way to supplement my income and be able to treat myself. I would love to be able to write full time and quit the day job. It was always a dream, but with one book published and (hopefully) more to come, I would like to think that dream’s getting a little bit closer !
Food – well I love all sorts and I like trying new things to eat. My favorite is Mexican, but I love Chinese, Italian and Indian food as well, and I enjoy making up new dishes and trying new combinations.
Colors – purple has always been my favorite color, but I really love green as well.
Music – my tastes are quite diverse. I enjoy rock music and used to be a bit of a headbanger. I love country and western, some modern chart music, classical and opera and even trance which is perfect for working out to. There’s not a great deal I don’t like.
Favorite subject in school? Why?
Geography. I was fascinated by different countries, how mountains formed, what caused earthquakes and so on. I liked it so much I would make up my own geography projects at home and draw maps. My friends thought I was weird!
What do you always order in a favorite restaurant?
I never order the same thing twice. I like variety. My favorite restaurant is part of a UK chain called Chiquitos (Mexican of course). Each time I go I pick a different starter, main and dessert and try a new cocktail from their vast menu.
August 20, 2014
Now it’s time for a giveaway. This will be an eBook of Conflicted. As yet I don’t have a back catalogue to offer, I’m sorry to say, but one day…fingers crossed…
To be in with a chance to get a free copy of Conflicted, tell me where you met your other half, or a previous other half. Paul and Greg get together in a bar. I met my ex-husband at a martial arts club (he was my instructor).
Have you met someone in an interesting place? Best answer will be the winner.
And there’s more…
I recently had some promo goodies for Conflicted made up in the form of postcards and bookmarks. The artwork for the book is by the amazing Maria Fanning and I was delighted with the results. I’ve been sending a few of these out to people who have contacted me through Facebook and Twitter over the past few weeks.
If you haven’t connected with me on FB or Twitter, you can find me at the links below:-
I have a blog too, which I post regular updates on about what I’m doing, and occasionally host other authors too, so please check it out, follow it if you wish, and keep in touch:-
And back to the goodies. If you would like a bookmark and (autographed) postcard, please message me. You can either comment on this post, get in touch through FB or Twitter, or simply email me:-
I would be delighted to send you one of each item, wherever you happen to be in the world, so don’t be shy – just ask!
August 20, 2014
Now for an interview with one of my main characters. I thought you might like to meet Greg Buchanan and find out a little more about him. I would have liked to get Paul here as well, but he can be a bad-tempered individual and he doesn’t like talking about himself.
Greg Buchanan:- So I’m second best? Thanks, Louise, that really makes a guy feel special. *laughs* I’m just kidding.
LL:- Well, I know you have a sense of humor. So, where shall we start? When did you first meet Paul?
GB:- It was a couple of years before the first events in Conflicted. The Buchanans adopted me when I was seventeen, so it’s six years since I moved to Stockton.
LL:- What led to you being adopted by the family?
GB:- I’d been living on the streets after my parents died. I ran into trouble when I found some money someone had dropped and another guy thought he’d rather have it for his next fix than let me eat. I got stabbed and I ended up in hospital. Mum…I mean Agnes Buchanan, was doing charity work in the hospital and she was determined to help me out. I was pretty lucky.
LL:- They are a lovely family. I know you went to school with your adoptive brother and sister, Jamie and Janice. Did you meet Paul in school?
GB:- No, he was expelled before I got there. *sniggers* Fighting, can you believe that? Anyway, I ran into a few of his friends at school, but I didn’t meet him until, maybe three years later. I had my first car – an orange TVR Cerbera. Loved that beast – I was gutted when it got smashed up. I’m getting side-tracked. I went along to a car show with Jamie and Janice and Dad. Paul and his friends were there. He didn’t even have a car then and he was acting like a complete idiot, just being loud and getting in people’s faces.
LL:- Jumping forward to the first car event in Conflicted, how did you feel about Paul damaging Jamie’s car?
GB:- Well, I didn’t know it was him at the time. Jamie was heartbroken. He’d only had the BMW about five minutes and then to find it with scratches all down the side – I know how I’d have felt if it was my car. I wanted to punch whoever did it. But I only found out Paul was responsible when he confessed to me. I was pretty shocked, but he felt bad about it and he apologized to Jamie and offered to pay for the damage, so I let it go.
LL:- Just like that?
GB:- Well…um…I was sort of…getting fond of him by then. *reddens and coughs* He did the right thing by owning up and saying sorry. He realized how childish and spiteful it was.
LL:- Tell us what happened when you first saw Paul in Lambert’s, the gay bar you both went to.
GB:- *laughs* That was pretty funny. No one knew about me then and when I saw him, I initially cringed, because I thought he’d run off and tell everyone about Greg Buchanan being gay. And then I thought – wait a minute – what’s he doing in here? He was about to walk over to some bloke he’d been gawking at and he saw me and changed direction, so he obviously didn’t want his secret getting out either. He looked pretty annoyed about it, as if I’d ruined his night just by being there.
LL:- So what happened next?
GB:- Um…well…we talked. We hadn’t had a conversation since we got in that fight at the car show you asked me about earlier. I felt awful about the crash and Paul’s friend and everything. I couldn’t help thinking maybe I was responsible. So I told Paul I was sorry for what happened. I thought he still blamed me and I could tell he was really cut up about it.
LL:- Could you tell us what made you keep going back to Paul after the first time you “hooked up”? You said yourself that he was hard work.
GB:- Ha ha, well he was really hard work. He’d never had a proper relationship and he was determined to keep it that way. I think he was telling that to himself as much as he was me. When Abby and Stu, who he lodges with, went away for a week and he had the house to himself, he decided we’d have some fun…you know, the cats are away so the mice can play, type of thing. When they came back, that would be the end of it. It didn’t turn out quite like that though, I’m happy to say.
LL:- Was it difficult telling your family about Paul?
GB:- Not as difficult as I expected. It was quite funny to see Jamie and Janice’s reactions to me getting it on with one of the enemy, so to speak.
LL:- One final question. How do you feel about what Paul’s doing now?
GB:- I’m incredibly proud of him and I’m not just saying that because I love him. He’s starting to be successful and he’s grown a lot. He’s more open, at least with me and his close friends. He’s much less angry too, as if that huge chip he had on his shoulder has melted away.
LL:- Well, a lot of that is down to you, Greg. Thank you for talking to me today. I wish you and Paul all the happiness in the world.
GB:- Thanks a lot. Now, all you people out there make sure you buy the book and find out what me and Paul get up to! *smiles winningly* Louise will post the links below again.
eBook – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5329
Question: I hope you all enjoyed meeting Greg. Is there a question any of you would like to ask me or Greg, relating to Conflicted?
August 20, 2014
I’ve submitted a few things recently and am waiting for the “yay or nay”. I’ve written some short stories lately to send in for anthologies – one of which I got the answer on this morning. I have a story accepted for Dreamspinner Press’s upcoming “Advent” anthology so I was delighted to get the acceptance email on the very morning of my first release.
I’ve also submitted a novella about a hapless guy named Rhys, who has lost his job and been dumped by his cheating boyfriend in the space of one week. On the spur of the moment, he takes off on a trip to Peru (something I have longed to do and even bought books about it in the hopes I might get there one day). Disaster strikes, but Rhys is rescued by the proverbial knight in the form of the very sexy Rafael.
I’m waiting to hear about a full length novel I submitted, based on the paranormal. Fantasy, vampires, ghosts and other imaginative themes are one of my favorites to write, and my story The Eye of the Beholder is about a cruel young man who runs a modeling agency with his aunt. Vince’s mother died in childbirth, but as a witch, she returns in the form of a ghost to set him on the right track and make him realize that there is more to life than beauty. Vince turns ugly overnight and must try to find love to lift the spell. Despite months of searching, no one will look twice at him, with the exception of lonely male vampire named Peter. Vince, still having learned nothing, decides to use Peter to lift the spell, not realizing that Peter is using him in return. Against all odds, the pair fall in love, but they seemed destined to be torn apart.
In the planning stages, is a story about the victim of domestic abuse, which I mentioned earlier. I have notes and a few scenes for that, but it’s likely to be a few months before a get started on it. Another idea has come to the fore and is demanding to be written first. I’ve been trying to put it off, but no, it’s determined to fill my head with scenes and dialogue until I get on and write it! I had the idea for a story set in the early 1990s, based on the rock bands of that era – long hair, spandex, screaming guitars… That was my era too. I was a big fan of the second wave of glam rock and went to dozens of concerts, my favourite venue being Nottingham Rock City in the UK, which will feature in the story. At least I have plenty of experience to draw on for that one! I’ve almost finished the first chapter of it.
I post news on my current and up-coming works on my blog and my Facebook page regularly, below:-
Facebook – www.facebook.com/louiselyonsauthor
I write in the genre of MM Romance, but within that, I write Contemporary, Coming of Age, Supernatural/Paranormal. My release, Conflicted, is Contemporary:-
eBook – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5329
Paperback - http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5330
Question: What is your favourite genre and what are you reading now?
August 20, 2014
This is something I’ll be talking about quite a bit over the next few weeks on my blog tour. I get my inspiration from lots of different things. It could be the lyrics of a song, or from someone or something that I see. It might be from my own experience. For instance, an idea for a future story is based on a young guy who has escaped from a situation involving domestic violence, which is something I went through many years ago – and happily escaped from.
The inspiration for Conflicted came from my own love of all things motor. I’m a bit of a tomboy and I love cars and motorcycles. I have a lovely sporty car and am a member of an owners club, so I get to do some of the things that Greg and Paul do in the book. I attend car shows and exhibit my car and I enjoy watching drag racing at a nearby venue. Going to these types of events gave me the idea for the book and because I’d already been to so many of them, I didn’t have to do much in the way of research.
I chose two of my favourite car models for Greg and Paul – a yellow Nissan R33 Skyline for Greg and a black Ford Capri for Paul. My first two cars were Ford Capris, so although Paul complains about not having much money and having to buy a wreck to fix up, he does love the car really.
Conflicted buy link - http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5329
You might not be an enthusiast, but maybe you have a favourite car too? My pride and joy is a Mitsubishi FTO affectionately known as Ed (the silver car pictured).
Question: What model of car do you like and why?
August 20, 2014
Now for an excerpt from Conflicted. As you might have gathered from the blurb, Paul and Greg aren’t friends. In fact they have always disliked each other and kept their distances. The pair have only recently discovered that each other is gay and that none of their friends and family know about it. They run into each other again in a gay bar and things go a little differently than they except.
Greg went to the bar to get a beer and was just handing over the money when he noticed the very man he had been hoping to avoid was right next to him, nursing his own bottle of Budweiser.
“I thought you went to a bar in Stevenage,” Paul commented without looking at Greg.
“I couldn’t be bothered driving over there tonight,” Greg said and gulped some of his beer. He leaned against the bar and glanced at Paul. His gray T-shirt looked about three sizes too small and only emphasized the size of his shoulders and broad back. Intentional, no doubt. His faded jeans were even tighter, and clung to his muscular thighs and firm ass as if they were painted on. Damn, he was hot, and Greg wanted to kick himself for thinking that.
“Not even in the new car?” Paul turned to look at him and raised an eyebrow. His eyes were deep brown and piercing, as if he were looking into Greg rather than at him.
“Nice, by the way. Shame we don’t all have rich parents to shower us with toys like that.”
It was just what Greg expected – a brief compliment quickly crushed by an insult. He was immediately pissed.
“You know nothing about it,” he growled.
Paul shrugged. “I can’t blame you. I wouldn’t have said no either.”
“Listen, Appleton, I won’t pretend I’m not smug as hell driving around in an R34, but I didn’t ask for it and to be honest, I would rather have bought a car I can afford with my own money, which I do earn, by the way. I don’t just live off of them like a fucking leech!”
“Alright, chill, I’m sorry,” Paul said.
“Yeah, well, it gets up my nose that people think I’m rich and spoiled when I work hard like anybody else. I can’t help the fact that I got adopted by the Buchanans. I came from an ordinary family, same as most people, even you.”
“My family was anything but ordinary,” Paul grumbled. “So how come you were adopted anyway?”
“You actually want to know?” Greg asked in surprise.
“Yeah, why not?”
“Okay, we might as well get a seat, then.” Greg turned away from the bar and headed for a corner away from the main bustle, leaving Paul to follow if he felt like it. Greg wasn’t particularly delighted by the prospect of spending more time with him, but since he was here, there wasn’t much else Greg could do. Annoyingly, his pulse sped up as he made his way to an unoccupied corner bench and sat down. He chewed his lip. Paul was still at the bar, speaking to someone he apparently knew, but a moment later, he moved away and walked toward Greg. Fuck, those jeans were tight, and Greg would have bet Paul had no underwear on either.
Jesus, don’t stare. He shifted his eyes up – to bulging pecs. Heat rushed to his groin, and he tried to think about something else. The last thing he wanted was a hard-on, but too long with no fun except for his own hands, and now the company of the hottest guy in the pub, had him stiffening regardless. Greg wondered what the chances were. Would Paul be up for it? Greg knew nothing about him, but he couldn’t imagine him being shy. Greg would bet Paul would shag anything that looked twice at him – or certainly play around with them.
“So? You were going to tell me where you came from,” Paul prompted, dropping onto the seat a little distance away, facing Greg.
“Uh…um…yeah, well, my parents were just ordinary – my dad was a builder and my mum was a waitress. They died in a car crash when I was sixteen.”
“Sorry to hear that,” Paul said with a frown. “Did they treat you okay?”
“My parents? Of course, why wouldn’t they?” That comment puzzled Greg, but he carried on talking. Anything to stop himself imagining Paul’s hand, which was gripping his beer bottle, wrapped around Greg’s cock instead. “They had a huge mortgage, the house got repossessed after they died, and the system didn’t want to know. I lived on the streets for a year, then ended up in hospital, and Agnes Buchanan, who was there doing charity work, took pity on me. And the rest is history.”
“That was lucky.” Paul nodded. “What put you in hospital?”
“A bloke with a knife.”
“So, how did you end up living with…Stewart Sanders, is it?” Greg asked.
“It’s a long story,” Paul grunted. “I left home when I was sixteen, and he and Abby took me in.”
“Why did you leave?”
Paul scowled and drained the rest of his beer before answering. “It’s not important.”
“Humor me,” Greg said, genuinely interested.
“I’m not here to entertain you!” Paul snapped and got to his feet.
“Hey…” Greg protested. Hell, the guy had a chip on his shoulder. A huge chip. And he was about to walk away from Greg just when he was beginning to convince himself that they were getting along, and that he might possibly get his hand inside those tight jeans later. But Paul was already walking to the bar.
“Shit!” Greg growled under his breath. He was annoyed that Paul walked away and more annoyed still that he was disappointed. It had seemed like they might be starting to move past what happened at Octane, and Greg hoped the stupid feud might have been forgotten too.
Paul hadn’t gone far. He had wedged himself between two men at the bar and was waiting to be served another drink. Greg stared at his ass until he turned around again and then quickly dropped his eyes and pretended interest in the last mouthful of beer in his bottle.
“Sorry.” Paul appeared at the other side of the table, placed a fresh bottle of Bud in front of Greg, and then stepped over his legs and took up his original seat, maybe a foot closer to Greg than before.
“No, I’m sorry. I suppose I come across as if I’m prying, but really, I’m just interested.”
The corner of Paul’s mouth twitched up slightly into a hint of a smile. “Just don’t ask me about family.”
“Okay. So can I ask about your job at the club? Don’t they need you on a Friday night?”
“They rotate the weekend days off. It’s my first in the month I’ve been there. It’s a good job – decent pay too, better than the shitty warehouse I was in before.”
“Yeah, I imagine bouncers get paid pretty well.” Greg nodded. “Do you have to use your fists much?” Damn, Greg, what the hell did you say that for? He cursed himself.
Paul grinned. “Not really. You get more trouble with drunken girls trying to slobber all over you.” He pulled a face. “If there’s real trouble, you diffuse it rather than add to it. I do kickboxing and jujitsu to help with that.”
“Cool,” Greg said. It was something they had in common. “I did kickboxing for a few years. I’ve been thinking about taking up something else too.”
Paul nodded and took another drink. Greg watched the movement of his throat as he swallowed and imagined his lips were wrapped around his cock instead of the bottle. He shifted awkwardly and rested his arm across his lap, hoping not to draw attention to the fact that he was getting uncomfortably hard. Paul lowered the bottle, and his eyes slid from Greg’s face, down his chest, and fixed on exactly what he was hoping Paul wouldn’t look at. He grinned and trapped the tip of his tongue between his teeth. Oh fuck. He was checking Greg out and way more obviously than Greg was checking him.
Should Greg ignore it, or go with it? Did he seriously want to get off with Paul? How difficult would that make things if they ran into each other at shows or something in the future? What the hell would the family say if they found out? What on earth was Greg thinking when he considered taking a chance with a person who went out of his way to make trouble for himself and others?
Greg thought for another minute and realized that it was going to be the only chance he had, at least for that evening. Besides, who was going to know? Paul didn’t want anyone finding out about him anymore than Greg did.
“What are you looking at?” Greg grunted as a way of starting a sort of flirting interaction.
“Isn’t it obvious? Like my company, do you?” Paul responded.
“It seems like it, doesn’t it?”
Paul arched an eyebrow and leaned back. He shifted his ass forward on the seat and drew attention to the fact that the ridiculously tight jeans were virtually crushing him. Greg could make out the head of his cock pushing against the fabric. He wondered if it was his imagination or if he was more turned on than he’d ever been in his life.
Question: Do you think these guys are a good match? Greg – blond, blue-grey eyes, all muscles and with a twinkle in his eye, and Paul – dark and brooding, brown eyes, tough guy who tells himself love isn’t worth it, because you’ll only get hurt?