It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been in this very spot! Touch Me Gently has done quite well since its release last year in September. It makes me so happy to know that so many people have enjoyed the story of Logan and Kaden. They hold a very special place in my heart.
But tonight I’m here to talk to you about my newest Dreamspinner Press release, Chasing Seth and give you a little insight into why I write what I do as well as offer two free copies of Chasing Seth up to you all for a chance to win one. So sit back and enjoy the next few hours, feel free to talk, ask questions and just relax!
I have always loved shape shifter stories. They are definitely the first thing I look for when I go hunting for new books to read. And I know that there are probably some thinking, ‘Not another one!’, but I had to throw my hat in the ring so to speak with my own version of the shape shifter world.
Chasing Seth came to me while I was sitting down and watching a t.v. show I enjoy. A guilty pleasure of mine called Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman. There is a Cheyenne Indian in the show named Dancing Cloud and in one of the later seasons he’s forced to live on a reservation. Something he said triggered the initial start of the story, about white men and their disregard for the earth and its creatures. The story evolved from there and became what you’ll, hopefully, be reading or have already read. J
The story line follows a veterinarian named Seth Davies who moves to a small town in Wyoming named Senaka where he meets the most infuriating man. Sheriff Kasey Whitedove is what most people would call prejudiced when it comes to white men. He’s Native American and extremely proud of his heritage. He believes white men know nothing of the land or care of animals. When he finds Seth has bought the only animal clinic in town, he immediately shows his dislike of Seth and his skin color.
Kasey’s people are shifters, wolf shifters, and it is rare for them to find their one true mate. After an accident, Kasey discovers the man he despises is in fact his true mate, the one meant for him. In a fit of anger, Kasey almost destroys any chance Seth may have given him. Seth’s past is fraught with pain and fear and he doesn’t trust easily, but something inside of him pushes him to allow Kasey the opportunity to prove his case.
I hope you enjoy the book and there’s still more to come tonight so check back soon. I’ll be around to answer any questions you may have. Also, for those who order the paperback copies, the first twenty will actually be signed by me. So place your order quickly if you’d like to have an autographed copy!
It’s finally here! Release day! I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally see “The Dream of a Thousand Nights” on the Dreamspinner Press “New Releases” page! It’s been a three-year journey from the first bit of inspiration to publication, and I’m so happy to see the finished product at last. The editors here have been fabulous to work with, and, oh what a cover from Anne Cain! I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect image to capture the essence of the story of Prince Neriah and the Jinn, Tamir.
Throughout the day today, I’ll be posting excerpts and writing about the inspiration for “Dream” under the “excerpts” and “virtual book signing” areas of the DSP blog. I’ll also tell you a little bit about the origin of the Jinn (a.k.a. “genies” or “Djinn”) and how their myth has evolved since ancient times. I’ll tell you about my own version of the Jinn in both “Dream” and its predecessor, “The Prince and the Jinn.”
I’ll also be letting you know what I’m currently working on, and about my next book, “Blue Notes,” which will be published late this year by Dreamspinner. And of course, don’t forget to purchase and download your copy of “The Dream of a Thousand Nights” here on Dreamspinner Press!
Feel free to ask me questions of comment on the blog entries – I’ll be checking in throughout the day!
Folks, sorry for the gap — we had something of an emergency around here, so I’ve missed a post or two, maybe three. Including the contest, durn it. By way of apology, I’m going to direct everyone who swung by here to this site for a present. It’s a short short, and my gift to you for your patience. Normally I do a prompt fic on days like today, but given the issues, it didn’t work out. This story, now in a pretty package, was one such prompt fic. The prompt did have some non-romance elements, and to explain would be a spoiler. Read it, and if you want to know, email me at PD.Singer@live.com.
I’m also going to leave you with another little snippet of Jude and Tommy.
“I put the book upstairs because it was getting too messy. I made photocopies of the recipes I use the most.” He started another sauté pan heating, and I plated the pork. “A lot of my customers come to eat your food.”
I didn’t know what to say. Thank you? Oh good? Do it right then? “I’m glad they keep coming back.” We skirted each other carefully, me with loaded hands and him holding the book against his chest, protecting it from the steam hissing from the pan.
Imogen bustled away with my efforts, but Tommy wasn’t turning loose of the book. I wasn’t seeing stiff upper lip, or a stiff anything else, but I didn’t know what was going on. “How would you like that inscribed?” I asked again.
Glancing down at his pans, Tommy looked like he was blushing, though it could have just been flushing from the heat of the kitchen.
“Or have you changed your mind?”
“No, I haven’t. I—” He looked up at me with indecision and something else. “If you sign it, then you’ll go, and this will be over and I’ll never cook another dish with Jude Marshall, and—” Tommy sputtered to a stop. “You must think I’m a right prat.”
“A bit of a fanboy, but not a prat.” I tried to recall how awful prathood was.
He handed me the book. “You decide. You just came in for a quiet bowl of soup, and here I am wasting your time.” The pans needed all his attention. Right.
“No, you aren’t, and I don‟t have to leave. Not if you don’t want me to.” Sam and Marcie wouldn’t miss me, and Tommy would. I scrawled Try chervil on the pea soup sometime and my name on the flyleaf.
“I don’t, if you don’t mind staying.” His words were hesitant but his hands were sure, which relieved me; I didn’t want to have to treat a burn. He had chef’s hands, marked, rough, and with the extra padding nature gives the fool who tries to pick up hot objects too often. Mine had softened with time away from the big gas range.
“So, are some of your soups rowdier than others?” Could I get him to laugh?
“My soups are all very well-behaved. It’s the customers you’ve got to watch. You wouldn’t believe some of them, slagging off poor, innocent bowls of soup.” The glint was back, and so was the dimple. “Ever had that sort in your place?”
“Awful, just awful,” I solemnly agreed, trying not to burst out laughing. “They’re hardly worthy to be served.” Then we did laugh, and I felt forgiven.
Check out the rest here, and thanks for coming by!
Good night, and see you soon! For more news and tidbits, visit me here.
Just to give you a little taste for Prep Work, here’s an excerpt from Jude, who admits to having no “brain-to-mouth” filter.
I was desperate to put something in my mouth with no audience watching. Nobody but me would know what the sip from the glass was, no one else was entitled to an opinion of the contents of my plate, no one was there to tell me, “Have another bite. Do it again.”
No camera tracked every scrap from plate to palate tonight; I could not take another request for a do-over of some tidbit that only starving lunatics would willingly put in their mouths. Maybe Renfield would want another taste of the morsels I was expected to eat until Sam the Sadist and Marcie the Monster were satisfied that the light values and the grotesquerie of my meal were properly captured on film, but I did not. I wanted good, honest lager, poured with just the right amount of foam on the head, and a snack of something that the English-speaking world recognized as bread with a bit of cheese that didn’t smell like dead men’s feet. I wanted to chase it with a pickle that looked like it began life in a garden, not the bottom end of a cave in ancient Gondwanaland. And damn it, no one was going to take pictures of it going into my mouth. I would chew in privacy for what might be the first time in weeks.
I sounded ungrateful, didn’t I? I had the best job in the world—I went from continent to continent eating my way through the best cuisine in the neighborhood, telling the camera and therefore the folks down home how delicious it all was. Or how stomach turning. Or how the food in Parma, Italy stacked up to the same dish served at Rosie’s Diner in Parma, Ohio. I’ve been from Phoenix, Arizona way past Tahoma, to Bombay, to the back-ass of beyond Thailand and Kenya, munching my way through whatever the locals offered me. Sometimes I thought they were having way too much fun at my expense. Sometimes they’d fight me for what was on the plate. Sometimes I felt like an unmitigated ass for taking even a mouthful away from people who had to work too fucking hard to collect enough food for family groups who were way too kind about taking in the ugly American who couldn’t even say “thank you” properly in their language. I always worried about it coming out as the local variant of “fuck your mother.” I wasn’t much of a linguist.
I didn’t have to practice words I didn’t understand here. We might be divided by a common tongue, but any insult I offered to someone’s mother would be on purpose, because we were all speaking English, more or less. Me, probably less. At least by local—UK—standards.
But that’s okay; I wasn’t saying a word here. I was drinking a pint of lager—that’s “beer” to my fellow Yanks and “one type of beer” to people who are accustomed to a lot more choices—that’s sitting at the perfect temperature, not too warm, not too cool, and not explaining to anyone or their camera about the best way to cellar the stuff, something I’d become an expert on about seven minutes before the camera rolled.
The traveling circus that is Jude Marshall Tastes had been left behind for the moment, and I had no doubt that Sadist and Monster were using the hotel room to its fullest capacity before we flew back to the US. I would return later and try not to breathe deeply of their escapades. It was just for one night; we couldn’t connect flights from Nowhereskavi to New York without the layover. Sharing a hotel room kept the expenses down, which was entirely necessary both because it was the end of this filming tour and because—have you ever priced a hotel room in London? The producers should thank us for watching the money. Oh, you thought I was the tall guy with the earring and the big budget?
This sort travelogue has a long history, though it’s more recent that the focus has been so completely on food. I found us a little clip of Michael Palin right in the middle of one of the linguistic debacle Jude fears. Wouldn’t you love to know what’s making his companions giggle that much?
Link to video Sorry, this blog doesn’t seem to love youtube code.
Part of Prep Work takes place in a pub in London; Tommy Bell is the landlord of the Good Man. The pub has been in his family a long time, but the sign is not the original and is missing the cheery artwork that is so characteristic of English pubs.
There’s a wry old joke that I built upon and it goes like this:
The village pub was called “The Good Man” but the sign was blank above the lettering, which was a break with tradition. For hundreds of years the pictures on pub signs directed a partially illiterate population to the ale. The locals were used to it, but a traveler came through one day and asked the landlord, “Why does your sign have no picture?”
The landlord explained, “I don’t know what to tell the sign painter—I’ve never seen a good man.”
Pub names are descriptive: the Elephant and Castle, which probably started out as the Infanta de Castile, demands a much jollier picture than some Spanish princess:
The art should tell you exactly where you are:
although some of us Americans may not recognize the game so much.
Have you ever had a drink in a pub, or do you go now and then? What’s your favorite pub? Is the food good?
Heading off now for dinner with my sister. I’ll answer any remaining questions later tonight, but before I go, here are our prize winners!
Autographed book: Hope
iTunes gift card: Lou
Starbucks gift card: Beatrice
Atlanta/Georgia goodies: Sharon
Winners, please send me an email at email@example.com so I can get your prizes out to you.
Thanks to all who stopped by! I’ll be at Dreamspinner’s Goodreads page Saturday afternoon and will have another book giveaway then, so hope you’ll come by for that.
Beatrice asked what inspired me to write this novel.
The inspiration for Sand & Water came from two primary sources. First is the song from which the title comes, “Sand and Water” by Beth Nielsen Chapman, which she wrote after her husband died. This verse in particular:
All alone I heal this heart of sorrow
All alone I raise this child
Flesh and bone, he’s just
Bursting towards tomorrow
And his laughter fills my world and wears your smile
This is the basis for John’s story, his wife having died and left him to raise their daughter alone. Beth makes his life richer and happier, but sometimes it’s a double-edged sword to have something that tangible reminding him of what he lost.
Bryan’s story comes from a real-life friend who went through a similar experience with her husband when they were newlyweds. I won’t go into detail here (it’s a pretty big story spoiler!), but the resolution the men reach in Sand & Water is very much like what happened with my friend.
The rest of the story covers the universal subjects of grief, love, and family. Both John and Bryan are just emerging from years of sadness and reaching the point where they can find love again, and both are very close to their families, who have a strong presence in the story. I enjoyed exploring all the characters and learning the ways they fit together. I especially liked writing the kids, who always seem to inject an extra layer of energy and fun. The story is tinged with melancholy throughout, so that burst of happiness helps keep things on a more even keel.
Thanks, Beatrice! I hope that answered your question.
Opening the floor for any questions YOU might have, whether it’s how I got into this business (dumb luck) or when I might have another novel out (don’t hold your breath). Ask away!
I was born and raised in Georgia and have lived my whole life here. Other than the occasional day when the entire outdoors is a sauna or the air is so thick with pollen you can’t breathe, I love it. I can’t imagine living anywhere else for very long.
Sand & Water is set primarily on Tybee Island, but John and Bryan spend a rather notable week in Atlanta too, and I use ”local color” from both places, both real and fictionalized: restaurants, the Tybee pier and beach, Sweetwater beer. I like it when the setting of a story is a much a part of things as the plot or the characters. Obviously I have a soft spot for Georgia, but I try to include those kinds of details in every story.
If you’ve been to Georgia, what were your favorite things? Where would you go (or go again) if you had the chance? What kinds of story locations do you enjoy the most?
So, as promised, I have Things And Stuff to give away. How can you snag one of them? Just comment on any of my posts here today, and your name will go in the bucket. If there’s something in particular you want (or don’t want), tell me in your comment, and if you’re a winner I’ll do my best to match you up with your choice.
Freebies up for grabs:
A personally autographed paperback copy of Sand & Water
A $15 iTunes gift card
A $10 Starbucks gift card
A bag full of local Georgia/Atlanta goodies
Comment away, and good luck!