LANDFALL blog takeover – a hot beach excerpt. Sun and sand!

April 5, 2015

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Kate Pavelle here, with Sean and Asbjorn on their tropical vacation. Since some of you were a bit chilled from my earlier out-take, here’s a taste of the salty warmth. The sun isn’t the only thing that burns a lot hotter down there, too. (Find the book at http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6215). Comment on this post to win one of my free e-books (your choice which one!)

TROPICAL WATERS EXCERPT

The good part about living on the beach was the ability to stumble into the waves and wash off right after making love. Sean smiled at the memory of having done exactly that. The bad part about living at the beach was bright sun in your eyes if you happened to have rolled from under the tarp overnight.
Sean stood and stretched. It promised to be another beautiful day, with nary a cloud in the sky. He could hear the crashing of the surf nearby. A brisk morning breeze rose, cooling his skin and raising goose bumps. The sudden chill alerted him to the fullness of his bladder.
A full bladder while camping on a deserted island meant returning his morning water into the ocean. And if he was down there already, he figured he might as well catch some fish for breakfast. They would still be in the shallows now, and if not, he’d check out the reef.
Sean pulled on his swim trunks and strapped his knife to the outside of his left calf. He checked his fishing spear, picked up his facemask, snorkel, and his flippers, and shook Asbjorn’s shoulder. “Rise and shine, sleeping beauty! I’m going fishing. Just so you know.”
“Be careful,” Asbjorn grumbled. “Sharks feed in the morning.”
“Okay.”
“Don’t forget to drink some water,” Asbjorn called out.
Sean rolled his eyes but bit back a mother-hen comment as he pulled a lukewarm bottle of water out of a plastic bin. He drank some, leaving plenty for Asbjorn. They would both need it.
He skipped down the sand with a grin on his face. What a night, and what an early morning! The sky to the east still had that sweet pastel tinge that told him it was barely an hour after sunrise. What hunger, too, and he didn’t want to face another peanut butter and jam sandwich anytime soon. He waded in hip-deep, where the surf no longer tried to shred the skin off his legs and where the waves only bobbed him up and down, and looked up and down the shoreline. If he swam out to the still line of breakers, he’d find the reef they’d had to steer past on their way in. There was fish to be had out there.
Sean emptied his bladder, put on flippers and a mask, and seated the snorkel in his mouth. He set the spear gun against his hip and stretched the rubber band above the spear, checking the line and clicking the safety on. Then he pushed off into the mild waves, facedown, and looked around. The water under him was clear enough for a close shot, and he did see a short silver fish with a forked black tail dart away. It wasn’t big enough to eat, though. He moved on.
The propelled himself through the water with languid kicks. There was no need to hurry. This was the time to steady his breathing and slow his heart rate. The calmer he was, the longer his breath would last, and the longer he could stay underwater.
The reef sat in about fifteen feet of water, just as he expected. Sean took a few deep breaths, looking at the still bottom. At this depth he could no longer see the distracting flickers of light and shadow, of the mesmerizing wave pattern that had held his attention in the shallows. The water around him was clear, receding into blue mist farther away. He filled his lungs with air and submerged with just the gentlest, slowest flick of his flippers. The world under the waves was silent, and the temperature was cool, but not so cold that he’d wish for a wetsuit.
Sean scanned all directions for company. There were no sharks, but he saw a flat fish. The reef was to his right, jagged, alive with bright colors and fleeting movement. Blue and yellow angelfish glided by as colorful little fish played in the anemones. Some were big enough to eat, but too pretty by far, and it occurred to Sean that he knew absolutely nothing about which species might be endangered and which were fair game.
This was not, after all, the same as spearfishing with his father and sisters in Micronesia.

LANDFALL DSP takeover – YOU won a special prize!

April 5, 2015

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Kate Pavelle with “Landfall” here (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6215). This last book of the Fall Trilogy revolves around the following premise: Sean won a powerboat in a mail-order sweepstakes, and gave it to Asbjorn. The catch: the boat wasn’t “as advertised.” Those “claim your special prize” offers are still around. You win something, a camera or a free stay in a resort, and you go to claim it, but they sit you down for a time-share vacation resort sales pitch. So, tell me. What was the most interesting or most enticing thing you’ve been offered to lure you out like that? Answer this question, and your name gets entered into a free e-book drawing! (My book of your choice.)

My special wins: pens, watches, “free 4 day vacation” at various resorts, a camera… and yes, my parents once won a motorboat.

Your turn!

LANDFALL takeover – Sean was so sick of winter…

April 5, 2015

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Kate Pavelle here, gleeful over the fact that “Landfall” is out! Despite the sunny cover, it starts with the unrelenting winter most of us have experienced. Here’s a little out-take:

Sean shivered against the icy wind and turned the collar of his parka all the way up. It almost met his knit watch cap, the one he’d borrowed from Asbjorn before they left for his first sword class. He sure hoped kenjutsu was vigorous and would warm him up. He hoped Margaret would pull them all into her kitchen and offer them tea, or even better, hot chocolate. Her husband was very kind to give him and Asbjorn a sword lesson on a Sunday. Their school schedule was crazy and they haven’t seen their friends – and yes, Ken-sensei and Margaret counted as friends – in weeks.
“Come on, I got to show you something,” Asbjorn said as they trudged from their car across the unshoveled driveway. “It’s in the back.”
Sean grumbled as he righted his sword bag that was slung over his shoulder. It didn’t sit right over his padded and quilted coat, and the carry strap kept slipping off his shoulder.
“Better be good,” he said, but he let Asbjorn nudged his elbow off the roofed walkway that connected the garage to the house and onto an expanse of pristine snow. Sean knew there was a flagstone path down there somewhere, down under the white stuff that reached past the top of his boots. The huffs of their breath and the icy kiss of snowflakes against his cheeks was punctuated by the crunching snow unfer their boots. He tuned it out. They were breaking path where no one has walked before. Like explorers, forging on through a wild and exotic place.
Ten more feet, and they came level with the back of the garage on the right and the house on the left.
Sean stopped. Asbjorn was right behind him, not quite touching but close enough to feel.
Silence descended.
No footsteps through the snow, no labored breathing, no second thoughts. Even the wind stilled in the pines across the yard.
*Click-clack.*
*Click-clack.*
Sean turned to Asbjorn and glanced up four inches, meeting his gaze with a questioning quirk of his eyebrow.
“Go ahead,” Asbjorn whispered. A small, excited smile tugged on the corners of his mouth.
Sean registered his husband’s open jacket and bare head, the way his blond hair collected the stray snowflakes, the casual love of cold that let him ignore the miserable winter weather. True to his Viking ancestors, was Asbjorn.
Sean looked around. He listened to the silence interrupted by the click-clack sound of something… mechanical. But what, and why?
Few more steps through the snow. He tripped over something and righted himself just in time. There were boulders around, he recalled. Boulders and statues and stone lanterns, and the path meandered a bit, this way, then that. The white colonial house was to his left. A sliding door led out to a wooden porch and the steps led down into the Japanese garden. The pond in the middle of the lawn was now frozen and covered with snow. He remembered all that, but he didn’t remember a stone cistern, rectangular in shape, that edged the side of the porch.
*Click-clack.*
*Click-clack.”
A sudden gust of wind threw a spray of fine and bitter snow into his face, blinding him. Sean suppressed a curse and focused on the clean, fresh taste of ice in his mouth. He wiped his eyes with his gloved hand. How come snow had a flavor at all? It wasn’t at all like the woodsmoke that tinged the air around them.
*Click-clack.*
*Click-clack.*
Right ahead of him, past graceful mounds of white snow and blue shadows, was a bamboo fountain. A trickle of water poured into a bamboo rod, mounted on a hinge. It filled, overbalanced, and fell.
The fall splashed the water into the cistern, one that was now frozen and snowed over and covered with an ice sculpture of its very own. It hit something on the way down, too – something loud – before it swung up, offering the empty end to the brave trickle of water that made its way through a surreal shell of ice.
And so it went.
*Click-clack.*
*Click-clack.*
“It will work as long as the water runs,” Asbjorn whispered right by his ear. Sean felt his warmth despite the wind that had picked up again, despite the cap that covered him up. The heat was in the tone of his voice, in the lean of his body that angled toward him.
Always toward him.
“Not even the ice can stop it. As long as the flows keeps going, the fountain’s okay, and the water’s okay, and the fish beneath the ice can breathe.” Yet there was more to Asbjorn’s words than a mere explanation of how the shishi-odoshi fountain worked.
A slow quarter-turn on his heel, and Sean’s face was close enough to Asbjorn to see every hair of unshaven scruff on his cheeks. Lips soft despite the cold, pink with life and promise – Sean leaned in and brushed his own against them in a tender kiss.
Asbjorn pulled him in. Heat transferred through all the parts that touched, negating the icy wind that threatened to freeze their lips together.
*Click-clack.*
*Click-clack.*
The warm, wet tongue, a hint of peppermint gum and laughter and something that was just Asbjorn. Sean pressed back, squeezing Asbjorn’s waist to his own, lips bruising, the accidental click of teeth, the sensuous pass of tongue against a tongue.
The cold disappeared. There was just the empty, white silence and the deer-scare water fountain and the kiss… oh. The kiss.
A new, swooshing sound entered Sean’s senses. He dismissed it. Warm lips, cold scruff that scratched his frost-pinked cheeks. The kiss.
“Hey, you two! Margaret says you’ll freeze out there!”
They broke for air and turned toward Ken, leaning out the kitchen window, his lined face grinning with mischief. Yet the cold, dry wind failed to chill Sean’s wet lips.
Not even the ice wind could stop the flow of warmth in his veins.
“Hey Ken,” Asbjorn nodded, pulling Sean close to him again. “We were just admiring your fountain.”
“Uh-huh,” Ken said with a quirk of his eyebrows. “So you want tea, or hot chocolate? Margaret says I have to defrost you before I put a sword in your hand.”

Find “Landfall” here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6215

LANDFALL – DSP blog takeover with Kate Pavelle

April 5, 2015

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Hello, my name is Kate Pavelle and I’ll be chatting with you about the last book of the Fall Trilogy, “Landfall.” It came out on April 3rd and I’m so excited to share the cover. Look, a tropical beach! After a winter like this, we all deserve some sun and sand, and scenery that’s easy on the eyes! You can find “Landfall” here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6215

Wrapping it up folks!

March 27, 2015

One of the fun things about writing a book is that I can make playlists for it or identify unofficial theme songs. For “The Serpent and the Angel,” there is a song by Falconer called “Wings of Serenity” that is such a perfect fit, it’s eerie. If Tobias could sing, that would be his song for Angel.

 

Here it is and it is work safe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-lTBVsaZ2I

You can find the lyrics here: http://www.metrolyrics.com/wings-of-serenity-lyrics-falconer.html

 

I love his voice, I love the lyrics, I love the music… everything! This is the sort of music I listen to frequently.

 

I don’t always find a theme song or a love song from one character to another, but when I do, it’s magical!!

 

That about wraps it up for me this time around. I’ll probably be back when “Predator and Prey” is ready to be released. One of my favorite things about writing is coming up with the titles for the stories. Sometimes I already know the title even before I start to write and other times I have to edit the story a few times before the title reveals itself. It can be the most frustrating part, yet also the most gratifying especially when I come up with that perfect title.

 

I enjoy this title because of the contrast—”serpent” often means evil and “angel” often means good. But nothing is ever so black and white, there are always shades of grey (and no, I’m not talking about that book).

 

May dragons guard your dreams,

-M.D.

Another excerpt and some background info

March 27, 2015

I’m back! Promoting my latest release “The Serpent and the Angel” (The Shifters Book 8).

 

“The Serpent and the Angel” was very fun to write because of the pairing of Tobias and Angel. I enjoy pairing “odd” couples and these two are perhaps the oddest of my pairings so far—a diamondback rattlesnake shifter (Tobias) and a golden eagle shifter (Angel). Since I find both of those animals beautiful and majestic in their own right, I liked the idea of them together. Also, I was intrigued by their symbolism in various Native American tribes. Both animals held (and hold) very important roles to those tribes, and I tried to play around with that within the story. But my greatest emphasis was put on the idea that they appear to be opposites in every way: one’s above the earth, the other is earth-bound; one mates for life, the other is solitary… you get the idea. But in my story both of them are guardians. They approach their jobs differently but the core of who they are is the same.

 

And now here’s an excerpt:

 

He pulled on Shadow Dawn’s reins before dismounting. He approached five men, ones he knew well, Lord help him, who were currently getting their asses handed to them by one lone man. Tobias didn’t recognize his face and figured he had to be a stranger. His clothes were plain and dirty around the cuffs and knees, indicating he’d been traveling for some time. He had a bag with him but lacked a hat.

Tobias stood for a moment, rather entranced by the ferocity and skill of the stranger. He was swift, his unusual gold eyes keen and sharp. He used arms and legs to defend himself, and one-by-one, each man fell to the ground, coughing dust and dirt. The sun glinted off brown hair streaked with gold, and it matched his skin, which was also an intriguing shade of light gold. The man was tall, but not nearly as tall as Tobias, who stood an intimidating six foot, three inches. The stranger had broad shoulders and a narrow waist, and his coloring was certainly odd. A suspicion as to the stranger’s origins formed in the back of Tobias’s mind the longer he observed the man. When all five men were flat on the ground, moaning and groaning, Tobias was able to take a better look at the man’s face: he had sharp features, especially his cheeks and nose, a heavy brow, and Tobias decided he was quite handsome and strangely beautiful at the same time. Then the stranger looked straight at him. Those sharp, gold eyes met his, and a zing of lust shot straight to his groin. The man panted, sweating visibly, his bag still held by one hand, his body tensed for more fight. Tobias smiled.

 

Interested? Find the book here http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6201

 

Do you have any questions for me regarding my series or my life? Ask away! I shall try to answer.

 

But now a question for you: What sort of odd pairing would you like to see in a shifter story? What two animals would you find hilarious to pair together?

 

-M.D. Grimm

Time To Desert the Desert

March 19, 2015

Well, that about wraps it up for me.The cookies are done and the verdict is…not so good. They spread despite chilling out in the fridge for awhile. Oh, well.

I saw an old travel poster and decided I couldn’t afford to start buying old travel posters, so I recreated it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little insight into Something To Die For. It’s available now on Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and your favorite ebook retailer.

 

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy! I’m going to be hanging out, answering comments, and looking out for the winner of the giveaway. I’ll make one last post to announce the winner later on, so check back in a few hours or tomorrow to see if you’ve won.  If you are the winner, please comment on my blog and I’ll get back with you.

Please check out Something To Die For by me, Piper Doone. Out now.

Something To Die For

Josh Tucker lives a blessed life—great job, great family, perfect husband, and two wonderful children—but a mysterious man named Adam who haunts his dreams and soon his waking life threatens everything when he stirs doubt as to whether any of it is real. Adam makes Josh question the world he’s taken for granted—as well as the origins of Adam himself.

Even if Adam’s claims are true, Josh has nothing to live for beyond his fabricated life—except the possibility of a real man out there somewhere who can love him. Josh is left with an impossible choice: stay in his delusion where he’s assured some happiness or take a great leap of faith for a chance to make a life with Adam.

 

Thank you.

Call For Backup!! And a Giveaway

March 19, 2015

Calling in for Backup…and a giveaway!

 

As much as this is Josh and Adam’s (and the desert’s) story, there are a number of important secondary characters in  Something To Die For.

 

And I want to talk about them so badly, but in the words of River Song on Doctor Who…spoilers.

 

I can say right off the bat we meet Josh’s husband, Sergio. Sergio is an amazing guy: patient, kind, playful, sexy, and gorgeous. And so not what he seems.

 

Josh and Sergio’s kids, as well as Josh’s mother and siblings, figure heavily in the story as anchors for his sanity. Or do they? Because there are others who show up and throw that idea on its head, leaving Josh to wonder just who is real and who isn’t.

 

Saying too much more would give it all away…so, in that spirit…let’s do a giveaway!

 

In the comments, tell me the most magical, inspirational place you’ve ever been to. The more unusual, the better! This isn’t your typical café in Paris or three weeks in the Alps kind of question. Mostly because I haven’t been on real vacation in over a decade. Well over a decade, actually.

 

If you have photos, show us! Tell everyone about the time you took a wrong turn in Kenosha and ended up almost getting eaten by a moose and you were taken in by a kindly old couple who housed you for a night and you learned to crochet and make maple syrup pie.

 

Winner receives a copy of Something To Die For!

Something To Die For

Josh Tucker lives a blessed life—great job, great family, perfect husband, and two wonderful children—but a mysterious man named Adam who haunts his dreams and soon his waking life threatens everything when he stirs doubt as to whether any of it is real. Adam makes Josh question the world he’s taken for granted—as well as the origins of Adam himself.

Even if Adam’s claims are true, Josh has nothing to live for beyond his fabricated life—except the possibility of a real man out there somewhere who can love him. Josh is left with an impossible choice: stay in his delusion where he’s assured some happiness or take a great leap of faith for a chance to make a life with Adam.

Mysteries of the Desert

March 19, 2015

When I was promoting Playing Hard To Forget (looky…it’s on sale, too, for $5.24. Would you look at that), I talked about how the wolf has figured into my family history for a thousand years. On my father’s side, the history was bloody and my family became known as wolf-slayers in Scotland around the turn of the last millennium thanks to an ancestor who saved the King from an attacking wolf in the forest.

 

So when I began having dreams of being in the desert at night with an old man speaking to me in a language I understood at the time but never when awake, hidden among the bush as a wolf stood guard to protect me from the dangers outside the protective circle of the fire and plants, my mother became fascinated by them and was obsessed with finding its meaning. This was well before I learned of my father’s side’s history.

 

Many bottles of sunscreen later, I still don’t know what they meant. All I do know is that the desert was its own character in my dreams. There was danger outside the light of the fire and the desert had sent protection for me. The only thing anyone can agree on is that it was odd that I was dreaming of a wolf, an animal not seen in the desert for many, many years, and not a common coyote.

 

I’ve always held the desert in high regard since then.

I call this one “Agave Agave Everywhere…and not a drop (of Tequila) to drink)

But a few years ago, I saw something that left me, for lack a better term, completely freaked me out. And it was then that the seeds of Something To Die For were planted.

 

I still have trouble processing what I saw into words, which, as a writer, really says something about me that using my words is difficult.

 

What I will say is that writing Something To Die For was a way for me to come to terms with what I saw that night. Giving it some humanity and a happy ending was something I needed to do, whether it got published or not.

 

I needed my desert to be the place it once was–my protection, my safe place. I didn’t want to think of it in the context of that horrid night and turning the story into something I could control from start to finish was a form of therapy for me.

 

In Something To Die For, just like in my dreams, the desert is a secret main character. Josh needs his desert to ground him. It is a part of him and helps him to get to where he needs to be.

 

But beyond all that, it’s a love story. The love story of Josh and Adam. And a love story from me to my desert.

Something To Die For

Josh Tucker lives a blessed life—great job, great family, perfect husband, and two wonderful children—but a mysterious man named Adam who haunts his dreams and soon his waking life threatens everything when he stirs doubt as to whether any of it is real. Adam makes Josh question the world he’s taken for granted—as well as the origins of Adam himself.

Even if Adam’s claims are true, Josh has nothing to live for beyond his fabricated life—except the possibility of a real man out there somewhere who can love him. Josh is left with an impossible choice: stay in his delusion where he’s assured some happiness or take a great leap of faith for a chance to make a life with Adam.

(Cookie update—the dough is chilling in the fridge. I’ve eaten 4 spoonfuls now. Everything seems good from here. I must do further research, though)

The Music of the Desert

March 19, 2015

 

An easy way to get into the mood of Something To Die For is to load up everything Queens of the Stone Age and toad the wet sprocket ever did. If you want to get specific, listen to the entirety of QotSA’s Like Clockwork and toad’s High on A Riverbed (from Pale), Hope (From In Light Syrup) and Reincarnation Song (from Dulcinea) and you pretty much have my obsessive playlist that fueled the writing of this story. Throw in a little Civil Twilight’s Letters From the Sky, some One Eskimo’s Amazing*, and a few other random alternative rock and you’ve got a soundtrack of sorts.

*secret time: this song makes me tear up like WHOA. It was one of those “first songs I heard after a tragedy” type thing and it was a poignant song to hear at that moment and three years later I still have to lie and say there’s something in my eye. Damn it.

 

It’s no secret that I need music to be able to write. Playing Hard To Forget was a crazy combination of folk tales and 80s Dark Wave and Something To Die For was no different in its development.

 

Josh Tucker, named so for the Joshua Tree that only grows in the Mojave Desert, seems like he has the perfect life when we first meet him. He has a gorgeous husband and two amazing children. He has a great job and a nice home and he’s close with his mother and siblings, all of whom have a similarly great life.

 

But when is that ever anything like reality, right?

 

Cracks start to show very early on that things aren’t what they seem. The chaos that Josh descends into is very much the intense cacophony of a Queens of the Stone Age song. The flashes that come through the cracks are loud and confusing and makes him wonder just what is real and what isn’t. Queens’ songs are driving and percussion heavy. They’re fast and come at you from every direction. And in that chaos, in those cracks, there’s truth, and it may be shitty truth, but it’s there and it’s real.

My accomplishment of the YEAR was crawling down there to get this pic while I was wearing TIGHTS and a DRESS and I didn’t get a run.

Adam Davis is a mystery and one that is at the center of all the confusion. Is he telling the truth or is he a product of Josh’s decreasing sanity? That Josh (and by extension, us) doesn’t know if Adam is really there lends him an impish, supernatural quality. He appears and disappears at random and there’s no real way to prove what he’s saying is true. But he’s earnest and seems desperate for Josh to believe what he’s saying and there’s a sincerity in Adam’s tone that makes Josh think twice.

It’s weird to say I modelled these characters after bands’ styles, but, yeah, the impish earnest (for lack of a better term) of a toad the wet sprocket song is pretty much Adam (in the way that toad can be singing about the most depressing subject ever but still do it in a way that sounds almost upbeat and hopeful).

 

If you do YouTube any of the songs up there, and you like them, throw the artists some cash and buy their stuff.

Listen to the soundtrack here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAcHqWJyh_nv8wGCd4-hdl4eEpQf-yROb

Something To Die For

Josh Tucker lives a blessed life—great job, great family, perfect husband, and two wonderful children—but a mysterious man named Adam who haunts his dreams and soon his waking life threatens everything when he stirs doubt as to whether any of it is real. Adam makes Josh question the world he’s taken for granted—as well as the origins of Adam himself.

Even if Adam’s claims are true, Josh has nothing to live for beyond his fabricated life—except the possibility of a real man out there somewhere who can love him. Josh is left with an impossible choice: stay in his delusion where he’s assured some happiness or take a great leap of faith for a chance to make a life with Adam.

Two updates:

1) Just got a great review for Something To Die For:

The characters were very likable, the storyline kept me turning the pages till it was over, and it was something new and fresh to read. I really enjoyed it. 

It’s About The Book reviews–4.5 Stars

and 2) I now have my youngest kid doing the cookies because he’s bored and needs something to do. He took a year of culinary last year in 6th grade, so I think he can do them justice?