February 27, 2015
Randi and Grainger are the heart and soul of Dixon and Audie (and by association, Ever the Same). They start out, as so many of my fictional relationships do, with a fist fistfight (note: when I met my wife in person the first time, at one point she did threaten to beat the hell out of me while I was driving in a pouring down rainstorm on the highway in San Antiono traffic. True story.).
However, a birthday party, a giant mouse, some horses and a guitar later, they became partners in crime.
Instead of having fights with each other, they turned on the world.
1. During a riding lesson, Grainger dares Randi to impersonate the trick rider they’d seen at the rodeo and when Audie turned around, she was standing on Sarge’s back.
2. Randi dared Grainger to trap the possum so they could keep the babies and raise them. Possum bites hurt. So do the rabies shots.
3. Together, the kids decided to find out which spice burn. Cinnamon for the flamtastic win! FYI, powdered creamer burns pretty damned well too.
4. Grainger told Randi that she couldn’t be a cowgirl unless she rode a calf backwards holding his tail.
5. At Christmas, they dressed the dachshunds up as reindeer, tied them to a miniature sleigh that belong to Randi’s gran and proceeded to take down the tree. Dachshunds are not beasts of burden.
Much love, y’all
February 27, 2015
Dixon, world. World, Dixon.
1. Dixon’s best friend is his younger brother, Daniel, who is currently serving overseas in the military.
2. His favorite date night used to be watching the sunset at the Oasis on Lake Travis.
3. Dix has a huge crush on Gordon Ramsey and on Sidney Poitier.
4. The first song he learned to play on the guitar was Where Have All the Flowers Gone
5. He was drum major in high school.
6. He’s a huge Blues fanatic and his first out of state trip was to New Orleans with his dad to see live music.
7. His favorite food is cheesesteaks with mustard sauce from Texadelphia.
8. His first dog was a bloodhound named Bill.
9. He lived in Texas his whole life, but Audie taught him how to ride a horse.
10. Dixon’s prized possession is a 1974 Fender Stratocaster played by Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Much love, y’all
February 27, 2015
Y’all, Audie Barrack. Audie, all the folks.
1. He wanted to be a professional baseball player when he grew up.
2. He’s named after a famous Greenvillite, Audie Murphy.
3. His favorite food on earth is tacos from Molinas.
4. He’s a huge George Strait fan and he has been to 3 concerts. His favorite song is “Write This Down”.
5. He never misses the weather on 10pm TV. Ever.
6. He built his own house on his folks’ ranch.
7. His dad is a long-haul trucker and one of his favorite things (and one of his son’s favorite things) was riding along in the summer and listening to the CB.
8. Audie got poison ivy on his penis once and he didn’t tell his parents because he was afraid they’d have to cut it off.
9. Audie has had full custody of his son since he was three days old.
10. His favorite toy as a little boy was a stuffed cow he named Silly Chicken.
Much love, y’all
February 27, 2015
Hey, y’all! I have a giveaway for a signed print copy of Ever the Same. Comment today on any of the posts and I’ll pick someone tomorrow morning (that gives all the folks a chance).
Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the novel. Audie’s been called up to the school because his kindergarten has been in a fight…
Feeling like he was back in kindergarten, Audie went to the principal’s office.
“Mr. Barrack? Go on in. They’re waiting.” Miz Laws winked at him as he walked by, which relaxed him, because, Christ, this sucked. He went into the office, which was a mixture of colors and pictures of kids and that weird sternness that meant business. Dr. Shields stood and offered him a hand. Lord, he remembered when she was the drum major back when his Aunt Shirley was in the band.
There was a tiny little girl—and he meant teeny—sitting next to a dude who had hair like a girl, a dour-faced older lady, and his Grainger, who jumped up, one eye bruised. “Daddy! Daddy, I swear, I didn’t start it!”
“Hush, now. Let me talk to Dr. Shields.” He wanted to snatch Grainger up, but he knew better.
“Let’s all sit,” Dr. Shields said, and Audie fought the urge to point out he was the only grown-up standing.
Feeling chastised, he perched on the other side of Grainger.
They all sat there, staring, before Dr. Shields spoke up. “Now, we all seem to have a problem. Randi and Grainger have been in a half-dozen incidents in the last few weeks.”
“Really? Why didn’t I hear about this, buddy?” Half a dozen? Shit.
“You said not to be a tattletale, Daddy.”
Oh God. He damned near swallowed his tongue. They’d have to talk about information versus snitching.
“I didn’t start it. Not onced. I don’t hit girls, but Daddy! She hit me in the face! Hard!” There were tears there, threatening, and Grainger had that hell of a shiner.
“Now, Grainger, are you saying you didn’t push Randi?” the principal asked.
“She called me a doo-doo stupid-head!”
Did the wee girl not talk? She sat there, her chin set, her bright green eyes flashing fire. Her thin arms were crossed over her chest, and her feet swung in an angry rhythm.
“Name-calling can’t hurt you, buddy.” Was he the only adult with a brain here?
“No, but name-calling is completely inappropriate, Miranda.” That was the dad, just looking straight ahead. “You know better.”
“He’s mean! He told the girls I was smelly and not to play with me!”
Audie looked at the principal. “Am I the only one not up to speed?”
The older lady glanced over at him. “Beverly White. Pleased. My granddaughter has had some… transition issues. We’re sorry.”
“Mrs. White.” He nodded, then snuck another peek at the man sitting next to her.
The guy stared straight ahead, not looking at him at all. Crazy.
“Grainger is usually a good kid,” Audie offered. “I’m sorry about those uh, transition things.” Way to sound like a hick.
“Children, can you please wait on the green chairs while we talk?”
Grainger nodded, squeezing Audie’s fingers one more time. Audie nodded and smiled at his son, pretty convinced his boy hadn’t done anything really heinous.
The little gal stomped out, pure fire in her eyes. Oh, she was a hellion, he could tell.
“Are you going to tell me you’re going to move her again?” That was the dad, and the dude seemed about as pissed as his daughter. “She’s not the Antichrist. She’s a tiny little girl. She still sits in a car seat, for chrissake.”
“No, I think we can safely leave her where she is. I really felt that we all needed to chat, though. It’s clear that Audie here had no idea what was going on.”
“Yeah, no shit.” Audie glanced at the gran. “Pardon my French.”
“No worries.” She winked at him. “She’s not a bad girl. She’s had some terrible things in the last year.”
“And for some reason, she’s targeting Grainger. Has he spoken about Randi at all?” Dr. Shields was trying, he could tell.
“No, ma’am. He’s not said a word.” He snuck another look at the dad. This guy was a piece of work. “It’s not like him to pick on someone who’s having a hard time.”
“Of course it’s not. Randi’s the one that’s the vicious little bitch, right?”
Damn, Mr. Snooty could snap.
“What? She’s had a shit life for the last year. She lost one of her dads, she had to leave Austin and her friends and her school, and suddenly she’s the fucking bad guy?”
“Hey, I never said my boy was perfect,” Audie said, snarling a little himself. “He’s managed to get to six without trying to kill anyone, though, so this is new. Back off.”
“Enough. No one is saying either of these children are bad. Randi has a huge number of hurdles to overcome, and Grainger is a shy little boy with a tendency to follow the crowd. Neither of these children have mothers at home, and I was hoping we could brainstorm some ways to help Randi feel included with the others.”
This was ridiculous. It wasn’t his fucking job to make sure this asshole’s little brat felt like she didn’t need to punch his son anymore.
“That’s her teacher’s job, Shannon.” Audie was through with this shit. “I’ll tell my boy to stay away from her. Can we go now?”
“Yes. Yes, of course. Mr. White….”
“I’ll talk to her. If it happens again, I’ll… shit, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll make it up as I go along.” The guy stood, and his mom handed him a cane. A white cane.
Oh Jesus fucking Christ. Seriously? Seriously, Grainger picked the kid with a blind dad and a dead….
Her other dad was dead. Jesus. This guy was blind, had lost his man, and his kid was a shit? That sucked hugely. “I can try to get Grainger to help. I promise.” He had no idea why that popped out, except this guy’s life had to suck, and because it had been a long time since Audie had met anyone who would openly admit to being queer like he was.
Buy Ever the Same here – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6096
Official blurb: Audie Barrack is in it up to his elbows with a sick calf when his son’s school calls. Seems Grainger has gotten into yet another fight. When he walks into the principal’s office, he’s shocked to find his son has been fighting with a little girl named Randi.
A little girl with one blind dad and one dad who recently passed away.
Dixon has lost his sight, his career, and his husband. Thank God for his brothers, Momma and Daddy, and his little girl, or he would simply give up. The last thing he needs is for Randi to start trouble at school, especially trouble that puts him in contact with another dad who might expect him to be a functional human being.
Dixon is struggling to live as a blind man, Audie is terrified someone might see he has a closet to come out of, and everyone from the school to both men’s families is worried for the men and their children. Unless they get themselves together and commit to change, neither of them stands a chance.
February 27, 2015
So, let me tell y’all a bit about my boys from Ever the Same, Dix and Audie.
Audie is a cowboy from Greenville, Texas. Like a real, working cowboy. He pulls calves, trains cutting horses, and loves his little boy, Grainger, with everything he has. Solid as a rock, Audie’s a good guy, practical as the day is long and totally, completely trapped in the closet of his environment.
Now, Dix? He’s not a cowboy at all. Texan? Sure, but he’s from Austin, he’s a musician, he’s out and proud, he’s…Lost. He just lost his partner and his sight in the same car accident, he’s trying to figure out how the hell he’s supposed to raise his angry little Randi at his parents’ hobby farm in small town Texas without the man he intended to live the rest of his life with.
Ever the Same is the story about how these two trapped men find a way out, together.
I love Audie for his straight-shooting sensibility. I love Dixon because he’s not ashamed to be terrified. More than than, I love how these boys love their kids, are committed to keeping their wee families intact. These men are daddies first, always.
I made a Pinterest board about the boys (and the kiddos). I’d love to know what y’all think. This is the first time I’ve done this and I think I’ll keep on. I love the whole idea of it. You can find the board here - https://www.pinterest.com/batortuga/ever-the-same/
Much love, y’all!
Because Sometimes Fistfights are Foreplay
February 13, 2015
Well my release day has come to an end. I’ve enjoyed spending time with you all today. I hope you had fun and enjoyed the different blogs. I’ll be giving away another book from the comments on the last few blogs. Tomorrow, I’ll announce the winners and will be getting in touch with you.
My next book, Demon’s, has been submitted to Dreamspinner Press for review. Demon’s was hard for me to write because it brought out a lot of feelings that I keep hidden deep inside. Dylan, the main character, was abused as a child and that has made him unable to love or be touched by anyone. He meets Jackson and falls in love with him but is unable to commit or show his love.
Since Demon’s was so emotional, I think my next book will be more along the lines of Illusions. A fun, sexy book with suspense.
Again, I hope you all enjoyed the day and thank you all very much, especially those who stuck with me the entire day. Also a huge thank you to Dreamspinner Press for allowing me to take over the blog and to Hayley for all her help.
Let me know what you think of Illusions. And don’t forget to comment to win a copy of Illusions.
Genre: M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Christy Caughie
Ever since arriving in Hollywood, Skylar Murphy has been loving life. He’s starring in a hit television show and on the verge of grabbing the lead role in the most anticipated movie of the decade. Poised on the edge of superstardom, he doesn’t want or need any complications to distract him from that goal. Whether he’s sleeping with a woman or a man, his noncommittal, no-strings-attached love life suits him perfectly, and despite his rep for playing gay roles, the world still thinks he’s straight.
At the launch party for his new show, Skylar meets Aiden Moore, an openly gay firefighter by day and cater waiter to the stars by night. Skylar is immediately attracted to him, but Aiden rejects him. When an arsonist appears to have targeted Skylar, their paths keep crossing. Always up for a challenge, Skylar works to win Aiden over, and he agrees to a date. Soon enough they can’t stay away from each other. Despite hiding their relationship away from the ever-present paparazzi, they’re happy together until a jilted fan joins forces with the arsonist to sabotage their future.
January 9, 2015
So a funny thing happened on the way to a tweet, Greg Tremblay, the fantastic narrator of my Dirty series, texted me and said… hey, you should giveaway a custom ringtone. Or something to that effect. There was some discussion. A few emails and then well, long story short—there may have been some pixilated shots of whiskey and banter but a plan was formed. A plan so cunning I could have stuck a tail on it and called it a weasel.
Mostly, it involved Greg. And your phone. But it was still a plan!
After a furious, intense process of queries, eliminations, debating on who said what, we came up with a set of phrases from Cole, Bobby, Jae, Claudia, Scarlet and one from Maddy then Greg went to work. And returned to me with a brilliant sound bites forged by a narrative master—in the style of the characters’ voices.
So dear reader, as a thank you for everything you’ve done for Greg and me, I’d like to present the entire set of ringtones—twenty one in total—FREE, as a gift to you.
Available in Android (MP3) and iPhone (formats for Android and Apple phones, Greg has also graciously included the WAV files if that’s your thing. Download links to the zipped files are provided below.*
A great humongous thank you to all of the blogs who helped me with this guerilla gifting. This swirled up on Tuesday and Greg just MADE it happen. He is the voice of the series and I am forever grateful for his talent.
If you’ve not tried out Greg Tremblay’s narrations, please do so. He makes audiobooks fun and damn, he brings Cole and the others to life.
Greg Tremblay’s body of work can be found here—and yes, the Dirty series is there but so are many other lovely audio books. I highly recommend one of Greg’s audiobooks, a comfy chair, a pair of headphones and a nice hot cup of coffee… or tea… with or without whisky.
* These are copyrighted and available free for individual use. The files included in the zip cannot be sold by third parties nor can they be altered in anyway as to destroy the integrity of the original work. Animals were test subjects for these sound files and while the cat could not have given less of a shit, the dog seemed mighty interested. Please note, neither own nor use a phone or a computer so results may vary.
Love you all, and really, Thank You.
January 6, 2015
Do any of your characters haunt you and if so, why?
I really don’t think any of my characters haunt me. Sean’s predicament in Learning to Love: Final Exam, now, that’s another matter. I cried writing those scenes. Even now when I read the scene before he goes in for surgery, I tear up. What comes across is how scared he is – and how much he loves his husband Michael.
Please give us the inside scoop on your upcoming release, A Bond of Three.
This was one of my first ideas for a book, back in 2012, only it wouldn’t leave me alone. Having said that, the novel changed direction when I got to the chapter introducing Prince Sorran. He was….different. And when I got my head around that, I suddenly had a very different plan for the story.
I met with author Chris Quinton in the summer of 2012, when she came to visit the Isle of Wight where I live. I outlined the story for her. She listened intently, and when I’d finished, she looked me in the eye and said, “you have to write that book.” Whoa.
I admit to being a little nervous. So far I’ve written either contemporary or BDSM. This was A, an MMM story, B, a fantasy and C with an added dash of paranormal for good measure – yeah, nothing liked anything I’d written to date. When I first started sending chapters to my betas, I was getting the same response….
“I don’t like fantasy.”
“I don’t like ménage.”
“Hell, woman, give me MORE!!!!”
I sent an advance copy to a friend who doesn’t normally ‘do’ ménage – three guesses what her response was? LOL
So yes, I am awaiting the response from my readers with mixed feelings.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
HA! My close friends would say, “But she’s always writing!!!!” Er, I read, I love watching movies, I knit, I used to paint, but writing is far more satisfying. But there’s always my notebook not far away – I’ve learnt by now to keep it close. Ideas come ALL the time! But yes, it’s true that if I were writing more, I’d be a happy bunny.
What’s one of your guilty pleasure?
OOOH….Snuggling up with a good book, usually one that I know really well – the Deviations series by Chris Owen, ANY of the Jarhead series by Sean Michael, the Jock Dorm series by Bobby Michaels, (One of the first MM series I ever read and I still love them)
Then there’s my other guilty pleasure… and nope, you’re hearing NOTHING about that one!
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.
K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
December 26, 2014
Whoa, would you just look at the time! My time taking over the Dreamspinner Blog is nearly up!
I’d like to thank you all for stopping by today and helping me celebrate the release of Playing Hard To Forget! It’s been a real pleasure from start to finish getting this book out to the world. Dreamspinner has been amazing and they are a Florida based company, so it was great getting to work with a local company to help to support our economy!
And I’ll be making more rounds in March, when my second Dreamspinner story, tentatively titled “Something To Die For,” comes out!
Be sure to check out Playing Hard To Forget, my debut novel with Dreamspinner Press, out TODAY, December 26, 2014. I hope I’ve given everyone some insight into the story and some interesting tidbits on how it came to be.
I’m going to open up this posts for any questions you may have about me or my book or what I’m working on next or even random questions like “where should I eat on my trip to Orlando next February?”
Don’t forget to comment on the music post for your chance to win a copy of Playing Hard To Forget!
December 26, 2014
It all started with Peter Murphy.
Now, wait a hot second, Piper. You said it started with Doctor Who.
Just go with it.
Playing Hard To Forget all started with Peter Murphy.
I adore 80s music. I really do. But, like most people my age, my knowledge of 80s music came from two places: vague memories from early childhood and VH1’s I Love the 80s. There were large gaps in my education of 80s New Wave. A few years ago I was driving around when an awesome sounding song came on my satellite radio. Indigo Eyes. I’d never heard it before but it immediately struck a chord with me (get it? Chord? Music? Ok moving on). I’d been struggling with the characterization of my two mains in Playing Hard To Forget. They weren’t as easy to create as the characters around them. They needed a depth I hadn’t found yet, but as soon as I heard Indigo Eyes, my Ethan had a new layer almost immediately. I ran home and downloaded the song and played it over and over as I story boarded Ethan’s journey.
And about the same time I had my “Don’t Forget Me” revelation, I was dragged by a dear friend into that terrible, awful 5th circle of hell conveniently located in every suburban mall in America: Hot Topic. It was there I heard the voice of the goddess Siouxsie Sioux singing a cover of Bob Dylan’s This Wheel’s On Fire. And suddenly everything became so clear. “If your memory serves you well.” It was life-changing. Why the fates decided to pause the System of a Down long enough to play some good music that day, I’ll never know.
The third song with a large hand in the plot comes to us from Canada (Now, if you know me well, you know Canada is important in our family. I birthed two French-Canadian children, made with my French-Canadian husband whose Canadian roots go back over 400 years. Our last name is Canadian, forged in the fires of a Tim Horton’s hot oil fryer. He is part Scottish, but, for the most part, I’ve broken the Scottish bloodline. Go me). It’s by an indie band called Folly and the Hunter–Moth in the Porchlight. The song is incredible. And it’s Ethan and Liam…and Fiona, Ethan’s sister. Hearing it for the first time was, like, boom, cancel my meetings for the rest of the day. I have to go home and write.
Other songs had a hand in the creation of Playing Hard To Forget. I’m posting the list here and a link to a YouTube playlist. If any song here appeals to you, I heartily encourage you to check out the band and support them by buying tons of their music.
Indigo Eyes–Peter Murphy
No One Knows–Queens of the Stone Age
Rather Be–The Verve
The Passenger–Siouxsie and the Banshees
Never Let Me Down Again–Depeche Mode
High on a Riverbed–Toad the Wet Sprocket
The Sweetest Drop–Peter Murphy
Never Tear Us Apart–INXS
Born To Ruin–The Wildlife
Space and Time–The Verve
Sick, Sick, Sick–Queens of the Stone Age
Under the Milky Way–The Church
Skin on Skin–Queens of the Stone Age
Burn the Witch–Queens of the Stone Age
Hope–Toad the Wet Sprocket
This Wheel’s on Fire–Siouxsie and the Banshees
Moth in the Porchlight–Folly and the Hunter
And now it’s time for an excerpt!
The distant snap of a twig from about ten yards back confirmed his suspicions, but he stayed on his own target and squeezed off the last shot of the round and it effectively left him unarmed. He stood and turned toward the sound, but the dense pine and oak did not afford him the best view. He bent back down to lock the safety and left the edge of the clearing to venture deeper into the forest.
He did not have to walk far before he heard it—the smooth, snarky tone and now familiar voice-over of his new and very explicit fantasies. “Looking for me?”
Ethan whipped around to find Liam leaning against a tree as if he owned the goddamned forest. He put on his best nonchalant face, which of course was going to fool absolutely no one.
“I thought it might be a bear.” Immediate and total regret washed over him. Stupid answers were beneath him. He was twenty years old, damn it.
Liam moved like a cheetah, and he was inches away from Ethan in the span of a breath. “Now, now. Ethan. Ignoring the fact that I can hear your heart and smell your hormones, why would you go after a bear unarmed?”
“I—I wasn’t looking for you, I….” Stammering was also beneath him. How could he let this guy—this wolf—do this to him?
Liam looked amused. “Come on, Ethan. You think I haven’t seen you all week? Walking twice a day through the field where we met? Taking wild detours through the forests? You’ve been looking for me all week. And here I am. And you left your weapon behind. I’m flattered, Ethan, really.”
“You’ve been following me?” His chest was tight, but it was not from embarrassment as much as it was anticipation.
“Yes.” No lies. No stammering around the truth. Liam was unapologetic.
“All this week? Everywhere?” Ethan blushed at the thought of what Liam might have seen in that week.
Liam snorted. “Now, Ethan. I do have a life.” He leaned in close to Ethan’s ear, and Ethan silently blamed the heat coming off Liam reacting with his cold sweat for the long shiver.
“But I’ve followed you enough. Tell me, are you thinking of me when you’re alone in your bedroom? God, I hope so, because that face you make when you come, I’d really like to see that face when you’re under me. I’d like to make you come myself instead of watching you think of me from a distance.” He backed up and blinked slowly, and watched Ethan for a reaction.
Ethan tried to shake the fog of confusion and arousal and opened his mouth to speak, but not before he heard Fiona in the distance yelling for him.
Liam rolled his eyes and sighed. “I guess that’s my cue, isn’t it, Ethan? Can’t have daddy and little sister knowing about our little secret, can we?”
He turned to leave, but stopped short. “Still, it isn’t fair leaving you this way.” Liam smirked and raised an eyebrow as he surveyed Ethan. “No, you need something new to think about tonight.”
And before Ethan knew what was happening, Liam’s lips were on his. It was hot—literally and figuratively—and Liam’s lips were soft and tasted of the same earthy tang Liam smelled of on the day they’d met. Ethan relaxed into it faster than he liked and he let Liam’s tongue explore his own. He didn’t need Liam to tell him his heart was racing. He could feel it kick against his rib cage, and it served to spur Liam on.
Liam’s hands wrapped around the back of Ethan’s neck and he lifted his jaw slightly so Liam could kiss his way down to a spot Ethan’s shirt barely hid. Liam didn’t bite hard enough to break the skin, but there was certainly going to be a mark, more so because Ethan jerked up into it and he did not even care about how weak it made him seem or the noise that escaped when he felt sharp teeth.
Liam came away smiling and admired his masterpiece: red and purple and, in a few minutes from then, in dire need of a quick explanation from Ethan if he couldn’t find a way to cover it up. While Ethan adjusted his shirt as best he could, Liam disappeared beyond the tree line.
I know, right? I’m simply dying to find out what happens next!
Music is such a gigantic part of my life. My next story with Dreamspinner, due out in March 2015, also has a soundtrack with similar revelatory moments behind each song. I was struggling with a plotline for a potential number three the other day when I heard Le Pyromane by Karkwa and my brain went crazy with ideas.
My favorite song ever–my favorite song always–is Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. I cannot imagine a more perfect song existing. What is your all-time, hands-down favorite song of all time? My favorite wins a paperback edition of Playing Hard To Forget!