March 25, 2014
I’m BA Tortuga and I reckon I’m a redneck.
I’m tickled as all get out to get to come and play with folks, talk cowboys, give a few things away, and basically shoot the bull about my newest (and debut Dreamspinner Press title), The Terms of Release. Oh, y’all… Sage and Win make my soul happy. I love me some Texan boys and these two are pure-D east Texas to the bone.
I’ve got my coffee — and for those of y’all that don’t know, that’s the fuel that keeps me going, dark, rich, magical elixir of life. I’ve got my hound dogs. I’ve got… okay, for me it’s way too early for anything more than that. Coffee, dogs, Tim McGraw on the radio, and a willing soul, that’s all I got. I’m ready to play.
Let’s start out like we can hold out. You tell me what you have to have to encourage your happy butt to get out of bed, I’ll give away an ebook copy of The Terms of Release.
Now Sage? Sage is out of bed with the sun, looking to feed. You know he presets that Mr. Coffee with Folgers, black and strong, just like my daddy. I’m sort of worried that he sleeps in his boots and hat, actually… Mr. Win, on the other hand, he spoils himself with the good coffee — nothing fancy, mind you — but good gourmet stuff he grinds at the Brookshires Brothers himself (and I can tell you there’s cinnamon pecan hidden in the back of his fridge, too). Coffee, CNN on the television, and a nice hot shower, that’s what Win needs before he straps on his uniform.
Now for the official blurb type stuff:
They say a man can always come home. So after doing hard time, Sage Redding heads to his family’s northeast Texas ranch to help his ailing daddy with the cutting horses.
Adam (Win) Winchester is a county deputy and the cousin of one of the men killed in the incident that sent Sage to prison for almost a decade. While Win’s uncles, Jim and Teddy, are determined to make Sage and the entire Redding family pay for their loss, Win just figures Sage has paid his dues and maybe needs a friend. Maybe he needs more than a friend. In fact, Win’s counting on it.
No one’s denying Sage is an ex-con who went to prison for manslaughter. Regardless of the love he has for his father, he’s returned knowing things will likely go badly for him. Maybe a man can always come home, but he may not be able to stay.
Can’t wait to chat with all y’all!
February 19, 2014
I m enjoying blogging about Broken and thought I would give you a little tour behind the scenes of my writing.
The most important tool for my writing is my trusty Dell laptop. It’s a purpley colour and those of you who know me will not be surprised by that! LOL!. When I first began writing in earnest, I posted fan fiction stories online and was fortunate enough to win numerous awards. My beloved, and sadly late, auntie bought me the laptop as a present for winning the awards. I have done all my writing since then on it. The space bar actually has a depression where I use my left thumb to hit it! LOL!
I no longer write fan fiction, but have several stories that I am submitting to publishers and I am so grateful to Dreamspinner Press for accepting Out of Left Field and Broken for publication. I have several works-in-progress that will be heading Dreamspinner Press’s way in the future.
I can’t go any further without giving a very well deserved mention to the other consistent presence when I write – my little terrier. I even took my pen-name surname from him! Norman has been my constant companion for almost eleven years now and tonight it seems very strange not to have him by my side. He is currently in the veterinary hospital following surgery on his biliary system. Thankfully, he is doing well and should be back home with my by the weekend. He is crazy when out on a walk, but in the house, when I am writing he is either curled up beside me on the sofa, or at my feet, quiet as a mouse and as cuddly as a teddy bear.
Music is also very important to me and the soundtrack varies according to the mood of the story I am writing. The Script played a very big role in one yet to be published story, and Foo Fighters and Green Day often feature heavily. Broken was written with Frank Turner’s Tapedeck Heart playing in the background (check him out on youtube if you don’t know him – his lyrics are great). I love seeing bands/artists live and in 2010 travelled over to Irvine, California to see Green Day play. Was an amazing experience and I long to return to Laguna Beach/Hills area. My next ambition is to see Foo Fighters in the USA too!
If I am not writing, walking Norman, or listening to music I will probably be found with my horses, Mabel and her 2013 foal Florence. Florence is super-special. Not only was she born on my birthday, but she is like a younger version of my dream horse, Mabel. I love them both to bits and Florence is already a Champion in the show ring. Her registered name is Dreamspinner!
Back to the writing. People often ask how I begin to write, do I map out each chapter all the way through etc etc. Well I have to say that when an idea pops into my head – often at very strange times – I usually have the beginning and end immediately and then almost ‘join the dots’ between the two.
In Broken I got the idea for Oliver’s injury from one I suffered when kicked on the knee by a horse when I was working on a stud farm which bred racehorses. Though nowhere near as bad as poor Oliver’s injury it did change me a little in that there are some things which I can no longer do or are difficult or painful to do. And so I began with him peeking out the window (see the excerpt) and knew that he had to be forced to face his fears. I won’t say more as I don’t want to end up posting spoilers.
Have you had to face your fears in any way? Maybe conquered a fear of flying to get to an important event, or something as silly as being brave enough to get the spider out of the bath tub? Let me know and in my final post I will choose the winner of the giveaway!
February 19, 2014
Hello again, Raine Norman here. This time I want to give a little mention to the first story that Dreamspinner Press published for me, Out of Left Field. This short story was published as part of last year’s Daily Dose Anthology – Make a Play.
Concierge Jake Wentworth rues the day he got involved with Mikey, his coworker and cheating ex-lover. Already in a foul mood, a rude guest further puts him off his game. Jake realizes there is more to Billy Smith than his first impression when they accidentally meet while jogging the next morning. When they hit it off over coffee and sightseeing, Jake worries his battered heart will be in for more pain, but Billy is determined to make something more of their relationship.
If you want to read more about how Jake and Billy get on, click on the link below. It is discounted today!
Jake and Billy’s attraction was love at first (or maybe second) sight, but in Broken, although Joel was attracted to Oliver he did have a long history of avoiding commitment, and it took a bit of a campaign from Oliver to finally get Joel to move in and settle down.
When reading I enjoy both instalove stories and ones where the characters have to work a little harder to be together. Though I must say that I love to write angsty scenes in my stories.
What do you prefer to read? Do you believe in love at first sight or can it only ever be lust at first sight?
February 19, 2014
In the early part of the novella, Oliver is upset when Joel says they should take a break. He vents his despair at the cost of some damage.
Have you ever broken something in a fit of temper, frustration or despair? Give your reply in comments and I will randomly select one lucky person to receive a free copy of Broken.
I will give you an instance when I broke something. I used to have a silly ornament called Egg Whip which was in the shape of an egg with a scrawny chicken’s head sticking out of it which was dressed to represent a jockey. I bought it as a joke as my now ex-husband had been a professional racehorse jockey in the past. Well, I was dusting one day and I noticed the peak of the cap was broken. My ex was really clumsy and I was cross he’d broken it without telling me that he had. When I asked him about it, he denied that he had done the deed. Pretty weak defense really as there was only the two of us in the house! Long story short, I got so cross at his denial that I snapped the head of the ornament and yelled that it was really broken now! LOL!
So, were you as daft as me by making a slightly damaged ornament only fit for the dustbin? Or have you got even funnier stories to tell? Tell your tales of destruction below for a chance to win a free copy of Broken! The winner will be chosen later tonight.
Edited to add – this giveaway is now closed but check out my blog as there may well be another chance to win when I guest blog at the weekend – full details will be put up there on Saturday!
February 19, 2014
One of the most exciting things about getting a story published in its own right, rather than as part of an anthology, is that the story got its own book cover. I filled out a questionnaire about my likes and dislikes of book covers to help the team at Dreamspinner Press decide who to get to do the artwork. I really do have to say that many of the examples I liked were by Brooke Albrecht, and so I was delighted to be informed that this talented artist would be doing the cover.
You’ve seen a little hint of the cover art on the headers on these posts, but I thought it was about time that I shared the whole thing. It is so beautiful I am really hoping that it gets nominated for awards as it so deserves to be.
The model is simply beautiful and the background really sets the scene. I really couldn’t believe my luck in getting such beautiful artwork and can’t thank Brooke enough!
I know we shouldn’t ‘judge a book by its cover’ but have any of you ever bought a book based purely on its cover, and if so did it live up to expectations? Please take the time to let me know in comments and stay tuned as a giveaway is coming up later and also an excerpt!
February 19, 2014
Hello, my name is Raine and I am ready to chat with all you lovely people. My latest novella, Broken, was released today, 19th February
I am very excited as this is the first story I have had published in its own right and not part of an anthology – more about that later.
Here’s the summary:
More than Oliver’s leg is broken after a skiing accident. The months spent in the hospital and enduring physical therapy leaves him bitter and insecure. His lover of four years, Joel, represents all he fears his weak and disfigured leg has stolen – the ability to live an active and carefree life.
Joel endlessly tries to lift Oliver from his despair, but after being rebuffed one too many times, he suggests they take a break and moves out.
After a long lonely week, Oliver is both delighted and terrified when Joel suggests they meet to talk things through. He discovers that Joel plans to make amends by helping Oliver realize he can still enjoy the snow. From Joel’s old apartment to the snowy peaks of a Canadian ski resort, Oliver and Joel will face their greatest fears together and with a little luck and a lot of trust, rekindle their love.
Stayed tuned to the blog for more excerpts, talks about my new book, and may even be a giveaway or two!
February 14, 2014
I am sending my hunky waiters around to serve you all some drinks Please enjoy while I share an excerpt from my book – Holding on to Hope.
Leslie felt eyes on her, and she looked across their table. A pair of freakishly blue eyes stared in their direction. They belonged to a man, a bit older in age—probably in his fifties, she guessed—with long gray hair. His face was round and wrinkled, making him look very ugly. He wore a black trench coat over a white shirt and a striped tie. Leslie noticed the big rings on his finger and deduced that he must be some wealthy man. However, his stare was making him appear scary.
When he realized he was caught in the act, his lips curved into a cold smile.
She quickly looked away and tried to concentrate on what her boyfriend was saying. However, Leslie kept getting the weirdest feeling that nothing around her was safe anymore. The worrisome thoughts kept her occupied. An unmistakable panic was slowly settling in.
All because of an old man who was probably innocently looking at the college kids as they sat right across from him and reminiscing about his past!
Leslie shivered. “Guys,” her voice wavered. “I’ll be right back.”
Thankfully, none of the boys noticed the change in her tone, and she quickly made her way to the ladies room. Once she was in, the first thing she did was empty her bladder.
Somehow, the old man had freaked her out so much that she felt the need to pee. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was exactly that triggered such emotions in her. This had never happened to her before.
She splashed some cold water on her face, fixed her makeup once again, and exhaled, feeling a lot better than before. Hoping that the old man was gone, she slowly stepped out.
Her heart felt lighter when she saw his seat was empty, and the smile then came easy to her. At that moment, she even wanted to laugh at herself for having a stupid panic attack.
After all, he was a harmless old man.
She found her boyfriend standing by the counter, buying another coffee for himself. She walked over to him. “I thought you promised me that you’d cut down on your caffeine consumption for a day.” Leslie narrowed her eyes. He looked at her like a deer caught in the headlights and smiled very cutely.
“I told you too much coffee isn’t good for my Patty-pie’s health.”
“I promise this is the last one,” he said and leaned down to kiss her. He obviously wasn’t going to keep his promise. But she let it slip. Pushing the matter wasn’t going to help. Leslie believed that Patrick needed to decide to stop on his own.
However, she couldn’t help but worry too.
When he broke the kiss, she shook her head, giggling slightly, and looked in the direction of their booth. “Where’s Brad?”
Patrick turned to look. “I don’t know. He was sitting right there before you came back out.” They trailed back in the direction of their booth. “Maybe he went to the restroom.”
“Couldn’t have happened.” Leslie shook her head. “Or else I would have seen him when I came out.”
“I don’t understand.” Patrick gazed at her. “He was right here a minute ago, talking to the old dude, and I went to get….”
“Old dude?” Leslie’s heart skipped a beat. “Who?”
“I don’t know who he was, but I guess he was sitting in this booth.” He pointed to the space where the scary old man had once been. “He came over to Brad and was like, ‘Can I talk to you in private?’ So I just left the booth for them to talk.”
“Pat!” Her blood was running cold by then. “How could you leave him alone with a stranger?”
“Baby, overreact much?” Patrick looked around, and Leslie realized that everyone was looking in their direction. “Brad is not a little child.”
“Hey, what’s the matter?” Ian’s voice interrupted them, and Pat tightened his jaw.
Leslie tried to calm herself down before replying. “Brad is… I don’t know… he went somewhere. It’s probably nothing, but Pat says he was talking to this old man before and….”
“Shit, no!” Ian yelled. “Old man? What did he look like?”
There was panic in his eyes, and his voice and fright suddenly found a home in Leslie’s system. “Freakishly blue eyes, wrinkled face, Rings on his fingers.”
“Long gray hair?” Ian asked anxiously.
“Yes!” Leslie was certain something pretty awful had happened to Brad, and she couldn’t stop cursing herself for lack of better judgment. “Ian, do you know something?”
His lip quivered. “I do.” He stepped closer and looked between the two of them. “Brad is in big trouble right now, and there’s only one person who can get him out of it.”
February 14, 2014
I am Sid Love – the author of newly released DSP Book titled – “Holding on to Hope” and today I am here to celebrate this special moment of my life. After all, my dream of becoming a published author has finally come true!
What am I planning on doing here?
To spend some time with you guys and have a blast!
Let’s start, why don’t we have some music on, eh? Here’s my pick of song – “Applause” by Lady Gaga! I have bribed the DJ and he will be taking requests from all of you, so don’t be shy and let us know what song you think would set the party mood.
And since, it’s Valentine’s Day, it definitely calls for a double celebration. I love this day so much because I believe in it strongly So does my main character Bradley Parker and that belief strengthens when he meets his Mr. Right on the Valentine’s Day -
Bradley Parker has waited twenty years for Mr. Right, and on Valentine’s Day, he finally finds him. It’s love at first sight, and Brad even loses his virginity to the man of his dreams. But when he wakes up the next morning unable to remember anything—even what the man looked like—his best friend, Leslie, is convinced he imagined the whole thing. Brad knows he didn’t make up the best night of his life, but he has no idea of the danger he’s putting himself in as he struggles to recall the details of his perfect man. His search may lead him to parts of New York City he never dreamed existed and a war being waged in the shadows.
If you wish to ask me anything about me or the book or anything in general, please feel free to post your question in the comments below. I will try and make sure that it is answered.
Also, I will be giving away an e-copy of my book. Every commenter to my posts gets entered into the contest automatically so don’t forget to leave a comment!
February 10, 2014
Love Comes Home, the third story in the Senses series is releasing March 7. Here’s a peek at the cover. I hope you like it.
When architect Gregory Hampton’s son, Davey, starts having trouble in Little League, Greg takes him to an eye doctor. The diagnosis hits them hard. Davey’s sight is degenerating rapidly, and eventually he’ll go blind.
Tom Spangler is used to getting what he wants. When Greg captures his attention, he asks Greg for a date. They have a good time until Greg gets a call from the friends watching his son, telling him Davey has fallen. Greg and Tom return to find the worst has happened—Davey can no longer see.
With so much going on in his life, Greg doubts he’ll see Tom again. But Tom has researched beep baseball, where balls and bases make sounds to enable the visually impaired to participate in Little League. Tom spearheads an effort to form a team so Davey can continue to play the game he loves. But when Greg’s ex-wife shows up with her doctor boyfriend, offering a possible cure through a radical procedure, Greg must decide how far he’ll go to give Davey a chance at getting his sight back.
January 15, 2014
I did a short video reading of an excerpt from Dumped in Oz. I like doing readings of my work and since I can’t be there with you, I thought I would do a video reading instead. The scene comes from the end of the first chapter of the story where Lyle and Roger first begin to notice one another. I hope you like it.
Because of an opportunity he’d be a fool to turn down, Lyle Powers transfers to his company’s warehouse in central Kansas. The last thing he expects is to meet another gay man in the small town, let alone one who captures his interest.
Roger Kypers is a recovering alcoholic with a twelve-year-old daughter he only gets to see for part of the summer. Neither Lyle nor Roger is looking for a relationship, and they fumble at the start, yet emotions build as Roger shows Lyle the landmarks of Oz.
But when Roger’s wicked witch of an ex-wife threatens to take his daughter away for good if he doesn’t act “normally,” he’s faced with the challenge of letting her get away with it, or fighting to accept himself and standing up for what he knows is right.