Excerpts

Author Q&A: Pat Henshaw + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Please welcome Pat Henshaw to The Blogger Girls!

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I’m an avid reader. I own a Kindle with a few thousand books and have the device with me always. I read anywhere and everywhere. These days I only read gay romances although I have ventured out into gay fantasy, so my favorite authors reflect the genre. Some of my comfort reads—the books I go to when I’m upset or down—are by Parker Williams, Kim Fielding, A. M. Arthur, Cardeno C., Annabeth Albert, N. R. Walker, and so many others. It’s difficult in this genre to pick out only a few of the great authors who are writing these days.

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I love my Kindle. In fact, I’m currently on my fifth Kindle. I bought one when they first came out and have never looked back. Like music, I’ve ended up buying some of my favorite paperback books in eBook format just so that I’ll always have them with me. The Kindle fits in my purse, so in those times when I’m waiting in line or am a passenger in the car, especially on long trips, the Kindle is my refuge. I like to think that I’m saving trees for the next generation.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m currently reading Kim Fielding’s Ante Up and just finished reading Jay Northcote’s The Law of Attraction. What’s funny about the last book is that it’s been sitting on my paperback to be read pile since I got the copy at GRL in 2016. But since it’s a trade paperback and too large to fit in my purse and too heavy to read in bed, it’s stayed on the pile for over a year. I finally broke down and bought the eBook and happily read it over the weekend.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Yes, and yes. Or should I say both? I constantly reread and edit my work in progress. Then when I’m satisfied that I’ve done the best I could on the story, I give it to my husband to proofread and edit. He’s a great editor who not only finds all the mechanical errors but also ferrets out the anomalies and inconsistencies in the story. I also have my daughters and one of my nieces read my books as beta readers. Each one picks out something different that bothers her, so I get a good cross-check from different viewpoints.

Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

AngstyG (Sam), a wonderful graphic designer, has created all the Foothills Pride series covers. For What’s in a Name? we hashed out everything from the palette to the motorcycle, the guys, and the bar. By the time we got to book number six, Frank at Heart, I filled out the cover spec sheet that Dreamspinner provides to give the artists the background they need, and we were so in synch that she sent me a cover which I approved without any changes. The cover for Short Order, the current book, went through a few changes, but not many. You can see other covers Sam has designed at http://angstyg.com/ .

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Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Unexpected Christmas by Nell Iris: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Unexpected Christmas

by Nell Iris

The door creaked open an inch before I had time to reply, and he hunched down. “Hey. See. It’s me. You recognize my ugly mug, right, Honey-Bee?” A giggle drifted out from inside and Axel opened the door enough for us to get in. As soon as we were inside in the heat, he shrugged off his jacket and lifted the tiny black-haired fairy in his arms.

“It’s okay. I’ve got you now.” She threw her thin arms around his neck—so massive she could barely reach around—and gave me a quick once-over before she hid her face in his cheek. She whispered something in his ear, but I couldn’t make out the words.

“He’s a friend of mine. His name is Daniel. Daniel, this is Beatrice. She’s my best girl.” She twisted her head and looked at me. She was fair-skinned with black eyes, a little heart-shaped mouth the same color as her uncle’s, and a curious look on her face. She was adorable.

“Hi Beatrice, call me Danny.” Axel snorted, but I ignored him. “I love your jammies.” They were bright yellow and covered in bees.

She studied me closely with a gaze that was much older than her four years. “They’re honey-bees,” she whispered.

“I can tell. They look just like you.” I smiled at her and when her mouth turned up in the tiniest of smiles, I felt like I was king of the world.

Axel tilted his head inward and I stomped the snow off my shoes and walked after them.

Bea cocked her head and gazed at Axel. “Is he your boyfriend?”

“No, honey. Just a regular friend.”

I stumbled on something invisible on the floor.

Axel the Hulking Giant was gay?

In a trance, I followed them into the kitchen and sat. They chitchatted, but I didn’t register anything they said because I was too busy staring at Axel as he shrugged out of his jacket.

He wore a tight T-shirt that looked painted on and revealed every ridge and groove of his body. He had unusual tattoos with big stretches of his skin completely black as if someone had painted on him with a Sharpie. The abstract motif was created by the blank spaces in between all the black and it was mesmerizing. But if I’d seen them when he wasn’t holding a cute little Honey-Bee in his arms, I would have run screaming in the other direction.

He was scary as fuck and hotter than hell and my dick stirred in my pants. I sat on my hands so I wouldn’t thump myself in front of the child.

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Author Q&A: Kat Bellamy + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Please welcome Kat Bellamy to The Blogger Girls! Tell us a little about yourself, what got you into writing?

I’ve always loved reading, especially horror, romance and science fiction, so writing was a natural way to get all the characters and stories in my head onto paper. That and I really wanted to see stories about other lgbt folks in the genres I loved.
What made you decide to write about ghouls instead of the more common paranormal species?
I’ve always been interested in the more obscure creatures of folklore and legend, and the grotesque nature of ghouls intrigued me. I love vampires and werewolves, but to me, ghouls embody the most unnerving aspects of both species, and there’s nothing inherently romantic about them. Which, of course, made me want to make them sexy.
If there was one thing about the writing/release process you could change, what would it be?
All the second-guessing that goes on during the writing itself. It’s so easy to get hung up on perfection before the editing even begins, and I’d say that’s the biggest thing that hinders me as a writer, even though I’m getting better about it.
Describe your main characters in 5 words or less.
The 5 words I’d use to describe Colt are devoted, ballsy, humble, romantic and…dude. Dude is definitely an adjective when it comes to him.
In three sentences or less, give readers a reason why they should pick up Ghoulish (and no taking from the blurb lol).
It’s an MM love story wrapped in an urban fantasy with a dash of horror thrown in. Nothing says romantic tension like trying to resist the constant temptation to eat your best friend when he’s finally decided to give dating a try. Plus, there’s a corgi and everyone loves corgis. 😉
And one last question, what would you consider your spirit animal to be?
I’d like to say my familiar would be something majestic, like a cat or a raven, but it’s probably honestly a seal.

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Protecting His Omega by Giovanna Reaves: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Protecting His Omega

by Giovanna Reaves

Phoenix hoped he was changing society’s views when it came to omegas. That was one of the things he loved about Maxwell. Maxwell never saw him as just an omega but as a person. He’d cursed his parents for their close-mindedness when it came to him. He had been on the streets for only a few weeks when he had a bit of luck, in his opinion. He sniggered thinking how silly he was trying to steal someone’s wallet. A pretty wealthy guy’s wallet as a matter of fact.

There was a knock at his office door, pulling him from his thoughts. “Come in,” he answered, turning his chair around.

Joyce entered and walked over to him with a coffee cup in her hand. “You looked like you could use a pick-me-up.”

“Bless you,” he said with a smile, taking the cup from her and swallowing a large sip. “Please tell me I don’t have a packed day.”

She gave him the “are you kidding” look. “When have your days been anything but packed?”

“Just tell me I get to leave in time to pick up Jasmine.”

“Don’t I always take care of you, sir?” Joyce asked. “I’ve been taking care of you since I worked for Max.”

“You know I hate when you call me sir,” he told her. Joyce had started working with Phoenix English a year or two before him. She was Maxwell’s executive assistant before she became his.

“I’m well aware, but it is office etiquette,” she told him with her glasses sitting down by the tip of her nose. “Why must we go through this every day?”

“Because you refuse to call me Phoenix.” She stared at him and made it clear she wasn’t going to change her mind. “Fine, let me hear how my day will go, at least tell me I have time for a lunch break.”

She scanned down her list and then looked back up at him. “I scheduled a lunch break for two minutes around one.”

“Oh wow, a whole two minutes, thank you, Your Majesty,” he said with a smile, and he got her to chuckle. “Okay, lay it on me.”

“At noon, you have a lunch meeting with Brook Shafter from. . . ”

Phoenix leaned back in his chair and sipped his coffee. While he listened to Joyce, his mind started to wander off again. Thinking back, he couldn’t believe how tempted he was to return home and beg his parents to forgive him for being an omega. At least at home he would have been safe from any alpha that caught a whiff of his pheromones. And have had a decent meal, since he’d resorted to begging for change just to get something to eat. Phoenix lived on the streets for two months. It might not have been a long time, but it was enough for him to realize how sheltered his life was when he saw how many omegas were living on the streets. The only thing that kept Phoenix sane were his suppressant pills. Omegas were required to take their suppressant pills weekly to help mask their pheromones to alphas and prevent pregnancies.

He knew what some of the omegas did when they were going through their mating cycles was demoralizing. But he couldn’t fault them. They did what they had to do for survival. They disappeared for days, hiding in abandoned buildings, hoping their heat would pass before they gave in to any alphas that approached them. Some sold their bodies to earn the money they needed to buy their suppressants and to survive. Phoenix couldn’t believe that a society that prided itself on caring for its people would turn a blind eye to omegas suffering in pain.

Phoenix knew sooner or later that if he had stayed out on the streets he would have resorted to the same tricks. Which was why he worked tirelessly to have the laws changed. Until about three years ago, it was illegal for omegas under the age of eighteen to receive their suppressants without parental permission. With his wealth and influence, Phoenix was able to get that, and a few other laws, changed. Thank the gods he didn’t have to sleep with anyone to get what he wanted. No matter what people thought about him, he was not a slut. All he had to do was kiss a few asses and pretend he cared about other minor issues to get his foot in the door. Coughing to suppress a snort over some of the other influences he had employed, Phoenix turned his attention back to Joyce.

“I’m sorry, sir, did you say something?” Joyce asked him.

“Um . . . no,” he said, clearing his throat and sitting up in his chair while pretending that he heard everything she said. “Joyce, can you get me another cup of coffee?”

“Sure,” she said, getting up and taking his empty cup from him. She stopped and looked at him.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, why?”

“You seem to be far away today,” she told him.

“It’s the holidays, it always makes me think about Max,” he told her.

“Ah . . .” she said in understanding. “I’ll get you another cup.” Then Joyce turned and walked out of the room, leaving him to his thoughts.

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Masked Heart by Calli Hall: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Masked Heart

by Calli Hall

There was no more family, and she had never had true friends. The few people she had thought she could rely on had betrayed her in the worst way one could imagine.

Despite that, she had not been opposed to the beginning of a friendship with the aristocrat, only to then be left once more.

She, or rather he, was simply lonely. Under all of the layers of make-up and clothing the young man behind the masquerade longed for someone.

A person could survive alone, but not really live. He knew that. The reason for his displeasure likely laid with the Duke. Up to now he had constantly been at the side of Madame P.. He was not amicable or even well-disposed, but he was there.

That alone had been enough for her. She had been noticed.

How pathetic! She smiled cynically at herself. She was jealous because the Duke hadn’t offered her a snide remark as usual. Maybe he had been hiding in women’s clothes for too long if he was reacting to Lexerton with such feelings.

This was not only ridiculous, but also dangerous. If the Duke were ever to find out the truth about Madame P., or rather him, the hangman would be redundant— the Duke himself would tie the knots for the noose. Continue reading

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Author Q&A: L.C. Davis + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Please welcome L.C. Davis to The Blogger Girls!

Tell readers a little about His Taken Omega…. in three sentences or less!

Avery is an omega spokesman for the Futurus matchmaking program and the fiancé of a rising star in shifter politics, and Nicholas is an Alpha who can’t stand to be in the same room with an unmated omega for long. When Avery is sent to Nicholas’ small-town pack to recover from his kidnapping, the rivalry between them turns into an unexpected bond that throws a wrench in…pretty much everything.   

How did you come up with the names for your characters?

The first names just come with the characters, and the surnames are usually nods to classic horror or Sci-Fi, because I’m a total nerd. Avery’s name is a reference to Father Callahan from Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” and “Wolves of the Calla.” Nicholas Meyer is a nod to, well, Stephenie Meyer, since he has a fondness for vampire romance. Metcalf comes from a cheesy 90s Sci-Fi parody and so on. 😉  

How would you describe those characters?

Avery and Nicholas are both headstrong perfectionists who spend way too much time worrying about their reputations at the beginning of the story. They differ in the sense that Avery is much more optimistic, but Nicholas comes around…eventually.

Was it hard for you to write this book or did it flow easily for you?

It flowed pretty easily! I knew from the moment Avery showed up in “Alpha, Beta, Omega” that his story would be next, and I’m lucky that he kept talking! Lol

Do you tend to leave little clues in your books that reference other books, movies or shows that are not commonly known except to certain fans (such as TARDIS from Doctor Who, sparkly vampires from Twilight, etc.)? If not, have you ever thought of it?

There is definitely a bit of a nod to “Twilight” and “The Vampire Diaries” with the book Nicholas is reading in “His Taken Omega.” 😉

What do you hope readers will take from His Taken Omega?

I hope they take away the idea that no matter what you’ve been through in the past, and no matter how “less than enough” you feel, everyone is the perfect person for someone.  

And a silly question, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I’m Native and Appalachian, so I think some of the cultural foods I grew up with would seem unusual to other people. Pickled pig’s feet in a can is a childhood memory that comes to mind.

Awesome, thank you so much for stopping by! Check out below for more info on His Taken Omega!

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Author Q&A: SJ Himes + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Please welcome SJ Himes to The Blogger Girls!

Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing and what made you start writing?

I have been writing for most of my life, but doing so on a professional basis for the last three years. I love to read, I adore books and storytellers and I can get lost in a fictional world so easily. I made no conscious decision to start writing; I just did, needing a way to expense the daydreams and fantasies that lived in my head. Looking back at my younger years, I was living proof of my favorite saying for authors: Write what you want to read. I started writing and then publishing because I was at the point in my life when my day job was killing my soul, making me a bitter person, and my dreams were nothing but dust. So, I made the choice to try. I took that leap, and I have not regretted it since.

What book of yours would you recommend a new-to-you-reader to start with?

Depends on what the person in question likes. For urban fantasy, The Necromancer’s Dance. Angel is the main character, with a sharp wit and a big heart scarred by tragedy. Vampire, fae, demons, and the supernatural world living side by side with humanity. A werewolf with a smartphone, etc.
For someone fond of shifters, I would suggest my Wolfkin Saga, starting with Wolves of Black Pine. It is aptly named; the books are long, complicated, with ensemble casts supporting the main characters. It remains one of the hardest series I have ever written.
For sweeping, fantasy romance, I would suggest this new book, The Solstice Prince. It is entirely epic fantasy with a main Love Story.  I have an mpreg series, Bred For Love, written as my nom de plume of Revella Hawthorne. That too has princes, and it set in an alternate reality of Earth, slightly futuristic.  

What makes you want to write in the genres you write in?

Easiest question I’ve ever gotten! Simple: I write what I want to read. I write what I love. I don’t write to market or to the expectations of others. My books are solely for myself, and when I know they’re ready, I set them out into the wider world for other people to love them too. I am a huge scifi, fantasy, and paranormal reader, and very few books I read are contemporary. I write and read to escape this world we live in, so writing stories in this world is harder for me. The less grounded in reality a book is, the easier it is to write.

How many half-finished books do you currently have? Or do you prefer to finish one before you start another?

I actually write in a system I call clusters. What is a writing cluster, you may ask?
A writing cluster is a collection of WIPs (Work in Progress, aka manuscripts, titles, etc) that I work on, with no discernible preference or priority. I have learned in the last year, while working through RL and personal issues, that putting pressure on myself makes me shut down. I stop writing. No pressure means more words down on paper.

So, I write in clusters. Between 2-5 titles that I consistently (or not) work on every day or week. To avoid burnout, I’ll jump between titles and add a bit there, here, some little bits or whole word dumps.

Whichever WIP is getting closer to being done is usually the book I focus in on the most and stick with until it is done. Then I switch to the remaining WIPs in the cluster, and repeat the process until another book is done. And so forth. It has been a success so far and saw me finish and release two books in six months.

I have a To Write List a mile long. Working on them a handful at a time may be slower, but each book is seeing steady progress, and once a cluster book is done, I add in a title from the To Write List. To answer your question, I have right now 4 books in the cluster that are all hovering between just started to nearly done, and a list of To Write Books at about 27 titles.

And some fun questions! What would you consider your spirit animal to be?

Two answers to this one. A dragon and a red fox. The dragon to represent my love of the fantastical and my fondness for factual knowledge. The red fox because of its shyness, the quiet way it moves through life, but also for its absolutely frightening ability to go from shy woodland creature to dangerous, formidable hunter with seamless ease. Foxes have evolved in the ultimate survivalist.

Boxers, briefs or boxer-briefs….for your characters!

Most of them either go commando, or wear boxer-briefs. I say only about 25% of them wear any underwear at all.

What was the last thing you googled?

This one is making me laugh. The last thing I googled was “Wow Addon for Rare Hunter Pets NPCscan overlay.” Continue reading

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Memory of Me by Jess Thomas: Exclusive Excerpt!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Memory of Me

by Jess Thomas

Blood in the Breeze

On a blue planet with three rings, a father and son were having an argument. It would have been a normal thing to see except that the planet was light years away and they were aliens that had shielded themselves from the rest of the universe to the point that their race had become a myth. Their long silver dusters hit the floor, and their silver hair hung near their waists. Their pale features and blue eyes studied each other.

“Father, this is wrong, so wrong,” the Nubulan’s son said. “We can’t walk away from this,” he called out when Atrila walked away from him. “We are playing with magic that we don’t have the ability to deal with. Do you trust Hippson? He’s trying to get the magic to adhere to him so he can completely become the Jewel, but what if he is more? Bunthar and Trend are right.”

“You can’t change your vote now, Nala,” Atrila grumbled. Atrila walked into a room with various planets projected on it while space created a beautiful painting between each orb.

“Oh, father, look what we’ve done,” he moaned, looking where dead space was projected in their dome. Continue reading

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Honorary Blogger Davidson King: Character Inspiration + Excerpt & Giveaway

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Character Inspiration

by Davidson King

Snow started it all. Seriously. It was over a year ago. We were having a very long winter and it seemed to never stop snowing. Layers upon layers. I remember thinking how everything blended together and how when something fell through the snow it became one with it.

This made my mind wander and I actually pictured my daughter and how if she had white hair I wouldn’t find her in all the sparkling white snow. As my mind dug deeper she morphed into he, Snow. His story of why he’d be blending into the snow. Was he running, hiding, who was he?

I went home and started writing what he looked like. White blond hair, like fresh fallen…snow. Eyes so blue they almost glowed and were like blue fire when he was angry. Skin that challenged his hair for the right to be alabaster.

I then knew his personality would have to be just as sharp, amazing, and unique. I knew he’d be snarky and brave. He’d challenge and submit. He’d be outstanding.

Snow was light and there’s always darkness that accompanies light. Together they make a shadow. That was when Christopher came to be. His dark hair, dark eyes, olive complexion. His broad body and rough attitude was the polar opposite of Snow. Together they would mingle and become an eclipse.

I knew these two would be my characters. Christopher was born from Snow. I guess you could say they were born for each other.

Inspiration came with the weather and then with the light. Odd as it may sound that’s how they came to be.
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Author Q&A: Adira August + Excerpts & Giveaway!

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Please welcome Adira August to The Blogger Girls!

What is the unqualified regret you wish you could amend?

Oh, way too many to pick one! But all of them seem to be things I didn’t do, or was afraid to do, instead of things I did.

What is the temptation you wish you could resist?

Judging people. We’re just not equipped to do it, not knowing all things about either the person or situation. But it’s too easy, even if I don’t say it out loud, to cast judgment. And all that is, is me saying “I’m better than they are.” And that is just so not true.

What is the book that holds everlasting resonance?

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee  More recently, Glitterland by Alexis Hall.

What is the priority activity if you were invisible for a day?

I would not like being invisible. So I’d stay inside and do what I always do, because that way, relative to the rest of the world, I’m as visible as I always am.

What is the film you can watch time and time again?

Field of Dreams – for its accurate depiction of the relationship between here and there.  

Who is the person who influenced you the most?

I bet it was Isaac Asimov. Sometimes it’s hard to know how much you are being influenced by someone. Asimov claimed he was an atheist and I’m sure he was being genuine. He was such a cheerful atheist! To me, who is not an atheist, he was a mystic. His universe and the realities depicted there are so obviously inspired, to my view.

What is the unlikely interest that engages your curiosity?

There’s hardly anything that doesn’t engage my curiosity. You can find a lot of it in my books. I don’t write erotica because I think it will make me a pile of cash. I’ve always been interested in what makes us human. The human sexual dynamic is extraordinarily complex. Hardly a bit of genetic control. A widely varying spectrum of desires and behaviors and biology and cultural influence. Society tries so hard to control it all, to label it, decide what’s normal or acceptable or vile.  So, it’s not unlikely, but it is the thing I struggle to understand and convey and elevate and demystify.  

What is the song that means the most to you?

Monster by Steppenwolf. “America, where are you now, don’t you care about your sons and daughters? Don’t you know, we need you now, we can’t fight alone against the monster?” 

What is the unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you?

I don’t have that, really. I’m spoiled. I did everything I ever wanted to do. I got jobs that were highly competitive just by asking.

What is your earliest recollections of writing fiction?

I was 8. I wrote a book in crayon on little squares of paper and glued the edges together. I self-published!

Who is the figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint?

I have several direct ancestors who fought the Revolutionary War. I want to buy the wife of the one who first came to these shores a lunch, because women were hardly acknowledged to exist. I wish I could know her. Because her husband, the one who carried my last name – or I carry his, of course – he loved her. He cared for her in his will, gave her security for life. Senna. His nickname for her. If I wrote historical romance, I’d write about them. Lord Fairfax gave him his land because he held Fairfax’ horse when he was drunk one night and his team of surveyors were laughing at him. Washington was one of his surveyors.

What is the piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child?

I have no wisdom. I might have advice, I guess: Hang on. Just hang on and try to be a little bit kinder than you think you can be.

What is the treasured item you lost and wish you could have again?

My grandmother’s engagement ring. It was stolen by a supposed “friend.” I never knew her, the ring was all I had of her.

What is he crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it?

Murder. I have an extensive better dead list of child abusers. But I’d need a real vision, not to tell me I’d get away with it, but to tell me it’s as good an idea as I think.  

What is the philosophy that underpins your life?

Love is what you do, not what you feel.

Who is the character you enjoyed writing the most?

In the whole of the River Hart universe, it’s Benedict Hart. He’s so unexpected in his relationships. So entirely loving. Yet, I’m sure he’d be vastly surprised to hear himself described that way.

I know I’m supposed to pick Hunt or Cam, and I love them so much. But don’t always enjoy writing them because they do whatever the hell they want and I’m kinda the last to know. They make me cry as often as they make me laugh.

In the HuntandCam4Ever series, the character I most enjoy writing is Chez, the owner of Scene and Not Heard. He’s far more complex than I think is obvious from the brief times we encounter him. I’m thinking I’ll be writing these books for the rest of my life and I hope, someday, these bits and pieces of him will add up in the minds of readers who follow the series to paint a picture of him as I see him.

Who is the character you found the most difficult to write?

The Killer in Matchstick. I always end up inside them, or they inside me. It was a very hard place to be, so dark and broken.

What is the book you enjoyed planning/writing the most?

I don’t plan them, at all, they sort of happen to me. I’m really anticipating writing the next Hunter Dane Investigation, though, Psychic Men.

These first three books form a kind of world-building, character creating triumvirate thingy. They have the power of Canon. Now we’re all set. We have backstory and history.

The coming novels will be shorter with a steadier thruline. The relationship will be there, the trials and watching how they respond to those, grow, each so uniquely valuable to the crime-solving process and to each other.

Psychic will be the first of those. What’s interesting to me is, all the psychic stuff will be from actual reported experiences of average people, research programs, all that. I have to change names but the events are totally based in reality. So how fun will that be? blogger_bee_trans Continue reading

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