Honorary Blogger Post

Honorary Blogger Jacqueline Grey: Tricks and Bids + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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What Do You Write?

by Jacqueline Grey

“How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”

I have always been proud to declare that my dream was to become a published author, but once I became one, I found it difficult to answer the question “What do you write?”  I know there are people out there who look down on the romance genre (usually people who’ve never read it), and if I couldn’t gauge what a person’s reaction would be I became hesitant to admit that that was what I wrote.

As time has gone on, I have worked hard to break this habit.  I love romance. I have found some amazingly talented authors by reading romance, and I am proud of what I have accomplished within the genre so there is no reason why I should be shy about it.  I have also come to realize that there are times when it is my duty to spread the love of romance, gay romance in particular.

Last year I was interviewed about my book Ghost House.  During the interview, the interviewer told me she was surprised when she heard my name.  Jacqueline is very feminine. Having written a gay romance book, she hadn’t expected me to be so open about being a woman.  I suppose she’d been wondering if my being a woman would lessen the appeal of my book to gay men. I told her that many of the authors I knew who wrote in the gay romance genre were women.  So were many of the readers.

In fact, for years I have been reading shounen-ai and yaoi manga from Japan, my friends and I are currently devouring danmei novels from China, and I am exploring BL TV shows from Thailand and their related novels.  These things are all stories about male-male relationships and romance, and they are written by women and geared toward a female audience.

I truly believe we need #ownvoices stories and representation, but I also believe, especially in the current time period, that the world needs more happiness in general.  Romance, gay or not, should be read by everyone. It is the only place in the world where you are guaranteed a happy ending. Isn’t that something we all need in our lives?  I think that happiness is worth more than gold, and as romance authors, we are the suppliers of happiness. If that’s the case, then the next time someone asks me what I write I am going to tell them loud and proud.

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Honorary Blogger Alex Stargazer: Fallen Love + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Fallen Love

by Alex Stargazer

Hello readers at the Blogger Girls! Today I’m going to talk to you about Fallen Love, my brand new LGBT urban fantasy book. More specifically, I want to discuss the question “What are LGBT books really about?” and “Why do we need LGBT representation in young adult urban fantasy books?”

Before I dive into things, check out the blurb so you can familiarise yourself with what the story is about.

From a successful crowdfunder, Fallen Love comes action-packed with flying cars, dark magic, and fallen angels.

Upperclassman Conall is rich, impeccably dressed, and set for a prestigious career in the Party hierarchy. He doesn’t lack for anything—except, maybe, love.

When he finds Mark, alone, abandoned and hurt, he doesn’t expect one act of kindness to alter the course of his life forever. There is more to Mark than Conall can even dream of. The beautiful, vulnerable boy Conall knows is not human. A dark power lies within Mark. It can make him immortal… but love might be the price.

Discover why readers are calling this book “nothing short of amazing” and “superb”. If you’re a fan of Cassandra Clare or Lauren Kate, you don’t want to miss this.

What readers are saying…

★★★★★ “To say this novel took me by surprise is a total understatement. This story surprised, astounded, and made me so happy that it is right up there with the top ten books I have read this year.” —Sharon, Blogger

★★★★★ “The writing is polished, even compelling in spots. If you’re looking for an entertaining read with ambitious world-building, give it a try.” —KD Edwards, author of the Last Sun (Pyr)

★★★★★ “This book was nothing short of amazing. I loved the characters, the action, it’s safe to say I loved everything about this book. I hope to see more in this series because I’m hooked.” —Ashley Tomlinson, author of Becoming Grim

★★★★★ “The world-building in this book is superb.” —Rion, Goodreads Reviewer.

What exactly is LGBT, anyway?

This question seems simple on the surface, yet think about it more carefully, and you realise there are multiple answers. It used to be that LGBT books were “issue stories”: they dealt with themes of alienation, homophobia, love and family, etc. For a long time, these sorts of stories were extremely depressing; the main character usually died from AIDS.

Sometime in the late 2000s, and particularly after the self-publishing boom facilitated by Amazon and Smashwords (2012 or thereabouts), we began to see a new kind of LGBT book. I say LGBT as a useful catch-all, but really I mean M/M.

These kinds of stories were a breath of fresh air, in a lot of ways. They showed that a romance between two men could be successful, beautiful, and even wondrous. The genre evolved away from issue plots and more towards the usual fare of romance: the characters desire each other but something is standing in the way (work/family/travel/whatever). Or, equally often, the characters themselves stand in the way.

I want to say that M/M books became less angst-driven during this transition. But that’s not really true; the angst became different. Gay romance retains one fundamental problem: it does not appeal to a large enough audience, and the reason is angst. To be frank, most men (of all sexualities) don’t want to read M/M romance because it’s boring.

What we need is another literary revolution. Authors like KD Edwards, Alex R Kahler and J Scott Coatsworth (not to mention yours truly!) are part of a movement to write LGBT books about adventure. I use the word deliberately. Fantasy and science fiction are about adventure—they’re about going on a quest to slay dragons (or befriend them) and venturing into deep space. Thrillers also count as adventure, as do many books for young readers.

Gay romance will continue to exist, like issue-based LGBT stories continue to exist today. But more than anything, what we need to see is fiction that just happens to represent gay characters, rather than fiction that is about a gay relationship.

LGBT Characters in YA, Paranormal and Urban Fantasy

I want to arrive at my ultimate question: how do we apply the principle of representing gay characters through adventure to the genre of YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy? This is what I set out to do in Fallen Love.

The thing is, these two sub-genres have very particular traditions. Heterosexual books in this category—such as Fallen by Lauren Kate, Hush Hush, and Halo—follow a set formula: the heroine falls in love with a bad boy. They balance teenage angst with worldbuilding and action. I could have written something very similar and swapped out the heroine for a dude. I certainly played with the bad boy character.

The story I actually wrote can’t quite be described in these terms—it’s something else, something unique. The internal conflict works very differently when you have two boys instead of a girl and a boy. A good example is from Cassandra Clare (who is one of my favourite authors, by the way) in her Dark Artifices series. Mark, Kieran and Cristina’s love triangle is something that’s totally distinct from a straight love triangle. The boys don’t have to fight it out, and the girl doesn’t have to choose one of them; they can all be together.

I still think Cassie Clare’s story suffers from a little too much teenage angst, which is something I avoided throughout Fallen Love. If there has to be internal conflict, I want it to be something grittier; there have to be bigger stakes. Power asymmetry, persecution, life and death struggle—that’s what I want to read about.

Don’t get me wrong: angst has its place, especially in books about teenagers. But I believe I can write a better story, with broader appeal, when angst takes a back seat in favour of good old adventure.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger TA Moore: Feet of Clay • Chapter One + Giveaway!

 First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with my new release Prodigal, the first in the Lost and Found trilogy. Prodigal is set years after the disappearance of a child in Cutter’s Gap left the town, and the people left behind, shattered. In ‘Feet of Clay’ I revisit Cutter’s Gap in the years between Sammy Calloway’s disappearance and the start of Prodigal.

I hope you enjoy it!

Feet of Clay • Chapter One

by TA Moore

Halfway through the nightshift the coffee in the break room tasted like something drained out of a truck’s oil filter. Mac poured himself a cup anyhow. If you added enough sugar, it was fine.

He took a drink and grimaced as the grit scraped the roof of his mouth. Well, it wouldn’t kill him. The writer sat at the table with her equipment laid out fastidiously in front of her. Every now and again she reached to check absently that it was still on.

“I don’t know what you want from me,” Mac said. “Anything I know is public record. If you read Maccabee’s book, then you know as much as me.”

The woman leaned forward and braced her elbows on the table, her hands under her chin.

“I’m not a journalist, Lieutenant MacKenzie” she said. “I’m not a writer, not like Sullivan, either. This is research for an academic paper that I’m working on. It’s about the possible epigenetic impact of this sort of community-experienced trauma on–”

Mac held his hand up. “I get it,” he said. “You’re a professor not a paparazzi. That doesn’t change what I’ve got to say. Everything that happened back then–every decision, every clue, every dead end we slammed face first into–has been dissected a dozen times over. I’m bled out on details, Dr Masterton. Sammy Calloway disappeared. We never found him. What more do you want.”

She rubbed her lip with her knuckle, smudged the toffee brown gloss she’d applied.

“Nothing,” she said. “I’m not a forensic scientist, Lieutenant, or a criminal psychologist. Maybe Cutter’s Gap PD did make a mistake back then, maybe something was missed that you could have used to bring Sammy home. But you didn’t, and that’s what I’m interested in. Not what happened after Sammy was taken, but what’s happened since you gave up on getting him back. That documentary that Netflix made for five year anniversary was called The Boy the Town Forgot, but what I want to know what it’s like to live in that town.”

Mac looked down into his coffee. It was black and vaguely oily, a smear of greasy creamer on top. How many of these cups had he held over the years? When the hunt had been on for Sammy he’d lived on cups of this and not much else. One day his stomach lining was going to have its revenge.

“Yeah,” he said quietly. “Me too.”

There was a pause for a second and then the professor turned the recorder off with a click.

“Your captain told you to talk to me,” she said. Mac’s shoulders tightened and the already sour taste in his mouth thickened. “I need you to want to talk to me, to get other people to talk to me.”

“Can’t the captain do that?”

The professor smiled wryly as she packed her equipment away. “Only to shut me, and because he knew you didn’t want to,” she said. “Think about it. I’m in town for the rest of the week. Let me know if you change your mind. I think you could help me a lot more than you realise. It might help you to.”

She stood up, slung her bag over her shoulder, and offered Mac a neat, unadorned card. He took it and Professor Masterton left, her heels loud on the tiled floor as she headed for the door.

Mac hadn’t been raised with much, but he had manners. He waited until she was gone before he tossed the card in the trash.

He had a job to do and it wasn’t raking over the past.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Honorary Blogger Kilby Blades: Notes from the Cutting Room Floor – Confessions of What I Cut Out + Excerpt!

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Notes from the Cutting Room Floor – Confessions of What I Cut Out

by Kilby Blades

Q: First things first: how close is Adam Bomb to the original story you envisioned?

A: Actually, the original story was very different. It was a pure coming out story in which two best friends—one gay, one straight—had their friendship tested when the straight one came out as gay. In my early vision, the gay one had always felt overshadowed and outclassed by the straight one, and being part of the gay community was the only thing he really had to himself.  Then, the straight one announces he’s gay and the gay one kind of flips his shit. There was going to be a fair bit of angst around that.

Q: Wow. Why didn’t you write that one? It sounds good LOL!

A: I realized that a story with those bones had two possible directions: one path was really funny and the other path was really dark. Adam Bomb went in the direction of funny. The stakes were so much lower that it gave them space to explore underlying issues in their friendship sooner and in a more lighthearted way. In Adam Bomb, Adam is bi (a fact known for years) so instead of coming out, he comes out “big” the second time—he’s just become a visible public figure and decides to do some press from a desire to be open about his identity. He enlists Levi’s help with the press campaign, but Levi is concurrently scheming to keep Adam away from his new friends, lest Adam overshadow him again. Hilarity ensues. 

Q: Did you cut a lot out as you were writing the book? If so, what did you cut?

A: I tend to like really drawn-out epilogues. I don’t just want a paragraph or three—I want a few good chapters of happily ever after. This book was tough because I had to come in under a certain number of words. I do love the ending (and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from readers about how satisfying the epilogue chapter was) but if I’d had about another 10,000 words to work with, I would have drawn a far more elaborate description of the ending I’d dreamed for them in my mind. 

Q: Now a less comfortable question: were you asked or persuaded by someone else to remove anything from the book? 

A: For some reason, mentioning exes in romance novels, or bringing past hookups onto the page is still considered pretty taboo. I kind of get it—romance readers are so eager to see sparks and feel heat, that you don’t want to give the wrong impression (that the lovable ex is the love interest). But I can’t say that I love pretending my heroes have never been with anyone in the past. For me, it has problematic undertones of normalizing monogamy and it leaves authors (and readers) with characters with a very narrow set of dating backstories. If I had my ‘druthers, I’d give my heroes more complex relationship histories. As it stands now, most mentions of past relationships in romance novels are of vilified or deceased exes. But most people’s exes aren’t villains—they’re regular people who weren’t the right person for the protagonist. 

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Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Nothing Else Matters • Part Four + Giveaway!

Hello! And thank you for joining the Back in Black Blog Tour! My name is Rhys Ford and I will be your guide through this serialized short story featuring Cole McGinnis and his trip to the altar. Hit each blog stop for the next bit of the story AND as a special bonus, Greg Tremblay has narrated each “slice of cake” on this wedding tour!

As some of you know, Cole McGinnis is a former LAPD detective who found love again in a romance suspense series called the Cole McGinnis Mysteries or as I call it, the Dirty Series. It is there he meets and falls in love with Kim Jae-Min, a Korean photographer with a few secrets of his own and a tiny black cat with an attitude. I left Cole and Jae in quite a happy place five years ago in Los Angeles with a promise to come back and “reboot” Cole’s life in a mystery series.

(You can find the first series here at Dreamspinner Press, including a special free bonus collection of shorts in both ebook and audiobook format)

If you’ve already met Cole, well then I am happy to announce he’s back and well, while things are a little bit different… and he’s a hair older… his life is still as insanely jam-packed with action and more than few mysteries to figure out. All of the old gang is back along with a few new faces and I hope you all enjoy Back in Black as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And as if Cole wasn’t fun enough to write, Greg Tremblay is back as Cole McGinnis in the upcoming audiobook which is supposed to be out on Feb 13th! If you aren’t a part of my Facebook group or follow me on social media, please be sure to find me to learn about any future stuff. Because 2020 is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

Giveaway!

As always, there is a giveaway! Please comment, rafflecopter or however this blog chooses to run their giveaway, Please Please enter to win a $25 Gift Certificate to the online store of your choice!

Nothing Else Matters • Part Four

by Rhys Ford

Audio Snippet Link

“Tell me they impounded your truck so it’s here in the holding yard.” I rubbed at my face, the stink of jail sticking to the inside of my nostrils. “Then at least we’d have a ride back to Chinatown.”

Considering I was allegedly on the right side of the law, it was astonishing at how much time I’d spent inside that particular institution. There was a particular smell to incarceration. Not prison which came with its own unique blend of aromas but jail itself, that pit stop between freedom and hard time. It was the slosh bucket of the seven sins, awash with puke, fear and bravado. Packed in tight with little room for long movements, men circled like guppies in a fish tank, watching the top of the water for the net to take them out and any larger shadows edging closer, a sure sign of a predator moving into their midst.

It was good to get out of there although from the sounds of things, Ralph made some really poor life choices he was going to have to live with for a long time. I left him with my contact information, promising him if he was able to shake loose the goat-napping charges, I’d work to help him find his uncle. One of the guys in the cell with us snorted loudly and within a second, a full-scale brawl had me backing down the hallway, eager to follow Scarlet out into the sunlight. Once I was reunited with Bobby, Scarlet dismissed us with a wave of her hand and after asking her driver to bring around the town car, she told us in no uncertain terms what she thought about us landing in trouble.

Every bit of the hard-scrabble young Filipino boy who’d clawed his way out of his own prisons emerged and my back snapped in straight. There was a lot of steel in Scarlet, a survivor who’d learned to love and nurture but there was never any questioning the strength it took to get her to where she was.

“Be there, Cole-ah,” she growled with a rare fierceness, peeling back the layers of sophisticated poise she draped herself in. “Disappoint Jae-Min today and you will spend what little time you have for the rest of your life regretting every crack you make in his heart. I love you — very much — but sometimes, love isn’t enough to save someone. And it won’t save you.”

“Nuna, you know me.” I’d protested, holding my hands up in surrender. Not because I was afraid Scarlet would hurt me but her driver and bodyguard both carried very wicked looking guns under their suit jackets and they’d stiffened up like old hunting hounds catching a whiff of duck in the air. “If zombies bite me and I’m sloughing off pieces of my body, I’ll be there. Nothing is going to keep me from marrying him.”

“Nothing but your lack of common sense,” she muttered, giving Bobby a stabbing glare. “And you, don’t make me regret taking you out of there. You are on borrowed time, dongsaeng, both of you.”

She left us in a chatter of heels, the afternoon sun smearing butter and apricot jam light through the clouds. Her car pulled away from the curb before it dawned on me we were without a vehicle, leading me to pray the cops somehow dragged Bobby’s truck on some magical mystery tour and it was waiting for us in the impound yard like some dancing pony on a side quest.

“No, they didn’t impound my truck so though I don’t want to go back down there, we’ve got to.” Bobby rubbed at his flat stomach, still a bit green around the gills. I’d been kicked in the nuts more than a few times in my life, most of them by Mike my older brother during one of our childhood fights so I knew the residual wave of sick lingering in the back of Bobby’s visceral memories. “Let’s make it fast. You heard what Scarlet said. Our necks are wound out for the axe if we don’t show up on time.”

“Just one problem there, Dawson,” I said with an apologetic grin. “I still have to pick up Jae’s present but if we don’t hustle, the shop’s going to be closed and I’m going to be fucked.”

“Pretty sure there’s only one thing Jae really wants from you for your wedding and that’s to be there.” He smirked, slapping me on the shoulder. “But sure, come on, once more unto the breach, Princess, once more.”

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , | 68 Comments

Honorary Blogger Morgan Brice: Tying Up Loose Ends + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Tying Up Loose Ends

by Morgan Brice

Loose Ends is the fourth novel in my ongoing Badlands series, with a sexy psychic medium and a hot homicide detective who hunt down supernatural killers in Myrtle Beach. All the book titles in the series are also titles of songs by Bruce Springsteen, since Vic, the detective, is a huge fan of The Boss. But as the title suggests, unfinished business—both personal and ghostly—plays a big part in the plot.

One of the things I love about writing a couple in an evolving, established relationship is that over the course of a series we get to delve much deeper into the characters and see them struggle and grow. We also can explore their back stories to find out where they’ve been hurt, what lessons they’ve learned the hard way, and which experiences shaped them for better or worse. 

In this book, Simon Kincaide, the psychic medium, is confronted by an ex-boyfriend who turns up without warning four years after their break-up. Simon’s estranged mother also tries to barge into his life and break up his established relationship with Vic D’Amato, the cop. Vic’s past successes as a detective come back to haunt him when someone with a grudge decides to destroy his life. The high-profile upcoming trial of a killer Simon and Vic nabbed puts both men in danger. Meanwhile, Simon’s skills as a medium are put to the test dealing with vengeful and restless ghosts. Cold case murders and unsolved disappearances play a role as well, and nothing is as it seems.

I love being able to dig into the pasts of characters we’ve gotten to know and see glimpses of who they were at other times in their lives, or better understand the events that shaped their choices. Often in the course of having to deal with an ugly element from their past, characters are able to leave behind old baggage and truly grasp how far they’ve come. I also really enjoy weaving that personal growth with their evolution as a couple, learning to work with each other and healing old hurts. 

Ghosts and unsolved mysteries are always favorites for me, and in Loose Ends, they play an important role, leading to insights that are essential to unraveling the secrets at the heart of the plot. Throw in a beautiful beach location, feisty friends and steamy sex, and the book is an adventure you won’t want to miss!

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Honorary Blogger Taylin Clavelli: Taylin’s Writing Process + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Taylin’s Writing Process

by Taylin Clavelli

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people ask me how I got into writing or when I realized that I wanted to be a writer? All my life, I’ve been an avid reader, and to be honest, I can’t say that I ever consciously wanted to be a writer, I kind of fell into it and it snowballed. My cousin Simon is a writer and his brothers are all artistic, but I never thought the creative gene was within me.

To date, I’ve written three novels and six anthology stories. None of my books have conformed to the norm. They’ve either spanned genre’s or have been written in a voice not consistent with the era. What can I say – I like to be a bit different. My novels include:-

Dakota Skies 🡪 a western set in 1875, written with a more modern voice.

Secret of the Manor 🡪 a contemporary romance with a little sword and sorcery.

Hathonatum is my current novel. It is a love story that spans time, dimension, universe and death.

Hathonatum is also the first novel which is part of a series. The Pelethus series. But, it can be read as a standalone. Initially, I intended for Hathonatum to be a one-off. However, some characters appear later in the story, which my pre-readers insisted have a story to tell.

For me, there is no average time for writing a story. Every novel has been different in duration. The defining factor has been inspiration. I’ve tried to force it, only to write a chapter that seemed contrived and unnatural. I don’t aim to write a certain number of words a day, either, because family, work and life in general usually interrupt. Just because I’m not actively writing words doesn’t mean I’m not working on the story. I’m often running through an idea in my head – a little bit here, a little bit there. I’ve usually got a notebook close by for that idea I don’t want to forget.

Ideas for a story can come from anywhere and in that respect, I prefer writing novels because I can get totally vested in the characters and their lives. Inspiration for all my books or scenes within them came from different places.  They vary between music, art, personal experience, tales from friends or a combination of things that can be totally unrelated.

Once I have an idea, I put bullet points in a document, which I frequently rearrange. I don’t use it as a story plan but as a reminder. Then as I write, the ideas get used up – not necessarily in their original order. The first few chapters are the most challenging to write because, if a reader’s attention isn’t grabbed in those opening pages, no matter how good it gets later, a bad review usually follows. A bad finish can get the same result. Readers like to have completion and feel satisfied that the people who they have hopefully come to love, get the ending right for them.

Finding a good, comfortable place to write is essential. I write, either in my bedroom or in company with my noise-cancelling headphones on. It allows me to get into the headspace of the character and to think more about their actions, reactions and speech patterns.

In Hathonatum, the speech of Ben is like that of a regular Brit, cutting corners and shortening words. Hathonatum’s is more precise suggesting English was not his native language. When developing a character, I have a general physical outline. E.g. Hathonatum was always going to be the tall, dark and mysterious one. Therefore, it fits that his personality was more held back and guarded. Whereas, with Ben, I had a little more leeway. He could be more open and freer with his thoughts. One thing I never do is base a complete character on a person that I know. I take a characteristic from here, another from there, then add something unique for them.

Writer’s block can be a pain. When it happens, I usually step away from the story for a while. If I force a scene, it never comes outright. Using personal experiences helps minimize writer’s block. In Hathonatum, Egyptian history has been a long-term hobby, and I have been to Cairo, seen the pyramids and taken a trip down the Nile. When using experiences, it is easier to describe the emotions that accompany a scene.

At the end of the day, writing is only one part of producing a story. Having a tough pre-reader and a damned good editor are worth their weight in gold. These talented people read a story cold, and don’t add in any assumed aspects. They help make a story the best it can be.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Honorary Blogger Gail Z. Martin: Making the Supernatural Believable + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Making the Supernatural Believable

by Gail Z. Martin

Inheritance, which is part of my Deadly Curiosities series, has ghosts, curses, demons, witches, supernatural creatures and haunted objects. I love writing about spooky stuff, and I do my best to make the paranormal elements believable so that readers get an exciting thrill ride of a book.

For me, the first step in making the supernatural believable is to research the lore, urban legends and ghost stories of an area. My urban fantasy books are set in real cities, most of which have a long, reputedly haunted past. Those stories arise from an area’s history and the people who came to live there, so understanding the history of a place is also important. 

My goal is to make the location of a book so much a part of the plot that the story couldn’t happen in the same way anywhere else. That requires research into the culture, and how the people who live there see themselves and their heritage. Of course, those elements wind back to the supernatural, because people tell stories about their ancestors, the people who settled the area before them, the rogues, scoundrels and criminals, the people most likely to have their spirits stay behind when their lives end.

Magic is always a part of my urban fantasy books, and to make magic believable, it has to have rules and come at a cost. People with magical abilities need to have limits, or they become super-powered and so there’s no suspense. Rules are important so that magic doesn’t just conveniently solve all problems. Also, since I draw from real-world belief systems around the practice of magic, I do my best to be faithful and respectful to those traditions and represent them and their practitioners accurately. 

I research the urban legends and ghost stories of a place because those are rooted in the area’s unique history, the people who settled there, and the physical nature of the location. The real legends provide wonderful plot bunnies for ways to incorporate some of those old stories and elements into my new stories, so that the tale feels organic, arising from its location.

The other key element is consistency, which comes back to rules. If creatures act a certain way in one book, or magic has certain abilities or limits, then that has to remain consistent throughout unless you provide a very good reason. That also helps with believability, because the supernatural elements shouldn’t solve every problem easily so they don’t feel like a cheat to get the characters out of tight situations.

I love writing spooky stories and weaving in supernatural elements—and I’m thrilled that readers like to read about ghosts, magic and haunted places. For me, getting to research and write paranormal plots is the best job ever! Continue reading

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Honorary Blogger Mellanie Rourke: Random Facts + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Random Facts

by Mellanie Rourke

Some random facts about me and my writing:

  • I wrote my first novel at the age of ten. On a typewriter.  It disappeared, and the world is probably a better place for it!
  • I published my first novel at the age of fifty.
  • My first paid publication was at the age of 12 in a contest for a story in the Akron Beacon Journal. I won $3 for the contest. Years later, the editor who had selected my story turned out to be the teacher for my last class for a degree in Communications.
  • I began reading M/M romances in 2017.
  • I wrote my first M/M romance in 2018. It took me about eight months to complete it. 
  • My second novel took 4 months to complete.
  • The Devereaux family kids are all named after characters in “Aliens” due to Mama K and Mama D’s obsession with the movie. 
    • Ripley “Lee” 
    • Weaver
    • Kaine
    • Bishop
    • Hudson “Sonny”
    • Hicks
  • I currently have two novels in the Twin Peeks Bookstore Romance series, Mason’s Run, and Nicki’s Fight. I have three more planned, Bishop’s Gambit, and two more unnamed novels.

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Honorary Blogger Rob Browatzke: A Fluid State + Excerpt!

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A Fluid State

by Rob Browatzke

Hey Friends and Family!

Thanks for having me here to talk about “A Fluid State”. I’m particularly pleased with this one, and this guest post tells you why.

The idea for this book started off somewhere in SocialMediaLand. Someone was asking about books featuring gender-fluid kids with straight dads. That’s where this started. It was Patrick’s relationship with his son, Peter, that really inspired this book.  I looked around my own life and saw the huge number of drag queens in it, saw the huge influence of Drag Race in so much of what’s currently pop culture, and I did the math. If Peter was exploring his gender identity, even just as far as dress, he probably would discover Drag Race, and that would lead him to drag queens in his own town.

Enter Andrew, aka Ann Moore. 

What would happen when Peter’s dad met that drag queen, I wondered. I’m sure you’ve all seen about Drag Queen StoryTimes at local libraries and the confusion, anger, and hate that they can breed online. I knew that wasn’t going to be Patrick, aside from the confusion. Of course he’d be a little confused. To find his eleven-year-old son suddenly dressing in skirts and blouses, not to mention having long-flowing hair? What if Patrick found that drag queen attractive before realizing she was a drag queen? What if that attraction didn’t fade when he learned the truth?

Like that, the story of a boy and his dad became this gay-for-you happy-ever-after slow-burn.

I’m not normally much of a plotter, and this wasn’t an exception. I knew it was becoming a romance so I knew that meant at least a happy for now ending, but it’s also my instinct to toss in a lot of grief and anguish and pain to get there. This book was having none of that. Every place I wanted to insert some agony, maybe homophobic comrades-in-arms or an ex-wife freaking out, every single place I tried to up the drama, Patrick and Andrew simply told me, nope. Not in this book, not in this world. We’re here to fall in love, and that’s scary enough without random tragedy intervening.

That’s not to say everything is easy for Patrick and Andrew. Love isn’t easy, at the best of times, and when you factor in a changing relationship between father and son, as well as this first ever same-sex attraction? That road is going to have bumps in it no matter what I do. I mean heck, I’m just the writer. At some point in every story, I lose whatever control I had; it just so happens in this one, I never really had much to begin with. 

As for heat level? This is the sexiest story I’ve written yet. Oh sure, pick up almost any of my other books and there will be sex, and loads of it, but this one? Patrick and Andrew sizzle together, and I hope you feel their chemistry as strongly as I do!

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , | Leave a comment