Thursday, October 9, 2014

Interview with Suki Fleet!

It is time for a glimpse, just a glimpse mind you, behind the curtain and into the story behind the story. The story of Skeletons, Suki Fleet's latest release!

Jan has given up on love, at least the romantic kind. He loves his five-year-old son Henry more than anything.

But when Henry starts school, Jan is introduced to Matthew, a very sweet but shy young man who helps out in Henry’s class. Although he tries desperately to ignore his attraction, Jan finds himself falling for Matthew--he's everything Jan needs.

But amid creepy silent phone calls and possible break-ins, things start to fall slowly apart for Jan. Matthew wants to trust Jan, but the skeleton Jan has been trying to keep buried in his closet and the guilt he feels threatens to destroy everything good in his life.

1. Did you set out to write a romance wrapped around a suspenseful mystery, or did that just kind of...happen?

Haha no, I’m not much of a planner. All my stories just kind of happen

2. How difficult was it to incorporate a kindergartener into your book? Are children harder or easier to write?

I guess I just see them as another character, with as many facets (hopefully) as any adults in the story.

3. Everyone has something from their past they'd rather not have turn up. Does Mathew have sinister secrets? Is his sweet and shy personality really an act?

Actually no, he really is just a sweetheart. He’s had his fair share of pretty serious problems, but he is open about them. I love to write contrasting characters and this is where Jan and Matthew are very different.

5. Villains. Love to love them or love to hate them?

Love, but only if they are complex and tortured.

6. Out of all the books, movies, and TV shows, who claims the cape o' evil as your Most Favorite Villain?

Because I can’t think of any book villains right now I will go with films and Loki from Thor is one of my favourite characters ever.

7. Skeleton is a very fitting title. Is there a story behind how you came up with it?

Titles come to me before stories evolve. I suspect my subconscious is far more intelligent than I am :P

8. What's your favorite part of the publishing process? Editing? Seeing the cover? Reading the galley? Finishing the first draft? Getting the contract? All of the above?

Contract definitely.

9. Recommend some books! What are two or three books you've really enjoyed recently?

10. What is your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing/editing?

Tea- lady grey (I’m probably addicted)

Thank you for the interview, Suki!

Skeletons is available at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Dreamspinner Press.

Suki Fleet currently lives in the heart of England. Her childhood was quite unconventional and she spent some time living on a boat and travelling at sea with her family. Since she was very small she has always dreamed of writing for a living, but though she has written original fiction online for years and encouraged many new writers to keep going and follow their author dreams, it is only recently she got the courage to make her own dream a reality and actually send something off to a publisher.

By day she runs her own business selling fabric (her second love) and juggling family commitments, by night she weaves the stories that the characters in her head dictate. These stories often start with pain or longing but always end with love.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Storytime with Angel Martinez!

Prisoner 374215? Gravitational Attraction? Yeah, THAT Angel Martinez is doing a thing.

A very creative thing, and I am all about creative things. Make good art and all that.

She's reading excerpts of various LGBT books and posting them on her blog. I'm the lucky guest today, with an excerpt from Winter's Risk. I chose a section from the middle of the book to showcase the tension between Alex and Martin they're both determined to ignore with snarky banter.

But I think most getting-to-know-you scenes could benefit from fewer clothes and more confined spaces. Your mileage may vary.

IT IS FANTASTIC so head over to her blog and give it a listen!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

*KABOOM* The Contract Has Landed.

It's happy happy joy joy announcement time!

Dreamspinner Press has offered me a contract on my New Adult Gay Romance, Finding Figaro!

Jasper is a pretentious young unpublished writer trying to find out the truth behind his favorite author's pen name, but with the catch of not letting *anyone* realize he likes reading romance, especially not the raw, sweat-slicked, passionate romance Figaro Powers writes. He'd be laughed out of the Serious Author's Club! What would his critic group say?

But his day job at a catering company goes south when he's arrested for helping commit wine fraud, and things go from bad to worse when he discovers the Russian mob is involved. It's hard to remain pretentious when that's all blowing up in his face.

As a bonus, I got my first advance with this book, which was another career milestone. The release date is March/April of next year, which is right in the middle of when I'm moving halfway across the country. So that'll be interesting, and a test of my ability to manage time.  Manipulate time. Possibly time travel. I'll be wishing for a Tardis by then, I know it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

WE HAVE A WINNER!!! Congratulations Kim W!

Sometimes ideas will pop into my head and all the reality around them gets magically deleted in favor of the super-awesome random idea.

'Wouldn't it be neat if I used Basement Cat to choose the winner of the blog hop?'

Yeah, maybe. But like I said, there's some reality around that thought I ignored.

Reality like I have never made a video before.

Basement Cat has never done what I wanted in a timely fashion.

This camera is as nearly as complicated as the Space Shuttle's control panel.

BUT I DIDN'T LET IT STOP ME. After some sweary, sweary words, I made this.

Let this be a lesson to you. With profanity and determination anything can be accomplished.

Someday, I will evolve enough to add music and also make the camera not auto-focus at critical moments.

Because it's important to have goals.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

And so we come to The End

Of the Winter's Risk blog hop! Not the end of everything. The pinnacle post is over at Grace Duncan's delightful corner of the interwebz.

I'm speculating about the proper meaning of perspective and the possibility of using Basement Cat as a random number generator to decide the winner of the book. Using a cat? To do something important? How could that possibly work?

Upon further reflection, my perspective in this matter was slightly skewed. The drawing has been delayed a few days, but no worries, the winner (barring more sudden attacks of the creeping crud or techno!fail on my part) should be announced tomorrow.

With a video.

Of a cat.

Using his catly wiles to choose the lucky winner.

If he refuses (although, with pepperoni as a bribe I don't think he will) then I'll draw the winner myself. Either way, there will be a winner announced.

It will be Catnificent.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ink Splatters and Imagination Patterns

Like a Rorschach test, a blob of imagination smeared all over the page could be whatever you want it to be. Anything. Scientifically speaking, the quantum possibilities are endless.

Perhaps it's...Schrödinger's Imagination! 

A book with a bear paw on the cover could be suspense OR mystery...and you have to open it to find out. A book with an injured man in the wilderness could be a thriller, OR an action/adventure, and maybe even have a healthy dabble of romance swirled around on top. You might hope you know what's going on between those sexy covers, but you don't actually know until you peek for yourself.

The indomitable Anne Barwell graciously invited me over to her cozy corner of the web, Drops of Ink, to discuss Winter's Risk, the zombocalypse, and the magic of how someone who has always lived where it's roughly the same surface temperature as the sun can write about snowstorms.

Imagination is a fascinating thing.

What do you imagine when you see this cover?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What is the scientifically proven ideal number of men?

Obviously, it's more than one. Two Men Are Better Than One is the sixth law of Archimedes.

Or was it the ninth?

Hadrian sees what I did there.

Hadrian would approve. As a Roman emperor, he knew all about conflict. He was the original advocate for the 'Good Fences Make Good Neighbors' school of philosophy.

I blogged about a much smaller conflict-two guys with opposing world views-and illustrated the post with a picture of a micro-conflict I risked my life to take. Really, I did. You wouldn't believe how close I had to get before the camera would focus.

So rumble on over and get a little adrenaline rush yourself. There might even be a free ebook in your future if you comment on my appalling lack of personal safety skills. Or the book. Whatever floats your boat. Puts a little zip in your stinger. Adds a little buzz to your bee.

Did I mention I'm deathly allergic to hornets?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Love Bytes <--Plot twist! Not a Vampyre blog!

Sometimes things aren't what they seem. Love Bytes is a gigantic review site and I, because I am a lucky little writer-chick, was allowed to ramble on about the pros and cons of Inside versus Outside.

The Inside world has A/C, comfy sofas, wifi, hot and cold running water and also tea, indoor plumbing, television, solid walls which keep the creepy-crawlies out- why would anyone go outside? Really?

I have found many things in my house, but a centipede as long as my foot has never turned up.

So why does the Outside world even get a mention? Why do so many people (including myself) drag ourselves out into the hot, sunlight-infested, creature-ridden, not-paved, no-bars outside? For fun?

It's good for the soul to see farther than four walls once in a while. Maybe that's why.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Regular Guys AND Hot Romance?

Yes, please! How could anyone say no to that?

Charley Descoteaux invited me over to blather about my regular guys and their hot romance sparked off by trying not to die in the wilderness. Motivation, they haz it. Due to wifi not being a naturally occurring phenomena, this particular post is late, but wilderness survival tips and tricks never go out of style. Getting lost and getting found again is kind of a specialty of mine.

Know how to use sticks and rocks to find north? Would you like to? How about building a campfire without lighter fluid? It's easy, I'll teach you how.

If you ever venture out beyond the paved jungles of civilization to the creepy-crawlie infested Outside World, it's worth a look. Or two. Also I'm giving away a book! Basically, it's a good deal all the way around.

Not like what I discovered last weekend.

YES that is a BLACK WIDOW fighting with a RED HORNET three steps outside the front door. It was enough to make anyone swear off the scenic countryside.

I don't even have to go very far to find nature that can kill me. Yay me. Here, have a happy picture.

Mr. Buffalo would rather nap than gore me to death. Go buffalo!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Group of Hats is Called a Party!

A group of crows is called a murder.

A group of vampires is called a kiss.

A group of ferrets is called a business.

Really, it makes perfect sense for a group of hats to be a party! Not any random party either, I'm referring to a very specific party hosted by the classy Raine O'Tierney!

We discussed my coping methods when favorite tv shows are cancelled, some of my ferret-like tendencies when writing, and the best smell in the world, books!

Speaking of books, I'm giving a book away. If you would like to enter, just read and comment on the interview. A potentially free book on your ereaders is better than...almost anything, really. So scoot on over and see what is going on at the Hat Party. :D

My neato, super-warm hat was acquired on a vacation to the Manitoba Cliff Dwellings, a short drive from Colorado Springs. If you're ever in the area, it's worth the trip.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Comfy Chairs? Yes, Please!

Who doesn't like a comfy chair? Nobody, that's who. The wonderful Elin Gregory invited me to squish myself down in the comfy chair and answer a few pointed questions about books, bears, and I also managed to work beer into the discussion.

Like the alliteration? I'm kind of proud of it.

She asked excellent questions and I tried to live up to them with my answers. If you're interested in the aforementioned topic:

And don't forget the book: (#50 on Amazon short reads!)

Then come over and visit. I'm giving one of those pictured items away to a lucky commenter!

Plot twist, it's the bear! No, really. He's housebroken and free to a good home as long as there's lots of bird feeders and rope to play with. He's an indoor bear and likes to cuddle.

(not really)


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Twitter Takeover? That's not very nice, is it?

Yes, it is I, @AnyPennyH who will be snatching the @Dreamspinners twitter account and leading Le révolution! Sorry, I'm going to see Les Mis in a couple of weeks and I'm somewhat ridiculously excited. But I'm giving books away today, so you should be ridiculously excited. Or not. Free books always give me a book-boner. But I think we have established I'm odd.
Twitter Takeover. For one precious hour I become @Dreamspinners. 7pm Central time.

I'll tag my tweets with #DSPtakeover and Storify them later so all the banter and behind-the-scenes babble about writing Winter's Risk can be immortalized forever on this blog. Except for the tweets when I misspell things, those can just fade away into the electronic round-file. Unless it's an amusing misspelling, those I'll keep.

Storify is another new thing I'll have to learn since embarking on the published author path, but I've seen other people do it and that means Google can teach me how to make it happen. Because I'm a strong, independent author who don't need no professional computer person! Or something...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

How is Purple Rose like a Tea House?

Quite a puzzler isn't it? Or is it? It isn't.

Because it is one!

The Purple Rose Tea House, managed by the lovely Charlie Cochet, is hosting a guest blog from yours truly. It contains pictures of unknown, never-before-seen on this planet flowers, foreign scenery, and new book giveaway opportunities.

Or maybe that's hyperbole.


It also has details about Winter's Risk, an excerpt, and my secrets of airbending exercise routine.

And those facts are solid as granite. (Or gravity, when I do an oopsie.)

It seems like a Minion is about to push a boulder down on my head! How despicable!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

All the Good Blog Titles Are Taken

Coffee and Porn in the Morning?


What better things could encapsulate a romance blog so perfectly? Nothing, that's what.

Coffee and Porn in the Morning was the very first m/m romance blog I ever followed, so when I decided to kick off the Winter's Risk blog tour there, in their sacred server space, I knew I had to step up my game. Way, way up. It's time for the big leagues...

I've had my ceremonial coffee and browsed through their archives for some hot, sexy pictures to start the day off right. Forget you, eggs and cereal. There's a new breakfast routine in town.

If you would like to modernize your morning routine, or just win a free book, have a gander. All the NSFW content is behind a cut, so don't be afraid to improve your day with some coffee and porn, and a post by yours truly, dreaming about the outdoors and Winter's Risk.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Winter's Risk Promo Tour

On a scale of one-to-terrifying, organizing a promo tour falls squarely on the terrifying end. But with the encouragement and friendly advice from the brave souls who have gone before, I managed to email strangers and ask if they'd pretty-please mind a guest post. Ten stops is a nice number for a first blog tour, right?

Here is a list of all the lovely sites kind enough to allow me to babble about my new releases.

June 19th  - Cup O' Porn
June 21st  - Purple Rose Tea House
June 24th - Twitter Takeover
June 26th - Telling it Like it Was
July 1st    - The Hat Party
July 3rd   -  Regular Guys - Hot Romance
July 7th   -  Love Bytes
July 10th -  Because Two Men are Better than One
July 14th - Drops of Ink
July 17th - Grace Duncan

And no blog tour would be complete without a giveaway! I'm giving a copy of Winter's Risk to a randomly selected commenter who comments on any post in the tour. Only one comment on each site will count. The giveaway closes July 21th at midnight EST.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Winter's Risk and Misadventures of Mislaid Men are finally touchables!

Step right up, step right up! I have important announcements to make. I wrote a thing and now it's an official, book-shaped object that you, my darlings, can buy and read on the electronic device of your choice. Because that's how awesome I am. Kindle, Ipad, all varieties of phone, I got'cha covered.
Isn't it beautiful? Paul Richmond painted the cover and I am in awe how well he captured the book.

'Veteran park ranger Alexander Doyle is tracking a nuisance bear when he runs across obnoxious environmentalist Martin Ramirez. He and Martin have clashed before, when Martin and the protestors under his leadership ended a plan to expand the network of paved trails and improve accessibility. Given a choice, Alex would rather face the bear.

When the dangerous grizzly attacks them and Martin is gravely wounded, his only chance of survival is Alex’s determination to keep him alive through the night. But they’re stranded miles from any hope of rescue with the year’s first snowstorm coming in fast.'

It's very reasonably priced at the Dreamspinner store.

The other exciting news is my short story in the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology is so great it has TRANSCENDED the boundaries of electronic devices and is available in physical, paper-scented paper copies, just like grandma used to read.

Misadventures of Mislaid Men* is just one of the many entertaining stories contained within. Although now that it's safely published I feel secure enough to tell you that when I sent the submission to the publisher, I had a typo. In the title. That's right, I screwed up my own title. What can I say?

I called it Misadventures IN Mislaid Men. 

Think about it for a minute. How the hell do you have a misadventure in a man? It sounds like the horrible mishap that results when someone forgot to use a toy with a flared base, (most unsexy thing ever) but Dreamspinner saw beyond my typo-fail and liked the story anyway. Publishing it, even.

So you can enjoy it too!

*no sex toys were harmed in the writing of this story. It's a about a British solicitor and a Welsh pub owner. They bond over misplaced cows and thick, heady beer.

Friday, April 18, 2014

I Finished a Novel...kinda!

Not a novella, not a short story, a 70k novel! Hurrah! Minimum work-count achieved!

It's done, I'm finished. THE END

Except... I've got these notes in brackets scattered throughout the text...

(Add conversation between Mother and Lily to est. motivation)

(Write bad sex scene between Jasper and ex-boyfriend) <-- This is harder than writing a good sex scene, I'll have you know. Probably why I skipped it in the first place.

(Research courtroom procedure)

(Give Jasper some friends)

(Awkward - rewrite) (OOC - rewrite) (Illogical - rewrite)

Etc, etc.

Well then. 

Write a few more scenes to bridge the gaps and smooth the edges. No biggie.


Oh, wait. I have to send it to my darling beta readers, and execute their notes about where they got bored or confused, then eradicate all the typos (except for the one that got away, there's always one).

Then do another pass just to tidy up all the character arcs and plot lines.

Then send it to the publisher... 

You're perfect just the way you are, lil' literate scribe Goblin.

Pray I'm not delusional and they think it's good too...

Do more edits for the publisher...

Egads, I'm nowhere near finished. Finishing the first draft is more like: 

I'm pretty certain by the time I've really, truly, honestly finished this book I'll have done the emotional equivalent of running from wargs, arguing with Elves, and getting lost in the wilderness with a bunch of grumpy Dwarves. I don't even care. The next part is the best part. Even if I end up in a burning pine tree.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why Won't They Just Talk?

Writers are readers. Huge readers. I started reading romances by nicking my Grandmother's Nora Roberts and LaVyrle Spencer books. Probably younger then I should've, but there were worse ways I could have been spending my childhood, rather than curled up with a good book. Now I'm writing them, isn't that a plot twist?

Ironically enough, the book I'm working on now is the sort of book that drove me batty as a prepubescent, never-been-kissed, reader.

Character A assumes a thing, Character B is hurt, then angst, angst, angst. I remember getting so irritated they wouldn't just act like adults and talk. Pouty sulking was immature.

But as Kipling says: There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, and every single one of them is right.

There's far more than sixty-nine (hehe) different sources of personal conflict and drama in romance novels.

So I'm going to narrow my focus down to the the type of romance novel when the main conflict between the characters is based on a simple misunderstanding.

Something that could be cleared up with a little honest discussion.

But that discussion cannot happen easily.

For romance, there's a Main Character and an obvious (or not so obvious) Love Interest (or more than one). As a reader, you know after roughly two hundredish pages, they're going to kiss, have some epic sex, and live happily ever after.

Because that's what romance is. That's the promise made to you when you pick up the book. You will wade through the trials and tribulations of these characters and eventually, they'll find True Love and you'll get a happy wobbly feeling when they admit how they care about each other and throw themselves into each others arms.

But wait, but wait, why don't they just do that from the beginning? Since they're so obviously meant for each other? Two halves of a single soul, and all the other sickeningly sweet cliches.

There has to be a reason they don't boink (or boink with tender loving feelings sprinkled on top) until after most of the book has happened, otherwise it's just a casual hook-up without an emotional angle, unless one character is using the casual hook-up to avoid intimacy and-- and I'm going off target. Ahem.

After Main Character and Love Interest meet, but before Main Character and Love Interest do the beast with two backs, stuff has to happen. Important stuff. Plot stuff. Character stuff. Because there has to be a reason these two (or more) people dance around each other and hold off the boinking until the end of the book.

If their eyes meet and they run toward each other while At Last plays over the loudspeaker, and then commence violating public nudity laws, it's interesting, but it's not long enough to make a book. Something has to keep the climax (harhar) from happening. 

For dramatic reasons. But there's a fine line between drama and melodrama.

So if the reason they aren't together is because of a smallish misunderstanding that could be sorted out with a brief conversation over some caramel lattes on a sleepy Saturday afternoon, then that conversation has to be danced around like negotiations with North Korea over taking some chill pills and developing a national hobby that doesn't involve Geiger counters.

Get me? It has to be a huge thing, with some element of danger or apprehension surrounding it. An 'I might die if I say this right now' sort of atmosphere. There has to be trepidation. There has to be a solid reason the conversation absolutely could not happen in the course of the casual 'getting to know you' chatter amid the heated glances and magnetic pull they feel toward each other.

How tedious and unfulfilling would it be if they met, had a misunderstanding, then retired to some trendy cafe to work things out by the end of the first chapter?

'Oh, I made an incorrect assumption about your life/job/values/personality/relationship status/family. Allow me to kiss away your hurt feelings.' Then nothing else happens except sex in every possible position for the next twelve chapters?

If you've been reading romance novels any length of time, you've read lots and lots of sex scenes, and you know they're not nearly as rewarding when the characters haven't bled, sweated, and wept copious amounts of tears to get to the emotional climax, not just the physical climax.

You want them to work for it. You want them to clench their hands, bite their lips, and take deep, shuddering breaths while they force the words out with their eyes squeezed shut because they can't bear to watch the reaction to whatever they're struggling to say.

The conversation to clear up the simple misunderstanding has to be radioactive. It has to be enormous. It has to be a giant, world-view shifting moment that causes stress, anxiety, fear, nerves and running through it all has to be the faint, thin shred of hope that maybe it might work out after all.

This is when character motivation becomes vital. You have to know exactly why your characters would flee to the ends of the earth rather then have that particular conversation. Then you can make a simple misunderstanding work to keep them apart for 70k+.

So go forth and obfuscate.