Thursday, August 28, 2014
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
by Charlie Cochet
Length: Novel, 270 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
On the outside, handsome, successful attorney Andrew Whittaker has everything in life. On the inside, he has everything too, only he doesn't know it. He hides the love of his life, Mark Bryce, from his family and everyone else where he lives in Portland, Oregon. Soon the weight of the secret becomes too much for Andrew. After wrestling with himself and his place in the world, he must decide how he’s going to live—with or without Mark.
Andrew’s cell phone buzzed in his pocket. He put his lunch bag on the counter, nodding at the message from Lisa Bloom, his secretary. He scanned his e-mails and grimaced at the phone. “I have to go.” He left at a sprint through the kitchen door to his silver Mercedes in the attached one-car garage. He didn’t even like the car, but that’s what the senior partners at his firm drove, so that’s what he drove too. Andrew opened the garage door, got into the driver’s seat, slid the key into the ignition, started the car, and jumped at the knock on his window. He shrugged sheepishly, opened the window, and took his lunch bag.
“Sorry,” he said. “I’m a little distracted today.”
“Today?” A sigh. “That car is such a gas guzzler. You need a hybrid. This is Portland. You’re supposed to be green.”
“Kermit the Frog green?”
“Any kind of green you want to be.”
Andrew looked at the person watching him with such open-hearted love in those soft gold-brown eyes.
“Mark?” Andrew said.
Mark Bryce leaned his head through the open window and kissed Andrew’s cheek. “Anything for you, beautiful boy.”
When Andrew stopped at the red light on Bancroft Street he felt his phone vibrate. He pulled his phone from his pocket, saw the screen and cringed, peering at the nearby drivers as though they were reporting his every move to some great eye in the sky. The text was from Mark.
Stop looking at your phone!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Website - http://www.meredithallard.com/
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/copperfield101
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/authormeredithallard
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/That-You-Are-Here-Novel-ebook/dp/B00I17XBBE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401234223&sr=8-1&keywords=that+you+are+here
I got a chance to ask Meredith Allard a few questions and these are her responses. What fascinating responses in regards to this new release!
Did you always know you were going to write erotic stories, or was it something you discovered along the way?
That You Are Here isn’t an erotic romance, it’s a sweet romance. All of my stories are romantic rather than romances in the traditional sense. I would call That You Are Here an m/m love story. I do like to write about people falling in love. That part of it is fascinating to me.
Do you have any favorite authors or books that inspire you to write?
Charles Dickens has been a huge influence on my writing. I read David Copperfield in college and I knew that’s what I wanted to do—write stories that were worlds unto themselves.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was lucky enough to have had teachers throughout my education who took the time to point out that I was a good writer. It took some time to decide what I wanted to write. I tried journalism and screenwriting, but finally found my home writing fiction.
What gave you the inspiration for your current release?
I was in Portland, Oregon when the announcement of the Supreme Court decision overturning DOMA was made. The idea for That You Are Here occurred to me shortly afterward in some random daydream. I believe that people who are in love should be able to get married, and suddenly I saw the characters from the story, Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce, so strongly, like they were standing in front of me. I had the idea for the story from beginning to end in a matter of days. My main goal wasn’t to write a gay story exactly, but rather to write a love story, a story about learning to feel comfortable in your own skin, which is something anyone can relate to, gay or straight. And Andrew’s story about having a secret to hide is one that a lot of people can also relate to. Andrew has to learn that he’s okay the way he is, again, a lesson that everyone needs to learn in one way or another.
Do you use images for your characters or do you just work off the top of your head?
Sometimes I use images I find on the Internet or actors to help me get a sense of the character’s looks and movements. Other times the character is completely a figment of my imagination.
If you do use images for your characters, which models/actors are your inspiration?
While I was writing That You Are Here, I happened to be watching an episode of Girls and I thought Andrew Rannells would make a great Mark. I didn’t have anyone in mind for the character of Andrew Whittaker. He was completely a product of my imagination.
If you had to describe your main characters in 5 words each, what would they be?
Andrew—hardworking, intelligent, afraid, secretive, handsome
Mark—loving, kind, open, honest, helpful
How did you research the setting for your latest release?
When I came up with the idea for the story, I was in Portland and decided to set the story there. I was already in Portland so I had a chance to look around at a few of the locations I wanted to use in the story.
What made you realize that you wanted to write in this genre?
It wasn’t so much that I decided I wanted to write in the m/m genre, but more that I had the idea for a story that happened to be a love story between two men. I’m most known for historical fiction, but the idea for That You Are Here was so strong and I felt there was a novel in there somewhere. I decided to take a chance and see what kind of book I could make from it.
Which one of your characters is your favorite? Which one do you secretly wish you could kill off?
I don’t think I could choose between Mark Bryce and Andrew Whittaker from That You Are Here. I love them both, and as the two romantic leads they’re both central to the story. I wouldn’t have minded if Corwin Whittaker, Andrew’s father, happened to be hit by a car during the story. Sadly, it never happened.
What is the greatest and worst thing about being a writer?
The best part of being a writer is creating stories that I get to share with readers. The worst thing is writing the first draft. I am a big fan of Anne Lamott’s phrase “shitty first drafts” because mine are the shittiest shitty first drafts there are.
Is there anything readers should know about your characters or your world before they start reading the book?
I think the story is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a love story between two men—Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce—and how Andrew needs to learn to accept himself if he’s going to find happiness in life. And I hope I’ve brought Portland, Oregon to life well enough that readers feel like they’re standing there.
Will there be a sequel to your book?
That You Are Here was intended as a stand alone, but I’ve had enough requests from readers asking about a sequel that I very well might have to write one.
Do you prefer writing about perfect characters or flawed ones?
I think a perfect character would be extremely boring. People aren’t perfect, so if characters are going to be believable then they shouldn’t be perfect, either. In That You Are Here, Mark seems perfect on the surface, but if you dig a little deeper you can see that he’s a “fixer.” He wants to fix everyone’s problems. While that’s a noble goal, no one can really fix or change anyone else, and that’s a lesson Mark needs to learn. For me, it’s the flaws that make a character both believable and interesting.
How did you start writing?
I started writing fiction in college. I knew from my sophomore year that I wanted to write novels. I started writing my first historical novel twenty years ago in 1994, and I’ve been at it ever since.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? The title? The sex scenes? Dialogue? Consistency?
Since my novels are sweet romances, the sex takes place off the page so that’s not hard for me. Dialogue comes fairly easy for me because of my training as a screenwriter. Probably the hardest part would be writing the first draft because it’s so far from what I’m trying to write. Usually my second drafts are a lot better.
How did you come up with the title for this story?
The title comes from a section from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
If your book was a DVD and we went to the Special Features option, what would we find there? Would your book have a deleted scene? And if so, what would it be?
When I wrote the screenplay for That You Are Here, I did have to leave out a number of scenes and characters from the book. For example, I had to leave out Mrs. Chesney from the screenplay, which I felt bad about because she’s a hoot in the novel. But where you have as many pages as you need to tell a story in a novel, in a screenplay you have between 90-110 pages, so you have to figure out how to condense some scenes and how to let go of scenes that don’t fit into the screenplay format.
Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/06/vbt-that-you-are-here-by-meredith-allard.html
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Thursday, August 7, 2014
I am very happy to be hosting Kate Paddington on The Purple Fantasy Den today as she promotes her new release: Platonic from Interlude Press.
Kate so graciously answered one of my "curveball" questions about her book for her guest blog post. Enjoy and then go and buy the book. Also, Kate will be awarding a $25 Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.
And now, over to Kate!
If your main characters were to meet your favorite author, who would it be and how would that meeting go?
The sheer incompatibility between my favorite author—Neil Gaiman—and one of my main characters—Patrick Hunt—is overwhelming me… So let me begin by saying thank you for such a curve ball of a question!
Neil Gaiman is a fantasy author with the weirdest mind in the world and an amazing, crazy, performance-artist wife, which really just makes me love him more. He recently wrote a fantastic article about his friend Stoya, the famous (ex) porn star, and so even though he’s a fantasy writer who doesn’t really dabble in erotica, it’s safe to say both he and his wife are both wonderfully open-minded and I am sure that they’d take my characters at face value.
Let me begin with the easy ones, Daniel and Mark, my two, in-love, protagonists. Neil would love Mark, for all his idiocy, hand-wringing and self-doubt, he’d look upon him with a soft, sympathetic smile and patiently wait for him to grow up and learn how to be himself. More importantly, how to go after and get what he wants. That’s kind of the point of the story and I think anyone with a strong sort of empathy for people who don’t have a cruel bone in their body (absolutely Mark) will put up with Mark’s less-than-appealing childishness and indecision. Once he’s grown up and knows what he wants, I guess Mark can seem a bit selfish, but he’s non-confrontational and sweet so they’d be fine.
Daniel does have a couple of cruel bones to him–just a couple. He’s selfish. His ambition might conflict with an author as mellow and peaceful as Neil, but again, I suspect, in between the bitchy fights, they’d get on fine and have lots of discussions about what the color blue really is, and how to properly define maudlin and whether beauty and fashion are absolute or even real.
My real worry at this little get together is Patrick. He’s not a lovely person, he’s probably more bad than good. He doesn’t give a damn about anyone else unless he’s formed an attachment, and even then its because he knows he’ll feel it if they feel bad. He’s a proper career man when we first meet him in ‘Platonic’ and he sleeps with one of his students simply because he wants to. He keeps sleeping with him because he wants to. And I mean, most of us just do what we want, but few of us are so scathingly aware of it. Patrick is wholly about self. He’s the kind of person who would start a conversation with a fantastic novelist like Neil, get bored, say so, and leave.
I suspect they’d rather hate each other. Neil would warn Mark off Patrick, actually, he’d be absolutely certain Patrick can’t be good for him, and Mark would have to apologize and try to explain why, actually, Patrick is exactly what he needs. I can’t see them getting on. If Neil went to Daniel and Mark’s eventual, far-off wedding, I’m pretty sure he’d be sat in the opposite corner to Patrick. Though that’s true of about a third of the people at their wedding.
So, there you have it. Neil getting on rather well with Mark, exchanging, bitchy but loving repartee with Daniel, and flat out disliking Patrick. What a tremendously interesting thought experiment!
Thank you so much for asking me and hosting me here for this guest blog!!
Mark Savoy and Daniel O’Shea were high school sweethearts who had planned their forevers together. But when Mark goes to college in California rather than following Daniel to New York, he embarks on a decade-long search for independence, sexual confidence and love.
When Mark lands a job in New York and crosses Daniel’s path, they slowly rebuild their fractured friendship through texts and emails. If they finally agree to see each other, will they be able to keep it platonic? Or will the spark of a long-lost love reignite just as Daniel accepts a job overseas?
Platonic is a story of trials, growth, and knowing how to learn lessons from the past to build a future.
"Why did you ask me?” Daniel asks, genuinely curious.
“That’s unfair. I’ve been asking you all night why you came.”
Daniel holds his gaze. “You know that night in the bar, when I ran into you?” Mark tilts his head—he remembers. “You asked me to email you and your eyes were wide and pleading and there was no way I was going to be able to say no to you. I remember wondering if you used the same face on juries, to get your way in court. I guess what I’m saying is that I still don’t know how to say no to you. I still don’t know how anyone does.”
Time stops around them, stutters and then kicks back in when their eyes slip away from each other. Neither one of them knows what this is or what to do with it. Neither of them walked into this dinner tonight thinking “seduction” or “relationship” or “date” or anything like that. They were far too busy not thinking it.
“Did you want to say no?” Mark asks.
“Of course not. I wanted to come. Of course I did, Mark.” And then somehow they’re touching. Without giving it any conscious thought, Daniel has reached across the space between them and caught one of Mark’s hands in his.
The realization that they are touching comes slowly to Mark; his nerves feel sluggish, his brain has trouble processing the simplicity of the touch, just skin on skin, not intimate or unwelcome or leading to anything. But Daniel is touching him—and not briefly, not fleetingly, he’s holding on—and suddenly it all rushes back through Mark and he never, ever wants to let go.
Not ever. This is it. Daniel is it. He always was.
“You broke my heart.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kate Paddington wrote her first work of fan fiction at age 12. Today, at age 26, she has degrees in philosophy and chemistry, and is currently completing a PhD in biophysics. A native of Australia, she has published numerous academic papers as part of her research. Platonic is her first novel.
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Friday, August 1, 2014
It's Release Day for Michigan! Woohoo!
"So why the fuck did you turn him away?” “Because he was a fucking vampire!” Lucas took a step back and looked at his friend, shaking his head. It was obvious that whoever this doctor was, this Dakota Sevion, fellow, he’d done a number on Nimo’s brain, because his friend was jacked up. Lucas snorted mentally at the word “jacked” since it made him think of Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood, his favorite show in the world. “Why are you smiling? Oh god. Are you thinking about Torchwood again?” Nimo groaned. “I do not think about the show that much!” Lucas protested. Nimo snorted. “Please. It’s either the show or Captain Jack and Ianto, or leather, or cooking, or your restaurant, or sex, or Gwen from the show, or if and when they’re going to bring the show back, or how Ianto died, or fanfiction, or comicons, or…” Lucas raised his hands. “Okay, okay. I have a slight…fascination, with the show.” Nimo pointed at Lucas’s leather wristband that was fashioned just like the one John Barrowman had worn on the show. “Slight fascination?” Lucas rolled his eyes. “It’s not an obsession.” Nimo laughed. “Whatever.” “Unca Lucas! Look!” Zay exclaimed running back into the room holding up a drawing of ten very large men. “Wow! Who is that, dumpling?” Lucas asked as he knelt in front of his nephew. “I really wish you’d stop calling my son the names of food,” Nimo muttered. Lucas ignored Nimo’s petulant remark and focused on Zay who started pointing at the men on the page. “These are the vampire doctors at the hospital I went to. This is Daddy’s boyfwiend. Doctor Dakota. Then this is Michigan, he’s fo’ you.” “For me?” Lucas was confused. He looked up at a smirking Nimo. “Oh yes. Didn’t I tell you? Apparently my vampire has brothers and one of them smelled like you. Zay says that means that you two are meant for each other. His name is Michigan Sevion. No doubt he’ll be coming for you any time now. You’re welcome..” Lucas glared at Nimo then stuck out his tongue. “Well, unlike you, I won’t run from any gorgeous, eligible, employed, interested doctor. Not even if he thinks he’s a vampire. I’ll just get him on some really good antipsychotics and live happily ever after.” Nodding at Nimo, Lucas turned his attention back to Zay to be introduced to the rest of the “vampire doctors” even as he tried to ignore the churning in his gut and the memories that tried to resurface in his mind.
Michigan Sevion is in hell. As a diagnostician at Gelreen Memorial Hospital he has trained to find solutions and answers to all manner of symptoms and problems, but when it comes to his own life he finds himself hopelessly adrift. His sufletul pereche, his mate, Lucas Jaxson, was attacked by Razvan, the monstrous vampire, though Razvan looked like Michigan at the time, a week into their bonding process. Now, Lucas shakes and screams every time Michigan gets close and “the thirst” is getting worse. There’s only one way for Michigan to survive “the thirst” and that is for his bond with Lucas to be severed, completely, and the only way for that to happen is for either him or Lucas to die. Michigan can’t even consider such a thing because he’s already falling in love with his “little chef ” but he may not have a choice, because Razvan’s still on the loose and he’s still out for blood.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
I am very happy to be hosting Melissa Graves on The Purple Fantasy Den today as she promotes her new release: Bleeding Heart from Interlude Press.
Melissa so graciously answered one of my questions about her book for her guest blog post. Enjoy and then go and buy the book.
And now, over to Melissa!
If your book was a movie on DVD, what special features would be on the disc? Would there be any deleted scenes? Moments that did not make it into the book but you, as the author, know about? If so, share one.
I am a very visual writer, so if my book was a movie and there were special features on the DVD, there would definitely be “set visits”.
Brian would love to take the audience on a tour of the clinic where he and Erica work. He would take pride in showing off the security and the blood storage room and the locker room where he keeps his things and eats lunch every day. He would show you his apartment if you asked, but he'd be bashful about it—it shows that he's a workaholic, because he's hardly ever there and it's sort of not lived in.
On the opposite side of that coin, Elisa would take you on a tour of the blood club, but only if you allowed Clara to lead you, and Clara would try to keep it all business while Elisa popped in every now and then to crack a dirty joke or make fun of your shoes. You'd see what they wanted you to see, and wonder at all the floors and rooms that they conveniently skipped over the course of your tour. What are these ladies up to?! In the end, you'd leave feeling satisfied. Maybe you would even find yourself getting taken care of by one of their highly trained and professional vampire staff before you left...
In terms of “deleted scenes”, I have to say that I am a very organized writer and don't often write whole scenes that I later get rid of. But one thing that I always go overboard with are the sex scenes—explicit sex scenes are like candy to me, and I'm always wanting to work in more than the story can support. I constantly have to remind myself that the characters don't have to accomplish every sex act that is human—and inhumanly, in this case—possible before the end of the story. So I do often have to go back and delete or rework extra sex scenes. It's a struggle!
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