Monday, May 31, 2010

Welcome, Kaye Spencer

1: Thank you so much for being here. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

I wrote my first full-length story when I was in junior high, and I haven’t stopped writing since.

2: What inspired you to write?

While the writing bug caught me at a young age, the inspiration to write didn’t come to me until I was raising three young children on a ranch out in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors in sight. It was lonely and to keep myself from losing my mind, I began writing my first novel, Lonely Places, and published it 25 years later.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

There is a saying that a person’s greatest strength is right next to their greatest weakness. Writing is like that for me. What I like the most about writing is that it occupies my mind, my time, and my life with creative expression. And that’s what drives me crazy…it occupies my mind, my time, and my life to the point of obsession. I have to make myself step away from the computer.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

What? There’s life outside of writing?!?!? Someone should have told me. Just kidding, but it feels like that sometimes. I travel two or three times a year to research locations for my stories. I watch a lot of movies (my dvd collection). I spend time with my family, especially my two granddaughters. My husband and I walk our dog every evening (rain, hail, sleet, or snow). I’m also a wine enthusiast, and every Sunday morning, my husband and I spend several hours watching our latest Teaching Company educational lectures.

5: Which authors do you like to read?

I read a great deal of nonfiction as research for my stories, but I’ve recently discovered Byran Burrough (Public Enemies), Carl Hiaason’s YA books (Hoot, Flush, Scat), and Rick Riordan’s YA series (Percy Jackson). I also like Steven Pressfield and David McCullough. I read and re-read Agatha Christie, Louis L’Amour, Don Coldsmith, Clive Cussler, Tony Hillerman, Michael Crichton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Shakespeare…the list goes on and on.

As far as romance authors: Sable Grey, Deanna Lee, Holly Jacobs, Anna Leigh Keaton, and Bertrice Small to name a few. And I have to confess that I’ve read (and own) every single William Shatner Tek War book. LOLOL

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I am a lover of words, a crafter of stories, and a hopelessly hopeful romantic.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

My current novel is called, “The Dance”. It’s an erotic contemporary cowboy romance.

Here’s a blurb:

Janae Palmer, a reclusive city girl facing a book review deadline, is at her wit's end with her upstairs neighbor, rodeo bullfighter Owen Quinlan. He's cranked-up his music, and she's on a mission to give him a lesson in manners. Having fantasized about getting him in bed, she gets more than she'd planned after a knock-out introduction. Owen is more than willing to share in her fantasies, but when his rodeo life comes between them, the words of a song will either give them the courage to go on together or leave them with only bittersweet memories of The Dance.

This is the YouTube link to watch the book video of “The Dance”:
My website is:

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Yes. I keep this Richard North Patterson quote on my computer as a constant reminder to myself that I can always improve my writing.

“Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with a first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.”

I also have a basic writing series going on at my website specifically geared toward the aspiring writer. This series of “lessons” will continue for the next few months. The first lesson posted yesterday, in fact. It’s entitled: Story Crafting, So You Want to be a Writer

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

Yes, sometimes. In one of my books, the villain and his sidekick were based on three men with whom I used to work. I blended their personalities, shuffled their names around, and created two characters that I completely ruined by the end of the book. LOLOL

In my recent release, The Dance, the hero is patterned after a friend.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

My ideas usually come from pictures or images and songs. The inspiration for “The Dance” wasn’t actually an inspiration. I wrote it as a 1000-word beginning-of-story contest entry.

11: What are you currently working on?

I am working on two stories simultaneously. One is a western for Breathless Press. This story will kick-off the western line BP is opening in November of this year. The story involves a lady gambler and the two U.S. Marshals who have to arrest her for suspicion of murder.

The other story is a 1929 Prohibition Era erotic romance for Cobblestone Press. The story begins with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago and ends three days later. The heroine is trying to get away from her abusive mob boss husband with the help of an FBI agent.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I am published under another pseudonym, A.L.Debran. A few months ago, I decided that I needed a more “girlie, romance-y” name, so Kaye Spencer appeared. Kaye will eventually absorb A.L.’s identity.

Excerpt from The Dance by Kaye Spencer
Janae the indicated the photo. “This is you, isn’t it?”
He nodded. “That’s when I broke my back.”
“It’s a terrifying sight.” Taken aback at the gleam in his eyes, she realized that where she’d expected fear, there was awed, energized, and excited remembrance glowing in its place.
“It was a wreck and a half. Jason was hung up on that bull, but I got him loose just when the bull hooked me. He named his son after me.”
“You’re quite artistic. The painting is unmistakably the same scene as the photograph, but you’ve added something the photograph lacks.” She shook her head, trying to voice her thoughts. “Something raw and elemental. Primeval. Man against nature or even himself.”
Shrugging, he nodded thoughtfully. “It’s man against beast, that’s for sure, but I paint because it’s therapeutic, not really from an artistic need. Recovery is one-tenth physical and nine-tenths mental. When my head and hands aren’t busy, I drive myself nuts with wanting to get back to bullfighting.”
“But what if you’re injured again?”
“In this job, it’s not a whether I’ll get hurt, it’s a matter of when and how bad.”
“And you don’t worry about that?”
“No. I never have. It’s brutal at times, but it goes with the territory. I broke my back and had to have steel rods put in. I don’t have all the feeling back in my left leg yet, but I’m not crippled. More importantly, the bull didn’t kill me. I got off easy. I’ve known some guys who weren’t so lucky.”
““I don’t understand how you face this—” She indicated the photo. “Knowing the possible outcome.”
He looked at her as if she’d grown another head. “What do you mean?”
“Aren’t you afraid to go back and do the same thing again and maybe get hurt again, maybe even killed?”
“No. The only thing that scares me is not being able to go back.” He pondered the photo for several long seconds. “There are lots of reasons why I do what I do. There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush when the bucking chute opens and a bull charges out, whether you’re on its back or on the ground looking at it from a few feet away. And the cheers and applause that comes after I’ve gotten between a bull and a cowboy and the cowboy makes it safely to the fence…it’s…well, there’s nothing like it.
“I don’t mind getting knocked around.” He looked at her. “But the real reason is when the cowboys tell me how much they appreciate me being there for them every time they sit down on that bull’s back. I had a little girl call me her daddy’s bodyguard one time.” He chuckled. “There’s an inside joke that we’ve saved more lives than the Secret Service.”
“So in essence, you’re a human shield.” She touched the bull in the photograph. “Against a thousand pounds of—”“Two thousand, sometimes more.”
“Against two thousand pounds of bucking bovine.”
He nodded. “Yeah, that’s about it.”
“I think bull riders have a death wish, and this picture suggests rodeo clowns share the same, if not worse, affliction.”
He didn’t quite grin. “That’s a common misconception among non-rodeo people.”
“If not a death wish, then what?”

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Welcome, Rosina Scott

1: Thank you so much for being here, Rosina. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

I first began writing when I was very young, I’d say I must have been about 6 or 7. So I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.

2: What inspired you to write?

I think it was all the fantastical movies and TV shows I used to watch as a child. I always knew I wanted to write horror stories and things like that, however that has changed genre now as I’ve grown up but I still like a good horror story.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

The thing I like most about writing is being able to create new characters and worlds that allow me to take my readers on a journey.

The thing I like least about writing is the editing stage and the deadlines. The added pressure these stages put you under as a write can make or break you as you work towards your final draft and the point where you send it off to the publishers.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

When I’m not writing I enjoy listening to music from some of my favorite artists, currently that includes the as yet unsigned but brilliant Blue Gillespie from Newport in Wales. John Barrowman, Snow Patrol & Daughtry.

I actively watch a lot of science fiction and American TV shows. Including but not limited to Dr Who, Torchwood, Supernatural, Criminal Minds and Syfy’s Ghost Hunters.

I also enjoy live theatre and attend it as often as I am able not living locally to the West End its not as often as I would like.

5: Which authors do you like to read?

I enjoy reading Ally Blue, James Herbert, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Josh Lanyon amongst other.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I’m generally a very quite and shy person until you get to know me.

I’ve met my acting idol John Barrowman, who I’ve been a fan of since I was about 12 or 13 and at secondary school.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

The Razor’s Kiss is a short story about Adam and Elliot who are lovers. They have been separated for a while and when they’re reunited they make the fantasy they have shared during a phone call a reality. The fantasies of having Adam sensually shave Elliot.The story can be found at

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Always follow your dreams and write what it is that you want to write, not what you think the in thing is, because what’s in right now may not be by the time you’ve finished your manuscript.

Stories tend to flow better when you’re writing what you’re passionate about and not what you’re being pigeon-holed into writing because someone has said it’s cool or in.

Make sure you have someone check over your work and give honest feedback. If you can have more than one person check your work and incorporate what is said where you think it’s necessary without loosing what is the essence of your story. Don’t be afraid to take advice and if more than one person points out the same thing aren’t working then it’s probably true.

If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying because if I had stopped writing when I was first rejected by a publisher when I was in my teens I certainly wouldn’t be here now.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

In appearances I do, I see people in the street, on TV and magazines that I find attractive or interesting and come up with different lives and tales, slotting them into that person’s physical bodies and ultimately making them my own characters.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

My ideas can come from absolutely anywhere; it could be a throwaway line in a conversation. Something I’ve seen in a magazine or just a general idea that pops up during a dream at night.

The idea for The Razor’s Kiss came about when a friend recommended I take part in an open call for a submission to Dreamspinner Press for a kinky anthology.

I assumed all the submissions would be about bondage and various BDSM practices and thought I would enter something a little different.

So the idea then sparked from there when I saw a photograph of an attractive shirtless guy, with a hairy chest combined with the constant advertisements for razors and an ad for Sweeney Todd.

It went to I wonder what he’d look like with a shaved chest and would he get off on having another guy shave him.

11: What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a couple of things actually. I’m working on a Cinderella style story and a ghost story.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

It’s not uncommon for me to be seen around Cardiff or other places in the UK dressed as characters from Dr Who and Torchwood with friends.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Welcome William Cooper

1: Thank you so much for being here, William. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

Thank you for having me! I started writing in the seventh grade. My Language Arts teacher gave us an assignment – take your favorite book at the time and rewrite the ending. I chose the book The Outsiders for my assignment and fell in love with writing. Ever since then, I haven’t been able to stop.

2: What inspired you to write?

My friends have always been my main inspiration. They’re also my main source of encouragement. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have finished the story and thought it was good enough to submit to Dreamspinner.

Hannah Rose was the main person responsible for getting me to finish Broken Bones, Mended Hearts. She was always there with whatever I needed - whether it was a few words of encouragement or a couple pokes with a cattle prod.

My beta reader, Kamerra, was amazing as well. Not only did she give me ideas and tips and find my mistakes, but she gave me just enough compliments to keep me from hitting my head against the keyboard. No matter how many times she yelled at me for formatting errors, there were always comments about parts that made her laugh or cry.

Without both of them, I probably would have buried the story on my hard drive under password protection and never let it see the light of day. But because they never let me quit, now it’s my first published piece.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

I love being able to create a character and live their lives with them. It’s relaxing and it’s entertaining. I’ve often read a book or seen a movie where I wish the characters had done something different or it had gone into detail on another aspect – with writing, I control the story and I can explore any aspects that I want.

I hate the submission process. It takes me longer to write my summary and query than it does to write the first draft of my stories. But the worst part is the waiting. Some publishers take up to four months to respond. That’s four months of agonizing over whether or not I’ll be accepted.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

I like going to the beach with my friends. One of my close friends has Shiba Inu dogs, and I have a blast playing with them all the time. I’m also always reading something. I got a Kindle 2 last year, and I’ve always got it packed with books for me to read.

5: Which authors do you like to read?

There are so many authors I like to read! I’m absolutely in love with Tamora Pierce’s books – I’ve read all of her books multiple times. Her worlds and characters are amazing and I’m always impressed.

I also enjoy reading Carol Lynne and J.M. Snyder’s books. They’ve both heavily influenced my own work. (And if you read through some of my works-in-progress and abandoned stories, you can pretty much tell which one of their books I had just gotten done reading.)

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I am one of the few writers in the M/M romance genre that is actually male! The majority of M/M authors are female (even the ones with male names) so it’s nice being a little bit different from everyone else.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

My current, and first, story is called Broken Bones, Mended Hearts. It’s a short story about two friends who explore their relationship beyond friendship.

You can read more about the story on my site:

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Get off your butt and write. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time I spent reading writing tips and asking for advice from authors that I love. But the best piece of advice I ever got, was to sit down and write. You can improve your writing and edit the book later, but if you never write it, all that studying won’t do squat.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

In a way, yes. I don’t have any characters where I can flat out say “Yeah, that’s so and so” but a lot of the aspects of my characters come from people I know. Sometimes I’ll borrow their physical traits, other times I’ll borrow a personality trait or a quirk. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a name or a nickname.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

My ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes they’ll come from a dream, something I saw that day or even a brief scene in a TV show. Ideas are everywhere, and that’s one of the problems of being a writer – too many ideas and not enough time!

Broken Bones, Mended Hearts was partly inspired by my own best friend. We’ve been friends for years now, like my main characters, and I know no matter what, he’s always there for me. Just like Mark helps Noah through tough times, my own best friend has helped me get through plenty of my own tough times.

11: What are you currently working on?

I’m actually working on two projects right now. The first is a twincest story that’s been bouncing around in my head. I noticed that there was a lack of twincest stories and a fairly decent readership, so I decided to try and change that.

I’m also working on a western piece that I’m hoping to submit for one of Total-e-Bound’s anthologies. It’s about a young man who goes home to his childhood home in Texas to help his brother. While there, he falls for one of the ranch hands that his brother had hired.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

If you keep an eye on my website, you might see some free short pieces posted on there. I write a lot of flash fiction to relax and I might post a couple of them.


I slowly started to open my eyes. I couldn’t move my body, and all my senses felt dulled. I shook my head to try to lose some of the grogginess. I tried to stretch, but my body wouldn’t cooperate—my legs in particular felt like they were encased in cement.

“’Bout time you woke up,” I heard a familiar voice say.

“Mark?” I asked as I opened my eyes and blinked away the blurriness. I turned my head slightly and saw him sitting in a chair across the room. “Where am I?”

“You’re in the hospital,” my best friend told me. He stood up and stretched before walking to stand over me.

I blinked again. Why am I in the hospital? I looked up at Mark, his blond hair was a mess—like usual—and his dark blue eyes were full of concern.

I tried to speak again, but my mouth was too dry. “Water?” I croaked out.

Mark grabbed a cup of water from the tray next to my bed and carefully put it to my lips. I swallowed a mouthful. “Thanks.”

Mark nodded and set the cup back down. “Anything else?”

I hadn’t seen Mark this concerned about me since I fell off the trampoline and broke my arm when I was nine. “Why am I in the hospital?” I asked him. I immediately felt bad when I saw the concern on his face get worse. I hated making Mark worry.

“You don’t remember?” Mark shook his head. “A bunch of guys cornered you and whopped your ass the other day when you left the library. Someone saw and called campus security. You took quite a beating, you know; you scared the crap out of Hannah and me.”

I clenched my fists under the blanket. Oh yeah. Now I remember. “How long have I been out?” I asked.

He glared at me. “About three days. They brought you in Thursday night, and it’s Monday morning now.”

“Oh.” I managed to get my head up and look down at my body, taking inventory of my injuries. Both of my legs were in casts and so was my left arm, which explained why they felt so heavy. My right arm was covered in cuts, and it felt like my ribs were bandaged as well.

“Oh? Is that all you have to say?” Mark rolled his eyes. “Come on, Noah, you gotta give me more than that. Why did those guys come after you?” He folded his arms across his chest and narrowed his eyes.

“I don’t know,” I lied. I knew perfectly well why those guys had ambushed me outside the library. That didn’t mean I wanted to talk about it.

Mark crossed his arms in front of his chest and glared at me some more. “Dude, don’t give me that shit. We’ve been best friends since kindergarten; I thought we could tell each other everything.” When I didn’t say anything, Mark sighed. “Whatever. Oh, before I forget, I called your dad and sister to let them know what happened. They’re all worried as shit about you. Hannah’s gonna come out here to see you, so you better have some kind of answers for her when she gets here tomorrow morning.”

“Ugh,” I groaned. “Did you really have to call Hannah? She’s going to hound me for weeks about this and insist on mothering me until I heal.” Hannah was my older sister. When our mother died giving birth to me, Hannah took over the role as the mother in the family. Hannah was six years old when I was born, and she hasn’t stopped mothering me since.

I could see the smirk appearing on Mark’s face. “See what happens when you won’t tell me things? Now, if you tell me what happened, I may be able to get her to back off a little. If not….” Mark shrugged. “I may just decide to take a trip back home and see my own family for a couple days.”

“Dude, you’re freaking evil,” I said, closing my eyes. “Why are we friends again?”

Mark started laughing. “Because you’d do the same damn thing to me if you were in my shoes right now.” I could hear him pulling up a chair. “Now, are you going to tell me what the hell you’re keeping from me?”

“You won’t like it,” I warned him. Ever since we’d met, Mark was always standing up for me. I thought back to when we were eight. A sixth-grader had tried to bully me and steal my lunch money at recess. When Mark saw, he came over, hit the kid in the nuts, and then beat the crap out of him. I tried to fight back a grin as I recalled the incident.

Mark crossed his arms in front of himself again. “I’ll deal with it, now spill,” he said, jaw clenching.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Welcome Giselle Renarde

1: Thank you so much for being here, Giselle. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

Giselle Renarde: I have to be predictable here and admit I’ve been writing since I was a child. I used to make picture book after picture book, and I was fortunate enough to have a mother who worked in an office with a bookbinder and lamination machine. She’d take my storybooks into work, laminate the covers, and bind them for me. I’m sure they’re still in her basement somewhere. She never throws anything away.

2: What inspired you to write?

Giselle Renarde: My writing took a long pause between childhood and adulthood. As an adult, I began writing simply because I had stories to tell. There were narratives inside me and voices in my head begging to sizzle on paper. I know that sounds a little crazy. Oh well. 

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

Giselle Renarde: The least? Writing doesn’t pay the bills. Even with 15 e-books on the market and works in something like 25 or 30 anthologies, it doesn’t come close. Much of the year, I write full-time, but it’s when I take on contract work to pay the rent that I realize writing is a need. I can’t even say precisely what I love about writing. I think it has to do with letting characters take on a life of their own, and relinquishing control of the narrative to them.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

Giselle Renarde: Well, I write erotica, so…let’s say, “related activities.”  I also do a lot of volunteer work and cater to the everyday demands of my feline friends.

5: Which authors do you like to read?

Giselle Renarde: I’m big on the classics as well as Canadian authors. “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall is one of my favourites—commonly called the first lesbian novel. As for my fellow Canadian authors, I enjoy the work of Ann-Marie MacDonald and Robertson Davies. Their portrayals of Canadian culture are at times dizzyingly sophisticated.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

Giselle Renarde: Often when I read gay and lesbian fiction, I wonder if the author is gay or lesbian. As a writer of primarily queer, bisexual, transgender, and lesbian fiction, I celebrate the fact that I am queer and I’m in a relationship with a wonderful transsexual woman. I like for readers to know that about me, particularly in relation to my transgender stories. It’s important to me because I want readers to be assured I’m not making leaping assumptions about trans men and women, or fetishizing the community. My work often deals with “issues” that come up in queer relationships, and I invite people who have never experienced that life to peek inside the world my girlfriend and I share.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

Giselle Renarde: Because I’ve latched so uncompromisingly to short story writing, my latest release is a collection thereof. “Audrey & Lawrence” is a sensual anthology containing every one of my “Audrey & Lawrence” stories.
These tales follow the relationship between a married librarian and the younger woman who is his mistress. Some stories are harrowing, some vastly amusing, and some just make you say, “What is wrong with you people? Stop tormenting each other!”
Anyone who has ever been involved in an extramarital relationship will find familiar emotions throughout the stories of Audrey and Lawrence’s long-term love affair.
I have new releases all the time, so keep an eye on my website, and my Donuts & Desires blog,

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Giselle Renarde: T.S. Eliot said, “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” The hardest part of giving realistic advice is getting people to listen.
Anyone who can read can write, but even with innate talent there is so much to learn. I think very few writers can start out producing wonderful work right away. I realize this sounds like a bit of a downer, but that's not how I intend it. For new writers, my advice is simple: keep at it! Revise, revise, revise. Have other people read what you write.

If you get a rejection letter from an editor and it includes advice, take it! Writing is damn hard work, but you’ll make it harder on yourself if you opt not to take advice.

And just because you get a rejection letters, that doesn't mean you’re awful. That's a very common misconception. At the moment, I have an audiobook on iTunes, two books in print, over a dozen e-books on the market, and stories in more than twenty-five anthologies, but I still get rejections all the time. It comes with the territory. Don’t take it to heart—I know, easier said than done.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

Giselle Renarde: My girlfriend would tell you all my characters are either she or me.  I’m not sure that’s entirely true, but I think my strongest and most realistic characters are those ones based on people. Often, a story gets built on a snippet of a conversation I hear on the subway. It comes from real people, but I’m extrapolating a great deal about them and mainly using their words as a jumping-off point.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

Giselle Renarde: My longer works get revised and changed so much that the initial idea might be totally invisible in the end product. My novella “Ondine” started out as two pages of dialogue I wrote after talking to a man whose wife had stopped having sex with him a few years prior. I re-imagined this woman, this wife. I imagined she’d realized later in life that her primary romantic attraction was to women. I imagined she was a patron of the arts who was having an affair with a young ballerina.

“Ondine” was built around this snippet of a conversation between characters who grew into the arts patron Imelda and the ballerina Ondine. From there, this story grew into a bisexual novella about an open marriage between free-loving hippies, forbidden love between ballerinas, a wedding to dispel desires, and a klutzy Chinese-Canadian painter who just wants a boy to love her.
By the way, “Ondine” is my one work that is available as an e-book, in print, and as an audiobook—read by the author, no less!

11: What are you currently working on?

Giselle Renarde: Today, I’m editing “Secrets of the Solstice Sacrifice,” coming soon to lyd Alterotica, aka loveyoudivine. It’s a fantasy about a fairy born the wrong gender. She’s afraid to tell her beloved the full story of her troubles, but he accompanies her nonetheless to visit a surly fae magician who should be able to help her. Even I didn’t anticipate that my trans fairy would fall for the brusque Welsh magical—or that he would become entranced by her, much to his dismay.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Giselle Renarde: I was a social networking resistor until I discovered Twitter…now I am a full-blown addict! I would like to extend an invitation to all Twitter lovers to follow me at

“Ondine” Blurb
Novice painter, Evelyn Fon gets more than she bargained for after receiving her first big commission for the brand new Drinkwater Hotel. Who would have guessed Gavin Drinkwater, heir to the family fortune, would take such a keen personal interest in her? But when Evelyn arrives at the hotel's elegant Gala Celebration, she soon discovers she's there as a date for Gavin Drinkwater Senior, her crush's elitist--albeit incredibly handsome--father!
In attempting to escape the party--not to mention her embarrassment--Evelyn stumbles upon Gavin's mother Imelda, who reveals the 20-year-old tale of her torrid affair with a young ballerina named Ondine. But, as Evelyn soon finds out from the Drinkwater patriarch, there's more deception to her love story than even Imelda is aware. Can Evelyn uncover the truths buried in the past and reunites Gavin's estranged free-loving parents? Perhaps her role in the family drama will even earn her a place in the bashful heir's heart...
An erotic journey through the worlds of ballet, art, and passionate liaisons, Ondine is a sensual exploration of pansexual free love wrapped in a boy-meets-girl tale of mix-ups and misunderstandings.

Excerpt from “Ondine” by Giselle Renarde

I didn’t realize I’d fallen asleep until a knock at the door woke me up. For a split-
second, I felt a panicked sense of having no idea where I was, but with the lights still on
and the porter’s cart near the door, the night before came flooding back. Or was it still night time? Judging by the blackness dotted with city lights outside my window, it was
very early morning at the latest.
When I managed to pry myself out of sleep and then out of my chair, I opened the door to find myself face to face with the very man who’d made such an impression on me earlier. Even in the wee hours of the morning, his
skin looked taut and youthful and his eyes shone with affection. When he reached his hand up to my cheek, I leaned in, dazzled by his shining smile. Drinkwater was going to kiss me!
The scent of oranges and bergamot overtook my senses, and I felt like I was
spinning in circles on the Rideau Canal. My heart pounded in my chest and my breath
drew from deep within as the steamy anticipation excited my senses.
Unfortunately, a kiss was not what Drinkwater had in mind. Scraping a clump of
mousse from my cheek, he held the chocolate glob in front of my face before licking it
from his finger. I’d fallen asleep on my slice of cake. He wasn’t trying to kiss me, only
remove my dessert from my face. What was wrong with me? The clumsiness had to be
“I’m sorry to wake you,” Drinkwater called to me as I ran to the luxury bathroom
to dig chocolate shavings out of my ear. “I could come back in the morning if that suits
you better.”
“No, no, no! Please stay,” I encouraged after spitting complimentary mouthwash
into the sink. I put on my sexy face—that’s the one where I pucker my lips and waggle
my eyebrows—to join him in the living area of the suite. “This room is gorgeous.”
“My clients insist on superior aesthetics,” he replied, settling into the chair I’d just
woken out of. “As do yours, I’m sure.”
“Actually, before this project, my only clients were the tourists who bought paintings from my booth on Sparks Street,” I admitted.
“Well, I think you can do better than that and I think I can help,” he said with a
broad smile. “That’s why I wanted to talk with you this evening.”
As Drinkwater shuffled through the papers set neatly in a binder he’d brought
along, I sauntered over to him with drowsy boldness. Gazing intently at his white hair
and flawless skin, I sat on the chair’s arm, hoping to God it wouldn’t break. My ample
skirts cascaded over his legs like a silk waterfall. I ran my hands through his soft hair,
drinking in the aroma I already considered characteristic of him. He looked up at me
with sharp questions in his eyes, but his scent had me so wonderfully light-headed,
nothing could do me harm.
“So you think we would make a good team, do you?” I asked as I slid from the
chair’s arm into Drinkwater’s lap. I couldn’t stop thinking about our close proximity
during that whispered dinner conversation. Though he leaned away from me, setting his
binder on the side table, I watched his eyes settle on my impressive cleavage. He was
quiet, so I ran an admiring hand across his noble jaw. “I would have to agree,” I said in
answer to my own question.
Wrapping my arms around his shoulders, I leaned in to kiss the magnificent man.
His lips were the softest knolls of flesh I’d ever had the pleasure to caress. As I
savored their satin smoothness, Drinkwater’s beautiful head in my hands, my heart
seemed to expand until it was too big to beat in my chest. I couldn’t hold back any
longer. I sunk my worshipping tongue into his warm mouth, grasping his hair in my
hands as I drank in the essence of him.
But I guess Drinkwater and I weren’t riding the same wavelength because,
breaking away from our embrace, he rose from the chair and let me spill out onto the floor. I tumbled down in a heap. When my face landed flat against the carpet, he helped
me to my knees, saying, “I’m terribly sorry. I shouldn’t have tossed you like that. I’m
really very sorry.”
Too stunned to feel anything more than carpet burn, I looked up at him in a daze.
What was happening, here? Did he want me or not?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome Laura Tomolei

1: Thank you so much for being here, First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

It’s a pleasure being here with your readers. And regarding my writing, I started early, back in high school, my junior year, for fun at first. But when the Crestwood Journal published my short story “Nostalgia”, I thought…gee, there just may be a future to this.

2: What inspired you to write?

Something from inside I had to say and didn’t know how else to do it. I’ve never been very talkative, always more of a listener, also because I’m very choosy about people. I’m not an outgoing type who likes to be in a crowd or be with people simply because it beats being lonely. I always chose my friends very carefully, getting to know only the ones who spoke to my soul. As a result, I don’t have many friends, but the few I have, are very special people and the relationships have been so close and lasting I couldn’t imagine my life without them. But I guess some things I just can’t keep to myself, so that’s why I started writing. Take the short story I told you about, “Nostalgia”. It was a cry of homesickness for my native land, Italy, while living in the US, in a foreign place that didn’t belong to me, and whose people I didn’t understand. And just as nothing silenced that early cry, nothing later—not even later life’s many ups and downs—could either.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

I love how words flow easily when I’m seated at my computer, the story developing under my fingers, so to speak. Then the editing is great, too, for that’s when the story really takes shape, all the pieces coming together to define my characters and their paths. But I’m not too hot about deadlines and schedules, which seem unavoidable when dealing with publishers and the promo world.

4: What do you do for fun and relaxation when not writing?

I go to the beach to lie under the sun, listening to my mind running through a dialogue, the beginning of a new story, a new character, music or simply sleeping it off when I’m really tired LOL

5: Which authors do you like to read?

The list is infinite, but here are some of my favorites: Philip K. Dick, JRR Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Mitchell, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Jane Austin, Robert J. Sawyer, John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Lindsey Davis, Ellis Peters, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Evelyn Waugh, Somerset Maugham, Ellery Queen, Katherine Kerr, Emilio Salgari, Umberto Eco, Elsa Morante, Alexandre Dumas, Fiedor Dostoievski, Lev Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Oblomov, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, Thomas Mann, Eric Maria Remarque, PD James, Marguerite Yourcenair, Simone De Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Miguel De Unamuno, Albert Camus, VC Andrews, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Albert Camus, Luther Blisset, and many, many more.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

That in spite of some of the grueling things I write, I abhor violence. To make it clearer, horror—whether movies or books—terrorize me. And while I write about some pretty violent scenes between humans, I’d never, ever, write about hurting an animal, not even if it were healed the second after.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

It’s a new fantasy series, Virtus Saga, which is really hitting off. With already two books released, The Sex and The Game, it takes the readers into an imaginary world, Sendar, an apparently peaceful planet without the usual pestilences connected to human beings, wars, hunger, violence. But is it really so? Unknown to most, powerful forces dominate their feudal-like society, the ability to wield destructive energy so strong in some people, it’s threatening to devastate their world if a hero did not come forth to control it. Or maybe more than one as the leader of the High Council summons the prince, his lover and his woman, three like the sides of the mysterious pyramid they vow to retrieve if sex, power, passion and jealousy won’t get in their way.

Virtus Book 1

GENRE: GLBT, Gay, Fantasy, Paranormal, Ménage, m/m, m/m/f, m/f

HEAT LEVEL: 4 flames

PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books



If Sendar stood a chance perhaps it would be thanks to the arbitrary twists and turns of a blind destiny. Or maybe someone would discover the truth about the ancient ways and compromise our peaceful existence forever. Either way, people needed a hero to shed new light on the age-old mysteries. And he was just about to answer their prayers.

The Game

Virtus Book 2

GENRE: GLBT, Gay, Fantasy, Paranormal, Ménage, m/m, f/f, m/m/f, m/f, m/m/m, m/f/f

HEAT LEVEL: 5 flames

PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books

For more info, you can check out my:


8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

To be patient, very patient. It takes time to get publisher to notice your work out of the hundreds they receive every day and once they do, it’s only the beginning because it’ll take even longer for readers to get to know you.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

Not entirely. Let’s say I take bits and pieces, then blend them into a creation all my own. This is what happened for Leon Sterling, for instance, the main character of Tasting Leon’s Mark—available at Whiskey Creek Torrid—and Re-Scue—available second half 2010 from Romance Divine. I honestly can’t remember if I had the idea of the character or if it came from watching a colleague of mine, a man whom I admired for his work style, the way he manages people and business. Either way, Leon Sterling is one of my best creations yet, although in the end he’s nothing like my colleague, except in his business style. Also another of my favorite characters is based on a real person, Martin from To Seduce A Soul Mate, only in this case, I didn’t even know the actual guy. All it took was to listen to a friend talking about him for me to come up with my Martin, the seducer, which in part is like the real Martin, but his twists and turns were entirely my doing. And finally, there’s my husband, a character himself, the best one for me, and nothing I could ever hope to recreate in any fiction of mine, however much I try. So I steal bits and pieces from him, and maybe that’s why my male characters seem larger than life in the end LOL

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

First off, myself, my life, my music, my cats, my movies, my TV series, my readings, my travels, the people I know or I hear about. Secondly, all the rest. Yes, actually anything can be inspiring to create a story, a setting or a strong character. Could be something I hear on TV, something someone tells me—for Spying the Alcove, my mate told me of the finding of a Roman medallion depicting a man and woman having sex on a triclinium and it inspired me to write the story. To Seduce A Soul Mate, instead, a friend told me so much about one of her colleagues, Martin, that it set off my imagination until I wrote his story. Sometimes, it can simply be passing a shop in a street like it happened with Tasting Leon’s Mark that began when I saw an auto repair shop and imagined what it would be life for a woman to work in one. Other times, it’s enough to have the hot sun roasting my skin to spark off my fantasy and this is how Virtus began.

11: What are you currently working on?

The Festival, Book 3 of the Virtus Saga, where the journey continues as Duncan Caldwell will have to carry out his legacy and return the stolen pyramid to its rightful place. But the journey will prove harder than expected, having to balance the whims of not just his lovers, but of David and Cecilia, too, which won’t stop the passion from running wild and sweeping away every obstacle.

Then I have the final edits of Re-Scue, to be released second half 2010 @ Romance divine, the bloody and passionate prequel to Tasting Leon’s Mark, the beginning of a connection that spans time and space as two souls chase each other from one lifetime to another to fulfill a dark desire neither can or want to control.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Yes, I’m always available for any reader who wants to discuss my books or has questions, doubts about it and they can reach me @

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Welcome Toni V.Sweeney

SINBAD’S PRIDE: You can’t keep a Good Smuggler Down
I never really intended to write a series when I started Sinbad’s Last Voyage. It just happened. I was just going to tell a love story set in the future, a single-shot, stand-alone novel—of a half-breed smuggler who hated Terrans and the Earthwoman who made him forget that. There would be strife, of course, because she was married and he was trying his best to keep from falling in love with her. There would be adventure as they tracked her fugitive husband across the galaxy, but it would be definitely end Happily Ever After. As usual with things having to do with Sinbad sh’en Singh, it didn’t turn out that way. The story of Sinbad and Andi is a lesson in the course of True Love running any way but smooth. At the end of Book One, Sinbad and Andi have a child but he learns he’s dying of a disease contracted while he was a prisoner in the Toxic Zone, the Federation’s deadliest prison.

Well, I couldn’t just leave it there. No sir! I had to get Sin and Andi married, and save my hero to fight another day. So, along came Sinbad 2: Sinbad’s Wife, in which, among other things, Sin struggles to convince Andi to make an honest man of him by marrying him, he discovers he has a 15-year-old son, and he collapses into a coma brought on by his terminal disease. Piling it on even thicker (after all this is a space opera), there is only one doctor who can save Sin and he blackmails Andi into becoming his mistress before he’ll perform the surgery. While Sin is recovering but still in a coma, Andi is subsequently kidnapped by her former husband, a power-mad Serapian general named Tran, who makes her into a sex slave. She’s rescued by Sinbad who kills Tran in a duel-to-the-death, but not before Andi has given birth to Tran’s second son. Sin, a sucker for infants and his wife’s tears, accepts the baby, they go into a clinch…roll credits…

Whew! Could I stop after that? Nosiree…now, Sin’s been pardoned by the Federation, he’s a law-abiding citizen (much to his dismay) and he’s back on his home planet, being re-instated as his grandfather’s heir and about to inherit one-third of the planet Felida. Having now reached the age of thirty-one and considered a mature adult (though Andi sometimes denies that), Sin is bored and looking for some trouble to get into. He finds it in the Peace Treaty Felida signed after being defeated by the Federation. In it there’s a loophole which no one, not even the Felida Pride Chiefs realize is there, a clause preventing prosecution of any Pride member for any crime against the Federation.
Well! When someone who hates the Fed as much as Sin does finds a document like that—even though they’ve given him amnesty for killing Tran (who was a threat to everyone and not just Andi) and posthumously pardoned his father--you know something big is going down. And it does. With the aid of the other Pride Chiefs, Sin decides to turn Felida into the biggest smuggling planet in the galaxy…and thumb his nose at the Fed at the same time. Of course, there are immediate complications, such as the fact that the Pride Chiefs want an affiliation with the operation through marriage, and send their nubile daughters to Sin as concubines. Sin tries to explain to Andi they mean nothing. It’s all politics. Andi doesn’t see it that way. There’s trouble brewing in the bedroom tonight. And for many nights to come. If Sin doesn’t watch it, he’s going to be sleeping on the sofa until he’s an octogenerian!

In the meantime, Sin’s son Adam and Andi’s son Cash are leaving adolescence and becoming men in every sense of the word. Joining Sinbad in his smuggling operation, they begin cutting a wide swath through the females of Felida, and then—as Fate will have it, they meet the two women neither can have and both want…their father’s concubines…

Sinbad’s Pride is a play on words. A Pride on Felida is made up of various clans loyal to one Chief. Sinbad is the heir to the largest Pride. He also has plenty of pride in the usual sense of the word, and whether he’s confronting the lawyers of the Federation, an incensed wife, or an adulterous child, he has to decide when to let that pride go and when to balance revenge with mercy. No matter what happens, however, one thing is certain: Sinbad loves Andi and he’ll do anything to keep that love. It’s also a story about family, and how a man who has lost everything must now try to keep together the one he’s blessed with in the face of crises which would usually blast that family apart. How Sin works it out makes up the majority of the story. It’s an erotic, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic adventure, and one I think readers will enjoy it.
Sinbad’s Pride is available through Double Dragon Publishing at . Also just released is Toni’s fantasy romance A Singing in the Blood, also available from Double Dragon Publishing at

Monday, May 24, 2010

Welcome, Leigh D. Ansey

1: Thank you so much for being here, Leigh. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

Thanks for inviting me! I believe I’ve been writing since I could. I remember writing stories and poetry from about the age of eight or nine. Later my stories were featured in school journals and I won a couple of cups at high school. As I remember, those stories were a bit macabre – something or someone always died in the end.

2: What inspired you to write?
I always loved to read. I read books when I was very young that I’d find difficult to persist with now. Classics like Robinson Crusoe, The Swiss Family Robinson and Dickens. My favorite was The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne. Perhaps that love of reading and deciphering words transferred itself to writing. In my mother’s family there were several writers, although as far as I know, they didn’t pursue fiction. I was the youngest in my family. I had two older brothers and there was a four-year gap between us so I spent a lot of time entertaining myself, or watching my brothers and their friends have adventures that seemed so exciting and sometimes I wrote them down. I’ve always loved words and the rhythm of sentences and rhymes.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
Mmm… mostly I like working with words – finding the ‘right’ word and forming sentences and paragraphs. I like the flexibility that working as a writer can offer.
I least like the fact that I’m undisciplined time-wise. I often let other things take priority – although I’m working on that at long last. I’m frustrated by my writing process. I edit as I go, constantly going back to change things over and over. It’s almost obsessive, and it’s not helpful when it comes to completing a manuscript. I’m trying hard to change this way of working, get the story down first then go back to revise.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
Read! I also like to paint and do mixed media art. I love reading books about art, or flipping through magazines. I have two children and three grandchildren and I love to spend time with them. The kids are so much fun. I like being outside, although I’m allergic to exercise – by ‘outside’ I mean sitting on the steps with a coffee early in the morning or a glass of wine on a nice evening. I love to go to the beach or to be beside any body of water – rivers, lakes, streams. I’m not a shop-till-you-drop person. I’m quite happy staring into space and letting my thoughts roam. I’m never bored.

5: Which authors do you like to read?
Too many to name! Contemporary authors I enjoy include Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve, Barbara Delinsky, Marian Keyes, Isabelle Allende, Joanna Trollope and NZ writer Elizabeth Knox. I like crime writers such as Elizabeth George, Kathy Reich, Tami Hoag and Ruth Rendall. My grounding in romance came via scores of Mills and Boon, Georgette Heyer, Catherine Cookson, Mary Stewart and many others.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
That I’m a best-selling novelist (one day!).

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
You can find my debut novel, Kincaid’s Call at The Wild Rose Press. This is the story of Nathan Kincaid and Kate Summers who meet each other for the first time as adults when Nathan unexpectedly becomes Kate’s boss. Their last meeting, when Kate was just a kid on the verge of womanhood, was traumatic, especially for Kate who didn’t understand that Nathan was recovering from a tragedy he believed he’d caused. Kate and Nathan lived with me for a long time and I’m so pleased they’re now able to tell their story. I promised them they’d have their day in the sunshine. Kincaid’s Call is rated ‘spicy’ on The Wild Rose Press website. Jessica Hastings of Suite101 online magazine Kincaid’s Call a great review:

My website:


8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Do it. Don’t let time slip away because you’re too busy doing other things. If you really want to be a working writer, set time aside every day and write. All those other things in our lives are valid-family, work etc but developing writing skills needs the consistency of regular practice. I’m a fine one to talk but that’s my advice!

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
Not consciously, but I believe characters must contain something of an author’s essence, or perhaps some quality that the writer would like to have herself. I tend to be a reserved person but I like my heroines to be outspoken and feisty and to dress in a much more interesting, colorful way than I do – perhaps these are qualities I’d like to see more of in myself!

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book

Ideas just seem to swim around all the time. It’s turning them into a working manuscript that’s the problem. There’s fodder for stories all around – in the lives of our own families and friends, newspapers and magazines, television, celebrity stories, a snippet of an overheard conversation. We all have such busy lives and are often involved in small or large dramas, comedies and tragedies. It’s not difficult to find ideas but trammeling them efficiently is where I struggle. The hero of Kincaid’s Call, Nathan Kincaid was with me for ages. He appeared in earlier partials and I was desperate to get him to the end of a novel! I’m inspired by the heroes and heroines in our daily lives and truly admire people who stand out in our communities through their courage, honor, humor and dignity.

11: What are you currently working on?
My WIP is called ‘Married to McAllister’. I’m about 10,000 words in and I’m working towards about 50,000 words. This is also a reunion romance where the hero and heroine knew each other when they were teenagers. Samantha Ryan thought marrying Jack McAllister was her destiny – until he up and left town with Fern Logan. Needless to say, Sam’s not pleased when Jack walks back into her life…

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I’m a New Zealander. I live in a beautiful natural environment that could have been tailor made for the writing life. My partner is also a writer so we understand those writers’ foibles that can be so frustrating to others!

Add an excerpt and picture from your book.

Kate dumped another cardboard box on the floor and lowered herself into the oversized leather chair. “That’s it,” she said to herself. “The rest can wait till tomorrow.”

With a sigh of relief she kicked off her spike-heeled sandals, swept aside a pile of papers and swung her bare feet up onto her absent employer’s desk. The airless room was stuffy and her forehead felt hot and sticky. During the week the small college nestled in the hills above Lake Rotorua hummed with activity. Now the campus was deserted, the rooms eerily silent.

Kate pushed her lower lip out to blow away a corkscrew of hair—and stopped mid-breath. The faint squeak of the exterior door swinging shut was a familiar noise, but not at this hour when encroaching darkness had pressed long fingers into the bush-clad slopes.

A drift of night air brushed her cheek. The skin on the back of her neck crawled at the unmistakeable sound of footsteps stalking along the shadowy corridor.

She had a nanosecond to scrabble awkwardly for Professor Schräder’s hefty paperweight, but before she could tighten her grip, the office door swung inwards. And there, to her horror, fifteen years older and even more devastatingly handsome than she remembered, stood Nathan Kincaid.

“What the hell—!?”

Nathan drew to an abrupt halt. The angle of light at the end of the corridor had warned him to be cautious. He didn’t have a weapon, but he knew he could rely on his bare fists and street savvy. He was confident he could handle a petty thief on the prowl for some loose change—and there couldn’t be anything else worth stealing from Second Chance’s run-down rooms.

It took a moment or two for his eyes to adjust to the glaring fluorescents, and less than a moment for his body to react with a carnal reflex that had everything to do with primal instinct and nothing to do with conscious thought.

A pair of startled topaz eyes stared up at him from behind an ugly cube of furniture he hoped wouldn’t turn out to be his desk. Hair the colour of malt whiskey swirled around smooth bare shoulders. Her lips pouted as if she was about to blow him a kiss—and her gorgeous legs were startlingly displayed from golden thighs to peach-painted toenails on the cluttered desktop in front of him.

“Nath…M…Mr. Kincaid!”

Laced with an accent that was part California and all woman, her throaty voice ramped up the tension that pulled his muscles taut. A lick of heat stroked his groin. “You seem to have the advantage,” he growled. “Who the hell are you?”

Her slender fingers hovered over a paperweight he recognised from painful hours spent pouring his heart out to Armand during his long ago stint in juvie. He stepped closer, crowding her with his bulk. “Don’t even think about it.”

The intensity of his sexual response tugged at his gut. But the alarm in her eyes made him want to run his hand down her cheek in the same way he might soothe one of the Mustangs on his ranch back home. It didn’t take long to arrest the impulse.

He remembered how tender he’d felt towards his ex-wife when she’d told him she was pregnant—and how his delight at the idea of fatherhood had evaporated when she’d added the enlightening fact that the baby she was carrying belonged to someone else, someone who could trace his forebears right back to the damn Mayflower, according to Ginny. “You don’t even know who your father is, Nathan,” she’d said cuttingly.

Feeling tender towards women was something he’d shied away from ever since. He preferred dates who knew the score—fine wines, expensive gifts and sex that was fun but without commitment. That way nobody got hurt. He’d been a lot of places in his life and enjoyed most of them. But marriage wasn’t a trip he intended to take again.

He reached low, closing his fingers around the smooth glass weight with its insect trapped grotesquely inside. A drift of air warmed his knuckles as his sexy trespasser snatched her hand away.

The pupils in her marvellous eyes were as huge and glossy black as a night-prowling cat’s. “You…you’re not supposed to be here for another ten days—”

“If you’re Janet McKenzie—” Please, God, don’t let this be the PA he’d inherited from Armand. He wondered if she’d signed an employment contract and whether it was watertight. He flicked a glance around the cramped room littered with boxes and papers. “—I e-mailed you ten days ago detailing my change of plans. I let you know I’d arrive in New Zealand at the beginning of the month instead of mid-December.”

Her hand drifted defensively across the swell of breasts barely covered by a band of white knit fabric. A ribbon-width red skirt rode low on her hips, leaving her thighs naked. Gleaming from a neat navel dead centre of a midriff tanned to just the sun-kissed shade he liked, a gold stud winked in the light.

Although those tawny eyes stirred something hot and dangerous deep inside him, it seemed smarter to switch his focus in their direction, and away from the band of scarlet material that had no right to call itself a skirt. “—as I recall, you e-mailed me back, told me there’d been some admin problems, nothing you couldn’t handle, and you looked forward to meeting me.”

Reined-in testosterone roughened his voice. The brief, inexplicable charge of recognition didn’t help. She wasn’t a woman a man would forget in a hurry, but a quick flick through his mental filing cabinet didn’t bring anyone to light.

The last thing he needed was a pocket dynamo from his past complicating what he’d determined would be a quick, clean operation. Not exactly slash and burn, but if heads did have to roll, he accepted his responsibility as axe man.

It probably wasn’t PC, he told himself irritably, but he’d envisioned someone older and maybe chubbier. He and Janet McKenzie would have to do some serious work together to get Second Chance back on track. It would have been less taxing on his libido to work with the matronly 2IC he’d imagined, than the piece of eye candy playing secretary in the black executive chair way past its use-by date.

She might be an ornamental fixture around the office, but if the evidence all around him was anything to go by, her organisational skills were nonexistent. Maybe she thought a short skirt and a figure that curved in all the right places made up for inefficiency. Not in his book, they didn’t.

He sized her up with narrowed eyes. “And if you’re not Janet McKenzie, or the janitor…,” he let the disbelief ice up his voice, “or any other key holder at Second Chance, then you’re trespassing, sugar.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Welcome Andrew Grey

1: Thank you so much for being here,Andrew First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
I began writing a little over three years ago and my first novel was published in mid 2008. I had tried writing years earlier, but due to many things, time being one of them, it didn’t work out.

2: What inspired you to write?
When I turned forty, I started going to the gym and needed reading material. I started reading gay romantic fiction and liked it. After reading dozens of novels (and losing thirty pounds, LOL) I decided to try my hand at writing one. I liked the process and kept going.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
What I like most is when readers tell me they connect with my characters. Knowing someone enjoyed reading what I wrote is amazing.
The thing I like least is that writing is a very solitary pursuit and I’m basically a people person. In order to alleviate this, I joined a writer’s group. It’s a local chapter of Romance Writer’s of America and they are so much fun.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
I garden, collect antiques, workout at a local gym, and love to travel with my partner Dominic. We’re also restoring our historic home in Carlisle Pa.

5: Which authors do you like to read?
I love Anne Perry’s murder mysteries, Clive Cussler’s undersea adventure stories, and a number of romantic fiction authors including Clare London, Rhianne Alie, and of course T A Chase.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
I could not write anything without the unconditional support of Dominic, my partner of sixteen years. He’s my biggest fan and harshest critic.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
My current novel is An Unexpected Vintage. It’s the story of Gary, a man who life has beaten down. He relocates to Milwaukee and after meeting new friends, is invited to go along on a cruise vacation. While onboard the ship, Gary meets Scott.
Six months earlier, Scott was released from prison after spending a decade behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Unfortunately, the brother of the victim still blames Scott for the crime.
This story was inspired by an article on CNN about people released form prison by the innocence project.
You can get more information at my web site: and read excerpts at my blog:

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Write what you like to read and enjoy, rather than what you think will sell. You’re going to spend a lot of time with a manuscript, so you need to love it as well. When it comes time to submit your manuscript to a publisher, do plenty of research to find the best fit for your work.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
Some of my characters are based upon people I know. The character Lonnie from Spot Me, An Unexpected Vintage, and my upcoming novella Pump Me Up, is based on one of my workout partners. I did have to tone him down for the story, or no one would believe him. In real life the man is over the top. I just had to use him. (He knows and has read Spot Me.)

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?
I have been inspired by many different things: an news article inspired An Unexpected Vintage and Cembran from Children of Bacchus was inspired by a nineteenth century bronze. My brother’s wine store opening inspired Bottled Up and Uncorked.

11: What are you currently working on?
I’m just finishing up my first western story. A Shared Range takes place in Wyoming. It’s the story of a rancher, a veterinarian, and a family of wolves that move into the area.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I love to hear from readers. Please feel free to email me at or visit me on Facebook.

A set of thick legs entered his vision and he looked up, spying Bill standing next to his lounger. Gary watched as Bill pulled off his shirt, and had to stop his gasp. The man was incredible, strong, and toned, putting most of the men around the pool to shame. I hope I look that good when I’m nearly fifty.

Mark and Tyler joined them a few minutes later, nearly joined at the hip, both of them smiling like newlyweds. Gary rolled over and sat so he could look out over all the people gathering around the deck. People were running around, bounding between the two swimming pools and the numerous hot tubs.

“Looks like you have an admirer,” Phillip whispered from the next lounge, as he motioned with his head toward the bar. “Just sweep your eyes.”

Gary did as Phillip directed, seeing a tall man with a large tattoo on his broad shoulder peeking back at him. His hands were behind his back, and he appeared to be half-looking at the ground. Gary peeked at the man, but his attention didn’t turn away immediately. Gary looked to one side and then swept his eyes back to the stranger, and to his surprise, he still appeared to be looking at him.

Gary looked at Phillip, certain the man was looking at one of the other people in their group. He certainly couldn’t be looking at him.

“Someone’s interested,” Phillip teased as he resettled in the sun.

“He’s probably looking at you.” There was just no way that anyone would look at him that way, not with all the gorgeous men around.

Phillip’s head turned slightly to peek. “Nope, he’s definitely looking at you. He’s being really shy about it, but he’s definitely looking,”

Every time Gary would look, he’d turn away and scan over the crowd, but out of the corner of his eye, he could see the handsome man looking back over at him. His head stayed down and it looked like he was almost trying to melt into the background. They played that game for a while until someone tapped the man on his tattooed shoulder and said something to him. Slowly he followed his companion and drifted out of sight.
Pump Me Up is releasing June 9, from Dreamspinner Press
Blurb: Spin-off of Spot Me

Taking advantage of a free pass from work, Maddoc decides to try out a fitness center. After meeting up with a friend, Dan, and making dinner plans, Maddoc meets Ivan, a hunky, silver-haired ex-Marine, who gives him a ride home. Soon Maddoc finds himself with a new friend, a workout partner, a protector... and maybe something more, as a simmering attraction comes to life between him and Ivan. After moving too fast in previous relationships that fell apart, Maddoc wants to start slow—wants to make sure it can last. Luckily, Ivan is willing to wait.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Welcome Paula Baird Jones

1: Thank you so much for being here,Pauline. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
I started writing when I was young, but didn’t get serious about it until I’d been married awhile. I was a stealth writer – reluctant to admit I wanted to write – so I went to the library looking for some writing how-to books. I found two. One was awful. Discouraging. The other was Becoming A Writer by Dorothea Brande. Her book and my husband’s encouragement gave me the courage to try.

2: What inspired you to write?

I began writing personal essays and stage plays. Gradually I moved into fiction. Made my first sales in children’s fiction and non-fiction. I started writing novels because I read really fast and there weren’t enough novels that I liked to read to keep me supplied. Writing a book before I can read it slows me down a lot.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

I love meeting my characters and figuring out their story. It’s the “ride,” the magic of story, that makes me passionate about reading and writing.
What I like least, having to promote my books. I love talking books with other readers, but I don’t like being pressured to buy a book, so I can’t do that to a reader. But I have to get out there and let people know my books exist or I won’t get published. I try to introduce myself and let readers know I’m around, but I believe reading is such a personal thing, that readers need to decide without pressure whether to buy my books.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing.

LOL! I read. I love reading. I used to get in trouble in school for reading behind my text books and at home for reading under the covers with a flashlight. I also like to watch movies and have this not-as-secret-as-I’d-like addiction to critter flicks, like Tremors. I have no explanation for it, but if I’m scanning the dial and Tremors is on tv, I’ll watch it.

5: Which authors do you like to read?

Oh wow, there are so many authors that I love. Because I’m writing science fiction romance, I’ve been reading a lot of it. Love Linnea Sinclair. Also really liked Sarah A Hoyt’s Darkship Thieves. Diana L. Driver’s Ninth Lord of the Night is a fun action-adventure for older young adults. Very fun. Alexis Glynn Latner’s Hurricane Moon is very thoughtful SFR. Jasper Fforde. Lisa Shearin. Jack Campbell is new favorite. Love his Lost Fleet books. I don’t think there’s enough time to list all my favorites. LOL!

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
That I’m not as scary as my books might indicate? LOL! I’m actually nice, I just like to make characters suffer and overcome things and fall in love while life is kicking them around.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
My latest release is Girl Gone Nova. Here’s the blurb:
Doc--Delilah Oliver Clementyne’s—orders are simple: do the impossible and do it yesterday. A genius/bad ass, she does the impossible on a regular basis. But this time the impossible is complicated by an imminent war between the Earth expedition to the Garradian Galaxy and the Gadi, an encounter with some wife-hunting aliens, and not one but two bands of time travelers.
The only way it could get worse? If the heart she didn’t know she had starts beating for the wrong guy…
You can find it on most online bookstores in both print and digital formats (including Kindle edition) My website is www.perilouspauline and there are links to my blogs (yes, I have three!) in my navigation bar.

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

My advice is to reject rejection. Like most authors, I racked up a lot of rejections before I got the magic “yes.” If you don’t try, you can’t get to that yes. This is a subjective business. There are so many options for authors now, so many small presses, that if major publishers don’t connect with your work, it’s not over. (If you’re looking for a good summary of publication options, I highly recommend The Naked Truth About Book Publishing by Linda Houle.)

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
No. I’d be afraid to do that. LOL!

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?
Ideas come to me in a variety of ways. Sometimes a situation will grab my attention and I find myself wondering, “What if…” Other times I “meet” a character inside my head and then I have to figure out what their story is about.
This particular book is the next in a connected series (stand alone books connected by the world I created), so I knew when and where it would happen and what the central problem was going to be. I also knew who was going to star as the hero. (He was in the first book and ticked he didn’t get the girl. When I created him, he wasn’t supposed to be a hero, just a pain in the neck, so he has an awful name. But he is persistent and I finally gave in.) I had to figure out the right heroine for him and for the story. I did make him suffer for being so persistent. (insert evil grin here).
I write “into the mist,” so I was surprised, and not surprised, when the story didn’t go the direction I expected. I had a great time figuring it out though it almost made my head explode figuring it out.

11: What are you currently working on?
After I finished Girl Gone Nova I committed a random act of writing that resulted in a Steampunk/science fiction romance novella called Tangled in Time (releasing 12/2010) that is the next in my connected series. While the story resolved for the characters, it didn’t for the story arc, so that’s what I’m working on now. It will pick up after Tangled in Time, have new main characters, but also feature some familiar guys from past stories (which is very fun to do, actually).

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I love high adventure, romance and humor in my reading, so that’s what readers will find in my books—or at least what I try to put in them. 


“How much time, ma’am,” her assistant asked, a slight tremor to his voice.

“About thirty seconds.”

The two men cursed again, but didn’t move.

“Where the foxtrot is EOD?” one of them snapped.

“Do you know how to defuse a bomb, ma’am?” The corporal’s tremor was worse.

The question was a good one, though a bit late in the asking. She found the wire she wanted, tracing it with her thoughts as the timer moved closer to detonation.

“No, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome, Rachel West

1: Thank you so much for being here, Rachel. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

I actually haven't been writing very long at all. I started writing fanfiction in the summer of 2008, and began with original work about six months after that.

2: What inspired you to write?

Originally, I just wrote out of love for a particular set of characters, and a desire to play with them in scenarios of my own design. But I soon found that I loved the writing process itself, and when I heard that another fanfic author who I loved had successfully transitioned into publishing original work, I felt compelled to give it a try.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

There are so many things I love about writing. I like the brainstorming phase, letting my mind wander to all kinds of unusual places and coming up with new ideas. I like the planning phase, when I put it all together and map out where I want my story to go. I like the actual nitty-gritty putting words on the page, especially when it's flowing well and I'm getting a lot done. I pretty much like all of it.

The thing I like least is probably when I'm not writing at all -- that is, when I get stuck and can't make any progress. That is not fun. For me or for anyone unfortunate enough to be around me.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

I'm a big fan of hiking, or just being outdoors in beautiful weather. I love long drives, especially on curvy country roads. And I like relaxing with my partner and just doing nothing. That may be my favorite activity of all.

5: Which authors do you like to read?

For romance, it does not get any better than K.A. Mitchell, as far as I'm concerned. I'd read VCR programming instructions if she wrote them. Boy, I guess that dates me -- okay, TiVo programming instructions. :)

For everything else, man, I like a lot of things. My tastes are a bit eclectic. But some of my favorites are Jonathan Safran Foer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Andre Dubus III, Jane Austen, Amy Tan, Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, Philip Roth, Annie Proulx, and when the mood strikes, a little Candace Bushnell.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

Goodness. I have no idea. That I don't know how to answer this question?

Um... that I'm new to all this. And that I love to hear what people think of my stories (good, bad, whatever) more than I can adequately express.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

My current book is Everything Under the Sun, and it comes out as an eBook today, May 19. It should be available at many different online booksellers, but some may take some time to stock it, so the easiest way to buy it now is to go to the Dreamspinner website. You can also always visit my blog to learn more.

The book is a love triangle of sorts with three main characters: Chris, a 19-year-old lifeguard in southern California; Seth, Chris's old high school classmate (and more), now returning from his first year at college; and Alex, Chris's new 26-year-old neighbor. Chris is drawn in multiple directions both in life and love, and the story follows his journey to figure out what, and who, he wants. With a lot of m/m sex along the way.

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Ha, it's a little weird to be on the other side of this question, since this is my first book, so I'm unaccustomed to being thought of as anything other than an aspiring author myself. But okay. The best advice I can give you is to stay true to your own voice and to find some smart people to help you shape it -- I would be nowhere without the amazing group of folks who read this story as I wrote it and were generous enough to give me their thoughts. If you can find a bunch like that, you're golden.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

Nope. But then again, no character is truly original, so they're probably all at least partially composites of various people I know.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

I get my ideas from a big green steamer trunk under my bed. Which is also where I keep my underwear.

No, I don't know. I just start thinking and see what comes out. This story wasn't inspired by anything in particular, except that I wanted to try writing a romance that had a bit of uncertainty in it in terms of who the protagonist was going to end up with in the end.

11: What are you currently working on?

Well, my next book is coming out this summer: a novella called The Cellmate, about two guys who meet in prison and find themselves falling in love much to their mutual surprise. As for what I'm writing, I'm working on a new book that doesn't have a title yet, which focuses on two young guys in a relationship who travel across the country together for the first time.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Ha, see question 6. I'd love to hear from you! And thanks.

Excerpt can be found at:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Welcome, Rowan Speedwell

1: Thank you so much for being here, Rowan. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

I don’t remember ever NOT writing. One of my earliest memories of before I could read or write is of my mother giving me a pen and an opened-up paper grocery bag to “draw stories on.” She always read to me and my brothers, so I started reading at 4 and writing stories as soon as I learned how to print. I still have a story I started when I was in fourth grade—it begins “It was a dark and stormy night…” and stars my three best friends and the boys they had crushes on. It was a ghost/vampire/werewolf tale inspired by the TV show Dark Shadows, long before I’d ever heard the term “paranormal romance.” Of course it’s unfinished. Most of my work is unfinished!

2: What inspired you to write?

My mother, primarily. As I said, she read to us every night, and the stories and language and rhythm of the words fascinated me. I liked the fairy tales best of all—they seemed to offer such possibilities: that anyone could do and be anything they truly wanted. And she is an artist and the books she chose had such beautiful artwork that now I always SEE what I’m writing about.
She and my father had a deep and abiding respect and love for books that they passed on to us kids. Not just novels, but poetry and biography and history. Even though we couldn’t afford to travel much, my parents gave us the world through books.
Another contributor to my delinquency was my best friend, whom I’ve known since I was four (four being a pivotal age in my life, apparently!). Off and on over the last mmmty-mmm years we’ve passed stories back and forth and she’s always pushed me to keep writing. All those stories—though most would be completely unpublishable, since we stole ideas and characters and even songs blithely from every possible source—have really helped me hone my craft.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

The most? When I get on a roll and everything just pours out, and the characters are not only cooperating but being enthusiastic about the plot, and I can see the events and the settings and the action, and it’s beautiful and effortless and reminds me why I write.
The least? It’s a toss-up between the days when the characters are being obstinate and won’t do what I tell them, and when I have to excise whole passages to get the story back on track. I want to cry on those days.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

If it were up to me, I’d lay around and read all day and do nothing else. And I do, sometimes. But I need to feel productive, so I schedule things—events, dates with friends, that sort of thing. I’m a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is an international non-profit organization that selectively recreates the Middle Ages, so on a lot of weekends I dress up like a 15th Century lady and do calligraphy and blackwork embroidery and watch hot guys whack each other with sticks. When I’m not doing that I do other kinds of embroidery, make garb (medieval costumes), crochet, knit, make jewelry, paint, play with my cat and watch movies. I LOVE movies.

5: Which authors do you like to read?

I read a LOT. And I read fast. I can polish off a book a day—and I work full time and have a two-hour commute. It’s not unusual for me to knock off eight books in a weekend, so I have a lot of favorites. I’ll keep it short, though: My all-time favorites are probably Georgette Heyer, Nora Roberts and Lois McMaster Bujold (especially the Miles Vorkosigan stuff). I love Neil Gaiman (I read his blog daily), Christopher Moore, Jasper Fforde; in romance it’s Jo Beverley, Julia Quinn, Mary Balogh, Jayne Ann Krentz in all her incarnations. I love Jane Austen, of course, and Wilkie Collins and Rudyard Kipling. And of course my peeps from Dreamspinner Press—I could read their stuff forever. They’re amazing.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I have very thin skin. It doesn’t take a lot to make me feel bad.  A mean look will do it. Very immature, but there you are. It also makes me very nervous about being the center of attention—I’m always concerned about looking stupid.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

“Finding Zach” is a story about love and survival. At the beginning of the book Zach is rescued from a horrible situation where he has been abused and tortured, and the book is about him dealing with what has happened to him and building his future. And about his friend and lover David helping him. Reviewers have said it’s an emotional book, and it is, but I think it also has funny bits and romance and a happy ending, which are important to me.
It’s available at Amazon in paperback
and on the Dreamspinner Press website in both paper and e-book format
Also in e-book format at All Romance
I have a blog at

8:Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Read. Think about what you like to read and how you can write that way. And keep writing. Write every day. Even if it’s just junk you throw away at the end of the day, it’s still honing your craft.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

Only the villains.  No, but I will “borrow” personality traits or likes/dislikes, and incorporate them. I never have a problem coming up with characters—they’ll usually sneak up on me in the supermarket and tap me on the shoulder. Then my job is to fill them out.
My stories are all character-driven. My favorite books are, too. I can put up with a lot of crap in the story if I like the characters—and the best story in the world means nothing to me if I can’t identify with the people in it.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

I get ideas from everywhere. The trick is to notice things and think “what if?” “What if” is the most important part of writing for me. I look at a picture and think “what if that person was an international spy?” Or “what if a giant tsunami were to suddenly crash on that calm, serene beach?”
Finding Zach had its earliest incarnation in a what if. A few years ago I saw a poster—I think it was about not buying guns for felons—that had a young dark-haired guy standing in front of some jail bars. It was a shot from the back with his hands in handcuffs. So then I started thinking about prisoners, and of course because I have a taste for the slightly exotic, it couldn’t have been an ordinary jail. It became a cell in a hostage situation, and gradually got darker and darker. Zach had a few lives in alternate universes before he ended up in Finding Zach, but that’s where he came from.

11: What are you currently working on?
Multiple things, as usual, but I’m focusing on a m/m Regency. I’m a little over halfway through. I thought it would be fun to take the two most common hero tropes in Regencies—the dissipated rakish man-about-town and the dashing cavalry officer—and have them fall in love with each other. It’s requiring a lot of research, but I absolutely adore Regency romances, and this is my homage to them.
Just recently a side character from Finding Zach sidled up to me on Michigan Avenue and offered the information that he’d just relocated to Chicago and wanted me to write his story. So I’m considering a short story or novella for him. (Pesky characters!)
My beta readers are also demanding that I finish a couple of other books I’ve had percolating for a couple of years: a straight Regency and an epic fantasy.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I hate grocery shopping and I’m a rotten cook.

Excerpt from Finding Zach
“So, I talked to Maggie today,” Zach said as he dug his fork into the bowl of salad he and David were sharing.

David had been asleep when Zach came back with the bowl of salad, a platter of warmed-up pizza, and two bottles of water; Zach had set it all down on the dresser and pulled the comforter over David, sitting down at his drafting table to wait for his lover to wake up. A minute or two later, he had, blinking in confusion a moment before sitting up and giving Zach a sleepy smile. “Sorry,” he’d said, and Zach had told him no problem, and now they were sitting with their legs folded under, Zach on top of the comforter and David with it tucked around his waist, the pizza platter and bowl of salad balanced on the comforter between them, just as they had when they were kids and Zach stayed over with David for one of Annie’s absentee dinners.

David finished chewing his bite of pizza, then said, “Maggie? What about?”

“I asked if she could tutor me for my GED,” Zach replied. “She asked me a whole bunch of questions and when we were done she said she thought with intensive study I might be able to get it by the end of the summer. Then I talked to Dad this afternoon and he’s going to talk to some of the professors he knows at UCo, and see if he can’t get some of them to tutor me this fall and winter, and then maybe I can apply at MIT for next fall. Depending on how the tutoring goes. Might not really be for another year or two, but I’ve kind of decided to do that, so the timing is flexible.”

David was staring at him, his pizza slice hanging limply from his fingers. “What? When did you decide all this, Zach?”

“I thought about what you said. And I thought, so what if I missed a couple years of high school? I’d already gotten the early admission thing from MIT. So it should mostly just be trying to remember what I knew, not so much learning things I didn’t, right? And I thought about you offering to tutor me in CAD and if you’re still up for it I’d like that. But I need stuff like biology and math, not to mention the usual core classes you gotta take like literature and history and that, and I thought Maggie’s really smart with that stuff, and better than you at the history and literature, so if she can give me some real intense tutoring then maybe I can test out of some of the classes, and Dad has a lot of friends at UCo that he thinks would be willing to take some time tutoring me too. Talking with Maggie made me think that maybe you’re right, I’m not so much stupid as I am undereducated, and that’s fixable. And my therapy yesterday and today were about fear and dealing with fear, and I realized in my afternoon session today that most of what I’m afraid of is people making judgments about me and if I don’t do anything to, to improve myself, then I deserve whatever judgments they make.”

Taking a bite of pizza, David chewed a moment, then said thoughtfully, “Whoa. Info dump. Let me take a minute to process, okay? Cuz this is like, completely a new direction for you.”

“Yeah,” Zach said anxiously. “You don’t think it’s stupid, do you?”

“Hell, no,” David replied.

“Good. Because your opinion is important to me.” Zach sighed faintly.

David brushed his fingers across Zach’s hand. “I have a good opinion of you, Zach – I’ve always had a good opinion of you. Just the fact that you survived as well as you did all the horrible stuff that bastard did to you – that alone makes you a hero in my book. The rest is gravy.” He grinned.