Thursday, March 27, 2014

BOOK BLAST: Covert Delivery and #Giveaway



Aspen Starr is in a bind and not in a good way. His father is trying to use him to sweeten a business deal and being a bought boy toy holds no appeal. Just when he thinks he has no options left Sundae’s Custom Easter Baskets knocks at his door. Soon he finds himself blindly following a trail right into the path of a sexy new boss and a whole new mess of carnal complications.

Garren Thomas has rules and one of those is to never get involved with an employee. Easy to say, harder to enforce when Aspen is hired on. With each passing day Garren's control slips until all he wants to do is spend his days with Aspen in his bed.

When faced with giving into his desires, Garren sees his simple life being torn apart. Can he get Aspen out of his system without losing his heart? Aspen isn't much better off. He is drawn to Garren, but he can't help the fear that the secrets from his past will destroy it all. As Aspen's begins to lose himself within the confusion of sex and love one question plagues him: who sent the basket?

Excerpt:

Garren pushed away from the wall and into the light of the lobby. “Looks like I missed out on a lot.”

Aspen ducked his head and went to his desk to dig around in a drawer. The first time Taylor had sent him shopping for office supplies, Aspen had bought random sheets of kids’ stickers. On the rare occasion Taylor performed child evaluations, a little bribery to bring out good behavior never hurt. Aspen came away with two sheets of fairy stickers.

“Not too much. We’re working on crowns and a new kingdom.” Aspen swerved around Garren, his eyes twinkling. “Do you want a crown?”

Garren narrowed his eyes on Aspen. He put his hands on Aspen’s shoulders to stop him and leaned in to whisper, “That was low. There’s no way I can refuse those pixies. I’m going to end up with a glittery, construction-paper crown glued to my head, aren’t I?"

Aspen looked over his shoulder. “Don’t worry there won’t be glitter on yours. I’ll be the queen,” he murmured with a grin. “So you’ll need to fill the role as king.”

Garren shook his head. “You’re trouble.”

Aspen shimmied to dislodge Garren’s hands. “You just figured that out?”

With a resigned sigh Garren followed him.

“Girls, I found someone else who needs a crown,” Aspen declared, gesturing at Garren.

The tykes jumped up and down. Garren fought the urge to reach out and hug Aspen for giving them this moment of levity even at Garren’s expense.

Aspen held out the stickers, and the enthusiasm magnified until the girls were dancing around the room. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” the girls chanted in a singsong fashion.

A softly murmured, “Oh my,” came from behind Garren.

Garren turned to yet again see the shimmer of tears in Mrs. Burgett’s eyes, but a smile accompanied the moisture.

Aspen grinned back at her. “I hope you don’t mind. The girls have been fantastic. We’ve managed to make crowns and bracelets.”

“Even for you, Mommy,” one of the twins piped up and ran over to Mrs. Burgett to carefully hand her the items as though they were made of glass.

Mrs. Baker cradled them. “Thank you, Maryann.”

“Becca and Mr. Aspen helped,” Maryann replied.

“And we ate apples and cheese crackers,” Becca added.

Garren looked briefly at Aspen. He’d seen Aspen eating the same things earlier in the week.

“That was very nice of Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett said with a hitch in her voice. “But we have to go now, girls.”

“Oh,” the girls replied with exaggerated pouts on both their faces.

“Say thank-you to Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett directed.

Both girls ran over to Aspen and threw their arms around his waist. “Sorry we didn’t get a chance to make your crown,” Becca said.

“That’s fine, sweetheart. I’ll be sure to make a matching one when you leave,” Aspen assured her.

“You need to make two,” Maryann interjected. “One for the big king behind you. That way we’ll know you’re helping rule the kingdom even if we can’t see you.”

Garren wanted to pick the girl up and hug her. Tell her that everything would work itself out and she’d never be hurt again. While it was a possibility if Mrs. Burgett went through with the charges, he wouldn’t make promises he couldn’t keep.

“Thank you, Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett said. “You don’t know how much I appreciate you taking care of my girls.”

“You’re welcome,” Aspen responded.

Maryann and Becca  skipped over to their mom, and grabbed hold of her hands as they exited the office.

Garren stared after their retreating backs. He grimaced at the tattered clothes and worn shoes. His jaw clenched, and he pivoted and stalked back to his office. The lump in his throat threatened to shatter his control of his emotions. He made it through the door, placed his hands on his desk, and breathed deeply. Mrs. Burgett reminded him of his mother.

Aspen lightly touched his back, and Garren jerked around to gaze at him.

“I know you’ll do all you can,” Aspen confided.

“And you?” Garren  cracked and cupped Aspen’s face with one hand. “You gave those little girls your lunch and made them laugh. You took away their stress and let them be kids.”

Aspen glanced away. “I did what anyone else would do. They deserve to have as much joy as every other child.”

“You’re wrong. Not everyone would do what you did. I think most would have set them in the lobby and spent the time telling them to be quiet.” Garren had seen that reality time and time again.

Aspen shrugged.

Garren caved and leaned in until his lips were mere inches from Aspen’s. “You are so beautiful.”

Aspen didn’t back away. His breath came faster, and his eyes flashed with that same glow Garren  had seen in the past.

“Garren,” Aspen whispered with a thread of uncertainty.

Garren brushed his thumb over Aspen’s full lower lip, and desire zinged through his body when Aspen’s tongue peeked out to trace the path. Garren’s brain screamed what a huge mistake kissing Aspen would be, but at that point he wasn’t being ruled by his head.

Available at: Loose id | Amazon

About the Author: I’m a born and raised Oregonian. I’ve traveled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill my books.  My ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of stories both sexy and humorous.  It gives me a great excuse to do some crazy stuff in the name of research. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where I find my peace.

https://www.facebook.com/draven.stjames
https://twitter.com/DravenStJames
http://www.pinterest.com/dravenstjames/



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 24, 2014

COVER REVEAL: Run For The Roses and #giveaway


Wanting to end his pattern of choosing controlling and abusive men, Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures it’s better to live alone than live in fear. Just when things are settling down—his biggest trouble recently is a Kentucky Derby hopeful that won’t load into a starting gate—his best friend Janelle’s violent ex-boyfriend kidnaps her. After she’s seriously injured in a car wreck, Wyatt Harig, Janelle’s estranged father, comes around to tend to his daughter. Despite Val’s determination to avoid relationships, Wyatt interests him in ways that make his resolve waver. As complications and repercussions pile on in the aftermath of Janelle’s kidnapping—including a gambling charge and a murder—Wyatt and Val must work together to seek answers. And the closer they get to each other, the more Val wants them to stay that way.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess named Rosie, and two cats, Murphy and Yeti. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe!). When she's not writing she's working as a veterinary nurse, so don't be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.


http://www.elizabeth-noble.com a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, March 22, 2014

INTERVIEW: Julia Alaric and #Giveaway

Today we're talking to Julia Alaric, who is phenomenal, and who has now made me TERRIFIED of earwigs (BUTT PINCERS). She's offering up a copy of any title from her backlist to one lucky winner, so make sure you check out the end of her interview for details on how to enter her giveaway!


Hello Julia and welcome to The Hat Party! <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!



Describe yourself in 4 ½ words.

Curious
Cheerful
Calm
Musi--

Do you know any cool party tricks and are you brave enough to do them at parties?

Probably not to the first, and definitely not to the second! I'm barely brave enough to go to a party unless I know that it's going to be peopled exclusively by friends of mine. On the other hand, I have no shame at all in showing off my weird body tricks: I can wiggle my ears, my scalp, my lower eyelids, my eyeballs themselves, and the tip of my nose; I can tuck all of my fingers back behind my palm like a disturbing pie crust; I have a strange attachment between my thumb and index finger that keeps them from moving independently… I did miss out on the family ability to pop shoulders in and out of socket at will.

If you could go back and speak to your 13-year-old self, what would you say?

Hey self, you're pretty awesome. I know you're starting to figure that out, but you've got a ways to go before you really understand and own who you are, and plenty of peers and societal pressure that will tell you that you shouldn't think you're awesome. But you are.

I still don't know what you're going to be when you grow up, but that's okay—you'll really enjoy the things you do as you fumble your way along through life. (Don't be scared of teaching middle school; it's the best. I'm serious. You'll love it.)

These are not the worst years of your life, nor the best. People who tell you those sorts of clichés are full of shit. And it's okay to say shit once in a while, too.

Oh, and sorry—this is as tall as you're ever going to get. Quit hoping.

What is your super secret, wildest, most outlandish writing dream?

I want to write something that makes a difference. Something that changes somebody's life, that makes some of the authors I admire sit up and take notice, that affects the genre, even that just becomes somebody's favorite, well-worn, most (perhaps electronically) dog-eared comfort read.

If writing were poisonous to you, would you continue to do it?

Yes. Admittedly I'd scale back and add it back in slowly until I'd built up an immunity, but I wouldn't know how to stop writing altogether, at least inside my head. If just thinking the stories filled me with poison, I'd probably be a goner before I knew what was happening to me.  

Describe yourself using song lyrics.

Song lyrics? You know you've led me straight to a well I could easily fall into and drown, don't you? I'll try to contain myself to only four. 

An optimistic depiction of my appearance: Say Hi (Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh), "She's pushing 5'6" in her Saucony kicks/She's got lips like a sofa, and she's strawing down soda" [more likely tea or a latte in my case]. "If the devil was a girl, and she wore a yellow tee/It would be a spitting image, but that's okay with me."

From one of my favorites, Patrick Wolf, to whom you must listen if you haven't before (my perfect writing music): "Desire, deep down inside of me/ You are not the maker nor the master of me/ Help me to better support my family/ To better better of a brother be/ Desire, deep down inside of me/ You are not the wrecker nor the ruler of me."

Then Relient K: "[s]he tries to be a better someone that understands the difference and that [s]he can't show all the people all the things that really mean as much as [s]he could/ feel/s like I don't remember ever being this tired/ before/ now my eyes were closed to all of the beauty in this world" and "I'm telling you that I know some days I'm gonna stumble/ and I know the cookie's gonna crumble/ and I know that life is gonna suck some days/ but I can't complain."

Finally, an oldie but a goodie from The Four Tops: "Never you mind if I/ don't tell strangers passing by/ If I don't brag, if I don't brag or boast/ Click my glass and say a toast/ about my love for you/ how it runs so deep and true/ and yet it's so/ 'cause don't you know/ still waters run deep."

How long do you think you’ll survive the zombie apocalypse?

Oh, not long at all. I'm a total klutz. I'll probably fall right into a zombie and be brainless before I have a chance to notice that I tripped over nothing but air.

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

You'd think that, as a romance writer, this would be in my skill set. And yet, I don't think the quick swoon is one of my strengths. *sigh* But I offer this snippet from Dreamer:

The images in his mind shifted and shimmered like an oil slick on water, swirling with every shift of his gaze. Unseen fingers ghosted over the side of his neck, the inside of his elbow, the arch of one foot. Suddenly his vision went dark, as though his eyes had involuntarily closed and were now locked shut. He struggled in vain to open them, to see where he was and who was doing this to him, but the darkness only deepened. Warm breath touched the shell of his ear, stirred the hair at the back of his neck. Goosebumps shivered down the length of his spine. He arched back helplessly against solid warmth. A chuckle rippled through the darkness. "Good night, lovely dreamer. Welcome back."

What is your most irrational fear and what makes you inexplicably happy?

Irrational fear: Earwigs. They look like roach cousins with pincers on their butts. There's inevitably one day every spring when I open my mailbox, find it crawling with earwigs, and just close it right back up and walk away.

Inexplicably happy: Snow. Driving in it, to be specific. Driving around in a snowstorm makes me wildly, manically ecstatic.

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

The ones that are still wriggly puppies. J


~ ~ ~

Prince Erik's life is grand: his father has taken a new wife, a beautiful and sweet woman who charms all who meet her, the kingdom is prospering, and there is no shortage of men and women to keep his bed warm. If he wishes for the one person he cannot have, well, at least he's accepted it.

But then everything begins to change, a shroud falling slowly over the kingdom, darkness creeping in and leeching his father's life away. Strangest of all, the kingdom's artists all begin to create works along the same strange and frightening theme...

EXCERPT:
Concentrate," Armande snapped. "Clear your mind, take a cleansing breath, and feel. Listen for the life. Hear the blood calling to you. The heartbeat of every living creature is crying out like a lure."

Erik tried to do as instructed, but after a few minutes, he shook his head. "I am trying, Armande, but I cannot hear any pulse but my own."

"Apologies," Armande replied, sounding surprised. "I cannot believe I had forgotten. It has been so long since I had a pulse to ignore that I scarcely remember how it sounded." He studied Erik, head cocked to one side.

Erik returned his gaze incredulously. "What do you mean, 'had a pulse?'"

"The first life the Gift consumes is our own," Armande replied. "Not that we are dead, precisely, but we do sacrifice certain aspects of human life. Did you not read about any of this in the library?"

Erik snorted indelicately. "Most of what I read in the library has turned out to be false. You are not in control of multiple animal forms, you do not burn to death at the first hint of sunlight, you do not feed solely on the blood of virgins and leave only the shell of their empty bodies behind. To the best of my knowledge, garlic has no ill effects upon you, and I do not think burying you face down in a crossroads would do any good at all if someone were determined to see you stay in your grave."

Armande shook his head, a hint of a smile lurking about the corners of his mouth. "It amazes me what ignorance is published as fact. Does your library lack even a single volume from Elämä?"

Erik shrugged. "If such a thing were in the library, I certainly could not find it. But I have never been particularly good at navigating the contents of the library."

"The books, anyway." Armande glanced teasingly at him.

Erik grinned. "I don't care much for books, but I am very good at repurposing the library for things I enjoy more."

Armande rolled his eyes. "You are not quite as good as you think you are. I could show you how to be much more subtle without sacrificing any of the pleasure." To Erik's utter surprise, Armande immediately flushed and stammered, "Not that I would presume to demonstrate on you … with you … that is, I wouldn't …" He blew out a breath. "That did not come out as I intended."

For a few seconds, Erik managed to contain himself. Then the laughter bubbled over, earning him a glare that had probably been used to kill small animals on previous hunts. "Not that I'm not flattered," he said once he got himself under control, "but what exactly do you know about the matter? I have never once seen you even flirt with anyone, neither man nor woman."

"Precisely," Armande replied archly. "If you had seen it, I would have failed in being subtle. Your terrible skills of observation do not render true events false."

"Prove it."

An instant later, he was pinned on his back, Armande's weight on his legs, his wrists held to the ground. Wide eyed, he stared up into Armande's face. He did not think he was imagining the heat simmering in his gaze as it traveled the length of his body. "I am the best huntsman in at least three countries," Armande murmured, his voice low and smooth. "Do you think I cannot stalk my prey? That I do not study the way they move, what they enjoy, what they need?" His hands tightened on Erik's wrists. Erik could not seem to catch his breath or tear his eyes from Armande's.

"When I want someone," Armande continued, dipping his head until his nose brushed Erik's jaw, slowly gliding up until his lips whispered against the shell of Erik's ear, "I want a challenge. I am not after an easy tumble that will make its rounds in court gossip. I want a bear to test my skills, not a rabbit to bolt or yield at the first sign of pursuit." He moved to nuzzle Erik's neck, breath surprisingly cool against Erik's flushed skin, then released one wrist so that his free hand could slide up the inside of Erik's leg from calf to thigh. "I choose my prey wisely, but I am a consummate hunter. I always catch the one I want."

"Oh," Erik choked out, unable to formulate any other words. He wanted to whimper and beg Armande to continue his hand's movement upward, to stroke him or strip him or something, anything. But instead, Armande rolled off him and sat up.

"Trust me, Your Highness, I could teach you a few things. But that is not what you are here to learn, nor is it my place."


Available from Less Than Three Press and Amazon.com 

For the Sake of the Kingdom Goodreads

About the Author:

The discovery at age five of her mother’s typewriter lurking in the bowels of her basement inspired Julia’s first story, a moving, multi-chaptered, twelve-sentence masterpiece about a blood-thirsty blob. Since then, she’s gone on to write many vastly better spelled stories with much happier endings.

Julia finds absolutely everything completely fascinating, which is why she spends most of her time in a classroom. Her greatest loves, apart from her husband, are language, music, and history, and she makes her living via a slightly ridiculous passel of jobs centered around the three. There are rumors that, in a prior life, she even dabbled in teaching high school math and chemistry amidst her Latin, Greek, and music history classes. Her students joke that she would like to achieve a doctorate in Everything, and they’re not far wrong.

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @julia_alaric
Poorly Tended Blog: juliaalaric.blogspot.com
Decrepit livejournal, full of short free reads: magistra17sum.livejournal.com 



GIVEAWAY!

Julia is giving away a copy of any title from her backlist (all of them can be found here: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/author-julia-alaric/). To enter, please comment on the post with your email address between now and March 24th @ 11:59 PM CDT. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

INTERVIEW: Haley Walsh and #Giveaway!

Today we are talking to the delightful Haley Walsh, author of the Skyler Foxe Mysteries and she has a special contest for readers of The Hat Party! Comment on Haley's interview between Mar 19th and Mar 21st (11:59 PM CDT) for a chance to win one of two prizes. (Details to follow the interview!)



Hello Haley and welcome to The Hat Party <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

How come you’re so freaking cool?

Coolness is a zen sort of thing. Some say you’re born with it, some say you cultivate it. I’m in the camp where coolness is thrust  upon you.

A drunken relative has just insulted M/M rom up one side and down the other. Plus they spilled their drink on you in the process. What is your most articulate response?

“You’re drunken lifestyle choice intrigues me. Why didn’t I write alcoholic romance? Surely, by your example, there are many takers out there.”

Be honest. Be TOTALLY honest. How’s your handwriting?

Execrable. I trained myself to print because my handwriting looks more like foot writing, but now my printing is illegible.

What are your pie-in-the-sky, almost-too-embarrassed-to-say-out-loud dreams for your writing? No dream is too big!

HBO series. Hell, I’ll take Starz.

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

They didn’t hurry, though Skyler could feel the quiver of Keith’s limbs as if he were trying to control his desperation. He kissed Skyler leisurely and his tongue caressed just enough, licking against Skyler’s as his lips suckled his lover’s mouth.

When he drew back this time, he held Skyler close, with Skyler’s head just below his chin. “I want to make love to you,” he rasped. Yes, he could feel Keith’s erection pressing forcefully against his thigh. Skyler nodded and, hand in hand, they walked to the bedroom.

They disrobed slowly, not in any hurry. Because they knew they didn’t have to be. Skyler caught glimpses of Keith’s body as it was painstakingly revealed—a shirt opened, a pant leg removed—and was ready for him when he had discarded his last sock.

They melted into each other’s arms. Skyler writhed over the hot skin, rubbing against the coarse hair, filling his nose with the scent of him; his maleness, the tang of sweat, the distant notes of his cologne. “You,” he whispered, not even knowing why.

“Me?” Keith whispered back.

“Yeah,” he said, dragging his lips and teeth across Keith’s collar bone. “Just you.”

“Sappy,” Keith chuckled.

“Shut up,” Skyler whispered back.

A genre-specific virus has attacked you, rendering you INCAPABLE of writing your chosen genre. What do you do now?!

I just continue my mainstream books: As Jeri Westerson (JeriWesterson.com) I write a medieval mystery series with a dark and brooding medieval ex-knight detective, Crispin Guest. And I also write an urban fantasy series, called Booke of the Hidden, with a sexy demon and a feisty female protagonist.

Do you know any cool party tricks and are you brave enough to do them at parties?

I can make forks balance on the edge of a glass. Oh, and I can make cocktails disappear!

Are you going to survive the zombie apocalypse?

The zombie what now?

Give a shout-out to another author who may, or may not, know how much you appreciate them.

Neil Plakcy, for being a friend, mentor… and editor!

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kind of dachshunds?

Sweater-wearing, skateboard-riding, juggling  clown dachshunds.


FOXE FIRE synopsis:

High school English teacher Skyler Foxe is now out and proud, even though a few months ago he had no intention of being so. But since the cat is now out of the bag, he embraces it as well as his boyfriend, head football coach, Keith Fletcher. But who is that good-looking gay parent hanging around Keith, causing mischief at the school as well as in Skyler’s private life? And then someone from Skyler’s past returns, stirring up trouble. Add to that a firebug and suddenly everyone seems up to no good, especially when a smoldering corpse is found outside of the local gay bar. Skyler can’t help himself and he gets up to his old sleuthing tricks once more.
Buy Links:




Warmth glowed in Skyler’s heart. Yes, he was glad he came tonight. He needed a little boost.

“So Skyler,” said Jamie, leaning into the table so they could hear him. “You said you wanted to discuss something with us?”

Skyler leaned in, too, and then Philip and Rodolfo followed suit. “Yeah. Um…I was thinking of asking Keith if we should—”

“Get married?” squealed Jamie, clapping his hands.

Skyler gave him a scornful look. “No! Something else.”

“Skyler wants to go au naturale,” Philip cut in. “Sleeveless. Fully armed torpedoes in the tube…”

Jamie’s eyes widened. “You want to BAREBACK?” It was loud. Especially since the music hit a lull at that particular point. It seemed everyone in the place turned around toward them. Skyler sunk down in his seat, feeling his face flame.

“Thanks, Jamie!” he hissed.

Jamie waved his hand as if erasing Skyler’s thought bubble. “It’s no biggie. Every gay man at one time or another thinks about it.”

“But should we?” said Skyler, straightening. “We’ve only been together five months.”

“Do what feels right, Sky. You’ve both been monogamous, haven’t you?”

He nodded, clutching his drink. “But I still…you know. Look.”

“Honey, you wouldn’t be male if you didn’t look.”

“But the problem is,” said Rodolfo, who had been quiet during their exchange, “is that if one of you strays, what are you going to do then?”

Everyone turned to look at him lounging back against the seat. Philip glared. “What do you mean?” he said, voice a bit strident.

Rodolfo slunk forward, laying his hand on Philip’s cheek. “Not with you, minino. I have no reason to go anywhere else.” He nibbled the man’s lips.

“Damned straight,” said Philip with a huff. “But Rodolfo’s point is well taken. What if you do stray, Skyler? Then you’d have to own up and go back to condoms. And how would that work out?”

“Are you saying you’d lie about it if there was no bareback issue?”

This time, no one would look at each other.

“Oh, my God! I can’t believe you guys. I wouldn’t lie to Keith. And I have no plans to stray.”

“But what about him?” asked Jamie. “What if he lies?”
"He wouldn't. He doesn't."

“How do you know?”
He just wouldn't. He's in loum...I mean..."

“He’s in love with you, you mean,” said Philip softly. “And yet you’ve never said it to him. How do you suppose that makes him feel?”

Skyler took a long drink and stared into his melting ice when he lowered the glass. “He knows how I feel.”

“Does he?”

About the Author:


Haley Walsh tried acting, but decided the actor’s life was not for her. Instead, she became a successful graphic designer in Los Angeles, her hometown. After fifteen years of burning money in the ’80s and early ’90s, she retired from the graphics industry and turned her interests toward writing. She became a freelance newspaper reporter, wrote articles for quirky magazines, published award-winning short stories, and now writes an acclaimed gay mystery series, the Skyler Foxe Mysteries.  She’s lived all her life in southern California, sampling wines and chomping chocolate. Yeah, it’s a living.

I can be found in oh so many places:
 

Facebook:  /skylerfoxe.mysteries  and /keith.fletcher.5074 (sometimes Skyler and Keith engage in some humorous repartee on Facebook)
Make sure you comment with your email address to enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of Foxe Fire or this adorable fox beanie baby! (NOTE: Beanie baby available to U.S. residents only!)

Monday, March 17, 2014

INTERVIEW: Raine O'Tierney and #Giveaway!

Hello everyone! Siôn here, sitting in for your usual host. Today’s shameless self-promotion will be circular in form, as I’ll be interviewing my extraordinarily excitable wife, Raine O’Tierney, who is The Hat Party’s founder and typically does the interviews. So, in the spirit of The Hat Party, Raine, please select a hat, put it on, and prepare yourself to answer some unnecessarily complicated questions! 


(And check out the end of the post for info on a giveaway she's running right now.)

If you had to literally, figuratively go fishing for your next book contract and needed a prized possession to bait the hook (obviously, the greater the personal value, the better it will work), what would you use?

Oh god…But I love my STUFF! Can I pretend this is just a “what cool stuff do you have?” No? FINE. I would…bait the hook with my (OMG, my skin just went cold thinking about it) autographed copy of Jessica Steele’s The Sister Secret since 1) It was so kind and unexpected of her to send it and 2) she is a huge part of the reason I write today. Also, I want to punch you for asking me that. (Is this how authors feel when I ask them things?!)

Out for a walk, you turn down a dark alley and there you find one of your biggest writing heroes, who is it? It’s a perfect opportunity for a mugging, what skill or quality do you steal?

OMG, it’s Mishima Kazuhiko! I just punched her (gently! GENTLY!) and stole her ability to make adorably ridiculous characters and love-love feelings. If Sylvia Cassedy were still alive, I’d mug her for her ability to create believable young female characters and her portrayal of loneliness. But I just can’t mug a dead woman. I won’t.

What is the ‘red dress’ and how has it informed your writing?

The red dress is…a red dress that I meant to write into a story—THOUGHT I had written into a story—but never actually wrote into the story. I was flabbergasted when I went back and it wasn’t there and I realized that I’ve got to be very careful to get all my thoughts and feelings down on a page because even though I can see the red dress, if it’s not on the page, the reader can’t.

Apart from screaming at ear-rending volume in order to act as a distraction while your teammates perform simple tasks such as finding a key to a locked door, what skills will you bring to the inevitable zombie apocalypse? And, as a follow-up, which of these skills will you still be able to contribute while rendered catatonic by your crippling fear of zombies?

I’ll be totally honest with you. You don’t want me on a team during the zombie apocalypse. I’m gonna screw it up and get everyone killed. I’m pretty much legally blind without my contacts, which I WILL lose. I can’t run, I can’t climb, I PANIC when I have to hide and usually run screaming from my hiding spot. Oh, and I can not aim for the life of me. Plus my face probably smells like bacon, luring more zombies to me.

What time period contains the most inspiration for you, what is it about that time period, and, finally, why don’t you write stories set in it?

1940s era psychiatric medicine is greatly fascinating to me… and I dunno. *scuffs toe of shoe* ‘Cause I’m busy?

You have 200 words—choose a random slash pairing and make me a believer!

Disclaimer: 1) Duh, not my characters. 2) This takes place EARLY in the Naruto series 3) It’s been a long time sine I slashed, please don’t hurt me.

He let his fingers casually play across Kakashi’s skin, and wondered about the logistics of this. When would they be able to meet? Naruto always dropped in before school and he often spent the night when he was particularly lonely. What would happen if he made an impromptu visit when Kakashi was over?

“Master Iruka?” Kakashi asked gently, loath to move out of their delicious warmth, but watching the cogs turn behind Iruka’s eyes, “What’s going on in your head?”

“I…” Iruka laughed lightly. “Nothing, it’s nothing.”

“You’re a pitiful liar.”

“Am I? Well, I’m glad that it isn’t required that I—”

“You haven’t mastered the ancient art of changing the subject. We can stay here all day long until you tell me what’s going on.”

“…I was just wondering how we were going to do… this.”

“Iruka, do you need another lesson so quickly?” Kakashi teased lightly.

“I mean, no one in the village can know, obviously.”

“Obviously.” Kakashi replied in a way that didn’t necessarily mean that he agreed.

“I was just thinking that Naruto drops by a lot. I would hate for him to walk in on anything… And what if someone from school needed me for something? There’s always the off-chance that a parent will—”

“Then we’ll use my place.”

If your writing ability was the cast of Survivor, who would get voted off the island? Who would you give immunity to? (I’m going to need names and characteristics...)

Voted off the island: Miss Inhibition, she is constantly neg’ing, telling everyone what they can’t do, she’s got totally color-in-the-lines thinking, and even though she’s titillated by new ideas and concepts on how to complete the challenges, she’s so concerned about looking bad on national television, she’ll be the first to dig her heels in the sand.

Immunity goes to: The Artist. Dood never even told anyone his name. But he’s vivid and bold and pretty much the exact opposite of Sara Jane Inhibition over there. Everything is doable with the right colors, he thinks. And he’s come up with some insane answers to challenges. A lot of them involve coconuts, I don’t know what’s up with that.

What fictional character would you most like to have as a collaborator and why?

Giordan Stone, hands down. I’d write stuff and then he’d paint what I wrote and together we’d make this incredibly beautiful graphic novel of M/M sweetness.

I’ve heard you called a genre slut (just now when I said it), if you had to choose only one genre to write for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Why are you cruel? No, seriously. Why? Uh…Contem— no, hmm, Science fict— I… Can M/M romance just BE a genre? If so, that one.

What is your greatest inanimate external deterrent to writing?

Right now, my C key. Stupid frickin’ C key you have to mash on the keyboard to get a C and sometimes it doesn’t work. All my encouragement comes out looking like, “YOU ARE A ROKSTAR!” Noooo!

~ ~ ~

Giordan Stone is lucky, all things considered. Sure, he spent five years in a coma only to wake with a right leg that’s practically useless and no memories other than his name. But now he’s under the care of sassy southern surrogate mother, Chloe Devereaux, spending his days painting and healing. Giordan wants for nothing at all… until he looks out the window one morning and sees Chloe's gorgeous son, Shane, standing there. Something very familiar stirs in Giordan.

When he sketches, Giordan is able to go into an “art trance” where pieces of disjointed memory come back to him without time or place. More and more of these flashes are of Shane Devereaux and the intense, intimate experiences they shared together. Even though Shane keeps his distance now, Giordan is convinced his flashes are real. But he doesn’t have the whole story. Giordan is determined to fill in his memory blanks and convince Shane his feelings are genuine.

Excerpt:

CHLOE DEVEREAUX’S hands were gentle as she helped Giordan step into the bath.

The first time she’d stripped him naked in that no-nonsense way of hers, he’d flushed from head to toe and tried to cover himself with his hands. Chloe clucked her tongue and let him know that being a wife, mother, and new grandmother—though how can someone so young possibly have a grandbaby?—she had seen her share of dangles. Surprisingly, this frank admission helped, and he let her run the soapy sponge over his naked back. Besides, it was quickly evident that with his stiff right side, Giordan needed her help.

This particular morning, Giordan shakily sank into the steaming bubbles, neither ashamed nor protesting as Chloe helped him adjust his position. His left knee bent fully while his right moved barely an inch. His hip, too, didn’t work properly on that side. The ugly pink scars that zigzagged from his waist down his hip and leg almost all the way to the ankle served as outward warning: He was broken.

Chloe, her sleeves rolled up past her elbows, hummed as she dipped the rag into the bath. Lifting it, she let the water rain down over his shoulders. It felt familiar in the way everything did. An almost-memory or a dream. He tried not to overthink these moments, or he’d end up crushing the familiarity right out of the situation. Too many frustrated days had taught him this lesson.

There were only two things he remembered with the concrete certainty of ever having existed at all: His name was Giordan Stone and he was an artist. The rest of it was covered by a mental veil too thick to see through. In that, he supposed he had a third concrete truth. Giordan had amnesia.

“Dr. P’s comin’ by today,” Chloe told him, breaking in to her sweet song. She helped him lean back into the water so she could wash his hair. “I told her that we had things in hand, but I guess we don’t pay her the big bucks for nothin’.”

Giordan had learned quickly he wasn’t supposed to argue with Chloe. His first day out of the hospital, the day he insisted on helping out, she favored him with a look so displeased it still made him shudder when he thought about it. Chloe was firmly in charge, and what she said, went.

She told him then and there, in that sweet southern accent of hers, that she had been expecting a pliant patient who would let her mother and coddle him. “After raising two of the most stubborn children God has seen fit to bless a woman with,” Chloe had said, eyes flashing, “and makin’ a home for a husband with his head so far up his ass he might as well do his own colonoscopy”—she tapped him lightly on the nose—“I am lookin’ forward to no questions, no back talk, and no lip, Giordan Stone. Now, there is no way in the sulfur-stinkin’ fires of hell that you are settin’ a foot outta this bed, lest you mean to use the toilet or take a bath, and until I say so, you’re doin’ both under my watchful eye.” She wagged one stern finger at him, her wooden bangles clacking at her wrist.

“All right,” he agreed meekly.

“Once you tip the scales at one thirty-five, then we’ll talk about chores. Don’t worry,” she chuffed, “I’m savin’ ‘em up for you. In the meantime, your job is to eat.”

Available from Dreamspinner Press

About the Author: Raine O’Tierney is an always-writing, boundlessly enthusiastic, exclamation point addict! (!!!) She is known for declaring every day “the best day EVER!” and every thing her “all-time FAVORITE!” Despite this (obnoxious?) exuberance, she still somehow manages to have a wonderfully encouraging husband and writing partner, Siôn, and an amazing group of friends and colleagues who continue to support (read: put up with) her. Raine spends her days working as a library lady, fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom.

You can find her at:
Twitter: @RaineOTierney


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