Archive for the ‘web event’ Category
All my self-published titles, which includes the Fitting In series, Wild R Farm, and the Unexpected series, will be 25% of April 15 only at All Romance ebooks, so go grab some bargains.
Need some heat in your holiday? Check out this fantastic list of m/m stories from a variety of authors all FREE or 99 cents, many Christmas themed. My contributions include Needing A Little Christmas, One Kiss, and Unexpected Rescue.
Dec 1, 2014 Filed under: contemporary, free story, holiday, m/m, web event
I’m thrilled to be participating in the Flash Fiction Holiday Blog Hop! All stories in the hop are inspired by the picture below and must contain a “bad boy” character and a winter holiday theme. I hope you like my offering. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win your choice of any book from my backlist.
“Come on, man. I don’t need any presents okay,” Kyle tried to pull away from Brad’s hug, but Brad just tightened his arms and leaned in, kissing his neck like he didn’t care who saw.
“Everybody deserves presents and you’ve been talking about how much you wished you had a tablet for ages.”
“Yeah, but I don’t expect you to buy me one, okay. If I could find an employer willing to take a chance on a loser with a record I could save up for my own.”
Brad sighed. “I already told you my dad would be willing to vouch for you.”
“I didn’t even mean for your parents to know who I was.”
“I thought we were past that.”
He heard the anger in Brad’s voice, but all he did was huff.
Brad leaned over and reached out for a bottle of sparkly bath salts from a display in front of them. Kyle hadn’t even noticed that he’d wandered into the bath department. He’d simply wanted to get away from the electronics he couldn’t afford.
“How about this then? You surely can’t argue it’s too expensive.”
Kyle didn’t want to laugh, but he couldn’t help himself. Brad managed to ask the question in such a serious voice.
“Only if you plan to use them with me.”
“Now that sounds appropriately kinky.” He let go of Kyle and turned, glancing around the store. “Now where’s the check out.”
“Give me those.” Kyle yanked the bath salts out of his hand and set them back on the display shelf.
Brad laughed. “You sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“If we leave, you’re coming back to my house,” Brad insisted. “I don’t see why you won’t just move in.”
“No… I… I just can’t.”
Brad shook his head. “When are you going to get it?”
“Get what?” Kyle’s face burned from embarrassment. He looked around to see if anyone was watching, but most people seemed too caught up in their holiday shopping to pay attention to anything but the array of goods for sale.
“That I love you.”
Kyle took a step back and nearly knocked over a display of heavily scented lotions. “You what?”
Brad smiled. “I love you. And I don’t care who you used to be. I only care about who you are now.”
“I’m still that guy. I’m still the guy who used to steal anything I thought I could re-sell.”
Brad shook his head.
Kyle stared at him, unable to really comprehend what he’d said. A knot formed in his throat and his eyes stung. Holy fucking fuck! He was a hardened criminal not a crybaby. “I’ve got to get out of here.”
He took off running, only thinking of how he had to get somewhere he could breathe. The tightness in his chest seemed to cut off his air. He raced through the mall and finally came to an exit. He burst through the door, starling an older couple who were coming in.
Once outside, he sat on a bench and gulped the chilly air. So much better, not trapped, not scared. No one had ever told him they loved him. No one. He’d never met his dad, and his mom was more concerned with what he could get for her than taking care of him. Eventually, she disappeared and he was on his own. And he’d been fine like that. Until Brad.
He heard footsteps, and without looking, he knew Brad had found him. Brad would always find him.
“No one ever said that to me.” Kyle still didn’t look up.
Brad sat beside him and laid a hand on his back. “I’m sorry, but it’s how I feel.”
Those words made him turn around. “Don’t apologize. I love you too.” His mouth dropped open after those words came out. He’d meant to say “I don’t need you feeling bad.”
Brad cupped the side of his face and kissed him, a quick gentle kiss but one that heated him from head to toe. “You are all the Christmas present I need. Will you come home with me?”
Kyle took a long, slow breath. “Yeah, I will.”
“Will you let my dad be a reference for you?”
Kyle’s natural stubbornness rose up. He wanted to refuse again, but it was pointless, Brad would eventually wear him down. “Okay.”
Brad grinned. “And that is all the Christmas present I need.”
Kyle gave him a sly grin. “So I should just return the—“
Brad laid a finger over his lips. “Absolutely not. And I’m not making any returns either.”
Kyle narrowed his eyes at Brad.
But brad kissed him again. “Let’s wait a little while to argue more about gifts.”
All Kyle could do was smile. “Fine. Now let’s go home.”
Check out the other blogs in the hop. There are lots of great stories!
Sep 21, 2014 Filed under: book release, cowboy, m/m, paranormal, shapeshifter, web event
I’m thrilled to be part of the Guilty Indulgence Blog Hop today!
I have a cover reveal for you today for Shifting Hearts, Wild R Farm Book 6. This is one of my all times favorite covers. Meredith Russell has done an amazing job.
In case you haven’t met the men of Wild R Farm, I would like to introduce them to you. Wild R Farm is owned by Cole Wilder, a halfbreed werewolf. The first book in the series, Finding Release, is about Cole and his partner Jonah and each subsequent book tells the story of more of the men who work at the farm or living in the town of Cranford, TN. Finding Release is also available in audio.
And now for the cover reveal, Book 6, Shifting Hearts will be released October 25, check out the gorgeous cover.
Apr 9, 2014 Filed under: m/m, paranormal, shapeshifter, web event, werewolf
Today I’m participating in the Autism Blog Hop and I’m offering two ebooks from my backlist as a prize.
Fact: Autism affects the way a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
Communicating effectively can be a challenge for anyone. Sometimes you want to say something but you worry that the person you need to talk to will take it wrong or that you will hurt them. Or you might be traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language and you’re not sure if a few basic words and hand gestures will suffice to help you find what you need. As a writer I have stories in my head but I’m never sure if I’m going to be able to find the right words to tell that story to others and have them see it as I do.
Every human being has a unique perception of the world around them and we can’t always communicate what we see or feel to others. But those challenges we face are magnified many times over for those who have autism. For them, even the most basic communication with others may not be possible or may bring on so much frustration that they stop trying. Many years ago, I worked in a preschool and one of the boys in my class was autistic. You could see the frustration build as he attempted to interact with other kids. Most days he ended up pulling at his hair and kicking because the challenge was too much for him. I wanted so badly to help but I couldn’t see the world the way he did. It’s so easy to judge someone when they don’t react or behave as we expect—and I’ve certainly done that many times—but we never know what challenges that person might be facing.
My latest release is Pressure Points, Book 2 in the Pisgah Mountain Wolves series.
It’s hard enough being an inn manager, serving at everyone’s beck and call, making sure all the guests are happy and the employees are paid on time. Add to that being a werewolf, a recovering alcoholic, and a pack leader. Add to that a brother who is trying to tear the pack apart and a dark past he can’t escape. Needless to say, Carl is under a lot of stress. Not helping: Justin, the inn’s human massage therapist—who Carl is trying not to fall for—has offered Carl a massage to “lower his stress levels.” As his boss, Carl can’t tell Justin his hands might lower stress levels, but they would raise something else.
Despite Carl trying to put him off, Justin won’t give in. Carl’s friends won’t leave him alone, and the divisions in the pack are near exploding. And it’s tourist season. The last thing Carl needs are wolf wars in the lobby. Like it or not, Carl is going to have to rely on Justin and the wolves who love him to teach him how to let go and get through everything without falling apart.
Jun 10, 2013 Filed under: book release, cowboy, m/m, paranormal, shapeshifter, web event
Hi everyone! I’m happy to be part of the 2013 LGBTPride Blog Fest at Naughty Editions reviews. I love writing about LGBT relationships and giving my characters happy endings. I hope that eventually all LGBT people will be able to publicly take pride in who they are and that everyone in our society will realize that we’re all just people no matter who we love.
Today in celebration of Pride Fest I’m giving away all three ebooks in my Wild R Farm series. To be entered to win leave a comment here.
In the Wild R Farm series, my characters face predjudice both because they are gay and because they are shapeshifters. Just as there are those in our society today who tell LGBT people that their actions are sinful, there are people in my shapeshifter world who preach that changing form goes against God and that shapeshifters shouldn’t take their animal forms. In other words, they should suppress who they really are.
The third book in this series, Embracing Need has just been released. I hope you enjoy Tristan and Wes as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.
Embracing Need (Wild R Farm 3) by Silvia Violet
Horse shifter, Tristan Hayes, doesn’t believe in relationships. He believes in hot, sweaty one-night stands that leave him aching for days.
Private investigator, Wesley James, is looking for someone to settle down with, but it’s never occurred to him that someone could be a man.
Tristan loves a good game, so he flirts with Wes, never thinking anything serious will come of his attraction. Wes fends him off, but after three months of cat and mouse, both men are worn out from fighting what they feel.
When a young woman from Tristan’s herd goes missing, he asks for Wes’s help. Tristan keeps up his flirtatious façade until Wes calls his bluff, taking him out for dinner and dancing. As they search for the missing shifter, Tristan struggles to believe Wes could care for the man Tristan hides beneath his abrasive exterior.
Tristan was sitting in a chair on Wes’s front porch with his feet up on the railing when Wes pulled up.
Wes jumped out of his car, but his messenger bag tangled on something, and he tripped as he tried to yank it free. After cursing and kicking the car door, he turned back to Tristan, who was doing nothing to hold back his laughter. “If you were hoping that would turn me off, it didn’t work.”
Wes flipped him off, but Tristan just smiled. Wes’s T-shirt stretched across his muscular chest as he worked to catch his breath. His well-trimmed, dark beard begged Tristan to rub his face against it and find out if it was as soft as he imagined. Even the annoyance in Wes’s rich, brown eyes only made Tristan hotter, because knowing he could fluster Wes so easily was a major turn-on. Not that Tristan had any business pushing Wes’s buttons more than he already had. The right thing to do was to keep things businesslike, but he just couldn’t help himself. Years of overindulgence made his desires impossible to curb.
“What are you doing here?’ Wes asked, his tone implying Tristan was the last person he wanted to see even though the fact that he was still not breathing steadily after falling out of his car belied his disinterest.
“I have a business proposition.”
“Is that an innuendo?”
Tristan grinned. “Do you want it to be?”
“I’ve never paid for sex, and I don’t intend to start now.”
“Ouch.” Tristan stuck out his lip, and Wes laughed, too good-natured to stay annoyed.
“I do have to say it’s unsettling to find you all cozied up on my porch.”
Tristan stretched deliberately, letting his shirt ride up. He ran a hand over his chest and across his toned abs, stopping just short of his crotch. “I have been getting rather comfy waiting for you.”
Wes eyed him suspiciously. “What are you really doing here?”
“Are you afraid I’m here to demonstrate my riding skills?” He pushed up the hat, the same straw one he’d been wearing when he’d last seen Wes.
Wes’s gaze strayed to the hat and then skittered over Tristan’s lean body. “No. Yes. Damn it, Tristan, quit being so fucking infuriating.”
Tristan took pity on him then. “A young woman from my herd is missing, and I need your help to find her.”
Wes sighed. “Calling the police is out of the question?”
“Yeah. We don’t involve humans in our affairs unless we absolutely have to.”
Wes stared at him. “I’m human. Did you forget that?”
“Oh, you don’t count.”
Wes glared. “I don’t?”
Heat rose in Tristan’s cheeks. “You know what I mean. You’re not going to try to force us to adhere to your human ways.”
Wes shook his head. “I’m not going to force you to do anything.”
“Really? Are you sure? I’ve been such a bad boy. You might need to teach me a lesson.”
Wes growled. “Knock it off.”
“Aren’t you going to invite me in?” Tristan asked, gesturing toward Wes’s front door.
Wes sighed. “Do I have to?”
“Well.” Tristan paused to fan himself dramatically. “It is a bit warm out here.” With Wes so close, warm was an understatement.
When they got inside, Wes offered Tristan a bottle of water from the fridge. He took it, then watched, paralyzed, as Wes cracked his own bottle open and gulped it down, the muscles of his throat flexing, his large hand wrapped around the bottle.
When Wes put the bottle down, he seemed to realize Tristan was staring at him, and his cheeks reddened. Tristan looked away and opened his own water. He really needed it now, since all the moisture seemed to have left his mouth.
“I’m assuming you haven’t eaten dinner,” Wes said.
Tristan shook his head.
“Then let’s go get some. I even know a place where after we eat, you can show me your dance moves like you’ve been threatening to do.”
Tristan stared, openmouthed. He’d been teasing Wes about taking him out dancing since the day they met, but he never thought Wes would propose such a thing. “What are you up to?” he asked. Calling his bluff. That’s what the bastard was doing.
Mar 31, 2013 Filed under: contemporary, excerpts, m/m, web event
I’m thrilled to be part of this blog hop to raise awareness about autism and prejudice.
After reading, leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of any ebook from my backlist.
Autism Fact: Autism affects the way a person communicates with, and relates to, other people.
When my older daughter was three, she had a very small pre-school class and one of the girls in the class had autism. The little girl had a very limited vocabulary, she didn’t join in most class activities, and she left class for part of each day for speech or occupational therapy. At the beginning of the school year, I wasn’t sure how my daughter would react to this girl since my daughter was speaking with more complex sentences than most three-year-olds and was very observant and would wonder why the other girl left class with different teachers. But instead of being concerned by her differences, my daughter made sure the other girl knew she was welcome to join the class when they made crafts or had snack, and she talked to her just as she did the other children in the class even though the little girl didn’t answer back.
Whether it had to do with my daughter’s attitude towards her or something else about my daughter, the little girl started sitting beside her at snack, playing with toys beside her and generally attempting to make friends in her own way. Her mother and I became friends, and the girls played together outside of school. My daughter never saw a reason to treat her differently from her other friends.
No one at the pre-school talked about there being anything “wrong” with the autistic student and the teachers treated her the same way they treated the others students. I think my daughter saw that and modeled the behavior herself.
It wasn’t until several years later when her friend went to an elementary school with a special needs program that my daughter realized her friend had something society consider a disorder. As far as she was concerned, her friend just thought and communicated in her own special way. I was so glad that this was how my daughter formed her early impression of children with special needs. Rather than having a pre-conceived idea of someone with autism, she got to know her first and then found out why her brain worked differently. It would be great if we could all meet each new person we encounter without making any assumptions about them ahead of time.
Sadly, that’s not possible for most adults, but when I find myself judging someone I haven’t met, I remind myself of all the times my pre-conceived notions (or prejudices) have been wrong and the person I got to know was nothing like I would have expected.
My most recent release is Astronomical. In this story, Greg MacIntyre, an astronomy professor, defies most assumptions people make about geeky astro-physicists.
Astronomical by Silvia Violet
When sexy, kilt-wearing astronomy professor Greg MacIntyre moves in next door, Blake Theriot knows he’s in trouble. Blake is a research librarian, and he likes things orderly and controlled. But in his secret fantasies, he craves a big, powerful man like Greg to stir up his life.
Every time Blake tries to talk to his erudite neighbor, his brain shuts down and his vocabulary is reduced to one-word utterances, but when Blake’s niece challenges him to invite Greg to dinner, he does. A few shots of after-dinner whiskey loosen Blake’s inhibitions, and the two men share a hot kiss and the promise of more. Can Blake relax enough to give himself a chance with Greg, or will his fear of letting go ruin his hopes for love?
The front door banged open, making me jump. I muttered a curse as I looked at the spaghetti sauce I’d splattered on my shirt. I’d have to change before I headed to work.
“Blake, are you in the kitchen?”
My sister’s shoes made a swishing sound as she walked through the living room and into the kitchen. “It smells great.”
“Thanks,” I answered absently as I looked through the spice rack for cayenne.
“Have you been outside lately?”
I shook my head. Renee had a conspiratorial tone in her voice that told me trouble was coming. I focused on stirring. I would not fall prey to her scheme, whatever it was.
“You should come check out the view.”
“What?” I tasted the sauce and added more pepper. “Why?”
“When you told me your new neighbor was an astronomy professor, I imagined someone even geekier than you.”
Heat rose to my cheeks like it did every time I thought about Dr. Greg MacIntyre. No one had caused such a strong reaction in me in years. The man was truly devastating—tall and beefy with wavy red hair I longed to run my hands through, preferably while on my back throwing my legs over his shoulders. No need to choose between brains and brawn with him.
But during the few conversations we’d had, I’d babbled like a fool in response to his erudite remarks. If Greg was gay—and he’d given me no solid reason to believe he was—he wouldn’t want a drooling imbecile for a partner.
Renee started to say something else, but she was interrupted by her daughter, Haley, rushing into the kitchen. “Hey, Mom. I thought I heard you come in.”
Renee was raising Haley on her own. She worked as a nurse in pediatric intensive care and had arranged her schedule to work three night shifts in a row and then have four days off. Haley usually spent those nights with me and occasionally stuck around for a few hours after school on the first of Renee’s days off so her mom could catch up on sleep or run some errands.
Haley turned pleading eyes on me. “Dr. MacIntyre is outside. Can I go meet him now?”
My shirt was stained. I’d overslept and raced out the door without shaving or doing anything to tame my curly hair. I was rushing to get dinner made because I’d agreed to fill in for someone at the main campus library and had to go back to work.
But Haley had been anxious to meet Greg since he’d moved in a week ago. She loved astronomy and all the mind-boggling math it required. She’d seen Greg setting up a telescope in his backyard and hoped he’d let her take a look through it. I couldn’t deny her the chance to meet a real-life astrophysicist, especially one so well-respected that Louisiana State University had lured him away from Berkeley for their Advanced Gamma Ray Survey Mission. I wasn’t sure exactly what the program’s professors did, but their work sounded impressive and expensive.
I sighed. I’d already made an ass of myself with Greg, so what difference did it make how I looked?
“Sure. Just let me—” Before I finished my sentence, Haley shot out the door. I nearly busted my ass racing after her. Renee laughed as I stumbled down the porch steps.
When I reached the yard, my heart nearly stopped. Greg was indeed outside, up a ladder, fixing a broken gutter, wearing nothing but a utility kilt. A fucking kilt. Could he get any more perfect?
I stared, frozen to the spot. My mouth watered as I took in his muscular legs, his round ass, and the broad expanse of his back. He reached up to hook the gutter back in place, and I bit my lip to hold in a groan at the sight of his muscles flexing.
“Uncle Blake?” Haley snapped me out of my trance. “Are you okay?” she asked.
“Uh…yeah. I’m fine.”
Her lips turned up in a mischievous grin. “You like him, don’t you?”
She rolled her eyes. “Dr. MacIntyre.”
I prayed her loud whisper hadn’t carried across the yard. “He’s a nice man.”
Not a conversation I wanted to continue. “Come on. Let me introduce you.”
As we got closer, I had to resist the urge to look up Greg’s kilt. Sweat rolled down my temples as I wondered whether he was naked under there. At least in the Louisiana heat, everyone was sweaty.
“Hi, Greg,” I called.
He looked down and smiled. His green eyes sparkled, and my cock responded. I so didn’t need to be standing there with a hard-on.
“I know you’re busy, but I wanted to introduce you to Haley.”
“Hi, Haley.” He waved at her, and she blushed a deep red. Even nine-year-olds couldn’t resist him.
He started down the ladder, his kilt lifting with each step. I couldn’t stop myself from peeking. I nearly passed out when I caught a glimpse of his pale, hair-covered ass cheek. My cock hardened more, and I prayed he—or worse, Haley—wouldn’t notice.
When he reached the ground, Greg shook her hand. “Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too. I was hoping you’d show me your telescope sometime. I’ve been reading Seeds’s Foundations of Astronomy, and I’ve got lots of questions.”
His smile widened. “Most likely you already know more than most of the freshmen I’ve taught. I’d love to answer your questions and do some stargazing together.”
Haley grinned. “Great!”
I nearly swooned. Greg was hot, brilliant, and apparently also good with kids.
“There are lots of cool things I can show you. How much math have you done? Any algebra yet?”
I barely heard his questions. My gaze was glued to his hand as he ran it casually up and down the handle of his hammer. I couldn’t stop imaging him touching my dick the same way.
“I’ve been working on algebra on my own,” Haley said. “My stupid school won’t let me move ahead, and my class is still adding fractions.”
He rolled his eyes. “I’ll help you with the math too.”
Haley lit up. I couldn’t recall ever seeing her so happy. “That’s awesome! Thanks!” She glanced at his kilt. “So are you, like, Scottish or what?”
He laughed. “On my father’s side, yes, but I wear kilts because I like them, especially this style. It’s got lots of useful pockets and straps.” He slid the hammer he’d been caressing through a loop on the side as a demonstration. “Pants get too confining.”
My knees threatened to give as I thought about what was under his kilt, unconfined.
“Hmm.” Haley considered his statement. “I like shorts better than skirts. You can do cartwheels in shorts without showing your underwear.” She demonstrated, flipping herself over on his lawn.
He laughed. “You’ve got a point there, but it’s been a very long time since I attempted a cartwheel.”
I wondered if I could convince him to attempt one after Haley left.
Renee motioned to Haley as she exited my house and walked to the car. “Come on. We’re going to be late for your piano lesson.”
“All right. I’m coming,” she yelled to her mom. “I’ll see you soon, Dr. MacIntyre.”
He smiled at her, and I got all wobbly again.
“Call me Greg,” he called as she ran off.
She turned back, grinning. “Awesome.”
“Haley, come on,” Renee called impatiently. She waved to Greg from her spot by the car. “I’m Renee. Sorry to be in such a rush, but I’m sure I’ll see you again soon.”
Greg smiled at her, but he gave no indication he was checking her out. Renee and I were twins, and, like me, she had thick, curly black hair and dark brown eyes. Where I was tall and lean, she was short and curvy, very curvy. Straight men did a lot of staring when she was around.
Maybe Greg is gay after all. Or am I just seeing what I want to see? As I considered my track record with relationships, I doubted I could be that lucky.
Greg waved to Haley as they drove off. “Your daughter’s great,” he said, looking at me.
“What?” The word flew out as my brain worked to comprehend what he’d said. I’d been observing the hard planes of his torso and marveling at the way his golden chest hair glinted in the sun.
“Haley? She’s not my daughter. She’s my…uh…my niece.” I wished I could melt into the ground. Why did he have this stupefying effect on me? “Renee’s my sister. I’m not… I mean, I don’t have any kids.”
Greg’s emerald eyes sparkled as his gaze drifted up and down my body, assessing me. “I see.”
Is he flirting with me?
He smiled as if he sensed he’d gotten me flustered. “Are you interested in seeing the stars too?”
Was I ever, but not in the way Greg meant. At least I didn’t think he meant it that way. My cock, on the other hand, was convinced it should be ready for action. “Well… I…”
“Because I’d love to show you my telescope.”
To my lust-crazed ear, his low voice was filled with sexual intent. My cock strained against my pants, and the dryness of my mouth rivaled the Sahara’s. I forced myself to swallow as I tried to remember how to speak. “That sounds…um…great. Yeah, great.” I grabbed my phone from my pocket and looked at the time. “Work. Late. I-I’m going to be late.” What a blubbering idiot.
Greg grinned, and heat flashed in his eyes. “Go. We’ll talk later.”
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3. I have an unholy passion for Sriracha.
4. I homeschool my children.
5. I make a weekly meal plan for all our meals, but I cannot for the life of me plot out a book and stick with it.
6. I have a crush on Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
7. I’m married to my high school sweetheart.
Dec 12, 2012 Filed under: cowboy, m/m, shapeshifter, web event
Welcome to the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. The delightfully talented Angel Martinez tagged me last week so now I’m here to share a little about my current work-in-progress.
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is Book 2 in my Wild R Farm series, and as I was writing Book 1, Finding Release, I developed quite a soft spot for Billy, the barn manager at the farm, and I decided he needed his own book.
What genre does your book fall under?
M/M Shapeshifter Cowboy Erotic Romance – I like to get specific J
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
Billy: David Boreanaz
Levi: Colton Haynes
What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
Billy Lawson wants a real relationship, but he’s just about given up hope when he meets Levi, a wounded cat shifter who needs his help.
Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
I am self-publishing this series.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.
The farm setting combined with some suspense make it similar to Laura Harner’s Willow Springs Ranch series and Sara York’s Texas Soul series, but since I’ve combined my favorite elements of both western-themed romances and shapeshifter stories, it’s difficult to find an exact comparison.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The horse farm setting was inspired by taking my daughter to horseback riding lessons and observing the horses in the barn and the paddock.
What else about your book might interest the reader?
Levi can take on the form of a mountain lion and I spent time observing the pair we have at a local zoo in order to visualize how he would move and behave. When I write shapeshifters, I like to make sure the characteristics of their animal form are also reflected in the gestures they make as humans.
Dec 1, 2012 Filed under: bears, book release, contemporary, excerpts, holiday, m/m, web event
I love Christmas. I don’t allow myself to watch Christmas movies or listen to Christmas music in the “off season” except during my kids annual Christmas-in-July party, but once November hits, I wait impatiently for the official kick-off of the Christmas season. No I don’t mean the day after Halloween like so many retailers but the day after Thanksgiving.
Rather than fighting crowds at the mall on Black Friday, I spend part of my day pulling out the boxes of Christmas decorations, books, movies, seasonal artwork my kids have done, ornaments that remind me of past Christmases and cookie tins. Cookie tins that will soon be bursting with our selection of holiday cookies. Sitting down with Christmas-themed cookbooks and magazines and selecting the cookies and candies my daughters and I are going to make is one of our favorite traditions.
I love the domestic coziness of Christmas – baking, admiring the Christmas tree lights in the evening, drinking cocoa while reading our favorite Christmas books, cuddling on the couch and watching A Christmas Story for the gazillionth time. That warmth and making myself slow down to enjoy more family closeness is what I treasure each December. When I write Christmas stories of my own I try to make sure my characters get a taste of this snuggly type of Christmas cheer.
In Needing a Little Christmas, Eli is used to a cozy Christmas with his family. He’s twenty-eight and he’s never once spent Christmas Day anywhere but at his childhood home with his parents and siblings. This year, however, Eli and his brother and sister have given their parents a special gift, a holiday cruise.
Eli is supposed to spend Christmas with his boyfriend, but when he finds his boyfriend doing the naked tango with a co-worker, he’s left on his on. At his mother’s insistence, he decides to get out of the city and go to one of her friends cabins right as a major snowstorm hits. When he realizes he’s trapped with no wood to heat the cabin, he calls Mac’s Wood Delivery and unknowingly saves his Christmas.
Mac has also spent every Christmas of his life wrapped in the warmth of family. He can’t stand the thought of Eli being alone without even a Christmas tree. He knows Eli needs a little Christmas, and Eli knows that what he needs most is Mac.
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“What do mean you’re not going to be with Dave’s family for Christmas? Why?”
I pulled the phone away from my ear. I’d known my mother would be upset, but her reaction was even more vehement and loud than I expected. “Apparently one of the junior partners at his firm isn’t nearly as boring as I am. They’ve been having an affair for months.”
My mother made a sound of disgust. “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry, and you are not boring.”
“Sure, I know, but Dave thinks I am.” And honestly, I thought he was probably right. I preferred to stay at home rather than go out. I spent most days in sweats and T-shirts. When Dave did drag me to a party with his socialite friends, I inevitably embarrassed him with my lack of knowledge of current affairs. I’d taken to hiding out in the bathroom writing notes for my next book on my phone. He’d even attempted to coach me in the art of party conversation. I’d used his lessons in a book but ignored them as they applied to me. The book had done well; readers found the lessons hilarious.
When Dave suggested I was not only an uninteresting social companion but boring in bed as well, I’d taken that seriously. I might prefer a quiet lifestyle, but I knew how to please a partner sexually. After pondering what I could do to shock him, I’d gotten my nipples pierced, something I’d secretly wanted to do for years. He’d laughed. I should have broken up with him that night. We’d only had sex a few times after that, and each time, Dave raced to completion, showered off the scent of me, and promptly fell asleep.
I heard my mother’s heels click against the floor. She must be pacing, something she always did when strategizing. “I’m so sorry, honey. Do you want us to cancel our cruise?”
That was the last thing I wanted. “Of course not. You’ve been looking forward to it for months. I’m fine. Really.”
“Are you sure?”
I held the phone between my shoulder and ear as I poured myself a generous measure of whiskey. “Yeah, things hadn’t been great between me and Dave for a long time.”
She huffed. “That doesn’t give him any excuse to—”
I held up my hand even though she couldn’t see me. “No it doesn’t. He acted like an ass, and I think he knows it. He moved out of his beloved apartment and told me I could keep it.” Not that I could afford it for long unless my next book was a runaway hit.
Mom sighed. “I don’t want you spending Christmas alone.”
After draining my drink, I’d wandered into my bedroom and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My eyes were red from lack of sleep and they looked more hazel than their usual bright green. My curly dark hair stood out at odd angles. The stress of trying to meet the deadline for my book and trying to hold on to a relationship that had died well before I caught Dave fucking his colleague in his office hadn’t been good for my appetite. I’d lost weight and the bones in my face showed prominently. I was definitely not looking my best, but I wanted a few more days to wallow in self-pity. “I really don’t want to be around anyone right now.”
My mom sighed. “But it’s Christmas.”
I ran my hand through my hair, making it stick out even more. “I’m not in the mood for holiday cheer.”
“Your dad and I can go on a cruise another year.”
“No, arranging this once was difficult enough. Rick and Cindy will want to spend next year with you since they’re with Cindy’s family this year. And Ally’s trip to California is a special one-time deal. This is our gift to you, and I won’t be responsible for screwing it up.”
“You wouldn’t be responsible; Dave would be.”
“I wasn’t exactly looking forward to listening to his family brag about how wonderful they all are. I’ll have a better time alone.” My mom’s pacing stopped, and I realized I’d said the wrong thing.
“Eli, why didn’t you tell us you didn’t want to go home with Dave? We would never have agreed to the cruise if we thought you’d be miserable at Christmas.”
I tried to back pedal. “It would have been fine. I enjoy visiting Boston even if the company leaves something to be desired.”
“Hmm.” My mom didn’t sound convinced. “Maybe we could get you a ticket for the cruise. It might not be full.”
The cruise was supposed to give my parents some uninterrupted time together. And the last thing I wanted was be trapped on a ship with lots of happy, smiling people encouraging me to socialize while my mom fussed over me. “No, thanks. I really, truly would rather be on my own.”
“But what will you do?”
“Stay home and drown my sorrows in Christmas cookies and eggnog.”
You can find a list of all the posts for the Christmas Blog Hop here.