Fixer Upper by Meg Harding: Interview and Excerpt!

IMG_8243Hey everyone! Today as part of The Boys of Summer book tour, I’m being interviewed by Louise Lyons on her site, so be sure to drop in over there and see what’s going on, as well as enter to win an e-copy of The Boys of Summer!

Today on my site, I’m welcoming Meg Harding, who’s latest release, Fixer Upper, is available from Dreamspinner Press today!

Fixer-Upper
Meg Harding
22, 585 words
Contemporary Romance
Published by DreamSpinner
Cover by AngstyG
Buy links: Dreamspinner / All Romance / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Hello, Meg! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my nosy discerning questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?

I’m a massive geek, so I tend to like to include a fair bit of that in all of books. You’ll find mentions of Sherlock, Marvel, LOTR/The Hobbit…. They’re things I love, and I like to work them in in passing at least. Most of my books all tend to have some kind of pet in them, because I love animals, and it feels natural for me to include them. I wouldn’t say there’s an underlying theme, though. I write whatever happens to come to my mind at the time. I like happy endings and the right amount of angst to get them there. A lot of the time I definitely veer toward the sweet side, though that’s something that’s changing a little in some of my upcoming works.

The Good ShepherdHah! That’s interesting! I’m a huge geek too, as well as an animal-lover, so it sounds like your stories would be right up my alley! What gave you the courage to submit your first story to a publisher?

Fanfiction. I read a lot of fanfiction, and it encouraged me to get back into writing and to fix up and finish some of my work. I even first published on a fanfiction site in order to receive feedback before I sent things off to a publisher.

Oh wow, your backstory could be very similar to mine! I found my way back to writing after a long hiatus through discovering fanfiction as well! I see you write M/M fiction. Would you characterize your stories as M/M romance, erotica, or something in between?

I would say M/M romance. A lot of my stories aren’t heavy on the sex scenes (though some of them are), but the focus is more on the romance either way.

City Girl or Country Mouse—and why?

City girl through and through. I like being close to all of my interests. I like that if I want to do something or see something it’s right there, and I don’t have to travel hours to get to it.

Whew, for a moment there, I was beginning to think we might have been twins separated at birth, but I’m a Country Mouse all the way! 🙂 Do you see your writing as a hobby or is it your goal to be a full time writer at some point in the future?

It’s definitely my goal to be a full time writer eventually. I think that’s probably a long way off at this stage, but I’m working on it.

Research: love it or hate it?

I’m a bit of an anomaly. I don’t like research. I’ll do it when the story requires it, but it feels like pulling teeth. I like being able to write from my head and just spit it out without having to switch to a google tab every five seconds to check my facts.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, do you find what you listen to influences the story at all?

I listen to movie soundtracks while I write. I can’t focus with words, but the upbeat bits of the tracks and the big swells of the orchestras tend to help me when I’m writing more charged, exciting moments.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing a bit about yourself and your new story, Meg! Congratulations on your new release!

Blurb:
Ex-business owner and soon to be ex-husband Jake has had some rotten luck of late. His world is tumbling down around him, but it’s time to dust himself off and move on. Buying and fixing up the most dilapidated home he can find might be just the thing to get him back on track. But Jake gets more than he bargained for when he meets former lawyer turned landscaper Dakota. Dakota is smart and ridiculously sexy—and Jake doesn’t have a clue how to act around him. After several gardening mishaps, Jake is sure Dakota thinks he’s completely inept. Turns out Dakota is thinking something else entirely. And as Dakota gives Jake advice, an ear to listen, and helps him work through his issues, Jake realizes flowers aren’t the only thing blooming between them.

Excerpt:

There was a truck already parked out front when he got there, the back of it loaded down with equipment. He parked, and as he stepped from the car, a short blond man rounded the corner.

“Hello,” called the man, striding quickly over. “I’m Jasper, your landscaper. I’ve just been checking the place out.” He shook Jake’s hand. He had a steady grip. “Quite the fixer-upper you’ve got here. My partner and I will really have some fun with this.”

“Your partner?” asked Jake, looking behind Jasper.

“He should be getting here any minute now. He’s bringing the trailer.”

“Oh,” said Jake, and then, remembering his manners, said, “I’m Jake. Nice to meet you.”

Jasper smiled at him, revealing a crooked incisor. “Nice to meet you too.”

A truck pulled up, and another after that, and still another. Jasper walked off, and Jake turned to greet the construction crew as they piled out of their trucks. There were so many of them, and Jake knew he’d have a time of keeping their names down.

The head of the crew was a tall man named Lincoln, who had a thick beard and not one strand of hair on the top of his head. Lincoln had Jake walk him through the house and explain in detail what he wanted done. He looked at him like he was a bit insane, but he didn’t say anything, just nodded and asked questions when he had them.

“Who’s your carpenter?” Lincoln asked at the end of the tour.

Jake blinked. “I haven’t got one yet. I was going to wait till you were done.”

Lincoln shook his head, pulling out a pad and pen from his back pocket and starting to scribble. “Get someone now. Walk them through and explain what you want. It’ll take time to build the stuff, but most of it will be ready by the time we’re done. More efficient that way.” He ripped the first page off the pad and handed it over. “Here’s a number for a guy I know. God’s gift to man when it comes to woodworking. Give him a call.”

The handwriting on the paper was almost illegible, but Jake nodded. “I will.” He’d look him up when he went home.

“I’d get the roofers in right away as well, if you haven’t already got them.”

Jake pocketed the number. “The roofers are starting tomorrow.” They’d had to finish up another job first.

“You really picked a wreck,” noted Lincoln as they walked out into the front yard.

“I know.” A wreck it may have been, but the inspectors hadn’t said it needed to be torn down. Jake had been unable to contain the small surge of pride when they’d declared it to be of sound build.

The painters came over, and Lincoln walked off. Jake took them over the outside of the house and briefly talked about some of his ideas for the inside—which would have to be done once everything else was finished.

“I’ve got someone coming to fix the eaves and whatnot later this week. Will you be good to start with them like this?” he asked.

“Yeah, it’ll be fine,” answered Josh, the head painter.

“Perfect,” said Jake. “If you need an extra hand, I’d be more than happy to help with the painting.”

Josh side-eyed him. “Sure,” he said. “I’ll let you know.”

Jake watched him walk away with the feeling he wasn’t going to be asked to aid in the painting at any point in time. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he surveyed the crumbling house and the overgrown yard, all the people milling about preparing themselves for work.
He needed to be doing something. It was an ache in his bones, an itching in his skin. His gaze drifted, searching… searching…. There. Two riding mowers sat side by side on the sidewalk. He could do that. He was perfectly capable of mowing the lawn. With a quick stride, he made his way over to the mowers. He didn’t know where Jasper had gotten to, but he figured he’d be back eventually.

He’d never actually mown a lawn before, but he didn’t think it could be that hard. Circling the mowers, he examined them with a close eye.

“Can I help you?” asked a deep, husky voice.

Author Bio:
Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF, and is completing a masters program for Publishing in the UK. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

Find me at:

WordPress / Twitter / Facebook / DreamSpinner / Amazon / Google + / Goodreads

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