Interview with Nicky from Drama Faerie: Book 9 of the Nicky and Noah Series by Joe Cosentino

Interview with Nicky Abbondanza, the leading character in Drama Faerie, the 9th Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel by Joe Cosentino

 

Hi, Nicky! Congratulations on the release of the ninth novel in your award-winning and popular Nicky and Noah gay cozy mystery series.

 

Gee, thanks. I’m happier than an anti-gay politician in the back room of a gay bar during a power outage.

 

The novels in the series have been called “laugh out loud funny,” “sexy shenanigans,” “brilliant brain teasers,” “sweet romances,” and “a combination of Murder She Wrote, The Hardy Boys, Hart to Hart, and a British farce.”

 

Stop, I’m getting a big head. Well, if you read the series, you know I’ve already got one (pun intended). Actually, I share the success of our series with the love of my life, my husband and theatre professor colleague, Noah Oliver. Also, our son Taavi, our parents, and our best friends Martin and Ruben. And of course, all the readers—who we absolutely adore!

 

Why are your books called gay cozy mysteries?

 

Because readers get cozy with Noah and me. And we like it! Our books include romance, humor, mystery, adventure, and quaint and loveable characters in uncanny situations. The settings are warm and cozy with lots of hot cocoa by the fireplace. The clues and red herrings are there for the perfect whodunit. So are the plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning faster than a priest chasing an altar boy with a malfunctioning robe. No matter what is thrown in our path, Noah and I always end up on top. At least I end up on top, which is just fine with Noah. Many of the novels take place in Vermont, a cozy state with green pastures, white church steeples, glowing lakes, and friendly and accepting people. Treemeadow College (named after its gay founders, couple Tree and Meadow) is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery with its white Edwardian buildings, low white stone fences, lake and mountain views, and cherry wood offices with tall leather chairs and fireplaces.

 

For anyone unfortunate enough not to have read them, tell us a bit about the first eight novels in the series. (Nicky and Noah fans can skip to the next question.)

 

In Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of the Year) college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains at Treemeadow College, and college theatre professors Noah and I have to use our theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit while I direct the school play. In Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) Noah and I don our gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors at Treemeadow are dropping faster than barbells in my bodybuilding competition. In Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back. Noah and I must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as I direct a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are our both sets of wacky parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with us. In Drama Luau, I am directing the luau show at the Maui Mist Resort, and Noah and I need to figure out why muscular Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Our department head/best friend and his husband, Martin and Ruben, are along for the bumpy tropical ride. In Drama Detective (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), I’m directing and ultimately co-starring with my husband Noah as Holmes and Watson in a new musical Sherlock Holmes play at Treemeadow College prior to Broadway. Martin and Ruben, their sassy office assistant Shayla, my brother Tony, and our son Taavi are also in the cast. Of course dead bodies begin falling over like hammy actors at a curtain call. Once again Noah and I use our drama skills to figure out who is lowering the street lamps on the actors before we get half-baked on Baker Street. In Drama Fraternity, I’m directing Tight End Scream Queen, a slasher movie filmed at Treemeadow College’s football fraternity house, co-starring Noah, our son Taavi, Martin, and Shayla. Rounding out the cast are members of Treemeadow’s Christian football players’ fraternity along with two hunky screen stars. When the quarterback, jammer, wide receiver, and more begin fading out with their scenes, Noah and I once again need to use our drama skills to figure out who is sending young hunky actors to the cutting room floor before we hit the final reel. In Drama Castle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), I’m directing a historical film co-starring Noah and Taavi at Conall Castle in Scotland: When the Wind Blows Up Your Kilt It’s Time for A Scotch. Rounding out the cast are members of the mysterious Conall family who own the castle. When hunky men in kilts topple off the drawbridge and into the mote, it’s up to Noah and me to use our acting skills to figure out whodunit before we land in the dungeon. In Drama Dance (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), during rehearsals of The Nutcracker ballet at Treemeadow, muscular dance students and faculty cause more things to rise than the Christmas tree. When cast members drop faster than Christmas balls, Noah and I once again use our drama skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out who is trying to crack the Nutcracker’s nuts, trap the Mouse King, and be cavalier with the Cavalier before we end up in the Christmas pudding.

 

Which brings us to your current release, Drama Faerie.

 

Now in Drama Faerie, it’s summer at Treemeadow College’s new Globe Theatre, where we are doing a musical production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream called It Takes a Fairy for Love in the End? With an all-male, skimpily dressed cast and a love potion gone wild, romance is in the starry night air. When hunky students and faculty in the production drop faster than their tunics and tights, Noah and I need to use our drama skills to figure out who is taking fencing to the extreme before we end up foiled in the forest.

 

Do you and Noah take on roles in the play?

 

I direct and co-star (as Oberon, the Faerie King) opposite my husband Noah (as Titania, the Queen of the Faeries), son Taavi (Oberon’s mischievous servant Puck), and best friend and department head Martin (Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazon). Since it is Treemeadow College after all, there are lots of comical hijinks, particularly among the theatre students cast in the show—with their muscles rippling out their tunics, and bulges expanding their tights. Gender role reversals and comical musical numbers add to the hilarity. Oh, and of course there are more murders than conservative politicians owned by the NRA. Once again Noah and I use our theatrical skills to trap the murderer in a shocking climax—no pun intended.

 

Can you give us a run down on some of the other characters?

 

Old beloved cast members are back, including my best friends the comically cantankerous Martin and Ruben, Martin’s sassy office assistant Shayla, my droll nemesis Detective Manuello, and our both sets of riotous parents. New characters include hunky theatre majors Ray Zhang (Demetrius), Elliot Hinton (Lysander), and graduate assistant Yates Aldrich (Lysander’s understudy). True to the play, the three guys are all hot for raven-haired Braedon Walsh (Hermia) to the chagrin of Braedon’s best friend Enoch Grayson (Helena). Rounding out the cast are punk rocker Talvin Moore (Demetrius’ understudy) who has caught the attention of Ganesh Ghosh (Titania’s boy). Add to the mix a clumsy prop girl who can’t keep the swords (or the actors) straight. Not to mention Detective Manuello (Bottom/Pyramus) may have an admirer in Associate Professor of Fencing Hank Brickman (Flute/Thisby). With Congressman Christian Evangelica determined to close down the show for including faeries and bottoms, havoc certainly ensues.

 

How would Noah describe you?

 

Noah would say I’m handsome with dark hair and long sideburns, emerald eyes, a Roman nose, muscular, smart, and charming. And my enormous manhood doesn’t hurt (or maybe it does). He’d say I have a never give up attitude and sense of humor in the face of adversity. And that I am genuinely concerned for others. Finally, I’ll do anything to solve a murder mystery. Oh, he’d also say I’m a one-man man, and I’m proud to admit that man is Noah Oliver.

 

And Noah?

 

Noah is gorgeous, blond, blue-eyed, lean, handsome, smart, and devoted to his family and friends. He makes the perfect Watson to my Holmes. (I always thought Holmes and Watson were a gay couple.) Noah also has a large heart and soft spot (no pun intended) for others. Finally, Noah is quite gifted at improvisation, and he creates wild and wonderful characters for our role plays to catch the murderer. He’s also a terrific father to Taavi.

 

It’s nice to see an older couple in the series.

 

Martin Anderson (our department head and best friend) is loyal and supportive of Noah and me. His one up-man-ship with his office assistant Shayla is a riot. I’ll admit that Martin is a bit of a gossip. It’s great when Ruben keeps Martin’s theatricality in line with hysterical barbs. The older couple stay sharp by engaging in their verbal warfare, but it’s all done in deep admiration and respect. Finally, it’s wonderful to see an elderly couple so much in love, and how they can read each other like a book—no pun intended. I hope Noah and I age to become just like them.

 

Do you like Noah’s parents as much as we’re led to believe in the books?

 

Yes! They’re absolutely hilarious. I love Noah’s mother’s fixation with taking pictures of everything, and his father’s fascination with seeing movies. I also love how Noah’s father is an amateur sleuth like me. As they say, men marry their fathers. My parents’ goal to feed everyone and protect their children is heartwarming too. Both sets of parents fully embrace their sons and their sons’ family, which is refreshing.

 

Who was your favorite new character in Drama Faerie?

 

Sharon Delwab, our props girl, told me the most hysterically funny “horror” stories about doing props gone wild for past shows.

 

Which new character do you like the least in book nine?

 

I started out not liking Ganesh Ghosh, a young visitor from Noah’s hometown in Wisconsin. The young man definitely grew on me as I cast him in the play and helped him come out to his father. It was also great to see Ganesh fall in love with someone in the cast.

 

Which new character in book nine was the sexiest?

 

Probably sweet raven-haired Braedon Walsh (Hermia). Hunky Ray Zhang (Demetrius), Elliot Hinton (Lysander), and Yates Aldrich (Lysander understudy) couldn’t help fighting over him.

 

Tell us about Joe’s Jana Lane mysteries published by The Wild Rose Press.

 

Noah and I aren’t in them, but they’re still really good. I guess Jana Lane whispers in Joe’s ear too. Joe created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. In Porcelain Doll Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. In Satin Doll Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. In China Doll Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, faced with murder on stage and off. In Rag Doll Jana stars in a television mystery series and life imitates art. Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, Jana’s agent and best friend are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels.

 

Joe’s Dreamspinner Press novellas (In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays/The Perfect Gift/The First Noel, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland/Holiday Tales from Fairyland) were so well received, winning various awards. What would you say to people who loved them and might be surprised that the Nicky and Noah mysteries are quite different?

 

I’d tell them that my mysteries sell just as well, and I’d ask them to give Noah and me a chance. Just try us, you’ll love us.

 

And how about Joe’s New Jersey beach series?

 

Cal Cozzi must whisper in Joe’s ear too. NineStar Press published Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, and Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings. They are about handsome Cal Cozzi’s gay beach resort on a gorgeous cove. The first novel was a Favorite Book of the Month on The TBR Pile site and won a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention. I love the intertwining stories of Cal and his family and the guests as Cozzi Cove, each so full of surprises. Cozzi Cove is a place where nothing is what it seems, anything can happen, and romance is everywhere. Some reviewers have called it a gay Fantasy Island and reminiscent of Armistead Maupin’s Tales books.

 

How can your readers get their hands on Drama Faerie, and how can they contact you?

 

The purchase links are below, as are Joe’s contact links, including his web site. Joe tells me everything, so message me through him. I love to hear from readers! So does Noah!

 

Thank you, Nicky, for interviewing today.

 

It is my joy and pleasure to share this ninth novel in the series with you. So take your seats. The curtain is going up on faeries, bewitched lovers, an Amazon queen, a hungry Bottom, and of course hilarity, romance, and murder!

 

DRAMA FAERIE (the 9th Nicky and Noah mystery)

a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO

http://mybook.to/DramaFaerie

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/993418

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drama-faerie-joe-cosentino/1135276418?ean=2940163403288

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/drama-faerie-a-nicky-and-noah-mystery

 

 

It’s summer at Treemeadow College’s new Globe Theatre, where theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza is directing a musical production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream co-starring his spouse, theatre professor Noah Oliver, their son Taavi, and their best friend and department head, Martin Anderson. With an all-male, skimpily dressed cast and a love potion gone wild, romance is in the starry night air. When hunky students and faculty in the production drop faster than their tunics and tights, Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is taking swordplay to the extreme before Nicky and Noah end up foiled in the forest. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining ninth novel in this delightful series. Take your seats. The curtain is going up on star-crossed young lovers, a faerie queen, an ass who is a great Bottom, and murder!

 

Praise for the Nicky and Noah mysteries:

 

“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his use of farce, along with his convoluted plot-lines, will have you guessing until the very last page, which makes his books a joy to read. His books are worth their weight in gold, and if you haven’t discovered them yet you are in for a rare treat.” Divine Magazine

 

“a combination of Laurel and Hardy mixed with Hitchcock and Murder She Wrote…

Loaded with puns and one-liners…Right to the end, you are kept guessing, and the conclusion still has a surprise in store for you.” “the best modern Sherlock and Watson in books today…I highly recommend this book and the entire series, it’s a pure pleasure, full of fun and love, written with talent and brio…fabulous…brilliant” Optimumm Book Reviews

 

“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet….I can’t find anything not to love about this series….This read had me laughing and falling in love….Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple.” Urban Book Reviews

 

“For fans of Joe Cosentino’s hilarious mysteries, this is another vintage story with more cheeky asides and sub plots right left and centre….The story is fast paced, funny and sassy. The writing is very witty with lots of tongue-in-cheek humour….Highly recommended.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

 

“Every entry of the Nicky and Noah mystery series is rife with intrigue, calamity, and hilarity…Cosentino keeps us guessing – and laughing – until the end, as well as leaving us breathlessly anticipating the next Nicky and Noah thriller.” Edge Media Network

 

“A laugh and a murder, done in the style we have all come to love….This had me from the first paragraph….Another wonderful story with characters you know and love!” Crystals Many Reviewers

 

“These two are so entertaining….Their tactics in finding clues and the crazy funny interactions between characters keeps the pages turning. For most of the book if I wasn’t laughing I was grinning.” Jo and Isa Love Books

 

“Superb fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow

 

“The Nicky and Noah Mysteries series are perfect for fans of the Cozy Mystery sub-genre. They mix tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top characters, a wee bit of political commentary, and suspense into a sweet little mystery solved by Nicky and Noah, theatre professors for whom all the world’s a stage.” Prism Book Alliance

 

“This is one hilarious series with a heart and it just keeps getting better. I highly recommend them all, and please read them in the order they were written for full blown laugh out loud reading pleasure!” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

About the Author:

Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie; the Dreamspinner Press novellas: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays/The Perfect Gift/The First Noel, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland with Holiday Tales from Fairyland; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings (NineStar Press); and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Chair of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and he is happily married. Joe’s books have received numerous Favorite Book of the Month Awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.

 

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

 

Paperback: 227 pages

Language: English

Genre: MM, contemporary, mystery, comedy, romance, Shakespeare, college

Cover Art: Jesús Da Silva

 

Excerpt of Drama Faerie, the ninth Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino:

After we showered (together), we rested under our white satin sheets with our heads on our hypoallergenic pillows. Noah wrapped his legs around mine. “How do you think tech week is going so far?”

I sighed. “The same as usual. Like a mental institution during a three-alarm fire at the site of an earthquake during a world war.”

“We’re lucky to have the new theatre.”

“Thank Martin and Ruben. And the Chinese.”

He placed his head on my chest, and I ran my fingers through his hair. “You look so sexy in your Oberon costume, Nicky.”

“Right back at you as Titania.”

“And Taavi is the perfect Puck.”

“Martin and Ruben are having a blast as Hippolyta and Theseus.”

“I know! Their arguments have been even more robust than usual.”

“Don’t say the word ‘bust.’” I chuckled. “I’ll never forget the sight of Martin’s lopsided bosoms. He looked like a woman who had burned only half her bra.”

Noah smiled. “I still can’t believe Manuello is understudying Egeus and Bottom/Pyramus.”

“Neither can Manuello.”

“Dante is doing a fine job in the role, despite not knowing what his character is talking about.”

“They can probably hear him in Stratford. And he sure fills the costume.”

“Dante’s a good colleague.” Noah sat up and rested his back on the oak headboard. “Why did he leave his college in Pittsburgh?”

My ego surfaced—as usual. “It must have been to work in one of my productions.”

“At the party for the cast in the dorm last weekend, Dante had a bit too much to drink. When you were talking to a group of students, he sat beside me on a loveseat, telling me how helpful I was to him his first year at Treemeadow. And how much he likes me.”

My spine stiffened. “Did he come on to you?”

“Not really.”

I joined Noah at the headboard. “What does that mean?”

“He asked if he could somehow help me in return.”

“Did you tell him you have a husband for that?”

“I sure did.”

“Good.” I kissed his cheek. “Did he take the hint?”

Noah nodded. “But there’s something mysterious about him, as if he’s hiding some kind of secret.”

“Most people have secrets.”

“I guess.”

“He was nice enough to offer Enoch Grayson his office hour to talk.”

“About what?”

I felt like a gossip columnist on daytime television. “It seems that plain Enoch is interested in hunky Elliot Hinton and our studly grad assistant Yates Aldrich.”

“I saw the three of them at that dorm party. Our Demetrius, Ray Zang, was with them too. Elliot, Yates, and Ray all seemed interested in Enoch.”

“But according to Enoch, their ‘interest’ ended after the party.”

“I wonder why?”

“Enoch said Elliot gave him a pity lay, Ray didn’t want Elliot showing him up, and Yates saw Enoch as the closest thing he could get to his real target—Braedon Walsh.”

“How horrible!”

“College can be a rough place.”

“Nicky, aren’t Enoch and Braedon best friends since grade school?”

I nodded. “But it’s a sticky situation.” No pun intended. “It appears Elliot and Yates, and probably Ray, are fighting over cute little Braedon.”

“Which one does Braedon prefer?”

“None of them from what he told Enoch.”

“Do you think Braedon is trying to spare Enoch’s feelings?”

“Could be. Braedon’s a good friend to Enoch. He seemed really upset that Enoch was hurting, and he offered to help.”

“Did Enoch take him up on it?”

I shook my head. “Enoch threw Braedon’s popularity in his handsome face.”

Noah rubbed his forehead. “Nicky, I just realized something. Our cast member’s lives are like their characters in the play at the start of the show. Elliot and Yates who play Lysander, and Ray who is Demetrius, desire Braedon who is cast as Hermia. And nobody desires Braedon’s best friend, Enoch, who plays Hermia’s best friend Helena.”

“But the difference here is that Braedon isn’t interested in Elliot, Yates, or Ray. At least he says he’s not interested.”

“Nicky, a professor with a mysterious past, a college student enamored of three other students who all have eyes for the student’s best friend.” Noah rested his knees against his chest. “Secrets, unrequited love, jealousy. They’re all motives for murder.”

I pulled Noah down, and spooned him into my chest. “I hope that doesn’t happen.”

“Me too. Good night, Nicky.”

“Good night, Noah.”

As we lay together drifting off to sleep, I wondered who in our cast or crew would turn out to be a murderer.

Unspeakable Words: On Sale At Dreamspinner Press!

I’ve been so pleased with the relaunch of Unspeakable Words! It’s been getting some fabulous reviews, and is on Dreamspinner’s bestseller list. Best of all, right now it’s on sale! I’m not sure for how much longer, so be sure to grab a copy of this expanded version at a great price!

Here are some great reviews from LoveBytes, Sinfully Gay Book Romance Book Reviews, Joyfully Jay, GayBook Reviews, Diverse Reader, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, and Rainbow Book Reviews, just to name a few! (I feel like someone thanking people at the Academy Awards–I’m bound to leave someone out!)

I have a lot a blog posts out with this book tour, including interviews at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and Open Skye Book Reviews. I’ve also begun sharing about my experiences at Writer’s Police Academy, part of my research for the Sixth Sense series. Do drop by Authors Speak at Rainbow’s Gate for more about Writer’s Police Academy, but also fantastic giveaways, and the latest on upcoming releases by some of your favorite authors! My April post will be about crime scene investigations and blood spatter, so come check it out. 🙂

Dear Weight Loss Experts: Tell It Like It Is

I had to laugh at this post I ran across this morning: 14 Easy Ways to Lose Weight All Day. I admit, I’m a sucker for these kinds of things. Easy weight loss! Sign me up!

I’m one of those people you probably hated when growing up. For most of my adult life, I’ve been at an ideal weight with little effort on my part. I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted and lived off cheeseburgers, Pepsi, and peanut butter crackers. I didn’t live for food–it was just something I ate when I got hungry. I didn’t even know what cellulite was until I hit my mid-forties. My hair grew so thick and fast, my stylist would jokingly tell me to stop putting Miracle-Gro on it. Lest you think I was one of the popular girls or thought I was the next Cindy Crawford, not true. I hated me too. I’d grown up hearing how homely and unattractive I was, thanks to Coke Bottle Lens glasses and a set of teeth only a gargoyle could love.

The point is, however, when middle-age and changing hormones finally caught up with me, I could no longer eat what I wanted and I hated everything deemed healthy. I’d never had a weight problem before, and so I didn’t know how to cope with the sudden spread. Hence my fascination with fitness magazines and diet information–most of which gets tossed out when said tips include things like eating Greek Yogurt and red peppers as a mid-day snack. BARF.

So, despite knowing better, I checked out the post. I found it full of helpful tips designed for women who live alone and don’t work for a living. Things like: 7 am: Do 2 minutes of jumping jacks, calisthenics, followed by 7:15 am cook a hearty breakfast, and 7:45 am hit the gym for some weight lifting…. I had to laugh because in this magical household, dishes don’t need to be washed and the gym isn’t a 20 minute drive away and there are no critters to feed or kids to put on the bus.

So I thought I’d create my own version of this advice post, with a more realistic outcome.

6:30 am: Hit snooze on the alarm. Because sleep is a damned precious commodity that you get very little of these days. You ignore the cat patting your eyeballs to see if you’re awake and hunker down under the blankets for ‘a few more minutes.’

7 am: Look at the clock and jump out of bed cursing. Leap around the room as you find clean clothing and dress in 2 minutes flat while the dogs bark and spin in circles in anticipation of breakfast. Feel good about your adrenaline rush. Remind yourself you’ve pre-made your lunch and that you have time to accomplish all the things you desire to do today.

7:02-7:30 am: Feed all the living creatures in the house except yourself. Walk dogs. Scoop litter boxes. If you leave up the baby gate to the litter box area, you can combine this activity with hip flexor stretches, but be careful not to fall over the gate and injure yourself. Pause to clean up vomit in the living room from the species of your choice.

tired-dont-care-despair-steve-carell-the-office-gif7:45 am: Consider cooking yourself a hearty breakfast but recall you haven’t been to the store yet this week and unless you can make an omelet out of cat food, you’ll have to settle for cereal. Convince yourself cereal is what you really want. Get bowl out of cabinet only to have work text you that they’ve added an extra appointment and now you have to be there a half hour earlier than expected. Swipe some peanut butter on a slice of bread and head out the door. Grab your previously prepared salad and your healthy snacks to take with you, feeling virtuous that you planned ahead.

glazed-doughnuts-recipe10 am: Completely and totally ignore the break room stuffed with baked goods: doughnuts glistening with glazed sugar. Fresh snickerdoodles. Bagels with cream cheese. M&M’s. You can eat your apple when you get a chance. Pat yourself on the back for being so virtuous. Of course, you aren’t going to get a break because you’re double booked this morning, but at least that will keep you out of the break room.

12:20 pm: Stomach growling, you wonder if it is close to lunch time yet. Realize you’re well into your lunch period but won’t be able to leave the building for the much-needed mental break. Eat your salad at your desk, (the first chance you’ve had to sit down all day) shooting surly looks at the constant interruptions to take this call or field this question. Vow you will take your full break tomorrow and actually leave the building.

the-little-shop-of-horrors-giant3 pm: Full-on hangry now. You’re Audrey from the Little Shop of Horrors. Work-stress has used up all your available blood sugar. You take a couple of bites of your apple but get interrupted. When you finally come back, the apple is brown. You say ‘screw it’ and get a doughnut. You stuff the whole thing into your face in a single bite because THAT’S ALL THE TIME YOU HAVE TO EAT IT.

6 pm: You’re just getting home. You now must feed all the living creatures in the house except yourself. You gauge the temperature outside to determine if it is too hot to walk the dogs. You know you must walk them before you eat or it ain’t happening. You love your dogs. If it weren’t for them you’d never get any exercise at all. But there are times when you wish they were cats and scorned the idea of exercise, period.

7 pm: Now suffering from decision fatigue (yes, that’s a real thing), you say SCREW IT and fix too much food for dinner. You try to stay healthy but that’s not what you want. You want meat and potatoes, damn it, with a whopping big dessert and a glass of wine. Hell, you’ll pour the wine right into the dessert. While eating dinner, you catch up on the day’s emails. You know you have a writing deadline but there simply isn’t any brain power left over from the day’s work.

8-10 pm: You watch two episodes of CSI:NY on Netflix, a show you didn’t like when it originally aired but now you’re too fried to give a shit and you don’t want to watch anything you care about.

10:20 pm: You take the dogs out one more time.

tiana-bed-flop10:30 pm: You get ready for bed because SLEEP IS A DAMNED PRECIOUS COMMODITY YOU GET VERY LITTLE OF. You pull out all the stops: shut off the electronics a hour before you want to close your eyes, take benadryl, take melatonin, take pain meds. You lie in bed hoping you don’t wake your partner because there is NO position that is even remotely comfortable. An hour later, you’re still awake but you’re hopeful you might fall asleep soon.

12:01 am: The phone rings. You have to get up and deal with the potential work-related emergency. This time, you don’t have to go in, but your chances of falling back asleep now are nil. You take a book out into the living room to read on the couch for a while. You try not to fret over the upcoming elections, climate change, and your own future. Or, if you don’t have a job that puts these kinds of after-hours demands on your life, insert your favorite teenaged family emergency/sick kid crisis here.

Okay, so I’m making some excuses here. But seriously, women’s health magazines–this is my life and I don’t even have children. It discounts those of us working full time jobs (and that seldom means 9-5 these days in the US) while taking care of elderly parents, young children, or both. It ignores the fact that most of us are so over-extended, so stressed, and so tired, there’s only fumes left in the tank. Your articles, while chipper and enthusiastic, aren’t even remotely realistic. I’d like to see a post that addressed some of these things. That’s all I’m asking. 🙂

In other (happier) news, I’m the featured Author of the Month over at the Paranormal Romance Guild–check out my interview and the reviews there!

 

The Boys of Summer Book Tour and Giveaway!

BoysofSummer[The]FSI don’t know about you this morning, but I really wasn’t looking forward to going back to work. You know how it is, the harness chafes a bit once you’ve had a chance to take it off. I forced myself out of my warm bed today, grumbling bitterly about the cold, dragging myself into the kitchen to start a pot of tea, when I noticed that I didn’t receive a calendar alert about my schedule this morning. That’s when I checked and discovered I’d made a mistake and I didn’t have to work at ALL.

Hush! Don’t tell anyone!

I’ve spent the last few days writing blog posts like mad and answering interview questions for The Boys of Summer book tour, which starts today! I haven’t even had a chance to post about the tour until now, so yay for schedule screw ups! Hey, if I had to make a mistake, at least it’s finding out I don’t have to work when I thought I did!

I’m so very happy about this re-release too. I have a soft spot for this story–I feel as thought it’s one of the best things I’ve written–but when I self-published it in 2013, I made a number of newbie errors that I believe prevented it from getting the recognition it deserved. I was delighted when Dreamspinner Press contracted it for revision and re-release. I do hope you’ll check out the new version and join us on the book tour! Today, I’m at The Novel Approach and later this morning, at Gay Media Reviews. Here’s the full schedule:

 

Tour Dates and Stops:

Frenzied, Frazzled, but Still Having Fun: the Truth and Consequences Book Tour continues!

T&C spotlightI confess, I’ve fallen down on the job a bit here with the book tour… thankfully, the tour took a brief hiatus over the weekend, so perhaps I can catch up now!

Truth and Consequences is climbing the bestseller charts, and I’ve been delighted by its reception! Readers are emailing me, wanting to know more about the series and when they can expect the next installment–sadly, it will not be next week, as some people have hoped! 🙂 What I can tell you is that there will be more from Jerry Lee and John–and yes, we will be dealing with the Grimm Fairy Tale killer at long last–as well as John’s nemesis, who possesses the same powers he does, only he uses them for evil.

I also have plans to write more in the Crying for the Moon universe–Nick and Peter are begging for their backstory, and Viktor is not yet done with Alex and Tate, either! I’ve also got a Regency in the works, as well as contemporary romance set in the exciting world of sport horses and eventing–and in December, I’ll be re-releasing a revised version of The Boys of Summer! Such happy-making plans. The only problem is finding the time to write.

Branch ManagerThis past weekend was a good example. I trapped, neutered, and vaccinated the feral tom that has been hanging around picking fights with the other porch cats. The heavy rains and early leaf fall produced a bumper crop of mushrooms in the yard–and I caught one of the dogs eating a toxic Aminita species, so I had to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal. I’m trying to sell a house, deal with an insurance claim, cover barn duty for friends out of town dealing with their own family crises, field emergency calls, and put in a full day’s work. I might have been a bit cranky last night when I finally got home!

Still, I’d rather have tons of ideas and little time to write than all the time in the word but I stared a blinking cursor, not knowing what to say next! So be patient with me–I’m writing as fast as I can! Hopefully you’ll get new stories to read in a timely fashion. The very fact people are excited about the next one coming out just makes my day. You guys rock!

Here’s my tour schedule if you’d like to join in and check out the fun! Be sure to enter the giveaway too!

Tour Dates & Stops:

14-Oct: VWFOhMy!, The Blogger Girls, MM Good Book Reviews

15-Oct: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Lee Brazil

16-Oct: Iyana Jenna, Three Books Over The Rainbow, KathyMac Reviews

19-Oct: Kimi-Chan, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

20-Oct: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Emotion in Motion, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

21-Oct: Full Moon Dreaming, Happily Ever Chapter

22-Oct: The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie

23-Oct: Hearts on Fire, Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook

26-Oct: BFD Book Blog

27-Oct: Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings 

Truth and Consequences by Sarah Madison: The Fun Continues!

T&C spotlightGood morning, everyone!

Truth and Consequences (Sixth Sense series book 3) was launched yesterday, and we embarked on our book tour!

Today, we have stops at Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, and a rather racy interview on Lee Brazil‘s site! Do drop by and find out more about Jerry Lee and John’s planned adventures–be sure to enter the giveaway too!

 

While you’re at it, check out the lovely review for Truth and Consequences at Divine Magazine as well!

For the full tour schedule, check out the fabulous list below!

Tour Dates & Stops:

14-Oct: VWFOhMy!, The Blogger Girls, MM Good Book Reviews

15-Oct: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Lee Brazil

16-Oct: Iyana Jenna, Three Books Over The Rainbow, KathyMac Reviews

19-Oct: Kimi-Chan, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

20-Oct: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Emotion in Motion, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

21-Oct: Full Moon Dreaming, Happily Ever Chapter

22-Oct: The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie

23-Oct: Hearts on Fire, Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook

26-Oct: BFD Book Blog

27-Oct: Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings 

WillPride_1

 

Giving Love a Chance by Rachel Sparks: Enter to win a copy!

GLAC2_resizedToday I have Rachel Sparks here sharing a little about her latest release, Giving Love a Chance. It’s a powerful story told from the heart, and I know you’ll want to know more about it, as I do! Check out the interview, and be sure to leave a comment along with your email, if you want to be entered for a chance to win an e-copy of this story!

Hello! 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 love writing. I love getting immerse into a story. I like to say I’m a writer with a different message and that I’m writing from my soul. Yes there is an underlying theme behind my stories.

What part of the world do you call home? Can you tell us a little about where you grew up and where you live now?
I was born in Maryland but my parents moved back to South Carolina when I was 2 weeks old. I just moved to another city in South Carolina and I’m proud to call it home because our Mayor supports LGBT rights.

Goodness, I hope you guys are okay with all that severe flooding that’s been in the news lately!

How long have you been writing? Did you write as a child or is it something you developed a passion for later in life?
I have been writing since I was a child. I started out writing poems but I have been a published author for 11 years. Although 7 of my books are out of print.

 I see you write M/M fiction. Would you characterize your stories as M/M romance, erotica, or something in between?
I guess you could say in between. There is always a message in my books, some suspense/mystery you can say. I write from the heart.

What draws you to the M/M genre? Have you written in other genres?
Yes I have wrote other genres but I wasn’t happy. I wrote what other people expected me to write or told me to write. One day I decided to write what was in my heart/soul. I started writing M/M and I am happy.

Of the stories you’ve written, which one do you like the most? Which one would you recommend a new reader begin with?

Giving Love A Chance. This is my new release. This story is about my life… the abusive marriage I was in. I changed it into M/M. I wanted people to understand the survivor of an abusive relationship. To see it through their eyes. It is a very powerful story.

Oh wow, that’s a very powerful well from which to draw life experiences for storytelling. I’m sure your insights will help others understand what it is like to escape from a toxic relationship, and how involved the healing process can be.

What are the three most important things in your life—the things you can’t do without?
My son, daughter-in-law, fur babies… my music, my computer and Netflix

If you could have one super power or magical element from popular science fiction movies or literature, what would it be and why?
To go back in time… to fix somethings… to get the winning lottery number…

Hah! I’d like to be able to do that too!

How often does your real life experience figure into your story telling? Do you base characters or stories on your actual experiences?
A good bit. Especially my latest release Giving Love A Chance. I did base it on my life story but did put some twist to it.

Research: love it or hate it?
Love research. It is exciting because you are at the beginning of your writing adventure.

Editing: love it or hate it?
I love my editor… she is the best. I wished I had found her years ago.

How much do you think that a good blurb and good cover art figure into the success of a story?
They both play a very important role into the success of a story. It is what catches the reader’s eye.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, do you find what you listen to influences the story at all?
I don’t listen to music while I write. I play my favorite TV shows. Most people know what they are. Doctor Who, Torchwood and Arrow. I do listen to music while I walk and think. But to relax or help me sleep I only listen to John Barrowman.

Oh, now I’m really impressed! I love those shows too, but I can’t write anything with the TV on in the same room, unless it’s some sporting event. Otherwise my eye is drawn to the movement on the screen and I get sucked into  the story–even if I’ve seen it a hundred times before!

So glad to have you here today, Rachel! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and a little about your new story.

Readers: Be sure to leave a comment and your email address below if you’d like a chance to win an e-copy of Giving Love a Chance! Contest open until Oct 15th, one week from today.

BIO
Rachel Sparks grew up in South Carolina .With a degree in Early Childhood education and one in social work, she brings those skills to the table to write stories involving current social issues, a sprinkling of romance and powerful story lines.

Social Links
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon
Goodreads

Book Blurb
The perfect life was just a lie…
John Burrows had a wonderful husband who loved him. The job of his dreams. He had a loving family, loyal friends and adoring fans. His life was everything a man could hope for until it fell apart. Society says it does not happen, that it is all a lie, so John hid the truth from everyone until it was almost too late.

The truth was revealed…

Ben Tensley thought that meeting your soulmate on the most traumatic night of his life was hard. He discovered that watching the man you love try and heal in the middle of chaos was even harder. Ben and John struggle to find solid ground…until John’s nightmare returns.

Will John be strong enough to give love a chance?

This book deals with domestic abuse. I, myself am a survivor of domestic abuse.

Excerpt

John looked down at their hands and then laced his fingers with Ben’s.

Ben placed his hand lightly on John’s check. He stared deeply into John’s eyes. Ben could see the pain no matter how hard John tried to hide it. “Are you going to let me in, John?”

John swallowed and licked his lips.

Ben leaned in closer and closer to John. He was so close that John could feel the hot breath against his lips. He closed his eyes as he felt Ben press his mouth firmly, offering no resistance. He let Ben explore the depths of his mouth with his tongue. Ben knew this was more than just a connection. This was what he had been yearning for all these years.

John was exactly what he needed.

John put his hands on Ben’s chest and pushed him away. He could feel his heart pounding and hear it in his ears. “Wait… stop… please.”

Ben raised his hands and moved back. “I’m sorry, I thought you…”

John got up and walked over and placed his hands on a nearby table with his head down. He was trying to calm down. He felt fear gripping him.

Ben got up and walked over to the table. “Hey…”

John stood up. “Could you just back up please? I need some breathing room.”

Ben raised his hands and backed up. “I’m sorry.” Ben could have kicked himself. He had taken it too far and he knew it. At this rate he would never have a chance for a relationship with John.

John picked up a bottle of wine and poured himself a glass. He drained the entire glass in a matter of minutes.

“You want me to leave?”

John ignored Ben and filled his glass again, draining it quickly before slamming it on the table. “Hell no! I just need some space dammit!”

Ben walked around the table and took the wine bottle. “Look, I’m not going to stand here watch you drink an entire bottle of wine and cuss me out.”

John tried to reach for his wine bottle. “Then leave!”

Ben wouldn’t let him have the wine bottle. “I am not going to let you start drinking when you feel nervous around me. I’m not going to rape you. You wanted me to stop, and I did.”

John was curling his hands into fists.

Buy Links

On Amazon

Pre-order and Sale on Truth and Consequences!

TruthandConsequences2 - CopyI just got back from a much-needed long weekend away, and am sitting here now catching up on emails, planning my book tour for Truth and Consequences, and steeping a cup of hot tea. It’s been raining here for the past week, a sort of drizzling mist, nothing to worry about, but today we’ve been having heavy rains and thunderstorms. The storm drains are boiling with the water they cannot hold, and driving down my road causes a sheet of water to spray up over your car, making it impossible to see ahead of you. So while I wish I could have spent just one more day with my friends, I know I picked the right time to come home yesterday.

I find I need a day as a buffer between traveling and plunging back into my regular life. Time to unpack, do laundry, sort through emails, restock on groceries. Time to wrap my head around getting back on the old schedule: not staying up too late laughing and talking, eating huge breakfasts in the morning, watching favorite television shows, and drinking wine around the fireplace at night. Talking about our lives, our stories, our hopes and dreams. Making runs to the craft store, decorating our journals, creating bookmarks and jewelry. It’s hard to leave the company of your tribe. I don’t get to take much time off each year, but somehow, making this pilgrimage has become a priority.

But right now, I’ve got 24 blog posts to write, a book tour to organize, a WIP calling my name, and several work-related fires to put out, so down to business: Dreamspinner Press is having a 25% off sale from now until Sept 30th, which means you can buy the entire Sixth Sense series, including pre-ordering Truth and Consequences, on sale! Dreamspinner will also send your purchases to your Kindle account, so if you’ve been waiting for Truth and Consequences to be released on Amazon, wait no longer.

If you’d like to read an excerpt, I’m being spotlighted over on Divine Magazine, so check out my interview and find out more about Truth and Consequences before it is released on October 14th.

Afraid of missing an update? You can subscribe to this blog or sign up for my newsletter here on the website: just go to the right sidebar and scroll down past the book covers–you’ll see the sign up forms there.

 

The “We’re Not at GRL” Facebook Party Sat Oct 18th!

Woot!

This is the last day of the Walk a Mile book tour and your last shot at entering the Rafflecopter for the e-book giveaway before it closes. 🙂 It’s been a rush, going to so many websites, chatting with people, finding out how many readers have fallen in love with Flynn and Jerry and want more from them!

Tennant You Should Be WritingBut all good things come to an end, and the best part about coming to the end of the book tour is that I can go back to doing what so many people are clamoring for: working on the next installment in the series!

I’ve still got some stops today, and will be posting the entire schedule (with links updated) tomorrow, for those wanting to get in on the giveaway at the last minute. I realize that many of you already have a copy of the prize, Unspeakable Words, so if the winner of the rafflecopter already has a copy, we’ll exchange the prize for something else from my backlist. 🙂

I won’t *entirely* disappear from the internet, though! Some friends and I were chatting on Facebook about how disappointed we were that we couldn’t to to GRL 2014 this year, and how much fun everyone was having–and we decided to host our own online party! Better organizers than me quickly got on board with this idea, and so we’re going to be at Rainbow Gold Reviews holding a “We’re Not At GRL” Party this Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm EST. Come on down and join the fun because this is for everyone who can’t go to GRL as well!

Today, on the final stops of the book tour, I’ll be at MM Good Book Reviews, Jade Crystal, Velvet Panic! I hope you’ll join me to talk about Walk a Mile, find out my darkest secrets, read some reviews, and enter the giveaway!

GRLsale_DSPsiteAs part of the celebration of Gay Rom Lit weekend, Dreamspinner Press is having a sale! 25% off everything in stock, and 35% off on all GRL participating authors! Go check it out, and get a good deal on my backlist while you’re there!

 

Whitley Gray lands on the site in “Crash Pad” for an interview!

Crash Pad cover mock-upLook at this cover! Isn’t it gorgeous? Whitley Gray is here with us today, talking about the new release, Crash Pad from Loose Id.

Blurb for Crash Pad:
Physician Remy Marshall has two loves: Emergency Medicine and running. Work doesn’t leave much time to meet guys, and most seem more interested in his bank account than him. With a week off to train for a marathon, Remy plans to make the most of his precious vacation. The last thing he needs is a distraction.

Jamie Sutton is new to the area. He hopes to make a fresh start after leaving an abusive relationship with an orthopedic surgeon. He’s got a new job as a massage therapist and wants to meet some nice guys. Against his better judgment, Jamie decides the best way to meet a cute rollerblader he’s seen in the park is on wheels.

With attention on his watch and not where he’s going, Remy crashes into Jamie and fractures the first-time rollerblader’s ankle. Jamie has no one to help him after the injury; Remy proposes Jamie stay with him. Jamie is reluctant, but it’s a better option than staying with the odd guy in the neighboring motel room. As the two get acquainted, Jamie’s past comes calling. Remy discovers the prize he really wants isn’t a medal in a marathon, but the man right in front of him.

BUY: Loose Id
Amazon 
Website

Hello! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my nosy, I mean 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?

Hello. I’m Whitley Gray. I write male/male romance. In the past I did write some male/female erotica, but haven’t done that for several years. M/M is my true calling, as it were. I’m not sure there’s an underlying theme, other than I like characters with emotional (and sometimes physical) baggage. A lot of my characters have jobs in the medical field, but not all.

What part of the world do you call home? Can you tell us a little about where you grew up and where you live now?

I’ve lived in the Midwest/West for all of my life. Much as I long for a beach, I’m landlocked.

“Writers should write what they know.” What does this statement mean to you as an author?

It’s easier. I like to write characters in the medical field. I often still have to do research, but it is easier. My group of go-to experts helps keep me authentic when I’m outside my comfort zone. Every time an author journeys outside of an area they know well—like when I’ve written cops and FBI profilers—the research goes up exponentially. I don’t mind the research, but it’s a big time suck and increases the chance of making a mistake.

Of the stories you’ve written, which one do you like the most? Which one would you recommend a new reader begin with?

That’s like trying to choose a favorite child. For someone new to me, I’d suggest Artistic Endeavor. It’s a contemporary M/M novella (part of the Higher Learning: Campus Cravings Collection), and gives readers a good idea of my writing voice and the level of heat they’re likely to encounter in my stories (generally, four-flames hot). I love Cobey and Michael, and their story was a lot of fun to write.

handwriting_flickrDo 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 never been a hobby. I see it as a second job. Someday, I’d like it to be the only job. In the beginning, I set out to learn the basics with copious workshops and I read a ton of books on writing. Education has always been a big part of my life, and information is comfort to me. For now, the dreaded day job is required to pay the bills. I take writing seriously, though. When not at the day job, I put in lots of hours in the writing chair. Discipline is necessary to make it when you have limited time.

That’s a really good point, Whitley! It IS like a second job! How often does your real life experience figure into your story telling? Do you base characters or stories on your actual experiences?

Like a lot of writers, my day job provides grist for the creative mill. After years in the medical field a lot of those experiences have become a mishmash. In addition, I tend to mix them up even more by changing details like age, location, circumstances. No one will ever read themselves or their medical misadventures in one of my books.

I’m so with you there, Whitley! I’m fond of saying ‘everything is grist for the mill”, and it’s true! Even in the middle of traumatic events, there is this Objective Observer inside me thinking, “That will make a good story some day…”

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us about this hot new release!

If you’re here looking for the next stops in the Walk a Mile book tour, today I’ll be at Wake Up Your Wild Side, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Fallen Angel Reviews! Interviews, excerpts,reviews, and your chance at a giveaway still on-going!