All the stories you have to make up when you’re writing a backstage story

Doves Cover

When Racheline and I first set out to write Love in Los Angeles, our backstage romance about the decidedly unglamorous parts of life in the film and television industry, we didn’t think about one thing: All of the fictional films and TV shows our stories were happening in the backstage of.

In Book 1, Starling, there is just one TV show we to worry about: The Fourth Estate, about journalists at a Washington, D.C.-based news network. Alex, one of our protagonists, acts on it, and Paul, our other protagonist, writes for it. Various other members of our cast work for and adjacent to Fourth.

When it came to Book 2, Doves we had to expand a little.

Read more at Ms. Romantic Reads.

 

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A few things you might not know about Doves

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Give us a little insight into your main characters! Who are they?

None of them are easy people. All of them are a little bit broken. Alex, our protagonist (we hesitate to use the word “hero” — neither of these men exactly fit the romance hero mold), became a TV star overnight; he’s still learning to navigate fame and adulthood. In Doves he’s 22, ten years younger than his boyfriend Paul, and is still working on the idea that being in a relationship doesn’t mean being owned. Paul, our other main protagonist, has workaholic tendencies that have doomed his relationships in the past. Now that he’s running his own show, he’s struggling to balance his work obligations and existing as a partner to Alex. Some of the other characters include a bisexual, polyamorous, former child-star, his fiancee, and his asexual boyfriend, who also happens to be Alex’s and Paul’s boss. These people were all supporting characters in our first novel, and while their role is still secondary to the main romance narrative, we were able to give their romances a lot more page-time in this book. We’re really excited to have an opportunity to show how different relationship styles and orientations work for some people.

Read more at Nautical Star Books.

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Victor and the many magical ways to make grilled cheese

Doves Cover

In some ways, I’m not a cook at all. I don’t own any fancy tools, I don’t use cookbooks, and I rarely plan meals out in advance.  But I am the person who will look into the refrigerator and make something up on the fly that is often pretty great.  Like some people have a strong internal sense of direction, I have a strong internal sense of food logic, which has carried over to Victor, one of the secondary characters in the Love in Los Angeles series I co-write with Erin McRae.

Sometimes, this character goes for the fancy, planned, and sophisticated food I never bother with.  Certainly, he has more expensive cookware than me and better knife skills. But like me, he brings his internal food logic to making ordinary meals extraordinary.

Read more at Foodie Friday.

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“Needs more glamour:” Fantasy vs Reality in Love in Los Angeles

Doves dreams are dangerous

 

 

 

 

One of the first notes my co-writer and I got from our editor on Starling, book 1 in the Love in Los Angeles series was, “Needs more glamor.”  After all, this is a series about fame and the backstage lives of people in the film and television industry.  Readers want all the glamor they’ve come to expect from TV and magzines.

Except, of course, the reality is that working in film and TV often isn’t very glamorous at all.

Read more at All Romance Cafe.

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Guest Post from Lynn Townsend

Today we have a guest post from Lynn Townsend, whose novel Blues came out from Torquere this week. Sometimes, our plans don’t pan out the way we expect. Sometimes, that’s a really good thing. Blues was one of those books.

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In the beginning of January, 2012,  I wrote:

More detailed plans:

Finish writing Blister Effect (a 10-15k short story) by Jan 15th, get to betas and get submitted by Jan 31st

Plot out and write Roll, a 3-5k short story and submit by Feb 29th

Plot out and write Alive and Kicking, a 3-5k short story and submit by March 15th

Plot out and write a tentacle sex story, 20 – 25k, due for submission March 25th

Plot out and write Picking up the Pieces, a 15 – 20k short story, due for submission March 31st

Plot out and start writing Nocturnal Equations, a 10k short story, due April 30th

Funny how plans kinda fall apart even as they come together…

Alive and Kicking never got past the planning stages, Blister Effect got picked up, published, and recently reprinted as part of London Steam, the tentacle sex story ended up being re-written about 8 times until it became Situation Normal, published in my Coming Together: Among the Stars anthology, Picking up the Pieces got scrapped, and Nocturnal Equations became Synchronous Rotations, also in the London Steam compilation novel.

Roll, on the other hand… Roll was meant to be a short story about a country boy and his rich, city boyfriend who end up having sex in the haymow.

~*~*~*~

Vin took a deep breath, reminded himself that he had really good health insurance, and leaped, hands clutching the knots in desperation.

He dropped a stomach-clenching ten feet before the rope caught him up and away. He shrieked, fingers bonding to the knot. Beau’s laugh dopplered up to Vin’s ears as he swung, spinning wildly, through the gold-dust flecked air, the ground a whirlygig of straw beneath him. The rope reached the end of its arch with a thrumming note, then swung back. Vin found himself attempting to do higher level mathematics about arc, velocity, and the possibility of getting smeared on the top of the barn. Gravity equals four times pi squared length over time squared? Was that right? How was he supposed to do physics when he was getting ready to die? For that matter, why was he trying to do physics equations while having a near-death experience?

“Let go!”

“The hell you say!” Vin shouted back.

“Let go and I’ll blow you?”

“Well, in that case.” Vin opened his hands at the end of the third swing, as he was slowing appreciably. He fell, laughing in mixed excitement and trepidation, into the pile of sun-warmed hay.

“I think you owe me a kiss, now,” Vin said, holding out his hand. Beau grasped his fingers and hauled Vin to his feet.

“At the very least.” He plucked several strands of hay out of Vin’s hair and handed them to him, bemused. Beau’s mouth was soft, his skin tasting of salt and hay and that flavor that was distinctly Beau’s own. Beau hooked a heel around Vin’s leg and dropped them back into the pile of hay, which was not quite as romantic as Vin might have hoped, hay being much scratchier and sharper and pokier than previously imagined. There were also a number of prickly things and the whoosh of fresh hay dust into the air sent Vin into a rhapsody of sneezes.

Somewhere — somewhen? — Beau had found a folded-over blanket that smelled strongly of horse and spread it over a pile of hay. “Here, Sneezey Dwarf.” Beau rolled them over several times to the blanket, covering both of them with a generous amount of loose straw. A sheaf of blade-ended alfalfa poked into Vin’s back as Beau worked his shirt off, but as soon as Beau’s mouth came down on that sensitive strip of flesh just below his navel and just over his waistband, Vin forgot all about such minor discomforts.

Vin twined his fingers in Beau’s hair, pushing urgently southward until Beau was forced to snag both wrists and pin them over Vin’s head, pressing his lover firmly into the soft — if somewhat scratchy — mound.

“Patience is a virtue,” Beau scolded, licking Vin’s bottom lip teasingly.

“And you decided I was virtuous, when, exactly?”

“Oh, well, right, in that case…”

~*~*~*~

That one little idea ended up spawning off a three novel series – the second book of which, Blues, just came out from Torquere Press.

Buy Links: Torquere | Amazon Kindle and Paperback | Barnes and Noble and Nook

~*~*~*~

Somewhere along the way, I got lost in Beau and Vin’s world; the characters are sometimes more real to me than my day to day like. I still keep in touch, even though I’ve already finished writing book three. (Don’t worry, there are at least 2 more books planned in the series, although I’m moving away from Beau and Vin as main characters…)

So, if you have time, drop in on my facebook party  where I’ll have some games and prizes tonight at 6pm EST

And be sure to check out Roll, which is currently on sale (20% off!) with Torquere Press and you can get another 15% off with the code “winter2015” today only

blurb

Rising sophomore Beau Watkins gave up everything to be with his boyfriend, Vin. Beau is disowned by his father, tormented by his brother, is rapidly running out of money, and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On top of that, his boyfriend seems to see Beau as little more than a live-in maid. Troubled by word of his missing father and fighting nightmares of his own, Vin Reyes turns to alcohol to drown his pain. What’s worse, a handsome transfer student is a little too interested in Beau. Vin throws away everything that’s made him happy with both hands, terrified of his own feelings of inadequacy.

When Vin and Beau’s happily-ever-after turns into a train wreck of drinking problems, resentment, insecurity, jealousy, and violence, they both try to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. Their mutual friends, Hector and Ann-Marie, try to help the two young men as best they can, but neither want to listen. Beau accepts a morally questionable job offer to pad his finances and Vin starts a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior that sends him right for rock bottom. Can Vin and Beau win through doubt and guilt, jealousy and recklessness, to find their place in the world?

tagline

Sometimes finding yourself means losing everything else…

Bio

Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn’s interests include filk music, romance novels, octopuses, and movies with more FX than plot.

Excerpt

“Do I even wanna know why you’re practicing your evil laugh?” Beau skated in. He threw his pack on the floor under a chair in the front row, his impressive biceps flexing smoothly. His sweet, southern accent polished all his words until they were warm, fluffy, polite versions of their intended selves. Vin wasn’t sure Beau would ever master the sarcastic comment; his normal speaking tone was so adorable that it was hard as hell to tell when he was actually angry.

“She’s plotting to assassinate me and take over the club,” Vin lied.

“Well, then,” Beau said, pulling Vin into a swift embrace, “I should get my kisses in while I can.” Vin quivered under Beau’s powerful hands. Vin’s fingers tangled in Beau’s blond curls and he pulled his lover in for a kiss. Beau sneaked his tongue out, licked at the ticklish corner of Vin’s mouth and took full advantage when Vin gasped to plunder Vin’s mouth more fully.

“Oh, for God’s sake,” Jody exclaimed. She inserted her hip between the two of them and twisted, pushing them apart. “I know you two got a fuckin’ room, so go –”

“Fuck there?” An unfamiliar voice piped up into the conversation. Vin focused, still befuddled by Beau’s kisses. A new man had entered the room, Beau’s age, but not at all shy or nervous, and grinned at them.

“Something like that. Knock it off with the public displays.” Jody shook her finger at Vin.

“Not on my account, I hope,” the stranger said. He was watching Beau’s face with interest. “I was enjoying the show. Charles Allen. Transferred from University of Michigan.” He offered his hand to Beau first, which Beau shook. The newcomer was dark-skinned, with a crop of shiny black braids poking out from under his cap. He had a wide, eager smile, and those honey amber colored eyes that only black men seemed to have.

“Beau Watkins,” he said. “And my boyfriend, Vin Reyes, the club prez.”

“Gathered that,” Charles said. He hadn’t released Beau’s hand, the strong, dark fingers lingering. Vin raised an eyebrow. Beau went around the room, pointing and naming those he knew, gracefully removing his hand from Charles’s grasp without giving offense, as if he hadn’t even noticed the lingering caress. For all Vin knew, Beau hadn’t noticed, and it was only with jealous lover’s eyes that Vin was seeing an interest in his boyfriend.

The churn in his belly was familiar. He’d spent most of the last year watching Beau date other men up until Vin got stupid enough–or maybe just desperate enough–to blurt out the truth in a moment of weakness. Not that the results were bad, Vin chided himself, but his self-esteem had taken a knock by how ridiculously immature and uncool he’d acted.

Author Links

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Interview at The Hat Party

Doves CoverIt’s always a joy to be interviewed by the lovely Raine O’Tierney, and Racheline and I were thrilled to be back at The Hat Party to talk writing, teenage pep talks, and what we’d do if we inherited a dachsund farm.

Read the interview (and see pictures of us in our awesome hats) here.

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Doves now available in paperback!

Doves CoverThat’s right! If you were waiting to get your hands on a real dead-tree copy, you now can!

The price right now is $18.95, which is a couple bucks more than Starling, but that’s because it’s 60 pages longer (it clocks in at a whopping 334 pages) and Torquere prices by length. As soon as we know of any sales or discounts, we’ll post those here, too.

Also, as Torquere is under new management now, the typeface and format of the print books has changed slightly to improve the speed and accuracy of the production process. So if you notice any small differences between Starling and Doves, that’s why.

Get Doves in paperback from Amazon.

 

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