Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall Fires Blog Tour: M.C. Rayne & Our Walk to Remember

Today, I welcome M.C. Rayne to the blog to talk about wishes, distractions, and writing styles. M.C. is the author of Our Walk to Remember another fantastic story from Renaissance Romance Publishing’s Fall Fires anthology.

A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what are they and why?

Oooh, I love this question. Now writing wishes, let me think. I guess my first wish would be to get rid of my procrastinating. It really is a pain sometimes when I have ideas screaming in my head and all I seem to be doing is updating facebook or chatting to friends online. Yes, social media is a great way to interact with people of like mind, but it can also be a hindrance sometimes.

Second, I guess I would wish for the genre I write for (Male/Male romance) to be more readily available to the buying public. I hate not having these books gracing popular book shops, or if they are, for them not to have to be amongst the erotica and Mills and Boon. It does shock me sometimes.

Third, I wish readers would always review, all authors want that, but without the bitterness. I like to read reviews before I make a purchase, its the kind of person I am, and I have read so many hateful and nasty comments about books. Constructive criticism is fine, nastiness isn't! Authors put their hearts and soul into their work, so why make them feel bad for trying to share with the world what they love to do?

Do you agree with the adage “Write what you know”?

Definatly! I’m openly gay, so for me I have to write M/M related stories. The things I work on are not all about gay men coming out to families and the world, more just dealing with the fact the pairing are men; nothing more. I don’t feel the need to have my characters declare their sexuality, unless this is the plot direction I wish to take, because readers already know the book they are reading is from this genre.

I think if I were to write something I am not familiar with, but I really wanted to do it, I would do lots of research until I feel comfortable dancing my fingers over the keyboard to lay the words down.

Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.

Life. You may want to get lost in your writing, but until you are making the money needed to not have to do the 9 - 5 grind, you need to leave the house and go to work. I really don’t know how stay at home mums manage to look after children while producing great books, my hat goes off to them.

Friends and family. This can fall into the above, and for me it does. Yes I would love to sit and write all day, but my friends and family would probably take my computer away if I ignored them for too long.

Movies. I am a film addict, so when something good is on Netflix writing is the last thing on my mind. I have written while watching something before, but then I look up and think ‘oh, it ended?’ That, or you see the twist at the end and realise you missed the developement - this will ruin a good film.

Reading. I think all authors love reading, we must do right? Once you open a book, or turn on your kindle, hours can pass and you realise you have missed some good writing time.

Sleep. Do we really need it? Isn’t this when the best ideas come? I love my sleep, but as soon as my head hits the pillow I am rethinking my novel or current chapter. So glad to have my iPhone near me so I can type things up for the morning.

Our Walk to Remember:
For the Robinson-Shae family, an annual charity walk means more to them than any expensive holiday abroad. After all, it’s where Elisha’s fathers met, and this year it’s even more important to her. Sammy couldn't make it this time, so she asks Charlie to share memories of how they met, and fell in love.

A quick peek at what’s under the cover -

Elisha looks back at me and pulls on our adjoined arms, giggling happily to herself while dancing her knee-length, yellow summer dress around her body so it moves with the warm breeze. I forget how much she loves this annual event. We’ve always done it together. She gets excited to see all the people she’s grown up around. I hope she never grows tired of this venture, never loses herself to the world of television and computer games when she could make a difference doing something small, yet huge.
Such thoughts make me shudder, thinking someone as delicate as little Elisha could ever be a slave to the mediocre. Not our baby, no way!
“Tell me again, Dad,” she interjects, turning towards me and smiling with joy. “Tell me about when you met Daddy?”
Her brown eyes sparkle when she looks up at me, lighting her porcelain face. Can a father ever refuse his daughter? How do you say ‘no’ to the product of your love, the person who found a home in your heart without trying and looks to you to lead themalong the right paths?
“Again?” I tease. “You know this story so well, you can probably tell it better than me.”
Warmth fills my cheeks, bringing colour back into this aging man’s face while he toys with the light of his life, the only other person he loves without question. So many times Sammy and I have sat before a roaring fire while Elisha recounted our history like she’s reading a book. Her voice is always filled with such passion that we hang on her every word. One would be forgiven for thinking it’s her past she is detailing, but I guess my husband and I never get bored with sharing how we came to be the lovers we are today.
“I like it better when you tell it, Dad. Don’t worry; I will fill in any parts you miss,” she chimes in an assertive manner, and I know without a doubt she will.
“Okay, baby,” I commence, drawing her in close so I don’t have to shout too loud.
I don’t need unwanted ears to hear something that will forever remain unwritten, a story that’s stamped into my heart and is ours alone. Sammy has his own version of the life we share, but this is all from the very soul of Charlie Shae — this is how I found my love.
This shouldn’t be so hard to recollect, but I’ve never had to share our story without my counterpart sitting next to me, relishing my retelling. While the warm breeze runs through my free fingers again, I try to grab onto the emptiness and envision that Sammy isn’t very far away. Sadly, my mind isn’t that creative.
Swallowing the pain, I lose myself to the words flowing from me and find myself on auto pilot.
“It was the summer of 1996. I had just finished college. . .”

M. C. Rayne got into writing after the passing of his mother, and used it as an outlet to get through the difficult time. He never really thought about becoming an author, but since putting pen to paper he has never looked back

Currently he lives in Leeds with his two best friends Dae and Pete, and his guinea pig, Bean. He spends a lot of time reading and writing, and far too much time procrastination online.

There’s no post tomorrow, but join me again on November 1st, when author K.L. Platt will be joining me in the hot seat.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Fires Blog Tour: Jude Ouvrard & Wonderland

Today, I welcome Jude Ouvrard to the blog for a “get to know the author” post. Jude is the author of Wonderland, another fantastic story from Renaissance Romance Publishing’s Fall Fires anthology.

Tell us about three other writers who inspire you.

Jamie Mcguire is one of my favorite authors. She is down to Earth and I love her writing style. I even own a dedicated copy of Beautiful Disaster.  She inspires me because she started as a self published author and now is one of the most popular authors. She is a New York Times Bestseller. She believed in herself and was able to write the Providence series, which I loved; Beautiful Disaster & Walking Disaster, the movie transcript is already done and her recent novel, Red Hill, a zombie apocalypse. Her ability to create characters and make you fall for them astonished me. McGuire amazes me with her talent and devotion! I’m hoping that I’ll be able to meet her someday.

Colleen Hoover is the only author who has the power to break my heart with her words and storyline. I feel the pain of her characters. She is a genius. I admire her and I wish she could give me private classes on how to be as cool as Colleen Hoover. Slammed, Point of Retreat and This girl are part of one of my favorite series. Hopeless and Losing Hope are definitely on my favorite list. Hopeless broke me into million pieces when I first read it. Amazing! I’ve never read a book like this one, one of a kind. I am always looking forward to her work.

Megan Noelle is the author of Fool for you and Fighting for you.  When I read Fool for you, I simply fell in love with her writing and talent. I also have a major crush on her main male character, Corey. He is perfect in every way! She is an author that I get to talk with almost daily. Even though she has a busy schedule with writing, school and her private life, she is helping me with my novel. I’m so thankful for her help. Megan is amazing and I’m learning a lot from her. Get her novels now!!

A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what are they and why?

  1. I would love to meet Jamie McGuire. Why, simply because she is my favorite author and I admire her a lot.
  2. I would love to publish my novel before the end of 2013, I don’t know if it’s still possible at that point but I would love if it could happen.
  3. I wish my writing was so good that I wouldn’t even need editing. I know this is impossible but we are talking about a genie here....

Describe your ideal writing space.

My ideal writing space... I would love to have an ocean view or lake view. Maybe even a mountain view. I would definitely have my own private office in my house and it would be painted in light turquoise with one or two large windows. I would frame all my book covers and let them have their own spot on my wall. Of course, I would have a large wood desk and a very comfortable black leather chair. A girl can dream right?

Jude, your ideal writing spot sounds perfect – I’d like to reserve an armchair in the corner, please.  


Lucas Colton is far too young to go through all this pain but meeting poetry teacher, Preston Davidson, changed everything. His life went from heartbreak to joyful and then, from friendship to love. The impact Preston had on Lucas life was mesmerising.  
What would you do if you knew you may not have a tomorrow?

A quick peek at what’s under the cover -

When I arrived at Central Park, Preston was sitting by the statue of Alice in Wonderland with two steaming cups of coffee in hand. He wore a canary yellow sweatshirt with a pair of dark blue jeans and black leather converse.
“You’re on time,” I teased, taking one of the cups from him.
“I figure I shouldn’t waste any more time.” Preston took a sip of his coffee. “Life is too important right now. I don’t want to miss anything.”
“I can see that you’ve thought about my situation thoroughly.” I couldn’t help but be flattered. It was obvious now that he cared about me, even if just as a friend.
“I have a few questions for you. If you don’t mind, of course.”
Curious, I wanted to know what was going on inside his brain. Looking through his glasses, I saw how tired his eyes were, how the rims were red. He hadn’t slept all night, I would bet. “I’m not sure I’ll be able to answer all of them, but I’m willing to try.”
Preston made me nervous, and I hoped he wasn’t going to ask for a medical explanation. I had asked to be told what was necessary. The details weren’t important to me. All I knew was that I had kidney cancer, and that it had started to spread to my other organs. My lungs were affected, but they were giving me enough medication to keep me out of pain.
“I want you to name three things you can’t live without,” he said. That seemed pretty simple, nothing to be worried about.
“Coffee, a good movie, and cheesecake.” I laughed. “You took me off guard. I don’t know, but those are things that I enjoy, I guess.”
“It’s perfect. Now tell me: what would you do if bacteria were killing all the coffee beans in the world, and you foresaw that thirty days from now, you wouldn’t be able to find a single coffee bean in the world?”
Was Preston serious? What kind of question was that? I shook my head and smiled. “I’d drink as much as I could, and I’d try to freeze some to keep for special occasions.”
“Good answer. Now tell me: what would you do if the film industry decided that it was no longer profit-earning to produce movies and that thirty days from now, there wouldn’t be any movies anywhere for sale or rent?”
“I would buy as many movies as I could afford, and go to the movie theater one last time.”
“Another great answer. Last, but not least: what would you do if the Cheesecake Factory was going bankrupt, and thirty days from now, you couldn’t find a single piece of cheesecake in the entire world?”
“I would eat cheesecake for every meal, gain weight, and die of heart failure,” I joked.
Preston laughed. “I’m asking you all these questions because I’ve come up with a plan. You said you might have weeks to live. Let’s hope you have a month. You have to make the most out of it. You have to enjoy and do everything you’ve ever dreamed of doing. Are you ready to have the best time of your life?”
A smile spread over my lips. “Okay, I see where you’re going with this.”
“I’ll spend that month with you. I want to be with you every time you smile or cry, when you feel good, or when you’re in pain. You can’t do this alone, Lucas. So tell me: what is it that you’ve always dreamed of doing?”
“I’m a pretty simple guy; don’t need much to be happy, so forgive me if we aren’t going to Australia. I think we’ll stay here in New York.”
“Sounds good to me and my wallet.” Preston looked at me, waiting for me to tell him everything I wanted to do before the end came.

Jude was born and raised in a small village named Lacolle. She now lives in Montreal, Canada. She is the proud mother of a beautiful four year old son, and has spent the last twelve years with her partner, Cedric.

French is her native language, but she prefers to write in her second language, English.
Besides working full time for a Title Insurance Company and being a mother, Jude has a passion for books, both reading and writing them.

She is currently working on a novel called Body, Ink, and Soul. Coming soon!

Also written by Jude Ouvrard:
Under the Sun, from the anthology Heat Wave: Volume Two

You can follow Jude and her writings at the following links:


Stop by tomorrow, when author M.C. Rayne will be joining me in the hot seat.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Fires Blog Tour: N.L. Leeks and Winter's Love

Continuing our spotlight on the authors of Renaissance Romance Publishing’s Fall Fires anthology, today I am hosting N. L. Leeks, author of Winter’s Love.

Do you agree with the adage ‘Write what you know’?

No, I don’t believe with it. I’m sure there are some writers that will only stick to what they know, and if that works for them, then great, I think that’s awesome for them. For me, though, I love being able to branch out and try new things, I might find that I am good at one genre, but why not try new things, there could be others that you are really good at.

So long as the writer does their research, makes sure that they have their facts correct, that nothing could be misconstrued or anything like that, then what’s wrong with trying your hand at something different? You may just find something else that you excel at!

Not only that, but some readers can get tired of reading the same things by the same author, they get to a point where they know what to expect and there are no surprises, no differentiation. Whereas, an author who writes more than one genre, could have more readers in the long run, as they never know what to expect from them. Take Stephen King as an example, he writes one main genre of horror, but then branches off into sub-genres. He has books in fantasy, science fiction, horror, thrillers etc. When I pick up a book by him, it’s nothing like what I might have read by him the previous week!

Then you take someone like Jonathan Kellerman, he writes mainly psychological books, and after reading four or five by him, I could guess what was coming next before I’d read it. By sticking with one genre, you come to a point where you’ve done everything you possibly could, and have ran out of avenues to explore. Failing that, someone else has already done it.

Describe your ideal writing space.

That’s the easiest question I’ve been asked yet! If I could live there more often, then it would be the cottage that my Grandmother has at Buckhorn Lake in Canada. It’s quiet, cosy without being small and has the most beautiful view! Inspiration has struck me many times just while being there for a few days when I was there last.

All I would change, is to have a desk near one of the windows so I could look out. Take a break from staring a computer screen or a lined notepad. Then I would have a small table with a chair facing the lake for the days when it’s warm so I can catch a few rays at the same time!

Seeing as I can’t be there all the time, I just need to be somewhere quiet, where my thoughts can run rampant without the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Summarily, apart from the cottage, my idea writing space doesn’t exist! There are simply too many people everywhere to find somewhere quiet enough!

Winter's Love is N.L. Leeks short story in the Fall Fires anthology. 

 Winter’s Love:

A past relationship has left Jared Winter broken. When Eric Healey runs into him, Jared finds a reason to learn to trust again. The two men begin to fall for one another, but the prejudice around them threatens to tear them apart. Can their love survive in the real world?

A quick peek at what’s under the cover -

“Hey! Jared! Yoo-hoo!”
I cringed once more and turned to my sister, forcing a smile. “Hey, Rose-Anne.”
“What are you doing here?” She giggled.
“Well, Rose-Anne, in general one attends Asda, or any other supermarket, when they’re doing their food shopping,” I sniggered.
Rose-Anne rolled her eyes and glowered at me. I knew what she meant and was trying to be subtle while avoiding her questions.
“Jared, stop playing dumb with me. You know what I mean. Curry powder, two types of meat, and prawns? You only cook this fancy when . . . Oh! You have a date tonight, don’t you?” she squealed.
Behind me, the cashier told me the check came to twenty-three pounds and some change. I handed her a twenty and a five and waited for her to hand me the difference. As she placed it in my hand, I took it and grabbed my already bagged shopping, thankful that it had been done while Rose-Anne had been interrogating me. Trouble was, she was still at it while I made my way back to the car.
“Rose-Anne! For the love of all alive, will you please drop the subject? I love you to pieces, but for just once, can I enjoy something without having to be interrogated by you?” I yelled.
I saw tears pool in her eyes and felt the guilt in an instant. Finding my car, I placed the shopping in the back and pulled her into a hug.
 I sighed. “I’m sorry, sissy, but sometimes you are just too much.”
“Sorry, Jed.” I cringed at the nickname, “I know I’m too nosy for my own good. But it’s been so long since we’ve seen you with someone. We were beginning to think you had taken a life of celibacy, all because of . . .”
“No! I don’t want to hear his name, sissy! Yes, I’m having someone over for dinner tonight. It’ll only be the second time I have seen him, so yeah I’m playing my cards close to my chest. And yes, I’m a little dubious about where this will go, but I won’t allow . . . him . . . to ruin everything good in my life, okay? My friend’s name is Eric, seeing as you’re dancing around I’m sure that’s what you wanted to ask me. Now that you’ve achieved your mission, you may return to our beloved parents and tell them anything you want, but no phone calls tonight!”

N.L. Leeks lives in England with her fiancé, whom she has been with since the age of eighteen. She first began writing when she was a child. Her friends, Matt and Lou, helped her reignite that passion as an adult, and her journey into writing began once more.

You can follow N. L. Leeks and her writings at the following links:

Stop by tomorrow, when author Jude Ouvrard will be joining me in the hot seat.