Friday, September 26, 2014

Friend Friday - Felice Stevens

I'm back for Friend Fridays after taking a little break from my emotional strain. I hope things can continue as they were. (We'll see.)

I have here today Felice Stevens. And this could possibly be the first person I don't really know at all. I opened Friend Fridays up to anyone on Facebook and she jumped on the request. So without saying more about how much I don't know her, let's get to the interview and I will learn right along with you :)

•       What inspires your writing?

Felice:  My inspiration usually comes when I least expect it. There’s nothing set or distinct about it. I have been falling asleep or walking to work and have gotten ideas.

•       When did you start writing m/m romance?

Felice:  I started in January of this past year.

•       Are you a full time author?

Felice:  Unfortunately, no. I am an attorney.

•       Who is your favorite author?
Felice:  Josh Lanyon. His books are beautifully written and make me aspire to be a better writer.

•       How many books have you written so far?

Felice:  I started out writing Regency romances. I actually have three, fully written, waiting until the time is right. I will probably self publish those. I have written two male/male and am working on a third.

•       Tell us a little about your novel, Rescued.

Felice:  Rescued is the story of Ryder Daniels, who was rejected by his parents for being gay. They have forbidden him to have any contact with his younger brother Landon. He works for a pit bull rescue organization and while out on a rescue, meets Jason Mallory, who has recently come out of a bad relationship with a woman. The two become friends, and then lovers. It’s a story of friendship, family  and acceptance.

•       How long did it take you to complete it?

Felice:  Three months.

•       Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?

Felice:  I love them all, but Ryder’s best friend Connor was the most fun to write.

•       How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character?

Felice:  Not really much.

•       When someone reads Rescued, what do you hope they gain from reading it?

Felice:  That friends are the family you get to choose. That sometimes blood doesn’t always mean acceptance but people deserve to get their Happily Ever After.

•       Can you share four things you’ve learned about the business?

Felice:  Love what you write. If you have to force it, it isn’t right.

         1) Never respond to reviews. There will always be someone who doesn’t like your work.

         2) The romance community is amazing; the people are some of the most helpful I’ve ever met.

         3) Appreciate your readers and be a kind person.

•       How do you keep your creative "spark" alive?

Felice:  I read a lot and I talk about writing and the genre with my other author friends. We are very chatty.
•       What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?

Felice:  Take classes on writing craft, try to write every day and never submit to an agent or editor if your book isn’t ready.

•       Where we can find you on the Internet?

Twitter: @Felicestevens1

•       Could you please share your favorite excerpt from Rescued with us?

Felice:  This is the confrontation between Jason and his brother Liam. Liam can’t understand Jason falling in love with Ryder after Jason’s only dated women in the past:

“Well, what do we have here, a queer convention?”
Jason’s heart sank at the sound of Liam’s sneering voice. He tensed and withdrew his arm from around Ryder’s waist. “Keep moving, Liam. No one is asking for your opinion.”
Ryder whispered in his ear, “Don’t let him get to you. He’s trying to make you angry. Rise above it.” He squeezed his shoulder.
“Make sure you listen to your boyfriend, Jason. Is he the master in the bedroom too? What do you guys call it, a top?” Liam snickered, then walked up to the bar. “Yo, John, gimme a beer.”
John stood behind the bar with his arms folded across his chest. His hazel eyes blazed fierce with anger.
Liam’s grin faltered; then he laughed. “Quit fucking with me, man. Give me a beer.”
John braced his arms on the bar. “I said no. See the sign?” John pointed to the sign over the bar that read MANAGEMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO SERVE ANY PATRON. “I’m refusing.”
Liam sputtered in his rage. “What the fuck? What did I do?”
“You’re a fucking jerk, the way you talked to Jase. So unless you’re willing to apologize and act like a decent human being, you can walk the fuck out of my bar.”
“Don’t tell me you’re okay with him and this queer.”
“Shut the hell up, you goddamn asshole.” John’s large fist banged, causing several glasses to fall and shatter. The entire bar quieted down. “Do you know what you’re doing, treating your brother like this? It’s so fucking wrong to speak to anyone like this, but your own brother, your flesh and blood?”
John grabbed a picture off the wall, and Jason’s heart skipped. “Ah, shit.”
Ryder leaned over. “Who’s that?”
Jason whispered back, “That’s Eric. John’s older brother. He died in his first tour in Afghanistan three years ago.” He blinked back tears. “He was a great guy, and John’s only sibling—his only family, actually, since his parents died years ago.”
“Shit.” Ryder scrubbed his face with his hands. “That’s fucking awful.”
John shoved the picture under Liam’s pale face. “Do you remember my brother, Liam? Of course you do. We fucking worshipped him. Remember how we toasted him right here three years ago and told him that bar stool would be waiting for him when he came home? Do you?”
Liam nodded.
“But he isn’t coming home. He isn’t ever fucking coming home, and he’ll never sit there again. And every day I open this bar, and all I want is for Eric to walk through that door, laugh, and tell me it was a joke, and I can wake up from this fucking nightmare that he’s gone, and I never had a chance to say good-bye and tell him I love him.”
Jason could hardly see through his tears and heard Emily weeping. Ryder put his arm around him, and the wetness on Ryder’s cheek mixed with his own.
Mercilessly, John continued. “My brother died alone in a strange country with no one around who loved him. So now I want you to tell me that you’re going to turn your back on your brother, one of the nicest fucking guys I’ve ever known, and walk out of his life and never speak to him again because you don’t approve of who he sleeps with. And what the fuck happens if he gets hit by a car when he walks out of this bar tonight, and you never have that chance to say you’re sorry or to say good-bye and he dies alone? Do you want the last memory between you and him to be your anger, your hatred?”
John’s chest heaved as he pushed his face into Liam’s. “Are you going to be able to live with yourself? Because I’m gonna fucking tell you, you won’t. I had the best relationship with Eric, and I almost put a gun to my head to end it all because I couldn’t stand the pain of his death. Will you be able to live with your pain?”
John beckoned Jason, and after taking a deep breath, he walked over, standing next to Liam. “Do you love your brother, Jase?”
He nodded. “No matter what he says to me, he’ll always be my brother.”

John turned to Liam, who, to Jason’s shock, looked devastated. “And you. Do you love your brother? Or are you willing to throw it all away because of your ignorance and stupidity? What’s happened to you? The man I’ve been friends with since high school would never behave like this. Are you willing to say good-bye to Jase forever? Are you willing to risk it all?”

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Dirty Dozen - LE Franks

Hello and welcome to the Dirty Dozen Blog hop tour. This stop features author LE Franks. In the tradition of the tour, the 12 contributing authors each asked a question and all of us then do the interview by answering all the questions. It give you a little glimpse into the minds of the authors and can be a lot of fun. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the interview with LE Franks :)

LE: I’m excited to be hosted by Wade Kelly for our Dirty Dozen Blog Tour - thanks Wade! GRL is now just around the corner and I’m trying not to freak out…though it’s my favorite time of the year it’s also fraught with packing danger. To wit – this week I’m at a conference in Napa and managed to forget shoes, brush, shampoo…the list goes on and on and Chicago is soooo much farther away. Here’s my stab at answering our group questions and please come by and visit us at GRL:

Wade: What inspires you most when you are writing? 

LE: The little voice in my head? I don’t know, I’m actually pretty random and undisciplined when it comes to inspiration – almost anything including the smallest detail might light a flame - like driving down the freeway and looking over at another driver going 80 mph. Could be the driver, the motion, the car itself, the scenery at the side of the road…anything can spark a story.

Wade: What brought you to write m/m? What keeps you writing in this genre? 

LE: Honestly? I think it was the kindle app. I was suddenly reading tons of romances…a genre I hadn’t spent much time reading since I was a pre-teen, but they were cheap and plentiful. Eventually I stumbled across Jade Buchanan’s “Nut Cream” and I was hooked on the genre. What keeps me writing gay romance? I think the stores are relevant for the time we live in, I think contributing to the truth that ‘love is love’ is important. And besides, the inspiration photos are hot!

Wade: Of all the characters you've written, who is your favorite and why?

LE: I think my favorite character is Davis “Fat Boy” Newman from the 6 Days series. He wasn’t the original romantic foil for my MC Nick – he was just an extra in the scene. Instead of staying quiet and doing what he was told, he completely took over the story and swept Nick off his feet. I love that he has more patience and empathy than either Nick or I do and that he continues to surprise me.

Wade: Many of us have pen names that we use and there are an infinite number of ways and reasons behind them, but I doubt many of them reflect the names we wish we’d been born with.  If you could micro-manage the ultimate do-over, what birth name do you want? What nickname? 

LE: I wanted something more exotic than the name I was born with…instead I hung out with friends who were much older than me so the only nickname that stuck was ‘Kid’. So annoying. My pen name is a combination of me real initials so I’d recognize myself, and my favorite country.

Wade: Name one unusual fact about yourself that you think your readers would be surprised to learn.

LE: I won’t use an umbrella at all – I prefer to get wet.

Wade: LOL, ME TOO!

Wade: What do you do that most injurs the progress of your writing, and why do you do it? 

LE: I’m over committed. I have multiple jobs and family obligations and I don’t say no. Maybe I can’t say no. It’s hard to put myself first and my writing suffers for it.

Wade: If you had to trade writing for another creative pursuit, what would it be? 

LE: That’s easy – painting. I have a talent for it. Color makes my mouth water.

Wade: In one sentence, write the beginning of a sex scene using some kind of food. Think of it as your hook.

LE: I’d order him beers all night if he kept this up—the pink tongue sliding through the foam on his upper lip made me hard—all I needed now was a way to convince him I had better, more satisfying things to lick.

Wade: Name one of your favorite characters of all time that someone else wrote. Can be M/M or any genre.
LE: Jory from Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series – he’s my go to read when I want a break. He’s the perfect blend of all the worst and best qualities a character can have with the redemptive heart.

Wade: If you could be one of your characters, who would you be and why?

LE: This is a very hard question – all my characters are pretty flawed… but in The Fourth Act, which is a free read, there is the character of Ford, the stage manager. Ford was a surprise. He’s a former dancer with a core of steel but he moves through the story with physical and emotional grace that I envy.

Wade: How many versions of a book do you usually write before you arrive at ‘the one’, and how does your editor impact that? 

LE: I write one draft (I tend to revise as I go) and submit – sometimes I have it beta read sometimes not, so the editor is vital, sometimes by asking that most simple and most powerful of questions “Why?”… which can change everything.

Wade: If you came with a warning label, what would it be? 

LE: Slippery when wet. No wait those are road signs… sorry. Warning label… hmm… Subject to inappropriate and incomprehensible bouts of humor and sarcasm. An old roommate once came home with a vellum for my door that he’d made at work: “HISS, SNARL, SNAP, GROWL”. Apparently he wanted me to post it as a warning to everyone else to approach with caution when I was in one of my “Moods”. I have no idea what he meant by that… I still have it somewhere.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY – Enter Here! (Sorry, we’re all out of ponies…just fabulous books by exceptional authors)

Can This Be Real - Blurb:

Chef Christian De Guisse can't trust a man who doesn't love his food, while Detective Andrew Simmons won't let any man close who thinks he's broken---somewhere between these two points, love is possible, but only if they get real.

When Chef Christian De Guisse accidently outs Celebrity Chef Jordan Slayer during a fight in front of The Times entertainment reporter---it only gets Christian ex-boyfriend status and a one-way plane ticket to culinary exile in Oregon. But a fortuitous meeting with Detective Andrew Simmons at the Portland airport keeps Christian and his collection of exotic herbs out of the hands of Homeland Security, starting the chemistry simmering between them. Andy isn't much of a foodie and for a chef who communicates love through his cooking this may be one hurdle too high...until they're finally ready to get real.
Buy Links:


                         LE Franks lives in the SF Bay area and writes M/M Romance in a unique mix of humor and drama with enough suspense to produce fast paced stories filled with emotion and passion and featuring characters that are quirky and complicated and sometimes a little bit dark. LE Franks is a best selling author Published through MLR Press, Dreamspinner Press and Wilde City Press and is a 2013 Rainbow Awards Finalist for Prodigal Wolf, a paranormal romance co-written with Sara York, available at MLR Press, Amazon and online bookstores. 
         Check out LE’s books at:


Other Dirty Dozen posts on the tour include:

Date ~ Author                                   is Hosting Author

Sept 1 ~ Max Vos                              Carter Quinn
Sept 4 ~ diana.copland                       TM Smith
Sept 7 ~  JC Wallace                          Max Vos
Sept 10 ~  Jeff Adams                        Diana Copland
Sept 12 ~  le.franks                             JC Wallace
Sept 15 ~  Ethanstone                          Jeff Adams
Sept 18 ~  writerwadekelly                  LE Franks
Sept 21 ~  Morticia Knight                   Ethan Stone
Sept 23 ~  tempeste.oriley                   Wade Kelly
Sept 25 ~  rafehaze                             Morticia Knight
Sept 28 ~ Carter Quinn                       Tempeste O’Riley
Sept 30 ~ TM Smith                            Rafe Haze

The links before today have the actual posts. After today have the general website address. Jeff Adams is much faster at updating the list so if you need to visit HERE for direct links :)

Remember that each stop contains the Raffelcopter to enter and win goodies. Enter to win!