The Fall Writing Tag

I found a fall writing tag over at Amy Tasukada’s Youtube channel, and I’m stealing it for a little Friday fun.

This year, I’m actually going to experience fall for the first time since I moved to Malaysia in 2012 (Malaysia doesn’t have fall, we have dry and rainy season). I usually go visit Sweden in the summer or around Christmas time, but this year I’m squeezing in an extra visit. I’m going on October 16, staying for two weeks, and the plan is to hug the stuffing out of my daughter, fika a lot (fika is the most important Swedish tradition), go for walks and look at fall colored leaves, and meet friends and family. But mostly just enjoy spending some time with my daughter and her boyfriend.

So I thought a fall themed tag was fitting.

Also, why not check out Amy’s answers here 🙂

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Image from Pixabay

THE FALL WRITING TAG QUESTIONS:

1. Crunching Leaves- The Perfect Sound. What do you like listening to while writing?

Mostly nothing. Sometimes, I listen to electronic instrumental music, but most of the time I write in silence. I can’t listen to anything with lyrics; that just makes me want to sing along and I lose my concentration.

2. Hot Bubbling Cider- What’s your favorite thing to eat or drink while writing?

Honestly, I’m not very picky. I’m happy as long as I have something to drink, whether it’s water, soda, tea, or even the occasional glass of wine. But mostly, I drink water.

3. Bon Fires- The Perfect Night. Name your perfect writing conditions or your perfect writing night.

As long as I have a good quality notebook and my favorite fountain pens, I’m good.

4. Pumpkin Spiced Latte- Something you used to like but now don’t.

I used to be obsessed with reading murder mysteries, but I severely overdosed on them so now I don’t anymore.

5. Halloween- Your favorite part of writing a novel.

Editing, because that means the hard part is done 🙂

6. Monsters & Goblins- What terrifies you most while writing/ drafting a novel?

My own laziness. That I’d rather lie on the couch reading what someone else wrote than do the work.

7. Hay Rides- A Bumpy Ride. What do you do to get over a writers block or get inspired?

Every time I’ve hit a block, it’s been because something in the story isn’t working. So I take a step back and try to objectively look at what I’ve written so far to figure out why it’s not working. And when I’ve found the problem, I change it, and writers block is gone!

8. Haunted Houses- World Building. What are some tips you have on crafting the perfect world?

Don’t forget about the details.

9. Pumpkins- Do your story ideas start with characters, plots, setting or something else?

A lot of the time the idea for an opening scene pops up in my mind and I work my way from there.

10. Ghost Stories. Share a spooky writing prompt!

People make death threats to a woman who’s been a victim of sexual assault, slander her reputation, and treat her like crap, and send a message to all women in the world that they don’t matter. No wait. That was reality. Sorry.

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Under the Felt Mistletoe

If you remember my last update post, I wrote that I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a Christmas story or not this year. The same day, I picked up my beloved fountain pen and started writing the story of Finn and Nelson, and last week I submitted the story to my publisher and signed a contract.

The story is called Under the Felt Mistletoe and is a short (approximately 13K words) M/M contemporary romance. I made a mood board with pictures that inspired me to write the story. Wanna see?

Under the Felt Mistletoe without titleThe boy with the adorable smile and ginger curls, is my inspiration for Finn 😍 And isn’t that mistletoe made out of felt, florist wire, and tape fantastic?  I want to make one for this holiday season! If you want to make one, too, here’s the how-to link

Blurb:

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.

On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.

What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

 

Release blitz and #giveaway: Year Two (Would It Be Okay To Love You #4) by Amy Tasukada

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 113 pages
 
Would It Be Okay To Love You? Box Set (Books 1 – 3) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

An ex-playboy. A robot geek. Can their love last when the whole world finds out?

Robot fanboy Sato has spent too much time alone hiding the love of his life. But when Sato comes out to his parents, it doesn’t end well. He no longer wants to conceal their relationship, but he doubts his boyfriend is ready.

Aoi might spend all day moaning as an erotic voice actor, but he doubts his legion of fangirls will approve if he comes out. With his career on the line, Aoi feels like Sato has pushed him to the breaking point.

As Sato opens up to more people about his sexuality, can they find a compromise that will make them both happy, or will it be too much for Aoi?

Year Two is the fourth book in the gay romance series Would It Be Okay to Love You? If you like Japanese culture and sizzling romance, you’ll love this year-in-the-life anthology collection.

Buy Year Two to confess your love today!

Amy Tasukada lives in North Texas with a calico cat called O’Hara. As an only child her day dreams kept her entertained, and at age ten she started to put them to paper. Since then her love of writing hasn’t cease. She can be found drinking hot tea and filming Japanese street fashion hauls on her Youtube channel.

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Release blitz and #giveaway: Love in the Clouds by Sarah Hadley Brook

 

 
Length: 62,771 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Rafael Patino has a great life in Rain Valley. He’s a teacher at the high school, has a great group of friends, and enjoys the occasional baseball game. Other than the sporadic call from his drunken mother, he’s pretty content.

He’s also been in love with his best friend Dustin for nearly a decade. Years of keeping those feelings under control are put to the test when they begin a summer project together.

Dustin Vance builds furniture for a living, has just earned his pilot’s license, and has an amazing best friend. When he buys a 1976 Cessna Skyhawk, he asks Rafael to help restore it, then travel with him to Wisconsin for the largest aviation convention in the world.

As they spend their days working on the plane, they begin to spend their nights together. Will they find love in the clouds, or will they stall out before they even take off?

 
Excerpt
 

A cool breeze blew past him as he walked out into the night. Rafael texted Dustin before he pulled out of the parking lot, letting him know he was leaving the hospital and asking about Mac’s phone number.

He put the phone back in his pocket and made the short drive home. He wasn’t going to check his phone if Dustin answered, but he didn’t hear an alert anyway. Dustin was probably sound asleep in his bed. He might have to get that number in the morning.

As he turned onto his street, he saw a vehicle in his drive and smiled when he realized it was Dustin’s. His best friend had a key, so he was probably inside. He pulled into the drive and parked behind Dustin’s Honda, peering inside just in case, as he headed inside.

He flipped on the entryway light as he closed the door and found Dustin sprawled out on his sofa, sound asleep, his arm crooked over his head. Rafael was pulled to him like a magnet and he was too damn tired to fight the urges at the moment, so he gave in and let himself look. Dustin’s T-shirt rode up, showing a stripe of pale skin and Rafael imagined it was soft and silky. His fingers itched to slip under the hem. He stared a little too long, though and by the time he dragged his gaze up to Dustin’s face, his friend’s eyes were open and he was staring right back at him, a smirk on his lips.

“You want to take a picture of … something?” he drawled out teasingly.

Heat flooded his cheeks and he forced a chuckle. “Whatever.”

Dustin rose from the sofa and strode over and hugged him hard, as if just remembering what had happened. “God, I’m so sorry, Raf. Is the girl going to be okay?”

Rafael nodded, but wrapped Dustin up in his arms, letting his head fall to Dustin’s shoulder.

They stayed like that for a while. With anyone else, Rafael might have been embarrassed that he was fighting the urge to cry. Dustin held him tight and shared his strength. It crept into Rafael, shored him up. Helped him get past the image of Daisy huddled in that hospital bed. At least for a while.

When he finally pulled away, Dustin kept his arms around him and Rafael was too exhausted to read anything into it.

“Why are you here?” Rafael’s voice was quiet as he stared at Dustin.

“Because I know you, Raf. I know you care about all of your students — you open your heart to everyone. But I also know you’ve been particularly worried about this girl. I just didn’t want you coming home to an empty house.”

Rafael’s heart cracked more and he was raw. Open. Vulnerable. The world had reared its ugly head and shown its hideousness and he was lonely. Bone tired and lonely. And he didn’t want to be lonely. At least not for the night. He swallowed hard. “Will you … stay?”

Dustin nodded, no hint of hesitation in his blue green eyes. “Of course.”

 

Author Bio
Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.

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Closed for vacation

In about 7 hours, I’m going on vacation, to a teeny tiny island in Indonesia called Gili Air. I’m going with my family (my daughter and her boyfriend is here for a visit) and we’re staying for a few days. I’ll be back home again next week.

If you wanna see pics from paradise, make sure to follow me on Instagram. I can guarantee pictures of oceans and beaches and blue skies and fruity drinks if you’re into that kind of thing.

Oh, and here’s where we’re gonna stay. Told you. Paradise. 🙂

pachamama

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And don’t forget about the Smashwords sale. Link to my books.

smashwords july 2018

Interview with yours truly

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be a guest at J. Scott Coatsworth‘s blog and I answered a few questions, so it’s the perfect opportunity for you to get to know me a little better if you’re interested in that sort of thing. I’m also giving away a copy of Cinnamon Eyes, and share a picture of the guy who inspired the looks for MC Asher in the story.

Click this link and you’ll be transported over to the right place and can check out the hot guy.

And if you haven’t read anything by J. Scott Coatsworth, I can recommend his latest release, The Bear at the Bar. Let’s just say that I’m really glad that what happens to Dex in that short story haven’t happened to me…so far. Even though the outcome was positive, the experience must have been…unsettling 🙂

Anyway. Make sure to visit his blog and read my interview if you wanna find out who I’d fuck, marry, and kill of my characters…and much more 🙂

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And don’t forget about the Smashwords sale! If you’re anything like me, you probably need to stock up on beach reads for the summer and this is the perfect time to do it.

 

You find my books here at 50% off.

 

Here are Addison Albright’s books (50% off), Kris T. Bethke (25% off), Ruby Moone (25% off), Sarah Hadley Brook (25% off on the ones published by JMS Books), T.A. Creech (25% off), and the rest of the JMS Books authors here.

smashwords july 2018

Writers Not Writing tag

Happy Sunday everyone. I’ve been too busy writing this week to have time to read, so there won’t be a review today. Instead I borrowed a YouTube tag from my friend Amy and decided to answer the questions here on the blog. So if you’re interested in getting to know me a little better, now’s the time! 🙂

Oh, and click here if you want to watch Amy’s video on the topic and find out whether she likes tea or coffee better 🙂

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Do you have a day job?

No. I did back in Sweden, but I haven’t had one since we moved to Malaysia. I’m an expat wife, but I’m not a member of any expat organization, meeting other wives for lunch or cocktails or pilates. I spend my days reading and writing and talking to my writer friends and doing yoga and I love it.

Are you a reader?

Duh. Yes. I’ve been since I was very young. My mom taught me to read at a very early age because she was very sick when I was little and didn’t have the energy to be outdoors and play. So to keep me occupied, she taught me how to read and write, and that’s been my thing ever since.

Also, I don’t believe you can be a writer if you don’t read. I’m not one for giving writer advice because what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for anyone else…But this is the exception. If you want to be a writer you need to read. Period. My best – and only – advice 🙂

What are your other hobbies?

Music. I love listening to music and I do it all the time. Seriously, I can’t live without music. We also bought a piano this Friday, so now I’m going to learn how to play. Wish me luck 🙂

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Tea or coffee?

Tea. Green tea. I had to quit coffee because I’m super sensitive to caffeine and can’t sleep if I drink it. But I’ve always loved tea more, so it wasn’t really a hardship. Instead I buy expensive teas, fluttering my eyelashes at my husband if he’s grumbling over the price, saying, Since I can’t have coffee… and he caves 🙂

In the picture is one of my favorites: Sakura Sakura. Green tea with cherry blossom petals. Sooo yummy.

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What are you passionate about?

Equality. Equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality. Nothing makes me as angry as inequality.

Do you have any pets?

No, I’m allergic. Unless you count the gecko that moved into my kitchen without my consent, but gets to stay because he eats bugs. He also poops all over my kitchen, but as long as he keeps eating the bugs I’ll look the other way 🙂

What was your dream job as a child/when you were younger?

As a very young child I wanted to be a cashier, because that’s what my mom did. When I grew a little older, I wanted to work as an air hostess because I thought it would be glamorous with all the traveling they get to do. (This was before I’d ever flown anywhere, now I know better!) After that I wanted to be a writer.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

I’m originally from Sweden and now I live in Malaysia, so I’ve left my country behind already. When we leave Malaysia in the future, it will be for Europe. We’re not moving back to Sweden (it’s too cold), but I can see myself living in Italy, France or Germany. Most likely we’ll end up in Berlin, Germany because of reasons 🙂

Do you speak foreign languages?

My native tongue is Swedish, and this post is written in English, so yes. I can also manage (barely) in France, but most of the time the French people I try to speak to feel sorry for me and reply in English 🙂 I also took German in high school, but I’m very, very rusty. Maybe it’s time to start brushing up on my skills, if we plan to move to Germany?

What music would we find in your collection?

In the image below are a few of my favorite artists/records.

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From top left: Listen Without Prejudice by George Michael, Mosaic by Wovenhand, The King of Limbs by Radiohead.

From bottom left: Live from KCRW by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Harvest by Neil Young, and Den Morronen by Thåström.

I’ve loved George Michael since the early 80s when he was a member of Wham! My teenage heart beat hard for him and never stopped. I cried when he died, and I still can’t listen to his music without tearing  up.

Wovenhand is a fabulous band and I’ve seen them live several times. Them and their predecessors 16 Horsepower. Love the singer, he’s an amazing live performer and I love his voice.

Radiohead has been a favorite since the release of Creep in the early 90s and I love them more and more for every year. I’ve actually used the singer, Thom Yorke, as inspiration for one of my characters. Check out this image of him and tell me if you can figure out who 🙂

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is my favorite band in the whole wide world. (Or maybe it’s Radiohead…who knows?) and I’ve seen them live twice. I am, however, a bit disappointed with their latest album, but maybe it’ll pass 🙂

Harvest by Neil Young is one of the best albums in the whole world. I’m not a Neil Young super fan except for this record, but seriously. This one is a must in any record collection. Also, if you haven’t watched this live version of Heart of Gold from 1971, you really need to fix that oversight immediately. It’s fabulous.

Thåström is a Swedish artist who has been a huge part of the Swedish music scene for 40 years. He started out as a punk singer, but now he’s more of a singer-songwriter. I love him so much, but have never managed to catch him live. But my daughter has…and she bought me that signed album as consolation 🙂 If you’re curious what he sounds like, here’s a YouTube link to one of my favorite songs. He sings in Swedish, though.