Talking Ideas and Inspiration with Annabeth Albert

I love chatting with other writers, so I was thrilled when Annabeth Albert agreed to answer a few questions about her new book, Off Base, where she gets her ideas, and what inspires her, because, well, I’m talkative and can’t ask simple questions.

Welcome, Annabeth!

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Release Day!

This book has been such a long time coming. I wrote it between Chaos Station and Lonely Shore, then had to put it aside because writing the rest of Felix’s journey alongside Zed was too absorbing and too much fun – even while they were breaking our hearts.

Now Block and Strike is finally here and I’m so, so excited!

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Block and Strike Teaser

Block and Strike is now available for pre-order at most retail outlets! As such, I figured it might be time to post a new teaser. 😉

This scene is from the end of chapter two. The second chapter is where we meet Max for the first time. Throughout every revision round and edit, this chapter pretty much stayed intact–which is pretty unusual for an early chapter. I credit Max’s stubbornness. Even confined to a hospital bed, he had a handle on the situation: who he was, who he wanted to be and how much of a plan he didn’t have to get there.

Block and Strike releases January 6, 2017. Available for Pre-Order at:
Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooksDreamspinner Press

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Available Now: Counting Fence Posts

CountingFencePosts_FBbanner_DSP

I’ve passed the ten book mark, therefore I should no longer be anxious about new releases. Right? Wrong. Every new book represents another little piece of me out there in the world, and each of my books carries a story I care about and characters I love and want the best for. My greatest hope is that my readers will care just as much, that reading each of my stories will leave them feeling satisfied and hopefully happy they stumbled into one of my worlds. That my characters will be the ones they remember.

Counting Fence Posts represents a slightly new direction for me. More normally I write characters who are fairly secure in regards to their sexuality. In some cases, they live in a society where there is no bias. No discrimination. In others, my characters are mature enough to know who they are and to love themselves for it.

Writing a questioning character is a somewhat fraught exercise, particularly in this genre – because there is no one way to be queer. People have been trying to chart and define queerness for decades, and while we might find comfort in labels, in finding our tribe, no one can live the question that is us, but us – individually. So my characters are always going to be their own kind of person – gay, straight, or somewhere in between – and not all of them are going to fully understand who they are. In writing them, I want to allow them time to be confused, to mislabel themselves and to make mistakes. To sometimes be offensive – because they’re human – but because I like to write good guys, to always have compassion in their hearts. To be open to new thought, new love. Ready for their happy ever after.

Counting Fence Posts begins Henry and Marc’s story and, for this chapter and the next, Marc is going to ask a lot of questions. While fielding them, Henry will have a few of his own. Ultimately, though, they’re doing what people have been doing since the beginning – they’re connecting, jostling, clashing and mingling. They’re forming a relationship together, one of emotion and attraction. They may not be the answer to one another’s questions, but if they don’t ask, they’ll never know.

I hope their journey appeals to you as much as it did to me, and that you’ll cheer for them as I do. ❤

Because I have two books releasing within a week of one another, I’m doing one big tour for both. Details of my giveaway and tour stops are below. I hope you’ll follow along for excerpts, character interviews, playlists, games, recipes and behind the book posts!


CountingFencePostsORIG-final-01Counting Fence Posts

There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.

As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight…maybe…and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat…and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.

Amazon | Amazon UKB&N | Kobo | ARe | Dreamspinner Press

 

Giveaway

Prize: A copy of When Was the Last Time and Out in the Blue plus a $25 credit at the Dreamspinner Press store.

Terms: Rafflecopter runs from 12:00 AM EST 7/23/2016 to 12:00 AM EST 8/3/2016. Giveaway is open internationally. Gift card value is US dollars. Winner will be contacted via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Two Books, One Tour

7/23     Counting Fence Posts Gay Book Reviews

7/25     Counting Fence Posts The Novel Approach

7/26     Counting Fence Posts Love Bytes

7/27     Both Books!    Dreamspinner Blog

7/27     Best in Show   Gay Book Reviews

7/27     Best in Show   Queer Sci Fi

7/27     Best in Show   Here Be Magic

7/28     Counting Fence Posts Joyfully Jay

7/28     Best in Show   Diverse Reader

7/29     Best in Show   Foodie Friday

7/29     Counting Fence Posts Divine Magazine

8/1       Best in Show   Sinfully

8/2       Best in Show   Prism Book Alliance

Coming Soon: Counting Fence Posts

I have two new titles releasing with Dreamspinner in July! The first is Counting Fence Posts, a contemporary romance featuring two guys who are forced off the road during a blizzard. Trapped together in a rental car, they begin to talk and soon discover that the undercurrent of tension between them isn’t really hostile. More, it stems from layers of misconception, and given the chance to talk… Well, first they quarrel. Then they talk some more. As the snow surrounding the car deepens, so does their conversation, and they figure out that the tension between them is really a mutual attraction.

Bree Archer designed the cover for this book and I love it! As always, she really captured the feeling of my story and my characters. She is such a joy to work with!

Counting Fence Posts is available now for pre-order on the Dreamspinner website. Read on below for the cover copy and a super brief excerpt, which is one of my favourite snippets of conversation. Oh, and that second title? Watch this space. I’ll be doing another post for Best in Show in a couple of days. The cover for that one is super cute!

CountingFencePostsORIG-final-01

There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.

As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight…maybe…and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat…and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.

Coming July 23, 2016. Available now for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press!

Excerpt:

They’ve collected their luggage from the trunk so they can get into some warmer clothes while they wait out the storm. I love this snippet because it’s a great example of how their conversation goes for the first half of the story. The snappishness and frustration. Them trying to figure each other out.

“Are you going to get changed right there?” Marc was giving him an odd look.

“No, I’m just going to put this over top. Like layers.”

“You’re going to look ridiculous.”

Henry shrugged. “At this point, nothing we do is going to detract from the fact we’re stranded on the side of a country highway, where we ended up in defiance of a travel advisory. I don’t think me being stuffed into two or three layers of clothing is going to make a difference.”

“It’s Christmas Eve. Like anyone was going to stay put. And Boston is only—”

“Two hundred miles away. I know.” Henry kneaded the space between his brows before glancing sideways at Marc. “Are you always this stubborn?”

Marc’s jaw set, his chin lifting slightly, and a muscle flickered somewhere toward his ear. He looked mad, bad, and dangerous to know—and despite being half-numb, Henry’s cock twitched in interest. Dammit.

“You’re pretty stubborn yourself, Auttenberg. And I prefer determined.”

“I prefer Henry.”

A Corgi Named Kilowatt

Silver & Gold (out today!) is an anthology from Less Than Three Press featuring May-December pairings. To celebrate the release, I’d like to welcome author C.C. Bridges to my blog to talk about writing children and animals, and her story, “A Corgi Named Kilowatt”.


A famous actor (most likely WC Fields) once said never to work with children or animals. I don’t know if this rule applies to writers, but I did both.

My first novel, Angel 1089, features as a supporting character a little girl named Kayla and her protector dog, Trixie. Both play important roles in the story because Kayla’s existence and well-being are what motivate her father, Jeff, to keep the angel Gabriel hostage. Of course, things get a little bit more complicated than that.

Pembroke Corgi Image 001

My most recent short story, “A Corgi Named Kilowatt”, also features a dog who plays a very important role. Kilo is so important, he’s in the title of the story! That’s because one of our heroes, Marc, is a dog trainer. And Kilo is the instrument that brings Marc and Evan together..

The most important thing to remember when writing dogs is that they are not furniture. It’s easy enough to put an animal in your story, but if you forget they are there then what’s the point? Dogs especially have their own unique personalities. I say it’s just as important to develop the character of a dog as any of the ‘human’ characters.

This is not exactly easy. I’ve had a dog for pretty much my entire life, and it’s so obvious how each dog is its own personality. Another challenge I faced is that the dogs in my life have been mostly hunting breeds. Hunters are super smart, and devoted to their owners. I’ve never owned a herder before, but I still wanted to cast a Corgi in my story.

Cue lots of research. To be fair, it wasn’t a hardship looking up cute pictures of Corgis!

One thing I’ve promised to do is never hurt or injure a dog in one of my stories. I can’t make any promises about the human characters, but all dogs are safe!


About C.C. Bridges

Librarian by day, erotic romance writer by night, CC Bridges would like to say that her writing is influenced by a variety of wild and exotic sexual experiences. It turns out she just has a really good imagination. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, too many video game systems, a very fluffy dog, plenty of yarn, and a long-suffering husband all in the tiny state of New Jersey. Angel: 1089 won a Rainbow Award in 2011.

You can find her at ccbridges.net though she hangs out mostly on twitter @ccbridgeswriter.


The Books!

silverandgold400From one-night stands to on-and-off love stories that span decades, the roads of love are diverse and have no map. One of the hardest relationships to navigate may be those with an age difference. Society isn’t always sure what to make of May-December pairings, and the odds seem stacked against them. But the wisdom of age and the optimism of youth is a combination not to be underestimated…

After his brother’s death, Navy SEAL Zev comes home to take care of his estate in “After the Dust” (Eleanor Kos), and finds ex-prostitute Julian on his brother’s doorstep. “In Coffee Boy” (Austin Chant), new grad Kieran interns at a senatorial campaign, and has to deal with being an out trans gay man in the workplace, his overbearing supervisor Seth, and his growing, begrudging affection for Seth—not to mention Seth’s crush on their straight boss.

“In One Last Leap” (Helena Maeve), Phillip carries the old wounds of his partner’s death, and he’s not sure how to deal with an attraction to the much-younger Ivan. “A Corgi Named Kilowatt” (C.C. Bridges) turns the teacher-student dynamic on its head when young TA Evan clashes with Marc, a dog groomer back at school at forty.

Maddie flirts with the older and mysterious Claudia at a movie, but doesn’t expect to see her again—especially not at a cake-tasting session for her best friend’s wedding. “The Memory of You” (Erica Barnes) explores not only the promise of chance encounters, but the reality of them. “Runner” (Sam Schooler) brings us Eden, who answers an ad for a caregiver but somehow ends up married and trapped in an isolated, dilapidated cabin with his snarly new husband, Mick.

Amazon | Less Than Three Press

When this deal breaks, Heaven will fall.

Heaven Corp, Book 1

Catching two demon burglars is routine for Gabriel 1089, who’s one cog in an army of cybernetically modified humans protecting the sky city of Heaven. Until two turns into a twenty-demon ambush. When he wakes up, he’s missing his network-enabled halo—and one of his metal wings.

The down-level junk dealer tending Gabe’s wounds has hands that spark nerve endings he never knew he possessed. But for an angel cut off from Heaven, an attic in Old Trent feels more like a trap than a sanctuary.

Demons on his doorstep are nothing new for Jeff Werth. Ever since they saved his daughter’s legs, they’ve been calling in their marker. In exchange for his services—nursing Gabe back to health so they can use him as a pawn in their war with Heaven—they’ll consider the debt paid in full. Except having a powerless angel at his mercy feeds a rising desire that has him rethinking the deal.

Then the de-haloed Gabe begins having dreams that become visions…then memories. Until he’s not sure whose side he’s on. Heaven, or the simple family man who healed his broken wings…and made his heart whole.

Product Warnings: The sexual awakening of an angel, some wing porn, abuse of heavenly clichés and a dog who steals the show.

Amazon | B&N | iBooksARe | Samhain Publishing