Tina Donahue Takes Us Away

I’d like to welcome the lovely Tina Donahue to  A Hopeful Romantic today. Tina  is going to give us a sneak preview of her hot new novel, Take Me Away. And just to celebrate that release, she’s offering a juicy giveaway too good to miss out on. Tina, do tell!

 

Don’t you love the beginning pages of a romance when the hero and heroine first meet? Their smoldering stares, their first words as they size up each other?

I do. That’s one of the parts I like to write most. When neither character quite knows where this might be heading…they just know where they would like it to go.

Usually during these encounters, we – the readers – get to know the characters better, to fall in love with them as they begin the journey of falling in love with each other.

In Take Me Away, my newest erotic romance, Kyle’s reluctant to let Lexi stay at his cabin, while she sees it as her only means to avoid the hounding press. Their first moments alone are telling for what they both think and want.

Here’s a blurb and an excerpt to show you what I mean.

Blurb:

She’s everything he escaped…and all that he desires

Three years ago, Kyle turned his back on a pro-football career and being the target of tabloids or gold-digging groupies. Craving privacy, he gets it at his roadhouse in Northern California until Lexi Sands invades his life. Indulged and surely phony, she’s exactly what Kyle fled.

An actress since childhood, Lexi’s fresh out of an anger management program, court-ordered when she lashed out at a badgering paparazzo. Weary of the press’s harsh scrutiny, she sees Kyle’s secluded cabin as the ideal place to hide out and him as a damn-near perfect alpha male. Deliciously virile. Protective. Principled. She offers him serious cash to let her stay for two weeks, assuring there will be no complications or touching.

Yeah, right. Passion flares, along with tenderness. Kyle recognizes how lonely Lexi really is, while she’s falling hard. Through intimate days and impassioned nights, they explore their most shameless needs, until a cruel betrayal exposes their growing love, forcing a choice neither anticipated.

Excerpt:

Lexi caught his scent, more pronounced this time, delivering a hint of musk. Something needed and desired coiled within her, despite the fact that they’d just met.

A moment passed. Papers rustled as though he was moving or reading them, keeping himself busy, avoiding the inevitable, turning her down.

Lexi’s longing remained even as reality kicked in. Fiona’s plan to help her hide out had been kind, but unreasonable. At least for Kyle. He had a life he enjoyed. He didn’t want her presence and celebrity to screw it up.

Steeling herself for the worst, she opened her eyes.

He was leaning against the edge of his desk, arms folded over his broad chest, feet crossed at the ankles, his gaze on her.

A pulse beat crazily in Lexi’s throat. The sound of her thrumming heart drowned out the puppy’s thin whines and the muffled noise coming from the bar. She expected Kyle to look away as he had in there. He did not. Once more, interest flashed in his eyes – or at least she thought it did.

Remember, her counselor had said, what you want isn’t always what a person is willing to give.

Tell her something she didn’t know. For as long as Lexi could remember, she’d wanted a home life like other kids had. Parents that adored her because she was their child, not for the income she could bring in.

Even after all these years, the truth still wounded. Refusing to let it defeat her, she made her voice light. “So when did you?”

Kyle’s expression went from intent to confused. “When did I what?”

She smiled at the puppy licking her fingers. “Get Baby here.”

His gaze dropped to the dog, then returned to her. “Buddy.”

“Right. Buddy Baby,” she amended.

Kyle laughed.

Pride and contentment rippled through Lexi for having caused it. For having brought back those killer dimples. God, how she enjoyed seeing them and listening to his laughter. So easy and free. So intimate.

A kiss, a fuck, couldn’t compete with a man and a woman sharing a laugh. That’s what bonded two souls. Joy. Happiness. Friendship. Not mere lust.

A second ago, she’d been willing to leave without a goodbye. Now, she wanted to stay, even though she knew Kyle would never like her as deeply as she required. Lexi saw it on his face, in the way his laughter wound down and his dimples disappeared.

Didn’t matter. For a few days, no more than two weeks, she longed to be around a man who couldn’t care less about her fame, who didn’t want to use it to further his own interests. She ached to get away from the craziness, the pain, the loneliness of her world.

“Before you say no, I’m willing to offer five thousand dollars.”

His brows shot up. “Pete said three.”

She was being too needy. Something else her counselor had warned her about. “Okay then, three.” She smiled. “Are you always this easy to negotiate with?”

Kyle’s gaze settled on her smile. His expression became heated, all male.

This time, Lexi knew she wasn’t imagining it. He did find her interesting. The real Lexi, not the tramp she looked like tonight or the Hollywood invention. She saw that truth in his eyes. Excitement raced through her, but she kept it from her voice. “I won’t be in your way at all. I’ll stay in my own room. I’ll only leave it when you’re here or wherever else you may go. I’ll amuse myself outside.”

His gaze turned inward as though he were trying to imagine such a thing. Whatever his thoughts conjured up, pleasure relaxed his features.

Now she had him. “I’ll even take care of Baby for you. I’ll act as his sitter.”

A smile tugged at the corner of Kyle’s mouth. Not enough to make dimples, but surely enough to arouse. “Buddy,” he corrected.

“Sorry. I forgot. Buddy Baby.” Giving the puppy a kiss on his snout, she lowered him to the floor, pushed to her feet and advanced.

Smile fading, Kyle watched.

At his office chair, Lexi stopped. With her right foot on the seat, she slipped her hand into her boot.

Kyle stared at her naked thigh. Her skirt was so short the damn thing practically exposed her ass. From his vantage point, he could see she wasn’t wearing regular panties. Whether she had on a thong was debatable.

His mouth went dry. He pulled in a deep breath, which rewarded him with her alluring rose scent.

I won’t be in your way at all, she’d said. I’ll amuse myself outside.

With those words, he’d pictured the creek behind his cabin. Lexi shedding her clothes and boots on the bank. Sunlight caressing her nudity. The water swirling around her sleek thighs, dampening her bush, licking her cunt. Beads of moisture clinging to the soft swells of her breasts, dripping off the tips of her nipples.

A groan of pleasure and frustration bubbled up. Kyle fought it, remaining silent, not daring to ask what in the fuck she was doing. Adjusting her sock? Removing a rock that had somehow gotten into her boot and was hurting her foot?

His guesses weren’t close to correct.

She pulled out a wad of hundred dollar bills.

In the coming moments, they learn quite a lot about each other, which stokes their interest and passion.

Take Me Away is Available Now!

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9333-take-me-away.aspx

Email: tina@tinadonahue.com
Website/blog: www.tinadonahue.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tinadonahue
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000458023097

To celebrate the release of Take Me Away, I’m offering a contest today. One lucky commenter will have her choice of one of my following ebooks**:

1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT

** Winner chosen at random.

 

Thanks for stopping by, Tina. Take Me Away sounds hotter than hot! And personally, I don’t know how the lucky winner is ever going to choose between these delicious offerings!

 

Regulating Our Fantasies

The topic of safe sex in erotic fiction comes up all the time amongst writers and readers. I recently had a run-in with someone who was disturbed by the fact that the characters in my novels, and most of my short stories, don’t wear condoms. It’s true. They don’t. They don’t because they live in the fictional world I’ve created, an erotic world designed to play out my fantasies and, I hope, those of other people as well. The truth is that never once have I had an erotic fantasy that involved the use of a condom. I have written a couple of stories in which condoms are used, but in those stories, I didn’t use condoms to make a statement nor to assume that my readers needed reminding that in the real world, safe sex is a must. Rather, condoms played a role in the development of the story.

My stories are my fantasies, entirely and completely the product of my imagination. I’m a firm believer that my readers are intelligent and savvy and very aware of the world around them. I also understand that some people prefer their fiction and their fantasies more realistic. Fair enough. Fortunately for them, there are writers who prefer to write that way. I don’t happen to be one of them.

It’s ironic that the stringent rules and regulations that apply to erotic fiction do not apply to other kinds of fiction. I understand that some of those guidelines in erotica have to do with the publisher knowing the target audience. But In other types of fiction, subjects are covered all the time that are completely forbidden in most standard erotic guidelines for submission, and yet no one expects that readers of non-erotic fiction should need to be reminded that guns are dangerous and murder and rape are wrong.

I have written stories for which the submission guidelines demanded the use of condoms in all scenes involving penetrative sex. I gritted my teeth and wrote what the guidelines dictated. But it seems to me that the message such guidelines send is two-fold. First of all that because erotica is about sex, it’s automatically more dangerous than other types of fiction, and secondly that readers of erotica are just not as smart as readers of other types of fiction and they must have extra instruction and guidance to equip them for the reading of such dangerous material.

Do we really believe that people are more ignorant where erotic literature is concerned, and more likely to cause themselves and others harm than they are if they read any other kind of literature? Do we really believe that if the character in a story has a gang bang without the use of condoms that the reader will automatically think this must be what sex is all about, and go out and try it for her or himself?

Erotica is, by its very nature, the place where the reader can experience for him or herself what would never be considered safe in the real world, what, given the opportunity to do in the real world, given the opportunity to participate in, her or his response would be an unequivocal ‘No thanks.’ Is it any different than a thriller or a horror story, or an adventure novel?

The whole point of a novel is to live vicariously a life that one wouldn’t have the opportunity, and more than likely wouldn’t even want to live, if one did have the opportunity. Commercial fiction is all about vicarious thrills and vicarious experiences from the safety of our own home. That’s why reading is so much fun.

I believe readers should be given credit for discernment, credit for being as savvy about the differences between erotic fiction and reality as they are about the differences between other kinds of fiction and reality. I’m not saying that fiction can’t be didactic. And indeed part of the beauty of fiction is that it offers the inadvertent opportunity to learn something new. What I am saying is that I tell stories. I tell stories for fun in a world that, I think, could use more fun. If there are lessons taught, they come about inadvertently while I’m having fun telling a story. But I don’t feel a deep burning need to tell my readers to do what they already know to do, what they’ve been aware of every moment of their lives from the time their old enough to understand that the world is a dangerous place. And sometimes the world adults must live and function in can be a boring place as well. If they’re like me, and I assume at least some of them are, that dangerous world, that boring world, is a very large part of the reason they enjoy fiction so much.

And they enjoy it while they continue to stop for red lights and level crossings, while they continue to treat their fellow person with respect, and while they continue to practice safe sex, all without having to be reminded that these things are for their own good.

 

Zombies, Threesomes, and Charlotte Stein’s New Novel, Reawakening

I’m elated to have one of my very favourite erotic novelists as my guest this week. The Mighty Charlotte Stein is here to tell us the story behind the story of her sexy, scary, exciting new novel, Reawakening. Welcome, Charlotte!

 

Reawakening started with 28 Days Later. In fact, every zombie based thing I write, dream or think about started with 28 Days Later.

Yep, I’m that sort of zombie fan. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love the original George Romero movies. I really do. I think there’s room in this world for fast moving zombies and slow moving zombies – though hopefully not literally.

But there’s just something about the speedy, furious, ravenous zombies in 28 Days Later that gets to me. It had a visceral impact on me, that movie, and ever since watching it I’ve spent serious time imagining what the world would be like after a disease of that nature took hold.

Which is how Reawakening came to be.

Of course, there are other contributing factors. Like with most books, I usually start with a scenario and a hero (or heroes), and this book was no exception. At the time of writing I was pretty much obsessed with the new A-Team movie – not because it’s any good, but because Sharlto Copley and Bradley Cooper are so gorgeous and charismatic as Face and Murdock that they kind of warped my brain.

Which is probably a terrible way to describe the writing process, but it’s true. My brain was warped by the A-Team and zombie movies, and then I just had to write Reawakening. Of course, I’m sure there were other contributing factors, here. Important, writerly stuff like:

My muse spoke to me in honeyed tones and I couldn’t not eat nor sleep until I had committed the words to paper.

Or perhaps:

My tortured artist’s soul forced me to eke out each word in a pen filled with my own blood.

But really, if I’m being honest, my urge to write has and always will stem from my love of men, of relationships, of crazy scenarios I can never experience myself. I want to smell and taste and touch the zombie apocalypse. Even though it’s gross and probably flavoured with rotted limb.

And more importantly I want to smell and taste and touch Jamie and Blake, who are not flavoured with rotted limb. They are gorgeous and sexy and they bring my heroine back to life, through the magical wonder of threesomes.

What more could a girl ask, from the men in her life?

Blurb:

June has spent the last two years of her life trying to avoid death at the hands of murderous psychopaths and ravening zombies. So when Jamie turns up on the scene, careless, still whole and promising her safety on a little paradise island, she isn’t quite sure she can trust him. Especially when he tells her that it’s just him, and his equally big, burly, handsome friend Blake.

But Jamie and Blake are even better than her wildest dreams—sweet and funny and charming. And worst of all: sexy as hell. Though they’re trying to be gentlemanly with her, all she can think about is how much she wants to get tangled up in them, and forget the nightmare the world has become. She’s waiting for her reawakening—back to life and happiness and love.

And they seem like just the right sort of men to wake her—body and soul.

Excerpt:

All June could think was—Kelsey is dead, Kelsey is dead, Kelsey is dead—while the image of the ravening hordes feasting on Kelsey’s body played behind her eyes. She tried to shut it off, keep it down, keep running before they got to her, but Kelsey’s blood was still wet and all over her right arm.

And if Jamie hadn’t shot Kelsey—right as she was still screaming, and begging for help—she’d be one of them, now. That’s what happened. Once they bit you or bled on you or hell, spat on you, you had maybe thirty seconds.

Before you turned.

She needed to stop, just stop for a second. Lean against something and catch her breath. But Jamie had somehow led them into this building and he just kept running and running—only up instead of out.

June didn’t even know if Jamie was really his name, or if he was leading them right into a dead end. But he kept going, none-the-less.
She could hear the hordes, busting through the door below. He’d barred it, but they were coming in anyway, to this place that was an almost total deathtrap. The staircase was narrow and blanketed in darkness, one winding section after the next. Even if she dared to pause and look over the railing, she wouldn’t be able to see them until they were almost on her.

“Jamie, wait!” she shouted, but not because things would be easier if he had hold of her hand or was there to comfort her in this dire hour of need. She’d made it this far, on her own.

Or at least, she’d made it this far, with Kelsey.

No, it was just that—if he kept going, eventually they’d be trapped, on the roof. And she couldn’t have that. That was one of her and Kelsey’s rules—don’t run to someplace with only one exit.

Only it was just her rule, now. This guy, this Jamie…he didn’t seem to have any rules. He’d decided to run to the roof of a twenty story building then potentially wait outside until the hordes pushed through a probably very flimsy fire door.

Kelsey had said to her. She had said—wait. He’s as crazy as they are. A safe island? He’s nuts. We can’t go with him. He’s probably an insane apocalypse rapist.

And she’d been right, God help her. Maybe not about the insane apocalypse rapist part, but even so and besides—there was still time for that. He could be anyone, be into anything. He could have planned this all along…Kelsey’s death, the run to the roof…hell, maybe he had a whole party of insane assholes up there, just waiting to do horrible things to her.

Even if that was as nuts as he now seemed. Why would he trap himself on the roof, just to have a little fun with her? Nothing in her head was functioning in quite the way it should. Connections had been lost. Wiring had come loose.

She still called out to him again, when they got to the level before the last one. Her voice came out hoarse and breathless, burning lungs making everything difficult, Kelsey in her mind making everything worse. But somehow the words emerged.

“Jamie, stop. Take the nineteenth floor exit, okay—we can go back down on the other side of the building—answer me, fuck!”
He did, then. She heard him call out over her own shrieking breaths, the pounding of her sneakers on stone, and the sounds of the once-were-people below, slathering and barking like animals.

There were two cracks, like he’d fired her gun into the stairwell. Though she couldn’t see where he was shooting or at what. Then—
“Just keep following me, June-bug—come on!”

Only it sounded more like come own, because of the Texan twang Kelsey had sworn up and down was fake. And he’d called her June-bug again, because he was crazy, he was crazy, oh dear Lord he was probably leading them to their deaths.

This was all just some final mad hurrah. He was suicidal, and this was how he wanted to go out. Death by stairs or death by zombies—because they were zombies, no matter how much she tried to pretend otherwise—or even worse, death by roof.

Was that what he was going to do? Hurl himself off? Plummet to his untimely end? She didn’t know. All she could really think about was how close the first ravening cannibal was getting, and how unfit she really was. She’d started believing all the cardio was really beginning to pay off, but as it turned out, eighteen flights of stairs and she was out for the count. Her heart clawed at her ribcage. Her thigh muscles screamed and screamed.

While her zombie pals kept coming and coming, as though the stairs were nothing, really. Why, leaping up eighteen flights was like a morning stroll to them! They could have climbed these stairs forever and still had the wherewithal to eat her innards, once they got their claw-like hands on her.

She hit the fire door to the roof just as one of said claw-like hands brushed the back of her shirt.

It made everything inside her leap, including the heart she’d thought had escaped. Whenever they got really close—that was when you realized just how terrible they were. How awful the world had become. How much it wasn’t like a movie at all, but like a constant and unbearable pressure against your sanity, always threatening to make you go over.

She felt like going over, when the door wouldn’t close on them. For a second of pushing and heaving with their hands coming through and all over her, her mind tried to fly away. It told her to start screaming uncontrollably, while clawing at herself—that doing so would really be her best bet. No more running constantly. No more pain over Kelsey—and before Kelsey, Joanne and Pat and the old lady whose name she never learned.

Just peace, finally. One moment of agony, then peace.

Only it wouldn’t be, would it? No, it wouldn’t be. If she stopped pushing at the door and jamming it at them and just God, let the door snap their arms, let it crush them, let it kill them all forever, if she stopped…they’d turn her into one of them. And no matter how much she tried to let it hurt her that Jamie had pointed the gun and shot Kelsey between the eyes, it didn’t. It couldn’t.

Being one of them was worse. After all, it could have been that they’d caught a disease. It might have been that they were infected with something—like in 28 Days Later, rather than Night of the Living Dead. But part of her wondered whenever she stared into their hollow, ink-black eyes, if they’d simply lost their souls.

He looked like it. The one who’d managed to squeeze his mottled face into the crack she was struggling to close in the door. He had no pupils, no irises, no whites to his eyes. It was all just blackness, empty and weirdly unseeing, as though they operated on no more than a bloodlust now. Like upright land sharks roaming the land, blindly searching out prey.

She wrenched the door from him for just an instant then smashed it back into his face. It was a risky move, but oh so worth it. Worth it for the satisfaction, worth it for Kelsey, worth it for everything these things had taken from everyone. People’s souls hadn’t left. These things had stolen them.

And when it slithered away and the door quite abruptly shut, the idea didn’t go with it. It stayed, and festered—so much so that she wanted to open the door for one mad moment, just to smash it back in their faces again, and again, and again.

She wanted to, but Jamie was calling to her. And other sounds were starting to flood through her now, too, other big, big sounds that she should have noticed ages ago.

At first she thought it was some kind of weapon. That he’d found a chainsaw or a pneumatic drill or a wood chipper. Something he’d known was up here all along for them to use against the enemy.

But then the wind whipped up and she turned to see something far more incredible than a zombie eating wood chipper. It was so incredible that she forgot the zombies battering on the fire door, for a second. They’d bust through it soon enough because although they couldn’t figure out handles, the sheer pressure of them would figure out the release bar.

Though it didn’t seem to matter. For the first time in these two years of hell, it didn’t matter. She found herself laughing out loud, high and probably hysterical.

Jamie had only gone and gotten himself a helicopter. And not only that, but he apparently knew how to fly a helicopter. The rotors were going. They were kicking up the fine gravel that lined the roof of whatever building this was, and he was yelling to her—
“Come on, June-bug, get your ass in here!”

She thought of him talking about the island. About his buddy who was waiting for them. How they’d just wanted to find survivors, and populate their safe haven, and how crazy that had sounded when he first started yakking about it.

Then she ran to him.

Links:

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-reawakening-550153-140.html

http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/m8/318-201-107-490-1–reawakening-forever-dead-series-book-one-by-charlotte-stein.html

My Blog:

http://www.themightycharlottestein.blogspot.com/

 

Thanks so much for stopping by, and sharing some of the good stuff, Charlotte! Zombies and threesomes really rock!

 

London Slutwalk — Hopeful Solidarity

What to wear to Slutwalk? That has been my dilemma for weeks now. But when the big day dawned yesterday, I dressed in jeans and a top that showed just a peek of cleavage, and the thought of walking on hard pavement for several hours made me opt for my old reliable Hedgehogs rather than f**k-me shoes. If there’s ever a ‘tomboy walk’ I’m so in! Raymond dressed like Raymond always dresses, no dilemma for him. I admire that so much. Of course the answer is that it doesn’t matter what one wears to Slutwalk, as the oft repeated chant says, ‘Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no.’
For those of you who might have been on holiday on another planet recently, Slutwalks began as a protest movement when a Canadian policeman advised students to ‘avoid dressing like sluts’ in order to avoid being attacked. Since his unfortunate remark, thousands of people around the world have marched in protest of a culture in which the victim, rather than the abuser, gets the blame.
We arrived for at Hyde Park Corner for Slutwalk London amid a gathering crowd and a forest of waving placards and banners. Though there were the expected men in drag and women in mini skirts and bras, and I could only see a small bit of the crowd (BBC estimated five thousand people marched) a majority of the people who marched could have passed for people just out for a Saturday stroll in London, or even people heading off for work. My Hedgehogs and jeans were not the least big out of place, and my man dressed like himself was in good company.

We were all in good company, actually. Placards ranged from angry, ‘Blame the c*nt who rapes and not the c*nt he raped’ to ‘My clothes are not my consent,’ There were lots of  ‘No Means No.’ placards, but the one that moved me most was a hand held message written on a piece of cardboard. It simply said. ‘I was wearing jeans and a jumper.’ There in the colourful, festive atmosphere a simple piece of cardboard said it all, why we were all there, and why what we were doing was so important.

The march got officially started at two, and Raymond and I found ourselves marching in front of Zoe Margolis, ‘the girl with the one-track mind.’ I’d met Zoe before at a reading she did at Sh! a little over a year ago. She is an avid supporter of Slutwalk.We marched along talking and laughing and sharing the excitement with the others marching around us, men in drag hobbling in heels, women in corsets and suspenders, men and women in dressed in T-shirts, all mixed together. The age range was fabulous. There were mothers marching with their daughters, there were pensioners of both sexes, there were students and professionals and every one in between.

Every once in a while to the beat of drums and tambourines, a spontaneous chant would arise, ‘Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no.’ The day had turned warm and a woman marching several people in front of us had written a plea for sunscreen on the back of her placard. There was an outpouring of support from the crowded open-topped tour-buses that passed by the march with waves and whistles and shouts of solidarity.

The feeling of excitement and the chanting and cheering got louder as we rounded Piccadilly Circus and headed down Haymarket toward Trafalgar Square. At Trafalgar Square the march ended with a barrage of amazing speakers, most with messages of what the average person can do to make a difference. The official website, Slut Means Speak Out has more on that.

Afterward in The Chandos Pub, I spoke with a group of young women who had come up from Brighton for the march. It was their first ever. They had read about it on Facebook and felt it was important. We all laughed and chatted and had a pint together.

It’s hard for me to take it all in, even now. It was my first march too, and it was sensory and emotional overload. But I took away two very important things from the London Slutwalk that will stay with me. First of all I felt  a renewed sense of hope and excitement for the future of women in general. The organizer of the London Slutwalk was 17-year-old 6th-former, Anastasia Richardson. The London Slutwalk made it clear young women are neither apathetic nor silent when it comes to changing the world they live in for the better.

Secondly, I went away wondering what all the controversy was about? The message was clear, the marchers were all united. Rape is never acceptable. The division between ‘good girls’ and ‘bad girls’ is a false dichotomy that must be done away with if we are to create a world where justice really is for everyone, and everyone can walk the streets in safety. And the feeling of expectation that permeated the whole walk was the sense that something was about to change.

I’m usually a pessimist, I’m usually a firm believer that if things seem too good to be true, then they probably are. But this time I’m hopeful, and I seem to be in excellent company.

 

Gale Stanley Gives Us the Story Behind Her Hot New Release, ‘One Night In Bangkok’

 

For the second installment of ‘The Story Behind the Story,’ I’m very excited to welcome the amazing Gale Stanley to Hopeful Romantic to tell us what inspired her fab new novel, One Night In Bangkok. While she’s here, Gale is giving  away a free copy to one lucky commenter.  Welcome, Gale! It’s a pleasure to have you. Can’t wait to hear more about One Night in Bangkok.

 

When KD told me she was planning a series of post from authors talking about the idea behind the book, I thought wow, what a great idea! Then I sat down and tried to remember where some of my ideas came from and it wasn’t all that easy. Sometimes a light bulb goes off when I read something in the newspaper or a magazine and I run with it. Sometimes it’s just an idea for a scene and the story grows as I write.

But I can actually trace the idea for my new release, One Night in Bangkok, back to the eighties. It all started with the theater production of Chess, a musical about a romantic triangle. Two top players, an American and a Russian are in an international chess championship. The woman, who manages one, falls in love with the other.
Part of the setting is in Bangkok, Thailand. First, let me say, I never actually saw the show, it ran in England for a few years, but it only lasted a few months on Broadway. But I do own the soundtrack and I’ve played it hundreds of times.

Now jump to 2010. A good friend traveled to Thailand and loved it. Green with envy, I looked at her photos, and started getting an idea for a MM romance in the exotic setting. I went home, and started writing–and doing lots of research. Of course, I played the soundtrack, which helped put me in the mood. The more I read, the more I fell in love. Bangkok is a city of contrasts. You can visit temples where monks are meditating, or take a water taxi and admire the coconut plantations. You can get lost in the largest outdoor market in the world or shop in air-conditioned comfort in the city. Bangkok is hot, and chaotic, but it’s also a magical place. I just saw the movie, Hangover II, which filmed in Bangkok, and I’m more determined than ever to get my butt out of the armchair and stop being a virtual traveler. And when I come back, maybe I’ll write a sequel.

 

One Night in Bangkok
Bangkok is a hedonist’s paradise and sex is big business, but Philadelphia lawyer, David Elliot isn’t interested in the sinful pleasures Bangkok has to offer. His only concerns are real estate and conglomerates. His personal life might be shit but his professional life is on track and that’s all he cares about. On his first night in town he spots a young Thai man in the hotel bar and there’s an immediate connection between them. Kai brings a joie de vivre into David’s life that’s long been missing, but after a few blissful weeks Kai disappears. David is hurt, but he knows it was never meant to be anything more than a pleasant diversion. He returns to the states but he can’t help feeling he’s left something very important behind.

Kai was rescued from a life on the streets only to become a virtual sex slave to a wealthy expatriate who deals in sex and drugs. When Rick finds out Kai has been seeing David he locks him in the house. Kai is in love with David but resigned to a life with Rick. There was never a future for him and the American, and knowing what Rick is capable of, he fears for David’s life.

 

 

Excerpt:

The office door opened and David Elliot looked up with a frown, ready to chew out the intruder who’d managed to get past his secretary. His scowl disappeared when Bernard Markham walked in. Mr Perfect from his artfully cut hair to his designer shoes, the head of the Markham & Dunn LLP international law firm, exuded class. Worldly, wealthy, and all mine. How did I get lucky enough to snag the boss? David flashed his biggest, sexiest smile.
Bernie didn’t return it. He looked down his perfect aquiline nose, a well-executed rhinoplasty, in that way of his that imparted you were a lesser mortal.
Uh oh. What did I forget? David ran through every detail in his head and couldn’t come up with a damned thing. Ever since he found out he’d be going back to Bangkok to negotiate the acquisition of commercial real estate for Bernie, he’d worked long hours trying to tie up any loose ends. Reviewing documents and preparing contracts was tedious, time-consuming grunt work, usually relegated to junior attorneys, but David insisted on personally reviewing his own documents. He’d already gone through most of his files, and this was the last of it. Every problem had been anticipated, and his clients would be left in good hands while he was away.
The lower lid of Bernie’s left eye twitched, a sure sign he was stressed, and right then David knew this wasn’t about business. A cold knot settled in his stomach.
“We need to talk,” Bernie announced.
“Have a seat.”
“I’d rather stand.”
This was bad. David knew all Bernie’s shtick and looking down at someone was his way of taking charge, lecturing more than conversing.
“We need some time apart.”
The words came straight out of left field, totally unexpected. They hadn’t slept together in the past week, David’s fault really, but his lover hadn’t complained. They both believed in business before pleasure. “I know I’ve been distant lately, but we can fix this.”
“It’s not that.” Bernie shook his head impatiently. “It’s me.”
Fuck! He’d heard that before. It’s not you, it’s me. The worst kiss-off ever, and a low blow to bring their personal affairs into the office. David got to his feet. If this was personal, he wasn’t about to let Bernie talk down to him. “Is there someone else?”
“No, nothing like that. I just think we need a little breather. Too much time together will kill a relationship. We don’t live together, but I feel like we do. This past week, when you slept at your own place, I started to realize how much I needed some breathing room.”
“You’re bored.” David couldn’t keep the injured tone out of his voice.
“No. Yes.” He admitted. “A break will be good for both of us.”
“Don’t tell me what I need or want.” David raised his voice for the first time. “Your timing sucks. I leave for Bangkok tomorrow. We don’t even have time to sit down and talk this out.”
“Why keep rehashing it?” Bernie threw his hands in the air. “Go to Bangkok, take care of my business like you always do, and take some time for yourself. You’ll be in Sin City! Enjoy it on me; you have an unlimited expense account.” He turned away.
So the timing of this trip was intentional. Bernie hated messy scenes and this was his way of avoiding an awkward situation. He didn’t want him anymore, but didn’t have the guts to finalize it. “And what will you be enjoying while I’m gone?” David asked acidly.
Bernie walked out and didn’t answer him.

One Night in Bangkok is now available from Silver Publishing
http://silverpublishing.info/index/book_authors_id/48/typefilter/book_authors

 

Has a trip ever turned out to be a new beginning for you? Have you ever travelled somewhere and came home with a totally different outlook, perhaps even your world view changes by someone or something? Tell us about it or comment, and you may win a free copy of Gale’s fabulously hot novel, One Night In Bangkok

You can find Gale Stanley at:

http://galestanley.net/

And on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/gale.stanley.author

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

Site created and maintained by Writer Marketing Services | Sitemap
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial