Weekend Writing Warriors ~ The Perfect Opportunity

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences, and maybe a few more to round out the scene.

I’m continuing to share from my latest release, Shameless In Seattle, a contemporary gay romance. I might spend a few more weeks on Shameless, and then switch to my new project, as soon as I decide what that is! I’m suffering from the pandoldrums, in which continued isolation gnaws away at my creativity. Luckily I have digital stacks of dusty first drafts that I can nibble away at and trick myself into writing. I recently opened an old file, thought ‘hey, this doesn’t suck’, and soon found myself with sixty fresh pages. I’m hoping the enthusiasm lasts.

On to the snippet! In this chapter, Aaron meets up with his ex-boyfriend, who is also a cop, at the Seattle music festival Bumbershoot. He’s hoping Martine can help him flush out Olympia Konstantin, the mysteries writer who seems to know everything about him.

****

Martine speaks first:

“What are the odds on your stalker showing up here?”

“I have no idea. She or he knows where I eat, where I take Humphrey to get groomed, where I shop, where I buy my clothes, who I sleep with.” He sucked in a deep breath. “I announced online I was going to be here today. Seems like the perfect opportunity to spy and find out what beer I drink, right?”

“Sure, if they’re as active a stalker as they seem to be.” Martine accepted a plastic cup of amber beer while Aaron paid. They pushed their way back out of the mob. “Would have worked better if we weren’t together.”

That’s ten. Here’s a few more:

“I suppose, but it was hard to explain in a text.”

“There’s this new invention called voice mail, Aaron.” Martine sipped his beer. “Also, time to look over the photos and run background checks would’ve been helpful.”

“I know. It’s just—” Aaron glared up at the Space Needle looming above them. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to drag you into this. I don’t feel threatened by this person, only violated, like I have no privacy. I didn’t want to waste too much of your time.”

“Admit it. You wanted to see me and get me drunk.” Martine grinned and slapped him on the back.

“If you’d had time to think about it, you would’ve recruited half the department to set up a perimeter around the center. Then the stalker wouldn’t show up and I’d be even more embarrassed than I already am.”

“Poor Aaron, always so worried about what people think.”

“I’d rather Seattle PD doesn’t think I’m a flake.”

****

A taste of Bumbershoot, so you can see what they’re up against.

Shameless In Seattle is now available. Click here to view on Amazon.

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages of Shameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that might change both of their lives.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Touchy-Feely

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in short experts of ten sentences, with maybe some additional lines to help round things out.

I’m sharing from my new release, Shameless In Seattle. Our hero Aaron has recruited his ex, a Seattle police officer, to help him flush out his stalker. I’ve skipped ahead a little from last week.

***

“So what’s this about a stalker?” Martine dropped his hand and became professional, brown eyes serious and questioning.

Aaron dug into his coat pocket for the photos to gain time. He hadn’t decided if he wanted to tell Martine about Shameless In Seattle. Martine would find the situation hilarious.

“Let’s get in line for a beer, so it looks like we’re here to have fun, not spring a trap.”

“Like a date?”

“Yeah, like that, only no touchy-feely.”

“Then what’s in it for me?”

“My eternal gratitude.”

That’s ten. Here’s a bit more for your reading pleasure:

Martine sighed melodramatically. “Gratitude. Doesn’t exactly help relieve the hard-on, does it?”

“You never know.” Aaron grabbed Martine by the elbow and steered him toward the beer line. The cop smelled so damn manly with his combination of Ralph Lauren cologne and salty sweat. Aaron swallowed the collecting drool in his mouth and brandished the photos. “I have good reason to believe someone I went to school with is following me, gathering info off the internet and most disturbingly, spying on me as I go about my day. These are the suspects. The top three are prime.”

“And why is that?” Martine asked as he took the stack of photos and shuffled through them.

“Due to their connection with a girl who knew something about me, something the stalker knows and shouldn’t, unless said girl told them.”

“How did you discover this stalker? Are they harassing you?”

“Not exactly.” Aaron sighed. There was no way around it. “They’re publishing their findings in a work of fiction.”

“I see. And you’re sure about this?”

“Absolutely. The facts are thinly veiled and there’s way too many to be a coincidence. You’re in there, only you’re female.”

“What kind of fiction is this?”

“Does it matter?”

“If you want me to help you profile the perp, I need all relevant information on their psychological make-up.”

“Actually, I just want your cop eyes to help me scan the crowd for one of these faces.” Aaron jabbed at the photos. 

***

Cover by Robin Ludwig Designs

Shameless In Seattle is now available. Click here to view on Amazon.

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages ofShameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that might change both of their lives.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Dangerous Flames

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in short excerpts of ten (or maybe a few more) sentences.

Happy Hearts and Chocolate Day. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a V-Day Scrooge, but as a romance writer, I totally approve of other people getting mushy and reading lots of steamy stories about love and other squishy stuff on this very strange holiday of ours. Stuff like Shameless In Seattle, my new release (was that subtle enough?)

I’ve skipped ahead in the story a few chapters, because every where I turn now, spoiler alert! In this scene, Aaron has a new plot to flush out Olympia, his stalker-slash-unauthorized biographer. He’s posted on social media about where he’s going to be, and hopes to spot one of his suspects lurking in the crowd.

***

Standing in the crush of bodies at the Seattle Center, Aaron had to admit his scheme was hopeless. The Bumbershoots festival was a stalker’s dream. So many people, so many places to lurk unseen. Trying to find Liz or any of his other suspects with the aid of old photos was like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles.

One person, however, stood out, cutting an impressive swath in the twisting lines of people crushed together in front of a beer tent.

Officer Martine Martinez strode down the crowded pathway with an easy grace. At six four, Aaron’s ex-Latin lover attracted looks from all sexes. After several nights spent pouring over Olympia’s steamy m/m stories, Aaron was almost ready to forget about catching his stalker and jump Martine’s bones. 

But it had been hard enough to extract himself from that tumultuous relationship the first time. Rekindling dangerous flames wasn’t on his to-do list.

That’s ten. Here’s a few more to round out the scene:

Although the sex had been unbelievable, out of bed they couldn’t get along for five minutes. As Olympia might say, two Alphas sharing one cave are bound to clash.

Aaron also didn’t like having to look up to meet his lover’s gaze. He was used to being the tall one.

“Damn, you look good,” Martine said when he reached him, flashing a high voltage smile. “Remind me again why we broke up?”

“I’m pretty sure you do not want to be reminded,” Aaron said, because the truth was too much of a minefield. In order to keep the mood light, he fell back on their old go-to argument. “We broke up because you’re too bossy.”

***

Cover by Robin Ludwig Designs

Shameless In Seattle is now available. Click here to view on Amazon.

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages ofShameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that might change both of their lives.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ The Golden Goose

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I’m doing a happy dance because Shameless In Seattle was released into the world last week and things seem to be going well. I truly suck at the promotional side of things, so I really appreciate this safe little corner of the world where I can share my stories and get the word out to a friendly and supportive group.

I’m continuing to share from Chapter Two, in which Aaron attempts to pressure the editor of the Shameless series to either reveal the identity of the author, get her to stop using him as her model for Eric Slater–the heroic tough guy protagonist–or drop the series altogether.

***

“I won’t have you bullying my authors, Mr. Schafer,” Desiree said, vice principal personality flaring to full power. She ruined the effect by sipping her coffee and leaving a mustache of tan foam across her upper lip. “Resemblances between you and the fictional character Eric Slater are superficial at best. Plus, there’s nothing detrimental about the representation. If a few people think you’re the inspiration for Eric, it certainly doesn’t harm your reputation in any way.”

“It might harm my ability to get dates with men.”

Desiree raised her eyebrows then lowered them. “I seriously doubt if you’ve ever or will ever have problems finding willing lovers of either sex.”

“She’s making me a laughing stock.”

“No one’s laughing at you. The only way that would happen is if you made a public spectacle in court. Of course, if you’re looking for publicity, that would be an excellent way to get it.” She looked intrigued now, no doubt envisioning a heap of free press for Shameless in Seattle. She was right. No way would Aaron sue and dredge up the ridicule and attention he feared.

“So you won’t tell her to cease and desist?”

“Ever heard of the golden goose? Shameless is one of our bestsellers. If you try to frighten her, I may have to discuss the matter with a few of the many columnists I know. This would certainly make for entertaining local color.”

“Now you’re threatening me?”

“I guess so.” She giggled again. “It’s sort of thrilling. I feel so New York. C’mon, Eric. I mean, Aaron. Roll with it. Enjoy it.”

***

Cover by Robin Ludwig Designs

Shameless in Seattle is now available! Click here to view on Amazon.

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages ofShameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that might change both of their lives.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Touch Unstable

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Don’t forget to click the link to check out all the other great authors participating in the blog hop.

Great news! I made my goal with two days to spare. Shameless In Seattle is now available! You don’t have to wait week after to week to find out how Aaron deals with his maybe-crazy stalker!

I’m going to continue sharing from Shameless for a few more weeks. In this week’s excerpt, Aaron is trying to glean information and help from Olympia Konstanin’s editor.

***

Aaron decided to change the subject. “How well do you know Olympia? Is she unstable?”

A little spurt of a giggle escaped Desiree’s lips. “All writers are a touch unstable. We spend a lot of time conversing with the voices in our heads.”

“You know what I mean. Should I get a restraining order?”

“Oh my, no. As far as I can tell, Olympia barely ever leaves her home. I can’t fathom how she’s unearthed any intimate secrets of yours. It must be coincidental.”

“It’s not,” Aaron said grimly. “Can you talk to her? Tell her I’m on to her and I don’t like it? Tell her to use her imagination instead of spying on me?”

Desiree sipped her coffee and looked thoughtful.

“I’ve only ever emailed with her. She doesn’t even come to the big annual party and you know how writers love free booze. She’s a joy to work with, compliant as a kitten except when it comes to her characters. When I suggested a few changes to Eric she rejected my comments with some very curt comments of her own.”

“What kind of changes?”

“Well, some of Eric’s habits struck me as a little gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but our readers are looking for men who are all man, if you know what I mean. Burly macho straight guys don’t usually take their dog to the groomer once a month or order special shoes from Italy. But it seemed to work, I have to admit. Made Eric appear a little more sensitive and vulnerable, I guess. Readers love the dog.”

Aaron tucked his feet, clad in four hundred dollar Emilio Rinaldi walking shoes, beneath his chair and leaned back.

“I want to speak with her.”

***

Cover by Robin Ludwig Designs

Shameless In Seattle is now available! Click here to view on Amazon.

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages ofShameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that might change both of their lives.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Intimate Secrets

Hello fellow writers, readers and internet wanderers. Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in short excerpts of ten sentences, with maybe a few more added on for good measure.

I’m sharing from my upcoming release, Shameless In Seattle. Last week, I took us up to the end (almost) of the first chapter. So today, we’re starting on Chapter 2, as Aaron intensifies his quest to flush out the mysterious Olympia Konstantin.

****

Another day, another woman with bad news hidden behind a conspiratorial smile. Aaron had yet to penetrate Olympia Konstantin’s wall of anonymity, but her editor had been easy enough to find.

Desiree Boldheart (aka Susan Moffet) sat in the noisy Starbucks on 3rdand Pine with a tablet, smartphone and newspaper all open or switched on and arrayed in front of her.  Desiree was a busy woman, but she’d agreed to meet with him after he’d played the potential lawsuit card.

“So pleased to meet you, Mr. Schafer.”  She extended a languid hand still warm from gripping a grande latte in a paper cup. She wasn’t what he’d expected. Stout; blonde hair shot with streaks of white worn in a short, tufty, non-style popular with busy soccer moms; wearing an unfashionable plaid button down shirt and large tortoise shell glasses, she looked like the vice principal of his junior high school instead of an editor/writer of erotica.  When he sat down, her wide cheeks brightened to a rose petal pink.

“You do look like Eric Slater,” she said.

That’s ten sentences. Here’s a bit more, if you’re so inclined:

“He looks like me, you mean.”

“Most men would be flattered to be the model for a romantic hero,” she said, folding her hands together over the newspaper.  In that pose, she reminded him of the vice principal more than ever, about to lecture him on disrupting classes again with his incessant questions.

“It’s not Eric’s looks that bother me, or the fact that he drives my car and lives in my apartment.  It’s my private life details splashed across the pages that bother me.”

“Kind of like what reporters do to other people?” she said, the mischievous smile growing.

“Not even remotely.  I report news, not gossip about intimate secrets for no purpose other than to titillate.”

“And what intimate secrets of yours has Olympia revealed?” Desiree/Susan casually stirred the foam on her latte with a fingertip.

****

Cover by Robin Ludwig Designs

****

Shameless In Seattle – coming in January 2021!

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages of Shameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that might just change both of their lives.