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.

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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

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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.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Come Out, Come Out

Hello Everyone, 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, with maybe a little more tacked on for your reading pleasure.

I’m sharing from my soon to be released gay romance, Shameless in Seattle. To be honest, I’ve been neglecting my writerly duties in order to worry, fret, doom scroll and binge watch Netflix. But I have resolved to suck it up, put the final polish on this baby, and release it into the world. The world could use some more love and laughter, and that is mostly what Shameless is about.

I’ve skipped ahead from last week, as the intervening paragraphs are a bit spoilery. Aaron is thinking about who from his childhood might know about his deep, dark secret, and what the connection to Olympia, author of the Shameless series, might be. (note: Emily was his sister’s best friend in high school)

***

He pushed aside the list and flipped open his laptop.  Time to check Facebook and find out which of his old school mates were on his friends list. He had over 2000 “friends” so it was easy to forget, especially since he never checked the damn thing.

“Come out, come out, whoever you are,” he muttered, scrolling the list and the tiny photos beside it, thinking his mouse might land on the guilty party like a digital ouija board.

Turned out he had thirty-seven classmates from Pullman High on his friends list. There were several he had no memory of. Emily was there.  She seemed like a likely source for a leak.  He wrote down all the names and highlighted the ones who lived in the Seattle area.

Then he googled Olympia.

That’s ten. Here’s a bit more.

For a writer at a small press struggling to survive in the social networking frenzy of indie marketing, Olympia had very little presence on line. She had the obligatory website with links to her books and not much else.  Her author photo was an illustrated Greek goddess profile. She didn’t appear to give readings or ever show herself in public, according to one frustrated fan.

She answered reader questions on Goodreads wittily and succinctly, but did not otherwise engage with her adoring public.

Aaron’s fingers itched to send her a message. So who are you and what gives you the right to steal my life story for your trashy het-roms?

But she wouldn’t answer, obviously, and this tiny, tenuous connection would vanish.

Instead he created a fake Goodreads profile. Two could play this game, he thought, giving himself the name Gloria Ferrari.

He typed I absolutely adore the character of Eric Slater.  What was your inspiration for him? and then sat back as if expecting Olympia to leap to the keyboard at the ping of her computer and answer immediately.

***

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shameless-seattle.jpg
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 his life.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ People Who Know

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 selected for your reading pleasure. Be warned, your TBR list might get a lot longer!

Well, 2021 is off to a great start (insert sarcastic face emoji here). Reality is like an angry monkey clinging to my back and chattering in my ear as I try to write, so productivity has ground to a near halt here at Alexis Duran, Inc. But never fear, I still aim to get Shameless In Seattle out into the world this month. This week’s excerpt carries on from last week, when Aaron discovered that Olympia Konstantin, writer of the Shameless In Seattle series, is somehow aware of his long-buried secret.

***

Aaron shoved his hands into his hair and briefly freaked out over the possibility he suffered from a split personality syndrome, like Johnny Depp in that movie where he played a writer-slash-psychopath stalking himself.

“Don’t be an idiot,” he said and dropped his hands to his hips as he stalked into the kitchen. Humphrey trailed after him, sleepily wagging his tail, wondering what all the late night activity was about. Aaron blew out a slow, even breath.

Who knew about the man in the haunted house?  His sister.  A couple of the kids in the neighborhood. Maybe those kids had talked, later. Maybe one of those kids was Olympia, or knew her, anyway.

To see one of his deepest, darkest secrets in print, co-opted into trashy mommy porn, was too much.

“Olympia must be stopped,” he said and Humphrey yawned, exposing his back teeth. Aaron pulled out a kitchen chair, sat down, and started a list. He wrote, people who know, and underlined it.

***

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 will change his life.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ No One Knew

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Happy New Year! So excited to be kicking 2020 to the curb. I’ll be celebrating soon with the release of Shameless in Seattle in mid-January. Just waiting for those few last pieces of the publishing process to click into place.

I really like this book. It’s different for me; no snarky cat shifters, fairies, elves or wizards. Just two people trying to overcome the difficulties of their pasts in order to find love in the present.

On to the snippet. Aaron, against his better judgement, finds himself sucked into the steamy pages of Shameless in Seattle.

***

Aaron hadn’t found anything to sue over yet. Yes, it was obvious Olympia had hacked his life. Reporter in Seattle—check. Big child porn story and journalism award—check. Dog named after Humphrey Bogart—check.  Apartment on Queen Ann Hill—check. Dated a cop of Latin heritage—check.  All were facts anyone could pick up from the web or social media.

He’d received a lot of attention after the police busted the pornography ring and he’d squirmed under the mantle of hero until things blew over.  Some people got dazzled by a thing like that. 

That’s ten. Here’s a few more paragraphs to take us to the heart of the matter:

That happened three years ago, right when Olympia must’ve written the first book. Right when she was looking for a marketable character.

Convinced he wasn’t really being stalked, he snugged back against the pillows and continued to read.  Eric had to drive to Pullman after discovering one of the child pornographers was linked to someone he’d known in high school.  Eric’s school life had been way more exciting than Aaron’s, that was for sure.

As usual, when Eric pulled onto his parent’s street, the first thing to catch his eye was the big green house on the hillside.  He always told himself they wouldn’t, but they always did; the memories of that fateful night flooded back.

Aaron realized he’d stopped breathing.  For a moment his eyes wouldn’t track the words, but he forced himself to keep reading.

Everyone knew the man who lived there was odd, but no one ever warned Eric or the other kids that he was dangerous. Why was that, Eric wondered? What desperate need for normalcy caused them to turn a blind eye to the viper in their midst?

Aaron closed the book, swung his legs out of bed and was halfway to the kitchen before he was aware of what he was doing.

This was beyond stalking. This was . . . mind reading?  He’d never told anyone in Seattle about the big green house.  No one knew. No one knew.  

***

Happy 2021! May we all be safe, serene and together!

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 will change his life.

Weekend Writing Warrior ~ Full Exposure

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in snippets of ten sentences, with maybe a few more added on for your reading pleasure.

I hope you’re all enjoying the season, staying safe and making the most of the end of this endless year. My family has made the tough decision not to gather, so I’m sad, and grumpy, but I’m keeping my eye on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Today’s snippet carries on with Chapter One from Shameless In Seattle, my contemporary gay romance set to be released in early January. After hanging out with his friend Melanie and speculating on who the mysterious author (pen name Olympia Konstantin) of the Shameless series might really be, Aaron goes home and decides to read a few pages to see how much of his life has been co-opted into the character of Eric Slater.

***

At two a.m. Aaron forced himself to put down Full Exposure, Shameless In Seattle #1 and go brush his teeth. In one hundred pages Eric Slater had more sex than Aaron had in his entire life.  Mel was right, it was compelling in an oddly twisted, squirm-inducing way. And it was funny, sort of tongue in cheek: Tongue everywhere, for that matter.

He rinsed, spat and reluctantly looked at himself in the mirror.  He was no Fabio.  He worked out and never had trouble getting dates, but the description of Eric bore no resemblance to him aside from the gray eyes and black hair.

If only Olympia could see him in worn flannel pajamas, sticky bed hair, bleary two-beer eyes and—what was that?—a caramel ice cream stain on his cheek.  He thumbed it off.  If Marissa Alvarez were there, she’d lick it off and keep on going.

That’s ten. Here’s a few more if you’re so inclined:

“Oh, for crying out loud, stop it!”  He stormed back into the bedroom and stared at the offending object on his quilt.  He had to admit he’d gotten a little hot and bothered reading the damn thing. The point of view jumped back and forth between Eric and Marissa, the tough, no-nonsense cop who despite an excess of smarts, couldn’t resist super jerk Eric. Both of them were emotionally guarded but sexually insatiable. Olympia certainly had a knack for creating steamy pairings, even if they were hetero.

***

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 will change his life.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ An Ardent Fan

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in snippets of ten sentences, with maybe a little more tacked on for your reading pleasure.

I’m sharing from my upcoming release, Shameless in Seattle, a contemporary gay romance. December with all its complications is slowing down the publishing process (which means, I’m getting distracted by shiny things) but I’m still shooting for an early January release. Something fun to usher in the new year, which, with any luck, will be a thousand times better than the last one.

Aaron just found out he’s maybe being stalked by an author of erotic romances, and he’s not too happy about it. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

“Told you so.”  Mel leaned back and stirred her drink, smugly satisfied now that she’d triggered his paranoia.  “You can borrow all of them. There are three out so far.”

“Wonder if I can sue her?”

“No, there are enough differences to keep her safe.  Your dog is named Humphrey, for instance. And you’re gay.  Eric is definitely not.”  Mel’s lawyer self kicked in.  “But you might want to get a restraining order from the sound of it.”

That’s ten. Here’s a little more from this scene, along with an Adult Language warning. 

Aaron held the book and squinted at it at like a long lost jar of mayo found in the far reaches of his fridge. Who knew what might crawl out if he opened it?

He opened it. Right to a scene featuring Eric doing imaginative things with his throbbing shaft to Marissa’s welcoming asshole. 

“Hmmm, this page is well worn.”

Mel actually blushed when she peeked over and saw what he was reading. “Women like to use their imagination.  Erotic literature is more compelling than video porn.”

“Literature?  Eric thrust his engorged cock—”

“Stop!”  She slapped the book down flat on the table. Aaron grinned. Revenge was sweet.  

“I thought you’d appreciate knowing you had such an ardent fan,” she said with a huff.

***

Cover by Robin Ludwig Designs

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Release date- January 2021!

Shameless in Seattle blurb-in-progress-

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 will change his life.