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.

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.