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Hump Day Interview - Jamie Fessenden


This week it's Jamie Fessenden's turn in the Hump Day Hot Seat, welcome Jamie...

What was the last gift you gave someone?

My husband hates receiving gifts, but this year he came home on our anniversary and wished me a happy anniversary, and I'd completely forgotten! I felt terrible, so the next night, I surprised him with something he really needed: a set of gunmetal-finish iron gaming dice. Yes. We are that geeky.

Do you have a character in your head that you have yet to write a story for?

Several. One that I've been wanting to write since college is an android who gets cross-wired with another android, so he can sense what the other will think and feel in different circumstances. This has the side-effect of making him care about another being for the first time since his creation.

Do you take a break from a first draft to get distance from it, dive right into editing, or edit as you write?

I edit as I write, or I find myself stuck. If I don't feel that the earlier parts are flowing smoothly, I can't go on. So I start the day by tweaking what I've written, the move on, sometimes going back to adjust things. By the time I reach the end of a novel, it's fairly polished. Not perfect, as my editor will testify, but in fairly good shape.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I just went back and counted. I have twenty-two stories in progress, at the moment. Some are nearly done. Some may never be completed. But I keep them all in DropBox, and drag old ones when new ones are finished. And of course I'm adding to it all the time. I've never had trouble coming up with ideas (*knock on wood*). My problem has always been finishing.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It's hard to say how long, because usually I decide to write about things I've been interested in for a while, so I've already read several books on the subject. I tend to start writing, and research as I need to learn things. Sometimes this slows me down, but often I'll realize that, say, the exact flavor and texture of Icelandic "thunder bread" isn't critical to the scene, so I'll bookmark it with a note in Word and move on to write the rest of the scene. Sometimes, as I've learned more about something, it makes it necessary to rework the scene. I had to rewrite the airport scene in A Viking for Yule three times, as I looked at maps of the airport and spoke with a friend who'd been through it. Another point: Google Maps is your friend. It's amazing what you can learn about the layout and look of a strange location through Street View.

For your chance to win A Cop For Christmas, answer this question...what's your favourite thing about the festive season? 

A Viking For Yule - OUT NOW

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

After Sam's grandfather nearly died in a blizzard one year ago, Sam has panic attacks in snow storms. So where does his friend Jackie propose they spend the holidays, as the last stop on their trip around the world?

Iceland. Of course.

But there's more in Iceland than snow. When Arnar, a handsome Icelandic man, offers to escort Sam on a several-day tour of the beautiful countryside, they soon find themselves drawn to each other. But Arnar is firmly rooted in his native soil, and Sam has to return to the US in a week to care for his ailing grandfather.

Suddenly, yule can’t last nearly long enough.

NOTE: Though this novel includes characters from "A Cop for Christmas," it is a standalone adventure. It isn’t necessary to read "A Cop for Christmas" first.

Jamie Fessenden is an author of gay fiction in many genres. Most involve romance, because he believes everyone deserves to find love, but after that anything goes: contemporary, science fiction, historical, paranormal, mystery, or whatever else strikes his fantasy.

Jamie set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple short pieces in his high school’s literary magazine and had another story place in the top 100 in a national contest, but it wasn’t until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie wrote several screenplays and directed a few of them as micro-budget independent films. He then began writing novels and published his first novella in 2010.

After nine years together, Jamie and Erich have married and purchased a house together in the wilds of Raymond, New Hampshire, where there are no street lights, turkeys and deer wander through their yard, and coyotes serenade them on a nightly basis.

Jamie recently left his “day job” as a tech support analyst to be a full-time writer.


QRFFC Group Hop


Dates for Group Hop


These are the individual competitions that are now closed but don't forget to grab the *letter* from each post for the big Kindle Paper White competition!

 December 4 - Rj Scott posting in N.r. Walker group. 
December 5 - NR Walker posting in Posy Roberts group
 December 6 - Posy Roberts posting in Davina Jamison group
 December 7 - Davina Jamison posting in Keira Andrews group.
 December 8 - Keira Andrews posting in Jay Northcote group

Live individual competitions ...

December 11 - Jay Northcote posting in Leta Blake group - closes 15 December

 A $5 Amazon giftcard at Amazon.com,
 An audio code for one of my books (valid at Audible.com)
 Your choice of an ebook from my backlist.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/letalovlies/permalink/1229413570491841/

December 12 - Leta Blake posting in Garrett Leigh group - closes 16 December

 A $5 Amazon giftcard at Amazon.com,
 Training Season
 Pictures of You
 Will & Patrick Wake Up Married, Episodes 1-6



December 13 - Garrett Leigh posting in Annabelle Jacobs group - closes 17 December
https://www.facebook.com/groups/798663446914946/permalink/1545757615538855/

Still to come...


December 14 - Annabelle Jacobs posting in A.m. Arthur group.

December 15 - A.M Arthur posting in Annabeth Albert group.

December 18 - Annabeth Albert posting in Amber Kell group.

December 19 - Amber Kell posting in Sloan Johnson group.

December 20 - Sloan Johnson posting in Eli Easton group.

December 21 - Eli Easton posting in RJ Scott group.

Join all the groups here to participate:


N.r. Walker - https://www.facebook.com/groups/524674590970385/

Posy Roberts - https://www.facebook.com/groups/PosysLabyrinth/

DJ Jamison - https://www.facebook.com/groups/DJandCompany/

Keira Andrews - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1584923925093809/

Jay Northcote - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1444191399172292/

Leta Blake - https://www.facebook.com/groups/576447302455141/

Garrett Leigh - https://www.facebook.com/groups/garrettsden/

Annabelle Jacobs - https://www.facebook.com/groups/798663446914946/

A.m. Arthur - https://www.facebook.com/groups/300209733646247/

Annabeth Albert - https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

Amber Kell - https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmbersAwesomeFans/

Sloan Johnson - https://www.facebook.com/groups/sloansrangers/

Eli Easton -https://www.facebook.com/groups/164054884188096/

RJ Scott - https://www.facebook.com/groups/Rjscott/

It's All About The "Christmas" Audio - The Christmas Throwaway


Rachel here, I've taken over It's All About The Audio this week as I'm listening to The Christmas Throwaway on audio for the first time (shock horror, I know, first time!) 

I'd been saving TCT for this week when I knew I'd be feeling suitably festive, I've read this book tons of times, it's one of my favourite Christmas re-reads and listening to it takes it to a completely different level. As always with Sean Crisden the narration is spot on :)

Because I'm feeling in the gift giving mood, I'm offering a chance to win the audio of The Christmas Throwaway, all you need to do is answer this question..What's your favourite festive audiobook?

Christmas is a time for giving - what do you do when no one gives a damn?

For Zachary Weston Christmas means sleeping on a churchyard bench in the freezing snow with nothing better in his future. Thrown out of his home for being gay, he is left without money or, it seems, anywhere to go. Until a stranger shows him that some people do give a lot more than a damn.

Ben Hamilton is a rookie cop in his small home town. He finds a young throwaway, fresh from the city, sleeping on a bench in the churchyard on a snowy Christmas Eve. Can he be the one to give Zachary his own Christmas miracle?

Buy Links - Audio Book


And here's a short birthday memory from Zach that RJ wrote for one of Amber Kell's Birthday events. Zach's Best Birthday Memory.


Weekly Roundup - December 10


It's been another busy weekend at RJ central, Christmas preparations are well underway and today, we had snow! Here's what else has been going on this week...

The French translation of of Texas Winter, Un Hiver au Texas, was released on Monday. That's the 11th book I've had translated into French, you can find the list here. 

I talked a little about The Christmas Throwaway and The Heart Of Texas and how they were complete game changers for me on Tuesday, see what I had to say here.

It was the official release of Love Happens Anyway on Wednesday, a book that started off as a short story and ended up being my Christmas book this year.

George Loveland also popped in on Wednesday and took his turn in the Hump Day Hot Seat and talked about his new release, On The Third Kiss.

The Queer Romance Freebie & Fan Club Group Hop started Monday, if you've missed the first few posts not to worry, you can go grab the letters posted so far and still be in for a chance  to win the grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite.

Another fabulous event this year is the Rainbow Advent Calendar, new stories every day in December from some great authors.

The Feature Friday guest was the wonderful Elin Gregory who talked about the pitfalls of writing historicals.

Ángel en una librería, the Spanish translation of Angel In a Bookshop was released on Friday, you can find the information on it here along with my other Spanish translation.

Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1) is still only 99 pennies for one more day celebrating the release of Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3).

And finally, the #RainbowSnippets yesterday was from Texas Christmas (Texas #5) which came out in Audio recently. 

Hope you've all had a wonderful week *hugs* RJ





My Christmas & Wintery Stories

❅Oh the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful, And since we've no place to go, let's all curl up with a Christmas book!❅





The Christmas Throwaway

The Christmas Throwaway, was my first Christmas themed book. Written as a short story for someone who was poorly in J2 fan fiction, I extended it from two thousand short words to over forty and so Ben and Zach were created.

The book, a story of a young man thrown out of his house at Christmas for being gay, did really surprisingly well. It was All Romance's best selling book of 2010 and also spent a lot of time in the top 300 of all romance novels on Amazon. It's now available in Audio and has been translated into Spanish, Italian, French and now German. I love this little book that could so much.



New York Christmas

Awwww, my boys in New York. I loved writing this book.

It started life as a J2 fanfiction twelve days of Christmas type short story.

When I rewrote it I wanted to keep that idea of the days before Christmas, although of course the book starts just before Thanksgiving and ends in the New Year.

There is also a free short story following on, available at Amber Kell's blog here



Angel In A Bookshop

The story of an angel and a man set in a book shop. I mean, how could I not enjoy writing this, it had a bookshop, a man with wings, and an angsty sad hero. Win/Win.

It was based loosely on a short I wrote for Dreamspinner way back in 2010 (a bit, not much really, it was supposed to but it kind of grew like topsy and became something else).

The short story I had written was my first ever accepted work for publishing and it HAD to be extended and become something else.



Texas Winter (Texas #2)

The book that was never supposed to be written...  Did you know The Heart Of Texas was supposed to be a stand alone? ROFL... I couldn't leave it though and so Texas winter was born.

Snow doesn't fall a lot in Texas but this story centers around a freak one-day snowfall. Add in a daughter Riley didn't know he had and the Campbell-Hayes have their first real Christmas.



Christmas In The Sun

The Sapphire Cay series came to an end with book 6.

I loved writing this series with my very close friend Meredith Russell and we had to give the boys a Christmas book in 2013.

We bought back a wedding planner with OCD decorating tendencies and his sexy Marine, Lucas and Dylan and a stray dog, and gave all of our boys a Christmas Day they wouldn't forget.



Deefur and the Great Mistletoe Incident

A free short story Christmas gift

This was part of a huge Christmas Anthology that I pulled together in 2013 featuring some 25 new authors. It is the sequel to Deefur The Dog, featuring a Manny, a widower, a sweet child, and of course a Great Dane called Deefur.



Jesse's Christmas

This was my second Christmas themed book and spent some time with an old publisher before I was lucky enough to get it back. As soon as I got it back I doubled it in size!

The story of someone who doesn't really like Christmas landing in a town that won an award for best Christmas Town made me smile the entire time I was writing it.

I couldn't fail to love Gabriel who showed Jesse what Christmas could be about and how it is possible to love again.



The Journal of Sanctuary One

(Sanctuary book 6)

Jake and Sean, with their love/hate relationship stuck in a cabin in the middle of nowhere for Christmas. Of course the Bullen storyline features but mostly this is me ticking ALL of my Christmas boxes.

Two men, a cabin, stranded, anger, hate, love, sex and gratuitous use of a running machine. Sighs. I loved writing this book.



The Road To Frosty Hollow

I love the concept of a road trip, particularly when you fall in love on that journey. Add in two men who have known each other a very long time and this is a story written with Meredith Russell that ticks all the boxes for a Christmas Romance.

Snow & Secrets (Stanford Creek #3)

One of my favourite storylines in a romance book at Christmas is the idea of a snowy cabin, enforced isolation, and two men falling in love.

Snow, secrets, some danger, one hot tub, Christmas decorations, and family.





Texas Christmas (Texas #5)

Writing the Texas series was a labour of love, and I had to put in a Christmas story for Jack, Riley, and their extended family.

There is of course drama with the Campbell-Hayes, including a terrifying car trip home with the Christmas Tree. Add in the boy's new family and this ends up being a very interesting Christmas for them all.

The Case of the Sinful Santa

End Street Detective Agency Book 4, written with Amber Kell

How could we not explore the idea of a Klaus family in this series of books featuring vampires, demons, angels, dragons and one kind of human, along with a cast of many other paranormals?

In this book we explored what it must be like born into the Klaus family but not wanting to be a Santa... And and of course, we introduced our very own Angel just to shake things up.





Snow In Montana (Montana #4)

The fourth story in the Montana series is a look at Justin and Adam, alongside a whole new romance between a B list actor and a Sheriff.

I love Christmas movies, and this novel is set against the March backdrop for filming *Snow In Montana* starring The King Of Christmas (TM) Jordan Darby. Meeting Ryan Carter, the local sheriff, is way too tempting for Jordan. How long can he stay in the closet?

Love Happens Anyway 

This is what happens when...

a) Alex Jane asks authors to write a short story for an Advent Calendar and i have this idea about.... things...

b) Becky Condit on a discussion about what is awesome about MM, says she loves the phrase *Love Happens Anyway*

Well, you see, what happens is that A CHRISTMAS BOOK is born (because you know how much I like Christmas!

Rainbow Snippets - December 9


Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (snippets are 6 sentences long–one for each colour in the Pride flag). You can find all the snippets by clicking here.

My snippet this week is from Texas Christmas (Texas #5), with more trials and tribulations on the Double D Ranch, where family is more than who's blood you carry...

~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~

Liam Frazier listened from a short distance and wished the ground would swallow him up so that he wouldn’t be found out.

He sat with his knees drawn up to his chest not more than ten feet from Jack Campbell-Hayes. With only a stall wall between them, Liam was close enough to hear every word his boss said. He didn’t mean to eavesdrop—everyone should have been in bed by now and Liam thought he’d have the horse barn to himself.

Fuck.

He was going to be discovered and told to leave the D.

~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~
 
Now Available In Audio

Six men with lives linked to the Double D... Danger comes to the Double D from Liam's past and threatens everything Jack and Riley hold dear.

Centering on Jack and Riley, parents, lovers and friends. Jack makes a decision that will affect the ranch, and Riley realises peace comes at a price.

Eli and Robbie have their home on Double D land. Their love is rooted in the Texas soil and they weather as many storms as can be thrown at them.

And Liam, a young man with a head full of dreams and sleep full of nightmares, finds that all things are possible when Marcus decides to interrupt his solitary existence.

Buy Links


Texas Series



Feature Friday - Elin Gregory - Writing Historicals


My guest for Feature Friday this week is the wonderful Elin Gregory, here to talk about the pitfalls of writing historicals, welcome Elin...

One of the great joys, and great hazards, of writing historical fiction is the amount of research that needs to be done. There are very few people who are so steeped in the culture, primary sources and archaeological records of their chosen period that they don't need to fact check. Mary Beard is probably a safe bet for Roman stuff but I bet even she has to refresh her memory from time to time. And I'm just a museum worker with about enough knowledge of the 3000 years or so of the history our collection comprises to give out handy little soundbites, entertaining but not too heavy. When I embark on a new project it means some serious reading and note taking.

I do know writers who use their overall impression of the period to write their first draft and then check the fine detail to flesh out the second draft but you can get badly caught out by that. Part of the plot of Eleventh Hour, set in London in 1928, rests upon a chance encounter on a trolley bus. I adored them when I was a child – the ting of the bell, the showers of sparks as the boom that carried the electrical current bounced across from wire to wire – and my mother, born in 1925 was certain that they predated her.

Photo from Manchester Daily Express 1962
I checked, of course, even found an image of trolley bus designs dated 1928 – I thought. But once the book had been released into the wild, so to speak, I was looking up something else and discovered that the '1928' referred to the model number and the **&^% things hadn't gone actually gone into service till 1929 – about 3 months too late! If only I'd used the word "tram", dammit! Internet searches and asking ones mum are all fine and dandy but sometimes you need books – expensive glossy specialist books.

There's nothing quite as satisfying as going book shopping with the knowledge that, if necessary [and assuming you get any royalties] you can write the shopping spree off against tax. Books tend to go into subjects in more depth and also are peer reviewed, which can get absolutely vicious. They may vary in interpretation of the facts but the facts and supporting material are usually kosher. But even so there are times when you come across things for which there's really no excuse.

Some years ago I decided to take another swipe at a long project based on Y Gododdin, a 9th century Welsh poem describing a series of battles in Dark Ages Northumberland and Yorkshire. Amongst the Dark Ages history titles I picked up was The Holy Kingdom by Adrian Gilbert. This was published by Bantam books – a subsidiary of Transworld publishers so not a hole in the corner outfit. I was leafing through the photos in the middle and well…


You know that feeling you get when someone tries to tell you you’re looking at a unicorn but somehow you can't quite believe it?

Well it’s worse when you’re looking at a painting you know very well, by an artist you admire and the painting is completely uncredited! This is art piracy and a Really Bad Thing!

This is the picture, though in the book it is cropped to the left and has no attribution.


It was painted by Ron Embleton – beloved to people of my generation for his illustrations in Look and Learn, the end titles for the Captain Scarlet cartoon series, and his raunchy cartoon strip Wicked Wanda – but he was also very well known as a historical illustrator. The painting was commissioned by the National Museum of Wales and shows an upper Paleolithic interment on the Gower coastline, wrongly described as the Red Lady of Paviland [it’s a bloke]. At approximately 33,000 years old it is the oldest ritual burial to be found in Western Europe. The body was covered with a thick coating of red ochre, possibly as a deterrent to scavengers. In the Holy Kingdom the image is described as being a depiction of the burial of King Arthur and there's so much wrong with that I just don't know where to start!

Art piracy is as egregious as book piracy. Five minutes with Google reverse image search can usually give you an attribution that, even if it's not 100% correct at least makes it look like you've TRIED! But far worse than that, Holy Kingdom was advertised as a work of reference and now there is a whole bunch of would be Arthurian scholars who probably think that Arthur fought the Saxons dressed in a parka and mukluks.

So books – yeah, but they have to be the RIGHT books.

All of which is trying to say – I suppose – that authors of historical works do their best to get things right with the resources at their disposal but sometimes we just get it wrong. If I do another edition of Eleventh Hour, it'll say 'tram' dammit!

Logo by Catherine Dair
Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and has been making stuff up since she learned to talk. Writing has always had to take second place to work and family but, slowly, she is finishing the many novels on her hard drive and actually trying to do something useful with them.

Historical subjects predominate. She has written about ancient Greek sculptors, 18th century seafarers but also about modern men who change shape at will and how echoes of the past can be heard in the present. Heroes tend to be hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow.

There are always new works on the go and she is currently writing more 1930s spies, adding to a series of contemporary romances and doing background reading for stories set in Roman Britain and in WW2.

Website: www.elingregory.com Blog: http://elingregory.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elin.gregory

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Borrowed from the Secret Intelligence Service cipher department to assist Briers Allerdale – a field agent returning to 1920s London with news of a dangerous anarchist plot – Miles Siward moves into a ‘couples only’ boarding house, posing as Allerdale’s ‘wife’. Miles relishes the opportunity to allow his alter ego, Millie, to spread her wings but if Miles wants the other agent’s respect he can never betray how much he enjoys being Millie nor how attractive he finds Allerdale.

Pursuing a ruthless enemy who wants to throw Europe back into the horrors of the Great War, Briers and Miles are helped and hindered by nosy landladies, Water Board officials, suave gentlemen representing foreign powers and their own increasing attraction to each other.

Will they catch their quarry? Will they find love? Could they hope for both?

The clock is ticking. 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.