Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Fortitude Part Four


Something exciting this week! City boys, in the wild? At night? In a tent? Whatever could happen?! This week's flash update was inspired by the prompt: "I hate the dark!"

Fortitude Part Four


“Psst, Will. Did you hear that?”

I groaned. Teddy kept waking me up, insisting he heard something. He’d maybe slept an hour before it started. “Teddy, go to sleep. It’s nothing. The wind, maybe, but we are far too close to the city for any big creatures that can eat you.”

“We’re going where creatures can eat us?” Teddy squeaked and grabbed my arm over him, digging his nails into my flesh. “I hate the dark!”

“Ouch! Teddy, would you please calm yourself? You’re acting like a nelly!”

“Will….”

I was never going to get any sleep if I didn’t go check out whatever sound had him fretting. “Fine. I’ll go look. Will that calm you down?” I grabbed my pistol and sword. I buckled my sword belt around my waist, and buckled on my shoes, squirming to get them on in the small tent. I held my pistol and grabbed the lantern—squirming out of the tent on my elbows in an undignified fashion.

“The things I do for you,” I muttered. I stood up, frowning at the mud on the elbows of my shirt. “Damn it.” A small thought and the wick on the lantern began to glow blue. I held it up.

The beam perimeter was still intact. I walked around the inside, checking each box and peering out into the trees. Nothing was in sight… not that I’d expected anything. Teddy would hopefully get used to be outdoors soon, because I was tired and wanted to rest. We had too far to go tomorrow to be bothering with such nonsense.

Teddy was peeking out of the front of the tent, watching me. I bet he’d been dreaming, and only thought he heard something while he was awake.

“See, nothing to worry ab—”

Teddy shrieked, hands scrabbling at the ground as he disappeared into the tent. It collapsed and I could see him behind it, inside the perimeter. Something was hunched over him, holding him by the ankles. I held up the lantern and sent a surge of power to it as I darted forward.

How the hell did that get around the perimeter?

I held my gun up in the air and shot, hoping to scare the creature off if the light didn’t work. The shot made it react—but it didn’t run off. It jumped on me, bearing me backward onto the ground. My elbow hit the ground and my gun went flying. My sword tip was under my leg, and I couldn’t get it free.

The stench was abominable. Whatever it was, it had to have been scavenging rotting carcasses for its last meal. Possibly last hundred meals. I gagged.

The light wasn’t strong enough to see what it was, but it was strong and had a tight grip on my arm. I raised my other arm with the lantern and sent a surge of power, making it flare bright.

“Argh!” The creature turned its face away and scrambled off me.

“Will!”

“Shh, Teddy, be still.” I waved my hand at him as I slowly sat up. I faced the creature. “Hey, we aren’t going to hurt you.”

“Bad. Bad light. Bad sound. Shh.”

The sound was more of a hiss than him shushing me. Our camp invader wasn’t a creature—though it was very hard to tell under the layers of filth and fur. He was a man, stringy and thin, but he was young. I dimmed the lantern and he dropped his arm.

His clothes were furry and flat bits of what I assumed were animal skins, tied around him. He had a mess of knotted hair and a scraggly beard.

“Who are you?” I asked.

Teddy crept up to me, pressing against my back. “What is it?”

“Not a what, a who. That’s a man.”

He growled at us.

“Kind of.” I studied him. What was a human doing outside the city, alive? No one could live out here; nearly every creature that existed would kill a man, if given the chance. It was too dangerous, and most of the plants were poisonous. Lack of food and clean water would kill anyone off who tried to live off the land which was why I packed extra goods for our journey.

“Who are you?” I asked him again.

The man snarled. “Go home.” He waved a hand at us, pointing to the city. “Bad. Go home.”

“We can’t. I’m looking for something.”

He had surprisingly white teeth he bared at us when he scowled. He certainly didn’t like what I said. Too damn bad. I had a mission, and a plan, and I would not be deterred. Not even by the odd miracle of a person actually surviving in an environment designed to kill him.

“Nothing here. Go ‘way.” He pointed back at the city again with one dirt encrusted finger.

“Well, you’re here.”

He cocked his head, narrowing his eyes. “No one look for me.  Bad. Bad.”

I had to wonder if he meant looking for him was bad, or if he was bad. He had scared us, but he didn’t seem particularly violent. “Why? Who are you? Where do you come from?” My mind was racing. Everyone knew the cities were our only hope for mankind.

Right?

“We’re not looking for you. I just meant there is more than nothing here, because you’re here.” Okay, yeah, that didn’t register with him at all.

“Teddy, hand me my bag. Slowly.”

The strange man was poised on the balls of his feet—to run or attack, I had no clue. Without taking my eyes off him, I used my free hand to dig inside a side pocket. I pulled out a packet of cheese and tore off a small chunk of bread.

“Here.” I threw them at him. He caught both, instantly stuffing the bread in his mouth. He didn’t sniff it, but he did the cheese package, his cheeks puffed out as he chewed furiously. He’d seen bread before, and he was hungry. He growled at the cheese. He smelled it, maybe, but couldn’t open it.

Interesting.


TBC

Like that? More next week! Plus there are other updates to enjoy from the Briefers!

Briefers website


Friday, October 24, 2014

Featuring Be My Human by M.A. Church and Julie Hayes!

I'm featuring yet another eBook from some of my fav authors, and fav genres, today! Please welcome Julie Hayes and M.A. Church with Be My Human.


The Making of an Alien

I was very excited when we started writing Be My Alien for two reasons: one, I was getting to write with my friend, M.A. Church, and two, we were going to write about aliens! And since she had written about aliens in the Nighttime series (which I’d read) as well as the Harvest series (which I hadn’t yet), we decided I should write the alien and she’d write the earthling.

Yes! I was very excited! But where to begin? In M.A.’s Nighttime books, the alien has dreads/tentacles that can take on a life of their own, and is somewhat reptilian appearance. So I knew I had to go into a different direction. And since I happen to be a catlover, it seemed very natural that my alien should have some... well... feline qualities, let us say.

I needed a name for him, of course. At the time, I was watching Top Chef, and one of the chefs had definitely caught my fancy. His name was Fabio Viviani. He’s so cute! And the way he says “burger” as “boorger” is adorable! But I digress. I elongated his name a little bit and came up with Fabrintazo, thinking his nickname would be a derivative of Fabio. But things don’t work out the way you thought, and he informed me he preferred Taz, so Taz he became.

Taz just sort of developed as I wrote him. In the first book, he’s on a date with Vorlod, a fellow student at the university he attends on his home planet of Trygos. He’s been wanting to go out with Vorlod forever, but had no luck, until suddenly out of the blue, Vorlod invites him to Earth! Taz gets dumped there by Vorlod, who was only using him, because he is a trusting, innocent soul, very na├»ve. And now very lost and alone on Earth.

Taz has stripes, but they only become noticeable when he is aroused. Same for his tale. It wasn’t until after I’d developed him and we were writing the first book, Be My Alien, that I actually got to read The Harvest. And I was amazed to learn that M.A.’s alien, Keyno, has very catlike qualities himself! Great minds think alike is all I can say, although the similarities are more superficial than actual. I still think it’s funny I came up with a cat alien all on my own and wasn’t influenced by hers lol.

In Be My Human, the major part of the conflict belongs to Reed, but of course, Taz is in the thick of things. I hope you enjoy reading about them both, and thanks for having me on your blog. If you were going to create an alien, how would he or she look? I’d love to know!
 
 

 
Blurb:
Reed and Taz are still adjusting to their new lives together when a medical emergency sends them flying down to Florida on short notice. Not quite the way Reed pictured introducing Taz to his family. Reed’s sister, Rene, welcomes the outgoing Taz with open arms, and the kittenish alien charms Reed’s parents.

 

But someone isn’t quite so enamored of Reed’s boyfriend—his homophobic older brother Jacob seems determined to be as unpleasant as possible, and he’s making their visit very uncomfortable. The sudden appearance of Reed’s controlling ex releases a flood of insecurity and bad memories.

 

Reed begins to doubt himself, and his ability to love and be loved in return. When strange items begin appearing as if out of nowhere, he wonders if he’s being stalked, or is he just paranoid? What can Taz do to prove to Reed that he’s more than enough man for this alien?

 

Excerpt:

They’d been living together for a month now, ever since the fateful day Taz had literally fallen on Reed at the Empire State Building. One of the first things Reed had done after the adorable alien had moved in with him was buy Taz a cell phone, then teach him how to use it. Even though Taz was from another planet, one that was much more advanced than Earth, he was unfamiliar with Earth’s comparatively primitive technology. Reed swore after Taz had been kidnapped by the creature he’d dubbed the Evil Alien, he’d always have a way to call for help, thus the phone. That first week after they’d been reunited, Taz had talked Reed into letting him stay home alone while Reed worked at the boutique. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Taz had called Reed around lunchtime, nearly in tears.

When Reed arrived home, he’d been greeted with a nightmare of a mess. Even before he got to his apartment, he could hear the TV blasting in the living room. Which was bad enough, but Taz had somehow figured out how to turn the surround sound on. When Reed opened the door, the noise nearly blew him out of his shoes. It was like sitting in the front row at a movie theater. That, it turned out, was the easiest problem to rectify. Reed had shut the TV off, then looked around the apartment, stunned and slightly horrified.

He’d forgotten about Taz’s natural curiosity. What a mistake that was, and the proof of his error in judgment was spread out all over the kitchen. Flour had been strewn across the floor, a few eggs lay broken on the counter, every covered container in the refrigerator had been taken out and opened… then tasted. Taz had found the blender, dumped some sort of liquid in and turned it on, without putting the top on the machine. There was unrecognizable goo all over the counters, the cabinets, the floors. Plus, Taz had found the sugar. From the looks of it, he’d eaten half the bag.

And that was just the kitchen.

The bathroom had been thoroughly explored as well, as evidenced by the streams of shredded toilet paper spread throughout the place, toothpaste smeared all over the counters in minty globules, and so on.

What was that old saying about curiosity killing the cat?


Meet the Authors:

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint, and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all.  Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Wayward Ink Publishing Amber Quill Press, MuseitUp Publishing, Torquere Press, and eXtasy Books. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at Wayward Ink and MuseitUp.  

You can find her on her blog at http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com, and you can contact her at tothemax.wolf@gmail.com.

My links:
Blog    Twitter @Shelley_runyon    Facebook  My Goodreads

 
M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.

She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013.
My Links:

Blog     Twitter      Goodreads


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Fortitude Part Three

Another week, another flash update! And for those who are interested, I've added 10k and completed edited Pricolici. I'm still working on it, there's more to share to the story that didn't make the first version. I hope to have it back out as an eBook to purchase soon! In the meantime, enjoy this update inspired by the prompt: "Now see, that's the problem!"

Fortitude Part Three


“We’re going to sleep in there? It looks quite small.”

“It’s small apurpose. Our packs can only hold so much without weighing us down. Besides, it will keep us warm when the air chills at night.” I unlaced the top of my bag and pulled out a small brazier nestled into a fireproof box. “Care for some tea?” We’d had nothing but cold water in our flasks since that morning.

“Will. I need to use the necessary.”

“Now see, that’s a problem.” I snorted. I waved my hand at the trees around us. “Just pick any you like.”

Teddy blushed, but hurried over to a small sapling. He kept his back to me as he fumbled with his laces. I folded the sides of the brazier box down to form a nice stand. The handle straightened to a nice poker. I stirred the coals, feeding in twigs from around me on the ground, until I had a merry little blaze.

Soon our tea was steeping. I spread pungent, soft cheese across two hunks of bread and handed one to Teddy.

“Thank you.” Teddy uttered prayers over his meal. I bowed my head out of respect; I was not nearly so devout, so it sufficed that he said them.

“Do you think it will rain?” Teddy asked in a dreamy voice. He leaned back, staring up at the dark sky. “I can’t see the stars. Do you think they’re still up there, when the clouds hide them away?”

“Of course. The stars do not shine or fade based on the whims of the moisture in the air.” I poured the tea into small collapsible mugs. “Hold it by the handle, or the cup will collapse,” I warned him.

The soothing ritual of a quiet drink together in the evening took away some of the fear of the unknown. I enjoyed the fresh air—it’d been so long since I’d taken a breath not contaminated by coal smoke. “Time to set up a perimeter.” My father had designed the devices we set up in a circle around our tent and fire. Five of the flat cubes were enough, once we unfolded and snapped them together. I tapped the button on their tops, sending a beam of light from one side of a cube to a mirror on the next. It bounced off the angled surface, breaking the beam into multiple strands. Breaking the beams would trigger an alarm in the two boxes separated.

“Let’s take off our coats. We can fold them up for pillows.” I opened Teddy’s pack and pulled out the rolled up blanket. “We’ll share this.”

Teddy hemmed and hawed. We’d not slept in the same bed since we were boys, and he’d always been shy about putting on his night clothes. He stared up at the sky and then nervously around the small clearing.

“Are you afraid?” I asked him.

“Of course not,” he protested. “I’ve just never slept in a tent before.” Living in the city wasn’t conducive to outdoor explorations; it’d been nearly impossible to find an actual tent.

“It’ll be fine. Besides, it’s starting to sprinkle.” Small, cool drops began to smack down on the leaves and grass. One hit my forehead as I tilted my head back to see how the clouds had progressed. I wiped it away.

Teddy and I hadn’t been so close since the last time he’d stayed a fortnight while his little brother had arrived. That first morning we woke up touching. It was illicit, forbidden… and so tantalizing. I couldn’t understand why something that felt so good was considered wrong. It wasn’t like I planned to speak of it, but Teddy was too fearful of their secret coming to light.

Risk and reward. We had different ideas about that.

I knew Teddy didn’t really want to stop. If he did, I would have, but he just didn’t want to get caught. Well here we were, outside the city for the first time in our lives, and completely alone. And, however shy he acted, I’d always woke up with Teddy curled on me or around me.

To get him moving, I crawled into the tent first. I shuffled around, shucking my boots down at the corner of the tent. My gun and sword went across at my head where I could reach them if the perimeter alarms went off. I tucked my pillow made of my thick wool coat under my neck and rolled onto my side to make more room for Teddy to get in. “Come on.”

Teddy climbed in after me. He kneed me in the thigh as he scrambled on his hands and knees. “Careful, now.” I didn’t need a knee near my personal bits.

“Sorry.” A few grunts and squirms and then Teddy was on his side, facing away from me. His back was rigid and he kept space between us. That was going to get cold, later, if he didn’t fall asleep soon and relax.

It took some doing, but I got the blanket over us both. By the time we’d stopped moving around, rain was pelting steadily on the tent. I was glad I found it in time for our expedition.

“Night, Will.”

I ruffled his hair. “Night, Teddy.”

Gradually Teddy’s breathing slowed. A sharp wind hit the tent. Teddy shivered. I put my hand on his shoulder, and he melted back into me. “Will, mmm,” he mumbled. He let out a cute little snore. I sighed and tucked my face against his shoulder, pulling the blanket up.

Outside the city walls, surrounded by strange trees and who knows what type of animals, I didn’t really expect to sleep well, but I did.

There wasn’t a speck of space between me and Teddy. He’d grabbed my arm and was holding it tight to his chest. It slowly rose and fell as he slept peacefully in my grasp.

This was what I’d been missing. This is why I’d asked for Teddy to come along.

TBC

Okay, who wants more of this story? Is Will sounding a little less cocky? Or would you still love to smack him? For more flash updates, follow the links below, and I'll be back next week with more!

Wednesday Briefers


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Limited Time: Free download: Fall Break Fright!

Remember the eBook I just featured? If you thought it was interesting, but don't have the means to buy it, it's your lucky day! You can get Fall Break Fright by Avery Dawes, FREE, Saturday 10/18 and Sunday 10/19 on Amazon. Don't forget to leave the author a review, if you get the chance! It's a great way to thank someone for a free download--you know we all adore feedback!


FREE 10/18 & 10/19

 
 
Carson Davis can’t go home…

His aunt is his only relative in the world, and she’s made it clear she doesn’t want him there during his fall break. Looks like he’s stuck at college, alone and heart-broken. But Carson hasn’t figured on his new roommate, Tyler Owen, who’s extremely hot and unfortunately straight.

Or is he?

Tyler unexpectedly invites Carson to go with him to his family’s home in Kansas. Not only that, but Carson’s gaydar must be off, ‘cause Tyler is not only gay, he’s into Carson! However, things go horribly wrong once they reach Kansas. Not with them, but with the unexpected appearance of…

Zombies?

The world seems to have gone mad, and now it’s Carson and Tyler against the walking dead. They have to survive these creatures so they can enjoy their happily ever after.

** This is a short story **

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Fortitude Part Two



It's back! A bit more, to give you a feel of the world I've dropped you in, inspired by the prompt: Use the words track, pilot, and star.

Fortitude Part Two


“It’s blank.” Teddy frowned down at the metal square inside the box. “What good is that?”

I smirked. “You think? Touch it, but just on the corner.”

Teddy reached inside and slid his pinkie along the edge of the metal sheet nestled inside the box. “It’s oily.” He sniffed his finger. “And it stinks.”

“Here, hold this for me.” I handed Teddy the lantern. The light dimmed, but I didn’t want it bright for this anyway. “Watch.” I reached inside the pocket where I’d hid the box and pulled out a very special light. A quick shake, and a focused thought, and the tip lit up, glowing a baleful red.

Floating just above the oil was a haze that only appeared under my light. I moved it over the box and then away. “See, it’s a map!” Inside the haze were darker lines and shapes. “I found the box and experimented with chemicals to bring out the haze to make the map visible with just a few waves.”

“Where did you find it?”

“The museum.” I carefully closed the box and locked it. I’d memorized this part of the journey under the city, and it was better to keep it protected. I tucked it safely back into my inner pocket.

“Did you steal”—Teddy goggled at me with his mouth open quite unbecomingly—“from a museum?”

I tapped his chin. “Close your mouth; I don’t want to see your tonsils. I didn’t steal it. It was hidden with the study exhibit they had set up, in his desk. They had no idea it was even there, so they’ll never miss what they didn’t know they had.”

He titled his head. “That sounds quite self-serving. You took something that didn’t belong to you.”

“It didn’t belong to them either. Besides, I can give it back when we’re done. Do you think anyone will care once I get Shvesla’s codex and restart his machine?” He was focusing on the wrong thing. “I’m going to become famous.”

“Okay, Will.”

That was my Teddy. He sometimes focused on the wrong things, but in the end, he was behind me. “Come on, we need to continue. We don’t want to arrive at the end of the tunnel late in the day. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care to spend my first night in the wild unprepared.”

Teddy handed me back the lantern, and we moved on. The tunnel narrowed and lowered until we were hunched over. “This won’t squeeze down much farther, will it?”

“People are meant to follow the path, therefore the tunnel has to be passable.” At least… I hoped. I really didn’t relish crawling on my hands and knees. My trousers would be ruined.

It was a close thing; my back was aching as we hunched over with the rocky ceiling so close it often brushed against our hair. How we avoided braining ourselves, I wasn’t sure. The sound of water running clued me in to the fact the tunnel was finally coming to an end.

And not a moment too soon.

“I think my back is broken. I may never walk upright again,” Teddy complained. He put a hand on the small of his back and stood up, groaning. “That was awful, Will.”

“Shh.” He hadn’t gotten a good look at where we were yet, but I had. “We’re outside.”

“Well if we were inside I couldn’t stand up.”

I put a hand behind me, grabbing his wrist. “No. Teddy. We’re outside.” I couldn’t even see the walls behind us through the trees. I didn’t know anyone who’d been outside the city. In preparation, I’d read up on animal tracks and navigating by the stars. I had a pilot box, but I was unsure if there were roads where we’d have to do. The directional arrows were drawn to markers embedded in signal posts. By aligning to the nearest signpost, we could reliably know which direction we faced based on the movement of the arrows.

It was a great system in the city.

I didn’t see any markers.

“Superb. So. Outside.” I heard paper rustling. Teddy had pulled out the tiny pad of paper he carried around. He scribbled with a tiny pen I’d made him that had an internal reservoir of ink. “It’s pretty.”

Would he still think it was pretty when we were wandering around the woods? “What are you doing?”

“Writing notes, impressions. Just little fritterings.” Teddy tucked his things away. “So, onward, yes? Which way?”

For now, I did have the answer to that. “South.”

He looked around. “Which way is that?”

“That way,” I said, pointing straight ahead, “seeing as we came out past the south wall of the city.” My map showed me that much. I’d have to watch the stars tonight and pick out landmarks to get our bearings for tomorrow.

“Great! Right into those pretty blue flowers.” Teddy was off. He plucked one and tucked it into a button hole of a jacket pocket.

 

Teddy, festooned with flowers he’d picked along the way, wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic as the sun faded behind the trees. “How long have we been walking?”

“Just a few hours.”

He mopped his forehead with a cloth. “Do you think we can stop soon?” His stomach growled. “I’m hungry.”

“Well, there’s a good clearing over there. We can stop as soon as we reach it.”

It didn’t take long, tramping over some curled ferns and a downed tree carpeted with a streaky yellow moss. Teddy frowned. “What now?”

I grabbed a metal tube tied to my pack. 3 smaller tubes slid out of it. With a few twists and clicks I expanded the metal into long rods. Separating them in the center, I had two forked ends. The longest tube locked into them, about waist high. Pressing on one side, a thin, silver fabric unfurled. I secured it under the edges, then rolled the other side down ‘til the seams met in the center and could be tied into a ground cover.

“Voila. A tent!”

TBC

I'm liking this world! Boys of the city... meet nature! This is gonna be fun, lol!

Okay, so go read more flash. You know you wanna....

Wednesday Briefers Website

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Spooky Feature: Fall Break Fright by Avery Dawes!!

It's October... so we had to know some of the featured content was going to be creeptacular, right?! Welcome Avery Dawes with a great interview and a featured short story! So without further ado... let's see what kind of dirt she spills!



Single people work more. Are you single?
Work more or play more? *evil grin* Yes, to answer your question, I’m single.

Who do you like best, Jerry or Tom?
Ooh, that’s tough. I’d have to go with Jerry. He’s the cuter of the two! Plus, I always liked how he could hide in the smallest of places.

Do you eat your fruits and vegetables?
Of course I do! LOL Actually, I’m vegetarian so those are pretty much a must…in addition to my protein shakes.

What are you wearing (and no fibbing!)?
Well, since I’m typing this while hanging in my favorite coffee shop, you aren’t going to get anything juicy! I’m wearing jeans and a merino wool sweater. It’s a bit chilly this morning!

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
Does pulling the covers up over the pillows count? I’ve got to do that or my cat will make herself to home on my favorite pillow. No way am I putting my face where cat butt has been!! So, if that counts, then yes, I make my bed. *wink*

Chocolate or Vanilla?
Depends on the time of day. Seriously. My body is really sensitive to caffeine. I prefer chocolate, but if I want to get to sleep before midnight, then it will be vanilla.

What brought you to my blog?
One of your flash fiction pieces. Your site introduced me to Wednesday Briefs. Thank you so much for that; I’m really enjoying being part of the group.

Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
Most of the time my characters have a mind of their own and take me places I don’t expect, which can be fun and frustrating. I typically have an idea where I want the story to go, and sometimes they throw a curve that catches me completely by surprise.

I actually have one character that, every now and again, drives me crazy. I have him pictured but haven’t started his story yet. He definitely gets on me about that!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’m not sure who I would choose…that’s tough. I will say that Stephanie Meyer (and the Twilight series) got me into writing. I was always told by teachers/ professors that I could write—technical writing. After seeing the success Ms. Meyer achieved, I wanted to prove those people wrong and show them that I could write creatively. For me writing isn’t about making money (although, I won’t lie—it would be pretty cool to end up on the NY Times Best Seller’s list!), it’s about telling a story and giving readers a break from their world. Maybe they can escape to my world and enjoy my characters and what they achieve.

Wow—I hadn’t meant to write that much!!

Name one entity that you feel supported you in your writing endeavors outside of family members.
My good friend Dawn; her nickname’s ‘Awesome Dawn’ for good reason! I met her through a writing group; we soon found that we had more than writing in common, but she remains my “go to” person when having trouble with plot and story flow.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finishing a story. Ugh. *frowns* I have all these great story ideas and a number of them have been started (anywhere from 100-500 words), but my problem lies in finishing them. I seem to get stuck on where they need to go to be a successful story. I’ve tried outlining, and it seems to help me past my normal hurdles.

Do you have any writing rituals?
I don’t know if it should be considered a ritual, but I do my best writing when I’m not at home. I find that there are too many distractions, and I get sidetracked easily. For some reason, when I’m at a coffee shop (for example), I can focus despite the noise. Maybe it’s the drink that helps me out! Today, I’m enjoying a coconut cream latte. Yum!

How did you come up with the title for Fall Break Fright?
I struggle with titles. For some reason, they are particularly elusive! This story started off as a spring break story, but the more I thought about it, I realized it worked better as a fall/ Halloween story. After batting ideas around with Dawn, Fall Break Fright came into existence.

Did the characters or the plot come to you first?
Hmm…I would say Carson and Tyler came first. The zombies second, and the plot last.

If your story were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters part?
If we could make Neil Patrick Harris younger, he would be Carson. Tyler would be played by a younger Matt Damon. (Both Carson and Tyler are in their early 20s in the story.)

Can you tell us about projects you are working on?
I have a couple of works-in-progress. Titles are the last thing that come to me so I’ll have to give brief descriptions. I’m working on a first person m-f romantic suspense. I had a request for another story in the Latin Heat series so that will be m-f erotica. Last, but not least, I have a Valentine’s Day m-f story in the works. I’m hoping to set some writing goals during NaNoWriMo to finish some of those stories. Of course, I want to keep writing flash fiction, and those will be mostly m-m. 


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Carson Davis can’t go home…
     
His aunt is his only relative in the world, and she’s made it clear she doesn’t want him there during his fall break. Looks like he’s stuck at college, alone and heart-broken. But Carson hasn’t figured on his new roommate, Tyler Owen, who’s extremely hot and unfortunately straight.
     
Or is he?
     
Tyler unexpectedly invites Carson to go with him to his family’s home in Kansas. Not only that, but Carson’s gaydar must be off, ‘cause Tyler is not only gay, he’s into Carson! However, things go horribly wrong once they reach Kansas. Not with them, but with the unexpected appearance of…
      
Zombies?
     
The world seems to have gone mad, and now it’s Carson and Tyler against the walking dead. They have to survive these creatures so they can enjoy their happily ever after. 




About the Author
The secret is out: Avery Dawes is Denise Wyant’s naughty alter-ego. Avery enjoys writing about the passion that exists between two hunky and sometimes geeky men while Denise favors the alpha male who sweeps an intelligent and sassy woman off her feet. Both believe in their characters finding love and happiness, no matter the trials they have to endure to achieve it.

When Denise & Avery aren’t relaxing just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, with a cup of coffee, or staying fit—running, lifting, or cycling—they make time to write and blog. You can find them at http://denisewyant.wordpress.com.

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6704485.Denise_L_Wyant