Tag Archives: Vermont

Interview with Gabbi Grey

Welcome to the blog, Gabbi.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

For me, it’s all about character.  In my new book, Jared was an existing character in an existing world.  He’s been in about 25 other books so all the fans have an impression of him.  I wanted to go deeper.  He puts up a front of being the friendliest guy in town – and he is – but what is that happiness hiding?  What’s beneath the surface?  What doesn’t he want everyone to know?  And for Xander, my other hero, I started with his emotional wound.  What has brought him into Jared’s sphere and what if his wound is in conflict with Jared’s need to avoid certain circumstances?  How can they make it work?  The story and plot were built out of my two heroes.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

I write romances so I often have the beginning and the end with very little in the middle.  I have my couple and how they meet and I have their happy ending.  Everything else is often unknown to me when I start.  I envy plotters because I like to believe they don’t get stuck quite as often.  I will say that I write linearly so if I sit down at the keyboard, I’ll force myself to type the next word and the next and so on.  I might wind up editing or deleting those words, but the push to move on is what keeps the story moving forward.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?  I always believe I’m submitting a complete and clean manuscript, but my eagle-eyed editors always find something.  These days I’ve been working on expletives (the non-swear word varieties).  I’m guilty of having plenty of ‘there was’, ‘there were’ and ‘it was’ in my manuscript.  My editor believes (correctly) that this is lazy writing. To tighten up my sentences, she makes me go back to rework them.  Also, my Canadian sometimes shows and I throw in an extra ‘u’ (neighbour, labour) or a theatre.  Again, my trusty editor finds them and fixes them so the manuscripts are consistently American spelling.  Guess that British ancestry is stronger than I thought.

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

I have a day job so my writing is in snippets, snatches, and every possible minute of vacation I can get.  I also do writing sprints at 5am so I can get in some words before I start working for the day.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

I do.  I don’t like to be hemmed it. I think it might be my ADD.  I love writing gay romances and within the genre I write contemporary – be they sweet through to spicy.  I also write m/f dark erotic BDSM romances under the pen name Gabbi Black.  I will be launching my indie career later this year writing contemporary romances (mid-heat, mid-angst) under the pen name Gabbi Powell.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

You’ll laugh – I primarily use baby books.  I went through several and created a master list of names from various backgrounds and time periods.  Sometimes when I’m stuck, I’ll use either a name generator or I’ll see which names were popular in the year my character was born.  I try to make it fun for myself and I hope my readers like my choices.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I’ve a pet in my life since my early twenties and I’m now (gasp) pushing fifty.  These days I have a cantankerous seventeen-year-old Himalayan Blue Point named Arabella de Bergerac (better known as Bella) and a trusty five-year-old ChinPoo named Ally.  There’s a scene in my newest book that takes place in an animal shelter and I don’t want to give too much away, but I might have made readers sniff.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I’m a firm believer in love is love.  I read and write gay romances.  I’m hoping readers who haven’t tried the genre before will be willing to read my book.  It’s a sweet gay romance about two men falling in love.  I was especially honored to be able to give Jared the awesome ending he so richly deserves and a man who will make him happy forever.

BLURB

Jared Langford is a happy man. The desk clerk at the Deerbourne Inn knows everyone in his cozy town in Vermont. He is accepted and loved by the community, but he’s missing someone special in his life.

Devastating news has brought journalist Xander Fortier to Willow Springs for some much-needed rest. He’s photographed every major conflict in the world for the last ten years, but being stateside has forced him to reassess the solitary life he’s been living.

Something in Xander’s gruff demeanor calls to Jared’s caring nature. Soon the men are spending time together, but Jared’s kisses might not be enough to keep Xander from leaving. Can the men find a happily ever after if they only have today?

BUY LINKS

Amazon US:  https://amzn.to/3fOsviy

Amazon CA:  https://amzn.to/31LG1LP

KOBO:  https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/if-only-for-today

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-only-for-today-gabbi-grey/1138919955

iBooks:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/if-only-for-today/id1556170342

Publisher:  https://www.thewildrosepress.com/book-post/if-only-for-today

EXCERPT

A low whistle drew Jared’s attention. Since the view from his balcony over the grassy area wasn’t likely to garner much attention, the whistle had to be because of the artwork. With a grin, he headed past his kitchen and into his living room. His smart television hung on one wall across from his recliner couch. Surrounding it were ten photographs. Some were black and white, some were color. All were of landscapes and nature.

“You took these, didn’t you?”

No hint of accusation, just awe.

“Yes, I did. I’m pretty proud of them.” Proud was an understatement. He’d given them pride of place, on the wall he looked at most. Whether he watched television, curled up with a book, or simply sat and listened to a soundtrack, he’d always admire his photos. When friends came over, he was happy to show them off. He didn’t preen in public, to be sure, but sometimes a little pride was okay.

“Good goddamn you’re talented.”

He wanted to cheer at the admiration in the other man’s voice. “I… Yeah, I guess I am. Although my reject pile is massive.”

“Hey, for every great shot there are dozens of mediocre ones. I get that.” Xander placed the bags on the floor and stepped forward. “The mountain?”

“Sugar Bush.” Jared pointed to another shot. “And I took that one from the top of the mountain.”

“And I like it as well, but this one…” Xander pointed to the landscape of snow and ice. Dusk had been falling and the sky was pink and purple.

“That was quite a sunset. I lucked out. I was walking out of town when it happened. I could’ve snapped a shot from my balcony, but wires obstruct the view. Just beyond the town boundaries are some lovely fields. The view of Sugar Bush is unobstructed.”

Xander nodded. “And this one?”

“I heard the owl and it took me about five minutes to locate her. I got one shot before she flew away.”

“Well, you nailed the shot.”

Damn, Xander Fortier was complimenting his photographs. Didn’t that just beat all?

Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black.

WEB CONTACTS

Website: https://gabbigrey.com/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/gabbi-grey

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15456297.Gabbi_Grey

Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Gabbi-Grey/e/B07SJVFX1M

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorgabbigrey/

Facebook (page): https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGabbiGrey

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabbiGrey

Guest Promotion–Love Proof by Luanna Stewart

BLURB

Unemployed photojournalist Raynor Elliot stops at a bakery near the famous Deerbourne Inn. Not only does he get a lead on a job but the bakery’s owner is that awkward kid he knew in high school, only now she has fabulous curves and an irreverent sense of humor. The cozy bakery, with its aroma of sugar, vanilla and spice, has more to offer than tasty cookies.

Fiona MacLeod has been plagued for years by the need to make amends for telling The Big Lie. When the lie’s victim strolls into her bakery with his icy blue stare and killer charm, she feels like she’s standing too close to a hot oven.

Between running her bakery and frosting cupcakes for the Mad River Garden Party, she’s pretty sure she’s falling in love with this infuriating, sexy man. Can Fiona dredge up the courage to confess, face the consequences, and hope for forgiveness?

BUY LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon CAN

Amazon UK

Amazon AU  h

Nook

Kobo

EXCERPT

“I remember those days.” She pushed the calculator to the side, too tired to worry about planning the week’s baking schedule. “Why’d you study journalism?

“Truth is important to me. I was tired of all the lies in government, at every level. I wanted to change that. Ultimately make the world a better place. Easy peasy, right?” His lips quirked and he shook his head.

“That’s why I decided to be a baker. Brighten someone’s day with a special treat.”

He scooted his chair closer and pointed at the column of numbers on the page. “You want me to do the rest?” His arm, bare to the bicep, lightly tanned, dusted with blond hair, a little lighter than on his head, rested less than an inch from her own spindly pale arm. Not spindly compared to other women, hefting bags of flour and moving trays of baked goods did take some muscle power. But spindly compared to his manly toned muscles flexing under skin that she’d bet her last jar of sprinkles was smooth and warm. She clenched her hand.

No touching allowed.

“We have cupcakes to frost.” She bounded from the chair and rushed into the kitchen.

Holy moly, the guy oozed sex. In a good way. A very good way. She pulled a clean apron off the shelf and cinched it around her waist. An extra layer of armor between her and temptation in the form of Raynor. The seeker of truth. The man whose mission in life was to expose lies. The reporter who thought liars were not decent human beings.

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. She spends her days writing spicy romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and historical romance. When not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious. She lives in Nova Scotia with her patient husband and two spoiled cats.

WEB CONTACTS

Website

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY

Luanna is giving away a $5.00 Amazon card. Enter the Rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Release Promotion–Soul of the Storm by Jean M. Grant

BLURB

Charlotte lost the thrill of conquering mountains five years ago when her sister disappeared on a hiking adventure without her. Charlotte heads for a vacation to Vermont but she’s still plagued with guilt and questions. Matiu is an outdoorsman and works multiple jobs to save for his dream of owning an outfitter in New Zealand. He’s restless and yearns for his Maori roots. Matiu and Charlotte form a bond through their shared love of the outdoors. But can Charlotte surmount her demons to assist Matiu on a mountain rescue when a late-season snowstorm hits? Can love help her heal?

Buy links for SOUL OF THE STORM:

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ GooglePlay

Pre-order for my April 17th release, WILL RISE FROM ASHES:

Amazon

EXCERPT

She went to feel her ring on her finger with her thumb…but the ring wasn’t there. That old habit would not die even years later.

A dog bark intruded. The man crossed to the back door. “Reka, sweet girl, take your nap. Only a few hours here and then home, okay?” He spoke to her like a father to a toddler. The dog barked again. “A swim and walk this morning weren’t enough for you?”

He approached the dog, petted it, and whispered affections.

Charlotte made a soundless “Aww” and kept perusing.

The man returned, nearer. Residual sweat traced his brow. He pointed to a selection of books in the middle. “These are the best. Depends on what you’re looking for. Honest reviews or glorified fantasies?”

“Honest reviews, always.”

He stroked a hand through his neck-length black hair, the longer top layer falling over his forehead. He squatted and withdrew a few books from the lower shelf. “You could go with the popular or famous names, sure, but I like these authors.” He handed her one.

A book on South America sat in her hands. She muttered, “Thanks. Don’t need that one.”

“Oh, already been there, eh? All good, all good.” He took it and shoved it back on the shelf. “Where do your dreams lie then?”

She swallowed. No, I wasn’t there in that way. I was supposed to have been there. Five years ago. Instead she said, “Well, Vermont for now.”

“You’re in luck. I’m from Willow Springs.”

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

WEB CONTACTS

Website ~ Twitter  ~ FacebookGoodreads ~ Bookbub ~ Amazon Author PageThe Wild Rose Press

Release Day for Freedom’s Path

Today Freedom’s Path, book 3 in the “Deebourne Inn” series from The Wild Rose Press, releases. The novella is set in 1855 Vermont and involves themes of being true to oneself and standing up for what you believe in.

Sidonie Demers is descended from slaves and works to help escaping slaves moved along The Underground Railroad while working as a maid at the Deerbourne Inn. Her method of providing covert information about the safest direction is to hang quilts on the inn’s clothesline whose patterns have specific meanings to those people fleeing north to the safety of Canada. I read a wonderful book titled Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad that provided the essential background and the basis for the rhyme that laid out the path the escaping slaves followed.

To learn about the political climate of the time, I read The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, a Comprehensive History (first published in 1898). Included in the non-fiction work are first-hand accounts of people who were part of the movement. Everything had to be accomplished in secrecy because the second Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made aiding escaping slaves a federal crime.

Enter Colin Crawford, an Army corporal who has been sent undercover to the town of Willow Springs to ferret out abolitionist activities. I loved writing this character because he starts out the story already conflicted about the American involvement in moving Indians off their lands. Even though he was raised in a state that disallowed slavery in its state constitution, he is forced to uphold the statutes of the federal act.

I hope readers enjoy this historical romance between individuals with firmly held but opposing beliefs.

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

KOBO Books

Google Play

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

EXCERPT

As he waited for Kevyn’s footsteps to fade, Colin finished his tart. His mind whirled with a topic that he worried might be too forward. After a swallow of coffee, he angled his head and met her gaze. “I saw how you broke that man’s hold. Smart move.”

Eyes wide, she gasped, rested a hand on the table edge, and crouched next to the end. “Oh, please don’t tell Missus Deerbourne that I stomped on a guest’s foot.” Her dark brows drew together. “I’m not sure she’d view my action in the same way you do.”

Her response rankled. Wasn’t the innkeeper concerned for the safety of her workers? He wished he could offer comfort by covering her hand with his. “Can you not carry a small knife in a pocket to protect yourself?”

A laugh escaped as she shook her head then gripped the band of her hat and pulled it lower on her forehead. “Not an appropriate accessory for someone in my position.”

Colin disliked the idea of her being vulnerable to a man’s mauling. “The foot stomp can take a man by surprise, but often not for long enough to effect an escape. Might I demonstrate another move that guarantees a longer distraction?” He sorted through the various moves involved in his ranger tactical training for the one most effective to someone her size. Leverage was what was needed to counter a larger foe.

“I am eager to learn.” She set the tray on the table. “What do I have to do?”

Bracing both hands on the table, he pushed himself to a stand and took a couple steps away from the bench. “Walk toward me like you’re about to grab my arms.”

A blush rose in her cheeks, and she averted her gaze. “Oh, I couldn’t, Mister Crawford.”

Her modesty produced a chuckle. “Miss Demers, don’t worry. You won’t hurt me. Remember, you’re learning a new skill.”

After a nod, she stepped forward with her arms outstretched and fingers spread wide. “Like this?”

“Keep walking.” He balanced his weight on the balls of his feet. When she came within reach, he grabbed the thumb of her left hand and bent it backward.

“Ow.” She contorted her body, back arching in the opposite direction.

He knew her movements were instinctual, with her body acting on reflex to reduce the pressure. “See how you moved to get away from the pain.” He released his hold with reluctance, because he’d enjoyed the slide of her soft palm in his.

Review Copies Available

To anyone interested in reading and reviewing this historical, heartwarming story, please leave your first name and an email address in the comments. State ebook format requested. The first five people who comment will receive a free copy.

Guest Release–By Reservation Only by Barbara Edwards

perf5.000x8.000.indd

BLURB

New kitchen, new owner, new future–all rooted in three hundred years of history.

It’s the grand opening of The Deerbourne Inn! Award-winning Chef Nathan Harte has worked long and hard to restore this historic property in Willow Spring, Vermont. He’s ready to greet his guests with fine cuisine, comfortable rooms, and maybe even a ghost or two.

He’s escaping the rat-race of the city for a slower more rewarding life, but is he ready to deal with a broken arm, a quirky arsonist, and a long-ago mystery? And what might he find up in the 300-yr-old attics?

This  novella is the launch title in The Wild Rose Press’s latest multi-author series, Deerbourne Inn.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT

Since the inn was quiet, Emily pulled on a long t-shirt and opened the door. Her heart fluttered. She was disappointed Nate wasn’t waiting for her in the dark passage. She blew out a frustrated breath and opened one of the bedroom windows to let the fresh breeze blow in. A whip-poor-will called from the hill.

The comfortable bed beckoned her. Flowery potpourri scented the bedroom air. She lay on top of the handmade quilt and stared at the ceiling. Sleep eluded her. She lost count of the times she turned over, punched the pillow, yawned.

An owl hooted from the nearby woods. The call of the whip-poor-will sounded closer. The curtain flapped and the scent of smoke tainted the air. Her watch claimed it was only twelve thirty, not nearing dawn. She swore and rolled over again.

Someone knocked on Nate’s door and called his name. Emily pulled on her pants and sneakers before she opened her door.

“What’s happening?” Her pulse raced. Smoke, she smelled smoke.

BEdwards

I’m Barbara Edwards, a native New Englander, and a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.

I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America.

When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.

My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.

I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years.

I’m fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success.

Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Keeno, demands a walk.

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Blog

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads