Hello everyone! I’m ecstatic to have Romance Author Nessa L. Warin with me today. Please say hi, enter to win a paperback copy of "Storm Season" and leave her a comment or two below.
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Nessa L. Warin lives in a fantasy world that’s mostly inside her head, though her physical address is in southwestern Ohio. Her two cats kindly play along with her fantasies and graciously let her pay all the bills, but they do require her to provide pampering on a regular basis. Nessa enjoys exploring the wonders of this world through travel—something her cats strongly disapprove of as it cuts into their pampering time—and can find whimsy in the most mundane places. When the real world becomes too much, Nessa enjoys dressing in costume and going to Renaissance Festivals and fantasy conventions. A short trip to either does wonders for her state of mind, so she makes sure to attend at least one of each a year. These trips help Nessa add to her collection of faerie and dragon art, and she swears she will frame and hang all the prints she’s collected some time soon.
When she’s not living in a fantasy world, Nessa enjoys tasting and learning about wine, particularly since it’s one of the few things she and the rest of her family agree on. She’s a regular at the wine tastings held by her local wine shop, and considers it a sin for her wine rack to have more empty spots than full ones. She’d prefer her wine rack to be filled with Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Syrah, but one of her favorite things about wine is the way it can always surprise her. More than once she’s been taken aback by which wine she likes best at a tasting, and she loves the way her wine rack illustrates the joys of trying new things.
In Brightam’s Ford, a storm is coming. Ranch owner Jasper Borland and the rest of the townspeople have been rushing to prepare for the months of destructive weather the wet season brings, but with their limited technology, survival can be a struggle in itself. When Jasper finds a lost, injured young man on his property, he has no choice but to take him in. At least he’s quiet.
Unable to speak, the young man communicates by projecting his thoughts—a process that hurts anyone he isn’t touching. Since most people fear him, that means everyone but Jasper. Soon Jasper learns his guest is a telepath, a northerner named Tobias Thatcher, who is searching for his kidnapped sister, Samantha. Hesitant to leave and wary to stay, Tobias must find his sister before the men who took her follow through on their plans.
When the men come for Tobias, he can remain at Jasper’s no longer. But Jasper can’t let him go out alone. As the storms begin, he and Tobias set out on a dangerous journey to save Samantha and uncover the truth.
Order from Dreamspinner Press
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One person who comments will win a paperback copy of Storm Season! You have until next weeks Guest Author stops by to enter. Good luck to everyone!
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What do you find the hardest part of being an author?
Editing. I love the final result, and I admire editors and all the hard work they do, but I always dread getting that document with comments on it. I’m not sure what it is about editing that I dislike so much—I very rarely get comments I disagree with and I’m under no delusions that my work doesn’t need it—but I have quite literally procrastinated by cleaning my oven before.
As for the actual writing part, there isn’t much I don’t like. I admit to getting frustrated when characters don’t cooperate sometimes, but I do enjoy trying to figure out what the issue is and working around it. And when all else fails, I go write in the shower. For some reason, my muse loves that.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
World building. I love coming up with new worlds or new scenarios and building a world around them. For Storm Season, I worked with an artist on a map because the characters travel so much, and I loved seeing the map that had been in my head for so long actually appear on paper. I really enjoy bringing worlds to life and seeing them grow in front of my eyes—and my reader’s eyes. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in world building that doesn’t make it onto the page, but as an author I have to know it so my characters can react to things appropriately and things can happen in a logical manner. That really appeals to the geeky, wants to know how things work side of me, and it’s always thrilling to see it work on a page and have the world make sense to people who don’t know the history in my head.
It’s not just creating new worlds, though. My first book, Sauntering Vaguely Downward, is set at Dragon*Con 2009, and one thing I especially loved was the way I was able to bring the convention to life for readers who had never been there before and bring back memories for the people who were. There wasn’t any actual building of a world there because it was set at a specific event, but I did still have to bring the convention and the hotels to life for people who had never been there. It was a unique challenge and I really enjoyed it.
Just how H.O.T. are most of your books?
Middle of the road, I’d say. I tend to have a couple good sex scenes in a book, but I most of my focus is on plot and characters instead of sex. I read for plot and characterization, and that’s what I write for too. I certainly believe that healthy men who are in love—or lust—with each other have sex frequently and for no reason other than being horny, but I don’t need to read it every time. My characters have sex a lot more than makes it onto the page because if a sex scene is completely gratuitous, I fade to black or skip it all together. Now, that’s not to say that the sex has to serve some super important purpose or anything, it just has to have one. For example, in the book I just submitted, one character stood up to his boss who had been mistreating him, and the other character was so turned on by it that they had sex. And yes, that scene made it onto the page.
Hot sweet or romantic do they tend to be?
That depends. I think they’d all qualify as sweet on some level, but a lot of my books are stories that happen to have m/m romance in them rather than romance stories specifically, so I’m not sure about the romantic part. Still, I guess you could say some of the things my guys do are more romantic than the traditional hearts and flowers kind of romance. Jasper taking Tobias on a cross-country trip despite the danger of the storms and the people chasing him is very romantic when you look at it from a certain angle, but the world and set up of Storm Season don’t really allow for dates.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Hmm. I’m not really sure there’s anything you can point to and say, “That’s Nessa Warin’s stuff.” I tend to write things that are lighthearted overall and have happy endings. Anything I write at the moment is probably going to be a science fiction/fantasy story, relate to science fiction/fantasy or general geekiness, or focus on wine. (At least for now. Someday I may have to expand that. *winks*)
Which is you favorite storyline/angst situation and why? What inspired you to write about it?
I’d say it’s currently a tie between the storyline that turned into Storm Season and the one that turned into To Dream, Perchance to Live. They were both inspired by dreams that I just could not get out of my head, and I finally had to write the stories because I kept having the same dream night after night after night. In both cases, the dream that inspired the book ended up being the opening scene, which was weird because before that the only other thing I’d written based on a dream (a fanfic years and years ago) the dream had been something like chapter twelve.
In To Dream, Perchance to Live, the dream was a man walking through this barren landscape where there were only tufts of grass on the ground and the same six trees kept repeating over and over. I knew in my dream that the man was dreaming too, only he was in control of the dream. It ended up turning into a world where there are people who could control dreams and enter other people’s dreams, and this man was a captive being forced to enter other people’s dreams. His captors think he dies when the person whose dream he’s in does, and he’s found and nursed back to health by the man he eventually forms a psychic romantic bond with. And then there’s attempts to get him back and dealing with the fact that he’s been asleep for ten years and all sorts of excitement.
In Storm Season, the dream was a young man huddled against a building, trying to shelter from a terrible storm that could easily kill him. I knew he didn’t talk, though at the time I didn’t know why and it took me a while to figure out the details of his telepathy and why he was in this place he clearly shouldn’t be. I had a lot of fun working the storms from my dream into the world and making the telepathy work with both advantages and disadvantages. I didn’t expect a cross-country road trip adventure with forest spirits, cults, and kidnapping attempts when I had the dream, but I love how it turned out.
Boxers or Briefs? I know which I prefer . . . *wink*
For my viewing pleasure, boxer briefs. (Yes, I know, I’m cheating.) I like the tightness of the briefs, but I think tighty whiteys look weird on a lot of men, whereas the legs on the boxer briefs look better to me. However, to be perfectly honest, if you want to parade hot men wearing nothing but underwear in front of me, I’m not going to mind at all what kind it is. In fact… let’s do that. I may need to reevaluate my decision here. *wink*
Terry Pratchett. I love the Discworld books, and I especially love how you can see his progression as a writer from The Color of Magic all the way through Snuff. Neil Gaiman is a close second, and I will forever be in awe of David and Leigh Eddings world building.
I don’t have one. This is horrible, but I don’t remember quotes well. I know there have been several that have resonated with me when I’ve read them or heard them, but none are coming to mind right now.
What’s next for you?
I just submitted the first book in my wine shop series, All Corked Up. This one is called Syrah. It hasn’t been accepted yet, but I’m hopeful that it will be and that it’ll come out sometime this summer. I’m currently writing the second book in the series, Pinot Noir. They don’t have to be read in order, they just revolve around this wine shop in Portland, Oregon. The main characters in Syrah are secondary characters in Pinot Noir, that sort of thing, and the main characters in both will be secondary characters in the third book.
The first book is about Royce, the wine shop’s owner, and Shawn, the customer who comes in clueless about wine at first. They have an instant attraction, but Shawn wants to buy the restaurant he works at when his boss retires, and his boss believes homosexuality is a disease. He won’t sell to Shawn if he’s openly dating another man. They have to try to figure out a way around that without costing Shawn his dream.
I’m also co-writing a book with Ariel Tachna called Dance Off, about two guys who meet at a Dancing with the Stars style celebrity dance competition. We’re hoping to finish that sometime in the next couple months and get it submitted as well
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Time for an excerpt! This is Jasper and Tobias’s first kiss. It doesn’t go the way Jasper planned, but I promise it gets better before the end! (Of course, it might get worse too, but that’s par for the course, right?)
Tobias tasted of rain and sage, of cloves and fallen leaves, deliciously dark and earthy. The moist warmth of his tongue in Jasper’s mouth was a direct contrast to the cool rainwater that covered their lips and dripped from their hair. The hand that slid under wet cotton to press against Jasper’s back was warm against his skin.
He leaned into the kiss, tilting his head and sliding his hands up to tangle in Tobias’s hair. He pushed his tongue forward to wrap around Tobias’s, stroked and teased as he tried to crawl into Tobias’s mouth. He needed more, needed to taste the rain and the sage and the… apples? And cinnamon?
His brow furrowing, Jasper deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue along the roof as he searched for the lighter, fruitier flavors he’d briefly tasted. He found cloves and fallen leaves, a bit of slate perhaps, but nothing light and fruity, no apples or cinnamon, not even when he slipped his tongue back and… Sleet!
He only tasted the lighter flavors when Tobias’s tongue was in his mouth or, like now, when it was brushing against his. With his tongue in Tobias’s mouth, Jasper could taste the dark, earthy flavors of Tobias, but when Tobias’s tongue caressed his, he tasted apple and cinnamon again.
Jasper slid his hands to Tobias’s shoulders, pushed. “No,” he whispered as he pulled back, his bottom lip catching between Tobias’s teeth. “Stop.”
Why? Tobias tilted his head to the side, his confused, lust-darkened brown eyes fixated on Jasper’s.
Tobias’s hand descended from the back of Jasper’s head to his shoulder. But—
“No.” Jasper climbed to his feet, shrugged off Tobias’s hands as he stood, and moved across the room. He tried to say he wasn’t interested, to convince Tobias—and himself—that it was just some fleeting rush of adrenaline that meant nothing, but the flip-flop feeling in his gut wouldn’t let him.
Tobias followed, lightly resting his hand on Jasper’s shoulder as Jasper crouched and dug in the duffels for dry clothes. Please.
“We can’t,”he said again, ignoring the twisting in his chest. He didn’t know that the feeling was his, not after tasting himself on Tobias’s tongue, feeling himself in Tobias’s mouth. It could be what Tobias wanted him to feel, and he wouldn’t give in. Tobias was someone he’d taken in, agreed to help, someone who would be gone from his life once they reached Shaleton, someone he’d been ready to abandon only hours earlier.
Whatever this feeling was, whoever it came from, it wasn’t something Jasper could act upon. It could only end badly.
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Wyatt Mettler is a Dreamer. While asleep, he can insert himself into people’s dreams and manipulate them, watch their fantasies, steal their secrets, and change their minds—all without their knowledge. For eleven years he’s been Lumoinnovations’ secret weapon, illegally enslaved, all in the name of the bottom line. But when an assignment goes awry and results in the death of the subject, Wyatt’s handlers leave him for dead.
When Aidan Donecoff stumbles across Wyatt’s unconscious body in an alley, he is struggling to get over a failed relationship and has almost given up hope of forging a true Bond with anyone. He has known Dreamers in the past, but none like Wyatt. When Wyatt truly wakes up for the first time since he was a child, it is Aidan who helps him find his way in the world. They grow close as Wyatt gains confidence, and life is good… until Wyatt’s handlers discover he is still alive and decide they want him back.
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— Tempeste O’Riley (@TempesteO) March 6, 2013