Happy humpday, and here is the second interview in a series from the list of terrific authors contributing to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology of British themed stories from Dreamspinner Press [cover and links to follow].
Don’t forget to comment – I will put the names of all commenters to all of the interviews/posts into a hat and pick a winner to receive a copy of the anthology in the format of their choice.
Today we have a guest post from Sarah Madison. Welcome Sarah
I grew up reading stories set in the UK. Horse and pony books. Dog stories. Mysteries. Regencies. My love affair with England in particular was fostered by a steady diet of novels written during the Golden Age of Mystery–so lots of Josephine Tey, Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy Sayers. I suspect Lord Peter ruined me for many a man, especially considering that I grew up in the Southern US, where the Dukes of Hazzard was king. I find it highly amusing, therefore, that I ended up with a British boyfriend. Last Christmas he took me to meet his family in West Sussex, and I felt like I’d come home after a lifetime of wandering. It’s difficulty to explain the impact that trip had on me. Every footstep, every ‘familiar’ sight, spoke to me.
The towns were so picturesque. I loved how everyone lived among their history and it was just a way of life, not something to be cordoned off in a museum. You learn so much about a country by actually seeing it–the way the ground gives beneath your feet, the sweet mulchy smell of the wet earth and the slickness of white chalk. The cars are small because the streets are small, and they in turn follow the course of public right-of-ways and boundary lines of great estates that have been present for centuries. The choir at the Cathedral at Winchester transported us back in time, as their voices soared into the vaulted hall, and the pasty shop is a black-beamed and dark wooden building that has stood since the fifteenth century. Everywhere I turned, I saw something from my ‘past’, and I suspect my BF got tired of me punching him in the arm and saying things like “Look! A yew garden! Oh! It’s a twitten! A magpie! I saw a magpie!”
And yes, there were pheasants on the lawn.
At one point, my boyfriend pointed out that since our trip was of necessity a short one, that I wouldn’t be able to go see all the touristy landmarks. I know I must have gaped at him. “I’m in ENGLAND. Do you see that? That’s English mud! I don’t need to see anything else.”
We did, however. We walked the South Downs, toured Winchester, and took the train up to Oxford to meet friends (and I admit to a little bit of fangirling as I ran around pointing out places that Lord Peter and Harriet Vane met and did things in that city of dreaming spires). It was, without a doubt, one of the best weeks of my life. I would go back again in a heartbeat. I’d love to see more: go to Cornwall, and Yorkshire, and Wales. See Scotland. Go pony-trekking across Ireland. I loved every minute of it.
I loved my time there so much that when I saw the call for the Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology, I knew I had to submit a story–a love poem to the UK as much as a tale of two lovers separately by circumstance who reconnect again after many years. My UK memories were so vivid in my mind, even a year later. My main character, a young American named Denny, spent a summer as a young man with relatives in the South of England, where he met and fell in love with Tarquin. But they were hardly more than schoolboys at the time–and once the summer was over, Denny went back to the US and they had no further contact.
But Denny never forgot his first love. Over a decade later, circumstances bring him back to Chanctonbury Ring, where some of his fondest memories were made. When Tarq shows up almost like a ghost conjured from Denny’s imagination, Denny has to decide if there was more to that glorious summer than first love–and if there is enough between them to try again.
Sarah Madison is a veterinarian with a big dog, a big horse, too many cats, and an extremely patient (and supportive!) boyfriends. She writes because it is cheaper than therapy.
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sarah-Madison-Author/106445646104338
Blurb: David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches…and a secret crush on his hot, ex-Air Force pilot, Rick Sutton.
Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries, and a lack of food and water, make rescue imperative, but it takes an intensely vivid dream about the war to make David see that Rick is more than just a pilot to him. Will David gather his courage to confess his feelings to Rick—before it’s too late?
Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. Nominated Best Historical in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards. Selected as a Best Read in 2013 by Jessewave. Winner of Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards.
Crying for the Moon
Genre: Paranormal M/M Romance
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2422
Blurb: Vampire Alexei Novik may have the teeth and the coffin, but he’s given up the lifestyle for an old fixer-upper in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Weary of his past, Alex plans to keep to himself, but it seems his sexy, new neighbor, Tate, can’t take the hint—a good thing, since it turns out he’s handy for all kinds of things around the house. Tate even gets along with Alex’s werewolf friends, though one of them pointedly reminds Alex that their friendship is a bad idea.
If a platonic relationship is a bad idea, the growing attraction between Tate and Alex is a disaster waiting to happen. Loving Tate will draw him into Alex’s dangerous world, and Alex is torn between having the relationship he’s always craved and keeping Tate safe. Tate won’t take no for an answer, however, and seems to handle everything Alex can throw at him without blinking. Just when he thinks things might turn out all right after all, Alex’s past catches up with him—forcing him to make a terrible choice.
Winner of the Coffee Times Romance Recommended Read Award. August 2011 Recommended Read by Reviews by Jessewave. First Runner Up in the Love Romances and More’s Golden Rose Awards for Best Paranormal of 2011.
Unspeakable Words (novella)
Genre: Contemporary/Paranormal M/M Romance
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2058
Blurb: Special Agent John Flynn is everything Jerry Parker is not: dangerously handsome, coolly charismatic, and respected by his peers. Special Agent Parker is dedicated and meticulous, but his abrasive personality has given him a reputation for being difficult. When new information on a cold case appears, Parker is assigned to work with Flynn, and the sparks fly as their investigative styles clash. Contact with a strange artifact changes everything when it bestows unusual and unpredictable powers on Flynn… and the two men must learn to trust each other before a killer strikes again.
Part One of the (planned) four part Unspeakable Words series. Part Two, Walk a Mile, will be released by Dreamspinner Press in Oct 2014.