Saturday, January 2, 2016



Let’s start getting your shine on. Tell us who you are beyond an author.
I have a medical background so you will find it popping up quite often in my stories. Besides reading, I enjoy crochet which I’ve been doing since I was seven. I’ve been around animals my whole life from cats to horses with a particular fondness for Arabians. My mare was an Arabian Quarter mix.
Show us when you realized you had a passion for writing?
I always loved to write stories. I can remember my father giving me adding machine rolls that I would use to create my stories. Since I couldn’t use words, I told the stories with stick figure drawings. When I got older,  I discovered that people actually liked my stories. That was like lighting a match to tinder.
Tell us your preferred writing genre and the genre you prefer to read.
A friend introduced me to m/m and I fell in love with the genre. I still read the odd m/f but I prefer m/m.
Show us what your audience looks like.
My audience is mainly women who are tired of the same old, same old. They love the male/male dynamic and enjoy well written stories with a some spice to liven them up.
Tell us an important lesson, on the business side of publishing, that you've learned on your journey.
I toyed with the idea of self-publishing but I changed my mind when I saw the work my editor and her team put into my book. A self-published author rarely gets that kind of ‘fine tooth comb’ treatment to make her writing better than just good.  I discovered that many readers will not even look at self-published books for this very reason – too many errors, inconsistencies and failures in the plotting.
Going back to the beginning, show us the day you received your publication offer or the first time you saw your bound book.
I met Kierstin Cherry at GRL and when I was sure my book was as good as it was going to get, I contacted her and emailed the book to her. When she replied back I’m pretty sure I rattled windows for a square block with my screams. It was a high like no other knowing that others would get to read my story. I still get a thrill every time I see my book cover online.
Tell us your expectations of an aspiring author approaching you for information about writing/publishing?
A. Focus on your craft. The brain is like a muscle, the more you use it the better it works. Write every day if you can even if it’s only a few lines. It’s still more than you had before. Make your book the best you can possibly make it and edit, edit, edit. Sometimes you will have to cut out large portions which will definitely hurt, ask me how I know. As for finding a publisher? NEVER GIVE UP!
Ready to shine? Tell us the name of your book(S).
Web of Secrets
Tell us where we can find you on the internet.
Do you really write everyday?
Yes, I really write every day even if it’s only a few lines. I carry a notebook around with me all the time and if I’m not working on the book I have on the computer, I’m plotting the next one. Another thing I do is as soon as I boot up my computer, I open my book and leave it open in the background. This works especially well when I’m not in the mood to write so seeing it there guilt’s me into working. Lol
What about writer's block?
Luckily that’s never been a problem for me. I put on music and start playing the scene through in my mind. Next thing I know, the characters are doing their own thing and I just have to write it down.
What would you say is a true hero?
A true hero has a strong moral code and selflessly gives of himself to help others.
How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author?
It means everything.  A reader’s reaction tells me that I’m either doing it right or doing it wrong. And yes, good responses do stroke the ego and make me, as a writer, feel good.
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting
I think the story comes first. It’s that ‘what if this happened’ situation again. The setting and characters fall into place.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
It’s not as much wanting to be a writer as you either are or you aren’t. The urge to write is always there like an addiction. No matter how often you stop, you always come back.
Where do you get most of the ideas for your stories?
The world around me. It is what I call the ‘what if this happened’ situation. For example, I watched a movie where a detective was betrayed and murdered. The first thing I thought was what if that detective came back? What would happen? What would he do? That was how my next book tentatively entitled Seeing is Believing was born.
Do you have any unfinished projects sitting around?
I do. When I begin a project, I write it down in point form in a notebook then transfer it to recipe cards and type it up. I hope to have my paranormal ghost story Seeing is Believing published in the early new year. Books two and three in that series are in notebooks. I’m also working on a sequel to Web of Secrets called Price of Secrets.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to become an author?
Believing in myself.
What is the big project you're working on now?
Seeing is Believing. When I began this book I had no idea that I would end up plotting three books at the same time. There are flow charts and dozens of index cards to keep everything straight and organized. The challenge was having to know how the third one ended before I could finish the first.
What are some of your hobbies?
Reading (like that’s a surprise, right?). I love to crochet and collect vintage viewmaster reels.
What do your family and friends think about you writing erotic romance?  I ask because some people us a PEN name and don’t tell their friends or family they write erotic romance?
I use a PEN name because of a bad experience a friend had who used her real name. Only my husband, kids and best friend know I write m/m. I tell everyone else that I write contemporary romance novels because unfortunately they wouldn’t understand or accept what I write.
If you had to write yourself as a villain, what kind of villain would you be? What would you be named?
If I had to be a villain, I would be someone sexy and fun like Scarlet Overkill from the Minion movie.
What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you've ever had?
The strangest and scariest source of inspiration I every experienced was a near miss with a lightning bolt. A storm knocked out the power so I had to go outside in the rain to use the outhouse. As I was leaving the outhouse, a bolt of lightning hit the tree five feet from me knocking me to the ground. It was a very frightening experience leaving me deaf for several days and with permanent tinnitus in one ear. The upside was writing a ‘what if’ short story which I am now thinking of turning into a full book.
You come back from the dead as a spirit, what message are you trying to get across?
That all religion is the same but twisted by men to suit their own selfish desires and those that kill thinking they will be rewarded will be in for a ‘hell’ of a surprise.
If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of 3 laws to enact, what would they be?
If I were a world ruler, the first law would be absolute equality regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation. The second would universal health care so no matter how rich or poor you were, all would be treated equally. The third would be strict laws concerning abuse of partners, children, anyone.
If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
My muse would complain that they are overworked and underpaid with the way my mind works like a runaway locomotive, always on the move and sometimes in several directions at once.
If you were a Superheroine/Hero, would you wear tights and a cape?
Oh hell no! Me in tights?! I would traumatize everyone who saw me, scare small children.
You are told you have to meet one paranormal creature, no safeguards, what do you choose? What do you bring with you?
I would love to meet a unicorn and I would bring it a square of the sweetest hay I could find.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I love romance because I have always believed in heroes and finding true love.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism is that my books are too complicated. The best compliment is that I have a great voice and my characters are lifelike and believable.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write, write and write some more. The more you work at your craft the better and easier the words will flow.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for visiting the worlds I create. You keep me going when I doubt myself.
Do you take suggestions on books or ideas from your fans?
Definitely. Fans may not write but they have brilliant ideas in what they would like to see happen to characters.
What project are you working on now?
Editing Seeing is Believing before I begin transferring Price of Secrets to my computer. Then book two, Kevin’s Curse, and three, Ivan’s Trial, in the Seeing series.
When did you seriously sit down, and say to yourself, I’m going to write a novel? 
I don’t think there was ever a time when I didn’t know I was going to write novels. It was a foregone conclusion.
What do you find the most difficult to write? Dialogue? Back story? Emotion?
Backstory is my Achilles heel. It is very difficult to do in such a way that it makes sense and doesn’t bring the story to a crashing halt before continuing.  It has to be smooth transition and I have to be careful not to get carried away.
Do you have the support of family and friends?
Yes and no. There are some such as my mother, who I absolutely cannot tell that I write M/M. They will not accept it. Others such as my hubby and kids are really good with it. My daughter is fantastic for bouncing ideas off of but she refuses to read the books because there is sex and “ewe, my mom wrote that”. My best friend introduced me to the genre and has been super supportive.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? If you are a plotter, what are you methods? 
I’m a plotter, definitely a plotter. I like to put on music and quite literally see the scenes play out in my head like a DVD. I write the book in point form in a notebook then onto recipe cards shuffling and inserting the scenes where they fit the best. I flesh out the story as I input it into the computer. The cards keep me consistent and if I need to add anything, I can easily find the scene and the pages it occurs. Each character also gets a card detailing their physical description, sibs, parents, jobs and any other pertinent information.
How have your techniques for character development changed since you’ve been writing? Is it still the same, or has it developed over time, if so how?
I used to think character development sheets were useless with how much trivial information they wanted.  Why would you bother with childhood friends? I learned the hard way that all that seemingly useless information was actually vital to the story. I found myself creating my own character information lists on recipe cards that I refer to and add to during the entire story process.
What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?
Plotting, creating the story is the most interesting thing about writing. It’s almost a high when you lose yourself in the process. The least interesting but most necessary is editing. It can be a chore to find the right word or phrase to accurately express what you are trying to say. Grammar and I are not friends but we’ve called an uneasy truce. lol
Do you prefer stand-alone books or series?  
I don’t mind stand-alone books but if I really get into a book I love to revisit the characters and see them having more adventures.
Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
In the beginning I found love scenes terribly difficult to write. It wasn’t easy getting the technical aspects right while making it a smooth, seamless interaction between the characters and not sounding like a sex manual or how-to.
You have written Paranormals, Fantasy, SciFi and Contemporaries, which is your favourite genre?
I actually prefer paranormals to contemporary. The extra human abilities not only give you a whole new range of mischief your characters can get into, it allows you to explore things outside normal human behavior and their consequences. In a way it is the ultimate relationship. Humans have insecurities and to have a true mate or someone hot who will protect us with tooth and claw and love us for who we, are never cheating…well, it is the stuff of dreams.
Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
Every book has parts that are easy and hard to write. I was working on a horribly difficult and emotional scene in my paranormal at McDonalds and was approached by a woman who asked if I was alright. Confused, I asked her why. She said I was crying. She was right.
Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?  
I am a huge fan of soundtracks and instrumental music. I love the Thomas Bergersen album ‘Sun’ especially the track Empire of Angels. I put the music on, visualize my characters where I left off and let them do their thing. I use dramatic music for scenes I know will be dramatic and so on.

Brilliant surgeon Nathan Kirkfield comes face-to-face with his childhood demons when his parents’ deaths force him back home to settle the family estate. Sent to oversee the sale of the house and contents is former FBI Agent Kelly MacNiel, now of the MacNiel Auction House; he couldn’t possibly have imagined he’d find the young man from a case gone horribly wrong grown into a devastatingly attractive man. The two of them discover a connection built in the ruins from that tragedy.

Now Nathan must decide if he can accept the changes in his life that this relationship will bring while struggling with his boss’s harassment and her threats to destroy his work. To complicate matters, unexplained break-ins lead to an attempt upon Nathan’s life. If Kelly doesn’t conquer the monsters that besiege him, everything he’s come to love will be at stake.
Early Monday morning, Kelly MacNiel drove past the wrought-iron gates, up the short tree-lined driveway to the large house. He didn’t mind the five-hour drive. He enjoyed the scenery, how the trees stubbornly clung to what leaves they could before they gave up and allowed them to coat the ground in color.

He stopped his SUV alongside an obviously expensive sedan already parked before the main doors. It couldn’t be anyone else’s but the owner of the house. But why was it here in visitor parking? Kelly flipped open the file on the seat beside him. Yep, there it was, a multiple-vehicle carport located around the side. Curious. Also curious was the fact that the house looked hauntingly familiar even though Kelly was sure he had never seen it before.

Kelly glanced at the dashboard clock. He was a few minutes early, so he decided to review the file once more. If there was one thing they taught at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it was read and reread files. His life at the Bureau seemed a lifetime ago, but old habits were hard to break. He pulled the file onto his lap as he rolled his sore shoulder to relieve the stiffness that had settled into it from the drive. Other than a few items to be donated at the discretion of the owner, the house was to be sold after the contents were auctioned off. Everything had to go, right down to the bare walls. Someone was definitely cleaning house. His job for the next couple of weeks was to organize the auction and make sure the owner got what he wanted.

Simple…and boring. Kelly sighed. This was the sad state of his life now.

Another glance at the clock and he figured he may as well knock. The sun would clear the treetops soon to give him the best natural daylight for the website pictures. He climbed out of his SUV and reached into the back for his bags. One contained his clothing and personal items, the other his equipment and computer.

Kelly automatically examined the front of the house, filing away the locations of entrances, exits, strengths and weaknesses. Old habits did die hard. That odd sense of déjà vu surrounded him once again as he pressed the buzzer located to the right of the doors. Just as one of the doors opened, the sun broke from between the branches. Kelly promptly forgot how to breathe as the man in front of him was wreathed in a golden aura.

He was taller than Kelly by maybe three inches and slender, but definitely not skinny. His expensively tailored suit stretched across broad shoulders that led to ridiculously slim hips. A blue button-down shirt open at the collar allowed a brief glimpse of pale skin at the base of his throat.

Raven hair loosely fell around his head in untidy curls to below his ears, framing a strong jaw and a full, luscious mouth. Long dark lashes that had no business being on a man fringed his large chocolate-hued eyes. The two men stared transfixed at each other for a minute outside of time. Then this gorgeous creature smiled shyly. It was a blow to Kelly’s midsection that would have made his martial arts instructor proud.

The man looked like he had stepped right out of Kelly’s dreams—dreams of the kiss his sixteen-year-old self had shared with another boy that still haunted him. It couldn’t be… Could it?

Kelly gasped as the need for air forced his lungs to drag oxygen past his lips, and took an involuntary step back. The sound broke the spell holding them. The smile fell from the man’s face, replaced by a cool aloofness. What was obviously a well-practiced mask locked firmly in place.

“Can I help you?” he asked Kelly politely, his voice a deep baritone rumble Kelly felt right down to his toes.

He doesn’t remember me, Kelly thought. No wonder the house had felt familiar. He stifled a groan. He needed to remain professional here. Do the job he was hired to do and try not to crush the man into his arms like he wanted to do.

Kelly cleared his throat. “I’m sorry. I’m looking for a Mr. Kirkfield?”

“Dr. Kirkfield, and you’re looking at him.”

“Kelly MacNiel, MacNiel Auction House,” Kelly replied, extending his hand. “Please, call me Kelly.”

“How do you do, Kelly?” Long fingers wrapped around Kelly’s hand, and he barely suppressed the jolt he felt at the contact. He wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised to see sparks fly into the air like fireworks where their skin touched.

NATHAN WASN’T SURE Nathan wasn't sure what he had expected an appraiser to look like, but the man standing in front of him was not it. The sun brought out strong red highlights in his sandy-colored hair. Solid muscle beneath tight jeans and a snug T-shirt that more than hinted at the built body beneath. He looked like a supermodel or a walking advertisement for a gym.

But it was the brilliant green eyes that captivated Nathan the most. Had he ever seen eyes like that before? Penetrating emeralds fixed hungrily on him. Nobody had ever looked at him like they wanted to devour him where he stood. A shiver streaked down the length of his body.

The man gasped, straightened, and took a step back. Nathan breathed an involuntary sigh at his foolishness. However, it didn’t stop his dry mouth or his voice dropping a full register lower than normal when he spoke to Kelly.

“I’m Nathan,” he replied before pushing the door wide open and indicating that Kelly should enter. “Do you need any help with your things?”

“No, I’m good, thanks,” Kelly answered. He picked up the bags and brushed a little too close as he passed Nathan and entered the house.

Nathan caught a whiff of the other man’s cologne when Kelly moved past him, the scent reminiscent of a forest after a rainfall. Without thinking, he closed his eyes and breathed in the intoxicating fragrance. He shuddered, flabbergasted by the urge to push up against Kelly, a complete stranger, and bury his face into Kelly’s neck just to smell that mind-numbing essence once more. Nathan couldn’t stop himself from hardening. What was wrong with him? He quickly buttoned his jacket to hide the telltale bulge in his pants.

Kelly paused in the foyer and gave the area a quick once-over. Nathan sighed in relief since Kelly appeared oblivious to the tumult he had caused.

“I’ll show you to your room, and then I guess we should get started if you are up to it,” Nathan quietly said.

“Sounds good. Please lead on.” Kelly’s voice held a faint lilt to it. Irish, probably, but with a name like MacNiel anything was possible. It was a barely there accent, but Nathan knew he could get addicted to the sound of the man’s voice very easily.

Nathan led him up the staircase, and try as he might, he couldn’t stop his rambling commentary on the rooms on each floor. Since when did he suffer from nerves like this? Since a quick glance over his shoulder revealed that the stunning man behind him was staring fixedly at his backside. Kelly licked his lips, and Nathan missed the top step. Strong hands gripped his hips, keeping him upright. Heat flooded Nathan’s body, rising up from the contact. He mumbled his thanks, then awkwardly stepped away, forcing Kelly to lower his hands.

Nathan opened the first door to his right. “This is one of the guest rooms. The linens are fresh, and if you need anything, please let me know. I’m in the bedroom across the hall.” Of course he would have to be nearby to assist Kelly, but why had he felt the need to share that he would be sleeping only a few short feet away? Hopefully Kelly wouldn’t think Nathan was offering an open invitation to join him in bed. “Um. When you’re settled, come downstairs. I’ll be in the kitchen.”

“That works. Just give me five minutes to get my gear sorted out,” Kelly replied.

Unable to look Kelly in the eye, Nathan briskly nodded, turned, and left Kelly to his own devices.

KELLY COULDN’T HELP but stare at Nathan’s lovely ass at his eye level as he they climbed the stairs. He listened to Nathan’s chatter with only half an ear, more interested, at least for now, in the play of Nathan’s shirt across his back and the way his trousers kept pressing tightly against his very fine form as he walked ahead of Kelly. Nathan tripped, and Kelly grabbed his hips to stop him from pitching forward onto the landing. Pink bloomed on Nathan’s skin as he glanced back with a quietly murmured, “Thanks.”

Kelly grinned. An embarrassed Nathan was too cute.

Nathan refused to look at him, then walked quickly away, turning Kelly’s grin into a frown. The man probably would have run if he could have gotten away with it. Kelly shook his head. He entered his room, put the file on the bed along with the laptop and digital camera, then parked himself with a huff beside his gear.

Nathan didn’t remember him, didn’t know who he was. Had Kelly changed so much in twelve years, or was he simply not that memorable? Kelly, on the other hand, would never, could never forget.

Kelly had been suspended from school for a fight—totally not his fault, that time at least—and his da had forced him to come with his uncle and crew to deliver several pieces of furniture. Unable to actually help, Kelly had amused himself by checking out the rest of the place, going sightseeing as it were.

He’d stumbled on the library with its mesmerizing array of books and startled the cute boy curled up in a huge wingback chair, book forgotten on his lap at the sight of Kelly. With a cocky grin, Kelly had flopped into the chair beside him. The boy nervously returned his smile, and before Kelly knew it they had talked for what seemed like hours about anything and everything. Yet, somehow, they never got around to telling each other their names. Kelly had felt drawn to the boy, a tangible connection between them, and he was pretty sure the boy felt it too in the way he leaned his body toward Kelly’s, the way he smiled at him not just with his mouth but his eyes. Beautiful large brown doe eyes looked at Kelly like he was something amazing.

They’d both risen at the sound of Kelly’s uncle’s voice outside. The shy sideways look the boy gave Kelly had gone straight to his chest to hold his heart hostage forever. Kelly had gently gripped the boy’s chin and pressed his lips to the boy’s in a tentative kiss. The boy had slanted his mouth, pushing himself closer with a small sigh, both hands on Kelly’s hips. Kelly had wrapped his arms around the slender body and drawn him flush, chest to chest, hip to hip. They’d both moaned as their bodies came into full contact. Kelly was wider, more muscular than the boy. He’d loved the way he could completely envelop the other boy with his body, and from the way the boy had melted into him, he loved it too. Kelly had captured the boy’s avid lips again, and they’d eagerly explored each other’s mouths with soft kisses, reveling in the touch and taste. So this was what love at first sight felt like, Kelly remembered thinking.

The door abruptly opened, and they’d stood frozen for a second before they broke apart. The boy had lost all color when he saw his father in the doorway, staring at him in cold fury. Kelly’s uncle stood just behind the boy’s father and, after a glance in the other man’s direction, rushed forward to hurriedly shepherd Kelly out of the room. The last thing he heard was the man’s voice raised in anger.

His uncle had hustled him into his truck without a word. Worried for his new love, Kelly tried to get the boy’s phone number from his da and then his uncle. They both refused him, but that didn’t stop him from hounding them for two days. He’d finally snuck into his father’s office when no one was about, taking the information from the filing cabinet. He called, his voice shaking with apprehension, asking to speak to the unknown boy. His answer had been a sharp click as the phone slammed down in his ear. Eight more times over the next three days he’d called. After the eighth time, he was angrily told that no boy lived there. Heartbroken, Kelly finally stopped trying, but he never forgot the boy with the unknown name.

Now, here Kelly was—in the same house, with the same boy, now a man. Nathan hadn’t remembered him. Kelly wasn’t quite sure how he felt about that.

“Aw, Finn, what have you gotten me into?” he cursed his brother with a heavy shake of his head.
Copyright © Terry Poole
Web of Secrets purchase links:

No comments: