One heart’s been broken. The other is secondhand.
Kory Vansant doesn’t deserve to be alive.
As time sucks him dry of energy, sapping the final ounces of strength from his congenitally enlarged heart, he's forced to end his career as Kory Kent, porn star. Staring down death, he questions his life choices and prays for a miracle. For another chance at life, he vows to change who he is at his core.
His prayers are answered. A perfect heart now beats in his chest, but it comes at a heavy price. The donor is an innocent young man cut down far too prematurely.
Kory's blemished history and his donor's spotless past are far from ideal matches.
As his debts skyrocket, Kory can’t help but think his resolve to walk the high road is being tested. After he meets the adorable Will Squire at the gravesite they both visit, he’s doubly damned because there’s no way he can keep up his end of the bargain. What happens when a man breaks a deal with a higher power?
Will often prefers the company of the dead to that of the living. Following a bad breakup, he pours himself into his two jobs—funeral director at his uncle’s mortuary and part-time paramedic. He’s drawn ever closer to Kory, as if fate sticks her fickle hand in and pushes them together like two unlikely puzzle pieces. But sometimes history can’t be buried, and maybe divine intervention isn’t always right. Will discovers everyone is imperfect, no matter how pretty the outer package, and opening one’s heart is never easy, but can be oh, so worth the pain.
Pages or Words: 70,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
About the author:
K. Vale writes erotic romance of all stripes, from hot hetero to mouthwatering manlove. Find her MF work published under Kimber Vale. Come for the sex. Stay for the story. Stalk Kimber on Facebook and Twitter @KimberVale, and check her site for updates, new releases, and freebies at http://www.authorkimbervale.com.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kimber-Vale/311761975532531?ref=hl
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25150920-crossed-hearts?from_search=true
Publisher: Kimber Vale
Cover Artist: Dana Priebe
Do you read reviews? How do you deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly?
I do read reviews, contrary to what some people preach. I figure even bad reviews can be good for me. Sometimes negative comments are astute, or make me see my book from a completely different angle. I try to learn something from them. Much like with notes from beta readers, if many people make similar comments, there must be something to them. I use that knowledge the next time around. I don’t want to repeat mistakes, and I try to take into consideration the likes and dislikes of the majority because I’m not in the business to piss people off.
Yes, sometimes reviews hurt my feelings and don’t offer any constructive criticism. I use those as an excuse to drink excessively, so it’s really a win-win situation.
Of all your characters, which one would you fuck? Marry? Kill?
What a fun question! It’s a little tough, since I write MM and none of my guys would go for me, but if we suspend disbelief and I take off this here wedding ring… I think, to fuck, I’d go with Kory, the MC in my new book since he was a porn star and has some serious sex appeal. He’s also loosely based on my gay porn crush, Colby Keller, so…yeah. To marry, I’d go with Gio from Double Takes, because he’s a standup guy who has his priorities straight. Ah, to kill…I have to pick from my new book Crossed Hearts again. Will’s ex-boyfriend, Darryl, is so odious; he deserves to have his clock stopped.
Do you find the sex scenes easy or hard to write?
Totally depends on my mood. With Crossed Hearts, I was not in a sex-writing mood for much of the book because it didn’t seem like my characters were ready, and then life stuff also influenced that lack of interest. For a while, they do anything but actual penetrative sex. Eventually, though, they do get to it. While I was self-editing the book, I arrived at the “real” sex scene and discovered that my not really wanting to write sex came through loud and clear in the execution. I went back and rewrote much of that scene, and now I feel like it’s right for my guys. I finally came to a point where I was ready to give it the star treatment.
Is there a character in any of your books that you didn't plan on—a character who forced their way into the story? Hah! It’s definitely Kyrie Li. He was only supposed to be the quirky on-screen love interest for Gio Savale in Double Takes. That notion didn’t last long. Soon he was stealing screen time like the actor he is, and having obvious chemistry with his ex-brother-in-law, Greg. He got his own book (Hard Act to Follow) and even wants a little more in the way of a novella I’m working on. Such a spotlight whore.
What stories inspired you to write? Well, when I was younger, classic bodice-rippers made me want to write. I loved them, but also felt they were pretty paint-by-number. Most published romance writers weren’t doing something unattainable. I could do that, and always planned to. I had a few starts back in the word processor days, but never finished anything. Then I didn’t write for a long time. Eventually, I read Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments books. I realized that I could fucking do that—that her books are fun and well-written, but, again, not something so devastatingly beyond my ability. I needed to step up and start doing. I wrote 140K of a paranormal teen romance that I never finished. It was a fabulous lesson in dedication and craft, and may only ever be read by me and my eleven-year-old daughter (who loved it, by the way, even incomplete) but it was my building block. I give Cassie Clare total credit for restarting my engine.
How do you think your writing has developed since you started?
I think I have a better idea of stylistic norms, as well as grammar and punctuation rules. I think I write cleaner on first drafts, but also feel more confident taking risks. I recently reread and reedited a story I wrote for the Love Has No Boundaries Goodreads MM event in 2013. Needless to say, despite that piece having been beta read, and then edited by event volunteers, I found plenty of things to fix. Before I reworked the first half, though, I decided to add 7,000 words to the end. I then went back and edited from start to finish. It was interesting to see the difference between both sections. I recognized myself, but I also wanted to kick myself. ;-)
The man scratched the scrub on his chin. “Heart recipient,” he said finally. “I’m Kory—umm…Kory Vansant.” Holding out his hand, he took another step. Will’s fingers were swallowed in warm skin and bone.
“Will Squire.” Again, he couldn’t tear his gaze from the tease of scar tissue jutting from the crotch of Kory’s shirt collar. The urge to reach out and trace a finger over the pink relief of healed tissue was strong. Just like I touched Brandon’s incision. The stark difference between the two—one wound marking the end of a life and the other a salvation—was surreal. Will was nothing but an outsider looking in on a miracle, but somehow he felt he’d come around full circle.
“Want me to get naked so you can see the whole thing?”
Will closed his eyes for a moment and then looked up, his face flaming with a mix of embarrassment and immediate, fierce arousal. “I’m sorry. Totally rude.”
Kory smiled good-naturedly. “No worries. It’s a way to reclaim who I am, or was. Or some crap. I’m not just my medical status, like they keep saying at my support group.”
“No. Of course you’re not.”
He laughed loud and deep, and the warmth in Will’s face drifted down his body. “I’ve adopted it as my little icebreaker whenever people stare,” Kory said.
“Well, ice broken.” Will gulped. Hell, ice melted into a rolling boil.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Crossed-Hearts-Scars-Novel-ebook/dp/B00W0IJW1I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1429875422&sr=8-2&keywords=Crossed+Hearts
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crossed-Hearts-Scars-Novel-ebook/dp/B00W0IJW1I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430495267&sr=8-1&keywords=Crossed+Hearts
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Crossed-Hearts-Scars-Novel-English-ebook/dp/B00W0IJW1I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430495320&sr=8-1&keywords=Crossed+Hearts
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/Crossed-Hearts-Scars-Novel-ebook/dp/B00W0IJW1I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430495411&sr=8-1&keywords=Crossed+HEarts
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-crossedhearts-1795672-149.html
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