Perspectives, Book 1
Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.
When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.
Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.
The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.
Where to find A.M. Arthur:
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/), as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur), Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur), and Facebook (A.m. Arthur). A.M. Arthur's work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Cover Artist: Lyn Taylor
1. You have quite a few up-and-coming releases. What's your best writing/time management tip? How do you get it all done?
My best time management tip is to prioritize. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, but we all lead very different lives so we have to know what’s important and what’s not. Certain things like jobs and family can take up the bulk of anyone’s time, so you have to know what else is a priority for you and what’s not.
TV is a huge time suck for a lot of people. Do you really need to watch three hour-long shows in one night? Can you cut down to three or four shows a week? Same with the internet. I know I can get in trouble some days. Instead of writing, I am constantly checking Twitter or Facebook to see who’s talking about what. If it’s a distraction, disconnect for your writing time. Or allow yourself to check the internet at certain times of the day.
For me, it’s somewhat easy to find chunks of time for writing. I’m single, no kids, and a cat who requires very little attention most days. I do work a full-time day job outside of the home, but when I’m not there my time is generally my own. And I’m a relatively fast writer. I average about 1,000 words an hour, so if I can get a few hours a day in, then I’m golden. Not everyone can manage that, though, and that’s okay. We all write at our own pace.
2. What is it about small towns that you find most appealing and what's your favourite one you've visited?
There’s a quaint hominess to small towns that appeals to me. You know more people. I feel as though there’s a stronger sense of community than in a big city. As for writing about small towns, I love connecting the different characters to each other. Who knows who, and who went to high school with who. It’s a lot of fun.
A favorite small town I’ve visited….I wish I could remember the name, but I know it was in Pennsylvania. I have very strong memories of this town, probably from my childhood. I remember old stone buildings. One of them had a courthouse with a big round clock face. Something about this place has stuck with me for a long time.
Now a town whose name I can remember is Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. It sits on this peninsula where two rivers combine into one. It’s a very old town and is a Civil War historical site, so you often see folks wearing nineteenth century clothes. There’s a very old cemetery. Shops. You can go rafting there. It’s just beautiful.
3. What is your favourite genre to write in?
Definitely contemporary m/m romance. I’ve dipped my toes in paranormal romance, and I’ll probably write it again but at the moment I’m very happy here.
4. You've published with several different publishers (don't worry, I won't ask you to pick a favourite). What prompted you to do that, and do you think that it has helped you grow as an author?
The main reason I chose (initially) to try different publishers was to see if they’d take me. That probably sounds funny, but it’s true. My first publisher was Musa, and at the time they were just launching their LGBT line, and I was one of their first authors. I knew several of the operators from a writing website, and I was ecstatic to be accepted. It gave me enough confidence to think maybe I was good enough to get published elsewhere.
Samhain was my first choice to test the waters, because I’d read some amazing m/m romance from them and they publish some of my favorite authors. I’d finished writing “Cost of Repairs” and I wanted to see if I could get with a bigger house. So I submitted. And roughly 8 weeks later I got an email accepting it. I admit, I squealed and danced, I was so freaking excited. I have loved working with them, and with Carina Press. They do wonderful things for their authors.
And I said initially above, because now diversifying is also about keeping up a steady release schedule. By having books out with multiple publishers, my readers can expect something new from me every few months. It keeps the momentum going, and has certain paid off in terms of gaining new readers.
5. Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. From everyday life, conversations, reality shows, magazines. Life is all around us, and all we have to do is soak it in. I might read an article and think, “ooh, that’s neat, I’ll use that in a story.” Several of my characters are chefs because I love cooking shows, and I love to cook in real life. Some aspects of Romy’s earnest, eager-to-please nature is based on someone I know. So yeah, my ideas come from all over.
“I want to see you again,” Shane said.
Noel grinned, flashing those dimples. “I’d like that too. My work schedule is pretty weird, though. I’m first shift, which is eleven at night to seven in the morning, five days, starting tomorrow.”
Shane worked that one around. It gave them daytime hours, and evenings on Wednesday and Thursday. He worked at the deli tomorrow, and Saturday was off the table. Probably Sunday too, for good measure. “When do you sleep?”
“Usually when I first get home, from about eight to two or three. Sometimes longer, depending on the night.”
“So you’re usually free dinnertime until like ten?”
“Pretty much.” Noel cracked an unexpected yawn. “Sorry, my schedule is a little off after spending the day with Tristan. I try to keep similar sleep times on my days off so I don’t get too screwed up.”
Shane stood, surprised. “How long have you been awake?”
“About thirty hours.”
“Shit, why didn’t you tell me that?”
“Because I wanted to do this tonight. I’ve been thinking about you all week, and I’m glad I saw you at Mineo’s today. Really glad.”
“Me too.” Shane draped his arms around Noel’s waist. “And since this has been a fantastic night, I’m going to go before you pass out from exhaustion.”
“Do you want to get together tomorrow?”
He considered it for about two seconds. “My weekend’s pretty booked with work and stuff. Monday? We could maybe go out for real this time?”
“Sounds good. I’ll call you when I get up Monday and we can hammer out the details.”
Shane collected his clothes and dressed, taking his time because Noel was watching. The opposite of a striptease, and Shane kind of loved the novelty of it. He meant his good-night kiss to be soft, quick, but Noel held him tight and devoured his mouth until Shane was breathless and half-hard. God, he could kiss Noel for hours and not get tired of it. But he saw the fatigue in Noel’s eyes, and it was time to leave.
“See you soon,” Shane said. “And thanks for dinner.”
“You’re welcome, cowboy.”
Shane strolled back to his car with a bounce in his step, positive he’d never be able to hear the word “cowboy” again without thinking of Noel Carlson.
Pages or Words: 83,000 words, 255 pages
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