Welcome to our first week of celebrating the amazingly talented
In our first post, we'll talk about the Bones series, including excerpt, and The Tin Box, also with excerpt, plus Kim's favorite things. And of course, all the way at the end, you'll have a chance to win one of her books!
First up, Good Bones
Skinny, quiet hipster Dylan Warner was the kind of guy other men barely glanced at until an evening’s indiscretion with a handsome stranger turned him into a werewolf. Now, despite a slightly hairy handicap, he just wants to live an ordinary—if lonely—life as an architect. He tries to keep his wild impulses in check, but after one too many close calls, Dylan gives up his urban life and moves to the country, where he will be less likely to harm someone else. His new home is a dilapidated but promising house that comes with a former Christmas tree farm and a solitary neighbor: sexy, rustic Chris Nock.
Dylan hires Chris to help him renovate the farmhouse and quickly discovers his assumptions about his neighbor are inaccurate—and that he’d very much like Chris to become a permanent fixture in his life as well as his home. Between proving himself to his boss, coping with the seductive lure of his dangerous ex-lover, and his limited romantic experience, Dylan finds it hard enough to express himself—how can he bring up his monthly urge to howl at the moon?
Up until this point he’d been considering the move to the country as a grim necessity, but it suddenly occurred to him that he might be happy out here—or some facsimile of happy. For the first time ever his blueprints would be for him. He could make his space personal, truly his. He could make it a home.
“I’m still not too sure about the neighbor,” he said. “That house is pretty close.”
“Yeah, but the trees are in between.”
“What about in winter?”
“They’re just starting to leaf out now, and you can barely see the place.”
“But from upstairs?”
Steve sighed melodramatically. “Why don’t you go up and take another look? I’ll wait down here. I got a couple calls to make.” He held up his Blackberry with a smile. “See? I even get four bars.”
Dylan walked back up the stairs, noting some squeaking treads and a loose bannister along the way. The stairs took a turn halfway up, and the landing was roomy enough for a nice built-in bookcase with glass doors.
The best view of the neighboring property was from the smallest bedroom, a space with faded yellow walls and a hideous flowery wallpaper border at chair-rail height. The large window was unencumbered by any kind of curtains, although there were small holes in the window frame where a rod had once been attached. Grubby fingerprints marred the paint next to the window, as if someone had spent a lot of time leaning there.
Now it was Dylan’s turn to lean. Steve was right: even with the poplars barely leafed out, the branches obscured most of the house next door. But there was a gap in the trees—almost as if several of them had been removed—and through that space he could see the neighbor’s back porch. Dylan recognized that he was using the term loosely. Unstained wood set on cinderblocks wasn’t his usual definition of “porch.” As far as he could tell, the primary outdoor décor consisted of piles of beer cans, rows of beer bottles, and two or three pots containing bare sticks that might once have been plants. There was also an ancient, warped metal-and-plastic lawn chair, a few buckets of unknown purpose, and an upturned wooden picnic table.
Nothing like a boutique hotel.
Dylan spent several minutes at the window, thinking about the risks. Steve was right—he wasn’t going to find a home more isolated than this one, not unless he planned to cut his ties with the rest of the world. Although his social calendar was rather paltry, he wasn’t ready to withdraw completely. If he bought this house a risk would remain. But hopefully the slob next door would be too drunk to venture outside at night.
Christ, he really, really wanted this house.
As he hovered uncertainly, his eyes caught a flash of movement. At first he thought it might be a bird or squirrel in the poplars, but then a human being came into view. A male human being—his gender pretty clear since he was wearing nothing but a tight green T-shirt. He had a cigarette in one hand. As Dylan watched, the man padded to the edge of the porch, stuck the cigarette in his mouth, took his dick in his other hand, and pissed into a thicket of weeds. He seemed to stand there forever, smoking and spraying, his eyes focused on nothing in particular.
And then, just as Dylan was becoming convinced the guy had a ten-gallon bladder, the man glanced up at Dylan’s window. His mouth dropped open, and his cigarette tumbled to the ground. The last driblets of piss landed on his bare feet. He spun and marched back into the house. Dylan was too far away and at the wrong angle to be sure, but it looked like the neighbor had a spectacularly nice ass.
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Second in this series, Buried Bones
Werewolves don’t have a how-to manual—nor do men embarking on a new life together.
It’s been a few weeks since Dylan Warner wolfed out and killed Andy, the crazed werewolf who originally turned him and later tried to murder Chris Nock. Architect Dylan and handyman Chris are still refurbishing Dylan's old house as they work out the structure of their relationship. They come from very different backgrounds, and neither has had a long-term lover before, so negotiating their connections would be challenge enough even if Dylan didn’t turn into a beast once a month.
To make matters worse, Dylan’s house is haunted, and events from both men’s pasts are catching up with them. Dylan has to cope with the aftermath of killing Andy, and Chris continues to suffer the effects of a difficult childhood.
In his quest to get rid of the ghost, Dylan rekindles old friendships and faces new dangers. At the same time, Chris’s father makes a sudden reappearance, stirring up old emotions. If Dylan and Chris want to build a lasting relationship, they’ll have to meet these challenges head-on.
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And thirdly, Bone Dry
Ery Phillips’s muse is MIA. He’s pretty sure his job as a graphic designer is to blame, because let’s face it, what kind of muse wants to draw grocery store logos and catheterized penises?
When Ery’s friends Dylan and Chris head off on a European vacation, Ery jumps at the chance to stay on their farm, hoping a stint in the country will encourage his muse to reappear. To be sure, the farm has attracted a few oddities—Dylan is a werewolf and the place was recently haunted—but Ery isn’t canceling his plans just because his friends warn him that there’s something strange going on in their pond. What he doesn’t expect is Karl, a beautiful naked man who appears at the water’s edge.
With Karl as his inspiration, Ery creates amazing paintings and begins to achieve the success he had previously only dreamed of. But Karl comes with certain challenges, causing Ery to question his own goals. Creating the life of his dreams with an unusual beloved may be more challenge than Ery can handle.
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And now, for something completely different, The Tin Box
William Lyon's past forced him to become someone he isn't. Conflicted and unable to maintain the charade, he separates from his wife and takes a job as caretaker at a former mental hospital. Jelley’s Valley State Insane Asylum was the largest mental hospital in California for well over a century, but it now stands empty. William thinks the decrepit institution is the perfect place to finish his dissertation and wait for his divorce to become final. In town, William meets Colby Anderson, who minds the local store and post office. Unlike William, Colby is cute, upbeat, and flamboyantly out. Although initially put off by Colby’s mannerisms, William comes to value their new friendship, and even accepts Colby's offer to ease him into the world of gay sex.
William’s self-image begins to change when he discovers a tin box, hidden in an asylum wall since the 1940s. It contains letters secretly written by Bill, a patient who was sent to the asylum for being homosexual. The letters hit close to home, and William comes to care about Bill and his fate. With Colby’s help, he hopes the words written seventy years ago will give him courage to be his true self.
“Can I help you?” asked Colby.
William got a good look at the clerk and winced. Colby was maybe twenty-two, a good ten years younger than William. The original color of his hair was unclear; right now it was streaked with varying unnatural shades of blond and sculpted into elaborate waves and spikes. He was rather short and there was an elfin quality to him, with his slightly pointed chin and his clear blue eyes set a little obliquely. Those tilted eyes were traced with black eyeliner. His full lips were so red that William wondered if he was wearing lipstick. He wore a tight black tank top that revealed wiry arms and a compactly muscled chest. TOTAL DANCE WHORE was written across the front in sparkly silver letters.
He smiled at William and tilted his head a bit. “Help you?” he repeated.
“Um… I need to talk to someone at the, um, post office.”
“Oh! That’d be me.”
William backed up a couple of steps as Colby skipped down the aisle in his direction. Colby grinned, seemingly thrilled to be helping out. Instead of unlatching the gate to the post office counter, he vaulted right over and landed gracefully on the other side.
“What can I get you? Stamps? I’ve got some nice ones.”
“You work here?”
Colby apparently wasn’t put off by the question. “Yep. Why? Don’t I look like I know what I’m doing? I can demonstrate my awesome mastery of ZIP codes if you want.”
“That’s not exactly a regulation postal uniform.”
Colby glanced down at his shirt. He was wearing jeans too, skinny ones that showed off his trim physique, and a pair of red flip-flops. He looked back up at William and shrugged. “Who wants to wear pale blue all the time? And those dorky shorts with the stripe? So not flattering. Anyway, I have an in with the postmaster.” He winked and stage-whispered, “She’s my aunt.”
William didn’t like being winked at, but managed to keep his voice neutral. “May I speak with her?”
“Not now. She leaves me all cooped up inside while she does the rural deliveries. She claims it’s ’cause she likes the fresh air, but the real attraction is Bob Samuels. His ranch is the last stop on her route and she’s having a fling with him. Well, if you can call something a fling when it’s been going on for almost a decade.”
“A decade?” William echoed weakly.
“Something like that. Since a year or two after Bob’s wife passed away. I keep telling Aunt Deedee she ought to just move in with the old guy, but she says neither of them is fit to live with anyone else and they’re both happier this way. I dunno. If I had someone steady I’d want to wake up next to him every morning, but maybe that’s just me.”
With considerable effort, William managed not to shudder.
If Colby noticed his discomfort, he didn’t let it show. His smile still hadn’t faded. “Whatever your postal needs, I can help.”
“I’m, uh, I just got this job at the—”
“Hey! You’re the new guy at the loony bin! Jeez, I should’ve figured that out already. Sorry. I’m Colby Anderson, mailman and grocer.” He stuck his hand out.
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Kim's Favorite Things:
I’m so excited to be visiting with you this month! Let’s begin this week with a list of some of my favorite things. (Darn. Now that song from The Sound of Music is stuck in my head.)
- Food: Cheesecake
- Cuisine: Thai
- Drink, alcoholic: Margarita or Moscow mule
- Drink, non-boozy: Tea
- Ice cream: Lemon custard
- Music: Old school punk
- Song: The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”
- TV character: Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
- Movie: The Princess Bride
- Accessory: Boots
- Place to vacation: Anywhere! But Zagreb, Croatia is sort of my second home.
- City in California: San Francisco
- City in the US: Portland, OR
- Place to blow $100: Bookstores!
- Candy bar: Curly Wurly
- Secret vice: Stationery and office supplies
- Exercise: Walking
- Way to spend money: Travel
- Holiday: Halloween
- Season: Fall
More about Kim Fielding:
Kim Fielding lives in California and travels as often as she can manage. A professor by day, at night she rushes into a phonebooth to change into her author costume (which involves comfy clothes instead of Spandex and is, sadly, lacking a cape). Her superpowers include the ability to write nearly anywhere, often while simultaneously doling out homework assistance to her children. Her favorite word to describe herself is "eclectic" and she finally got that third tattoo.
All royalties from her novels Stasis, Flux and Equipoise are donated to Doctors Without Borders.
Thanks for joining us this week. Come back next Thursday for week two of our celebrations, when we'll take a look at 5 little-known facts about Kim, plus info on more of her amazing books.
Until then, happy reading!!