Thursday, September 22, 2016

Author Of The Month - Brandon Witt - Grand Finale




Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the ever so fabulous 




In our final post, we'll talk about Son Of Money, Shifting Silver, and Christmas Miracles Of A Recently Fallen Spruce, plus we'll have our Q&A with Brandon. All the way on the bottom is one more chance to win as well.


First up, Christmas Miracles Of A Recently Fallen Spruce


Blurb:

Paxton Peterson’s favorite day of the year is his annual Gay Boy Christmas dinner. He’s checked and double-checked his to-do list, because nothing stresses him out like the unexpected. Confident everything will run smoothly, Paxton embarks on his yearly snowshoed hike through the Rocky Mountains near his home. His perfectly planned evening is cut short by Logan Charles’s careless enjoyment of his brother’s snowmobile, and Paxton is stranded in the woods. It’s the worst thing that could’ve possibly happened to him—or maybe the best.

This story was part of the 2015 Dreamspinner Advent Calendar.




Excerpt:

Maybe if I spent a touch more time in the gym like my gay card says I am supposed to, the events of this Christmas Eve might have gone differently.
They might have gone like this:
I’m nearing the top of a snow-covered hill, thick with forty-foot tall Christmas trees. Moving fairly quickly, excited to see the white expanse that waits just beyond the crest, there wouldn’t have been an issue. The snowmobile, unheard over Glee’s version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” would have zoomed over the ridge, caught air, headed back down in my direction, and I would have merely pirouetted out of the way as gracefully as a sugar plum fairy. The snowmobile would zoom on by and out of sight, leaving only tracks over the snow. I would have undoubtedly flipped the driver off, forgetting that I was wearing mittens, and then sat down on the nearby stump of a recently fallen spruce to get my heart rate down to an acceptable syncopation. I would have finished my snowshoeing, returned to my Jeep, and gone back home to review the small lists of tasks for Christmas morning and then fall asleep.
That might have happened if I had made it a practice to do even just one sit-up a day.
Alas, no sit-ups had been done in the recent past. Or the far, far past, for that matter.
Therefore, when the snowmobile, unheard over Glee’s version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” zoomed over the ridge, caught air, and headed back down in my direction, I screamed at the top of my lungs, attempted to fling myself out of the path of the speeding onslaught, caught my left snowshoe in the branches of a recently fallen spruce, twisting my ankle in the process, landed in more branches of that damned recently fallen spruce, and screamed again. And for its part, the snowmobile also didn’t respond according to how it should have. Snowmobiles don’t do sit-ups, so I am not clear on its excuse. Regardless, upon finding a snowshoer enjoying the magic of Christmas Eve in its path, the snowmobile landed in an explosive cloud of snow, attempted to swerve in an overcompensating jerk and crashed into the branches of the recently fallen spruce that I might have mentioned. Mere inches from my recently twisted ankle.
It turns out, I did not have an opportunity to flip off the snowmobile driver, mittens or not.
Well, in all honestly, maybe I did have the opportunity. The driver, demonstrating that he had done at least one sit-up a day, launched effortlessly off the snowmobile, and tucked himself up as he rolled harmlessly across the snow. To his credit, he did rush over to check on me before inspecting his snow machine of death. If he’d had on a helmet, I might have taken the opportunity to offer him a mitten-clothed flipping of the bird. However, the large brown eyes peering down at me from the Marlboro Man face (before the nicotine did its work) caused any thought of flipping an angry bird to flit away.





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Second in today's line-up, Son Of Money




Blurb:

Randall Morgan, youngest son of one of Seattle’s wealthiest families, rejected his family’s money to live free of their control and pursue his career as a photographer. To make ends meet, Randall does erotic photography and massage—a secret he keeps from his family so he can remain a part of his young niece’s life. But the price of that relationship is high, and Randall is once more slipping under his family’s thumb.

Noah Carroll is the spokesperson for the Seattle Humane Society, and the city holds a special place in his heart. When fate intervenes during a pet adoption, Noah finds himself face-to-face with his first love—Randall.

While Noah and Randall are not the teenagers they once were, the flame of a first kiss long ago draws them together. Their romance is beginning to grow, but someone is out to destroy Randall and expose all he keeps hidden.

When secrets and rumors thrust Randall into the public eye, his relationship with Noah isn’t the only thing that comes under threat.


Excerpt:


I adjusted my gaze and kept it firmly fixed on the forms.
When at home, do I want my dog to stay by my side? Hell if I know.
I heard the footsteps approaching across the tile floor, but didn’t look up until shoes entered my vision, past the edge of the clipboard. Men’s shoes.
Making sure the clipboard stayed where I needed it to be, I looked up into the man’s dark brown eyes.
Holy shit. He was even more beautiful up close. He looked like a gorgeous Jesus. Which was weird.
But hot.
And then he spoke, his voice deep enough to be sexy without being cliché. “Randall?”
It was Jesus. Had to be. He knew my name. He’d just traded a white robe for a white T-shirt and shown up to keep me from lying more on the doggy forms.
“Um. Yeah. I’m....” Who did he say I was? Oh! “Randall.”
Maybe the front desk lady told him my name. Although I didn’t remember exchanging names with her.
He smiled, teeth white and straight between his pink lips. “You don’t remember me, do you?”
I stared at him. Panic rising. I hated this particular guessing game.
No chance we’d hooked up. No matter how many randoms I’d had, no way I’d forget that face.
Never gave him a massage either.
Maybe from the uber-rich crowd I rubbed shoulders with due to my parents? Nah. Not with him dressed like that.
His confident smile widened. “It’s Noah.”
My jaw went slack. I needed no other explanation. I’d thought of him a billion times over the years. Back then he didn’t have a beard and hadn’t yet become a man. But he’d still been beautiful. And his eyes were the same.
I stood, although a bit shakily. “Noah? Noah Carroll?”
Like there was any other.
His smile grew broader still. “You do remember.”
He leaned forward, arms outstretched at the same moment I
extended my hand.
We both faltered, then switched positions, him shifting to offer a shake and me a hug.
With a laugh, we embraced, me swiveling to keep my hips from making contact. Though I was now certain he was gay, I didn’t need to make it any more awkward.
With my mind bellowing his name over and over again, I wasn’t aware of the feel of his body in my arms, which was regrettable. I did notice the warmth of him and his clean scent.




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And thirdly, Shifting Silver



Blurb:

The year is 1618, and Allakau is different from the other members of the Alaskan Yupik tribe. His people survive by hunting, but Allakau is unable to kill or eat flesh. As another season reaches its end and winter approaches, Allakau encounters a narwhal with silver eyes similar to his own. He saves the creature’s life but incurs his father’s wrath, and Allakau is given one last chance to prove himself a productive part of the tribe or be left behind to die. As he spends time alone in the woods, clues about his past and destiny begin to fall into place with the aid of another silver-eyed creature. His hunt might finally lead him to the truth about what sets him apart and where he belongs—if he can survive it.



Excerpt:


Around us, the light grew brighter. For a moment, I thought it was simply an increase in the brilliant snow. But it wasn’t. The light was clear.
If anything, the snowfall lessened.
And then he was there, though I found it difficult to accept what I saw. I’d heard stories. Legends passed down from generation to generation.
But they were just that—stories. Myths.
But he wasn’t just a myth.
He stood between two trees, studying me. Brilliant silver eyes sparkling in the snow. His spiraling horn nearly ten feet long. Wavy white mane, and behind his flank, his tail flicked.
Unicorn.
He stepped forward, his silver hooves at the end of long powerful legs catching the dying sunlight.
I held my breath as he walked toward me. I felt the fox wake beside me, but she didn’t move.
Without a thought, I pulled off my glove and lifted my hand, desperate to touch the glistening white creature.
The unicorn continued forward until its forehooves were nearly touching my boots. He lowered his head, his horn dipping down like a sword above me, and pressed his muzzle into the palm of my hand. His pink nostrils flared as he breathed in my scent.
His voice filled my mind. “Luceat.”
There was so much love in the word. It flowed through me. Filled me. Blocked out all else.
I looked deep into his disc-like silver eyes and nearly wept. “Fidelis.” I lifted my other hand, intending to cup the curve of his jaw, when a whispered oath caught both of our attention.
Fidelis’s horn swiped dangerously close to my head as we turned toward the sound.
My brother stood, partially hidden behind the low branches of a tree. As I stared, he lifted his spear.
“No!” I sprang up, causing the smaller animals to flee. “Fidelis, run!” I threw myself in front of the unicorn, spreading my arms wide.
Fidelis reared upward, pawing the air with his front hooves, and let out a piercing cry.
The spear flew harmlessly under his airborne legs.
I whipped back to him. “Run!”
He spared me a look, searching my eyes, and then he ran.





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Our Q&A with Brandon:


1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?



Mostly, it’s just the small things in life. The one thing that makes someone different, or the one event that changes their lives. I love to explore how those small things set a person apart and changes/effects their entire existence, and those around them. That is even true when I’m writing fantasy.

2. What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?

I’m a huge planner, each book gets its own journal, with a cover that matches the feel of the story. I also have to plan using pen and paper, I can’t do it electronically. I have pages upon pages of notes about nearly every character in the book, family trees, outlines, questions, possible story arcs. Once I get all that mapped out, I can finally start to write. Often the outline changes and has to be reworked multiple times during the writing of a book because the characters take over and demand something different. That is always my favorite part, even when it throws me for a loop.

3. Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?

That’s nearly impossible for me to choose. But it’s either Maudra from The Shattered Door, because of her originally, strength, and refusal to be anyone other than she is. Or Sonia, from my Men of Myth series, because of her beauty, woundedness, and power. Or Wendy from Then the Stars Fall, I crafted her by imaging what I’d be like as a woman, and Wendy came into existence, though she’s much cooler and stronger than I ever could be in real life, male or female.

4. Which character is your least favorite, and why?

He’s not my least favorite, but he is my most frustrating. Brooke, from The Shattered Door. I’m crazy proud of that book, and I do love Brooke, but he is me. Completely. At least the me of ten/fifteen years ago. I tried to listen to the audio book a few months ago and had to stop less than halfway though, even though the reader was brilliant. I wanted to shake Brooke (shake me) as he dealt with religious persecution. (I have a very fundamentalist background, and even had a degree to be a youth pastor, and now I am not religious at all, and reject 98% of that particular belief system that Brooke/I tried so desperately to mold ‘ourselves’ into.)

5. If you could go back into one of your books and change one thing, what would that be? And why?

This sounds like a cop-out, and in no way am I saying my books are perfect, because they aren’t. Each one is flawed and has astounding room for growth. But, I wouldn’t change any of them. The are frozen bits of my soul in those moments of time. The only thing I would alter is my Men of Myth trilogy. Instead of having them be three books, two with cliffhangers, I would make them all one, massive novel. They can’t be read separately, and the characters grow a ton, but very slowly over those three novels, so it’s frustrating to readers feeling like they got robbed at the ends of book one and two.

6. What's next for you? What amazing book are you working on?

In October the first installment of my Rocky Mountain Boys series, based in Estes Park, Colorado, will be released. There will be five books in that series. I have a super cute Christmas story coming out, Teddy Bears, in December. And then between January and October of 2017 all four of my Mary’s Boys novellas will be released, which are set at Hamburger Mary’s in Denver. Then it’s back to the Rocky Mountain Boy books. For these two series, the books can be read individually or in any order (I learned my lesson with Men of Myth). Both series will also be much more romance driven than my other writing thus far. It will be fun to see how readers respond.


Thank you!!




More about Brandon:

Brandon Witt's outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he's got plenty to write about....

    



Giveaway:




Thanks for joining us in celebrating this fantastic author. We hope you found a few new books to add to your TBR, and learned some new things about Brandon.

Until next time, happy reading!








6 comments:

  1. Great post, I love the Q&A! It's always fun to hear an author's opinion on their own characters and the flaws and great qualities!

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  2. Love the q&a, getting to know authors is fun. :)

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  3. Wonderful Q&A! I love the town of Estes Park - so beautiful. Looking forward to the series you are setting there and your other WIPs.

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  4. Ahh i love this. Brandon's writing is so amazing!!! Can't wait for the upcoming ones

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  5. Brandon is such a good writer! I tend to buy books from really good authors and save them for when I really need them😊.

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  6. I enjoyed reading the interview and reading about books I haven't read yet. Thank you.

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