Title: Drama Queens with Love Scenes
Series: Actors and Angels, book 1
Author: Kevin Klehr
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: April 17
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Genre: Romance, Literary Fiction, Angels, cisgender, Fantasy, friends to lovers, gay, humorous, Life after death, romance
Close friends Allan and Warwick are dead. They’re not crazy about the idea, so to help them deal with this dilemma are Samantha, a blond bombshell from the 1950s, and Guy, an insecure angel.
Allan also has a secret. He has a romantic crush on his friend, Warwick, but shortly after confiding in his new angel pal, his love interest falls for the cock-sure playwright, Pedro.
Not only does Allan have to win the heart of his companion, he also has to grapple with the faded memory of how he actually died.
ExcerptDrama Queens with Love Scenes
Kevin Klehr © 2017
All Rights Reserved
She looked like Jayne Mansfield without the attributes. Her cherry-colored wide-brimmed hat complemented her black unbuttoned jacket. A low-cut white dress completed the look. She seemed overdressed and would have looked better wearing a casual pink T-shirt and torn jeans, like a pinup girl sparking the imagination of a lusty army boy. Her pleasing smile said she had been waiting to greet us.
An angel stood next to her, barefoot in old blue jeans and a ripped-sleeved khaki shirt. While he didn’t have the glam factor of the female, his striking dove-gray wings drew focus. They spanned his height and then some, towering above his head by at least an arm’s length. He rarely made eye contact with us and stood hunched with his hands lightly clenched below his navel. His demeanor implied a vanilla hint of gayness.
Just what did we actually get up to last night?
My friend, Warwick, and I safely considered this scene from the doorway of our tiny room.
A moment ago, we had said goodbye to my uncle and his girlfriend, and now we were facing two strangers on what looked like the set of a Greek epic.
Our confused oohs and ahs echoed off the marble black and white tiles, which stretched so far into the horizon they became gray as they met a set of stairs. Each step alternated in color, again black and white. Someone had overdosed on 1980s pop videos when they conceived this design.
“What do you make of the red velvet curtains, classic or uninspired?” I asked my friend.
“Allan, they’re lush. Just lush.”
“Don’t be alarmed, gentlemen,” the Jayne Mansfield look-alike said with an air of whimsy.
As we nodded awkwardly, she shot a concerned glance at the angel and whispered, “Don’t smile like that. It doesn’t match the décor.”
Discouraged, he rolled his eyes and mislaid his smile.
I began biting my thumbnail as my eyes darted between our hosts and the opulent aspects of this room.
“A sex kitten and an angel,” I timidly said to Warwick. “Does this mean…?”
Warwick stepped through the doorway and addressed the angel. “Those wings? Please tell me they aren’t real.”
The angel gracefully flapped them three times before shrugging. I switched my denial into overdrive.
In the past week, Warwick and I had left our chaotic beach-town lives for a little break. My dead-end job was getting me down, and my partner in crime suggested a holiday would be the best remedy. Until this point, he was right. All had been going as planned. We’d visited my uncle Bryant and his new love interest in Melbourne before considering a driving trip around Tasmania. Who could have imagined this strange twist in our plotline?
Our hosts seemed to study us like a diplomat about to shake hands with a head of state. The angel endeavored to smile again, while the blonde bombshell gave us a moment to gauge our bearings. Then her arms extended in greeting like Jesus in a biblical painting.
“My name is Samantha, and this is Guy. We’re here to welcome you.”
NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords
Back in 2011 I worked with my first editor.
It was my book, 'Drama Queens with Love Scenes', which had not only been professionally assessed three times when I scored my initial publishing contract, but had been developed over eight drafts over as many years. This is not uncommon for first novels.
I was assigned erotic writer and editor, Mary Belk, because the original publisher made an assumption that, as the book was gay themed, it must be sexual. It’s the way this non-gay publisher thought. That misconception was cleared up quickly.
But then the real pain began.
Her first issue was ‘show don’t tell’. It’s a trap novices make if they don’t know better, and it’s important because telling your reader everything bores them. But when you give them the words to paint their own picture, their own imagination allows them to get hooked on your book.
In the submitted manuscript, the first words that describe Allan’s lodgings in the Afterlife were simply –
"I sprawled out on the plush red sofa, gazing at the antique harlequin money box in the display cabinet."
– and –
"I wanted to admire his light brown skin and his alluring dark brown eyes enhanced by the furnishings."
Pardon the camp tone, but after a bit of reworking an actual description emerged –
"In renovation terms, it was “grandmother meets gay boy.” Its welcoming décor could include a cultured old woman working on a crossword, with her grandson seated next to her checking out male models in Cosmopolitan. The crisp aroma of Beef Wellington, which either might have prepared, would fill the room."
Clean endings to my chapters was the next thing my editor said was wrong with my manuscript. I would end each chapter, as if it were its own individual story. Mary quickly informed me that while a reader may enjoy the chapters, it won’t compel them to return to my book. Each chapter must end on a cliff hanger. That was the start of a scene by scene restructure.
She also didn’t like this –
“There’s something strange about this storm,” Mary said, as she wandered to the bar to mix herself another cocktail.
It always had to be –
“There’s something strange about this storm,” Mary said. She wandered to the bar to mix herself another cocktail.
This style that has stuck with me, even though another editor referred to it as ‘stage direction’. I sometimes break this rule, but I read another novelist who does this, so I generally stick with it. Why? I’m not exactly sure. Somehow it seems cleaner.
I was unemployed at the time, bolstered financially through redundancy money, so I had time to rework my novel. Mary suggested a new subplot, and I was already re-arranging chapters while combining a few to keep the story moving. Where I made notes to ‘show not tell’ next to certain descriptions, I let my imagination fly for the rewrites. And, as she was an erotic writer, I finally agreed to several sex scenes.
While I loved working with my editor, I had grave doubts on this new structure. Reluctantly, I printed my completed manuscript and read it straight through in two days.
Mary was right. The book was a hundred percent better.
So the rule is – always trust your editor! They do know best. That was the only time I worked with Mary Belk. Not long after the book’s release she left us for that writer’s retreat in the sky. And although we only communicated in text, she left an impression on me, and my writing.
Meet the Author
Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.
From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.
His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.
So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.
4/17 Hoards Jumble
4/17 Zipper Rippers
4/17 My Fiction Nook
4/18 Stories That Make You Smile
4/18 Happily Ever Chapter
4/19 The Novel Approach
4/19 Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
4/20 MM Good Book Reviews
4/21 Love Bytes
4/21 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Promotional post. Materials provided by