Thank you for having me on your wonderful site today. You asked what had inspired me to write my m/m romance ‘Shelton in Love’. Boredom, to start with! My husband and I had taken a trip to Glacier National Park last summer. Beautifully romantic trip. But the long drive through the Idaho desert would have done me in, if it wasn’t for my sometimes naughty imagination.
The air conditioner wasn’t able to keep up with the close to 100 degree weather outside. We were in a desert in the middle of nowhere! Not another living soul on the road. Hot, dry, burnt landscape around us. Scrubby brush and stones baking in the sun. Heat waves rippling across the road. Humid, sultry air in the car lulling me towards sleep…
I’d recently written a short ghost story, The Trials of a Lonely Specter (MuseItUp Publishing, due out this summer) and I began to wonder what my two men had done when they were alive. How had they met? Who would they be in the new story taking shape in my mind?
Nevil came first. Handsome, sexy, witty. Do you know the song ‘Last of the Famous International Playboys’ by Morrissey? That’s my Nevil.
And who would be special enough to win his heart? Someone shy and beautiful, unsure yet alluring in his own way. Definitely a temptation. Lovely Shelton.
Now to get them together. Yum. But I couldn’t just start with them in bed, however much as I’d like to! Should I start with their first meeting, where Shelton falls helplessly for Nevil’s charm? Come on, who wouldn’t!
Too predictable, though even as I’m writing this, I picture their first encounter in my mind, Shelton meeting Nevil’s burning glance across the room, his bones melting as the gorgeous man seemed interested in him…
But no, I wanted their relationship to be special. So I started later, with Shelton already hopelessly in love, his happily ever after still achingly out of reach. The story is about Shelton’s struggle to win Nevil’s elusive heart and not break his own.
After I’d finished the story and sent it off to Breathless Press, I couldn’t just leave them like that. What happened to my lovely men afterwards? The sequel, Shelton’s Promise, was just as enjoyable to write, and will be released from Breathless Press on July 8, 2011.
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Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil’s dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton’s desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil’s mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton’s secret, and then Shelton’s loneliness would be complete.
Shelton chuckled, already stripping out of jacket and shirt as he crossed to the curtained booth. Tera was always in a rush, bursting with more energy than two or three other people combined.
Stepping into the booth, he quickly changed from jeans into the coffee brown slacks and white dress shirt hanging on the rack. Slipping his arms through the ivory colored vest, he slung the coffee and tan tie around his neck and returned to Tera’s side, tucking in the shirt as he went.
Shelton glanced up at a low whistle, feeling the tingle of a blush in his cheeks under Nevil’s appraising eyes.
"You dress up nicely,” Nevil assured him as he stepped closer to bat Shelton’s fumbling hands away from the tie. “Let me do that.”
Shelton concentrated on Nevil’s fingers on his tie, urging his heart to stop racing before Nevil felt it pounding under his fingertips or heard its wild patter. Nevil’s breath brushed his cheek and his spicy cologne sent his senses whirling.
Why did the man have to be so damned attractive?
Shelton hardly noticed Tera slipping a jacket on his arms until Nevil commented on it, rubbing the silk and wool material between his fingers. “Nice.”
Shelton glanced at his sleeve and admired the sharkskin pattern of taupe and tan and black checkers. He shrugged his shoulders, delighted with the fit and comfort of the sport coat. “A new one?” he asked Tera.
"I’ve had the design finished for months, but couldn’t decide if it should go in my summer or fall catalogue.”
Nevil finished with the tie and stepped back, looking Shelton up and down. “Definitely summer, though I’d wear a coat like that all year round. Almost any color of slacks would go with it.”
“Or socks,” Shelton muttered, a reminder to himself as Nevil ran his fingers through his hair, sending sparks of desire through his body as the man mussed his curls.
Nevil tilted his head to take in the overall affect. A lazy smile spread on his face while a warm gleam entered his fantastic eyes. “Delicious.” His gaze lingered on Shelton’s shoulders, before sliding down to his hips.
The whirl of the camera in Tera’s hand recalled him from the tantalizing thought of Nevil’s hands on him as well as his gaze, and Shelton moved to stand under the soft light she set up to compliment the glow from the setting sun.
He thought he’d feel awkward with Nevil watching as he posed, but instead found the man’s presence exhilarating. Shelton knew he looked his best and Nevil’s admiring attention bolstering his confidence. Ignoring the stares of a few passersby, he flirted with the camera, losing his inhibition as Tera called encouragements and clicked frame after frame, only calling a halt when the sunlight had gone.
“These are lovely. They’ll fill out the catalogue nicely,” she commented, tilting the camera to show the men a few of her favorites.
Nevil whistled at one in particular, where Shelton had glanced at the camera through lowered lids, a secret smile playing on his lips. The overhead light brought out the highlights in his chestnut hair and lightened his hazel eyes, complimenting the warm colors of his ensemble for an overall attractiveness.
“You’ll need to stockpile this coat, Tera.” Nevil observed, his eyes never leaving Shelton’s. “Every man who sees that picture is going to want one for his own.” His gaze was intense and Shelton colored at the innuendo.
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