Sera Trevor

Curses, Foiled Again! by Sera Trevor Out Now!

I have been looking forward to today almost as much as Sera! I was lucky enough to beta-read Curses, Foiled Again! and have watched Felix and John’s progress right from the start. I really enjoyed the unique mixture of vampires and old Hollywood, while John’s cynicism and Felix’s obliviousness just ticked all my boxes. This isn’t your typical romance or even your typical vampire romance, but if you like characters with baggage, quirky plots and dark humour, then you will love it, just like I do.

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Felix is a vampire—a fierce creature of the night who strikes terror into the hearts of everyone unlucky enough to become his prey. Or at least, that’s what he thought was true, until he met John. John is completely unimpressed with Felix, much to his dismay. Felix becomes fixated on proving his ferocity to John—and when that doesn’t work, he strives to make any impression on him at all.

John is a witch, and as all witches know, vampires are notoriously stupid creatures who only have the power to hurt those who fear them. Besides, he’s under a curse much more frightening than any vampire. Felix’s desperate attempts to impress him annoy John at first, but gradually, they become sort of endearing.  Because of his curse, John has pushed everyone in his life away. But Felix can’t be hurt, so there’s no harm in letting him hang around.

Felix is technically dead. John has nothing left to live for. But together, they might have a shot at life.

This dark and witty vampire romance for adults is complete at 100,000 words, with no cliffhanger. Despite some dark twists and turns, it ends with a solid HEA.

Ninestar | Amazon |Smashwords | Kobo | iBooks

 

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Tough Choices aka Member’s Choice Round Up!

I am back in my apartment! I had a great time with my family in NZ, but there is something very nice about being back in my apartment — and something even nicer about being able to sit down and relax, knowing that I am not going to miss my next connection if I zone out for a second.

This week’s big news is that the M/M Reader’s Group Member’s Choice Awards are open for voting! It was really neat to see so many of my writing friends amongst the nominations. I’m going to share links to the nominations of those friends who have appeared on my blog (and to my own), so that if you enjoyed their interviews and checked out their stories, you can show your support! Voting is open until the 15th. This means I have a long list of links to share (a lot of which are for the same categories, so be warned — tough choices lie ahead!), but let’s dive in! I’m approaching the list alphabetically for fairness.

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First up, Alex Gabriel’s Still Waters is nominated in Best Love is an Open Road Story ! Meanwhile, First Contact is up for Best Contemporary /Mainstream.  Love for the Cold-Blooded is up for Best Book of the Year, Best Family Drama, Best Coming of Age, Best FantasyBest HumorousBest Story that Should have a Sequel, Best Main Character (Patrick West), Best Virgins, and Best Book Debut! Clearly many people enjoyed it a lot!

Anne Barwell’s On Wings of Song is up for Best Historical.

Bree Archer is nominated twice for her cover design in Best Cover Art  (for my Deep Magic and Sera Trevor’s The Troll Whisperer).

I was thrilled with nominations for both of my DRitC stories. Deep Magic is nominated in Best Story that Should have a Sequel, Best Love is an Open Road Story, Best Paranormal and Best Main Character (Olly! Duhywynt in particular is unimpressed). The Biggest Scoop is also nominated for Best Love is an Open Road Story as well as Best Coming of Age.

Jeff Addams’s Penalty Shot is nominated in Best Athletes/Coaches and Best Coming of Age.

Joe Cosentino is nominated in Favorite All-Time Author and Best Book Debut! His stories have plenty of appearances, too. A Shooting Star is nominated in Best Contemporary/Mainstream, Best Coming of Age, Best Secondary Character (Barry), and Best Performance/Visual Arts. An Infatuation is nominated in Favorite All-Time M/M RomanceBest Book of the Year, Best Story that Should have a SequelBest Main Character (Harold), and Best White CollarDrama Queen (the story I interviewed Joe about) is nominated in Best Mystery / Whodunit and Best Humorous.

Kaje Harper (upcoming guest and generally awesome person) is nominated in Favorite All-Time Author! Life, Some Assembly Required is up for Best Contemporary/Mainstream and Best Family Drama and Best Established Couple. Life Lessons and The Rebuilding Year are nominated in Favorite All-Time M/M Romance. The Hidden Wolves Series and Life Lessons both got nominated in Favorite All-Time M/M Series. Meanwhile, Chasing Death Metal Dreams and Second Act are both nominated in Best Performance/Visual Arts. Second Act is also nominated in Best Humorous, and Chasing Death Metal Dreams is up for Best Love is an Open Road Story

K.C. Faelan’s Top Floor is nominated in Best Historical and Best Love is an Open Road StoryMetamorphic Heart (co-written with Alexis Woods) is up for Best Long Story and Best Love is an Open Road Story.

Nic Starr’s Andrew’s Promise is nominated in Best Medical/Rescue Worker Professionals.

Sera Trevor’s The Troll Whisperer is up for Best Contemporary/Mainstream, and Best Love is an Open Road Story. Her other DRitC story, A Shadow on the Sun, is nominated for Best Fantasy and Best Friends to Lovers.

And Tali Spencer has a story in Foolish Encounters which is nominated in Best Anthology!

A quick short out to Gabrielle Morgan and Tully Vincent, both of whom are really deserving of Best Book Debut! I found voting incredibly difficult. I imagine it is like this every year, but as my first time voting I found it really hard to choose! Please look carefully at each category — with so many categories and deserving nominees to choose from, it is highly probable that I missed someone!

Consorting with Trolls: An Interview with Sera Trevor!

Today I’m taking a break from NaNoWriMo to talk to Sera Trevor. I featured Sera’s fantasy M/M novel, A Shadow on the Sun, on this blog as one of my most anticipated LOR stories. It came out in July, and Sera followed it with a second novel in October, The Troll Whisperer, which, despite the name, is a contemporary novel.

You already know that I think Sera is an amazing storyteller. We have similar feelings about such important things as strong plots, well-rounded female characters and vampires. We’re also both new authors, and Sera, despite being extremely busy away from the keyboard, makes a point of sharing her experiences and support. I always look forward to her e-mails, and I come away from reading them with the feeling that I’ve gained something. And today, I’m sharing her with you! So, hello, Sera, welcome to my blog!

pic of meSera: Hi, Gillian— thanks for having me!

You’ve had an amazing year. Not just one LOR story, but two! And you didn’t stop there, did you? What have you been up to since?

Sera: Most recently, I’ve been wrestling with formatting to get my books distributed on Amazon, Smashwords, and All Romance eBooks. In fact, I just now finished getting the last one up. It was such a headache that I had to get an industrial-sized bottle of ibuprofen to get through it!

Congratulations on getting your stories up on both Amazon and Smashwords! I managed to get Deep Magic formatted and posted on Smashwords and it was exhausting. Is there anything you’ve learnt from the process, or from participating in DRitC a second time, that you’d like to share with other writers?

Sera: When it comes to formatting, if you read the Smashwords formatting guide thoroughly and follow all of the steps, you will still probably mess it up. But that’s a good thing! Getting it wrong is the absolute best way to learn how the right way works. Just stock up on your painkillers of choice before you start.

That is really good advice! I know I went through a lot of panadol, myself. What are you working on now? (I will be honest, I am hoping for vampires).

Sera: Sorry to say, but my vampire is waiting in the wings at the moment. Right now, I’m working on the long-overdue expansion of Consorting with Dragons (which was my DRitC from last year) and its sequel, Lances and Lovers. The sequel will give Larely, the broken hearted guard, a love story of his own. Risyda and Polina will be back as well; I don’t want to spoil too much, but let’s just say that Larely isn’t the only one who has a thing or two to learn about love. Plus, there will be baby dragons!

Baby dragons! Okay, I think I can wait a little longer for vampires. One thing I really enjoy about your stories, Sera, is their uniqueness. Both in the ideas and in the flavour of your stories. You wrote The Troll Whisperer immediately after A Shadow on the Sun, and yet both stories have a completely different vibe to them. Where do you start when you write? An idea? A character? A belief? What element is present in all your writing, and why?

 Sera: Generally, I start with the sort of story I’d like to write: for example, a vampire story. (One of the many great things about the Don’t Read in the Closet event is that the prompts give me an extra creative boost, because there’s a bit of character and plot already built in.) Then I decide on a tone—am I going for laughs, or for something more serious? From there, I develop the characters and the skeleton of the plot. As I write, the characters start to reveal themselves. Frustratingly, this often upends the plot I’ve carefully constructed; after a certain point, the characters get very opinionated about what they want to do!

I tend to be all over the place with my subjects and my styles—writing takes me to different places, and I don’t like to restrict where I take my mental vacations! The thing that unites all of my work, however, is a deep interest in the human condition. I think that’s what draws me to romance. We are at our most human when we fall in love. It can bring out both the best and the worst in people, which is fascinating to explore.

I love that! Such a fascinating take on romance. Thanks for sharing!  What do you hope readers take away from your writing? Is it different for every story?

Epub-TheTrollWhispererSera: One of my favorite things to hear from readers is that my writing has made them think about something differently. For example, I’ve had several readers say that their perspective of online trolling changed once they read The Troll Whisperer. That really excites me, because I often write to try to understand people very different from myself. That’s why my villains and other difficult characters have a special place in my heart—it’s harder to understand them, but the effort is very rewarding for me. Ha, this may be why my villains tend to promote themselves to anti-heroes; once you understand why someone is such an asshole, it’s hard to completely dismiss them.

I can see that. Lyar in A Shadow on the Sun is a really great example of a villain that I can’t hate.

What are you currently reading? Would you recommend it? If not, what is a book you would recommend?

Sera: I’ve actually just finished Cari Z.’s Ten Simple Tips for Surviving the Apocalypse and found it completely delightful. It’s a comedic take on the apocalyptic genre, which really appealed to my morbid sense of humor. Besides being funny, it was very heartfelt with two great leads. She even pulled off an HFN in a barren hellscape that felt real and earned. I was really impressed with how much world-building and character development she was able to pack into such a short amount of space.  It’s a DRitC story, so you can pick it up for free. I would definitely recommend it!

Ten Simple Tips for Surviving the Apocalypse is already on my to-read list, but I’m going to move it up a bit!

What are your plans for the coming year?

Sera: I hope to get both the expansion with Consorting with Dragons and the sequel, Lances and Lovers, out by spring of 2016. After that, I’ll start on my vampire book, Curses, Foiled Again, and then I’ll start on my steampunk novel, Manners and Machines.

How can readers keep up to date with what you’re working on?

 Sera: If you want to read a little more about my upcoming projects, you can check it out on my webpage here. And if you want to get notification of my new releases, as well as exclusive sneak peeks and chances at free books, you can sign up for my mailing list here!

And just for fun: If you could meet any fictional vampire, who would you choose and where would you take them?

 Sera: Can I cheat and pick two? Because I’d like to set Lestat and Dracula up on a blind date, then watch what happens from a safe distance.

Yes! I will watch with you. You bring the binoculars, I’ll make the popcorn. Finale question: How awesome is beta-reader/editor/cover-designer Sam on a scale of one to stupendous?

Sera: She is super duper extra stupendous, times infinity plus one!

Agreed!  Thank you so much for your time, Sera! I’ve enjoyed our chat and I’m excited for your upcoming projects. Manners and Machines? You have some great titles!

Sera Trevor. 

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Reading List, Connected by Ink.

I feel like I was so busy working on my LOR stories that everything crept up on me at once. I very nearly missed that the story Nicole Dennis wrote for my LOR prompt had been posted! Family and Reflection, the latest book in Anne Barwell and Elizabeth Noble’s the Sleepless City series has been released, and Tali Spencer has tied up Rattletrap and shared some of Thick as Ice on her blog. And as if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, Sera Trevor has shared the first chapter of A Shadow on the Sun with her e-mail subscribers, and there are 84 LOR stories already freely available via the M/M Group. It’s a good thing that this is our last week of school before the summer break because I have a lot of reading to do.

You’d think that after submitting my second LOR story, I would be allowed a break, right? Not so! I found myself picking up Thorns and Fangs almost immediately. I’ve been going through and revising it again. While I am impatient to share the story with everyone, I want it to be as strong as I can possibly make it, and I feel like I’m making good steps in that direction! Taking some time off from this story has given me some necessary distance and I’ve learnt a lot from Arielle, Serena, Sam and Raevyn, my LOR event betas and editor this year that I can now put to good use.

Weirdly, while writing my LOR stories I found it was really difficult to read other people’s LOR stories. I am rather one-track. When I’m in writing-mode, all I want to do is write. When I’m in reading-mode, I go through 3-4 books back to back before I’m satisfied. I think that the knowledge that I still had a lot of work to do with my LOR stories didn’t help me relax and enjoy them. Bizarrely, I have no problems reading Family and Reflection while working on my own Vampire serial. I’ve got no idea why the similarities between these novels and my draft don’t put me off, but instead reading the first six chapters of Family and Reflection last night got me really inspired and all fired up to get back to work revising my draft. Coming back to these characters after a few months felt like catching up with old friends. I am really enjoying this series!

Also inspirational, Nicole Dennis’ Connected By Ink has me itching to try writing paranormal sci-fi. I love the direction she took my prompt. The setting and world-building was completely unexpected and my favorite part of her story!

Here is my prompt (sans incredibly awesome picture unfortunately):

Dear Author,

What you see is more than mere ink. Any tattoo has the power that comes from significance, but none have what ours do― the ability to grant power. He gave us the first of our marks when he claimed us as his Heartless, you see. Betrayed by love and left to die by the ones we most trusted― but still unwilling to die.

It’s a strange life, if ‘life’ is the right term. We walk in the dark, see what humans do not see, and wield awesome powers, protecting humans from what they do not even know exists. It’s not without its perks, of course. We are allowed pleasure, companionship and wealth. There is only one rule, and that easily kept. We know the anguish of heartache too well. Why fall in love?

No, my problem is more― peculiar. One of my tattoos has gone― missing. It seems to have transferred itself to the charming young man who entertained me last night. An absolutely unheard of event. I would find it fascinating― if it wasn’t happening to me. Now I have to find him before he attracts unwanted attention with his new powers and find a way to get my tattoo back.

And Nicole’s story can be found on Goodreads here (must be a member of M/M Romance to view).

Impact Ripples and The Biggest Scoop.

The theme of this year’s DRitC event is Love’s Only Road, right? I’m starting to think it should have been ‘Love’s Only Ocean’ or ‘All Roads Lead to Mermen.’ Seriously. There is yet another merman story, and unlike mine, Alex’s or Lila’s, you don’t have to wait to read it! Impact Ripples by Claire Davis and Al Stewart is out now! Read it on the M/M Romance Group or download it in ebook format here.

Impact Ripples is a contemporary thriller. It is a desperate race against forces imperfectly understood by the characters, and the story hurtles you along as though you’re also part of this urgent fight to survive this just-guessed-at danger. I am left wanting to know more about this world and these characters.

I’m also kicking myself. Al created a hilarious spoof cover featuring a merman that I saw and joked about with him on Goodreads – and I still managed to somehow miss this story until now. To be fair, I was somewhat distracted … by writing my second LOR story.

In my defence, I’m not alone! There is an outbreak of second stories happening. K.C. Faelan is teaming up with Alexis Woods to write about a gorgon. Sera Trevor is swapping fantasy for internet trolls. And me? I said ‘tara’ to my morgen, and stepped into the equally foreign (if you’re me, anyway) world of American High School.

Milo is determined not to let the school paper go under, if its the last thing he does — and with the grudge the football team has against the paper, and Milo in particular, it just might be. Enter Taylor, a confident new student with personal magnetism strong enough to put the entire school in flux. Taylor is the perfect story, Milo is sure of it. But while Milo’s stories are great for the newspaper’s circulation and Taylor’s popularity, they do nothing to improve Taylor’s opinion of Milo. This is the biggest scoop of Milo’s life — but can he figure out the real story?

Josephine’s prompt is here. I highly recommend checking it out, just for her photo. There is so much personality contained in that photo, that the story pretty much wrote itself! I’ve shared a few snippets in the thread, but as for updates, I finished the first draft last week and it is in the process of being beta-ed prior to being revised then submitted for editing and formatting.

LOR: A Shadow on the Sun

The best part of the M/M Romance Group’s DRitC event, is that as writers, we’re not alone. As we work on our prompt stories, we know that there are hundreds of writers around the world doing the same! Not to mention the event staff, beta-readers, formatters, quality control, moderators … I check the LOR author support thread regularly, but when I need a writing boost, I like to go back to the prompts and see what other writers are doing. There is something magical at seeing an idea fleshed out and taking on a life of its own, often in unexpected ways! As the deadline draws nearer, I thought I’d share some of the prompts that get me most excited about the event!

Today, I’m writing about Penumbra’s prompt, claimed by Sera Trevor.

A Shadow on the Sun Cover

One of the first to be posted, Penumbra’s fantasy prompt caught my attention immediately. A feisty prince, an arranged marriage and the element of forbidden romance in the character of the loyal but lower-class friend … There is so much you can do with that! Fortunately for all of us, Sera Trevor saw the potential, snatching up this gem at once. Sera’s already proven that she rocks fantasy — her DRitC story for last year, Consorting with Dragons, was nominated for Best Fantasy and Best Love’s Landscapes Story in the 2014 Member’s Choice Awards. But you don’t have to take my word for it! Sera has given me permission to share one of the excerpts she posted from her WIP:

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