Today I am so thrilled to be participating in a very special blog tour for the Grand Adventures Anthology. This anthology was put together in support of Eric Arvin and T.J. Klune as Eric works through his recovery from brain surgery. Eric’s strength and TJ’s endless love and support have been an inspiration to many of us, myself included. I was lucky enough to watch their engagement at GRL this year and the love between the two of them is so clear. Now that they are going through a difficult time, many of us in the romance community want to do everything we can to help support them.
The proceeds from this anthology are going completely and directly to Eric and TJ, thanks to the generous donation of time and support by a great group of authors and Dreamspinner Press. They are selling both electronic and paper versions of the book, as well as prints of the beautiful cover by Paul Richmond, and t-shirts with the cover and a quote from TJ. So please consider lending your support by making a purchase (check out the links below).
Today as part of the tour I have three authors here who participated in the anthology and are sharing some thoughts with us. This includes Cardeno C, Phoenix Emrys, and Jaime Samms. There is also a great giveaway being offered.
And if you want to read more about Eric and TJ’s story or make a donation to them directly, you can find it here.
Hi, JJ. Thanks for inviting me to share a few words about the Grand Adventures anthology. I am honored to share a publisher with TJ Klune and Eric Arvin. There’s very little I can do to help these amazing men as they make their way through a hardship nobody should have to endure, but when Dreamspinner said they were putting together an anthology to raise money for Eric and TJ, I was happy to write a short story to contribute. Like so many readers and writers in our genre, my thoughts are with Eric and TJ and I hope they see only brighter days ahead.
I actually would not have heard about this anthology if not for Mary, but I’m glad she told me about it. I don’t know TJ or Eric personally, but I had read a few books by both of them, followed a bit of their stories, as I tend to do with authors I like if they have a FB presence, and of course, TJ and Eric made no secret of their lives and growing love from the world. I got a bit caught up in watching it all unfold, because yeah, it’s romantic. And I’m a romance writer.
As a romance writer, and reader, I have always believed in happy endings. I just do. So it seemed so right to watch the boys get theirs. The world should work that way. To have things take the turn they did, well I thought maybe their happy needed a little boost. That’s why I wrote the story I did.
It’s called Fall Train, and is about a couple of guys who meet on a train trip across Canada. One is travelling from his small-town rural home back to university, and the other has come a long, long way, across the globe, to find the place he belongs. He gets lost on his train trip and is tired and worried. This story is about how the right person, at the right time, can make lost feel like an adventure, and turn worry into excitement. It’s about how you know when you’re home, even if you’re still looking for a place to stay. And, it’s happy. We all need more happy in our lives no matter how much we already have.
The internet is amazing. You can find almost anything, see breath-taking sights, go on stupendous adventures and never leave the comfort and safety of your favorite chair. But the best thing of all about the internet is people. I first ventured out onto the world wide web in 1999, and in the years since it has been my honour and privilege to meet some truly wonderful people. Most only virtually, but some in person. I’d like to take a moment of your time to talk about a couple of them.
Dreamspinner Press most kindly contracted my first novel in 2010, launching my entry into the online m/m romance community. Shortly after that, through the wonders of social media, I first made the acquaintance of Eric Arvin. Some people really stand out, possess a unique take on life, killer sense of humour, have an amazing way with words. Eric, to a “T”. Every time one of his quirky, howlingly funny posts showed up on my Facebook timeline I’d jump on the comment train, throw my own little quip onto the pile. It was a hell of a lot of fun and so was he. Now, even with all this casual kibitzing I can’t say I got to know Eric very well as a person, but what I did see, I really liked.
Ditto with another whacked, wild and hysterically humourous character who burst onto my scene some time later. (Not sure exactly when, I kinda went off Faceook for awhile). Some of the stuff he put on his status made me laugh until internal organs were severely compromised. On a regular basis. In my book both these gents were neck and neck in the howlingly original sweeps, so out far out on the cutting edge of twisted genius with a side of ‘oh my god that’s so funny if I laugh any more I’ll die’ I couldn’t make up my mind which one I loved more.
Then, I didn’t have to.
Then, they went and got even MORE awesome. If such a thing was even possible. They… they… wait for, it’s good you’ll DIE…
They fell in love.
Swear to god. It was perfect. It was awesome. It was beyond stellar. If they were amazing on their own, together they not only topped the charts, they busted right out of them. If ever two people were meant for each other, it was this pair of very special men.
They met, fell in love, and hand in hand began this incredible adventure together. And thanks to the internet, we all got to go along for the ride. We watched them live. We watched them love. (no – not like that!) The whole community went insane when TJ proposed to Eric. And he said YES! (Like there was any doubt!) They were moving in together. Committed to spending the rest of their lives together. Making plans for November wedding. Squeeeee! It was so perfect, so wonderful, nobody could hardly stand it!
The stuff of real romance. And playing to an avid crowd of romance writers, that’s saying something!
Then, the unthinkable happened. Just before Christmas, their first Christmsas together, Eric, struck down without warning. Just as the adventure had barely begun.
It’s easy to love in fair weather. To pledge forever when the waters are calm. To keep your promises when everything is coming up roses. But the mark of real love, and measure of true character is what one does in the face of adversity. Whether you accept the challenge life has handed you, or get going when the going gets too hard.
Once again, Eric and TJ did not disappoint. These men are not only the real deal, they are an inspiration and a lesson to all of us. I’ve never met either of them face to face, maybe I never will, but I’m damned proud to know them.
Guys, I salute you. I want to be just like you when I grow up. I was happy to step up and send a few words and well wishes your way. I hope “Grand Adventures” sells like beeejebus. I’m proud to be a part of it.
Thanks for making it this far and if you haven’t already BUY THE BOOK. And spare a moment for Eric and TJ. Pray for them, send them some healing vibes, light a candle, whatever floats your boat, but however you connect with the divine and ask for help for another, just do it. Thank you again and bless.
On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.
The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.
One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric.
- Cover Print Small:
- Cover Print Large:
The contest is running as a Rafflecopter giveaway on all the tour stops.
Grand Prize: (Sponsored by the tour bloggers)
Large Cover Art Print signed by the Artist
Paperback copy of Grand Adventures
2nd Prize: $30 Dreamspinner Press Gift Card (sponsored by Dreamspinner Press)
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen.
- Winners may be announced on participating blogs following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner.
- In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.
A special thanks to Will at Pride Promotions for providing the Rafflecopter and graphics used during this tour.