Today I am so pleased to welcome our very own, super fabulous, Kris T. Bethke to Joyfully Jay, once again in her author hat. Kris has come to talk to us about her latest release, Something Like Peace. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a copy to give away. Please join me in giving Kris a big welcome!
Hey everybody! I’m so excited to be here today as the other me, and a huge thanks to Jay for letting me hijack the space this morning. Because I want to talk about one of my favorite things. Series.
I love them. I mean, like love love them. I get drawn in and I go for broke until I’ve read every book in a series. I’ll be the one obsessively waiting for the next release, buy it early, and have even been known to take the day off from the evil day job just so I can read it. Yes, folks. I am that person. I absolutely and completely love series.
I’m not even picky as to what kind. Same MCs navigating their relationship while whatever new conflict tries to tear them apart? Sign me up, I’m there. New MCs, ones we’ve already met as secondary characters, and now we get to watch them falling in love? Even better! Hell, same town or setting and completely new people? Bring it on. I love them all.
So as you can imagine, I often think in series when I’m writing. That guy I just wrote as a secondary character suddenly jumps up and tells me he has his own story to tell. Those guys who just fell in love, they want to expand on their story and tell everybody what happened next. On Fridays on my site, I post a flash fic. And when I’ve had a new release, those fics star my most recent pair, so their story keeps going. But other than that, I didn’t continue on with any of the previous ideas as series. Timing, characters, something shiny; there was always something getting in the way and those series never materialized.
When I wrote Something Like Hope, I did it with the absolute certainty that it was a standalone story. Full stop. There would be no continuing on. There would be no additional stories. No one was talking in my head after Aaron and Lucas, and therefore, once I finished it, it would be over.
So of course that’s when the series happened.
I blame the best friend, as he put the idea in my ear by saying, “I can’t wait for Dan’s story.” And even though I protested that Dan was straight, Dan himself let me know that wasn’t the case. So with that little sentence from my wonderful, evil friend, the series was born.
Something Like Peace released yesterday. It’s the third book in the series, and it’s finally Dan’s story. Once I knew I was going to write at least a sequel, Dan’s story was going to be book number two. I had it all planned out. And then when I got toward the end of writing the first one, and I introduced a couple of secondary characters, I knew that not only would they need a story, but that timing meant it needed to be second. Brandon and Jared fell in love in Something Like Trust, and Dan was happy to wait his turn. I revamped the plot that I already had for the book, and was ready to go.
Only I had a dream that Dan got involved with someone other than who I’d originally paired him with, and I shared it with the aforementioned best friend. And he came back at me as to why, exactly, it worked so well. He was right, as he always is, and Dan’s story changed again. He fell in love with Vincent, and their romance is even better than I thought it could be. And I think part of that harkens back to the series aspect. I’d been waiting for his story since almost the moment he stepped onto the page in the first book. I’d watched him interact with Brandon and Jared in the second book. And now, here he was, finding his own happily ever after and even though I was the one writing it, there was something so satisfying about watching him get his turn.
I have at least one more book planned for the series, and even my editor picked up on who lucky couple number 4 is. After that, who knows? I never want a series to drag on too long. But as long as I have characters who have a story, and it makes sense within the series, I’ll write it. Whether that’s one more book, or ten, I can’t yet say.
What about you guys? Love series or hate them? Comment below for your chance to win an ebook of your choice of any book from my backlist, including the just released Something Like Peace.
Vincent looked up when I drew close, and for a moment, a beautiful smile lit his face before it smoothed again into a mask of polite disinterest. But even though he could control his features, there was no mistaking the lust in his warm, deep brown eyes. I stopped close to the chair and peered down at him
“You got a minute?” I asked quietly, doing my best to sound neutral. A quick glance around confirmed that no one was nearby, and so I let my body language convey my interest.
Vincent’s gaze flicked to his watch, then back up to my face where it settled. “Yeah, but only just.”
I nodded. Licked my lips. Took a deep breath. And then I smiled, making it as seductive as I knew how. “A couple of weeks ago,” I began, keeping my voice low, “you said to let you know if I wanted more. Did you mean it?”
Vincent’s gaze never wavered. “I meant it.”
“Great,” I said, and offered him a huge grin. Then, feeling silly, I over-exaggerated my flirtatious behavior. “You look gorgeous in that shirt. So, what’re you doing later?”
He blinked at me, then burst out laughing. It was such a rare occurrence that nearly everyone turned to look. Just that fast, Vincent sobered and scowled, the look enough to send everyone back to their tasks.
“You’re an idiot,” he muttered, but I could hear the affection in his tone. “And later I’ll be going to your place to eat and then fuck.”
I swallowed hard, and my stomach dropped. I wasn’t going to dwell on the actual physicality of what we’d be doing. We’d figure that out later and I’d find a way to tell him that, since I’d only ever done that with the fairer sex, that no amount of porn had educated me as to how it really worked between men. At the moment, I was much more focused on the fact that he was coming back to my place, and we’d finally get a chance to explore each other.
“Now that sounds like a plan,” I said. I knew I’d covered my nerves. I’d studied and honed my craft for more than twenty years; I could convince anyone of almost anything. I gave his shoulder a bump with my fist, then made to step away, knowing that he’d wanted to get started soon and he never began late.
But before I walked away, I leaned close one more time.
“But I wasn’t kidding about the shirt. Green looks fantastic on you.” I offered him my best and most real smile, then turned to actually walk away. I did not miss the sharp inhale from him. I did my best to keep the smugness off my face. I’d affected him, which was all I had wanted.
For actor Daniel Jacobs, accepting he’s gay is easier than he expected. But actually acting on the attraction he’s just begun to acknowledge proves more difficult. Fortunately the very sexy Vincent Stevens is willing to introduce him to all he’s been missing, but Dan’s not sure a fling with his TV show’s sometime director is wise.
Throwing caution to the wind, Dan seeks out what Vincent has to offer and before he knows it, he’s in over his head. When Vincent experiences a health scare, he’s not sure how to take Dan’s fussing. They are starting to find their way toward more, but it will only work if they can recognize the peace they bring one another
Kris T Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with an aquarium full of tropical fish and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved and that all love deserves to be celebrated.
Kris has brought a backlist book to give away to one lucky reader (including the most recent release, except for the Dr. Feelgood Anthology). Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, December 18th at 11:59 pm EST.
- 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. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. 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.