Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author Shira Anthony joining us in her blog tour for new Dreamspun Desires release “Forgotten Paradise”.
Shira talks to us about writing for this series, shares an excerpt and there is a wonderful giveaway to participate in!
Welcome Shira 🙂
Thank you Dani and company, for hosting this stop on the Forgotten Paradise book tour! I’m offering up a fabulous December Diamonds Cupid merman ornament to one lucky winner in the US who comments on one of the blog tour posts, or a $10 Dreamspinner Press Gift Card for winners worldwide, so be sure to comment below (then enter the Rafflecopter) by answering this question: What kind of guy do you love reading about—geeky but sweet, sharp as a tack, slightly aloof, warm and fuzzy, or something else?
For those readers who may not already know, Forgotten Paradise is my second entry in the Dreamspun Desires line of gay romances from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for an excerpt from the book, as well as the Rafflecopter giveaway for the book tour.
Category romances were sweet, sometimes funny, standalone stories with a yummy happy ending. These were romances that made you feel good. For me, I remember being an angsty teen and reading these books. They made my heart pound, made my arms ache, and gave me that rush of “oh yeah!” at the end of the story that made me want to devour more romances.
Writing Forgotten Paradise and my earlier Dreamspun, First Comes Marriage, I did a lot of thinking about why classic category romances made me feel so damn good. I read a few of the old romances, and I really thought about what makes them work for a reader like me. My husband, the scientist, would call that “reverse engineering.” It was a bit like eating a really good piece of cake and figuring out what ingredients went into it because you don’t have the recipe!
So what’s the recipe?
Take two main characters and ratchet up the heat. I’m talking a very slow burn that builds until you are fanning yourself and ready to scream, “Tell him you love him already!” Or at least, “Tell him you want to have sex with him already!” Stir in something that presents a bit of a sticking point for both characters and threatens to keep them apart. Nothing too angsty here, just something they have to overcome separately or, even better, together. Add a secondary character or two who just might derail the budding romance or help it happen for our main characters. Add doubts and stir again. Little niggles or fears. Maybe sprinkle a little misunderstanding in while you’re at it.
Pour all the ingredients into a pan and bake it at high temperature. What do you get? Sexy, sweet, and spicy romance that tastes as good as tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold day, or maybe some really good mac ‘n cheese. We’re not talking prime rib that you eat with expensive French wine, but the kind of meal that leaves you satisfied and smiling. Simply fun and feel-good fare.
I’ll leave you with the blurb and an excerpt from the book and, of course, the Rafflecopter. Be sure to leave your comment before entering! By the way, my favorite kind of guy to read (and write) about? Aloof, in need of repair, but with a good heart (the dark and mysterious type). Good luck on the drawing! –Shira
It’s dangerous diving for secrets.
When a megacompany threatens to take over his family-owned business, programming prodigy Adam Preston escapes the stress with a much-needed vacation in the Dominican Republic. There he meets attractive, intelligent, insightful Jonah James, a scuba dive instructor, and what starts as a holiday fling soon blossoms into much more.
But Jonah has a secret: ten years ago he woke up on an island beach with no idea how he got there… or even who he is. Their paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. When Jonah’s memories come crashing back like waves on the sand, will it be Adam clinging to the proverbial life raft, or will the two men find a safe harbor to ride out the storm?
WHILE HENRI washed down the patio, Jonah hung the last two wetsuits and sprayed down the rinsing bins. Small rivulets of sand and water streaked the painted concrete.
“I can finish,” Henri told him.
“Thanks.” Jonah walked over to the benches and retrieved his BC and regulator from a hook. “I owe you a drink.”
Henri laughed. “Good thing they’re free or you’d have to take out a loan.”
“Meet you at Giuseppe’s in an hour?” Jonah hung his gear inside the staff room.
“Not tonight. Got a date with Viola.” Henri stopped spraying for a moment and gestured toward the office. “It’s our six-month anniversary.”
“Six months? Impressive. So what’s for dinner?”
“Sushi,” Henri said. “At Yumi.”
“You’re taking her all the way to Punta Cana?” Jonah chuckled and slapped Henri on the back. “Must be love.”
“A man does as he does.” He winked and added, “I borrowed Torey’s car.”
“A man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do,” Jonah corrected. Henri’s English was damn good, so Jonah enjoyed teasing him the few times he made mistakes.
“So how about you?” Henri asked with a crooked grin.
“Me?” Jonah knew where Henri was going, but he wasn’t going to bite on that particular topic.
“You’ve been here a few weeks now. Met anyone interesting?”
Jonah shook his head. “If I had, I wouldn’t be telling you about it,” he teased.
“Fine. To be that way.”
“Be that way. Not ‘to be.’”
Henri laughed and headed over to the counter, where Viola was working on assignments for the next day’s dives. “The guests think I’m sexier when I get things wrong.”
Jonah pulled the elastic from his hair and ran a hand through his still-damp curls. He waved at Viola. “Have fun tonight!” He slipped on his sandals and headed down the path to the staff dormitories. He’d only made it to the towel-return shack when he noticed a man standing in the middle of the intersection of two paths, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
“Perfect,” the man muttered.
“Lost?” Jonah forced his gaze up from the dusting of reddish hair on the man’s nicely defined pecs.
He looked at Jonah with warm brown eyes. “That obvious?”
“Happens a lot,” Jonah reassured him. “Where’re you headed?”
“Dive shop. Although by now, it’s probably closed.” American, judging by the accent. East Coast. A hint of New Jersey but polished so it was barely noticeable.
Jonah glanced at his watch. “You have another ten minutes.” He pointed the way he’d just come. “It’s about a hundred feet that way. You can’t miss it.”
“No problem.” Jonah offered the man a reassuring smile. “Took me a few days to get my bearings.”
“My mother used to tell me I’d lose my way in a shower stall.”
Jonah chuckled. “That bad?”
The man nodded.
“I could think of worse places to get lost with you,” Jonah quipped, immediately regretting it. The man’s lean body was far too interesting, especially given the no-fraternization policy Jonah had signed when he was hired. Not that the hotel had ever fired someone for taking a guest to bed, but Jonah felt more comfortable following the rule. It made things easier. Celibacy was safer. Flirting was downright dangerous.
The man flushed. Even more interesting.
The man quickly regained his composure. “Do I know you?” he asked.
Jonah also got that a lot. “I’m sure I’d have remembered you,” he said truthfully. It wasn’t every day he met a redhead, let alone one this attractive.
“My mistake.” The man offered his hand. “Adam Preston.”
“Good to meet you, Adam.” Jonah shook Adam’s hand. Strong grip. Confident, but not overly so. “I’m Jonah. Jonah James.”
“I’d better go,” Adam said. “Maybe I’ll see you around.”
“I hope so.” Jonah watched as Adam headed toward the dive shop. No fraternization, he reminded himself with a sigh. Maybe it was time to rethink the celibacy gig.
Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba94916/?