“Voices carried little here. The thick humid air weighed them down, made them heavy and leaden. Words would fall from lips to the floor, lying there breathless until they died and were forgotten.” (page 119)
The last day of The Forsaken Blogs has arrived. The end of my blogging events are always bittersweet to me. The end means I can finally put to bed one novel and move on to the next. In this instance, the next novel for Ravenous Romance will be A Torch Kept, due date August 15. So, please look for me when the blustery September winds start blowing your way.
I adore the ending to The Torch Forsaken. The last scene tickles my literary bones to their warm, soft marrow. I was three-quarters through the book when the ending came to me in a flash of inspiration that left my toes curling and my heart wonderfully aflutter.
I love those author-y moments. While I’m sure Hemingway and Poe are rightfully looking down their noses at my efforts most times, in these moments even they must nod to themselves and agree, “Yes, she’s right. Those moments do feel damned good.” And any time you’ve got ghost masters agreeing with you is a special, spectral thing. *grins*
So, the beginning of summer nears. What does this glorious season hold in wait for you? I hope only good, inspiring things.
My summer will see my mother having major surgery. Prognosis is outstanding but still… well, you know… we’re talking me, the proverbial worry wart. So, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I will give you all a drive-by blog when all is said and done. I thank you so much for caring.
On behalf of Dimas and Alanyo and all the characters in their sweet, torturous love story, I wish you sunny skies of freedom and calm minds of peace.
Until next time, my dear readers…
“If Dimas had then fallen to pieces in the shower, pouring out through his tears years of hurt and relieving one moment of unfathomable pain, he saw no reason to tell these nice people anything about it.”
Do you see what I see? That’s a very dangerous question for a mentally indisposed person to ask of the world.
Think about it. You’re sitting there on your couch staring at a pack of elephants in your den. You ask the world at large, “Do you see what I see?” The world at large replies, “Yeah, you need to dust that fireplace.”
It’s disturbing. It’s discomforting. It’s a sinking feeling to hear stark affirmation that yes indeed you are a loon.
Sometimes it’s better not to ask the question. Sometimes it’s better to just keep your mouth shut and pray that the pachyderms don’t mow you down while you crunch through a can of Pringles.
It’s a common misunderstanding that the secretiveness of many people suffering from mental illness has to do mainly with their wanting to avoid embarrassment. A lot of the time, I think, it’s about not wanting to be confronted with the truth. It’s that fear of realizing just how sick you are that keeps many of us from opening up about our illness.
Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just a case of not wanting to see the forest for the trees, or, in our case, the fireplace for the elephants.
So, you’ll please excuse the potato chips on my den’s floor. My elephants always leave crumbs.
Until tomorrow, the last of The Forsaken Blogs…
“As he’d stepped out of the tiny inn’s front door, Dimas had looked all around him. A bittersweet feeling of amazement filled him. For the first time in his adult life he could go anywhere in the world he wanted.” (page 84)
Yesterday I was fending off self-doubt gremlins from my back door, and today I’m welcoming Goblin Gaillardias to my front door.
It’s a crazy, crazy life in Chloe’s world. Welcome aboard.
After a morning spent at the nursery picking out flowers for my tiny front yard, I have returned to blog at you. With Release Day for The Torch Forsaken now sitting firmly in the rearview mirror, I can take a deep, though heavily medicated, breath and relax… at least that’s the plan… the gremlins might have other ideas.
It’s amazing what memories latch onto.
For Dimas, the taste of candied oranges brings with it a lone Christmas from long, long ago.
For me, the taste of a cold cream soda takes me back to those precious summer evenings in the Rocky Mountains.
Ok. Truth time. How many of you out there thought that my memory would be a bad one? An incident stinking of mental illness, panic and bone-chilling fear?
Yep. Thought so.
Surprisingly, it’s very rare that a scent or a taste or a sound carries with it the memory of a panic attack for me. Although I can clearly remember each and every one of my attacks over the last twenty years, they rarely come rushing back to me, catching me off-guard.
Those memories are with me always, every day, sometimes every minute. As the years have passed, the majority of the attacks have slipped into the shadows of my daily world. In fact, maybe they have become my shadows? The dark, cold proof that I am finally able to live outside in the sun?
Hmm… I’ll have to think about that. Maybe consult with a gremlin or two out back, or one of the newbie goblins out front.
It’s a crazy, crazy life.
“Mentally, Heitor Alvin was a creature of rage who walked a fine line between blind, mindless obedience to Musaazi Gomes and a simmering, long-held desire to kill everyone around him.” (page 77)
Perhaps it is appropriate that one of the “evil incarnates” of this story raises his ugly head on Release Day? Heitor Alvin, the bearer of all bad things in The Torch Forsaken, arrives on this blog’s doorstep just as all the gremlins of my self-doubt come barging in the back door.
Yep. It’s Release Day. The day when mental angst (of my own screwed up brain’s making) battles for dominance over an author’s giddiness that her work has finally reached her readers.
Heitor fits right in with the general madness of the afternoon.
Bad guys. I love writing bad guys, especially the really vile ones that have no redeeming values whatsoever. It’s a nice change of pace to not have to dig around in a character’s head, scrounging around for good bits to explain away all the bad bits.
Heitor Alvin is one of my baddest, bad guys.
I hope you’ll despise him as much as I do.
I must confess that I despise my self-doubt gremlins just about as much as I loathe Heitor. Unfortunately, the pen is not mightier than the sword when it comes to imaginary scoundrels with long memories and sharp teeth.
Hey, I’d even take a few of the little critter’s scars if anybody other than me could see them. Proof is always nice when a girl is claiming mad gremlins.
Well, while this author shoves a piano up against her back door, I hope all you dear readers will introduce yourselves to Heitor, Dimas, Alanyo and my little love story.
“Debt bondage was the term the media and the professors in the universities called it. Forced labor was what God and the men “chained” to the fields by paper and debt knew it to be.” (page 48)
With the dirt of an unexpected travel day scraped off of me, I return a day late but not a dollar short. I have big news to share…
The Torch Forsaken, my 12th novel and namesake of this blog, will be released tomorrow, May 22nd. Pardon me as I giggle and shiver in nervous excitement. I really love this book and I hope you all will too. So, please, help me spread the word. I’d hate for Dimas and Alanyo to feel slighted tomorrow. Haven’t they suffered enough? *grins*
Speaking of their suffering, the research that was necessary to bring my two Brazilian cane workers to literary life was incredibly enlightening and sadly inspiring.
Guilt always tickles me uncomfortably behind the knees when I find romantic inspiration from stories that really are tragic. The suffering of these workers is real and, worse yet, is current. It’s happening as you read.
Is it alright for an author to make a few dollars off of their suffering?
I don’t know.
I worry that it’s not, that’s it’s some kind of exploitation or usery. I worry that I’m making light of their situation by dressing a romance in their real life woes.
But right when I’m ready to turn back, I realize that perhaps bringing their situation to light, even in the relative fluffiness of romantic fiction, I might in fact be helping them. If I didn’t know about the cane workers’ sufferings in South America, I can only assume that at least one of my readers didn’t know either.
There must be knowledge and then acknowledgement of a problem before it can be solved. I truly pray that my silly little story will spread a little of that needed knowledge around.
Delusions of grandeur? Perhaps, but I’m a pro at delusions, so why not?
What do you think?
As you read my story tomorrow (Note: positive thinking on this hopeful author’s part), I hope you’ll find that I didn’t trivialize in any way the living tragedy which is debt bondage. Again, please let me know your thoughts on how I did.
Until tomorrow (Release Day!!!)…
Matthew supposed it was a Jeep. It had the basic shape of a Jeep, all the right parts in all the right places, but there was just something off about the vehicle.
“It’s the color of a freaking lime,” Cane pointed out, with an unspoken What the living fuck?
Yeah, that could be the problem. (page 37)
Day Five is off and running like a shot of Mexico’s finest tequila. Smooth and fiery with an iron-toed kick in the gut.
*doubtful silence falls*
Ok. Let me amend that… Day Five is here. Try not to stub your toe on its sloth-like girth.
Let’s say it is and move on, shall we? We’ve got crawling mosquitoes to discuss. *grins*
Do mosquitoes crawl?
This is surprisingly a very deep question. Really.
Having a mental illness that is slowly evolving into a different beast every day, I sometimes wonder if I’ll know when or if I finally lose my mind? Will there be a visual clue, like mosquitoes suddenly crawling through the air instead of flying? Will worms suddenly taking flight give me an inkling that’s something terribly wrong?
Will any of it happen “suddenly” at all? Maybe going crazy will be the whole world slowing down to a snail’s pace, where a yawn lasts a year and a heartbeat a Tuesday? Mosquitoes would certainly be crawling then.
Would that mean that I would “suddenly” speed up? Would my mind blow through the world like a runaway train on a very short track? Would my words be nothing more than cavernous screams in the sky, or would they just be swallowed up in the crack between two realities, mine and yours?
Would my blogs suddenly be nothing but question marks and exclamation points?
Or maybe, just perhaps, this was simply an example of where my mind has been known to run on very bad days?
Yeah, that must be it.
*doubtful silence falls again*
Welcome to my world where it’s always a question of whether my imagination is just running amuck or are the mosquitoes really lining up to start crawling.
“From the very outset, the Cabral household had not been a happy one.” (page 28)
On behalf of the psychotic little coal miner currently chipping and chipping away at the inner linings of my brain, I wish you welcome to Day Four of The –Forsaken- Blogs!
Please pardon the migraine-like racket likely to seep out between my words today. I’ve been fighting this headache for a couple of days, and right now the mean bastard has got me pinned to the floor. Before one of us goes down for the count, I have a surprise for you all…
Drumroll, please... oh, wait, my coal miner’s already got that covered. *grins*
Anyhow, in lieu of a regularly rambling blog, I give you all the cover to The Torch Forsaken…
Ok, I really, really love this one. I hope it tickles all of your fancies as well. Please, let me know.
Until tomorrow, when either me or the angry little coal miner will be joining you with a real blog…
Chloe Stowe and the bastard in her head.
“(The trees) were integral collaborators in the men’s tiny stabs at freedom. From trunk to trunk, the night’s escapees would bolt behind their girth. Sex-drunk and wary, the same men would return to the living columns, counting on them to get the workers back to their beds unseen.” (page 19)
On a dewy, sun-kissed Thursday morning, Day Three of The –Forsaken- Blogs has arrived! The world may now sigh in relief. *grins*
On a personal aside to my daily readers, I’d just like to note that today is a much better day than yesterday. All my meds are humming merrily along and my nails aren’t quite as dirty this morning as they were in the last blog. And yes, I’m still holding on at six thousand miles.
Now back to today’s blog…
What a delicious coupling of words.
Hopefully, we’ve all felt that lazy buzz that sings through our bodies after a delicious coupling of our own. That precious, awkward time when our brains are stuck in a constant “Wow!” at our body’s spectacular efforts. Sweaty, breathless and goofy-faced, it is in these moments that some of our sappiest thoughts tumble out…
These are the moments romance authors drool over, especially writers in the m/m genre.
Keeping a man, well, manly is hard work when you’ve also got to show his soft, vulnerable underbelly. These sex-drunk moments are glorious moments where raw machismo and romantic heart can dance. When these rare, sparkling slices of time have been reached, it’s up to the author to just step back and let her men tango with their tongues and their oft-shielded hearts.
Personally, I get a rush out of writing these scenes. In a sense, it’s a delicious coupling of author and character. One leads and the other follows. If you’ve done it right, it’s almost a hands-off kind of experience, a moment where the writer can recklessly ride the waves she has wrought.
It may not be as good as a long, hard fucking but it sure as hell has an after-glow all its very own.
“Their lovemaking could be beautiful, the grace and passion they poured into one another’s body drowning out their surroundings. Hot whispers of “forever,” “someday,” and “freedom” would fill their ears and trick their souls into believing.” (page 9)
With the mantra of “better late than never” stammering away in my heavily medicated brain, I proudly and belatedly bring you Day Two of The -Forsaken- Blogs.
Applause would be greatly appreciated at this point.
My morning has been less than ideal, shall we say. So excuse me if I psychotically cling to any positive feedback the universe sends my way today. I will try, however, to keep any gratuitous tail-wagging on my part to a strict minimum. Believe me, nobody needs to see that.
Moving right along…
Six thousand miles of separation. In The Torch Forsaken, that refers to the distance between the U.S. and southern Brazil. In my own life, especially on days like this, that seems to be the distance between my life and normalcy.
Six thousand miles.
Squint and hop on my toes with all of my might and I still can’t even catch a glimpse at something so far away.
At this point in my life, what do I pray for at night? That I never know what six thousand and one miles of separation feels like.
Yeah, on days like this I just cling to the ground and hope not to be shoved any further away from the sun than I already am.
So, please excuse the dirt under my nails today. I’m a stubborn bitch who sure as hell is going to hold her ground.
“The end of summer neared.” (page 1)
Welcome to Day One of the Forsaken Blogs, a preview blogging event for my twelfth novel, The Torch Forsaken. Yes, the number of my published books will now neatly fit into an egg carton. Bliss is a very strange place for Chloe Stowe.
As per our normal repartee, I will provide you daily with a chapter title and a teeny-tiny excerpt to whet your whistle, and you will, in turn, read and enjoy. Of course, purchasing a copy of the book at the end of this repartee process would generate tremendous giggles and giddy grins on my part, but it is not necessary, required or expected.
Each blog will center on a theme laid out by either the title or that teeny-tiny excerpt. Feedback is always welcomed.
As the actual release day for The Torch Forsaken has yet to be narrowed down to anything more specific than “this week or next,” these blogs might roll right through the “big day.” If that does become the case, I hope you won’t mind and I hope you’ll keep reading.
Ok, enough of the preliminary chit-chat. Let’s get to the meat of the matter (minds out of the gutter, dear readers). I’m talking synopsis, back-cover blurb, sell-copy. I’m talking the aroma of fresh apple pies that lure you mouth-watering, stomach-growling into the kitchen. Well, eat up, my friends. Here’s the synopsis…
A young man waits for his lover under the shade of an ancient sprawling tree as the sun rises over Brazil. It is the end of summer. The earth is baked. Heat rises from the burnt cane fields as dawn floods the land.
Dimas Cabral and Alanyo Valermo are cane cutters in southern Brazil. Both in the mid-twenties, the men have spent their adult lives in “debt bondage” to a large sugarcane plantation located several hundred miles from Sao Paolo. The living conditions are despicable. The working conditions are worse. Their “wages” never reach their own hands. The money their long, taxing hours earn goes directly into the plantation boss’s hands, a man who legally claims that the young workers’ families owe him a large financial debt. The fact that this is a lie doesn’t matter when there is no proof of the truth.
Dimas and Alanyo’s time is short and there are ears everywhere. Their love must be made silently and fast.
As sweat soaks their bodies and orgasms rock their lost souls, the young men allow themselves one minute longer just to hold on to each other, to hold on to the only good thing in their lives…
This is their story.
Hmmm… You’re right. This one is a little different, a little meatier in all the best spots.
While it might be the end of summer for Dimas and Alanyo, it is only the beginning for you and me and The Forsaken Blogs.