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Chapter Four: A Woman Named Loring
“Buried? For some reason he cringed at that word. His bad feeling about all of this was just getting worse.” (page 53)


Release Day! The foreplay has come to its end. All the soft nuzzles of lips upon nipples, all those sweet kisses on the best of those unmentionables have now disappeared. What remains between us this day is the climax.

Let the thunderous waves of pleasure come, let ecstasy rock the boat you lay upon.

Lay all of your defenses down.

Give in to the hot rush that wants to devour you.

Scream as the orgasm takes hold of your soul and shatters it. Relish the devastation, suck it dry.

And know that tonight, tomorrow, for all time to come I am here to bring you more…

*coughs innocently*

Bet you never had a “Please buy my book” quite like that, huh?

*tosses her salesman’s hat to the floor and kicks it out of sight*

Now back to the blog…

Anybody want to take my shift in my brain today? Seriously. I am bone tired of being so… weird. And I can’t even be weird in a cute and snuggly way. No, I have to be weird in the “Jeez, I hope it’s not catching” way.

Take yesterday as an example.

I spent most of the morning and all the early afternoon literally revving myself up to go to the Fed Ex place (a place I’m very unfamiliar with). There was a very important contract I needed to mail to a new publishing house (details to follow in the next days). Well, by the time I got up the nerve to actually go I had wasted the majority of the day worrying about it. Yeah, dumb, I know. Believe me, I know.

Did I go to the Fed Ex place? Yes. Did I get it mailed? No. After a “comedy” of nervous errors, I was told (while holding on to 2 completed forms and a big envelope I had just bought) that they couldn’t mail the contract to a PO Box.

Yeah, I know this kind of stuff happens all the time to everybody. Fortunately though, for everybody’s sanity, everybody isn’t operating with my brain set.

So, I dragged my pitiful self back home, curled up on the couch and called my Mommy. September 19th was officially shot to h-e-double hockey sticks and I’d gotten zero accomplished… except, of course, for the knotted up stomach and the exhaustion-laced nausea.

Yep, sometimes I wish with all my soul that somebody else was Chloe Stowe and I was a woman named Loring.

Until tomorrow and the afterglow…

Chloe

P.S. *nudge, nudge* “A Woman Named Loring” is one of the title chapters of the day. Got it? Good. Even I get lost sometimes following my line of thinking.


Chapter Five: Home Away from Home

“His eyes popped open and a world of harsh, electric light swallowed him. Trapped in an ice cold fire he couldn’t understand, Cane began to struggle.” (page 65)


 
 
Welcome one and all to the Shafts of Torchlight Preview Event, an 8 day blogging extravaganza that is part sneak peek, part mental illness expose and part “laugh until you cry” or “cry until you laugh” madness brought to you by Chloe Stowe.

As keen holiday aficionados may have already guessed, this event has latched onto Santa’s eight tiny reindeer as its titling theme. Original? Not very, but I think it should be fun. A little dash of holiday magic is always welcome in my world.

Shall we get right to it then?

Synopsis first…

It’s Christmas night in Hellesgate, Kansas and all the world is bright.

Former New York real estate mogul Matthew Archer and injured war hero Cane Summerfield are enjoying their first holiday season together with their adopted daughter, Sahara. While the men had endured many hardships on their paths to discovering one another, their lives had finally grown peaceful while their love had only grown more vibrant…

But when you have everything, you have everything to lose.

An estranged family member with a heart of ice, a buried past that lives in a murderer’s hungry gaze, memories born of sweet violence and delicious pain… all must be met and overcome for Matthew and Cane to keep the lives and the love for which they have fought so fiercely.

However… when the path is darkest, it takes only the smallest shafts of light to lead a man home again.

As always, every day you will get a chapter title and a tiny little excerpt from that chapter. Be careful, sometimes I like to lead you astray with my choice of excerpts. I’ve got to leave some surprises for the actual novel, after all. *evil mad scientist laugh… or, in this case, mad novelist laugh*

 Prologue: A Guileless Voyeur

 “Rain slapped the window. The reflection of the Eiffel Tower in the glass lost all definition melting into just a stain of orange light.

“Please,” a man’s voice broke with the lightning.”  (page 1)

Shafts of Torchlight was a joy to write. It was like slipping into your favorite pair of pajamas and sharing a glass of wine with an old, treasured friend. It is the third book in the Hellesgate Series, a series of novels that follow the ever-deepening relationship between former New York real estate shark Matthew Archer and Iraq War veteran Cane Summerfield. Shafts of Torchlight follows Torched and Blow Torch.

This series really resonates deeply within me as the character Cane suffers from PTSD. His battles are often a reflection of some of my mine (particularly his fight with panic attacks). I love the idea that the former soldier is able to find breathtaking love with another. Maybe this whole series is my guilty pleasure? I don’t know, but I don’t think I’ll apologize even if it is.

Two more novels in the Hellesgate Series are already in the pipeline so expect Matthew and Cane to follow you well into the new year!

This go-around I’m adding a little something extra to each of these blog posts. As I’ve chosen Santa’s 8 reindeer as my title them, I thought it was only fair to give each reindeer a little time in the romantic smut limelight. So, as I’m not too up on the ins and outs of reindeer sex, I decided to make each of the little fellas’ names a codename for a World War II soldier / spy / combatant, you get the picture. Yes, I am boldly stroking my historical romance tendencies with this, but it’s actually turned out really well and the seed of a novel has been planted in this heavily medicated brain of mine. Scary, I know.

So without further adieu or nonsense, here’s your first WWII reindeer game.

I imagine Dasher to be…

A brave WWII soldier who has been dropped behind enemy lines to set up a line of communications with resistance fighters. Finally, after a week of breathless escapes from the enemy, he manages to set up an old-fashioned telegraph network. The dots and dashes of morse code soon fill the wires. The resistance will survive but will our young Dasher?...

Keep a careful eye on each of these guys because their stories just might begin to interweave.

Now, I will let you get back to your holiday madness as my madness is calling me to pop a few Prozac. I hope you enjoyed!

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
It’s here! The release of Peak and Thrust today means the official end to… *one more time folks, with feeling*… the “Peak and Thrust 12 Day Sneak Peek Event!” It’s been a long haul and I, for one, am glad to be rolling this 18 wheeler into Point: Destination… Ok, I apologize. Apparently my sub-conscience has been enjoying a “Smokey and the Bandit” marathon without inviting my conscience to join in. Well, I hope there was lots of buttered popcorn involved and everybody brought protection.

Now, aren’t you going to miss my quirky sense of humor? Good thing you can find a ton of it in Peak and Thrust… that’s it, folks, final plug. I’m all plugged out but please let my publisher know that I plugged well and with heart. *winks*

As my blog readership has soared this week, I wanted to end this on a particularly memorable note. But how?

I decided to give you a memory. Raw, uncut and something I’d rather forget but know I never will.

During the worst of my times at Auburn University, I skipped classes. A lot of classes. As in almost all. I’m the kid who was never in detention in school, never got a failing grade on a report card, got nothing but gold stars from my teachers. Yeah, I was that annoying kid. However annoying it was though, it was me. It was as much a part of who I was as anything else. I never, ever wanted to fail people. Seeing disappointment in a person’s face was paramount to a punch in the gut for me… Yeah, I guess you could say I was messed up even then but didn’t know it.

Anyhow, I was skipping classes. One of the worst days of that whole experience was also one of my gutsiest I must say. See if you agree…

I had signed up for an Accounting class in my sophomore year. I was pre-engineering but needed the class to meet some requirement or other. In January, I went to the first day of class. We had assigned seating. I was assigned the very first seat on the very first row. I couldn’t have been more noticeable.

The next time I stepped into that class was three months later, on the day of the final. I walked in there and sat my screwed up ass down in my front row seat and took that test the disgusted and rather galled professor handed me. There were whispers. Why the hell wouldn’t there be whispers?

For two and half hours I sat in that class and tried my hardest to pass that final. Never mind the fact that I had missed all the tests, all the assignments, everything of the class. I was determined to pass that last test.

I didn’t. Even after weeks of reading cover to cover that Accounting text book, putting terms to memory, doing every exercise that book gave me, I didn’t pass.

Come on, I didn’t deserve to. I know that.

But I tried. Even though my mind and my co-conspirator of a body wouldn’t let me sit through a single class any more, even though I was drowning in denial, embarrassment and self-hatred, I walked into that classroom on that last day and took that damned test.

What does that say about me? It certainly speaks as to how messed up I was at the time. It absolutely proves that I can be an arrogant bitch on occasion. But I’d like to think that it also shows how I never, ever let go of hope. I dragged that dried up kernel of hope in with me that final day and plopped it up on that desk in front of me.

Gall or guts? It’s your call. To me, it’s simply one of the worst days and best days of my life. Talk about ironic, huh?

Ready for your “final” sneak peek?


Chapter Eleven: Of Trellises and Beady-Eyed Rats and Endings


 “Her neck crooked to the side as she looked up at Laird like a dog facing off against a yodeler. “You don’t look like one of them,” Philana accused slowly.” (page 160)


Hmm… a bit of a mystery I’ve left you with, huh? I hope it’s just enough of a tickler to welcome Peak and Thrust into your library as you have so graciously welcomed me and my craziness into your lives these past twelve days.

Until next time…

Chloe Stowe

Peak and Thrust available today at Amazon, AllRomance Ebooks and through my publisher:

 http://www.ravenousromance.com/m/m/peak-and-thrust.php

 
 
Good morning and welcome to the penultimate blog for the “Peak and Thrust 12 Day Sneak Peek Event!” Only one more day until you won’t have to hear those words again (I admit they’re a mouthful and my fingers are starting to groan every time I start typing them… bet you didn’t know fingers could groan, huh? Well, hop on my medication train and you’ll learn all sorts of cool things.)

I’ve got to say that the response to yesterday’s “For that 18 year old girl” blog was tremendous! It tied with my Thanksgiving Day “Panic Attack – blog interrupted” high.

Wow!

Thank you.

As you all seem to warm up to my confessional pieces, I’ll continue in that light until you beg me to stop. I will be turning in novel #9 (Shafts of Torchlight) Saturday, December 3 so you should get another Chloe Stowe blog spree just in time for Christmas. Yes, I am the gift that keeps on giving.

So, on to today’s peek inside my mind…

The joy of anticipation… it is one thing that my mental illness has stolen from me that I would dearly love to have back.

I’m talking about that “kid on Christmas Eve” feeling, that “crossing days off the calendar as your vacation beckons” thrill. Hey, I’m even talking about the mundane “There’s a great movie on tonight; it’ll be great to watch it” warmth that sees us all through a long week… I don’t get to have that anymore.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not so mellowed out on my meds that I don’t get giddy, that I don’t bounce on the balls of my feet like a three year old when my team wins or I get some incredible publishing news. I’m one of the more excitable people you’re likely to ever meet… there lies the sick irony.

Anticipation, the joy of knowing something really good is about to happen, filters through my brain as panic. Talk about crap.

All the same buttons are pushed in my head whether I’m clinging to a cart at Target trying not to pass out (see Thanksgiving Day blog) or am waiting for Santa to come rolling down that chimney.

Book a trip to Paris and what do I get? A bone deep dread, an immediate counting down of the hours that I have left before I have to go. We’re not talking butterflies, here. We’re talking monsters rabid and hungry in your belly and in your head… and it doesn’t go away. It stays with me until whatever it is that I was supposed to be so excited about passes in a haze of exhaustion and a general sense of “Thank God that’s over.”

It’s sad, really.

I miss sitting in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve. I miss waiting on the “Santa’s” of life. But do you know what’s really messed up?... I still do it. I still wait by the fireplace on December 24th.

So if you’re looking for me on Christmas Eve, you’ll know where to find me. Sick, trembling, panicking, but still waiting on Santa.

Now for your sneak peek of this rainy Sunday morning…

Chapter Ten: Once Upon a Sweltering Detroit Night

“Joey kept staring out at the Alaskan night like maybe if he looked long and hard enough an answer would come riding in on the tail of a Northern Light. He shook his head and pulled his gaze away. Man, he was fucking losing it.” (page 144)

Until tomorrow (Release Day!)…

Chloe Stowe, the woman by the fireside

 
 
The twists and turns of panic disorder are dizzying. I am never on one path long before I'm forced down a new, unmarked and unlit lane. I am lucky. This time the change in direction is only a slight narrowing of the proverbial road. It has taken me a few months to accept this change but I do now and hope you will understand it as well.

As my writing career is continuing to grow and I begin to tackle new arenas in the literary world, I have had to put everything I have into my daily writing. It is not a matter of time but one of energy that has brought me to this decision. Except for corresponding with my publishers, etc, I can no longer handle email. The reading and answering of messages literally picks apart my energy. I worry over it. Constantly. All the oomph my medication allows me is eaten up with this insane worry, leaving me exhausted and empty. I can't be empty and write.

Coward? Perhaps. Survivor? Definitely.

I am sorry that I'm having to shut down this part of online world. I hope it won't be forever. And I apologize to all who have written me in the last couple of months as I've struggled and hid from this decision.
 
I do not plan, however, to disappear from your lives. With this new website, with Facebook updates and tweets on Twitter, I hope to keep you all deeply entangled in my strange yet wonderful life. Perhaps I will be able to reach even more people as I open up my daily struggles with the beast Panic in this blog. I can not promise daily updates but I can promise important ones.

It is not an exaggeration. I need each and every one of you. Please, keep hold of my hand as I venture down this narrowed but just as wondrous road.

Sincerely,

Chloe Stowe