Good morning one and all. I hope Day Two has found you festively bedecked in both mind and spirit. If not allow me the pleasure of festooning you with holiday cheer and sleigh bells in the snow… or I could just get to the smut and allow any further festooning to be done by your own hand. *winks*

Chapter One: Slow and Dirty Kisses on Cocoa Flavored Lips

“The closet was dark. Cane had intentionally left the overhead light off when he had shoved a lost-looking, quickly fraying Matthew into the tiny room. He had thought that the less distractions the better, not realizing that Matthew was looking for a fight. The fact that the fight Matthew chose was with their hanging wardrobe had Cane wanting to bang his head repeatedly on their tie rack.” (page 15)

Whew! Now don’t we all feel better now that we’ve got a little romance/sex in the closet under our belts? I know it always loosens up these crazy bones of mine. Insanity is always better when you’re flexible.

Today is a shaky day. One of those days when my orange juice arrives at my mouth shaken not stirred. My elbows and knees are as weak as lemmings and my thoughts are bouncing and zinging around my head like kernels of corn in a popcorn maker. It’s real fun in Stowe-land this morning and all I want to do is to crawl under a ton of covers and take a long winter’s nap…

Sometimes mental illness is crap, folks.

So you’ll excuse me if today’s blog is a little jumpy and short. Fear not, however, you will still get your reindeer game of the day! I would never leave your imaginations hanging. *smiles*

I imagine Dancer to be…

A spy. In the dance halls of Vienna, he spins war widows around the parquet floors, offering both a shoulder and an ear to their woes. With their husbands away to the front, the women are hungry for warmth, companionship and illicit love. Dancer offers it all to them… in return for a secret shared here and there. Dancer’s male lover awaits him stateside. Will the young spy return to his old love or will a new Viennese heart waltz our hero away?

Well, that’s it for today. I wish you an afternoon of sturdy elbows and knees and little or no popcorn-ing grey matter.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe

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