|Big Sky Montana|
Laura: Umm…it is? (sips coffee) Everyone seems so nice. That guy over there offered to buy us lunch. So, what’s so shy about this place?Debbie: Sky! I said Big Sky Country. (smacks Laura upside the head) Open them ears, woman.
Laura: Ow! Well, that makes more sense. (looks up). Cause yeah, that’s one big sky up there.Debbie: (shakes head) Some days it’s really hard to…V.S., good morning, I’m so glad you could meet with us. Laura, this is V.S. Morgan.
LAURA: Hey, V.S.! So glad you’re here!DEBBIE: So you’ve traveled a lot. Where is your favorite place in the US?
V.S.: I love the Pacific Northwest. I grew up there and miss the ocean, mountains, and forests. It’s not easy finding jobs unless you’re in the bigger cities, though, and I don’t miss the rain!
DEBBIE: My brother lives in Washington State. I’ve always wanted to travel out there.LAURA: Oh, when you go, take me with you. I’ve always wanted to go to Washington State. So, V.S., tell me about Kenpo Karate.
V.S.: I study the American version which emphasizes self-defense. Our local teacher also teaches kids general safety and stranger awareness.The philosophy is your brain is your best weapon, so use it to stay out of dangerous situations in the first place. But if you need to defend yourself, give your attacker a world of pain and get your ass out of there. Pronto. Unlike some versions of Karate, this is down and dirty.
One of the fun things about Kenpo is the crazy names of the moves – Swords of Destruction, Captured Twigs, and Clutching Feathers, for example. These actually help you remember the moves – Clutching Feathers is a defensive move against a bad guy who’s got you by the hair.LAURA: I’ve always wanted to learn Karate. Kenpo sounds very cool.
DEBBIE: Wow. It sounds really interesting. I will have to check my area, not only would I like to learn it, but I bet it would help with some of the fight scenes Laura and I write.LAURA: Ooo! Yes it would! LOL
DEBBIE: What kind of dogs do you have?V.S.: I have two shih tzus. They are small yet think they’re mighty. Still very puppy like in many ways even though they’re going on six.
DEBBIE: Don’t all small dogs think they are big, lol. I think that goes for men too. HAHAHA!LAURA: LOL I had dogs growing up, but when I moved to an apartment for college, it was easier to get a cat. So, I’ve had them ever since. We can go off for a week, and they’re fine when we get back. A little miffed, but none worse for wear. So, what about your writing, V.S.? Is it strictly M/M?
V.S.: I also write m/f, although not published yet.DEBBIE: Cool. What inspired you to write The Gift?
V.S.: A few things inspired me to write The Gift. First, I’d read a number of books in the 1Night Stand series and really enjoyed them. I also had the opportunity to crit Debbie Gould’s “Second Chance.” It got me thinking that this was a line I really wanted to write for.DEBBIE: She did, and was a great help.
V.S.: I also was taking a few classes on at the time. One was taught by Louisa Baco, who is now a Decadent author. Her class was extremely helpful in learning the basics of submitting short stories to epubs for open calls or lines. Louisa and my class crit group were very supportive.Lastly, I’d taken a BDSM for Writers class from Dr. Charley Ferrer. Although I’d read a lot of BDSM stories and done research, her class really made me see the human side of the kink. That made me what to share the loving side of BDSM in a story.
DEBBIE: Nice!LAURA: Very cool. So, lets get into the story. Give us the skinny on Wyatt.
V.S.: Wyatt is a hunky rancher with a big heart. He was attending college in New York as an art major when his parents died in an accident. He left college and his Dom behind to raise his four brothers and run the family ranch. He put all his hopes and dreams on ice because of his responsibilities. He tends to be a black and white thinker.LAURA: Wow, love that his character is so deep, that he sees what needs to be done and does it.
DEBBIE: He’s very selfless! And lonely, lol. What’s his biggest flaw?V.S.: While his dedication to his family is admirable, Wyatt took self-sacrifice too far. He’d always put others’ needs above his own, which made him unhappy and lonely.
LAURA: Well, it’s one thing to do what’s needed, and self-sacrifice is admirable, but to live unhappy and lonely? Hmm, sure hope he worked that part out.DEBBIE: Oh, he did! LOL. But I will give nothing away.
LAURA: No surprise there…you don’t tell me anything. Like your brother lives in Washington state. (turns to V.S.) So, if he were to set up a Friday night date, where would he make dinner reservations?DEBBIE: Who are you talking about dating?
LAURA: No, I wasn’t asking about your brother. (swats Debbie) I was asking our guest about her character Wyatt! Ahem, V.S.?V.S.: Wyatt would prefer going to a place that didn’t require reservations. It would be a local secret – a hole in the wall, rib joint that served the biggest, juiciest ribs in Montana.
DEBBIE: Mmmm, those are the best places.LAURA: Okay, so I’m thinking we find a restaurant after the interview…I’m getting hungry and ribs sound great! Oh, and a loaded baked potato! Mmm… (tummy growls). Okay, so what would Wyatt wear on his date?
V.S.: Black t-shirt, jeans, cowboy boots, and his favorite Stetson. The hat would be set on a chair next to him at the table though, because his Mama taught him manners.LAURA: LOL Good for him!
DEBBIE: Love a man with manners!LAURA: (eyeballs Deb) And friends with manners would be nice, too.
DEBBIE: Hey! I have tons of manners.LAURA: Uh-huh. (turns to V.S.) What about Rafael? What’s he like?
V.S.: Rafael is a prize winning news photographer who is also a Dom. He is very much a lone wolf. His work had been his life until he met Wyatt as a young sub. Their breakup has made him wary, but not enough to seize the chance to be with Wyatt again, if only for one night.DEBBIE: Break-ups have a way of doing that.
LAURA: Love photography. Wonder if he took pictures of Wyatt when they were together. I’m betting he did. Hmm…so, tell us three things about Rafael that aren’t in the story.V.S.: Rafael was born in New York. His father was an Argentinian diplomat, so Rafael became used to traveling the world at a very young age.
Rafael participated in scenes as a sub as a requirement of his Dom training. His mentor was a Domme named Francisca, and he still stays in touch with her.While in Japan, Rafael also studied Shibari, Japanese rope bondage.
LAURA: Rope bondage. Sounds like a technique any good Dom should know.DEBBIE: LMAO!!!! I’d rather know how to slip those knots! V.S. if Raphael were out on a date, what kind of small talk would he use?
V.S.: Rafael would talk about current events and art. Then he would continue in the same, conversational tone, detailing all the naughty things he had planned for dessert afterward, making his date crazy with need.DEBBIE: LOL!
LAURA: What a tease! LOL Would he let his date pay, offer to go Dutch, or insist on paying the bill?V.S.: Rafael always pays the bill on a date– it’s a dominant thing.
LAURA: Yep.DEBBIE: Hmm, I think those Doms need to loosen up!
LAURA: Like you and slipping those knots? <snort> So, does Rafael kiss on the first date?V.S.: Perhaps – if his date earns it.
LAURA: If he’s tantalizing them with sexy comments, I’m sure his dates earn that kiss.
LAURA: Hey, Deb…buy me another coffee.DEBBIE: You go buy me a beer, and I’ll think about it.
LAURA: You’re right, you’d never make a good sub. You don’t take orders well. Heck, you don’t take suggestions well. lol (turns to V.S.) Okay, this story is mega interesting—the characters sound deep and enticing. So let’s tease the readers. What are the first three lines of The Gift?V.S.: I’ve added a few more than three. wink
Wyatt Malone ambled out of the lavish bathroom, a towel slung low around his hips while he rubbed another over his hair. His computer pinged twice. E-mail. The first from his foreman, Bob Jenkins.Everything’s fine at the ranch. Just enjoy your vacation. Cookie said she’ll tan your hide if you don’t.
LAURA: And I’m guessing he enjoyed his vacation. JDEBBIE: I do recall he did!
LAURA: Thought you weren’t giving anything away?DEBBIE: Oh, was that a secret?
LAURA: I don’t know!! Ack! Um, V.S., any bad habits you’d care to share with us?V.S.: I tend to overthink things. Need to go with the flow more.
DEBBIE: That would be Laura’s bad habit, too. Me, I should probably think things through more often, lol.LAURA: Sheesh, admit to a tinge of OCD and now you’re slapping labels on me faster than a Walmart employee marks down a rack of hideous swimsuits at the end of summer.
DEBBIE: Am I lying?
LAURA: (rolls eyes toward sky and whistles) Oh, so what I want to know is what’s Minnesota like?V.S.: Minnesota is a great place for jobs and schools. I’ve made some really good friends here. The sunrises, and the nature areas are spectacular. The winters can be absolutely miserable though. I HATE driving on icy roads.
LAURA: Bleh! So do I! I’m down in the south, and whenever we get a snowstorm, it’s like everyone loses their minds. Hmm, the same thing happens when a huge storm comes through.DEBBIE: I love the snow. I think Vermont is the perfect place, we get all four seasons here.
LAURA: (Arches brow) Well now, sounds like you thought that comment through….DEBBIE: Uhh, yeah, about me moving south to be closer to my writing partner, ummm. Remember me telling you I met someone?
LAURA: What, he doesn’t like the beach?DEBBIE: Don’t know, we haven’t talked about the beach.
LAURA: Yeah, not surprised. J So V.S., are you a hopeless romantic like Debbie and me?V.S.: Absolutely! I’d love for life to be more like the romances I read and write –especially when people are accepted for who they are.
DEBBIE: I just met someone that could possibly be THE one. But the first time we met, I think I channeled one of the heroines from our books. I turned into someone who actually asked for what I wanted. It turned out really well, lol. I may have to take cues from my characters a little more often.LAURA: Maybe…. Though, I’ve never noticed you having problems asking me for anything. Here…drink your beer while it’s still cold. And just outta curiosity, which character did you channel?
DEBBIE: Asking you about a plotline is a lot different than asking my guy if, well you just never mind what I asked him.LAURA: (snicker)
DEBBIE: And, I think it was a combination of Emily from Second Chance and Ever from Soul Kiss that we are writing now.LAURA: Ah, well. I know exactly what Ever is like, so yeah…I’m sure it did turn out well. <wg>
DEBBIE: Uh, yeah, it turned out extremely well. (gets tapped on shoulder by V.S.) Oh, ummm sorry, so tell us about what a typical day in the life of V.S. is like?V.S.: Get up at 5:45 am for morning routine (shower, dressed, getting ready for work), which includes getting my son breakfast and packing lunches. Work eight hours at the day job- I’m a project manager. Pick up son from middle school and walk through any homework he has questions about. Get dinner ready (if hubby not making). Hang out with family and play with dogs. Spend some time promoting or networking - I usually write on the weekends because my day job usually makes me brain dead. ;)
LAURA: Yeah. The thing I really like about writing is that it takes you away from the everyday grind.
LAURA: Ohhh…so that’s what did it. LOL I was wondering.DEBBIE: Yeah and what’s YOUR excuse, missy?
LAURA: Don’t really have one. Just the way I am. (sigh) Hey, V.S., where do you get your ideas—do you have a muse that whispers to you or do plots pop in your head while you’re showering?
V.S.: The shower is definitely a place I get ideas. Also driving to work is a great time to hear the whispers. I have notebooks scattered around so I quickly jot down notes.LAURA: Smart! Where do you get ideas, Deb?
DEBBIE: Headlines, certain TV shows, most defiantly music. Second Chance was inspired by a David Cook song.LAURA: Me? I just hear voices. Not saying they’re ghosts. And that’s also not an admission of insanity.
DEBBIE: Yes it is. It’s okay though, it’s no secret. So V.S., what other stories do you have in the works?V.S.: I’m working on a time travel 1Night Stand called “Operation Getting Lucky.” Also working on an ‘old couple’ story.
LAURA: Ooo! An old couple story. Very cool. Love and romance certainly don’t end when you hit thirty!DEBBIE: Hmmm, I’ve been privy to a bit of “Operation Getting Lucky”. Laura, you will LOVE this one.
LAURA: Really? Do tell….DEBBIE: Lots of action. Military and otherwise.
LAURA: Oh yeah, you know it! Okay, Deb, you give V.S. some quickie questions while I go pluck a random Final Question from the jar.DEBBIE: Ooooo, I love Quickies. Wait…that didn’t sound right. I mean…well…they have their time and place. Oh, ummm, yeah the questions.
Quickies:Red or black?
Dinner and a movie or hiking?V.S.: Dinner and a movie
Beach or mountains?V.S.: Oh, hard one – I love both, but will pick beach
Boat or Plane?V.S.: Plane
Boxers or briefs?V.S.: I’m a fan of boxer briefs. ;)
LAURA: Yeah, those are HOT!
Eggs or Oatmeal?V.S.: Neither. Shudder.
Beer or Wine?V.S.: Beer
His smile or his eyes?V.S.: You’re killing me – another tough one. His eyes.
Chocolate or pastries?V.S.: CHOCOLATE!
Favorite TV show?V.S.: NCIS
Favorite song?V.S.: “Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park
LAURA: Ooo, a Linkin Park fan! High five!
DEBBIE: Yes! My favorite of theirs is “In the End”.
LAURA: Yeah! That one’s good, too. Okay, so I picked a question from the jar.
You’re on safari with your lover in the African Congo. After an evening of watching wildebeests frolic, you share a romantic meal of oysters on the half shell with Merlot. Afterwards, you serve your lover banana flambé. Behind you, there’s a rustling in the bushes. As you turn, you catch sight of something huge and dark and furry just before whatever it is crashes into you.
Sunrise. You wake with a horrendous headache to find your camp demolished and your lover missing. The radios are smashed and the guns are…well, who knows? You scavenge a bent fork, rubber band, and a French bread loaf. Being the crack tracker you are, you follow the trail into the jungle.
Two hours later, you push through the brush – wait, was that a gecko or a baboon spider skittering over your arm?
Wait? Gorillas…? And oh my, your lover is curled into a ball in the center of their nest. From your hiding place, you can see the tattered, blood-drenched clothing. Huge fearsome apes stare down at their captive. The big silverback is growling and slamming his meaty fists to the ground, sending leaves and dust pluming into the air. Yeah, he don’t look too happy.What the…? Is that your favorite shirt that baby gorilla is teething on?
You check the supplies you saved from camp. You must act now, or risk your lover’s life at the hands of these normally peaceful creatures. Hmm…wonder what set them off?
What do you do?V.S.: Wow, that’s quite the scenario! Swearing to myself – wishing I was MacGyver – I consider stabbing gorillas with the fork or shooting them with the rubber band. Nah, that’s not going to help. I chew on the bread for courage and a boost of energy. I decide to make a bunch of noise by throwing coconuts, rocks –whatever - in a different direction so the gorillas will run and check it out. Then I belly crawl to my lover to see if he’s still alive. Of course dragging him out in time is going to be very difficult but I’d rather face miserable odds than leave him there.
LAURA: Woot! I’d say you survived it and saved your lover! (Hey, I know you chunked those coconuts far…)DEBBIE: Awww, how sweet!
LAURA: Thanks so much for dropping by, V.S. Sure hope you visit us again with your next release. We’d love to have you back!DEBBIE: Yes. Anytime. I’d love to talk more about Lucky.
LAURA: So, we’ve got a cover and excerpt around here, right?DEBBIE: You know it.
Laura: So, Deb…how’s that beer treatin’ ya?Debbie: Like I need another one.
Laura: Figured. Here.
Laura: Well, we are here. So, yeah! Let’s SEE Montana. Come on…I’ve already scheduled us a ride in that biplane! WooHoo!Debbie: I’m not going anywhere until I see the whites of the pilot’s eyes and verify he’s not wearing a hooded cloak!
By V.S. Morgan
Blurb:....At 22, rancher Wyatt Malone sacrificed almost everything, including the Dom he served and loved, to raise his younger brothers. Now, with the ranch running well, his grown up siblings surprise him with a trip to a Caribbean paradise and a date from Madame Evangeline's 1Night Stand. Taking his courage in hand, he fills out an application that bares his soul for a single night of surrender to a nearly forgotten passion.
....Rafael is a Dom without a sub. His desires exceed the available men in the dungeon he frequents and memories of rejected love keep him aloof. Can the submission of a Montana cowboy free him or will the date be nothing more than another meaningless scene?
Excerpt:....Rafael blotted his mouth with his napkin and placed it on the table. Wyatt set his fork down and waited. The old familiar energy pulsed between them. Heat zipped through his groin, and he shifted in his seat as his erection pressed against his jeans.
....“Wyatt, you asked Madame Eve for a Dominant for one night.” Rafael slid a keycard on the table between them. “If you accept my invitation to play, you will take this card and be in my suite, ready, in fifteen minutes.”
....Without hesitation, he reached over and grasped it. When his wrist was grabbed, tugging him forward, Wyatt braced his free hand on the table and accepted Rafael’s lips. At first they brushed, a tease, and then the kiss became a sensual play of tongues. His heart pounded at the taste of curry and tequila. He twirled his tongue around the other man’s and groaned. Rafael’s lips trailed across his jaw and down his neck, stubble scraping across sensitive skin, creating a rasp of pleasure that flowed all the way down his spine.
....The Dom followed it with a nip on the bottom lip and then pulled back, twisting Wyatt’s wrist slightly to glance at his watch. Rafael released him and leaned back with a wicked grin. Wyatt’s heart raced.
....“You now have thirteen minutes.”
Author Bio:V.S. Morgan has lived all over the United States but now calls Minnesota home. She incorporates her travels and experiences into her stories whenever possible. V.S. dreamed of becoming an author from the tender age of eleven after snagging one of her mom’s Harlequins. She writes contemporary, suspense, and paranormal m/m with heart and heat. “The Gift” is her debut publication. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Romance Writers and Kiss of Death chapters. When not writing, V.S. is playing with her dogs, practicing Kenpo Karate, and reading lots of erotic romance.