Kim, I am so excited to be here today. This is the first stop on my first ever blog tour so I just wanted to thank you so much for having me.
Before we dive into things, I wanted to mention that I’ll be doing a giveaway at the end of the tour. Every comment that is made on each of the posts will be put into a hat and two winners will be drawn at random to win e-copies of the book. I’ll announce the winners on my website on April 10th.
Yesterday, my very first novel, Keeping Sweets, was released by Dreamspinner Press, and I have to say that not a lot tops this feeling. Having a book published is not something that I ever imagined would actually happen, and now that it has, it still doesn’t quite feel real. Because this is my first stop on the blog tour, I just wanted to chat a little bit about what went into writing the book and give you some information. Here is the official blurb:
Days away from high school graduation, with hardly a penny to his name, Evan Lowry needs to earn money for college. When he comes across an ad for modeling, he thinks his luck has changed—until he learns he’s interviewing for an adult film and will be expected to have sex. On camera. With other men.
For gay porn star Brandon Court, the shine has worn off of regular shoots. He and his producer, Les, decide to try something new: a reality-show porno set at a beach house. When he meets wide-eyed and naïve Evan for the first time, Brandon isn’t sure if he wants the kid to get lost or get naked. Naked wins.
On set, Brandon takes Evan under his wing, and over the next month, they are thrown together in every intimate way conceivable—except emotionally. Both Brandon and Evan are terrified of trying for anything deeper, and insecurities and doubts wear on their hopes, but the chemistry between them won’t let them slow things down.
I think it really worked out for the best that they took over, at least partially, because I had no freaking clue what I was doing. I honestly sat down at my computer and thought “I’ve read hundreds of books. How hard can this be?”. If present me could go back and slap year-ago me, she just might. What was I thinking? I was an idiot. I learned quickly that it wasn’t as simple as I thought it was going to be. I rewrote the first chapter several times, and then I had no clue where to go next. It took me months to write, and I was writing every day. Or…should I say, staring that my computer screen with a blank expression on my face every day. Some days I wrote nothing.
By the time I realized how difficult a job it actually was, I was a good chunk into things and so decided that I’d come this far, it was better to press on than to give up entirely. And so I did. And eventually I had a book. Well, the first draft of a book. A very rough first draft. I took some time to edit it, and package it up, and then I held my breath and hit the send button.
Six months of the most exciting “work” I’ve ever done, my very first book has been published. Thank God for the amazing team at Dreamspinner Press for doing such a wonderful job with everything; the cover, the editing, the setup and production, and the millions of little details that go into publishing a novel. I can’t express adequately express my gratitude.
Maybe one day I will tire of round after round of edits and drafting blurbs and filling out questions I’m not sure of the answers to (although I have serious doubts about that), but for now, those jobs are blindingly shiny and new, and I am in awe of the whole process. I may not be able to fully grasp what I’ve accomplished, but it doesn’t stop me from being over-the-moon thrilled about it.
Here is a little excerpt from near the beginning of the story. Bran has taken Evan shopping with him for supplies they need for the porn shoot. They started off easy, so Bran wouldn’t scare Evan, but eventually ended up at a sex toy shop.
Evan gulped audibly. “Nipple clamps? What’s the draw of those?”
Bran laughed, his good humor returning despite his best efforts to remain impartial and distant. He slid his hand through Evan’s hair, ruffling it slightly as he pulled the other man toward him. “We really do need to get you an education, don’t we? Now’s as good a time as any.”
They walked into the store, closer together than two platonic friends should be. Evan didn’t make any attempt to pull away with Bran so close. It made Bran feel warmer, happier. He was totally fucked.
Evan’s first foray into sex toys was quite the experience for him, or so Bran assumed. He had taken all the teasing and ribbing like a champ, smiling and laughing instead of freaking out every time Bran tried to shock him with a story or new toy.
They explored the world of cock rings first—something relatively innocuous—and picked out a few to use on set. For the most part, cock rings weren’t needed, but they came in lots of colors, and Bran let Evan choose a handful to buy.
The next destination on their journey of discovery was the dildos. Bran tried his best not to crack up at Evan’s expression. Bran of course had seen it all before, but watching Evan experiencing the different shapes, and especially sizes, was a sight to behold. He was like a kid at the zoo, seeing an alligator being fed close up for the first time. There was deep fascination thinly veiling sheer horror painted across his face.
In the end, Evan seemed to have made a smooth transition from naïve and innocent to curious and horny as hell. He wasn’t a small guy in the dick department, and he was visibly excited over some of their purchases. Although when you were an eighteen-year-old, it was tough to hide your enthusiasm over anything, so Bran tried not to put too much stock into his reaction. He remembered being eighteen. He might have even fucked a girl if one had let him.
Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.
Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.
Cate loves to hear from readers. You can find her here: