Grand Adventures Blog tour – John Goode, Paul Richmond, and SA McAuley all talk, Prism has a Message for TJ & Eric, & Giveaway for you

I would like to thank John Goode, SA McAuley, and Paul Richmond for helping us close out this wonderful blog tour.  They each had a special part in the making of Grand Adventures.  Please join me in thanking them by reading what they have to say about the anthology and TJ & Eric.  Also, I have a little message at the end, so please stay tuned for that.

As you probably know by now, if you have been following the tour, all proceeds from the sales of the Grand Adventures Anthology (eBook and Paperback), Cover Prints, and t-shirts go to TJ & Eric.  You can also donate to them directly via the Eric Arvin support fund.

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About the Book

On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.

The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.

One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric.

Title:  Grand Adventures
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Release Date:  March 31, 2014
Purchase Link: Dreamspinner
Stories/Authors:

  • Foreword by S.A. McAuley
  • An Unexpected Thing by John Amory (Sequel to Protection)
  • The Twinkie Ignition by J.E. Birk
  • When Friendship Becomes More by Sophie Bonaste
  • Isle of Waiting by Sue Brown (A Missing Moment from Isle of Waves)
  • The Jogger by KC Burn
  • Holding Court by Cardeno C.
  • For Dear Life by Mary Calmes
  • Under the Full Moon by Ellis Carrington
  • Stripped by Shae Connor (2nd Edition)
  • That Place Across the Hall by C.C. Dado
  • Mistaken MD by Phoenix Emrys
  • Cops and Comix by Rhys Ford
  • Last First Kiss by LE Franks
  • Tomorrow by John Goode
  • From Fantasy to Friends by CR Guiliano (A Companion to For You)
  • Witness Protected by Dawn Kimberly Johnson
  • Water Under the Bridge by Mia Kerick (Sequel to Not Broken, Just Bent)
  • A Gentle Shove of Human Kindness by Amy Lane
  • Air (Roads #1.75 million) by Garrett Leigh (A Companion to SlideRoads: Book 1.75)
  • An Atheist and a Yoga Instructor Walk into a Bar by Rowan McAllister
  • Stalking 101 by Moria McCain
  • Simple Desires by Tempeste O’Riley (A Spin-off of Designs of Desire)
  • Object of Care by Zahra Owens (A Clouds and Rain Story)
  • Kid Confusion by Madison Parker (A Companion to Play Me, I’m Yours)
  • Fall Train by Jaime Samms
  • The Exhibition by Andrea Speed (An Infected Short; Infected: Roan and Dylan)
  • What You Will by Tinnean (A Companion to Two Lips, Indifferent Red)
  • Prologue by Brandon Witt

John Goode – How we Got here

So once upon a time two boys fell in love.

Sounds romantic doesn’t it? First I heard about it was how I learn all the events of the world, on Facebook. Seems one boy stood up during a convention and asked the other boy to marry him and it was all gushy and perfect and I hated it. I was the bitter old man screaming at the kids to get off my lawn, not because they were going to ruin my lawn but because I was too old to go out there and play like that anymore. Secretly, inside my grinchlike heart I was happy for them and hoped things worked out because god knows in this world, precious few things work out.

Turns out that things did indeed not work out, but not like I thought.

Fate has a perverse sense of humor, if you want to call it that. I don’t know why she does the things she does to the people it happens to but she does and it’s frustrating at times and all we can do it stand there and watch in shock.

And least that is what I thought until now.

In December I heard that the two boys who had fallen in love were in trouble. One had been rushed to the hospital and the other was rightful freaked out. He tried to cover it with some witty words and casual comments but I could tell he was really worried. I have spent a lifetime deflecting real emotion away from me the same way a professional tennis player swats balls in practice and could tell a good backhand when I saw one. This guy was really worried and he thought the worst might occur.

Now I heard about this on Facebook again, the CNN of our time, and I did what every person who sees a tragic post on Facebook does. I shook my head, thought that sucked and clicked like and then kept scrolling. After all, what could I do? I didn’t know this guy, didn’t know his lover, didn’t know anything period. They were words on a screen and I read them and felt bad. That was all.

That was not all.

Everyone wants to be heroes, every single one of us wants to be more than we currently are. It is in our nature to want to help people, inbred into our DNA to want to be good people, it is only time and frustration that grinds that instinct out of us. Once burned we are forever shy about reaching out to give someone a hand in fear they might take advantage of us or worse, attack us back. I was a guy who owned three cats and lived in a shitty apartment, I had no money to send him and no wisdom to share. So I rolled up the window of my virtual car and averted my eyes until we drove by the accident. Nothing to see here, just someone screaming for help as loud as they could.

My mind would not let it go.

I mean sure, I didn’t know this guy and I had no money but I did have something that seemed to have a little value. The ability to put words in front of each other and that other people seem to enjoy reading. It wasn’t much and it wasn’t all that good but it was all I had, so I said screw it I want to help. So I sat down, wrote a small short story and sent it to the boy and asked if he would mind if I published this and all the proceeds went to him for his medical bills.

It wasn’t going to be much, I mean it is one crappy short story but it was something.

While I waited for him to get back to me I saw that someone had put up a donation button to give what you could to help with the immediate money problems. It was like the jar at the counter for March of Dimes or a bellringer for Salvation Army. It was a plea that asked you to give because someone needed it which works for a short time because again, people want to be good, they want to help. But sooner or later people would have given what they could and the money would trickle away, the problem was in this fifteen minute world, attention was going to wander while the need for additional income wouldn’t. It raised an enormous amount of money fairly quickly which told me that his guy had a lot of people in his corner.

I needed to do more.

So I emailed Elizabeth North, publisher of Dreamspinner Press. She had been the person who had given my my first writing contract and an incredibly nice person from what I could tell. So I asked her, if I could find other people like me willing to write something, could Dreamspinner help in making it an actual book?

She said yes in a second. Not a maybe, not a we will see what we can do but a complete and total yes.

And that was when the ball got rolling. You see I grew up being raised by TV and if I knew anything, when there is a problem that involves money there is one surefire way to get it handled. You got a group of friends together and you put on a show and charged admission. You could save houses, schools, baseball teams, nearly anything this way. You got a group of friends and you put on a show.

So I asked my friends if they would put on a show.

And what a show they did. They came out of the woodwork to help. Within two days I had more than fifty people messaging me on Facebook of what was going on and how could they help. There were more than just authors though, people who volunteered to beta for the people who were writing, people answering questions about story ideas, within two days a group of strangers put their lives aside and put on a show for these two boys.

I am a child of eighties movies so in my mind this is how it is done. There is a problem, you get a group of friends and you play an upbeat tune to make a montage while you work and things get done. Paul Richmond made an incredible cover and now they are going to sell prints of it which means even more money for their bills and this book is a thing now. It will sell and people will have something to read and it will continue to sell over and over and these guys will have a renewable source of income that came from sheer love.

I’m not done yet by the way. I want to do another one of these and another. I want to keep getting people together to do this sort of thing as much as humanly possible because we don’t have a ton of money and we don’t have super powers. What we have is each other and that my friend is more than enough if you have the right song playing. If the 80’s taught me anything it was that.

So now you know. You know that one idea can change the world for real. Not in a concept and not over a huge expanse of time. In three months we have made a book for two boys who fell in love and deserve a happy ending. Everyone deserves a happy ending.

But those damn kids still need to get off my lawn, show is over. Move on now.

Just kidding.

Paul Richmond – Anthology Cover Artist

Tell us about your contribution to the anthology.

I had the honor of creating the cover painting for the Grand Adventures anthology. We arrived at the concept after Elizabeth North shared some incredibly touching photos with me of TJ & Eric holding hands.

Hands1

Hands2

They were the perfect emotional motivation for the image. The scene we decided on shows them breezing down the open road with TJ at the wheel, their clasped hands front and center.

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I’ve done a lot of covers, over 250 at this point, including some for both TJ (BOATK series) and Eric (Woke Up in a Strange Place). But I knew that this one was especially important – not only because it would help draw attention to this wonderful publication and fundraiser, but also on a personal level because it gave me the opportunity to offer a meaningful expression of support. I decided to paint the image on the largest canvas I’ve ever used for a cover painting so I could give the original to TJ and Eric when it was complete.

Here’s a pic of the painting on my easel, just after I finished it.

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I had to do a little Facebook stalking to find just the right photos of each of them for the portraits in the rearview mirror.  Thanks to all their online friends, fans, and supporters, this was not a difficult task!

Rearview

And here’s the final cover design with the title included.

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To help with the fundraising effort, we decided to also offer limited-edition prints of the cover painting: http://tinyurl.com/qgnzdj9. They’re only available until April 30, and they will all be hand-signed, numbered, and titled by me. It looks like I’m going to be busy that day — and I couldn’t be happier about that!

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What is your favorite TJ & Eric Memory (either in person or not)?

We wanted TJ & Eric to be the first people to see the cover, so Elizabeth and I made arrangements to deliver the painting in person. We were originally going to meet up and drive together a few hours (To Wong Foo-style) so that we could fully experience the spirit of the anthology, but it worked out better to meet up there instead. Plus I just couldn’t find the right picture of Julie Newmar to bring with us! ☺  Regardless, it was a day I will never forget. Eric’s smile and the sparkle in his eyes lit up the whole hospital room, especially whenever TJ spoke. They had just gotten word that their offer on a new house was accepted, so it was the perfect time to give them our housewarming present. They appreciated the sentiment behind the painting, and seemed so deeply grateful for the outpouring of love from everyone in the community.

Why did you choose to participate in the anthology?

When this project came up, there was no question. I told Elizabeth, “I want to do this one.” Art has always been my way to process things, and the challenges TJ & Eric have faced certainly weighed heavily on my mind the past few months, as they did for so many others. I think the arts, both visual and literary (and every other form for that matter), have tremendous healing powers. It was inspiring to tap into the powerful connection that these two men share and attempt to capture a hint of it on canvas. And it was a great privilege to participate in this massive communal show of support and love for such a deserving couple.

Do you have anything you want to say to TJ & Eric?

After our visit, I told TJ that I love getting the opportunity to create so many covers about fictional romances, but it was especially powerful to illustrate the real-deal. They have something so special, and it was inspiring to witness a love like theirs first-hand. I’ll never forget it. I look forward to seeing them again in the future and creating many more covers for each of them too!

SA McAuley – A Friend and A Foreword

Tell us about your contribution to the anthology.

Writing the Foreword for this anthology was one of the hardest pieces I’ve done in a long time. Not for any of the usual reasons of writer’s block or a rushed deadline. And not just because I tend to be more reserved about sharing my personal life, either.

I don’t think the reality that we very nearly lost Eric quite hit me until February. Up until then, we were in defensive/hospital-bedside mode. Up until then, we were all so engrossed in the minute details of each promising step forward and each frustrating slide back for any of us to consider the enormity of it all. But within days of Eric’s move to the hospital in Ohio, we knew the most imminent dangers were in the past and that the focus needed to shift to long-term recovery.

We were able to look toward the future for the first time in months. We had time to reflect on the amazing man who’d almost been taken from us. I, personally, was grateful and heartbroken—in equal parts—when that realization hit. Okay, let’s be honest, I was a total fucking mess.

The timing of that full, crushing emotional impact just happened to correspond to when the Grand Adventures anthology planning was going at full-tilt speed. That timing was both a blessing (giving me something positive and helpful to focus on) and a curse (having to find coherent words for the indelible marks TJ and Eric had carved into my life). So, I did what TJ had done since Eric went into the hospital—I went to Facebook and put a call out to their fans, followers, and friends there. I asked what the one word was that they associated with TJ & Eric.

That list of words became a graphic that I included in the Foreword for Grand Adventures. Everyone who participated in the creation of that list had also been a major part in making sure TJ, Eric and their families knew they were surrounded with love during the hardest moments and the celebrations.

I don’t know that I’ll ever quite get that “thank you” part effusive enough for what I’ve witnessed over the last four months from everyone who just wanted to see TJ & Eric together and smiling again. All of us were stronger because of the outpouring of messages, money and offers of help from this community of readers, authors, editors, and publishers. Giving everyone’s words a permanent role in this anthology was just another attempt at saying thank you for a debt that can never be repaid.

What is your favorite TJ & Eric Memory (either in person or not)?

There are so many: them meeting face to face for the first time, Christmas in Bloomington (pic below), frilly drinks in the pimp house, Arvin snuggles in Atlanta (followed by Klune death stares)…but I have no doubt the best moments are yet to come.

sam and eric

Why did you choose to participate in the anthology?

Blame TJ “Lurking Tear King” Klune for making me a mushy sentimental fool.

Do you have anything you want to say to TJ & Eric?

Love you. See you in November.
If I can stay away that long.
And, yes, that is a threat <3 <3 <3 xx

Tour Schedule

29-Mar-2014 Kimi-Chan
30-Mar-2014 Boys in our Books
2-Apr-2014 The Blogger Girls
4-Apr-2014 Sid Love
5-Apr-2014 Joyfully Jay
7-Apr-2014 Prism Book Alliance

Buy Links

Paperback
eBook
Cover Print Small (Signed and Matted)
Cover Print Large (Signed and Matted)
Shirts
Amazon

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Giveaway

Grand Prize: (Sponsored by the tour bloggers)

2nd Prize:

Rules:

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen.
  • Winners may be announced on participating blogs following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner.
  • In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Special Thanks

A special thanks to Will at Pride Promotions for providing the Rafflecopter and graphics used during this tour.

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I would like to say a huge thank you all the bloggers and the anthology authors on this tour for jumping at the chance to help with my crazy idea.  You guys are what make this genre so great.  And to the tour bloggers for helping purchase the grand prize for this tour and to Dreamspinner Press for kindly offering the second prize.

An even bigger thank you to all the readers and fans out there who have bought the anthology, prints, and/or shirts and all those who have donated to the fund since it’s inception.

A Message for Eric & TJ

Finally, I would like to say a few words to Eric & TJ.  Guys, thank you so much for sharing your lives with us.  You have touched each one of us in some way, whether through your books, your love, or your fight.  You are why all these bloggers and authors participated in this tour and this book.  You are why I wanted to do this tour.  I hope we brought a few more purchases for the book and the beautiful artwork by Paul.  I hope we brought some more attention to your fund.  I hope we helped get Eric home to you, TJ.

I have one final Shuffled Five for Eric today.  I do not want to clutter your walls with these daily as you continue to heal and progress.  I told myself I would do one every day Eric was in the hospital, and I think I succeeded.  Eric, you brought me beautiful new music and I miss your lists every day.  I have for you a random shuffle from my playlist those new artists I discovered as a result of your shuffles and a few others I have since found.  Enjoy.

  1. Homesick – David Berkeley
  2. Beyond the Iron Gate – Richard Shindell
  3. Reach for the Sky – Secondhand Serenade
  4. Ghosts – Christopher Dallman
  5. Thin Blue Flame – Josh Ritter

Though, I will not be cluttering your walls with my shuffle, please know that you remain in my thoughts daily.  As always love, *hugs*, and lots of healing vibes.  You’ve got this, Eric.

GALetsgo

 

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
This post may contain affiliate links.
Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

29 thoughts on “Grand Adventures Blog tour – John Goode, Paul Richmond, and SA McAuley all talk, Prism has a Message for TJ & Eric, & Giveaway for you

  1. Thanks Brandilyn, for the blog tour. I’ve really enjoyed the words and thoughts of the people involved in the anthology. Here’s to Eric’s continued improvement.

  2. I wasn’t aware that this anthology started with John Goode, it makes me even happier that I’ve bought his books. Thank you to everyone that has worked on this, it is an amazing effort.

  3. Thank you. John, you may be old and cranky, but you have a heart of gold. It’s interesting you noted that we are born wanting to help and only life experiences make you cynical. Paul, your artwork is always beautiful, but I LOVE this cover. You captured not only their love, but also the idea of going forward on a new grand adventure. Thank you! Sam, your forward was so very touching. And every time I see my “word”, I feel like a part of this community. Thank you all for all the great stories and letting us help the boys in this way. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!!!

  4. This is a beautiful anthology by some of the best in the business, and not just that the stories are so good (and they are) but the best in the business because of how much they care. TJ and Eric, every time you look at them, they are looking at each other and their love is always there to see on their faces.

  5. The tour has been as much of a treat as the book…so wonderful to get to know all these authors through their love of TJ and Eric!

  6. The tour has been awesome. It has been great to read thoughts from the various authors. This anthology should be an inspiration to everyone that one persons thoughts and actions can make a difference.

  7. It was such a good idea you had John for this great Anthology (I have brought my copy) which is just stunning all time the authors, the cover artist have put in to make it so good. TJ and Eric are truly blessed with such wonderful friends and not forgetting Dreamspinner who are a wonderful publishing company. My best wishes to TJ and Eric.

  8. This anthology was an amazing idea and show of support and love, as was this blog tour. I’ve really enjoyed following along. Thank you!

  9. This anthology is a great way to show support to TJ & Eric. I wish them the best. It may not be easy but they are meant for each other.

  10. This tour and blog was simply wonderful, for a great couple , whom we have all come to love. Tj and Eric? Love, hugs and healing vibes always.

  11. Thoroughly enjoyed the Tour & the Anthology. Thankyou to all involved. The GayRomLit Global World is routing for Eric & TJ.

  12. To John, Paul and SA, and everyone else at DSP who made all of this happen, along with the input from everyone on FB and everywhere else, thank you.
    Though, that barely comes close to covering it. Really.
    Also, thank you for causing me to sit here at my desk at work with tears threatenig. 😉
    Thank you.

    I can’t wait to read and to have that print hanging in my home.

    Strength and love to TJ & Eric.

  13. Beautiful posts John, Paul, and SA. John, you’re so right, one little idea can help change the world, and I’m so glad you thought of this. Paul, the cover is simply beautiful, and is one of the best covers I’ve seen. SA, thanks so much for sharing your memories, I’m fighting tears right now. This is an amazing anthology, and I will definitely be getting a copy.

  14. Thank you for spreading the word. This is an important cause and I wish I could do more for these men who are so strong day in and day out for each other.

  15. Beautiful stories of how this anthology came to be -Thank you John, Paul & SA and to all the wonderful authors that contributed to this as well as Dreamspinner Press. The love and support this community has for TJ & Eric is so amazing. So proud to be a small part of it.

  16. This blog tour has been as enjoyable, interesting, wonderful and inspiring to read as the book itself. This anthology is a prime example of just what can be achieved when the germ of an idea is born and then snowballs as more and more people jump on the for the ride until something truly amazing is achieved. As challenging as the road may be for Eric & TJ, may it now be onward and upward as they continue on life’s grand adventure with their hearts filled with all the love they have for each other.

  17. I loved us being at the end of the tour and so enjoyed seeing how Paul Richmond created the wonderful cover. I think this is the first time I’ve seen something like this giving 100% of proceeds to the cause they are fundraising for too. I’m totally convinced that something totally miraculous will come out of all this. It’s already inspiring.

  18. Beautiful words from so many people on this blog tour,it’s been heartwarming to read. And so many wonderful stories in the anthology. Thanks everyone.

  19. This is such an amazing thing to happen to two lovely men who love each other with everything they have. This is also an amazing group of people who support and love them as well. I’m so glad to be a part of it. Thanks for the support and also for the giveaway!
    Rush

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