Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Karen Stivali for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Moment of Truth
Author: Karen Stivali
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, New Adult
Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he’s living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being “out” takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.
Prism recently reviewed Moment of Truth. You can find the review here.
Serials vs Novels:
The challenges and rewards of Writing a serial versus a novel:
Before I write a single word of any book I have to see and, more importantly, hear the characters in my brain. I watch and listen as they tell me their story, then I write down what they said and did. The characters become very much alive in my imagination and when I’m writing, they’re right there with me. When I’m writing a particular book, I’ll see the beginning, middle and end—I always know the end before I write—but, because the character are so real to me, I never know if that one book will be all I write about them.
My first novel (Meant To Be) was in my mind for over eight years before I sat down to write it. Once I did, it all spilled out of me and I wrote over 100,000 words in under three months. I knew them so well I didn’t need to stop and think, I just wrote. When I finished their story (which had a happily ever after ending) I thought I was done. I’d told every last word of their story and left them in a happy place where I knew they’d be safe. I thought that was it.
Then they kept talking.
Those characters now have a full length sequel and two novellas written about them. And I won’t rule out writing more about them because they’re still quite alive and chatty in my mind.
The same thing happened (twelve books later) when I was writing MOMENT OF IMPACT (book one of the MOMENTS IN TIME series). I heard Collin’s voice so crystal clear in my head and he told me the story of how he and Tanner got together and fell in love. I saw it all play out in my mind and I wrote it down, just as he told it in my mind. They’re young—too young for a permanent happily ever after ending—but they got their happy for now ending with a bright future ahead. When I finished writing Moment Of Impact, I thought I was done. I submitted the book to publishers and got offers on it (one of which was from Dreamspinner, which I happily accepted). But the characters were still talking in my head.
MOMENT OF TRUTH is about the next phase of Collin and Tanner’s relationship. I love when I get to write more about characters I already know because I can watch as they explore different things. I know how they’ll react and how they relate to other people and how they think—I just get to go along for the ride as they grow and change. I knew Moment Of Truth would end happily too (I can’t guarantee a happy ending for anyone in my real life, no matter how much I love them or may want to, but with my fictional characters I do have that power, so they get a happy ending in every book I write—no exceptions), and the storyline in this book comes to a natural conclusion as it’s about the summer they spend together on Fire Island. They’re in a very different place emotionally when this summer adventure ends.
I could have stopped there, but I knew they had more challenges and different obstacles awaiting them when they went back to their conservative college town for their senior year, so I wrote MOMENT OF CLARITY. I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to watch Collin and Tanner go through three distinct phases of their relationship. People have asked me why I didn’t just write one long book about them. The answer is simple. That’s not how I saw their story. I saw it as three separate stories—like three acts of a play—each with its own conclusion.
As with any others characters I’ve written over the years, just because I’ve finished their stories doesn’t mean I won’t write them again. Any or all of my characters (including several secondary characters) can wind up with their own books. But there are lots of new voices in my mind clamoring for their own stories too. That’s part of the fun of being a writer. There’s no shortage of stories to tell.
I’m currently working on stories for several of the secondary characters from the Moments In Time world. Stay tuned and maybe I’ll have some good news to share soon.
His smile twitched as he started up the next staircase. The last one. The one that led to our room and nowhere else. My hearth hammered hard and fast, and not from stair climbing. I needed to touch Tanner, soon, or every part of my body from my brain to my balls was going to simultaneously combust.
Tanner pushed our door open with exaggerated care and stepped inside. Jesus, is he trying to make me crazy? All I want is to….
My back slammed against the wall, and before I could complete my thought, Tanner’s mouth was on mine. The kiss was savage, tongue hot and heavy against mine, cock hot and heavy against mine. Even through our shorts, I could feel how ready he was. My head swam.
Desperate for more, I grabbed on to him, rolling us toward the door and kicking it shut. Tanner let out a grunt as I pressed him against the hard wood. Could anyone hear us? I didn’t care. I just needed this. Tanner. Now.
As soon as I shoved his T-shirt up his ribs, he yanked it off and tossed it aside. Warm smooth skin greeted my fingertips, filling my nose with his scent. God, I missed this. My mouth returned to his, tongues dueling as my hands fumbled with his fly. I couldn’t stop rubbing against him enough to get the zipper down. Tanner grabbed my ass, crushing his cock alongside mine, humping against me with enough intensity I had to force myself not to come.
I didn’t want that. Not yet. Not standing against the door when that crazy big bed was only feet away. As if he read my mind, Tanner shoved me backward, taking advantage of the moment our bodies parted to strip off his shorts. I tugged off my shirt, and before I could launch it across the room, Tanner had my shorts undone and down. Kicking them away put me off-balance, and Tanner steadied me with one hand clutching the back of my neck and the other wrapped around my cock.
Whimpers echoed through the room. My whimpers. His thumb slicked over my swollen head, round and round in circles that left me dizzy and panting.
“Let’s try out the bed.” Tanner’s voice was low and thick. I’d have said yes to anything he asked with that voice.
I couldn’t actually say a word, so I nodded and pulled us down onto the mattress. Holy Jesus. Soft cool sheets, warm hard body, wet velvety tongue. Heaven. Fire Island was heaven.
About the Author:
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.
Karen’s lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at the links below.
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,
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