Carol Lynne on Spring ~ Retro Reads Author Spotlight Interview Excerpt

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Carol Lynne for taking the time to talk with us today about their retro title from Pride Publishing Spring.

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We are here today to talk about Season of Love series. What can you tell us about it?

I like to believe all love stories have seasons. Spring is the beginning of a relationship when everything is new and fresh. Summer is the adjustment phase when couples learn to adapt to each other in a domestic setting. Once couples have overcome the Summer period in their lives together, they slide into the Fall-stage. This is the stage when a lot of couples grow apart. There’s nothing new or fresh about the relationship, so it is up to the individuals to reconnect and overcome the tedium that can creep into a relationship. By the time couples reach the Winter of their relationship, all their hard work and persistence pays off. They both know their love is solid, and they can enjoy the time they have left.

Tell us more about the main characters?

Over the years, I’ve written a few characters that really stay with me. Sidney Wilks would definitely be one of them. I like that the reader meets Sidney at the age of ten and follows him throughout his life. Losing his mother at such a young age would have crippled Sidney if it hadn’t been for Grady Nash. Although Nash was merely a hired hand on the ranch where Sidney grew up, Nash filled the gap left by the passing of Sidney’s mother. The relationship between Sidney and Nash starts as one thing and gradually grows into the kind of love we all dream of.

What about Seasons of Love series makes you the proudest?

Most romance stories end with a happily-ever-after, but I wanted to know what really comes next. I often get slammed for writing insta-love stories, but, in my opinion, love comes easy—staying in love is where the real romance shines. My goal in writing this series was to follow one couple through the ups and downs of a lifelong relationship, and I believe I achieved that.

If you could change one thing in Seasons of Love series what would it be and why?

I’d love the chance to expand Summer and Fall. I’ve always regretted that those two stories weren’t as in-depth as Spring and Winter. I hope to find time within the next six months or so to right that wrong.

Is there a genre of story (like fantasy or BDSM) that you haven’t written but would like to try?

I’ve always been fascinated by mysteries. Unfortunately, I truly suck at keeping secrets, so I’m afraid I’d give the ending away before the third chapter.

How do you choose names? If you decide to change a name, do you feel that it alters your perception of the character?

I have book of baby names that I like to flip through. Quite often, I find the name and create the character around that name. Yeah, it’s weird, but it works for me.

If you could give one piece of advice to new writers, what would it be?

Value your work. I think we all know 99 cents isn’t enough to charge for a story you’ve spent weeks or months writing. I’m all for indie publishing. Honestly, I’ve dealt with a lot of publishers since I began in 2006, so I understand why some authors don’t trust or want to go down that path, but for the love of Pete, please put value in the words you’ve written by charging appropriately.

Will there be more from this series/these characters?

Other than expanding books two and three, I don’t think I can write more in the series. It was very important to me that I follow this couple through their lives, but I don’t think I can handle writing the next stage in their aging process.

Tell us about some of your other titles.

Karma, the next story in the Cattle Valley series, will be out in April. I have one more to write in that series. I can’t believe that I’ve been working on CV for nine years, but it’s almost time to pull the curtains and say goodnight to the men of Cattle Valley. After I draw the CV series to a close, I’ll be able to concentrate on the new spin-off series, Lobster Cove. I haven’t figured out if I’ll write more in the Campus Cravings series. I’ve decided to let that work itself out in my head.

Rapid Fire Time

  • Morning or night? Morning, absolutely. I get up around 5, so I get a few hours to myself before the day really starts.
  • Any Tattoos or piercings? Nope, I’m pretty boring that way.
  • Vanilla or Chocolate? Vanilla with powdered malt and chocolate sauce. Things are only simple if you let them be.
  • Vodka or Tequila? Neither. I’m a beer girl all the way. I do occasionally dip into the hard cider pond though.
  • Electronica or Jazz? Ummm, sorry, neither. I don’t really listen to much music because if I’m not writing, I’m listening to audio books.
  • World of Warcraft or Everquest? LOL I told you that I’m boring. I’ve heard of WoW, but I’ve never played. Sadly, I don’t really know what Everquest is. I’m old. I remember when pong was the only kind of video game you could play on your television. In the early 70’s, my dad brought home a pong console that had three or four plastic screens to it. The screens stuck to the TV so it looked like you were playing tennis or soccer when you were really still playing the basic pong game. I’ve never been good at hand-eye coordination, so when technology advanced and Atari came out, I would sit in front of the TV for hours trying like heck to master Space Invaders. Sadly, it didn’t help. Yep, I suck at video games.
  • Love Story or Thriller? Actually, I like these two combined. I love a good thriller, but I really love it when there’s a romance attached to the story.
  • Porsche or Prius? Prius. I’m in the car for three hours a day taking my girls to school and picking them up. I have a Ford Flex and the gas is killing me.

What are you working on? What is next?

This week I’m finishing up my story for the annual GRL anthology that I write with several other Pride Publishing authors. Next, I’ll start on book two of The Brick Yard series.

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Title: Spring

Author: Carol Lynne

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: April Martinez

Genre: Gay

Blurb:

Just as the seasons change, so do people. Seasons of Love follows forty years in the lives of two men, Sidney Wilks and Grady Nash, from the Spring of their relationship when love is new and shiny through the Winter of their partnership when thirty years of being a couple has begun to lose its sheen.

Excerpt

Excerpt from Spring, book 1 in the Seasons of Love series.

April 1974

Ten-year old Sidney Wilks poked a stick into the ant hill just to see the insects scatter. He dug the point of his pretend sword into one of the large-bodied ants and grinned. It wasn’t a nice thing to do, but he wasn’t feeling nice at the moment.

The front door opened and Sidney’s father, Jackson, stepped out onto the porch. “Get out of the dirt.”

“Yes, sir.” Sidney stood, before brushing the dust from his pants.

“If you’re gonna stay out here, sit on the porch,” Jackson ordered.

“Yes, sir.” Sidney sat on the end of the porch and let his feet dangle over the side. Good manners were a requirement in the Wilks’ house, but inside his head Sidney was busy giving his dad a piece of his mind. Sometimes he wished a big ole bug would crawl up his dad’s nose. The image almost drew a giggle from him. Almost.

If he’d had to lose a parent to cancer, why couldn’t it have been his father? Yeah, it was a hateful thing to think about, but Sidney had never got on well with his dad. His mom, on the other hand, had been his entire world.

Elizabeth Running Elk-Wilks had been one of the strongest people he’d ever known. She was like a superhero. Not because she wore a cape or anything. Heck, most of the time she’d worn a big plaid shirt with a floppy leather hat she called Old Ben.

Sidney had thought his mom was indestructible. “Damn cancer,” he cursed. Before the ovarian cancer had ravaged her already-thin frame, taking over the rest of her body, Beth had worked right alongside the men on the Running E Ranch. She was up at four in the morning and went to bed well after Sidney. Somehow, in between, she’d managed to make her son feel like the most special boy alive.

Sidney kicked back with his heel against the lattice that surrounded the porch. Now that she was gone, he knew he’d never again be special to anyone, certainly not his father. His dad always made him feel like a disappointment. His mom had understood that he wasn’t meant to be a rancher, but his father still hadn’t given up hope.

It wasn’t that his dad was out and out mean. He was just…hard on him. Sidney supposed his dad thought that would make him tough or something. He snorted to himself. Even at ten, he knew he’d never be like his dad.

He lay back on the porch and rested his head on his clasped hands. Staring up at the light blue painted ceiling, he wondered what the kids at school would say when he returned. His father had kept him home for the last week. There were things to be done, his dad had said. Sidney still didn’t know what those things were, though. The only job he’d been given was to box up his mom’s clothes. He still didn’t understand why he’d had to do it so soon after her death.

Actually, now that he thought about it, Sidney was glad he’d been assigned the chore. It had given him a chance to keep a few of his mom’s clothes. He hadn’t kept many things, but there were a few items he’d hidden in the back of his closet.

Sidney heard the screen door slap shut and tilted his head back. He looked at Mrs O’Dwyer. She looked upside down. Funny.

“Sidney, wouldn’t you like to have a nice plate of food?”

“No thank you, Ma’am.” There were too many people in his house. They all seemed to think a piece of cake or a chicken leg would make him feel better that his mom was down in the ground. They were a bunch of buttheads.

Mrs O’Dwyer made some kind of tsking noise and returned to the house to hang out with the other adults. Sidney’s dad had told him it said a lot about his mom that so many people wanted to pay their respects after the funeral. Sidney wasn’t really sure what it said. Maybe the restaurants in town were closed, because everyone who came seemed to be hungry.

Sidney rolled to his side. He knew his suit was getting all dirty but he doubted he’d ever wear it again. He noticed a small bubble in the grey paint of the old floorboard. Reaching out, he ran his short fingernail over the bubble until it popped free, leaving the weathered wood exposed. He wondered how old the board was. Had his grandpa, Harry Running-Elk, built it?

“I wish you were here, Grandpa,” he whispered.

A tear dripped across his nose and onto the porch. He quickly wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his coat before glancing around to make sure no one was around. There were quite a few cowboys who lived on the ranch, and the last thing Sidney wanted was for someone to tell his dad.

About the Author

An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of erotic romance. While writing her first novel, Branded by Gold, Carol fell in love with the M/M genre. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. With well over one hundred releases, one thing is certain, Carol loves to keep busy writing sexy cowboys, shifters, bodyguards, vampires and everything in between. Although series books are her passion, Carol enjoys penning the occasional stand-alone title.

As founder and President of GRL Retreat, Inc., Carol helps organize the annual GayRomLit Retreat. Now in its sixth year, GayRomLit is an annual retreat that brings together the people who create and celebrate LGBT romance for a one-of-a-kind, must-attend gathering of dynamic, informal, and diverse fun.

Carol loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at carol@carol-lynne.net. She also has two websites www.Carol-Lynne.net and www.CattleValley.net

Links

Spring on Goodreads
Pride Publishing
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

Giveaway

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
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