Author Interview & Giveaway – One Marine, Hero by EM Lynley

Thank you so much, Charlie, for hosting me here to celebrate Release Day for One Marine, Hero, from Dreamspinner Press.

This was definitely one of my most enjoyable books to write, but you’ll read all about that a bit later. Here’s a bit about the story.

 

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What was the most challenging part of writing this story?

Now there are fun challenges and there are frustrating challenges, and I definitely had both on this particular book.

First off, I didn’t know a thing about helicopters. A bit of a problem since my main character Jake Woodley is Marine helicopter pilot.

Solution: take helicopter flying lessons. Oh boy, this was one of the funnest things I have done in my whole life (at least with my clothes on). I thought I’d be a little worried, since the instructor said I’d be at the controls for the entire lesson, except for takeoff and landing. But once he handed over control of the aircraft, I had an absolute blast. It helps that I’m not at all afraid of heights. I could talk all day about the experience…

Another challenge: Marines. I talked to a bunch of helo pilots during SF Fleet Week and got some great information about what kind of guys they are, which helped a lot. And spending half a day with Marine pilots? No sweat!

For the tricky stuff: Since Marine One and the squadron that runs it HMX-1 has so many national security restrictions, it was really difficult to get any information on the helicopter, the squadron, etc., for a long time. I’d actually wanted to write a story that had Marine One in it, and then last year one of the pilots wrote a book and it was chock full of details that helped enormously.

The other difficulty for me was getting general military details correct. I did as much research as I could, including watching YouTube videos of how to wear the officer’s dress blues (that sword is a real PITA to get on the first time!). I was extremely lucky that Dreamspinner’s Senior Editor Lynn West is an expert and willing to check my military details for accuracy.

What’s a typical writing day like for you?

My plan for the typical writing day is to get up and have a walk before it gets too hot here in California, then get in a couple of hours of writing before visiting Facebook and having lunch, then do a few more hours of writing in the afternoon and another session of social media and writing with dinner thrown in there somewhere.

My actual writing day doesn’t even closely resemble that. I tend to start off with social media and emails then realize it’s 11 am. Then I start writing and don’t look up for several hours, usually till I need the bathroom (sorry if that’s TMI) or I realize I haven’t eaten anything.

That’s actually a good day, where I’m so into the story I never realize how long I’ve been writing. A bad day is one where I’m actually tempted to clean the bathroom because the story is frustrating me.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Netflix instant watch. The ability to binge watch a whole season of something in nearly one sitting is such fun, though it can be very detrimental to productivity.

I tend to bribe myself into writing for a couple of hours or some word count target before I’m allowed to watch another episode. That has actually helped me finish quite a few things. It’s especially useful for working through edits that can often take even more brain power than writing.

Do you have any pets? If not, and you were given the choice to have any pet (fictional or real), what type of pet would you choose and why?

A unicorn, of course. Duh!  Unicorns poop rainbows so they are easy to clean up after.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Someone told you I’m not writing? Who???

One word, Netflix.

Sometimes I read. I also study for classes. And I love to cook.

Coffee or tea?

Yes.

I love both, not quite equally. I probably like coffee a bit more, though sometimes I really crave a fragrant herbal tea. I am particularly fond of the stress relief blends. Try out Yogi Tea’s Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea. It’s like a visit to a day spa in a cup.

What are you working on now?

A cowboy story. Well, it’s supposed to be a cowboy story, but it’s turning into a lot more and the more I write the more complicated the characters get. They got so damn complicated they didn’t even meet until about 100 pages into the story, which does not fly for romance readers! I’m rewriting the whole beginning now. Next question?

EM Lynley_Helicopter lessonWhat did you enjoy most about writing this story?

I think I already mentioned the Marines and the helicopter lessons. You’d be surprised to find out there is more than that.

Another really fun aspect was getting to bring in some of my experiences working in Washington DC. I worked in the White House complex and we got to hang out on the South Lawn when Marine One arrived or took off. It’s a great (staged) photo opp, but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless. And I finally got to bring in my White House Christmas party experience, though since one of my characters is a recovering alcoholic, the awesome eggnog only got a walk-on appearance.

What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?

I’m both. A lot depends on the kind of book I’m writing. I tend to write mystery/suspense (like One Marine, Hero) so the plot requires some careful planning, which can take a lot more time upfront, rather than having to string the whole thing together again if you figure out a big problem.

With contemporary romances I’m more of a pantser. I like to develop the characters first and decide what kind of problems they are going to face, then the story pretty much flows out of who they are. That can be really fun and very freeing after a tightly plotted book. Sometimes I surprise myself when I let loose and the story just writes itself and I find I’ve written 30 or 40 pages in a day. Unless of course the characters don’t meet until page 100, then I do have to go back and clean up more than I’d like. To avoid that, I discovered I should really plan the first few scenes and how they meet. Next time!

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

I used to agonize over this a lot more. I had one book where someone was smuggling something and I asked a bunch of writer friends what they thought of my idea and people poked so many holes in it I put the whole book aside for a couple of months. Then I asked my non-writer housemate and she came up with a really easy and fantastic solution that made the story more interesting. So, asking for help from everyone and anyone is a good first step.

The other is to just relax. I’ve learned over the years that if I set my brain on another task, just as I’m getting focused on that, it will start spitting out ideas that solve the first problem. That also seems to happen in the shower a lot. No idea why. But it’s true that your brain does keep working even when you are not consciously aware of it.

That’s a great thing, because it reduces the amount of work a writer has to do. What I mean by that is storytelling and writing does get easier the more you do it because a lot of the “processing” happens in the background and when you sit down to write your brain just gushes really great ideas onto the page almost without you having to think too hard about it.

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2015NewAbout the Book

He’s a hero to everyone but himself.

Marine helicopter pilot Captain Jake Woodley struggles after receiving the Medal of Honor for a mission where he didn’t bring every man back alive. Being called a hero and having his photo plastered across the news makes him hate himself more. He despises his cushy job flying with the Marine One squadron, carrying the president and other officials, when he’d rather risk something, even death. He gets his wish when he’s ordered to fly a series of classified trips.

Matt “Beau” Beaumont has been relegated to covering the fashion beat after getting downsized from a hard-news position. But an unexpected invitation to a White House dinner might be the boost his career needs. Offering a hot marine an after-dinner blowjob wasn’t on Beau’s agenda, but when Jake takes him up on the proposition, some phenomenal casual sex soon blossoms into a relationship both of them crave.

When Beau’s extracurricular research uncovers defense department funding anomalies, he soon discovers the trouble goes higher than he imagined. Just as events start to make sense, the investigation puts Beau and Jake in deadly danger. It takes a daring play by Jake—risking everything he loves—to uncover the truth.

Purchase Links

Buy Links: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/One-Marine-Hero-EM-Lynley-ebook/dp/B013OHVEZ0

Dreamspinner: http://bit.ly/dsp-omh

All Romance: http://bit.ly/are-omh

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-marine-hero-em-lynley/1122487572

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Rafflecopter Giveaway: http://bit.ly/cr-omh

2015NewAbout the author

EM Lynley writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press (Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone), and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

connectwiththeauthor

Visit her online WebsiteBlogFree ReadsFacebookTwitterNewsletterPinterest

 

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Dirty Dining by EM Lynley

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One of the most joyful experiences as an author (for me, at least) is knowing my book has the perfect cover. It’s not as easy as you might think. I’m not an artist and I generally have a difficult time conveying my vision to the cover artist. So I was absolutely delighted to discover this gorgeous photograph on Deviant Art. It perfectly illustrates my main character Jeremy Linden (my deceptively attractive geek) and the precise tone of Dirty Dining. In fact, Jeremy spends a lot of time in those little white shorts, until he takes them off. Check out the excerpt below to find out just what I’m talking about.

Release Date ~ January 19

Publisher Dreamspinner Press

Cover Photo: Ronaldo Gutierrez

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2015About the book

Jeremy Linden’s a PhD student researching an HIV vaccine. He’s always short of money, and when biotech startup PharmaTek reduces funding for his fellowship, he’s tempted to take a job at a men’s dining club as a serving boy. The uniforms are skimpy, and he’s expected to remove an item of clothing after each course. He can handle that, but he soon discovers there’s more on the menu here than fine cuisine. How far will he go to pay his tuition, and will money get in the way when he realizes he’s interested in more from one of his gentlemen?

Brice Martin is an attorney for a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. When he’s asked to take a client to the infamous Dinner Club, he finds himself unexpectedly turned on by the atmosphere and especially by his server, Remy. He senses there’s more to the sexy young man than meets the eye. The paradox fascinates him, and he can’t get enough of Remy.

Their relationship quickly extends beyond the club and sex. But the trust and affection they’ve worked to achieve may crumble when Jeremy discovers Brice’s VC firm is the one that pulled the plug on PharmaTek—and Jeremy’s research grant.

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Pre-order and be entered to win $50 Amazon Gift Certificate
(email your purchase receipt to em@emlynley.com)

Purchase Links

25% off until December 25

Pre-order eBook | Pre-order Paperback

 

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“Everyone, this is Jeremy.” Thomas introduced him to the other guys who would be working as serving boys at the Dinner Club that night, including one Jeremy recognized from the gym.

“Hi, Jeremy,” they said in chorus.

One slim blond guy with long bangs came up and gave him a not-very-subtle once-over and, before Jeremy could stop him, pulled his shirt out of his jeans far enough to get a good look at Jeremy’s abs. “Very nice.”

“Just chill, Kit.” Another guy shook his head and tugged Kit away. “You’ll scare him off before dinner even starts.”

Jeremy wasn’t thrilled with the grabby hands and hoped his client—whoever it might be—wouldn’t take liberties the way his fellow serving boys did.

“Let me give you tonight’s assignments.” Thomas spoke up to get their attention over the ensuing chatter. Jeremy was glad since he noticed some of it was speculation about him.

“Please let me have Mr. Gray.” Kit sashayed up to Thomas and tried to pull the clipboard out of his hand. The same law-abiding guy pulled him back.

“Sorry, Kit. You’ve got Mr. Yellow.”

“Oh, not so bad. I didn’t know he was coming tonight.” Kit grinned. “Or at least he will be,” he added in a singsong that had the others laughing.

“We’ve one new client, Mr. Green.”

“Let me have him!” It was another guy.

“Sorry, Rand, I think you’re a bit too much for him. I can’t have any of you scaring him off either. I think Jeremy will serve Mr. Green.” Thomas nodded at Jeremy. “He seems a little shy, so maybe you two will be a good match.”

“Okay.” Jeremy wasn’t sure if he’d been insulted or given an easy task. So far no one here seemed shy. But he needed to learn the ropes and figure out precisely what was expected of him as a serving boy.

Thomas gave out the rest of the assignments. Each client had a color-coded name, reminding Jeremy of the Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs. He hoped like hell tonight wouldn’t end up the same way, with everyone dead or wishing they were.

Once Thomas left, one of the guys came up to Jeremy. “I’m Rand. Been here the longest, so I’ll walk you through your duties. And if you’re not sure what to do, just ask me.”

“Okay.”

“First here’s your costume.” Rand handed Jeremy a box. “Open it up.”

Jeremy opened up the flaps and pulled out the flimsy pieces. Some thin filmy fabric, gold cord and not much else. “This is a costume?”

“Yeah. Every dinner has a theme. We’re Greek slave boys tonight. Tonight’s dinner has six courses, and there are six items in each costume. You take one off after you serve each course.”

Jeremy swallowed. Well, Thomas had told him he’d be taking his clothes off. He hadn’t realized quite how this would work, but it seemed easy enough. “That’s it?”

“You let your gentleman choose which piece you remove.”

“Then I take it off, right?”

“Yeah. Or if you let the gentleman do it, you get paid more.”

“Just taking clothes off? No one’s going to put their hands on me or request a lap dance or expect me to suck them off?”

Kit giggled in the background. “Only if you want to, pecan pie. And you may want to.”

Rand shook his head. “You only do what you want. If your guy asks for something, you can say no. You aren’t allowed to offer anything, or we can get in trouble for soliciting sex. There’s a menu—coded of course—and the gentlemen can ‘order’ something extra. You just let yours know which menu items are available.” 

 

2015About the author

EM at GRL book signing

EM Lynley writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

connectwiththeauthor

Visit her online WebsiteBlogFree ReadsFacebookTwitterNewsletter Pinterest

Email: em@emlynley.com

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