Guest Post – Live, Read & Breathe Blog – C. J. Baty (author of A New Dream)
My Great Aunt Vergie lived on a small farm off a rural route in eastern Virginia. My parents would take us there on vacations and holidays, and it soon became apparent to me that this is where I belonged, in the mountains and away from big cities where people were always in a rush. I was never happier as a small child or teenager as I was when I was visiting there.
Nature itself has been an inspiration to me my whole life. Whenever the stresses of the everyday world—family, job, relationships—would become too much, that’s when I turned to nature. As I’ve aged that hasn’t changed. Those who know me know that when I start looking at cabins in the woods, it means I need to go there and soon.
It was there during those vacations when I would wander the hillsides and forests on my own that I realized what I wanted out of life. I wanted to tell stories and share them with other people. Then real life happened, I got married right out of high school and began working, and the dream of writing got left on the back burner for “some day.”
Great Aunt Vergie passed away when I was an adult with a husband and small son. The last time I visited her farm was the day of her funeral. I just assumed my dreams of writing were just that—dreams.
Flash forward twenty-one years to my now adult son telling me about this great website where people go to share stories about Twilight and the characters. I had no idea that such a thing as Fan Fiction existed. With his encouragement, I got involved in the family that is Fan Fiction.
It wasn’t long until I was itching to tell my own stories and when I found m/m romance stories, I knew I’d found a place for me to stick my toes in the pond so to speak. I jumped in with both feet. I found I hadn’t lost my desire or drive to write; it had just been buried. I also found I had a knack for telling a mystery along with the romance, which led to several murder/mystery/gay romance stories on Fan Fiction.
Today, I am proud to say that A New Dream, an m/m romance, is my first published work and with any luck at all it won’t be my last. I am thrilled to be working with the lovely ladies at Bottom Drawer Publications. They encouraged and helped me along every step of the way. I wouldn’t be here without them.
As for the future, I have two stories presently in the works. One is a December/May romance/mystery where the woman is the older character. She thinks that since her husband’s death romance is just a thing of the past for her until she meets a handsome younger man who sweeps her off her feet. The other story is an m/m murder mystery/romance. Someone is killing men on the beach close to a very old family hotel. The owner manager of the hotel starts to panic when he realizes that the men who keep showing up dead are some of his past lovers, though no one in the very bigoted city of Beaufort could possibly know he is gay. Or do they?
A New Dream
C. J. Baty
Release Date: February 12
Valentine’s Day Collection Tour
Live, Read & Breathe Stop - Feb 15
Sometimes Valentine’s Day is not all hearts and roses …
Love Sucks … until it doesn’t!
A collection of individual short stories where the most romantic day of the year redeems itself … eventually.
There are two male/female contemporary romance stories and two male/male contemporary romance stories. To be released on the four days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
C.J. Baty with her first published work, A New Dream, gives us a glimpse into the world of competitive skiing and what happens when one man's Olympic dreams are shattered. Can Walt find something new to dream about in Curt, the latest act playing at the ski resort? (m/m romance)
A split-second of time and Walt’s dreams of Olympic gold were crushed along with his right leg when he was involved in a serious accident on the ski-fields during the preliminary trials. Now he’s teaching beginners on the ski slopes of Crystal Falls Lodge, run by his family in West Virginia, and wondering if he’ll ever crawl out of the pit that his life has become. Eventually, the look of devastation on his sister’s face at how much he’s let himself go, prompts him to try harder to experience life again. First on the list: a trip to town and a haircut.
Curt Woodridge is used to traveling light. Ever since he was kicked out of home at eighteen, when his family found out he was gay, he’s been moving from one town to the next, performing in small bars and ski lodges to make his living. He is one of the lucky ones; he was saved from having to live on the streets by his agent and is genuinely happy with the way his life is going. After performing a great set at his latest gig, Curt decides to head into town and look around. He has seven days to kill before he’ll be moving on to the next gig.
Neither man is ready for love, and definitely not on the streets of Flat Rock. But when neither of them is looking, quite literally, they fall hard. But how does a man who thought he’d lost everything dare to dream of a life with someone who is leaving town for good in less than a week?
Flat Rock wasn’t what you’d call a metropolitan city. It was a little country town right off the local main highway. There were several stores, even a Walmart. A theater had opened up a couple of years ago with four movie screens, and a lot of folks enjoyed it during their stay in nearby hotels, cabins, and lodges like Crystal Falls. The town boasted more than a dozen great places to eat including some popular chain restaurants.
I noticed, as I made my way over to the barbershop on Third Street, that there were several signs up around Main Street declaring one type of party or another going on during the holidays. I enjoyed my walk and didn’t let the stares from folks passing by bother me. It felt good to be out. As much as I loved my sister, sometimes she was more like a mother hen than a sibling. I was old enough to make my own decisions; she just hadn’t caught up with the idea just yet.
“Hey there, Walt,” Stewart Monnet called to me as I entered the barbershop. He stood behind a hi-backed leather chair, giving a haircut to his very unhappy grandson. “Hold still, Peter, or I’ll clip your ear. Your mom wants this done before she comes back from the drugstore.”
The kindly old man had been running the same shop with two chairs for as long as I could remember. I took a seat by the window and waited my turn. An hour later, freshly trimmed, I felt like a new man, and I made sure I gave Stew a good tip for a job well done. I was making my way out the door, waving back at Stew instead of watching where I was going, when the thud of a solid body knocked me off balance.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry,” a mellow voice called out and hands seemed to touch me everywhere.
From my prone position below the guy now standing over me, I couldn’t see his face. The sun was shining brightly behind him, and it obscured my line of vision. Spread out on the sidewalk in front of the whole town, I felt like a complete idiot. The guy was still apologizing and trying to help, but he was quickly getting on my nerves. I knew it was the embarrassment I was feeling, but I couldn’t help snapping at the guy.
“If you would just move back, I can manage by myself.” My voice sounded curt and rude. I could hear it.
His body snapped straight up, and he took a step back. I guess he finally got it that I didn’t need or want his help. Looking up, I was prepared to see the usual look of pity, instead the spark of interest in his eyes stunned me.
Heat flashed through my body. My face actually felt flushed. Was I blushing? I couldn’t remember the last time someone had affected me this way.
“Can I help you up?” his voice, deep and compassionate, asked. He offered one hand outstretched politely. His eyes, the color of a bright cloudless day, a clear aqua blue, twinkled at me. Most of his hair was tucked up under a knitted cap. What few strands I could see were a warm brown, long enough to wear in a ponytail.
I knew I was staring, but habit made me search his face for any signs of pity or disgust. All I could find was kindness, and I liked it. Damn, there went my cheeks again, heating up. Hopefully he’d just think they were pink because of the chill in the air. Then the gorgeous stranger smiled. A deep dimple formed on the right side of his face, causing his long straight nose to scrunch up.
“I promise I won’t bite,” he said with a hint of laughter in his voice.
A car drove by on the street, honking at that exact moment, but I was sure I heard him say something like “unless you want me to” under his breath. Was he flirting with me? Did I want someone to flirt with me?
“Thank you.” I finally decided to speak before he thought I was an imbecile.
The list price for each book in the collection is $1.99, however all books in the collection will be discounted by 25% for the duration of the blog tour, and until the end of February, when purchased on the BDP website, using this discount code: bdpvdtaupbnb01
C. J. Baty lives in southwest Ohio with her very patient husband and two encouraging children. Her heart however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.
The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to fan fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.
One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is: “You are never too old to follow your dream even if it takes you fifty years!”
A little about the other books in the Valentine’s Day Collection:
February 11 - Time or Money by Carly Fall
Carly Fall introduces us to Bridget and Mason in Time or Money, where missed calls, a broken cell phone, and a surprise that never came off on the most romantic day of the year, might just signal the end of their dreams.
February 13 - The Gift by Elise Marion
Elise Marion brings us back into the glittering world of Avery & Dom from The Secret Life of Avery O'Dea in The Gift. Avery has always thought that Dom knew her better than anyone else. Does the gift he buys her this Valentine's Day show that he really has no idea at all?
February 14 - An Unexpected Party by Henrietta Clarke
Henrietta Clarke introduces us to a tale of misconceptions, a mother in denial, and some serious baggage in An Unexpected Party. Meet Peregrine and Merry, two unlikely souls who meet at a speed-dating event. Problem: Peregrine is very much in demand with the ladies, although he seems to be having trouble tearing his attention away from a certain gorgeous waiter for the night. (m/m romance)
Something about the publisher:
Bottom Drawer Publications is a new publishing house that specialises in romantic and erotic romance fiction across a range of genres, with both het and gay characters. Our genres include: Contemporary, Historical, Literary/Drama, Alternative Lifestyles, Paranormal/Sci-fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller and Steampunk.
Our books are available for sale on our website as well as over 8 booksellers, including: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, All Romance, Rainbow eBooks, and a range of others. All reading devices are catered for with a comprehensive range of formats.
We are always on the lookout for fresh and interesting manuscripts within these genres, and from time to time will put out calls for anthology submissions.
Visit our website: http://www.bottomdrawerpublications.net for our new release information and our writing submission guidelines.