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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: You Are The Reason by Renae Kaye

Our good friend, Renae, has joined us to celebrate the upcoming release of her latest novel, You Are The Reason (releasing on 7th August). She’s shared some Character Bios so you can meet the main characters, David Pederson (Davo) and Lee Brennan. Nice to see we have a Sydney Swans supporter in there, Renae. 🙂

And there’s a giveaway too!

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Character Bios for You Are the Reason, by Renae Kaye

One thing that a lot of experienced authors rabbit on about, is marketing your brand when you wish to do something with your writing.  As a new writer, you look at the marketplace and freeze, completely lost in the maelstrom out there, wondering how you are ever going to compete with the more experienced brands.

Do I have a brand?  Hmm – I would like to say it is developing.  I don’t like to pigeon-hole myself, but when you pick up a Renae Kaye novel or story, I like to think that you have a certainty of what is inside.

#1 – Australian.  And more specifically, Western Australian.  It’s where I live, it’s where I love, it’s where I write.

#2 – Funny, or at least humorous.  I tried to not write it once, and it crept in regardless.  (Or irregardless, as Penelope would say).

#3 – Less-than-perfect men, and more than likely blue-collar workers.  It seems I have a type, and no, I don’t plan to change it any time soon.

#4 – I would like to flatter myself, and say “A well-written story.”

One thing you will probably find a lot of from me, is the opposites-attract type of story.  I’m a big fan of them, and believe that they work well in real life.  My own marriage is one of opposites, and it brings its share of problems as well as solutions.  You Are the Reason is a book of opposites.  Not only do my guys go for opposing football teams (which could be fatal to a relationship), but they are also opposite in how they view the expression of their homosexuality.

So below, I give you a summary about my guys, and you can see if you think they will fit together like two pieces of a jigsaw…

 

Name:  David Pederson.  Dave to family, women and in the workplace.  Male friends get to call him Davo.

Age:  Twenty-seven.

Gender:  Male.

Sexual Orientation:  Gay.

Hair:  Dark brown, cropped short.

Eyes:  Brown.

Physical Description:  Average.  Average height, average weight, average looking.  Clean cut.

Tattoos, piercings or other identifying marks:  None.

Clothing:  Jeans and a shirt.  Average.  Blacks, whites, blues.  Average.  No loud colours or style.  Average.  Blendability the aim.

Occupation:  Salesperson for a sheet metal fabricator.

Family:  Mother, Father, two brothers and one sister (all younger).

Lives:  By himself in a small townhouse in the suburbs.

Drives:  Usually the company van.

Hobbies, favourite activities:  Enjoys watching football (Melbourne Football Club), plays indoor cricket, hangs out at The Tav with his mate Jake on the weekend, or with his friend Thor.

Personality:  Honest, straight-shooter.  Can admit he’s a dick, but has little intention of changing his ways.  Enjoys masculine pursuits and stays away from anything that could be construed as girly.  Doesn’t do relationships.  Has a fear that hanging out with anyone who is obviously gay (one of those gays) will rub off on him.

Quirks: Owns a Magic 8 Ball and consults it for all major decisions in his life.

 

Name:  Lee Brennan.

Age:  Twenty-one.

Gender:  Male.

Sexual Orientation:  Gay.

Hair:  Bright cherry-red, rather long on top.

Eyes:  Brown.

Physical Description:  Slender.  Average height.  Bright hair.  Slightly femme.  Reminds Davo of a pixie.

Tattoos, piercings or other identifying marks:  None.

Clothing:  Bright colours.  Enjoys deep reds and bright greens.  Dresses stylishly and in the latest European styles.  Occasionally likes to slip into a dress and heels – and can pass as a woman.

Occupation:  Dental assistant.  Volunteer counsellor.

Family:  Mother, Father, an older brother and sister.  (His sister is world famous).  One nephew and niece.

Lives:  With his parents in a mansion by the river.

Drives:  WRX.

Hobbies, favourite activities:  Avid football fan (Sydney Swans), enjoys foreign films.  Volunteers at a youth centre for gay and trans kids.

Personality:  Sparkling and selfless giving.  Always attempts to help people in this world.  A great listener and encourager.  Completely at ease in his sexuality and expression.

Quirks: Is never on time.

About the book

Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.

Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.

Giveaway

Click here or on the image to enter the Giveaway.

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Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

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About the author

Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back.  She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since.  After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted.  It hasn’t stopped her though.  She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever.  So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.

Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden.  She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.

How to contact Renae:

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au

Website:  www.renaekaye.weebly.com

FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

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GUEST POST WITH GIVEAWAY: Out of the Rain by Renae Kaye

Today Renae Kaye stopped by my blog (www.nicstarr.com) to talk about two of her new releases. She also has a fabulous giveaway of 5 ebook copies of Out of the Rain. So I thought I’d share the post here too, because who doesn’t want to hear about the latest Renae Kaye and have a change of winning one? 🙂

 

Out of the Rain

There are times in your life that you hesitate to walk a certain path.  Fear holds you back.  Sometimes it’s the fear of failing (my personal nightmare).  Sometimes it’s the fear of moving out of your comfort zone.  A new path is full of risks – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, etc.  This story is a new path for me.  I wrote this short story for an anthology, but decided after it was finished that it didn’t suit what they were looking for.  So I’ve decided to self-publish the book.  A new venture.  A new pathway.

The two MCs in the book are venturing onto their own new pathways.

For Elijah, it is life out of the closet and no longer in the safety of his parents’ home.  After being forcibly outed, Elijah’s father kicked him out of the house.  He was lost.  He was also drunk and trespassing in an old lady’s backyard.

For Mitch, Elijah is a new pathway too.  Mitch is uncertain – Elijah is a lot younger than he is, and perhaps just using Mitch for a place to sleep.  Mitch is unsure whether he wishes to give his heart, as it will surely be broken.  Surely Elijah wouldn’t be interested in something more than what they have?

Blurb

Mitch never knew what awaited him when he answered his elderly neighbour’s calls. Finding a stranger crying in her backyard was a new one. Little did he know that rescuing Elijah out of the rain was going to change his life.

Elijah is too young, too good looking, and too bruised for Mitch to consider falling in love with. But Elijah is soon in his house, in his bed, and in his heart.

At thirty-eight, Mitch has a lot of experience with life. Elijah is only twenty-three and just starting out. Mitch’s bedroom skills enrapture Elijah. Mitch just hopes it will be enough to make Elijah want to stay.

Amazon link

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GIVEAWAY

As part of Renae’s promotion and birthday celebration, she is offering FIVE copies of Out of the Rain in eBook format.

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter

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Promotion ends midnight on the 19th July (central time)

Also be watching for Renae’s new release:

You Are the Reason
Published by Dreamspinner Press
7 August 2015

You are the Reason

Blurb

Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.

Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.

Currently available for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press: Click here


add-to-goodreads-buttonAbout Renae

Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back. She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since. After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted. It hasn’t stopped her though. She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever. So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.

Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden. She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.

You can contact her at renaekaye@iinet.net.au.

 

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INTERVIEW: Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye

 Thank you for coming back to visit us again, Renae. And a BIG congratulations on another release.

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Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?

Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.

The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books. 

★★★★★

Firstly the cover. Paul Richmond has designed a fabulous cover which seems to capture the spirit of the book (I say ‘seems’ because I haven’t read it yet so I’m just going off the blurb 🙂 ). Can you share with us a little about the cover design process?

Renae: **laughs at this**  For me, the cover design process involves me talking to the cover artists and saying, “I don’t know.”

I’m a firm believer in letting the experts do their job.  My husband stands over the shoulder of the electrician we’ve hired and tells him how to do his job.  Me?  Nah.  I wrote the story.  I let the editors tell me if my grammar is incorrect, and let the cover artists do their job.  My input was “I want the cover to reflect that the story is zany,” and that’s what Paul gave me.  [Great job, Paul!]

I had to provide Paul pictures of what an Australian lake looks like, and a description of the scene, but he is wonderful in giving a great cover.

The story itself sounds intriguing—and dare I say, a little crazy. Where did the inspiration come from?

Renae:  “How many Australian animals can I get to attack my MC before the end of the story?”

I’m not joking.  LOL.  My inspiration for this story was to scare the pants off anyone who thinks that Australia is a dangerous place to live.

But sometimes my own life feels like Murphy’s Law is out to get me.  When everything is going wrong, then that’s the day the car breaks down, the kids come home from school with gastro AND head lice, and my husband tells me he’s invited friends for a bbq.  In creating Shawn and his topsy-turvy, crazy life, I made myself feel better.  Because at least I’m not as bad as poor Shawn.

You are known for the Aussie flavour in your stories. Can you share any secrets about the Australian animals that make an appearance in this one?

Renae:  There are a lot of venomous animals that appear in this book.  Rest assured that no one dies from a bite/sting/attack.

Did you know, that out of the top 25 venomous snakes of the world, 20 of them come from Australia?  Rest assured that no one dies from a snake bite in this story.

Did you know that the most venomous spiders of the world are also Australian? Rest assured that no one dies from a spider bite in this story.

Did you know that blue ringed octopus is so deadly it will kill you in ten minutes?  Rest assured that no one dies from an octopus in this story.

Have I scared you yet?  LOL.

Truthfully, this book will not panic you.  All animal attacks – such as the one of the cover – are treated in a humourous manner that will make you laugh, rather than cancelling your flight to Perth.  We also have a lot of cute cuddly animals in this book – like this fellow: 

Animal

 

She’s a quokka – see the baby in her pouch?  They are about the size of a large pussycat and soooo goddamn sweet.  Quokkas don’t attack.

Some other great animals you can fall in love with in this book are Carnaby’s Cockatoos.  And dogs.  (Two of them named Bennie.)

The blurb talks about Shawn but not so much about Harley. Can you give us some insight into what makes Harley tick?

Renae:  Shawn’s nickname for Harley, before they met, was Hippy-Hotpants.  That describes Harley all over – he’s a modern day hippy, out to save the world one peace protest at a time.  He is environmentally aware – everything from organic food, to endangered animals, to not purchasing clothing that was sewn in a sweat-shop.

In Harley’s own words, “The reason I go out there and fight for what’s right, is because I feel extremely privileged in this life, and therefore I put my support behind those who can’t fight for themselves. I try to make this world a better place. I try to save the planet and the people who live here because of the ones I love. If I had no family, I think I would curl up and die of sorrow. I fight harder because I know there are people in this world I am fighting for. I want to make this earth a better world for those I love.”

The problem in this book is not whether Shawn and Harley like each other, but whether they can live with each other.  Trust and faith in the one you love is vital.  And treating them like an adult.

Was it difficult to write a humourous story that includes someone suffering from Alzheimer’s and their family?

Renae:  Yes.  And no.  (How astute of you, Renae).

I guess the answer to this question comes from my own experience.  My father fought bowel cancer for over eight years.  He fought it.  We fought it.  We all lived it.  One of the most important things I learned from the experience was attitude.  There was no use in visiting my father and spending the whole time crying and morose about the fact he was dying.  We both knew it.  Instead, I would ignore it and speak with Dad about other matters.  My dad could smile and laugh and be happy, and that helped him a lot.

I don’t mean to make fun of people with Alzheimer’s, and the disease is no joking matter.  But how you deal with it can make a huge difference.  A sense of humour when your mother asks you your name for the 60th time will hold you in good stead with Alzheimer’s. 

I’m sure I’m going to have people who tell me that their experience with Alzheimer’s is different, and I will nod and completely agree with them.  This story was written to entertain, not to be an essay on reality. Yes, Shawn’s mother does a lot of crazy things within this story, but it’s a comedy.  It’s fictional.  It’s supposed to be funny.

What book is on your bedside table?

Renae:  The only paperbacks I read these days are either from the library, or older ones from my bookcase.  At the moment I am reading and enjoying two BRILLIANT books from my library:

 Book 1 Book 2

For Colored Boys is a collection of true short stories from gay men over a range of topics such as their first sexual experience, bullying, religion, abuse and coming out.  It is emotional.  I feel privileged to read their stories.

This Book Is Gay is a riot!  I’m not sure who the target audience for this book is, but I feel like it’s teenage boys who are gay (or bi or trans) and don’t know what to do about it.  It’s funny and hilarious and covers a lot of topics like how it is okay to be gay and that you’re not the first person in the world to feel that way.  It gives people rebuttal information to argue with religious fanatics, information about how to have anal sex for the first time, and continual affirmation that being “not straight” is fine.  5 stars all the way.

Renae:  Thanks for having me again Nic.  I’ve had fun as usual.  If your readers are wanting more information, they can contact me on:.

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au

Website:  www.renaekaye.weebly.com

FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

And of course, the most important bit, is where will they be able to purchase the best book in town?  **cough cough**  Sorry, it was a long interview and I’m high on chocolate now.

Dreamspinner
Amazon
ARe
Barnes and Noble

About the author

Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back.  She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since.  After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted.  It hasn’t stopped her though.  She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever.  So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.

Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden.  She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas with Renae Kaye!

Look who’s visiting us for Christmas Eve! Renae has dropped by to answer a few questions about her Christmas for us.

★★★★★

Hi Nic!

Thanks for having me on your blog again.  I hope you and all your readers have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  Be safe.

Do you have any special Xmas traditions?

Christmas for me is flat out busy.  My Christmas day usually starts at 5am (I have to set my alarm) to get up in time to make it.  I usually have to finish preparing food for the day before waking the kids.  We open presents, have a play with them, pack the car and leave at 7am.

We then have present opening (#2!) with my husband’s parents at their house, before we cook up a bbq breakfast (which usually has further guests arriving at 8am).  We stuff ourselves with sausages, bacon, croissants, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs.

We then pack up (again) and leave at 11am to make it to my sister’s house.  We have present opening (#3!) once my family has all arrived, then we get lunch.  Lunch is usually cold meats and salad, followed by LOTS of dessert.  After lunch we swim in the pool and relax.

My oldest is 7, and although we’ve been invited to Christmas dinner (back with hubby’s extended family) for the last 7 years, the kids have usually been too tired.  This year we’ll see…

I’m exhausted just reading that! Are you able to share a Christmas recipe with us?

You mean like “make” something?  From scratch?  No.  Never happens in my house.  Not at Christmas.  For me Christmas is about fresh salads and time-saving store bought desserts.  Nothing can beat pavlova with fresh cream and fresh fruit piled up on top of it.

Perth is way too hot on Christmas day for complicated puddings or recipes.  This year, they’re forecasting 35 degrees celcius (95F) so we just go with fruit and salad.

 Yum, pavlova ❤

What’s your special Christmas wish?

Apart from Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All Men?

Generally I wish for a stress free Christmas.  I do end up stressing a lot, so each Christmas I try to plan it out so there is no stress.

What book of yours should someone put into the Xmas stocking if they wanted to introduce someone to m/m and why?

The Blinding Light.  I think this book would appeal to many readers.  It’s pretty vanilla in its concepts (no heavy kink) yet saucy and sexy at the same time.

Thanks for having me Nic!  Merry Christmas!

Renae

Thanks for joining us, Renae. I hope you and your family have a wonderful day and you get to relax at some point! 🙂

I read and really enjoyed The Blinding Light. Here are the buy links for any readers who want to grab it for a last minute gift (isn’t being able to buy eBooks online a wonderful thing?)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

All Romance eBooks

Dreamspinner Press

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Interview with Renae Kaye

Thanks for joining us today, Renae. We are excited to have you here as you celebrate the upcoming release of your new book. Safe In This Arms sounds fabulous!

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RENAE:  Hi, Nic!  Thanks for inviting me.  I’m always glad to drop by and say hello to my favourite friends.  People may not realize it, but I think you were one of the first of my Facebook friends.  NR Walker introduced us when I timidly set up my account and whispered to the world, “Hello, World.  My name is Renae Kaye.  I’m going to be a published author.”

Since then, you’ve been a fantastic friend, supporter, cheerer, sympathetic ear and helper.  So thank you.

NIC: Aww… it’s my pleasure to count you as a friend ❤

This book sounds like a bit of a departure from your usual comedic style. Can you tell us a bit about the mood of the book?

RENAE:  Oh, yes.  There is an amusing story about that.  You see, I had this radical idea to write a series of short stories.  They weren’t to be romances – just brief erotic encounters.  I even named my working document “Encounters.”  I wrote what turned out to be chapter one of the book – a man, showering alone late at night in a public shower, when he meets a younger man and they hook up.

But at the end of the chapter, I sat back and couldn’t contain my curiosity at what I had written.  Why was Casey in the shower rooms at that time of night, staring at himself in the mirror?  Why was Lon living in a caravan park, despite having a decent paying job?

In my attempt to write erotic, I’d ended up with mysterious, and my writer brain needed to explore that.  I just kept telling myself “one more chapter…”

Don’t worry – the humour is there too.  This is a Renae Kaye novel, you can’t NOT have humour.  It’s just darker than anything I’ve written before.

NIC: The Australian mines sound like a truly unique setting for a m/m romance. What inspired you to venture to the mines?

RENAE:  The story isn’t actually set in the mines, it’s set in Perth.  I guess the blurb is a little ambiguous about that. Sorry.  Lon works as a FIFO miner – which is a Fly In Fly Out worker.  He is flown to the mines in Newman for four weeks, working 28 days without a break, then home again for two weeks.  He is away for long stretches of time, which plays into the relationship between the guys.

In Perth, FIFO is a way of life.  There is an estimation of 60,000 FIFO workers in Western Australian mines.  That’s a lot of people to be flying around the state and a lot of people who work away from home.

Since I set all my stories in my hometown, I thought I would be fun to accurately reflect our population.  And you know me – I like to write about the guy you meet on the street.  In Perth, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t FIFO, or related to a FIFO worker, or knows a FIFO worker, or works in an industry that supports the FIFO workers.

NIC: Can you share any secrets about Lon and Casey?

Answer:  I love Lon.  He’s big.  He’s hairy.  He’s big… **blush** all over.  One of my favourite paragraphs from the book?  (Remembering Lon lives in a caravan park)

“Knock, knock! Lon? Are you there? I’m announcing my presence with a fifty-piece band.” Casey’s voice brought a smile to his face and Lon stuck his head out the caravan door.

“Are you alone?”

“What? Of course I am. Was I supposed to bring someone?”

“No. But if you had someone with you then I would need to chuck some clothes on before I let you come in.”

There was a pause before Casey almost shrieked, “You’re naked?”

“Yes, and now all my neighbors know that as well. Thank you for telling them all.”

You see, Lon is not enamored with wearing clothes all the time.  So Casey has to maintain some control around him.

“Good morning, merry sunshine. How do you like your eggs?”

Casey sat up and scratched at the peach fuzz that tried to come through on his face every night. “You’re cooking me eggs?” No one had ever bothered to do that for him before.

“Yep. And bacon and toast if you want them. Are you a vegetarian?”

Casey smirked at the sight of a naked Lon cooking for him, and stared at his cock resting closer to the caravan stove than he would like. “No. I definitely like my meat.”

NIC: It’s been a big year for you with so many wonderful books released. Congratulations! So what’s next? Do you have any more stories coming up for your readers?

Renae:  OMG!  Hasn’t it been a big year?  Completely beyond my wildest dreams.  But thank you.  I’ve worked hard and I’m hoping to retire next month…. NO!  Joking!

I’m actually working on edits for a new story coming in February 2015.  If Safe in His Arms is a darker-than-my-usual, then Shawn’s Law is so light and fluffy it is on its way to the moon.  Get ready for comedy in that one people.

NIC: Thanks for joining us and good luck with your release.

Safe In His Arms

Dreamspinner pre-order:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5736

Amazon pre-order:  http://www.amazon.com/Safe-His-Arms-Renae-Kaye-ebook/dp/B00PNPOPP8/

The Blurb

 In the late-night quiet of the caravan park shower room, Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines. He’s not looking for anyone, but when Casey offers, Lon doesn’t turn him down.

Welcoming the young man in his big, hairy arms, Lon provides a safety to Casey that he has never known, and Casey wants to stay forever. Still reeling from the breakup of his family years ago, Lon’s not sure he’s ready for the responsibility of the comfort and security Casey craves.

But perhaps Lon can risk opening his heart again and hoping for a brighter future. Casey has some pretty big skeletons in his past to deal with. And Lon wonders what Casey will do when he finds out how badly Lon failed at protecting the ones he loved eight years ago.

How to contact Renae:

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au

Website:  www.renaekaye.weebly.com

FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Day In The Life Of…Renae Kaye

This morning I was visited by my lovely friend, Renae Kaye. She satisfied my curiosity by giving me a little glimpse of her life as a writer (and a wife and a mother and everything else!). I thought I’d share here to that everyone can see what she gets up to. Don’t forget to check out her new book, The Shearing Gun, which was released yesterday.

★★★★★

When Nic Starr gave me my blog topic, I sat and scratched my head.  Which day?  You see because each day for me is different, and this is why writing works so well for me.  I can fit it around my life.

Let me introduce myself to you:  I am Renae Kaye.  I write m/m romance.  I have two primary school aged children.  I have a husband.  I’m a stay-at-home-mum.  I have three cats, three chooks, 20+ canaries, fish, worms, crabs, and now a budgie to take care of.  I love to veggie garden and have a large suburban block full of fruiting trees and vines.  I have a widowed mother.  I have 8 older siblings. I have friends.

So, depending on what day it is, then my schedule changes to fit.  My youngest only attends school two-and-a-half days a week, so I only have two days a week where I get “a rest” <cough, choke> from the kids.

I write around the kids and the housework and all the necessary obligations of life.

But a typical Tuesday, would go something like this:

7am:  Stumble out of bed.  Renae is not exactly a morning person until you get coffee into her.  Seven o’clock starts are murder on her, but that’s what time she gets up each morning.

The 7yo would’ve been up for an hour by that time.  There is a rule: he is not allowed out of bed until 6:00am.  She had to buy him a clock and teach him how to tell the time when he was three because he’s a constant early riser.  The 5yo will still be in bed.  The irony of Renae’s household is her “Day/Night Children.”  If they tried, her kids couldn’t be more different.  One is an early riser, one sleeps in.  One is a good eater, one struggles with food.  One is a daredevil and needs to be restrained, one suffers from anxiety and needs to be coaxed into everything.  One was an early talker, one was a late talker.  One lost their teeth late, one lost their teeth early.  One was easy to potty train, one was not.

7:00-7:30am:  Breakfasts for the kids, lunchboxes packed.  It may be a strange custom to other countries, but the kids eat a homemade lunch most days at school.

7:30am-8am:  Renae eats breakfast in front of the laptop while catching the morning news headlines, checking her emails and having a quick peep at social media.  By 8am the coffee is starting to chug through Renae’s veins.

8:00-8:30am:  Switch mental tracks.  For Renae, she has two modes: Running and sitting.  Either she is sitting and reading/computer/TV, or she is running fast.  The kids have learnt this (hubby has not).  Renae’s greatest frustration in life is that her husband moves slower than an avalanche of molasses on a cold day.

At 8am, she jumps out of her chair and starts bellowing directions.  “It’s Library Day.  I’ll get your library bag and you can get your book.  Did you finish your homework?  Come on, let’s move.  Let’s get dressed.  Did you do your teeth, and yes, you have to do your hair.  Here, I’ll help you put those tights on.  Can you go and feed this to the chooks?  No, you can’t take that to school.  I think I saw your shoes under the lounge.  No, you can’t wear those socks.  Did you make your bed? Go back and brush your hair again.  This time remember you have hair all over your head, not just at the front.  Can you grab the towels from the bathroom and put in the washing machine?  Smack that cat if he’s on the table.  Who didn’t take their breakfast bowl to the kitchen?  Did you remember your teeth?  Why haven’t you put your lunch in your bag?”

During this, Renae dresses in her “Mummy” uniform of jeans, T-shirt and flat shoes.  They’re quick.  They’re easy.  They’re cheap.  They can hide a lot of dirt.  She can be ready in less than 5 minutes if she needs to be.

8:30am:  Drives the kids to school.  Walks them to the classrooms.  Has chat with the 7yo’s teacher.  Goes in with 5yo and helps her practice writing.  The little smarty-pants is already writing sentences.  Renae died when she wrote in her pad “My mum does washing.”  Thanks, sweetie.

Clucks over the newborn babies she finds.  Quick chat to the various mothers and fathers she sees, “How is Daniel today?  Over his cold?  No, I didn’t hear about Italian Day.  No, I’m not helping out on the P&C stall.  Yes, I will be there for the school carnival.  How’s work?  Did your husband get the job?”

9:00am/9:30am: (depending on how long she chats)  Leaves school.  Errand time.  Back home.

Between 9:30am & 2:30pm:  Types 50 words. Answers telemarketing call. Types 150 words. Coffee time. Types 180 words. Puts washing on the line. Types 60 words. Spends 30 minutes in the garden stewing over plot problems while picking weeds. Types 430 words. Vacuums house while working out character’s next move. Types 35 words. Pays online bills. Types 80 words. Emails friend. Types 40 words….   You get the picture.

3:00pm:  Picks up kids from school.

3pm-6pm:  “Yes, I’ll make you a sandwich.  Yes, I remember that you like peanut butter on yours.  Please don’t tie balloons to the cat.  I don’t care what Brody’s mum lets him do, you can’t do it.  If you’re still hungry then have a piece of fruit.  Please share the iPad or I’m putting it away.  I told you to have fruit, and biscuits are not fruit.  We’re having spaghetti for dinner.  Please don’t throw balls in the house!  How many times do I have to tell you that?  Can you please go and check for eggs?  I told you, we’re having spaghetti for dinner.  No, you can’t play Wii, it’s a school night.  Have you done your homework?  I’m sure that your sister can be a mermaid and have a sword.  That’s fine to be a fighting mermaid.  No, you can’t have another sandwich, it’s nearly dinner time.  Spaghetti.  We’re having spaghetti, the same as the last two times you asked.  Okay!  I’m coming to change the toilet roll.  Who left the door open and let all the flies in the house?  No, you can’t get the painting stuff out because it’s nearly dinner time.  Spaghetti.  Yes, I know that Cassie’s party is coming up.  Spaghetti.  That’s a brilliant lego house!  Daddy’s home!  Can you please make sure these dirty socks make it to the hamper?  Spaghetti.  Wash your hands everyone.  The spaghetti’s ready.”

6:00-7:30pm:  Dinner.  Baths.  Storytime.  Relax.

7:30pm-8:30pm:  Sits in cold hallway with laptop where youngest child can see her while falling asleep.  Repeatedly googles “separation anxiety” and chats on social media.

8:30pm:  Gasps at how late it has gotten.  Vows to write like crazy in the next two hours.

11:00pm:  Slips into bed.  Curses that social media is so addictive.

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Renae’s newest release The Shearing Gun was released yesterday (19th of September) and can be purchased at the following links.

Dreamspinner:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5450

Blurb

At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.

Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything permanent. As if the constant threat of being caught isn’t enough, Elliot’s contract runs out after only a year.

Renae’s contact details:

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au

Website:  http://renaekaye.weebly.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

 

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A Taste of Honey – Guest authors

Today we welcome two Dreamspinner authors, Jack Byrne and Renae Kaye.

Jack is the author of the Bushrangers Series, which starts with Billabong and continues with Walkabout which is due to be released in a week’s time.  Renae is the author of The Blinding Light and Loving Jay.  Both authors have contributed a short story in the newly release anthology, A Taste Of Honey.

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The Bear Next Door by Jack Byrne
It took a lot of effort for Bryce Philipson to get the attention of his neighbor, Rob Johnson, and even more persistence to prove to the middle-aged bear that he’s more than a spoiled rich kid. But both men are plagued by insecurities that threaten their relationship, and a tragic misunderstanding might prove the last straw unless they can learn to trust and forgive each other.

Bear Chasing by Renae Kaye
Neil has a crush on the big guy across the road.  But someone so masculine wouldn’t be gay, would they?  And even if they were, they wouldn’t be interested in someone like Neil.  The guy across the road could only be described as a bear, and Neil?  Well, he’s skinny, awkward and shy.
But what on earth was this “Woof!” business?

 ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

RENAE:  Hi Jack!

JACK:  Hi Renae!

BOTH: (Waving) Thanks for having us on your blog, Nic!

RENAE:  I’m excited about this anthology.  Tell me, why did you decide to write for the Taste of Honey anthology?

JACK: I saw it and couldn’t resist! The comment about not all gay men spending hours in the gym and having ‘real’ bodies struck a chord with me. I’m a very active person, but I put gyms in about the same category as office work: I’ll only do it if I absolutely have to! I’d rather be riding horses or motorbikes or partying with friends.   How about you?

RENAE:  A similar story to you.  I don’t think that a person needs a perfect body to be sexy.  I enjoy reading and writing stories with everyday people.  I saw the submission call and was excited, because I wanted to read it once it was done.  I knew a bit about the “bear culture,” and wanted to learn more.  Did you know about the bear culture before writing this story?

JACK:  Not so much the culture, but a close friend of mine is a bear, and I have chatted to him a few times about how he feels about the way people react to him.  He is the kindest, gentlest person you’d ever meet, but he rides a motorbike and is a big guy, so people think he’s mean.  It couldn’t be further from the truth.  So if you didn’t know about the bear culture, then how did you end up writing a story?

RENAE:  <sly grin>  Google and hanging out in a lot of gay chat rooms!

JACK:  Hahaha!

RENAE:  What do you love most about bears?

JACK: Their combination of strength and shyness. It makes me go ‘aww!’

RENAE:  So I’m guessing your characters are both strong and shy?

JACK:  Well, Rob is the bear of the two and he pretty much fits the ‘strong and shy’ description exactly, but he hides his shyness behind a gruff exterior.  Bryce, the guy that falls for him is more self-assured, just not around Rob where he gets all tongue-tied! So, how do your characters break through that initial barrier and realize that the interest is mutual?

RENAE:  “Woof.”  J  Neil is a geeky guy who has been kept up <smirk> at night imagining his three new neighbours in leather and not much else.  Brett tells him “Woof!” one day, and he has to go and google the term to work it out. 

JACK:  So what does woof mean?

RENAE:  You’ll have to read the story to find out.  Now back to you—in your story Rob is the bear. Does he like being a bear? Or does he wish he was something else?

JACK:  He’s happy with his appearance, but sometimes he feels he is misjudged because of it. Do you think your non-bear main character was a strong person in ways that mattered?

RENAE:  Ooh, tough question.  Neil is definitely not self-assured or very good in social settings, but he’s extremely honourable.  He’s stepped in to help out his sister, and he keeps his promises, even though it cramps his love life.  I think that makes him strong.  He may be physically weaker, but he’s not caving to demand even when the choices are hard.  Will you write another story about bears for your readers?

JACK:  I hadn’t planned on it, but when I think about it I tend to write strong characters, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to do another story involving bears.  The other stories in the anthology really opened my eyes to this culture, and I’m falling a little bit in love with bear stories in general.  What about you?

RENAE:  Definitely.  I can definitely have a lot of fun with bears.  Does your story have a happily-ever-after ending?

JACK:  Of course it does!  Does yours?

RENAE:  Of course!

Thanks so much for joining us, Renae and Jack. We’ve enjoyed your visit!

 ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

You can find Jack Byrne at the following:

Website:  fugitive1701.yolasite.com
Email:  jackaroo_byrne@hotmail.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007062756906

Renae Kaye can be found at:

Website:  http://renaekaye.weebly.com
Email:  renae.kaye@iinet.net.au
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9
Twitter:  @renaekkaye

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Guest Post: Renae Kaye

We are very excited to welcome our friend, Renae Kaye to Two Men, talking about a topic very close to her heart!

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Give me some more of that humour!

Everyone has a sense of humour.  But there are a lot of different senses, and a lot of different humours.  As a woman, I don’t get fart jokes.  I just don’t.  Men seem to adore them.  I blink and change the subject, really quick.  Ejections of (often) smelly air from our bodies in loud, noisy ways do not tickle my funny bones.  Yeah.  Umm.

My mother tells me I share the same humour as my father – and I have to concede she is right.  Some of my precious memories are of sitting over breakfast, passing the comics back and forth with my father and laughing so hard I was snorting milk.  We would try to make Mum join in, but she never got it.  Her humour is different from ours.

Humour is often selective like that.  People describe humour with terms such as “dry wit” or “sarcastic comebacks”.  You can be jovial or straight-faced or even droll.  I’m not really quite sure what I am.  I just know that I find humour in all types of places.

The ability to tell a joke or a funny story is something that some people have – or conversely, don’t have.  My mother-in-law cannot tell a joke.  She.  Simply.  Cannot.  We shake our heads despairingly at her.  She’s one of these people who forgets what she’s saying halfway through, and has to stop and think about the joke while we all sit in horrified fascination at how badly she’s stuffing up the story.  When I first met her, I didn’t understand this.  Now, some of the most traumatic moments of my life occur after she speaks the words, “I heard this joke today…”

Sadly for me, my husband is exactly the same.  He often tells the punchline first, completely missing the impact of the joke.  I race to catch up, trying to work out what he’s trying to say.  There’s an awkward pause while I run through the joke in my head (in the correct order), then I laugh.  About twenty seconds too late.  Yeah.  Umm.

Me?  I love telling jokes.  I’m a bit of a performer and in my childhood I did some amateur theatre.  My first role was playing a girl who talked to herself.  Often.  Then I played Dracula’s crazy mother who had to be locked in the dungeon.  I rounded off my acting career by playing a teacher whose students gave her a nervous breakdown.  I guess you could infer that I play the crazy quite well.  Yeah.  Umm.

I think that my humour comes from desperation.  Sometimes, unless you laugh at yourself, you’ll go crazy from the depression.  And that’s never a good look.

So, do I use humour in my books?  Umm, yeah.  Sorry ‘bout that.  I don’t think I can turn it off, and do you know what?  That’s okay.  I’ve heard people say they can’t take any more angst.  Or any more sadness.  Or any more depressive, maniacal horror.  I’ve yet to hear someone say, “Oh, my gosh.  I don’t think I could take any more laughing.  I’ve read three comedic books in a row, and I’m just so sore from laughing, I’m going to burst.”

My second novel, The Blinding Light, was released on the 14th of July, and I am so proud of that puppy!  It has been well received and my heart is glowing from the love it is causing.  It even made the “Movers and Shakers” list on Amazon for its strong sales.  And I am so happy about that, and I love that people love it.  Because love and happiness is what we all need.

So if you would like a dose of happiness today, check out what I’m talking about.  You won’t regret it.

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Buy Links

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COVER REVEAL: The Blinding Light by Renae Kaye

Today we are joined by the wonderful Renae Kaye (author of Loving Jay) who is excited to share with us the details of her new upcoming novel: The Blinding Light.

TheBlindingLight Final Cover

 

Release date: 14th July 2014
from Dreamspinner Press

The Blurb…

Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it, he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude… and blind man.
Born without sight, Patrick is used to being accommodated, but he’s met his match with Jake, who doesn’t take any of his crap and threatens to swap all the braille labels on his groceries and run off with his guide dog unless he behaves.
Jake gets a kick out of Patrick. Things are looking up: the girls are starting their own lives and his mum’s sobriety might stick this time. He’s sacrificed everything for his family; maybe it’s time for him to live his life and start a relationship with Patrick. When his mother needs him, guilt makes his choice between family and Patrick difficult, and Jake must realize he’s not alone anymore.

So, are you excited too?

It’s taken a long time to get Jake and Patrick’s story to you. It seems ages ago that I sat down in front of a blank page and began piecing together their lives. Jake is such a sunny (although snarky) character – nothing gets him down. He’s been cleaning up after his mother and raising his sisters his entire life. A housekeeping job should be a cinch – right?
Patrick is a man hiding behind his blindness – until he meets a man who doesn’t give a shit that he’s blind and tells him to lift his game. There are so many places in this story that my jaw dropped and I told Jake that he can’t say things like that! You can’t threaten to force feed a man just because he doesn’t want to eat! You can’t go around hiding a blind man’s sex toys from him! And it’s really rude to call your employer “Patti-cake.”
(They didn’t listen to me. My characters never listen to me. Rather like my children).
I’d like to say thanks to Bree Archer for giving me such a great cover, and of course all the people at Dreamspinner Press.
Now I just have to wait for the release… 31 days and counting…

Renae

Dreamspinner Press

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Upcoming Release: Loving Jay by Renae Kaye

Loving Jay

The Blurb…

One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he’s not gay—after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James “Jay” Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay—from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, Liam believes drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.

An accident as a teenager left Liam with a limp and a fear of driving. He can’t play football anymore either, and that makes him feel like less of a man. But that’s no reason to question his sexuality… unless the accident broke something else inside him. When being with Jay causes Liam’s protective instincts to emerge, Liam starts to believe all he knew in life had been a convenient excuse to stay hidden. From intolerance to confrontations, Liam must learn to overcome his fears—and his father—before he can accept his sexuality and truly love Jay.

★★★★★★★

Release Date:  18th April 2014

Pre-order from Dreamspinner Press.

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★★★★★★★

 To find out more about Renae Kaye visit her website.