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Behind The Scenes – STORY INSPIRATION

This month we’re talking story inspiration! I love finding out where the inspiration for my fav books and characters came from. Sometimes inspiration comes from the most amazing places 🙂

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

I find inspiration everywhere! It could be from a photo, listening to a song, or watching a clip on YouTube. I’ve been inspired by real-life newspaper articles: tales of love, and heroes, and heartbreak. One of my stories was inspired by a cover – I saw a pre-made cover for Rustic Melody and just knew I had to have it. That smiling face on the cover inspired the character of Adam and the story came from there. You can check out my Pinterest if you want to see some boards showcasing the inspiration behind my books ~ Nic

Like Nic, I find inspiration everywhere. I’ll be watching a movie and find myself wondering how the plot could be changed with the addition of a certain character, or if the whole story was moved to a different setting. Same with books. I often piece together ideas from different books to create my own version of a story. I’ve also been inspired by news articles and magazine articles. I have a folder full of clippings. I also really like to write from prompts–either a line of dialogue or a picture. I’ve probably written close to a hundred flash fiction pieces based on a single evocative image. ~ Kelly

I also find inspiration everywhere. Hearing about someone with an interesting career path and imagining what drew them in that direction. Reading about someone doing something heroic and creating a backstory for them. Seeing a movie and thinking about who some minor secondary character might meet that would rock their world and how they’d be changed by putting obstacles in their way. I keep clippings and snippets of dialogue and scenes in OneNote, and pull them up when I’m deciding what to write next. ~ Jenna

Everywhere. The world is a fascinating, colorful place. The key is paying attention. It might be from a snippet of conversation (many writers are good at eavesdropping).  A person with an interesting face might speak to me as a possible character too. If I pay attention and am aware of ideas, they will often find me.  I have endless lists and limited time to write, so the issue for me is often what to choose to focus on. ~ Skylar

What’s the most unusual thing to have inspired a book?

Perhaps the most unusual thing to inspire a book was heartbreak. You know that feeling when you hear or see something so sad and just want the person to have their happy ending? I’ve had stories that have come about because I’ve wanted, no needed, to write that happy ever after. ~ Nic

Cheez-Its. I was standing in my kitchen one day, shoving handfuls at my face, and I imagined someone walking through the door while I had a mouthful of cheesy goodness and cracker crumbs all over my chin and shirt. It’d be an awkward way to meet someone, right? After washing my hands, I ran upstairs and wrote exactly that, and the scene became the first chapter of Building Forever (Oct 2018), which was known as the ‘Cheez-It’ book for the whole time I was writing it. ~ Kelly

Handcuffs. I read a blog about a dating couple who agreed to hold hands for an entire day. They posted about how it helped them get to know each other even better but also created a level of intimacy that was uncomfortable at times. It made me wonder what would happen if two strangers had to do the same thing. That turned into Stuck with You, a story about two college students who are handcuffed together for a sociology experiment. ~ Jenna

Two stories had unusual inspirations. One was a silly thing and one was a real-life tragedy. The Holiday Hoax was inspired by a ridiculous conversation on the radio. A girl, gripping about her supercritical mother, joked about creating a fake boyfriend to keep the questions about her single status away. It was cute and I began to think about how much fun a romance for MM would be with a fake holiday boyfriend. A more tragic inspiration was when a friend was training for the Aids Bike-a-thon and was the victim of a hit and run. He survived but had a severe stroke, and this one bad moment changed the course of his life.  Although my story did not follow the plot of a hit and run or use my real friend’s actual details, I did explore the shock and pain of watching a friend unexpectedly suffer a tragedy…  Life can change so rapidly. And sometimes those changes are unfair and cruel.  How to find happiness and love after a horrible event occurs is something that I related to and hoped others would relate to as well. The book that this inspired was Here for You. ~ Skylar

What was the inspiration from your most recent story?

My most recent story – my upcoming release Lies & Deception (release 26th June) – is about an undercover police officer infiltrating a bikie gang. It was inspired by a sign I saw on a pub in Sydney. The sign was a notification that bikie gang colours were not permitted to be worn into the premises. This law is one of the anti-bikie laws introduced in New South Wales, aimed at reducing illegal bikie activity. It got me thinking about motorcycle clubs and the rest is history. Click here if you want to find out more about the book. ~ Nic

My upcoming release To See the Sun (Aug 13, 2018) was inspired by a book I read as a judge for the RITA Awards in 2016. The book I read couldn’t be more different–it was an inspirational historical romance about a woman who arrived in Montana as a mail-order bride, only to discover her intended had passed away. I really enjoyed the premise and immediately started thinking of mail-order groom plots. I decided to set my story in the future, in a galaxy that might or might not be our own, and to have my mail-order groom be a fugitive from justice. The rest just rolled on from there. I’m super excited about this book because it’s one of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever written, and it also gave me a chance to write science fiction–something I always enjoy. ~ Kelly

My new release Heartbeats was inspired by an article about the options for LGBTQ couples looking to start a family. Between adoption, foster care, surrogacy, raising biological children from prior relationships, and so on, family comes in many forms. Heartbeats is about two men who hope to build their families via surrogacy, only to find that “their” premature twins were promised to both of them. The rest of the Connections series is about other definitions of family. ~ Jenna

My last release, Rim Shot, is NA friends-to-lovers story about two college roommates. One is a star athlete and the other is a poor academic. After talking with so many friends who got into debt over student loans, I wanted to have a character struggling with paying for college. The idea was it have a realistic feel for this student. At the same time, I read an article about athletes and doping. The article discussed the pros and cons of trusting these tests to determine guilt or innocence—Rim Shot was born! ~ Skylar

We’re going to be doing a lot more Behind The Scenes posts so if you have any questions you’d like answered, let us know in the comments and we’ll hopefully get to them in the near future.

Happy reading xx

 

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Meet Skylar M. Cates

Meet contributing author Skylar M. Cates…

Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates best-selling novels feature strong and passionate men. Skylar loves to craft stories where realistic men are challenged with emotional situations. Skylar dreams of eating dessert without weight gain and robots cleaning her house. But she knows she can’t have it all…yet. Although lately the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still enjoys a chat with people from all around the globe.

Websitehttps://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/skylar-m-cates

Bloghttps://skylarmcates.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Skylar-M.-Cates/e/B00IY6NTG4

Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/skylar.cates

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SkylarMCates

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Skylar’s Books

All of Skylar’s books can be found here.

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Close to You by Skylar M. Cates

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AboutTheBook

CloseToYou_CatesTITLE: Close To You

SERIES: Sunshine and Happiness: Book Three

AUTHOR: Skylar M. Cates

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: AngstyG

LENGTH: 248 Pages

RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2016

BLURB: It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

Excerpt

Marc smiles widely. He trails kisses across Tomas’s shoulder, down to his stomach. Tomas murmurs something sweet that Marc doesn’t completely catch. He kisses his way back, his lips making promises of their own as he goes. Promises of a new future, of new faith in each other, of letting go of the broken parts.

Tomas beams. He grabs Marc’s face in his hands and gives him a swift kiss. “I’m so happy you’re here.”

Marc nods, unsure what to say.

“Want to share?” Tomas gestures to the blanket.

“What? You mean cuddle?”

“If you want to?”

“Um…”

Does he want that? Does he want to snuggle closer to Tomas, to share the blanket, their bodies nestled together? In many ways that sounds more intimate than what they had just done. Then he meets Tomas’s eyes. The same eyes Marc has looked into and trusted most of his life. Eyes that always look back at him with love.

“All right. It is a little cold in here.”

Tomas opens his mouth and then shuts it. They both know it is not cold at all.

Marc slides against Tomas.

BuyLinks

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AuthorBio

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

|| Website & Blog || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads ||

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER POSTS ON –

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COVER REVEAL: Close to You by Skylar M. Cates

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Skylar M Cates reveals the sexy cover art of her upcoming book titled CLOSE TO YOU coming out from Dreamspinner Press.

It releases on March 28, 2016.

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BLURB

It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back.  To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

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PRESENTING

Cover Art by AngstyG

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

“Can you stay awhile?”
Marc nods. “As long as you need me.”
Tomas smiles wistfully as they go into the house.
The answer to that is “forever.”

Check out all the exclusive snippets from the book at –

:: The Novel Approach :: Bayou Book Junkie :: The Purple Rose Tea House :: MM Book Escape ::

:: Because Two Men Are Better Than One :: Divine Magazine :: Love Bytes Reviews :: Diverse Reader ::

:: The Land of Make Believe :: Inked Rainbow Reads ::

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PRE-ORDER LINK

 eBook

Paperback

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

||  Website & Blog  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Goodreads  ||

 

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Winner’s Prize: An e-book from Skylar’s backlist

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter.

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★★★★★ Exposed by Skylar M. Cates ★★★★★

ExposedExposed by Skylar M. Cates

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

After years of running from a traumatic secret, young journalist Rafe Quintero is making his way in the world alone. Now that he’s landed a job at a Miami newspaper, he’s hungry for success. His goal? A blistering exposé on closeted PGA golfer Daniel Andrews. Rafe will stop at nothing to get the scoop—even if it means going undercover on Daniel’s private yacht.

Daniel is used to being in the spotlight, but his reputation for being cold and unfriendly hasn’t made him very popular. Still reeling from his mother’s death and his ex-boyfriend’s engagement, he hides out on his yacht to escape the press hounding his every step. His instant attraction to Rafe, his new crew member, is a problem he can’t ignore.

When Rafe and Daniel begin a steamy affair, Rafe knows it’s only a matter of time before Daniel discovers his betrayal. Now he has to choose: confess and hope Daniel can swallow his pride and forgive him, or put his ambition ahead of his heart and follow the story

So what did I think?

Rafe, the journalist out to make his name and Daniel, a closeted PGA golfer. Oh, what a great combination!

Rafe manages to secure himself a job on the yacht where Daniel is hiding out. He is determined to uncover Daniel’s deepest secrets and it looks like things might just be going his way as Daniel is instantly attracted. Unfortunately as he gets to know Daniel, Rafe starts to feel the same way and stops seeing him as the arrogant man he thought he was.

The characters were wonderful and although the plot was a little predictable, it was a great story. The title Exposed was a cute reference to both Rafe trying to get his expose on Daniel and Rafe himself being discovered.

The sex was frequent (I don’t think I’ve read a book with so much ass play!), hot and well written. However I most liked the emotional connection between the men. There were also some really humourous moments, blending with the emotion and drama.

A wonderful story. 4.5 stars!

To find out more about Skylar M. Cates  visit her Goodreads Author Profile.

Buy Exposed from Amazon.

Buy Exposed from Dreamspinner Press.