Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway from Meredith Allard, author of That You Are Here

Blog Post from Meredith Allard: 

It’s no surprise that my latest novel, That You Are Here, is a love story. All of my novels are love stories in one way or another. My most popular novels, The Loving Husband Trilogy, is a paranormal story about eternal love. The surprise might be that That You Are Here is a completely present-day story set in one of my favorite places, Portland, Oregon, when I’m most known for historical fiction. Or, the surprise for That You Are Here might be that the romantic leads are both men. Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce have quite a journey to travel together, and I hope they are a couple readers cheer for.
That You Are Here is a present-day story when I’m most known for historical fiction, but everything I write is about people who are outsiders or different from the general society somehow. James Wentworth in the Loving Husband Trilogy struggles as a supernatural being (a vampire) in a human world. In Victory Garden, Rose Scofield struggles as a woman who wants to live on her own terms during a time (1917-1922) when women were fighting for their rights. In That You Are Here, Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce must make sense of what it means to be a gay man in the 21st century. Great progress has been made, certainly, but there is still prejudice to overcome. It’s a story about learning to feel comfortable in your own skin, which is something nearly everyone has to deal with in one way or another. I’m not gay so I haven’t had to hide a secret the way Andrew does in the story, but I understand Andrew’s struggle to make sense of his place in the world. I feel very lucky that That You Are Here is my highest rated novel on both Amazon and Goodreads, and I’m glad that readers have been able to relate to the universal aspect of the story. I didn’t want to write a gay story exactly. I wanted to write something that readers could relate to on a human level, and I hope I’ve done that.
As for that abstract red cover for That You Are Here: the cover for That You Are Here is definitely different from my other book covers, which I like because That You Are Here is such a different type of book for me. I love the bold red color, a strong suggestion for the love Andrew and Mark feel for each other. I love the abstract design, which almost looks like a line map I saw of Portland, Oregon, which is where the story takes place, so I thought that was kind of cool. And I love that the two figures could stand for Andrew and Mark. Really, I love that the abstract design allows readers to make meanings for themselves about what the cover (and the story) means.

Giveaway: One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $25 Amazon or BN GC and a runner up will receive a digital copy of the novel.

Highland Homecoming
Title: That You Are Here by Meredith Allard
Genre: M/M Romance
Published January 26th 2014 by Copperfield Press
Length: 254 pages

On the outside, handsome, successful attorney Andrew Whittaker has everything in life. On the inside, he has everything too, only he doesn't know it. He hides the love of his life, Mark Bryce, from his family and everyone else where he lives in Portland, Oregon. Soon the weight of the secret becomes too much for Andrew. After wrestling with himself and his place in the world, he must decide how he’s going to live—with or without Mark.

Book Links: Amazon

Excerpt 2: 

When Andrew truly looked at Mark for the first time he realized the boy was beautiful. Mark stood as tall as Andrew at six feet, and he was slender-built though he had strong arms and a strong back. He had golden-chestnut hair that fell in a wave over his forehead and eyes nearly the same color, more gold than chestnut, though they were translucent and sometimes looked dark and other times light depending on where he stood under the fluorescent beams. Then there were those eyelashes that never ended. Andrew had heard the term doe-eyed too many times, yet it applied to Mark, certainly.

“Thanks, Mark,” C.C. said. “From the bakery?”

Mark nodded. “I made them this afternoon.  The cake is in the back. Let me know when you want to bring it out.”

“Everything is perfect. How much do I owe you?”

“It’s my contribution to the party.”

C.C. gave Mark a friendly hug. “That’s very generous of you.”

A young man at the end of the bar flagged C.C. down. With C.C. out of the way, Andrew had a better view of Mark. Mark looked to be three years younger than Andrew at 24, and when Mark smiled at something someone close to him said, Andrew saw an open, kind smile, and he had to know who this Mark was.

Andrew slid from his stool and walked the four steps to where Mark had his back turned while he plated a few more pastries. Suddenly, Andrew realized he didn’t know what to say. He didn’t have a pick-up line. He always thought pick-up lines were cheesy. And it’s not like he had dated many people in his life. All these thoughts, and a hundred more, flashed through his mind leaving him tongue-tied. When Mark turned around, he stopped cold, the pastries still sliding on their plate, the only movement between them. Mark’s gold eyes were wide, as though Andrew was the last person in the world he expected to see standing there.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Adina Falling Meredith Allard is the author of The Loving Husband Trilogy, That You Are Here, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle (Copperfield Press). She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Northridge. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, The Maxwell Digest, Wild Mind, Muse Apprentice Guild, Writer’s Weekly, Moondance, CarbLite, and ViewsHound. She has taught writing to students aged ten to sixty, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction seminars at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary! Believe it or not, it's almost harder to write a blurb than it is to write a whole novel.

  2. Thanks for sharing the excerpt of That You Are Here. I enjoyed it.

    It sounds like an intriguing story. Meredith, how did you come up with the characters' personalities (Andrew and Mark)?

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Fingers crossed to win.

  3. Thanks, Skeeter! The funny thing is that the characters Andrew and Mark came fully formed. I know that sounds funny, but I just seemed to understand who they were from the moment the story idea occurred to me. I hope you win. Good luck!

  4. I like the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  5. This sounds good - thanks for a shot at winning a copy.

  6. Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Loved the excerpt! Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Thanks so much, everyone! I'm so glad you like the excerpt and the blurb. I'm very proud of this novel. And thanks to Books on Silver Wings for hosting!

  9. i love the excerpt,ty for hosting

  10. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

  11. Enjoyed the excerpt. Would love to see what doe eyes looked like in person.

  12. Enjoyed the the authors review of her book and the excerpt