Thursday, November 20, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Bones of You by Laura Stone


I grew up in the house of a musician and a singer. Music was always playing throughout the day, and especially at dinner; fortunately, my parents had excellent and wide reaching tastes. I can still recall specific moments of my childhood just from hearing old songs. Dolly Parton was for car rides, and let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've heard two girls under the age of six belting out “Jolene.” If it was raining and my mother had chores to do, we listened to Carole King's Tapestry. Good day for my dad? Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, and we girls would be danced around the tiny kitchen, perched precariously on the toe of my dad's shoes.





There are songs that make you happy, that make you want to move, that make you get riled up and ready for whatever challenge you have to face that day. And then there are those songs that get under your skin, that work their way through you until they pierce your heart and you can do nothing but just listen and feel. Oh, how I love a song that tells an epic, sweeping (and painful) love story.





That was how this book began. The haunting song, "The Bones of You," by English rock band Elbow, was a song that just cut me to the quick the very moment I first heard it. My hands went still, my heart lurched, I sat down, and I just listened. I was transfixed by the image of this busy man racing out the door to get on with his day when suddenly he hears a song that reminds him of a former lover, and of one perfect day spent together, wrapped up in nothing but their love for one another and a hope for a perfect future.





The character in the song had carefully built up walls to hide all of those past feelings of love, determined to move on, move past that fractured relationship, and then suddenly, wham! Well, not the group Wham! because that would be ridiculous, but suddenly he's jolted right back to remembering what it was like being in love and thinking everything was going to be perfect.





I think we all have wondered, "What if?" with a former lover or maybe even tried to forget them and build a new life for ourselves. But I think for many of us, there's always that one person who worked their way into our hearts, who knit their souls with ours whether we wanted them to or not, and all it takes is that one song, that one whiff of a familiar cologne, that one memory of being held just right that stops us in our tracks. When that happens, we're all helpless to the flood of memories, the feelings, the longing we had before it all went so wrong.




The song ends there, but I couldn't let it go. What was it about that relationship that seemed so perfect all those years ago? More importantly, where had they gone wrong? Is there any way they could have fixed it? I'm a romantic at heart, and I always want things to work out in the end. Now, as a writer and especially as a reader, I don't mind massive bumps along the way. Oh, make me ache! Make that ride off into the sunset count because the characters earned it! But please, please let them ride off together. Please?


I listened to that song on repeat while writing, that and a specific playlist I made that evoked the mood I was going for with various scenes and chapters. Big orchestral pieces that drown you in sound, pull you off your feet and carry you along the journey. Plaintive, quiet numbers that are nothing more than a singer, their feelings laid bare, and a guitar. And if you've had a chance to read The Bones Of You, you'll know that I have big love for Gladys Knight, the way she is a strong woman but willing to open herself up, share her life with the man she loves, even when it seems there's no hope.

Music inspired this story, carried me through the writing process, and now, when I hear Guy Garvey's voice against the stripped-down orchestration of his eponymous song, I smile and start Oliver's journey all over again.


Giveaway: A $25 Interlude Press GC to one randomly drawn winner and digital copies of THE BONES OF YOU to ten randomly winners via Rafflecopter.  One randomly chosen host will win a $25 Interlude Press GC.
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Highland Homecoming
Title: The Bones of You by Laura Stone
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Published November 18th 2014 by Interlude Press
Length: 394 pages

Blurb:
Oliver Andrews was wholly focused on the final stages of his education at Cambridge University when a well-meaning friend up-ended his world with a simple email attachment: a clip from a U.S. morning show.

The moment he watches the video of his one-time love Seth Larsen, now a Broadway star, Oliver must begin making a series of choices that could lead him back to love—or break his heart.

The Bones of You is full of laughter and tears, with a collection of irritated Hungarians, flirtatious Irishwomen, and actors abusing Shakespeare that color Oliver and Seth’s attempts at reconciliation.

Book Links:  http://store.interludepress.com/collections/frontpage/products/designs-on-you-by-carrie-pack

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Excerpt 3: 

They walked into the house, laughing (“I haven't seen one tweed cap, Oliver. I feel cheated.”), and realized that Janos was home. He was watching a football game, and looked over the back of the sofa at them and held a hand up in greeting before turning back to the television.
         
“He's not what I expected,” Seth whispered as they moved into the kitchen with their food.
         
“Oh? What did you expect?” Oliver asked, pulling out two plates and silverware.
         
“Viktor Krum.”
         
Oliver grabbed the edge of the counter and laughed loudly.
         
“American television has done the Iron Curtain a major disservice,” Seth whispered, jerking his head in Janos's direction. “I expected a sallow complexion and a black unibrow, not, well… that. Why are the good-looking ones always the homophobes?”
         
Oliver bit his lip to keep from laughing again and motioned for Seth to take his plate to the small table against the far wall. “Janos,” he called out, “there's enough for you, if you want any?”
         
Janos turned and looked their way, giving Seth a thorough once-over. “No, thank you,” he said; his voice sounded mildly disgusted.
         
Seth went still briefly and bristled with visible indignation. “Don't worry. We didn't order it with a side of homo, so you should be fine. Although it seems like you had a helping of jackass earlier; no wonder you're not hungry. Must have had seconds.”
         
Janos twisted on the sofa, his arm draped over the back as he gaped at Seth. Oliver was momentarily shocked into silence, but Seth had never really needed assistance in the face of bigotry—only support.
         
“Van egy nagy heréje, akkor a buzl. Én szeretem.”
         
Oliver and Seth both narrowed their eyes at him, Oliver trying to figure out what the hell Janos just said.
         
“Translate. Now.” Seth's voice was positively icy; he vibrated with anger. “Or you're going to learn in a very painful way that I'm a hell of a lot tougher than I look.”
         
Janos seemed to pick up on this and answered quickly, with his hands up in surrender. “I say: for a f-, uh… homosexual? You have… what, balls? Testicles.” He grabbed his crotch and continued. “I say I very much like this about you.”
         
With as droll a voice as Oliver had ever heard, Seth replied, “Isn't that interesting that you're fond of my testicles so quickly; normally it takes until the third date for me to hear that.”
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Adina FallingA life-long fan girl, Laura Stone takes a leave of absence from the glamorous life of motherhood while the kids were in school, devoting her days to writing full-time. In the past she's worn the hat of actress, Master Gardener, and computer geek, but now sticks mostly to a Texas Ranger's ball cap as she raises her children. They're not fully raised, but then again, she would say that she isn’t either.

She began telling stories to her parents at the age of four. She was so successful in catching her parent's attention that her father actually dislocated his back, trying not to sit on her imaginary cat, Doka.

She lives in Texas as proof that it's not totally populated by hard-line right-wingers—and because that's where the good tamales are from.

Connect with Laura:

http://wwwlaura-stone.com
Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573725.Laura_Stone
tumblr at Stoney321
Twitter https://twitter.com/StoneyboBoney
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Giveaway: A $25 Interlude Press GC to one randomly drawn winner and digital copies of THE BONES OF YOU to ten randomly winners via Rafflecopter.  One randomly chosen host will win a $25 Interlude Press GC.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You should follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! The tour dates and stops can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/

10 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me! This was such a fun post to write and share. I won't lie, music is a huge part of my life. I would love to hear from your readers what song reminds them of a past romance or their current one!

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  2. Great excerpt, can't wait to read it. =)

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  3. I enjoyed your post it must have been fun to learn all the songs you sang I've always like "Jolene"

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  4. I really enjoyed your post and the inspiration behind your book. Loved the excerpt - looking forward to reading it. Congratulations on it's release.

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  5. ShirleyAnn, you brought me right back to driving in the car with my mom and sisters belting out Dolly Parton. That's a GREAT song!

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  6. Blurb and excerpt sounds interesting.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

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  7. I can't believe that for as many times as I've read the fic, as much as I love this story (and even more so now I'm reading the book), that I've never listened to the song before. Five years ago and three thousand miles away, and it's you and it's me, and we're sleeping through the day . . . It's Oliver's flashback. Love this new piece to an old favorite.

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  8. Such a beautiful post. I agree, music is very powerful, and I love how this song led to an entire book.

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  9. There are songs that do that to me, too. His Favorite Christmas Story by Capital Lights sometimes catches me in just the right mood and makes me cry.

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