Welcome to AUTHOR OPEN MIC!
Thank you to all the readers that stopped out at the Frederick Book Festival. I had a blast and the weather held out without a drop of rain crashing our party. I will be posting some fun pictures from the event and yes, you might just get to see me in my Egyptian goddess headdress. LOL!
Today, we have another special guest, Declan Sands. Declan, the author of over 40 novels, is featuring the new release to the Hoale Construction Series, a M/M romantic suspense that will not disappoint readers. Declan and I had a great discussion about why the majority of M/M readers are women. Come and weigh in on the subject. One lucky commenter will win the HOALE SERIES (3 titles). How awesome is that?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Declan Sands writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Declan is the award-winning author of 40+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.
Tell us about A Hoale Lot of Trouble? Is this a stand-alone book or a series?
A Hoale Lot of Trouble is Book 1 in my Hoale Construction Mystery series. The Hoale Construction Series is based on a sexy, thirty-something, gay construction company owner with the unfortunate name of Adam Hoale and his mostly gay group of professional associates. Adam’s business partner, Maddy, is a lesbian, his realtor, Mink, is gay, and his big, loveable but angst-ridden dog Walter is…well…neutered. The mysteries in the series are tied to the places Adam and his gang flip or rehabilitate and Adam does a fairly decent job both of solving the mysteries and getting on the admittedly twitchy nerves of their friend and hetro cop with a stick up his ass, Detective Craig Clandestine, CC for short. The mysteries are fun, fast paced, and anchored by the on again, off again romance of Adam and his secretly gay lover, Dirk Williams, who is a B-level Hollywood actor.
Adam owns his own construction company. Tell us about how he got there. Did he work to the top? Or is he a gifted entrepreneur?
Adam worked summers in high school and college on a construction crew. So when he was fired from a corporate sales job in his late twenties, he decided to use his energies doing what he loved to do, instead of pursuing another job doing what he thought he should do. So he started Hoale Construction and his knowledge of business helped him make a success of it.
Something not everyone knows about Adam is that he’s very community conscious. He gives unskilled labor jobs to out-of-work people in the community so that anyone who wants to work can do such jobs as demolition, painting, and clean-up for Hoale Construction on a cash-in-hand, job-by-job basis.
What can Adam tell us about “flipping” a house?
He can certainly attest to the fact that you never know what you’re going to find when you start renovating a house. LOL In A Hoale Lot of Trouble Adam is flipping an old house in a wealthy neighborhood and finds a four-fingered hand in the wall. The discovery puts a serious crimp in his construction schedule so Adam sets out to “help” the consummate “straight” man, Detective Craig Clandestine discover why it’s there and how, decades later, someone is still willing to maim and kill to preserve the mystery.
Is Adam the “love and leave him” type or looking for something more permanent? Does he have commitment issues and flip boyfriends like he does houses?
Funny you should ask. LOL One of the threads running through this series is the powerful but challenged relationship Adam has with Dirk Williams, his long-time lover who hasn’t quite made the commitment to admitting his sexual preference and publicly claiming Adam. Adam and Dirk have known each other since high school, where their mutual attraction was limited to occasional, secretive gropings in dark places and they’ve shared a lot of pain since those first times together.
Adam is continually having to re-evaluate whether it’s worth the pain to keep working at their relationship, but something inside him just won’t let him give up. He loves Dirk and his loyalty to his friends and loved ones is one of Adam’s most endearing traits.
Without giving too much away, what secrets are the boy toy and the house hiding?
Well, I’ve already touched on the surprise in the wall, but the house also holds other surprises that cause Adam and his crew serious concern. There are signs that someone with a twisted mind once lived in the house—such as violent, disturbing drawings on the walls, covered over with a child’s wallpaper, and a horrific discovery under the rose bushes in the back yard.
The boy toy is a conundrum for Adam. Sean actually used to live in the house, but seems conflicted about his feelings for the place—alternately asking to be allowed to walk through it and then disappearing instead of going inside. As Adam uncovers Sean Buford’s heartbreaking story, he’s torn between his compassion for the man and unease over the young man’s strange behavior.
What is at stake for Adam? Is he at risk at losing something he loves?
He’s at risk of losing everything. His business, his reputation, even his life. And adding to the stress of the situation are his confusing feelings for Dirk, who has shown up apparently hoping to heal their fractured relationship.
Does it surprise you that many readers of M/M are woman?
It does actually. In fact I blogged on this very subject. Here’s part of what I wrote:
Manlove romance is arguably one of the hottest genres right now and has been for some time. Just look at the bestseller lists at any of the etailers and you’ll see that Manlove romance dominates. Women love the genre! At first glance this may seem strange. Why would women enjoy reading about love and sex between two men? Why not between two women?
Maybe these fans love stretching the envelope a bit. Maybe it’s the tang of forbidden fruit that attracts them. Or perhaps they want some insight into how the male mind works. Whatever it is, a well-written Manlove story flies off the shelves, eagerly consumed by a rabid and adoring audience.
You can read the entire post here.
What are you cooking up next? Will we see more of Adam? What can readers expect?
A Hoale Lot of Trouble is Book 1 in the Hoale Construction Mystery series. I recently released Book 3, with plans for a Christmas novella entitled, Oh! Hoaley Night!, which is scheduled for a November release. I’m very excited about this fun series and plan to keep writing it for a while yet. Blurbs for the other two books in the series follow.
Blurb for Book 2: Hoaley Ill-Manored:
A 200 year old manor house, a questionable death, and a cache of stolen jewelry. Who will kill to keep their secrets?
The gang flips a 200 year old manor house in the beautiful, rolling hills of Brown County, Indiana. Unfortunately the house is the site of a suicide, the result of a broken romance, and is rumored to be haunted. Adam and Maddy get caught up in the story of the young couple who were torn apart by family, local events, and something sinister that still seems to be stalking the house. It might not be a ghost, but whatever it is, it has the potential to be deadly.
Blurb for Book 3: Hoaley Inexplicable:
Bringing Bobby’s Gym into the twenty-first century should have been fun. But the dead guy draped over the weight machine definitely took the joy out of it!
The Hoale Construction gang has taken on the task of bringing Bobby’s Gym into the twenty-first century. But the dead guy hanging from the new lat machine is putting a serious crimp in their timeline. When Bobby becomes the number one suspect for the murder, Adam and the gang are forced to try and clear him. But who is the guy? And was Bobby really the last one to see him alive? Questions only seem to multiply the deeper they dig. Until they uncover a connection with a group of thugs who call themselves the Indiana Mobsters. Things just continue to spiral downward from there.
Where can readers find you and your books? (links, purchase and social media)
The books are available in all the usual places. To access links for ALL of the available sites, along with reviews and excerpts, you can visit each book’s page on my website:
BOOK REVEAL & EXCERPT
Sexy gay construction company owner, Adam Hoale, sometimes gets more than he bargained for when he flips a house!
Adam Hoale owns a construction company called, predictably, Hoale Construction. When he finds an eye opening surprise in the walls of a house he’s flipping, and a libido flaring surprise standing on the lawn, he’s willing to do the right thing with the surprise in the wall while entertaining dirty thoughts about the surprise on the lawn.
But as the world finds out what he discovered, and his new boy toy seems to be keeping too many secrets to make a relationship a reality, Adam soon realizes he may just get flipped himself if he’s not careful.
Excerpt from A Hoale Lot of Trouble, Declan Sands
Adam grinned. “You want another drink?”
“Maybe just one more.”
Adam signaled the waiter over and put in their drink order. Then he looked at Sean, grinning wickedly. “How about chocolate cake?”
Sean shook his head. “Not a chance, I have to guard my boyish figure. But go ahead if you want to. I might steal a bite.” His eyes sparkled intimately, making Adam’s stomach tighten. He looked at the waiter. “One slice, two forks please.”
The waiter winked and turned away. Adam watched him walk across the restaurant and then sucked in a breath as the front door opened and a familiar face and form entered.
Dirk’s gaze found him almost immediately, as if he’d known Adam would be there. He felt a shock of surprise as their eyes met, their gazes tangling across the space.
The young woman with Dirk was draped over his arm, speaking to him animatedly. Dirk seemed to be ignoring her. His full attention was fixed on Adam.
“Is something wrong?”
Adam jerked his gaze away from Dirk and gave Sean a strained smile. “I just saw someone I knew.”
Sean turned toward the door, his sexy eyes widening. “Is that Dirk Williams?”
Sucking back a sigh, Adam nodded.
“You know him?”
Adam tried not to frown but he wasn’t entirely successful. It had always been the same. Once Dirk walked into the room, nobody had eyes for anybody else. “We were friends…once upon a time.” He stiffened his spine and asked, “Would you like me to introduce you?” Please say no, please say n—
“Sure! I’ve always thought he was so yummy. Are the rumors true?”
You mean the rumors that he’s a dick? “What rumors?”
“Oh, never mind. He’s coming over. I’ll just engage my gaydar. It almost never steers me wrong.”
Dirk led his date toward their table, the frazzled Hostess in tow. He engaged his trademark grin as he came within a few feet of the table and extended his hand. “Hello, Adam. How nice to see you again.”
He stood up and took the other man’s hand. At six foot two, Adam was close enough to Dirk’s height, about an inch taller, to look him directly in the eye. “Dirk.” Adam turned to Dirk’s fluffy decoy date, just to annoy him. “And who is this lovely lady?” He reached for her hand and bent over it like European royalty, lifting it to his lips.
She giggled prettily.
“This is Macy.” He smiled in her direction. “Macy, darling. This is my old friend, Adam Hoale.”
Macy blinked, then sucked in a breath and laughed, covering her rose petal lips with her hand. Seeing Adam’s face she stopped. “Oh. Sorry.” She blinked. “You’re not joking?”
Dirk the Dick grinned at Adam, his intense, green gaze sparking with mirth. “Nope. That’s actually his name.”
Sean stood up and offered Dirk his hand. “I’m Sean. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Williams.”
Dirk slid a lazy gaze toward Sean, his lips quirking. “Hello, Sean. Call me Dirk, please.” He held Sean’s gaze a beat longer than he should have and Adam could almost hear his date’s gaydar humming.
“Well, don’t let us keep you from your dinner.” Adam glared at him.
Dirk’s jaw flexed with irritation at the obvious dismissal, but he recovered quickly, flinging Sean another smoldering glance. “Of course. I’ll see you at the house, tomorrow, Adam.” He lifted a hand in a wave and turned away, following the busy Hostess to their table on the opposite side of the restaurant.
Adam stood there, his mouth ajar, until Sean touched his arm. “Are you all right?”
Blinking rapidly, Adam nodded and dropped back into his chair. He wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of the restaurant. But he had that damn cake coming. “I’m fine. I’m just surprised. I didn’t know Dirk was coming to look at the house tomorrow. He must have spoken to my realtor.”
And Adam was gonna choke Mink with his epaulets for not warning him.
Sean settled back in his chair, picking up his fresh drink. “Is that a problem?”
“A problem? Yes.” Then realizing what he’d said he amended, “It’s just not ready for viewing yet. I’d hoped to get farther along…”
They sipped their drinks in silence for a moment.
“So is Dirk planning on buying the house?”
Adam didn’t miss the disappointed tone of Sean’s voice. “It’s possible. I understand he’s moving back to Indy. The house will certainly fit his overblown ego when it’s done. And god knows he has the money.” Adam took a much larger sip of his wine than he’d planned, nearly draining his glass.
Sean sat forward, touching Adam’s arm. “What’s wrong, Adam. You seem worried about something.”
Adam toyed with his glass for a beat and then broached the subject of the grisly discovery in the house. “What do you remember about the house on Jackson, Sean?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, do you remember anybody making any drastic changes to it when you lived there. Like adding a wall…” Cutting up bodies into itty bitty bits and arranging them in the insulation like a grisly Picasso?
He shook his head. “Not really. I mostly just have impressions, nothing concrete I’m afraid. Why do you ask?”
“We’ve been tearing some stuff down…” He watched the younger man carefully for a reaction. He didn’t see one. “One wall in particular. It seems to have been put up after the house was built…way after. The house is a hundred years old. But the type of insulation in the wall is something that has only been available since 1986. So we know the wall was added much later. Probably in the nineties.”
Sean seemed to be thinking about Adam’s question. “In 1995 I would have been only ten…” He shook his head. I vaguely remember some construction, but I couldn’t tell you the details. Unfortunately I’m one of those people who only remembers the traumatic events from his childhood.” He slanted Adam a curious look. “What’s so important about when the wall was added?”
Adam briefly considered lying to the other man, but that wouldn’t get him what he needed so he decided to be straight with him. “I’m afraid we found something in that wall today, when we started to tear it down.”
“Oh really? What?” Sean looked only mildly curious.
Adam held his gaze as he said, “The skeleton of a four fingered human hand.”
Curiosity turned to alarm in the sexy blue eyes. Sean leaned forward, lowering his voice. “You what?”
Adam nodded. “It’s true, I’m afraid.”
Sean’s handsome face darkened. “You’re lying! Why are you lying to me?”
Adam felt his eyes go wide with surprise. He’d expected a range of different emotions…but anger hadn’t been on the list. “I assure you, it’s true. What do you know…?”
Sean pushed his chair back and stood. The chair tottered on its two back legs for a beat and then settled to the floor. By the time it landed, Sean was already heading across the restaurant, toward the exit.
Adam stared after him, shocked. What the hell had that been about?
As the restaurant door whooshed shut behind his date, Adam slid his gaze toward a distant table and a curious, green gaze.
Dirk lifted an eyebrow and Adam shrugged.
“Would you like your cake to go, sir?”
COPY OF the FULL SERIES: Hoale Construction
Question: If you were given the choice of reading M/F or M/M romance on a rainy Sunday afternoon, which would you choose and why?
For a chance to win the complete Hoale Construction series (all 3 titles) respond to this question in a comment below (Don’t forget to leave your email address so we can notify you if you win!)
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