**TCO is excited to have DJ Jamison stopping by today to tell us what how important GRL is for an independent author. Can’t wait to meet DJ next month!!! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.**
Author DJ Jamison stops by for the GRL tour with a story of how much reader interaction means to an independent author.
“Heart Trouble” will be the eighth book I’ve published so far (it releases Oct 6), but it was a very different experience for me in one fundamental way. It was the first book I wrote after creating a Facebook group for readers.
It’s amazing how supportive M/M readers can be. For me, my readers were a huge motivation for me. They cheered me on when I was trying to get words on the page, and they responded with nothing but enthusiasm when I posted teasers and inspirational character pictures. They even loved to give their opinions on cover design and formatting of ebooks.
It probably seems like a small thing to you guys, but to an emerging author that kind of interaction can be the thing that keeps us going when we’re juggling day jobs and family and writing on nights and weekends.
I started out fairly isolated as an independent author. I didn’t have a network of other writers I knew, and I didn’t really have anyone in my life who could read my books and offer feedback. But through my group DJ and Company, beta readers and readers offering reviews in exchange for books, I’ve found that I don’t have to do it alone after all.
“Heart Trouble” is not a story that belongs just to me, but to everyone who has encouraged me to keep writing. With their support, I wrote “Heart Trouble” more quickly and more confidently than I would have on my own.
That’s partly why I so look forward to attending my first GRL. I’m excited to meet many more readers, who inject so much energy into our genre. If you see me there, please come say hello. I’ll be the shy introvert who would love a few more friends.
In the meantime, please feel free to join my FB group: DJ and Company.
When Gage Evans gets a look at his hot nurse, he’s smitten immediately. Too bad he’s given the nurse the impression he’s some kind of daredevil. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Gage is a college journalism instructor writing a series of guest columns that require him to jump into new experiences — a fun bucket list, but one that does nothing to convince Ben he’s not an adrenaline junkie.
Fresh off his latest heartbreak, nurse Ben Griggs is wary when one of his patients shows an interest in him — especially when that patient showed up in the ER after a motorcycle accident. Ben’s ex was a biker, a friend with benefits, and he dropped Ben cold when someone more interesting came along. Ben isn’t the kind of guy who can hold the interest of an adrenaline junkie like Gage Evans for long. The last thing he wants is to lose his heart to the wrong man again.
The more Ben gets to know Gage, the harder he is to resist. He can only hold on for the ride and keep his guard up as much as he can. But Ben’s lack of trust seriously gets in the way of building a relationship, and Gage will only be patient so long. Can he trust Gage enough to give his heart, or are they destined to have a fling that goes nowhere?
Ben is a warm, lovely nurse who has been burned one too many times by men who use him as until someone better comes along. As a result, Gage spends most of the book trying to break through Ben’s defenses while trying not to cling to Ben and suffocate him with his own insecurities.
Here’s an example of the kind of teasers you might see in my group on a #teasertuesday that illustrate that theme in the book.
“Dating an adrenaline addict is not on my list of things to do,” Ben said. “I know the initial rush of meeting someone can be thrilling, but the thrill wears off.”
Not this again?
“I’m not an adrenaline addict, but even if I were. … Are you saying guys who ride motorcycles or climb mountains are incapable of love and commitment?”
“No, of course not, but it takes someone more exciting than me to hold their interest. I’m not enough to—”
“Stop right there.” Gage grasped Ben’s face, tilting his head to look into his eyes. “You’re enough. You’re more than enough.”
And here’s a moment of intimacy, when Ben lets down his guard for a moment:
Gage kissed his body so softly, so gently, Ben’s chest grew tight with emotion. They still had so much to learn about each other, but this was more intimacy than he’d ever had with Tripp. He’d always treated Ben like a means to an end. Gage treated him like the journey was just as important as the destination.
The urge to pull away and create more distance was there, but Ben fought it. Just once, he wanted to experience this feeling of being another man’s treasure. Even if it was temporary. Even if it was so fragile it shattered later. He’d have this memory, this knowledge that it could happen.
So, when Gage started whispering sweet words, Ben didn’t roll away and change positions to distract him as he’d done before. He closed his eyes, unable to look into Gage’s intense blue gaze, but let those soft words of praise soak into him. He let them resonate within him as warmth spread through his limbs.
You’re everything I could want.
**Heart Trouble releases Oct. 6 and is a sweet romance with an HEA. It’s the sixth book in the Ashe Sentinel Connections but can easily be read as a standalone.
DJ is offering a book giveaway! ONE WINNER will receive a free ARC of “Heart Trouble” before it releases Oct 6. TWO WINNERS will receive their choice of the box set of the first four Ashe Sentinel Connections books (approximately 140,000 words worth of reading fun!) or a free copy of Book 5, “Hard Press,” in which Ben first appears as a secondary character. Comment on the blog to enter!