Hi there! I’m so excited to be here today on 3 Chicks After Dark to talk about my new novel, Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story. It’s the next installment in the New Amsterdam series, and it involves guns and ballet, two of my favorite things.
To celebrate the release, I’m doing a blog tour, and no tour is complete without prizes, amirite? I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a lovely necklace with a quote from Sinatra’s, Strangers in the Night – “Love was just a glance away, a warm embracing dance away” – and a free ebook copy of the book!
How to enter? That’s easy… See the Rafflecopter Info below for all the ways to win!
Winner will be selected at random after the contest closes on the 18th of March.
Meanwhile, I think I’d like to chat a bit about the characters in this world. It’s quite the web they weave. See?
I know that thing makes MY eyes cross, so let’s break it down.
Today? We’re going to talk about MISS MAGGIE & MISS JILLIAN
Every community needs a mom. In the case of the New Amsterdam Rainbow Community? They have two: Miss Maggie and Miss Jillian.
Margaret “Maggie” Combs and her wife, Jillian Whitson Combs own Miss Maggie’s Shooting Range. The Range is in Gehnbatton, which is decidedly the worst part of New Amsterdam. Neither woman seems very concerned about this. Miss Maggie is nearly six feet tall with short dark hair and a scowl that is completely erased when she finds opportunity to smile. She’s stocky and intimidating, not to mention a skilled markswoman with a number of weapons. She teaches a self-defense class aimed at the GLTBQ community.
Miss Jillian is about 5’5”, delightfully curvy, with long blonde hair and blue eyes. She and Miss Maggie like to dress up as Hades and Persephone for Halloween; it fits. Miss Jillian is also skilled with various weaponry, mostly at Miss Maggie’s urging, but mostly she enjoys baking and watching Animal Planet. She takes in all kinds of animal life, from birds to cats to dogs to lizards. Miss Maggie is remarkably tolerant about this and all other things concerning Miss J.
The couple have been ardent supporters of the rainbow community since it was more idea than reality. They cook for dinners, organize fund raisers, provide support groups and assistance, and have even been known to let estranged kids – like, say, one Ellis Parker of Earthquakes – crash on their sofa.
Maggie knows Clark because of his connection to the PTSD support groups. Through Clark, both Maggie and Jillian have met most of the gang. Miss Jillian does not have a high opinion of Lucian. Maggie thinks there’s more than meets the eye there, but keeps her opinions to herself mostly. Neither woman participate in the Merry Band of Vigilantes, (as Clark calls his behind-the-scenes activities with Lucian and crew) but Maggie has strong suspicions that the reason life for everyone – not just the GLBTQ Community but all men, women and children – has improved over the last few years is because of the work Lucian is doing with his friends.
I should also mention that even though Miss J thinks Lucian is a snot, she did bake him a cake for his last birthday. He might be a snot, but he’s also a kid who needs to eat more.
Anyway, the Rainbow Moms are in Shot in the Dark and Earthquakes. Hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into their lives.
As always, if you happen to have questions for these characters, please feel free to ask ‘em in the comments! Follow the BLOG TOUR to learn more about the characters of New Amsterdam.
And to win prizes.
‘Cause PRIZES, y’all. They rock.
Thanks for reading!
Want to Know More?
And definitely catch up with Ellis and Bryn in Earthquakes, the latest installment of the New Amsterdam series. Need a taste? How ‘bout an excerpt?
EARTHQUAKES: A New Amsterdam Story
Ellis had been close to martial artists when they were training. He’d sparred with Clark. He’d seen Kris and Daniel and all his friends shoot at the range. There was an economy of motion that the athletically and lethally inclined all shared. Ellis admired it, strived for it, and knew he’d never get there. He was a workhorse, not a prince of motion.
And as he watched Bryn begin to move – not merely stretch or contort but move – Ellis thought of churches and gods and houses of worship.
Bryn’s feet bent in ways Ellis had never seen. Bryn could balance perfectly on one foot or even a single toe. When Bryn shed his pants after a moment or two and took the first few steps in only a pair of snug briefs, Ellis wasn’t hit with a wave of arousal. He was struck dumb with awe. Every line of Bryn was defined. Even the lift of one arm and the point of his fingers were deliberate and beautiful. Ellis stood completely still and held his breath. He was in the presence of some sort of everyday magic and calling attention to himself might break the spell.
The concentration on Bryn’s face was unlike anything Ellis had ever witnessed. He didn’t exist for Bryn. Nothing did except the music, the motion, and whatever spirit had come alive in Bryn to make Bryn…shine. There was no other word for it. The light played through the windows and infused Bryn with incandescence.
And when Bryn started to dance, really dance, he outshone the sun. A turn here, a pointed foot there, a twist and a glide and… God, Ellis didn’t know what Bryn was doing. But he felt it. The music was hopeful and yet haunting, and Bryn’s dance tugged at every ache both old and new in Ellis’s body. Bryn’s face portrayed almost no emotion, but with every dart of his hand, every slice of his leg through the air, with every crumble, fall, and rise, Ellis was struck over and over.
I will try, said Bryn’s reach toward God and Heaven and all things on high.
Though I know I will fail, said the drop of Bryn’s arm.
I will carry on, said the sweep of his leg.
But I’ll lose, said an arch of his back.
I will fight, said a twisting leap.
I will fall, said the thuds of Bryn’s feet on the floor.
I want to love, said the open reach of Bryn’s fingers.
Please, said Bryn’s clutched fist.
Bryn’s expanse of chest, his shut eyes, and his rise onto his curled toes snapped something in Ellis, and as the music faded, Ellis couldn’t take it anymore. He shut off the music, strode to Bryn, and caught Bryn up in his arms. Bryn was sweaty and warm and breathing hard. Ellis couldn’t stop kissing him. Bryn melted against Ellis, resting heavily against him. Ellis ran a hand through Bryn’s hair.
“I see you,” Ellis whispered. “I see you.”
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story
Ellis Parker is a lucky man: he escaped his persecuting family, survived his tour of duty, and met Maxwell Clark in the city of New Amsterdam. Clark showed Ellis more than the ropes: Clark helped Ellis figure out who he is – a gay submissive with a massive fixation on a beautiful, mysterious ballet dancer named Bryn Rothe. Ellis knows a Good Man when he sees one, and he wants nothing more than to score a first date with Bryn.
Little does Ellis know that Bryn has a violent past that is crawling out of shallow graves to haunt him. Even his hectic schedule and beloved stage aren’t enough to distract him. It’s impossible for Bryn to figure out how he feels about Ellis with his demons between them, but when Ellis saves Bryn not once but twice, Bryn is forced to admit that there’s something about Ellis that Bryn might not merely want but need.
Together, they journey to the scene of Bryn’s original crime – Charles Towne, South Carolina. There they will dig up secrets that might explain Bryn’s tortured life but might also be his – and Ellis’s – undoing.
Own a Piece of the City – Get your copy of Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story, Today!
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Contest Fine Print:
This giveaway will run throughout the blog tour, and finish at midnight on March 18. Winner must be of legal age, and legally able to accept the prizes as awarded. By entering this giveaway, you are confirming your eligibility. Void where prohibited by law. Entries will be collected by Rafflecopter on each tour stop and via my blog post. No purchase necessary to win. Odds of winning are determined solely by the number of eligible entries. Winner must respond within seventy-two hours of the congratulatory email and post. Posts will be made on my social media platforms. Winner may or may not be announced on the blog sites, in accordance with that site’s preference. It is the responsibility of the winner to watch for the announcement. A new winner will be redrawn otherwise. Shipping costs will be to the expense of Kelly Wyre, and can be shipped worldwide, where legally permitted. This contest is not sponsored by Blogger, Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Tumblr, or any of the sites wherewith the giveaway has been posted. By entering this giveaway you agree to hold Kelly Wyre and designates harmless should something go awry with either contest or the prizes awarded.