Guest Bloggers: Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon
Here are Bonnie and Summer. Please give them a great welcome.
We—that’s Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee—wish to give our heartfelt thanks to T.A. for opening his blog to us today. We have enjoyed collaborating on several m/m historicals, two of which are releasing at Loose Id this year. Summer is easy to write with. She completes me. We bounce ideas off each other and rarely argue. If either of us think the other one’s latest idea sucks ass, we aren’t afraid to say so. And it certainly is easier to plot your way through a book with two brains working on it instead of just one. First I’d like to give a blurb for each of our releases and then I’ll throw some questions at Summer.
Seducing Stephen: Stephen is visiting the home of a friend during holiday from university when his bed is invaded by a late arriving, drunken houseguest stumbling into the wrong bedroom. From this dubious beginning, a romance slowly develops.
At first Lord Peter Northrup is only interested in the young man as a lusty diversion. He tutors him in the ways of most homosexual liaisons of the time—brief, light, and always temporary. But after he leaves, breaking young Stephen’s heart, he can’t forget him.
Both men grow during their time apart and when they meet again, their affair flames hotter than ever. Is there any possibility for a real relationship between a peer of the realm and a middle-class young man with heavy responsibilities on his shoulders? Will Peter accept the possibility of true love in his shallow life, and will Stephen risk everything and trust a man who’s already hurt him once?
Wounded Heart: Lad from the streets meets lord of the manor. Both men’s lives will be changed forever.
When Sir Alan Watleigh goes searching for sex, he never imagines the street rat he brings home for one last bit of pleasure in his darkest hour will be the man who hauls him back from the edge of the grave. Despite his harsh life in the slums of London, Jem is a bright, cheerful young man. He’s also witty, irreverent, glib, and makes Alan laugh--a rare occasion since war time trauma and the death of his family have made the man a ghost of his former self.
A single night of meaningless sex turns into an offer of permanent employment. Jem acts as Alan’s valet, but offers him so much more than polished boots and starched cravats. Just as the men are adjusting to their new living arrangement, news about a former soldier under his command sends Sir Watleigh and Jem on the road to save a child in danger.
The journey brings them closer together as they travel from lust toward love. They rescue the girl from the clutches of an insane surgeon, who is as interested in experimenting on the vulnerable human spirit as he is on physical bodies. Alan realizes his love for Jem when he nearly loses him, but is Alan’s love strong enough to risk society discovering the truth about him? And is he strong enough to finally accept his sexual identity?
Bonnie: Which of the two stories, or characters in either of the stories resonated most with you?
Summer: Whichever story I'm writing is the one that resonates for me. I tend to fall in love with characters, write them and then forget all about them with the next batch of characters. It's fun to be fickle.
Bonnie: I’ll fully admit that while I like Seducing Stephen and find earnest, tender-hearted Stephen and rakish, heart-guarded Peter interesting characters, I love, love, LOVE Jem from Wounded Heart. I’ve had a thing for the Artful Dodger archetype since I was young and Jem is just such a witty and fun character.
Summer, you've not written m/m romance before now. How was the experience for you?
Summer: Since I knew Bonnie could write hot m/m scenes, I wasn't too scared. I figured I'd been able to write books featuring dragons and aliens as figures in romance, regular people would be easy. I love writing about relationships. That's the part I enjoy most.
Bonnie: Exactly. Relationships are what it’s all about for me, too. I think the sex part flows naturally out of that.
When I approached you to write with me, I have to admit part of my agenda included knowing you were an experienced historical writer who enjoys delving into period detail. Can you tell a little about the two time periods in English history that Stephen and Wounded deal with?
Summer: I know a bit about the times of the Prince Regent and Victoria and their governments, I've read bios of them--and I've read about the Peninsular War. But what I love are the details. The habits and tools of the day-to-day life intrigues me most about any period in the past. I spend hours reading menus and descriptions of the furniture and who bows to whom during introductions.
Bonnie: I’ll attest to that. She was always sending me links to articles with details of oddities of daily life back then. I’ll look up the big picture stuff but I don’t spend the time on detail work that Summer does. She wallows in it.
What are the major themes contained in each of these stories?
Summer: Why do I feel like I'm back in high school with this question?
I tend to write about characters inhabiting a world in which they don't quite fit. I think Bonnie does, too, and she does it beautifully. Finding love means you find that place where you belong, love and a real home. During the Regency and Victorian periods in history, homosexuality was taboo, and so for our characters, finding love has that extra layer of difficulty. Hey, forbidden love is always more interesting and intense.
Bonnie: Yeppers. Outsiders trying to fit in. My favorite theme across the board in all genres of love story. In Seducing Stephen there’s an element of duty versus pleasure. Peter has lived a butterfly life and is feeling jaded and empty. Stephen is squarely middle class and has a strong work ethic. He’s responsible and I think all those qualities draw Peter like a moth to a flame.
In Wounded Heart we have one hero who’s so war-damaged and lonely that he’s about reached the end of his will to live. Along comes lively, “glass half full” Jem and shakes him up like a snow globe. Lovely dichotomy!
Thanks again to T.A. for offering us space on his blog. We greatly appreciate this opportunity to promote our work.
Summer and Bonnie
Labels: Guest Blogger