Blogversary Author Post, Excerpt & Giveaway: Karrie Roman
I read and enjoyed Karrie Roman’s Saved about eighteen months ago. I looked the other day and noticed I hadn’t even marked it as read or reviewed. I was probably having one of my arrhythmias at the time and sometimes I skip reviewing when they knock me about, but I remember enjoying the book. Also thinking – yay, another fellow Aussie in the genre. I like romance and cops in romance, so Saved suited. I also have the Until You series earmarked for reading in the new year. This year I wanted more Aussies on the blog anniversary, I didn’t get as many as I would have liked to take part but I’m very glad this fellow Aussie decided to join us. Cheers, Karrie Roman.
Hi all. First off, I’d like to give Kazza and Cindi a huge congratulations for six awesome years. I can only imagine the effort it takes to keep your site running. Thank you for allowing me to join the party.
I had no idea what to write or what people would be interested in, but I always find it intriguing to learn how people got to where they were going. So without further ado…
How Did I Get Here?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away—or so it seems—my year ten English teacher told me I should be a writer. I’d written a short story as part of our assessment and all I can remember of it now was it was a romance and one of the characters was named Mickey. Mr Leonardo was one of those teachers who had so much passion for reading he used to jump on his desk and read excerpts of Shakespeare or whatever we were studying with an enthusiasm you couldn’t help being inspired by. I never encountered another teacher quite like him. So, when he told me my story was the most romantic story he’d ever read to say I was giddy with joy would be an understatement. He’d told a small white lie, probably, but it meant the world to my awkward fifteen-year-old self.
This was the moment where the dream started. I loved making up stories in my head, had done it all my life, but now, here was somebody—an adult no less—telling me I had a talent for it. Mr Leonardo had given me the greatest gift that day—confidence.
Creating stories wasn’t just something I enjoyed doing, it was an escape from an often-harsh world. I could be anyone, do anything. When I wasn’t imagining my own stories, I was reading other people’s. The worlds I visited and the lives I lived in those books kept me going when life’s roller coaster was on the downward run. Looking back on my life I cannot imagine one without books.
The dream to be a writer was real.
But as with so many dreams, the rigors of life and a healthy dose of self-doubt came marching along to sweep it up and lock it away for a long time. For almost thirty years I lived—and held tight to the dream, catching a glimpse of it every now and then as a glint in the corner of my eye, but I didn’t dare let it fly.
In those three decades I read everything I could get my hands on: thrillers, romance, sci-fi, historical fiction, non-fiction. Put a book under my nose and I’m happy—except my husband’s business books, ugh. When I happened upon MM romance a few years ago I fell in love. People often ask me what attracts me to the genre and my answer is, I have no idea. I can’t explain what draws me to it, but I love reading—and now writing—about two men falling in love.
In fact, it’s my love of the genre that finally inspired me to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard nowadays. My writing is in its infancy. Some days I go back and read what I’ve written only minutes before and wonder what on earth I’m doing. But, I’m learning every day. When my editor sends me her edits they usually come with an apology for the number of them, but I love that she points out everything to me. It can only make my writing better. She has been incredibly patient with me, but I love our working relationship. I trust her to help make my stories the best they can be.
My husband suggested I try my hand at something different—he thinks JK Rowling level of success is what I should be aiming for—but as I’m sure most writers will know, I’m not doing it for money. I write because I love to, I write because I need to, I write because there’s a million voices in my head waiting to escape with their stories to share. I believe it is my very great honour to tell those stories. I want them to be fun, to take people away from reality for those few hours. My greatest wish for every book I write is that it makes just one person smile.
I’d like to share a short excerpt from my latest book Sentinel. This book has two of my favourite characters in it and I hope the excerpt allows you a little peek into their love.
Never allowing anyone too close, Ethan Stone has lived a solitary life since he was disowned by his family when he discovered their darkest secret. He spends his days as a quiet sentinel, protecting others to make up for the ones he didn’t. Love, friendship, and family have no place in his world.
Ben Cronin is a warrior, haunted by a past he excelled at, which almost robbed him of his humanity. He became a professional bodyguard to save lives rather than take them. And he has loved his stoic colleague, Ethan Stone, from the day they met.
When Ethan’s sister suddenly comes back into his life in desperate need of his help, Ethan doesn’t hesitate to do whatever he needs to do. To his surprise, Ben—the man who makes him want things he shouldn’t—is right there beside him, risking everything to help him and finally coaxing Ethan’s feelings back to life.
A desperate race to find his missing nieces leads Ethan to a place he never thought he’d be and takes Ben exactly where he wanted to be—in a life filled with love and desire. But how long can they keep it when evil stalks their every step?
“I care about you, Ben—”
“I know you do. And that’s enough…for now. I’ve always been the sharp end of a spear to most people, a weapon, but you always treated me like I was more than just what I could do. When we’re done here, and we’ve got Maggie and the girls settled, I’m going to date you so hard.”
Ethan let out another chuckle. He’d always admired Ben’s sense of levity and fun, even if he’d had to rein him in many times when they’d been on the job.
“So, tell me… What would a date with Ben Cronin look like?”
Ben shifted his body and began to turn to face Ethan. Ethan grunted when Ben elbowed him in his stomach and hissed in a breath as Ben climbed all over his lap in an effort to get comfortable. Eventually he stilled, his legs straddling Ethan’s and his ass resting on Ethan’s thighs. Ben cupped one of Ethan’s cheeks in his palm, his other hand resting on Ethan’s shoulder. Without real thought, Ethan reached out and twirled Ben’s curls through his fingers, absently playing with them as Ben looked away and answered him.
“Well…first, when I come to pick you up, I’ll have a big bunch of wild flowers for you because there are usually a lot of pale-blue flowers in those, and you said that’s your favorite color. I’d kiss you gently on the lips when I handed the flowers over and watch your sweet ass when you fussed around looking for a vase, which you probably don’t have ’cause I don’t think anyone’s given you flowers before.” Ben returned his gaze to Ethan, leaning forward and pressing his lips to his.
“I’d take you to the California Academy of Sciences, and then when you’ve exhausted your nerdy little heart there, I’d take you to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, grab some of those cookies you love so much, and take you to Land’s End lookout so we can eat them while the sun’s setting—” He pressed another kiss to Ethan’s lips, but this one was deeper, lingering, more passionate. It stole Ethan’s breath away.
“If we can still keep our hands to ourselves, I’ll take you dancing—slow dancing—our bodies pressed hard together as we move. You know that kind of dancing. But I suspect by then we’ll need to get somewhere private so our hands can go wherever they damn well please.”
Though it seemed impossible, Ben managed to fit himself even closer, his hands moving to slide through Ethan’s hair as he tilted his head to take another kiss. It felt as though they were perfectly aligned, foreheads brushing, their noses nestled into each other’s cheeks as their lips moved slowly, gently pushing and pulling against each other. They made an unhurried exploration as they sought to get closer, know each other more intimately. Ethan had never shared a kiss quite like it.
If he was embarrassed by his heavy panting when they pulled apart, Ethan tried not to show it. Besides, his hard cock was a dead giveaway of how turned on he was, how hot and needy Ben made him.
“So…” Ben panted. “How about you? What kind of date would you take me on? Because I have to tell you, I kinda like to be spoiled. There’ll be no chicken-wings-in-a-bar dates for me, Ethan.”
Ethan smiled at Ben’s cheekiness. He knew exactly where he’d take Ben; he’d known for months, before he’d even figured out his feelings for Ben ran deeper than mere friendship.
“Well, date number one will be the date to get you on the hook, so I’ll ease you into my fabulousness with a trip to the Walt Disney Family Museum because, well, Donald Duck—”
“There’s a Walt Disney Museum!?” Ben practically shouted at him. “How did I not know this?”
“Oh, but it gets better. For our second date, I’m going to take you on a VIP tour of the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia, which includes a visit to the Banned Toy Museum.” Ethan smiled, overtly proud of himself for this one.
“No way…no way. Pez Museum? Fuck, there is a whole world out there I knew nothing about. Pez are my favorite. I’ve got hundreds, but you know that because I’ve shown you photos, and I have an old set of lawn darts… They’ve got to be in the banned toy exhibit.”
Ethan could have happily watched and listened for hours as Ben’s excitement grew, and he babbled about Pez and banned toys and Donald Duck. He was fucking adorable.
“You really listened to me, didn’t you? All those times I was going on and on about things—you listened.” Ethan could hear disbelief war with conviction as Ben spoke.
“Well, it’s kind of hard not to notice someone’s Pez obsession…”
“No. Don’t downplay it, Ethan. You paid attention to me… You were secretly in luuurve with me,” Ben said in a singsong voice.
“Asshole,” Ethan swore and then gave a throaty laugh which was cut off by Ben’s lips chasing his once more. This kiss was aggressive, demanding—proprietary.
Beyond the relative safety of the overhang, a tempest railed against the earlier calm of the night. The wind whipped around them, blowing right through their tiny shelter. Sheets of rain cascaded down, the squalls forcing sprays under the rocks that covered their heads. The symphony of nature played on, deafening them with its ferocity, but Ethan hardly noticed. Nothing could compete for attention with the man in his arms.
To celebrate On Top Down Under’s 6th blog anniversary, Karrie Roman has an international giveaway of 2 paperbacks – Shipped and Sentinel – for one reader. If preferred, it can be an e-book copy of the two books. Simply leave a comment below before Midnight Oct 30th, AUS EDST for a chance at the giveaway.
The winner will be contacted within 24 hours of being drawn (check your email spam folder). Please contact us within 48 hours otherwise we will have to redraw. Cheers and good luck.