Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I have author K. Evan Coles in the interview chair.  We talk about her latest release Third Time’s the Charm, book one in the Boston Seasons series.  Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

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INTERVIEW

 

1. Hi, K. Evan. It’s great to have you at my blog today. Before we get started, can you share about the everyday you?

Hello, thanks for having me! I’ve been writing a long time, but only started publishing books in 2017. I live in the New England area of the U.S. where I have a day job in the tech field and an eleven-year-old son. Between the day job and family, my writing happens in the evenings and on weekends when I can better focus. Generally, I park myself at the kitchen table and no one talks to me unless I look up. I co-write books with Brigham Vaughn as well as publish solo efforts, and I’m still learning how the author life works.

2. You write LGBTQ+. What drew you to this genre?

Honestly, one day I decided to try writing same sex characters and it was like something clicked in my head and the words started tumbling out. I’m of mixed race and have never really felt like I “fit” anywhere outside of the circle formed by myself and my three siblings. I’m too brown to be a white person and too pale (and tall) to be Filipino, but I wouldn’t change who I am. Perhaps this otherness makes it easy for me to identity (to an extent) with characters who feel like they’re on the outside, too, due to sexual or gender identities or a host of other factors.

3. What elements do you think a good romance should contain? Did these elements influence Third Time’s the Charm?

For me, a good romance makes me care about the characters and become invested in their happiness. To achieve that, I need both sweet and bitter–a connection between the main characters that, at some point, is threatened. I like it when the characters have to work for their happiness, even if only for a short time. That tension of ‘will they make it or not’ makes the eventual outcome of the story even more satisfying.

4. Third Time’s the Charm was released today. Can you share your writing process for this novel?

Third Time’s the Charm started as a short story. The original version was a submission for an anthology, but I’ve always had trouble with word limits and the story didn’t quite work within the prescribed 15K maximum. However, my editor liked the characters and premise and encouraged me think about extending the short. Around the same time someone I know told me that it would be better if I ‘knew my limits’ when writing and that just made me want to write the story even more. So, I picked it up in between other projects, made it a dual point of view narrative, and wrote until it felt done.

5. Let’s talk about the main characters. What do you love most about Luke Ryan and what makes you want to shake him?

I love Luke’s huge heart and the way he freely gives to those he loves. He also has a habit of putting his own happiness second, particularly when it comes to taking care of his family. As a result, Luke’s social life suffers, and he has trouble keeping his partners engaged and happy, which makes me want to sit him down and talk until he sees sense.

6. The same for Finn Thomason. What do you love about him and what makes you want to shake him?

Despite going through an unpleasant breakup before his move to Boston, Finn is open to new relationships, even going out on a limb and dating someone who takes care of a young child. I love that adventurous side of him. Unfortunately, Finn sometimes internalizes his feelings which in turn leads to misunderstandings and that’s a drag.

7. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write for Third Time’s the Charm and why?

Luke and Finn’s first meeting was probably my favorite scene to write. I wanted those moments to be overtly romantic and dreaming up potential scenarios was a lot of fun.

8. What makes Third Time the Charm different from other male/male contemporary romances?

I think there’s a lot going on in contemporary romance where something huge happens at the start of the story–a wedding or death, maybe a divorce or even a baby being born. I like reading books with those big, strong beginnings, by the way. I took a different approach with Third Time’s the Charm though and made it simpler. We meet two people who make a connection and fall in love, then care enough to work at being together despite the challenges of everyday life. Those are very ordinary human experiences, but I think they resonate with readers and make them feel good.

9. If a reader asked why they should read Third Time’s the Charm, what would you tell them?

Third Time’s the Charm will make you fall in love with Luke and Finn and care about the people in their lives. When the characters laugh or hurt or fly high with happiness, you’ll be there right along with them and you’ll enjoy every moment of the ride.

10. You have a lot of books under your belt. Which one was your favourite to write and why?

So far, Third Time’s the Charm has been my favorite to write because I was able to indulge my inner romantic sap without holding back. It is also my first solo novel-length work and having finished it made me feel like a grown up.

11. You have an extensive backlist. Besides Third Time’s the Charm, which book would you recommend to readers and why?

For someone who wants to get to know my writing without buying something novel-length, Thief of Hearts is a good intro. A novella, Thief of Hearts is also set in Boston, and features Mark and Owen, a May/December couple who made me laugh and sigh, and who absolutely stole my heart.

12. What do you enjoy most about writing?

World building and character development are my favorite parts of writing. Oh, and crafting dialogue that makes me laugh—I really enjoy cracking myself up.

13. What do you enjoy least about writing?

Writing can be lonely because so much of it is happening inside your own head. As an extrovert, being able to turn that energy outward is a big deal and it’s one reason I enjoy collaborative writing. Having another person involved in crafting a story can be a lot of fun.

14. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:

  • What’s your favourite movie?
    I don’t have one favorite movie but there are many I’ll watch any time they air including Pulp Fiction, Blade Runner, A Room With A View, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  • What book is currently in your e-reader?
    The last book I bought was Thin Blue by Patricia Logan.
  • Who’s your favourite musical group?
    I don’t have a favorite musical group, but I’ve been on a Beastie Boys kick lately.
  • What song puts a smile on your face?
    Lovely Day by Bill Withers.

15. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks again for having me, Maggie—it was a pleasure!

TAGLINE

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ABOUT THE BOOK

 

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Third Time’s the Charm by K. Evan Coles

Title:  Third Time’s The Charm
Series:  Boston Seasons, Book 1
Author:  K. Evan Coles
Publisher:  Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group
Genre/s:  Contemporary M/M Romance, Erotic Romance
Heat Rating:  4 flames
Length:  68,000 words
Release Date:  May 28, 2019

Blurb:  Luke Ryan’s life is too chaotic for romance, what with running his business and being the legal guardian to his ten-year-old niece, but he’s hopeful he’ll find the right man.

Trauma surgeon Finn Thomason recently relocated from Chicago to Boston, where his focus on medicine leaves him little space for a personal life. Making a commitment to find a better work-life balance, Finn hopes he’ll also find a relationship.

Caught in an evening rainstorm, Luke shelters under a sidewalk awning…and encounters a handsome stranger. The two strike up a conversation and Finn offers to walk Luke under his oversized umbrella. Charmed, Luke accepts and asks Finn out for coffee in thanks.

Luke and Finn quickly grow close, but, as the summer draws to an end, Luke struggles to keep his connection with Finn while Finn tries to come to terms with caring for a man whose attention is pulled in many directions. Both men are scrambling to get it right, but only time will tell if they’ll learn there is more than enough room in their hearts to go around.

This is book number one in a series. It can also stand as its own story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK 

THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM BLURB

EXCERPT

 

“Hey, Luke, I’m going to Starbucks to buy coffee for everyone. You want?”

Luke Ryan stared at the code on his computer monitors and nodded absently. “Sure.”

“Okay. Grab your stuff and come with me.”

Luke blinked. “What do you need me for?” He turned away from the monitors and faced his best friend and business partner, Simon Martin.

Simon stood and eyed Luke across their shared office. “To help me schlep back the orders.”

“Ugh.” It was nearly two p.m. and Luke’s concentration was flagging. As much as he wanted to keep working, fresh coffee sounded wonderful. The idea of going to fetch it, however, not so much. He stood and picked up his wallet and phone from his desk. “We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you’d let me buy a new coffeemaker.”

“I said I’d buy it, didn’t I?”

“Yes, you said that two weeks ago. And here we are, making the trek to Starbucks once again.”

Simon sighed at Luke’s grumbling. “Oh, goodness. I’ll buy one this weekend, I promise. In the meantime, you could stand to go outside for a few minutes. Your ass has been bolted to that chair all day. You didn’t even break for lunch.”

“Yes, I did.”

“You ate a plastic squeeze tube filled with something green.”

“It was yogurt,” Luke said. “I bought a box of mixed flavor tubes but Ella doesn’t like lime, so they’re all mine.”

Simon grimaced. “That sounds appalling. Serves you right for feeding that girl junk.”

Luke chuckled as they started for the door. His niece, Ella, was ten years old and particular about what she ate. Luke had been stuck eating food she’d rejected before, but he didn’t mind—weird foods came with the territory of raising children. Or helping to raise them, anyway, as Luke had been helping his brother, Peter, do for the past several years, ever since Peter’s wife had walked out on her family and Peter had moved Ella from the Marine base in Virginia back to Boston and into Luke’s Back Bay apartment.

Once outside, Luke and Simon walked a block and a half to Winter Street, navigating around shoppers and tourists. The line at Starbucks stretched nearly out of the door, and they stepped up to its end while Luke read over the orders his coworkers had scribbled on a scrap of paper.

“I don’t know what this says.” He pointed at one messy line. “This looks like Klingon.”

Simon squinted. “You would know, I suppose. I’m fairly sure everyone ordered cold brew, by the way. That’s all those hipster punks drink anyway.”

Luke laughed. “Good point. Gillian wants an almond milk Macchiato, though.” Gillian Vasquez was the third partner in their software development business. Petite, red-haired and whip-smart, her easygoing personality provided an excellent foil for Simon’s brashness and Luke’s hyperfocus. Gillian kept Simon and Luke in line and they knew it.

“Is she still doing the dairy-free thing?” Simon asked.

“I’m not sure. I think she just likes almond milk, to be honest. Ella’s the same.”

“That doesn’t make those bowls of sugar cereal you feed her any healthier, you know.”

Luke rolled his eyes. He’d never understood why kids’ cereals got such a bad rap. Beyond the high sugar content and their dubious nutritional value, that was.

“I found a recipe for Cap’n Crunch cookies,” he said. “I was thinking Ella and I could make them over the weekend.” He snorted with laughter at Simon’s obvious disgust.

“Where on earth would you find such a thing?”

“Pinterest. It’s loaded with all kinds of questionable recipes.”

“Oh, Pickle.” Simon made a sympathetic noise. “This only underscores what I’ve been telling you for months—you need to get out more.”

Luke winced. “Please don’t call me Pickle in public.” He glanced around, hoping no one had overheard the ridiculous nickname, and met the gaze of a dark-haired guy standing behind them.

Well, hello there.

Luke flashed a grin and the guy blinked, clearly surprised. He offered Luke a shy half-smile of his own just before the line shifted.

Luke faced forward. “You know I don’t have time to go out,” he said to Simon. “Even if I did, the men I’d meet would take one look at Ella and run for the hills.”

“Surely not every man you meet is averse to the idea of family.” Simon frowned. “I like children. Or Ella, at least.”

“Yes, but you and I are not dating.”

“Not since I kicked you to the curb a decade ago, true.” He smiled at Luke’s laughter. “Still, I can’t imagine anyone you meet not being charmed by Ella. She’s loveable even when she’s being difficult.”

They stepped forward as the line moved again. Luke hazarded another glance back and felt a pang of disappointment to find the cute guy talking on his phone. He met Luke’s eyes again, however, and Luke smothered a curse when Simon nudged him with his elbow.

“Ella likes you, so of course you think she’s fun,” Luke said. “Not everyone thinks the way you do or wants to stick around while I fill in for her dad, though.”

“Are you so sure?” Simon asked.

“I’m still single, am I not?”

“Yes, though I confess I don’t know why. It’s not because you’re lacking in looks and your personality is certainly adequate.”

“Nice.” Luke shrugged off both the compliment and the tease. He knew he was easy to look at. He was tall and fit with a heart-shaped face and gray-green eyes, and his friends joked he couldn’t take a bad photo. Luke didn’t suffer for lack of attention from men. Keepinga man’s interest presented the real challenge these days, and that had a lot to do with the fact that he was taking care of a young child.

“I’m thirty-two years old,” he said. “The men I meet who want children are either already parents or in committed relationships and headed in that direction.”

“This is why you need to meet newmen,” Simon replied. “Ella isn’t your daughter, Luke. Pete’ll be back from deployment in a couple of months and that’ll take some of the pressure off you. There’s no reason for you to be celibate until then, either.”

“I’m hardly celibate,” Luke muttered, his cheeks hot. “And please keep your voice down.”

He paused as they approached the counter. Simon placed the order and Luke glanced at the guy behind them again. Thankfully, he was still on his phone instead of being forced to eavesdrop on the saga of Luke’s sad single life.

“I know I haven’t had a boyfriend since Ella moved in with me,” Luke continued while Simon paid for the order. “Taking care of her complicates my life, but it’s nothing compared to Pete’s wife taking off on them. AndI do go out on occasion, Simon. I date.”

Simon cocked a well-groomed eyebrow at him. “Okay, and when exactly? Because we both know you don’t have time to yourself anymore.”

Despite Simon’s gentle tone, Luke winced. Even with help from his parents and his babysitter, Melissa, he rarely had a minute to himself outside his own bathroom. Even then, odds were Ella would knock on the door and blithely ask questions while Luke showered or shaved.

“In all seriousness, when did you last go out with a man?” Simon asked. They moved aside so the baristas could mix up their magic, and he patted Luke’s arm. “Hell, when did you last pick someone up?”

“I met someone while I was grocery shopping last week, believe it or not,” Luke replied. “We emailed a couple of times, but he dropped off the map. I picked someone up a couple of months ago, the last time Pete came home on leave.” He grinned at Simon. “You and I went out for dinner and drinks, then over to that bar in Back Bay named after Oscar Wilde. Remember?”

“That’s the bar with the boozy milkshakes?”

“Yes! I met Jeremy that night.”

Realization flashed in Simon’s eyes. “I’d forgotten that’s where you met. Where was I?”

“Sucking face with some bartender, I think.” Luke smirked at Simon’s raucous laughter.

“Oh, God, that’s right. Those milkshakes are lethal!”

“Believe me, I remember.” Luke reached up and ruffled Simon’s hair. “Anyway, I didn’t take Jeremy home that night, but we exchanged numbers and spent time together for a couple of weeks.”

“What happened between you two, anyway? I don’t think you ever said.”

“There was nothing to tell. Pete’s leave ended and I canceled a couple of dates because Melissa was busy and I couldn’t find a sitter. Jeremy just faded out.” Despite his careless tone, Luke’s heart twinged a little. He’d enjoyed spending time with Jeremy and watching him withdraw had stung.

Simon clasped Luke’s shoulder with one strong hand. “I’m sorry. It doesn’t have to be that way all the time, you know. I can watch Ella for you if Melissa is busy—I just need some notice. Gillian will, too. Hell, ask around the office if you need someone for a couple of hours. I’m sure at least one of the kids on staff is the babysitting type.”

“I know, and thanks. It doesn’t matter, though. The reality is I’m with Ella a lot because I want to be and guys usually bolt after they figure that out.”

Simon’s gentle scowl warmed Luke’s heart. He loved that his friend cared enough to listen. Then Luke saw the cute guy with the dark hair pay for his single coffee and leave. Damn. Once upon a time, Luke would have struck up a conversation with him instead of watching the opportunity slip away. Maybe Simon had a point.

“It’s fine,” he said. “And you’re right. I should make an effort to get out there and meet new men. Especially since things will go back to normal after Pete gets home. For a while, anyway.”

“That ‘for a while’ is kind of a problem.” Simon’s expression sobered. “Your brother will still be at Quantico more rather than less. I don’t even mean that in a bad way because I know you love having her here.”

Luke nodded. He’d never thought twice about welcoming his niece into his home. “I do. All the more reason to find someone who’s okay with Ella being in my life.”

Is that such a bad thing to want?Luke didn’t think so.

The barista called their order and Luke handed Simon the bags he’d been holding. “At any rate, it’ll be great having Pete back, even if he’s not in Boston. Ella hasn’t been the same since her dad was deployed.” Carefully, he collected the trays of cups.

Simon led the way out, talking over his shoulder as he held the door for Luke. “You think so?”

“Oh, yeah.” Luke sighed. “She really misses him, and it’s not like we can visit. She worries about his safety, just like my parents worry, and I do, too. Life will be a hundred times easier for all of us with Pete on US soil, whether he’s at the Marine base or not.”

“I understand,” Simon replied. “I’m just sorry I can’t do more than listen.”

Luke smiled. “Don’t be. I’d have gone bananas a long time ago without you and Gillian around to listen and keep me sane.”

“Girl, you’ve always been bananas,” Simon said, his tone airy. “But we’re used to it and don’t love you any less.” He shot Luke a wink and they headed for the office.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

kevancoles_shortshotK. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.

Find K. Evan:  Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Newsletter | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Reader Group | Goodreads | BookBub | Instagram

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Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway  for a chance to win a $10 Gift Card or your choice of ebook from K. Evan Coles’s backlist.

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