Monthly Archives: May 2015

Guest Post: A Place to Call Their Own by Dean Pace-Frech

A_Place_to_Call_Their_Own_400x600Frank Greerson and Gregory Young have been discharged from the Army and are headed to their childhood homes. They both defied their parents in 1861 when they joined the Army. After battling southern rebels and preserving the Union of the United States of America, the two men set out to battle the Kansas Prairie and build a life together. Once they find their claim, they encounter common obstacles to life on the Kansas Prairie in 1866: Native Americans, tornadoes, wild animals, and weather.

When a prairie fire destroys their crops and takes their neighbor’s lives, Frank and Gregory are instructed to find their young son’s aunt. Faced with leaving a destroyed claim, the railroad coming through their land, and dwindling funds, Frank and Gregory must decide whether to leave the place they have worked hard to make their own or fulfill their friends’ dying wishes.

Where to buy:

Get it now directly from JMS Books:

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29_105&products_id=1436

OR Preorder from Amazon and download it on May 31 when it becomes available in wide release:

http://www.amazon.com/Place-Call-Their-Own-ebook/dp/B00X64JP0S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432122494&sr=8-1&keywords=a+place+to+call+their+own

Excerpt:

You two together, or…” Mr. McAvoy asked with a puzzled look on his face.

Mrs. McAvoy raised an eyebrow, also curious about the situation.

Gregory gave Frank a nervous and mischievous look and answered, “Ah, yes, sir. We planned to each get a claim and build one house for now, help each other out.”

The answer seemed to satisfy both Mr. and Mrs. McAvoy. “That sounds like a good idea. It’d be nice to have a few neighbors around to help with things once in a while. And what I wouldn’t give to have had just one other man to help me with some of the house building and stable. You stay around here, and you’ll need a stable. Wolves and coyotes will get your livestock if you don’t.”

“How did you protect yourself before? This stuff doesn’t get built in a day.” Gregory asked.

“It takes ’em a while to figure out you’re here. And of course, it’s worse in the winter than this time of year. They haven’t been quite so bad the last few weeks, have they?” he directed to his wife.

“No, they calmed down. Hopefully they’ve been preying on the deer that are eating my potato plants.” answered Mrs. McAvoy. “You two want to stay for supper? I’ve got a big pot of rabbit stew on the stove.”

“It’ll be good, I promise. She’s done great cooking whatever I can find for us,” Mr. McAvoy added.

Gregory ignored the invitation. “How’s the hunting around here? You do good during the winter months?”

“Yeah, in the fall it’s the best—the animals are all fat and sassy from the summer. You can tell the bucks from the does, and you don’t have to worry about orphaning a young deer like you do now. There are plenty of rabbits and prairie chickens right now. You can find squirrels…”

“And the meadowlarks do fine, too, in a pinch,” piped in Mrs. McAvoy. “Now, what about supper?”

“We appreciate the offer, ma’am,” Frank spoke up. “But we’re just trying to find us our claims and be done with traveling. We’ve been traveling nearly six weeks now. It has been that long since we had a decent home-cooked meal, but we need to keep moving on today.”

They both remembered the last time they joined anyone for dinner. The McAvoys seemed harmless, but Frank and Gregory were both a bit shy about joining anyone else at this point.

“Yeah, we’re getting close to where we want to settle,” Gregory added. “We appreciate the offer and all, but we just want to keep moving.”

Mrs. McAvoy smiled, turned, and ran into the house with her load of laundry. Neither Frank nor Gregory knew if she was hurt because they declined the supper invitation or just needed to get back to her household chores.

“We understand that. Took us nearly six months to get here from New York, where we come from. We stayed with some relatives along the way, but the missus did appreciate it when we finally stopped here.”

“Well, we appreciate your hospitality and all your help. We should probably get going,” Frank said, glancing at Gregory.

“If you happen to end up around here, don’t be strangers. Just let us know where you’re at,” Mr. McAvoy replied.

“It’s a deal, sir,” Frank said and extended his hand.

Mr. McAvoy walked over and took it. After they were done, McAvoy stepped away from the wagon.

Gregory slapped the reins and yelled “giddyap,” and the horses sprang forward.

A frantic Mrs. McAvoy yelled from inside the house, “Wait!”

Frank grabbed Gregory’s arm to stop him. Gregory pulled back on the reins.

Mrs. McAvoy came out of the cabin with a small basket covered with flour sack cloth.

“This here isn’t much, but maybe it will allow you to rest once you stop for the night. I put two crocks of my stew in there and part of the bread I baked for our supper tonight. I don’t know why I did it, but something told me to make extra bread today.”

“We’re mighty obliged, ma’am. This will help. Now we don’t have to worry about hunting anything for our dinner. We’ll just warm this by the fire and be ready to go,” Gregory spoke up.

“Yes, ma’am. We are getting a bit worn out by this trip,” Frank said. He grinned at Gregory and said, “Hopefully, we’ll be finding our home soon.”

Both men tipped their hats once more, and Gregory got the horses going again.

Dove and Daisy lumbered along for the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening. Before they realized it, the wagon climbed a gentle, gradual grade. The early evening sun blinded them as they reached the crest of the ridge. At the top, Frank looked over his shoulder where the wagon had just been. There he saw the trail left by the wagon and horses in the prairie grass. To the west, a line of trees indicated a creek, river, or some sort of waterway. The sun drenched the entire landscape in its golden hue. He looked at Gregory, and they both knew this was their new home. They had arrived on the homestead.

“Welcome home, Frankie!” Gregory yelled at the top of his lungs.

Giveaway:

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In celebration of the release of A Place to Call Their Own, I am giving away a copy of my second novel. Disappear With Me, which releases on May 31, so the prize will be delivered after that.

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter and enter to win!

New bw headshot

About Dean Pace-Frech

With inspiration from historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, Dean started crafting his debut novel, A Place to Call Their Own, in 2008. After four years of writing and polishing the manuscript, it was accepted and originally published 2013. His second novel, Disappear With Me, set in Edwardian England, was published later that same year. Both novels were re-released in May 2015.

Dean lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his husband, Thomas (legally as of February 14, 2015), and their two cats. They are involved in their church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, Dean’s hobbies include reading and patio gardening.

Dean is currently working a standalone title, Need Your Love, set in 1966, and The Higher Law, a continuation of the story of Frank and Gregory’s family set in the 1930s.

Self-Pubbing

I finally got off my butt and pulled out that old first-person short story I wrote ages ago. It’s cute–if you bought a copy of the Underground Erotica Anthology that was put out to support Absolute Write, you would have read it. I keep meaning to come back to those boys. I even have a title for the next story, which generally means it must be written.

Before I start deciding whether to put it up for sale everywhere, or to stick to Amazon and do the Kindle Unlimited thing, I thought I’d run it past another editor, just to see what they say. So, I’ve contracted with Sasha Knight to go over the story. You might know Sasha from Samhain, where she works as an editor. She also freelances: http://www.sashaknighteditor.com/  I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.

Finger cover 2And, because I’m procrastinating and my FBI agents are being jerks, I made a cover for it too. In the anthology, I called it Love Underground because I didn’t have a freaking clue about a name for it. I’ve since changed the name, and it’s going to be called Lead Me to You now. Which isn’t much better, but at least it doesn’t sound as dumb. 😛  Ana-bird talked me through some of this stuff, since it’s been about five or six years since I’ve last done any photo manipulation. I think it turned out all right. 🙂 Needs something around the edges though.

Conversations With My Editor

Me: The tomcat brought me a mouse the other day and followed me around the house with it, mewing and dropping it at my feet, then looking at me expectantly. It was a fat one too–I felt bad throwing it out

Editor: You made appropriate thank-you-good-kitty noises and pretended to eat it, right?

Me: Ewwww, no. I did say thank you, but I think he was disappointed.

Editor: If I killed and brought you a gift and you weren’t sufficiently impressed, I’d be disappointed too. *sniff*

And this is why I no longer have a phobia about editors. 🙂

I should copy over the stoned blowjob conversation for you some day.

Tuesday Guest Tickle: Mechanically Inclined by Jena Wade

mechanicallyinclined

Mechanically Inclined

Publisher: Liquid Silver Books

Price: $2.99

Buy: 

Amazon

LSB

ARe

Blurb:

Cal Foster has sworn off men. He is never going to date anyone again, ever. But as the saying goes, never say never, because Josh Gibson isn’t just anyone. Jena Wade brings you all the passion you could hope for in her hot, new contemporary romance, Mechanically Inclined.

Excerpt:

Josh rolled up the sleeves on his teal dress shirt and flipped his tie over his shoulder. He took a deep breath. This needed to go fast if he was going to show up on time. Was there a certain way to take the bolts off? He couldn’t remember. It’d been a long time since he’d actually had to do this. It looked easy enough.

Ten minutes later, Josh had four of the five lug nuts off. The last one was causing him trouble. He placed the tire iron on the bolt and pulled with as much strength as he had left in him. It didn’t budge.

“Need some help with that?”

“Christ!” Josh let go of the iron and landed on his butt in the dirt. “Holy hell, man. Where’d you come from?” Maybe it was because Josh was on his back, but the guy looked huge. He loomed over him. A full dark beard covered his face, and his white button-down shirt stretched tight across his wide chest and muscular arms.

Did he hit his head when he fell? His dream man stood before him. Josh had been looking for the perfect man all his life. What were the odds that Mr. Right would show up on a country road in the middle of a cornfield?

Note: I remember when Jena put this through the critique group and there’s some cute awkwardness going on in this story.

Conversations With My Editor

Me: While out picking up broken branches under the old poplar tree, my subconscious set out the fix for my issues with the pacing (ie. trying to keep Julian out of other people’s beds, but in Leo’s for a while).

And, it has proved to me, once and for all, that I’m a pervert.

Editor:  That’s one of my favorite things about you.

😀

Tuesday Tickle: Flesh Market

Working away on this, still. I’m going to have to take a day or two away soon, because I’ve been invited to provide some text for Naked Girls Reading. Which is exactly like what it sounds–naked girls reading from novels, short stories, articles, whatever, for 8-10 minutes at a time.

Leo and one of the bad guys are going hunting for teenagers to traffic, and Leo to make a meet with the agent who’s going to back him up.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“We’ll just cruise a bit. Try the parks, the Mall.”

“Not the shopping malls?”

“Maybe if there’s no luck in the open. Can be hard to get them out of those buildings.”

Leo nodded and looked out the window. He needed to get them over to the shopping mall on Pennsylvania Avenue for early evening.

DeGraff grinned. “You’re thinking about getting your tickets, aren’t you?”

Leo shrugged and stared stonily out the window. DeGraff chuckled and left him alone.

And I’ve just hit that point…

You know, the one where the whole story is crap and you just want to trunk it and start something new that will be better and easier and will make people like you?

Yeah, that point. Which means I’m about a third of the way in. Cool.

I think my subconscious suspects missing bits (like, maybe the entire middle of the story, subconscious? could that be it?). No, it’s probably that I’m still so tied up in getting the structure down that I haven’t adequately set up some of the situations and assumptions in this story. The stress comes from knowing that I’ve already started pimping this to the crit group, so I have to get most of it in on the first/second/third runaround with the text. And my subconscious is a slow writer.

Back to the trenches. I have to go horrify my FBI agent and give him nightmares.