First off, thanks for hosting me, Victoria! Today I thought I’d let visitors find out my thoughts about the changes One Night went through to become Protecting Bear. Don’t forget to check out the new excerpt and comment for your chance to win the $10 Amazon gift card. The winner will be chosen randomly from the commenters and then announced on the final stop back at my blog on January 20th. Don’t forget to leave your email, or I won’t be able to contact you.
Biting the Bullet
Many people already know the core of this story, as one of my Wednesday Briefs. That’s where the story began. It was a lot of fun, as always, to write a short piece to a story each week inspired by the prompts. From the beginning, Bear really stood out to me. He was this vivid presence in my head that demanded his story be told. And I did. A lot of his life featured into the story. You know from the synopsis that he has deplorable luck dating; working in a popular gay bar doesn’t exactly lead to quality chances to meet a guy looking for more than a fling. Bear might look like he’s available; bantering to the masses in his tight leather pants and guy-liner, but he’s tired of that.
Enter Kameron. From early on in the first version we didn’t know if he was good or bad. He was vague, even to me. Sure, I had a great visual of his wide shoulders and tight stomach, tanned skin and chiseled jaw. But who was he? What was his story? That wasn’t nearly as clear for a while. Finally, we find out he’s after Bear… but not all in the ways the readers were thinking, or how he was supposed to be in the story! He definitely pulled a switcheroo.
But then the story ran its course. Week to week, the prompts led me into a story about two men thrown together and finding it works…
But as an eBook?
One Night wasn’t working.
Enter my editors, Eden and Tucker. They helped guide me through the painful realization that my story left far too much untold. So, I bit the bullet and began the daunting task of exploring the world I created. I discovered Kameron was far more important to the story and deserved to have his side of things. What started as Bear’s story slowly became a lot more about my mysterious giant. You’ve seen the new beginning, if you’ve visited this hop before or my promo excerpts. We get a lot more from the big guy, finding out about why he does what he does, and who he really is. One Night gained a balance but with the shift, we found the title didn’t quite fit. This was not a story about a 25 year old bartender who was sick of one night stands; he was seeking someone who saw beyond the twinky bartender and wanted to know him, someone he didn’t have to protect himself against getting hurt.
Of course, Bear still wants that, but now… now the title really tells what the story is about. It’s about Protecting Bear. Beyond what he thinks he wants, despite his demands to the contrary, Kameron is determined to keep him safe. But no one is perfect and events change a lot of things between them. In the end… well, how that goes is something you’ll just have to read yourself.
Synopsis: Bear has horrible luck with guys. Kameron seems like a good guy, but Bear thought his ex was a good guy too. He turned out to be a drug dealer. Kameron isn’t who Bear thinks he is, though, and Vilem’s enemies are looking for Bear. They want to… talk.
“I don’t want anything to do with him, and right now, I don’t want anything to do with you, either. You’re an asshole.”
Jimmy’s face twisted into a snarl and he stalked to Bear’s bed, looming over him. “Like I said before, that’s too damn bad. There’s a drug war going on, Bear, and you’re smack-dab in the middle of it. Vilem was double-dipping, dealing for two rival gangs, but not part of either. Then he ripped one off and blamed the other. The whole southeast side of the city was chaos. Zbrane massacred the smaller gang. All their higher-ups were gunned down last night. Now you have the Zbrane gang after you, because they found out your boyfriend stashed their drugs instead of selling them, and they think you know where.”
Bear’s heart pounded. He’d seen a news special on the Zbrane gang. New to the area, they were a vicious lot of thugs who went after anyone that stood in their way. He’d worried a lot about Jimmy since he started working in Vice, and hoped his brother wouldn’t end up dealing with them. “I don’t!”
“Well I have a feeling Vilem isn’t going to make it easy on us,” Jimmy said grimly. “The scumbag might have left them hidden in your apartment and that’s why he’s been trying to get you back. He couldn’t get into your apartment with the security in place and get out with the drugs without someone noticing. You can’t go home. I’ve cops going over there to look for the drugs but the Zbrane might think they’re still there. They won’t hesitate to shoot you, Bear, and that’ll only happen after they beat you to a pulp to find out what you know.”
Bear ran his good hand through his hair. “What the hell am I supposed to do, Jimmy? I can’t just put my damn life on hold.”
“We’ll get your computers. You can work on your website stuff from a safe house. You should stay away from Loren. It’ll be safer for him if you’re not working at the bar anyway. Think about that when you’re insisting you don’t need either of us.”
His frustration mounting, Bear snapped, “You know I’d never put Loren in danger knowingly. I didn’t have all the information, and whose fault was that? But now I do.” It killed him to go along with Jimmy but he knew, in this instance, his brother was right. “I can’t hide forever, you know.”
“No, but you won’t have to. I have a plan. We’re going to set up the Zbrane using your ex—and their drugs—as bait.”
Bear scowled at his lap. “How do you deal with this shit? I don’t want to worry these guys are going to be after me my whole life because you took them down.”
Jimmy pushed Bear’s hair back from his face again. Bear jerked away. “Stop touching me. I’m still pissed at you.”
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Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find something interesting to read one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately for readers, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published! Oh yeah, she’s a wife, mom of two, and lives in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course!