Thursday 6 April 2017

Thursday's Treat with Kory Steed and how to get From Lightening to Love

Hi all, and welcome to another Thursday's Treat.

Today it is the turn of Kory Steed to introduce us to his fantastic new release, From Lightning to Love. Take it away Kory...

Thank you, Raven, for inviting me to your blog. I’m very excited about my first, 72K word novel, From Lightning to Love, published by Evernight Publishing, and I appreciate the opportunity to share my story with your readers. It is the first installment in my Lightning Series.

Since its release two weeks ago, the novel has received a little attention and the readers who have left feedback have been very kind with their positive reviews. Though I had previously started two other general audience novels, I was never able to complete them because life got in the way.

The story unfolds on day two when we find Jason, a gay, self-sufficient, thirty-seven year old former American army medic, waking from a few hours of sleep after a long and trying night. Jason has lived in seclusion after serving two tours during Operation Desert Storm between 1991 and 1993. He received a medical discharge in 1994 for PTSD.

We meet the second main character, twenty-three year old Aaron after Jason rescues him when he discovers Aaron dangling by a shredded parachute from a tree the morning after a violent autumn storm while Jason is checking his home and property for damage. Later, Aaron reveals that he is not only gay and that he has a ravenous sexual appetite, but he is also the newly signed, star quarterback for a fictitious American professional football team, the Nevada Bighorns.

The storm has destroyed Jason’s satellite antenna, leaving no way for him to call for help. As a result, Jason must care for Aaron alone while he recovers from his injuries. I intentionally created this scenario because it required that Jason and Aaron interact only with each other, without any influence from the outside world. Once I had accomplished this, the story unfolded organically. There was no plot or outline during the entire writing of the manuscript. In addition, through the use of several retrospective scenes sprinkled throughout the story, the characters provided readers with the opportunity to glance back in time to learn a little of their history.

Another plot point is that Aaron must face the possibility of never returning to the former glory of his position on the team because of his catastrophic injuries. This sets up and interesting human dynamic between Jason and Aaron as their relationship evolves. The more time they spend together the closer they become. They struggle between wanting to further their relationship and striving to do everything they can to enable Aaron to return to his former life.

If they choose the first, Aaron might become disabled but he will discover a new and meaningful life with Jason. If they choose the second, they will have to do everything they can to fight the deep emotional bond that begins to develop between them and never consummate their relationship because to do so would surely interfere with the healing of Aaron’s broken bones and his desire to return to his former life.

As a first time author, I encountered several challenges that I had never experienced before. As with any profession that has its own lingo and acronyms, medicine is no different. As a former medic, the language I used to describe my work was very specific to the profession. I had to really think about Aaron’s injuries, and the procedures, protocols, and diagnoses that Jason faced in order for me to convey them clearly, convincingly, and in layman’s terms.

Another challenge was also one I found particularly enjoyable once I got into it and that was writing the military courtroom scene. Though I have no experience with this, all I had to do was remember the kinds of dialogue that I’d watched on television programs and in movies over the years. I really had a blast making the corpsman squirm in the witness chair, and I loved putting the prosecuting attorney in his place. I also had a lot of fun with the Captain while she explained the anatomy of the male reproductive system and the fluids it produces to the court. This scene allowed me to inject a little levity into the story.

As I mentioned in the book’s acknowledgements, I am a strong believer in the importance that animals can play in our lives. When trying to come up with animal characters, I realized that if Jason was going to live alone, he would need a source for milk and eggs, and he would need some method to transport timber to his cabin. Hence the introduction of his goats, chickens and donkeys. Aside from the interaction between Aaron and Jason as the story progresses, my absolute favorite scene was when Jason went out to the barn to talk to the oldest of his two donkeys, Nellie. I relate strongly to that scene because as a child my pets were my greatest confidants.

What I discovered while writing the manuscript was that as a sexually active gay man, I was privy to the unique dynamics of M/M relationships and sex, and I used these insights to convey the story in what I believe to be a realistic portrayal of what was possible for the two main characters. Also, having worked in the medical profession for so long, I became desensitized to the exchange of information in a very graphic way. Throughout the novel, I tried to take advantage if these abilities by using very graphic language to describe not only Aaron’s injuries and his care and treatment, but also the tightrope that Jason must walk in order to balance meeting Aaron’s sexual demands with the necessity of preventing him from destabilizing his fractures. As a result, a tremendous sexual tension develops between them, resulting in a lot of denial as Jason learns by trial and error how to advance his techniques to meet Aaron’s, and his own, needs.

Writing From Lightning to Love was a labor of love. I poured a tremendous amount of myself and my beliefs into the novel, and I truly hope that readers come to love Jason, Aaron, the animals, and all the supporting characters as much as I do. To me, and with very few exceptions, they represent the possibilities that are open to us if we can only work together to achieve something greater than ourselves and learn to love one another for who we really are.

From Lightning to Love - Book Information

Copyright© 2017 Kory Steed
ISBN: 978-1-77339-215-8
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Editor: JC Chute 
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Heat Level 4: Erotic content. Graphic sex and adult language. Hardcore sexual content.  Will offend mainstream readers.

Blurb for From Lightning to Love

When thirty-seven year old army medic Gulf War veteran, Jason, discovers an unconscious man hanging by a parachute from a tree on his secluded mountain property, little does he realize how is life will change. Isolated and alone, Jason uses his training to save the young man and soon learns he is Aaron, a twenty-three year old professional quarterback.

Having lived in near isolation for many years, Jason is ill-prepared for the physical attraction he develops for Aaron while tending his wounds. While Jason struggles with the emotions that begin to surface, Aaron’s strength returns, and his ravenous sexual appetite is revealed. In the weeks that follow, the two men become entwined in a passionate love affair that soon blossoms into a deep and caring bond.

Dare they hope for a future together? Dare we?

From Lightning to Love - Excerpt
When Jason looked over at Aaron, it was obvious that he’d been disturbed by the shout from the unsettled look on his face, but it hadn’t been enough to wake him. He also noticed that the sheet and blanket were off him again, and he had another raging erection. He was so focused on Aaron’s penis, he didn’t realize that Aaron had woken up. Instinctively, Jason began to reach for it, but withdrew his hand almost immediately.
“You can touch it,” Aaron whispered.
Jason nearly jumped off the bed.
“No really, Jason, you can touch it. Please, you have my permission,” he said more clearly.
“Oh God, what’s happening?” Jason whispered.
“I watched you sleep last night, Jason. You’re a beautiful man. I’d be lucky to find someone like you.”
“Aaron, I’m sorry.” Jason sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed, turning away.
“Jason, listen to me.”
Jason stood up and walked towards the window. He wanted to run away.
“Jason, look at me.”
Jason turned to face him, unaware that his own erection was straining against his jeans. He focused his gaze above Aaron’s head. Aaron focused on the bulge in Jason’s jeans.
“Can I be honest with you, Jason?”
Jason didn’t answer.
“Jason, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but here goes. We have to be realistic about this. You’re a man. I’m a man. You’re gay. I’m gay. And for God knows how long, we’re gonna be confined to this cabin. It could be months.”
“Everything you’ve said is the truth,” Jason answered quietly, lowering his eyes to meet Aaron’s gaze.
“Jason, I can’t pretend to know what’s going on in your head, so I can only speak for myself, and please believe me when I say this. I have needs, Jason, physical needs. I always have, and I now find that I’m very attracted to you. I don’t think it’s just because of what you’ve done for me or that I think I owe you something. Well, to be honest, that may be part of it, sort of like hero worship or something, but it’s only a small part, and besides, if I’d have met you on the street before I met Nathan, I would’ve jumped your bones in a minute.”
Aaron tensed his mouth and closed his eyes momentarily. Jason noticed the look on Aaron’s face at the mention of Nathan’s name. When Aaron opened his eyes again, he looked directly into Jason’s eyes.
“Jason, I don’t think you know just how darn handsome you are. You have a powerful masculine musk, and I’m drawn to it. The first time I got a hard-on when you were washing me, it was purely physical. I couldn’t help it, but over the past few days, I’m finding myself wanting you more and more. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want you to make love to me. I’m a very good lover, Jason, though obviously,” Aaron waved his arm over his broken body, “I can’t back that up right now.”
Jason looked blankly at Aaron. He didn’t speak.
“Well, say something, Jason. What are you feeling?”
Jason forced the words out. “Aaron, it would be wrong.”
“How can that be when I’m throwing myself at you right now!”

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Kory Steed Author Biographical Note

Kory Steed is a new M/M novelist who writes about real men in real relationships. Into his thirties, he realized he was attracted to men, but he has also loved women. With a naturally strong sense of empathy for all living things, he has been an astute observer of interpersonal human relationship dynamics, the relationships between humans and animals, and the ensuing bonds that have developed between them.

He has extensive experience in trauma and emergency care and has worked as a medic for over twenty years while supporting his country, its citizens, and the military men and women in the armed forces in various capacities. Over the course of his career, he has seen more than his share of pain and suffering, not only from injuries and illness, but also from ignorance, discrimination, and prejudice. Now retired, his fictional writing draws on his life experiences to share the stories, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses of so many he has known and met along the way.

He hopes he does them justice.

(I've read this book, and believe me he does. I can't wait for the next one, Raven x )

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