Virtual Tour: M/M ~ Where the Grass is Greener by Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney ~ (Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Author Name: Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney
Book Name: Where the Grass is Greener
Release Date: September 28, 2015
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Debbie McGowan
Buy the Book:
Mistakes were made, that’s for sure. But was it the night of passion? Or walking away afterward?
That’s the question Seamus Williams must face when he gets a late night phone call from someone he never expects to hear from again.
“I miss you, Shay.”
Chancey Bo Clearwater is a cowboy through and through. He spends his days finding work on whatever ranch will take him and his nights at the pool hall. He’s always done what needed doing and never thought much about what he wanted. ’Til that drunken night with Seamus.
A world of problems now stand between Seamus and Chancey exploring what might have been, the least of which being the Atlantic Ocean. On one side there’s Chancey’s daughter who mood swings from angel to demon in two seconds flat; on the other there’s the new lodger, hogging Shay’s telly and his cornflakes, and making private Skype time hard to come by.
Is this relationship doomed before it ever begins? Or can a surprise announcement from Seamus’s brother be enough to help the two find their second chance?
Where the Grass is Greener features Seamus Williams – the older brother of Patrick from Leaving Flowers.
Pages or Words: 75,000 words
“You’re quiet today, Seamus. What’s up?” the landlord asked.
“Just tired, is all. Got a leaky roof and the fecker was drippin’ all the damn night. And didn’t I get up this morning and kick the bucket?”
“You look alive and well to me, so you do. I say well…you look like shite.”
“Yeah, thanks very much. Think I’ll go join the lads, see if I can’t get a few more insults thrown at me.”
Seamus gave the landlord a wry grin and went over to the others, who were already well into the first of the three games they got in every lunchtime. He watched one of them take a bad shot and accidentally pot the black, the clunking of the ball as it rolled its way through the machinery of the table setting Seamus’s teeth on edge. John was right: he was dog-tired and probably did look like shite. He’d barely slept after the missed call, trying to decide whether to return it or not. His mind played tricks on him, one minute convincing him it was urgent and he should call back, the next telling him to stay strong. He’d made the move. He’d come back to Ireland. That’s what he’d wanted all along.
He had wanted it. Ever since Mam died, his sights had been set on coming home. He’d only stayed for Paddy’s sake, and now Paddy had Aidan there was nothing to keep Seamus in the States, although he was no further away from his brother now than he had been in Kansas. Never mind that he’d already made the decision before he knew Aidan even existed. No. It was a good decision. He was just—
He already knew, before he pulled his phone from his pocket: same Kansas number, same caller. His thumb hovered over the red button. Reject the call. Reject the call.
“At last! I thought I was calling a wrong number. Man, it’s so good to hear your voice.”
“Er, yeah. Yours too. What’s up? Has something happened?”
“Nothing new. I just…”
The rapid-hard thump of Seamus’s heart filled the pause, two seconds, three, four, and more. He drew breath to speak, but there was nothing to be said. Or nothing he should say.
“I miss you, Shay.”
The first call had been a drunk dial. Thank the heavenly father that Seamus Williams hadn’t picked up. Lord, the shit that might have come tumbling out of Chancey’s mouth. Now he was dead sober, but only slightly more composed. Had he really just said he’d missed Seamus? He tried for a laugh. It sounded as fake as it felt. Well he had missed Seamus. Nothin’ wrong with that.
“You gonna say somethin’?” He knew he was putting on the accent. Drawing out his vowels, droppings his g’s. His grandmother—who was from south Texas and who had an accent so deep it was digging itself a hole to the centre of the Earth—used to yell at him when he’d get lazy with his words.
You jus’ sound ign’rant, Chancey Bo Clearwater. Full name, cue snickering cousins, and young Chancey sank down low in his chair, ashamed at the way he sounded despite the fact they all talked just alike. The accent followed him when he moved to Oklahoma, where he picked up a whole set of strange ‘O’s, and even having lived in Kansas now for the better part of his life, it was still there underneath, just waiting to crop up in stressful situations.
“I didn’t expect to hear from you, that’s all.”
“Surprise.” He was trying for friendly, for calm. Trying to keep the I wanna put my fist through the wall and did you really mean to let me find out through Lulu? out of his voice.
“Isn’t this call costing you a million dollars?”
“Skype. On my phone. I bought minutes, y’know?”
“Is that right then?”
“But I didn’t think. It’s probably charging you too.”
Is it? Seamus sure as hell wasn’t saying much. There was a long pause as Chancey considered his next move. He’d called because he’d wanted to talk. Not talk. Not like that. Nothing to say on that front. Seamus had made it all as clear as crystal dropped in the mud when he’d left his parting message with Lulu down at the pool hall, Rack ’Em. In a last-ditch effort, Chancey said the only thing he could think: “Boss Tina asked after you the other day when I went around for work.”
That got a laugh out of Seamus, which gave Chancey more relief than he cared to admit.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney authors of Where the Grass is Greener!
Hi Debbie & Raine, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hello! We’re Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney, two halves of a fascinating writing whole. We started collaborating early in 2015 and we’ve been writing recklessly together ever since! Our new book is Where the Grass is Greener (book 2 of The Seeds of Tyrone)—in addition, we’re working on book three, have almost completed a new humorous intrigue book, and are about halfway into something dark and mysterious. Any time our queue gets low, we just add things to the pile!
Why do you write?
RO: I used to have really grand answers to this: I can’t breathe if I’m not writing… and it’s in my soul! And those things may be true depending on my mood, but the honest truth is, I write because I like it and because I have stories to tell. And not only do I have stories to tell, I have stories I think are unique and valid. I like putting Sweetness into the world.
DM: 1. Because I can. At school I was told I had a way with words—my English O’ Level teacher didn’t mean it as a compliment. I’m not sociable, inasmuch as I’m not good at conversation, because I never know what to say, and it takes me too long to think through answers to questions. My writing is often the answers I would have given if I was granted enough time to think first.
2. Because I have to.
Which of your books was the most difficult to write?
RO: Honestly? Sing Me Your Love Song. I knew what I wanted to say, but it was hell getting the words out.
DM: When Skies Have Fallen, at the time. I think I might have repressed the memory, because I can look back on it with a little more rationality now. It took a lot of research—I knew a lot less than I needed to about WWII and LGBTQ rights in the post-war period, even though I have a first class degree in this stuff!!—and some of that research was heartbreaking, particularly the bits about the treatment of ‘homosexuals’ from WWII onwards. I fairly cried myself dry.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
RO: Welp… Chancey Bo Clearwater is a sexy-as-hell cowboy who has sacrificed much to make sure his daughter is well cared for. I’d say his special talent is giving Debbie McGowan a lady boner.
DM: *snort* Ah, Chancey...sigh. It’s fascinating how we can believe in characters to the extent that they become real people to us (one of the many great things about collaborative writing is getting to read and write at the same time), and in defence of my ‘lady boner’, being inside Seamus’s head obviously means seeing the world—including a certain sexy cowboy—from his point of view. What makes Seamus special? He cares. He tries to do the right thing, often putting other people’s needs before his own. It’s a big part of why he returned to Ireland, even though he thought he was doing it for himself.
How much research do you do for your books?
RO: Um, TONS. Tons and tons and tons. I love research. I’m trying to remember the research I did for this story… I remember researching Country Swing (which blew my mind!) I did not, however, have to research 1990s country music as that was totally my thing. I picked the brain of my cowboy husband for info on rodeo. (Yes, the man went to rodeo school. Yes, there is a rodeo school.) The weirdest thing I’ve ever researched for a story? Well… not this one, but I researched the first known usage of the term “The Clap” and I read the Army Regulations for death notification.
DM: Same as Raine. I’m a social scientist, and research goes with the territory. Raine is a much more adventurous author than I am. She’s not afraid to try new things, whereas I write about what I know…or think I know, until I start writing and fall into the research bog, where I end up inwardly shrieking Stop reading this academic paper and write something, damn it.
Who designs your covers?
RO: Debbie now designs our covers and she’s very good at it. I like to tell her that she’s a cover scientist. Because…science! She’s also done the covers for both my 2015 Love is an Open Road free fics and her LOR–When Skies Have Fallen. I’m quite smitten with her WSHF cover. She has this nifty thing on her website where you can see how she turned two VERY modern boys into the WWII era dolls they are on the cover.
Check it out here! http://deb248211.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/my-covers-and-lengths-ill-go-to.html
DM: Yep, so, it was a sneak preview for friends, lol, but I wrote that little blog post so you can see what Raine is talking about. :) I don’t think I’m that great at covers. I’m currently in the process of re-editing my Hiding Behind The Couch series and re-issuing the stories with their new covers, all but two of which I designed. The two I didn’t design were created by Natasha Snow (natashasnow.com), who is an excellent cover artist. Sometimes I do get one absolutely right, but covers are subject to trends, so what might be perfect now probably won’t stand the test of time. I’m constantly learning new techniques, though, and if I’m fed ideas, I can usually pull something together. Anyway, my collaborator is happy, so it’s all good!
Meet the authors:
DEBBIE McGOWAN is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven, realist fiction, celebrating life, love and relationships. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at seventeen, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At twenty-five, she went back to college to study social science— tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can.
RAINE O'TIERNEY wants to change the world…one sweet story at a time.
Known as "The Queen of the Sweetness" (well, a few people have said it anyway!) Raine loves writing sweet, character-driven stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and...friskiness? In addition to her solo works, she’s one half of a collaborative team with author Debbie McGowan.
When she’s not writing, Raine is either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. She believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers.
Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or discussing which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!
Where to find the authors:
Debbie's Social Media Links
Facebook: facebook.com/DebbieMcGowanAuthor and facebook.com/beatentrackpublishing
Raine's Social Media Links
LGBT Author Interviews: raineotierneyhatparty.blogspot.com/
Tour Dates & Stops:
30-Sep - All I Want and More Books
9-Oct - My Fiction Nook, Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, MM Good Book Reviews
Rafflecopter Prize: e-copy of one Debbie McGowan title and an e-copy of one Raine O'Tierney title (winner's preference of file type and title)a Rafflecopter giveaway