Welcome to my little corner of the gay erotic romance universe . . . well, half of it, anyway. (You can find the other half at RachelHaimowitz.com.) This is the place to come for sneak previews of new projects, release information, and the occasional M/M book review. I'll also share thoughts on the industry on occasion, and I hope you'll come share yours in return.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chat and WIN A KINDLE with Minette Meador!

Morning folks! Today we have guest-blogger Minette Meador in to chat with us about worldbuilding in her new release, A Ghost of a Chance. She's here as part of an extensive blog tour, and at the end of it she's giving away a Kindle to one lucky commenter and a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate to a second commenter, so be sure to visit all her stops and say hello--each comment gets you an entry into the prize drawing.

As always, let's begin with the cover art and the blurb.

Keenan Swanson is your typical, everyday graphic designer. Well, except for the hundreds of pesky, prank-loving poltergeists that make his life interesting (in a Chinese curse sort of way). He finds his situation precarious yet manageable—until witty, smoking-hot coworker Isabella enters the scene and Keenan decides he wants her all for himself. With a horny succubus who has other ideas, a burly city cop determined to lock Keenan away, and an evil entity who’s hell-bent on using Keenan’s seed to create a living demon, the reluctant psychic realizes he just might not come out of this alive—or with heart intact.

Sound fun? Here's a little tease of an excerpt--and one that'll fit right in for readers of this blog ;-)

Keenan headed down Thirty-second Street, turned left onto Hawthorn, and ran like an antelope with a lion biting his tail.
When he hit the crowd outside Taps at full speed, he came to a crashing halt and sailed to the ground, taking down two brawny beer drinkers, their respective girlfriends, and an innocent table that was sitting there minding its own business. Four obviously filled pints of stout flew through the air and the contents rained down on the struggling quintet in a dark brown shower, soaking all of them. Two of the empty pints hit Keenan squarely on the back of the head, one after the other.
The tangled pile of human beings and beer began to disentangle itself, but Keenan’s head was spinning wildly. So wildly, in fact, that he didn’t feel himself roughly yanked to his feet and then off of them, or see the swollen fist appear out of thin air until it was too late. All he heard was a distant son of a bitch and the sound of meaty flesh striking cheekbone.
The sparklers that gleamed in front of his eyes reminded him of the Fourth of July on the coast. He found himself down on the ground again.
“…you stupid prick!” The words soaked into his stupor and he squinted up to see six-foot-six of angry male mountain, a pleading red head attached to the man’s arm.
Not that it would have stopped another blow, but Keenan forced his hands into the submissive position and tried to find his voice. “Oh, man…” he said to the mountain. “I’m really sorry. Are you all right?”

And now let's turn things over to Minette, beneath the jump.

Before we start, I’d like to sincerely thank Rachel for inviting me to contribute to her wonderful blog. What a thrill this has been!


I’ve spent my professional writing career building worlds: a magical planet governed by crystal wielding wizards who use singing to spark the fire; the length and breadth of 60AD Roman Britannia where the Britons are natives and the Romans are new; a world of wonder where a small boy finds a wizards with five magical trunks; modern day Wales where I have traveled virtually on a Harley Davidson, at night, to try to stop a mythical madman; soaring through the galaxy on a spaceship that harbors a runaway teenage half alien/half human hybrid, the first in existence, who realizes too late, that she can kill with her voice. (Go to Minnette’s Web Site for more information.)

I think it’s why I like to consider myself a world weaver; I have to build a world from the ground up (here’s an excellent tool I use, if you are interested: http://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/).

But the world outside my door has, in many ways, challenged me more than all of the above.

I thought it was going to be easy. I mean, I was born in Portland; I have spent most of my life here. And yet when it came to creating Keenan’s world for A GHOST OF A CHANCE, I found it daunting; I know almost too much about this place. So I had to get imaginative. I ended up with some wonderful “research” to make Portland more real… and haunted.

Studying about ghosts generally isn’t too hard; there are literally thousands of books on the subject. However, studying about Portland ghosts took a lot more time. I ended up taking matters into my own hands and toured several “haunted” sites in Portland. It was so much fun! I went on a tour of the tunnels underneath downtown Portland, discovering stories about ghosts, kidnappers, cutthroats, and other sorted tales about my beloved Stump Town (which is what Portland was originally called). Since I had a police sergeant in the novel, I went for a hair-raising ride-along with an officer through the neighborhood where my story takes place. It was an amazing eye-opener for me. (To read about it, please visit me at Whipped Cream during the week of August 1.) I also researched restaurants, walked the streets in the Hawthorn District, toured downtown Portland, visited an old church, and generally reacquainted myself with a city I thought I knew. I was so wrong.

I hope all my labors have made Portland vivid to my readers and that locals will point to a passage and say, “Yep, that’s Portland!” It would be the greatest compliment.

So, do you know your own town? What makes it distinct? Would love to share… 

* * * * *

Thanks so much to Minette for stopping by, and don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a Kindle or a $100 Amazon gift certificate! For more chances to enter, check out the rest of her tour stops, too. And of course, if you want your own copy of A Ghost of a Chance, you can find it at Resplendence Publishing


  1. My town is a big, very big, country town. It's famous for the Carnival of Flowers in Spring. People come from all over the world for this. I don't know about haunted homes, but I hear the tours out to the graveyard are quite something.


  2. Sounds good. I'm going to check it out !

    florine_g (at) hotmail (dot) fr

  3. Good morning!

    Hi, Florine! I saw that you commented on some other of my stops, so I'll make sure to get your name in for each of those.

    Marybelle, the Carnival of Flowers sounds beautiful!

    As you all can see, we're talking about our own home towns; What is special about yours? What kind of story would you write with your town as a backdrop? Make sure to leave a comment so I can get you into the drawing! M:o)

  4. I know my hometown or where I live now was the state capital for a very short time and I've toured the old state buildings downtown. There don't seem to be any ghost stories tied to it but I'm sure that there are some scandals ..lol...other than that I'm afraid I don't know much else about it...does make me curious now though


  5. I live in a small town known mostly for being on the other end of a bridge from a big city. It is a great place to live and raise kids.

    I have got to read A Ghost Of a Chance--it sounds like a real hoot!

  6. Good Morning Minnette,

    Growing up in and around Denver, was a creative wonderland for me. From the abandoned mine shafts, to the crystal clear rivers and lakes, skiing, and avalanches, haunted ghost towns, and old west ruins, I fell in love and wove most of my early stories there. What made it special wasn't obvious, yes there are the usual tourist spots, like Buffalo Bill's grave, but then there are off the beaten path items, like Tiny Town, a miniature city originally built by G. Turner for his little girl in 1915, that has faced good times and bad times, wild fires and floods, and is nearing it's 100th anniversary, that were uniquely entertaining.

    I have traveled and lived in a lot of places but none were home like Colorado until I moved to Texas, I am still exploring this wonderful city, so I haven't figured out what makes it so special yet.


  7. I hate to say this, I don't really know that much about where I am living right now,before we moved, where we lived is the state capital, but now just go through the day to day grind. Your post has me curious about investigating the history of this area.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  8. What a great way to do research! I love ghost tours, and my mom was really into them so I've been on a fair few locally. Philadelphia is full of history, and therefore full of ghosts. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing your methods!


  9. Hi Minnette,

    My home town is here in Portland. I never much liked the Hawthorne district until I started reading your book. Then it came alive and more interesting. I'll have to revisit the area and walk down some of the streets that Keenan walks. By the way, you were right to cast Keenan into the Hawthorne district. It's prefect for a young man such as him.

    While I've heard of the underground tunnels, I've never visited them yet. That's something I need to do.

  10. Minnette, I can't wait for your interview when you tell us about the neighborhood where your story takes place. I hope there are pictures as well. I wonder if they'll be a Catholic girl's school there :P Oh, the ironies that is Keenan's life.

    My hometown is mid-size but quickly growing. It is known for its parks. There are many and as a nature lover I take advantage. Everything from small parks with a few benches, to ones with lakes and elaborate hiking trials. I love spending time outdoors and I feel lucky to live in a beautiful city, even when it's raining which is often. Reading your post inspired me to re-aquaint myself with my town. Living here for so long I realize how easy it can be to overlook the wonders over here. I'll spend the summer playing tourist :)


  11. I forgot to mention, although the suburb where I live is known for its parks, we are surrounded by other suburbs which to us folks over here, consider one big metropolitan area. We are not a hidden gem, as many films and TV shows are filmed here on any given day, year-round. They include Twilight, X-Men, Hell's Kitchen and Smallville. It's always fun seeing monuments or places you recognize. Though, it is the small "undiscovered" wonders I love most.


  12. I had a lot of fun researching the Winchester Mystery House when I wrote one of my books. There were television shows, plenty of online material, and enough fun facts to fashion a great scene that involved several aspects of the house with my characters, one of whom is very bad at mazes and gets lost so very easily. XD

  13. Hello Minnette!!!

    I REFUSE to read the blurbs now because I just bought your book for Kindle!!! I was so excited to see it available!!!

    There is soooo much history on the east coast it's impossible to get a handle on all of it. My home town is actually a city called Woonsocket RI. Until the 1970's it was comprised of mostly French Canadians and Irish Catholics. It's about 5 miles wide and 4 miles long and houses about 100,000 People. Most of the houses in the city are in the Rhode Island historical register and are haunted.

    My dad used to tell me this story about Hurricaine Carole in I think it was 1932. The city flooded so badly that the caskets would float out of the graves. One man allegedly came upon his wife's casket on his doorstep while he was drunk... Needless to say the guy was scared sober lol. Since then it's required back home to use a cement vault.

    There are lots and lots of Stories from my old neck of the woods... If you want to read an interesting one, read about Lizzie Borden!!!

    Hope to talk to you again soon!!!

  14. Maria - I hope I do inspire you to check out your home town. I was amazed at what I found out and I thought I did know it.

    Thanks, Joni - Your town sounds awesome! I really hope you get a chance to read the book... it might give you a tickle or two.

    Hi, Christiana - I would LOVE to come to Denver to visit. I have a friend who lives in Boulder and I have an open invitation. Maybe one of these summers we'll get over there. You make it sound enchanting! ;o)

    Hi, Jean - I really do hope you take the opportunity. It might just spark some unlit corners ~grin~

    Elinor - I'll be in Philly in August for the After Dark Conference. I would love to see you there. I wish I had a week to spend, but I only have the weekend ~sigh~ But it is definitely on my tour plans for the future.

    The tour isn't any great shakes, since most of the tunnels are now filled in, but the stories are really interesting. And I think I even saw the ghost of a woman at the pub at the end. Put in Haunted Portland in your browser... there's lots of great stories there.

    You're right, Na - I think we take our towns for granted. I lived on the beautiful Oregon coast for 12 years, and only went to see the sites when company came to town. It was a blast researching for this book... and, alas, the infamous Catholics Girl's School was a figment of my imagination. ~grin~ Have you met any stars? Portland and Oregon both get their share. My kids have worked on a couple of movie sets as techy and have some great stories.

    Kpiet - What an amazing background. I was lucky enough to get to visit the Winchester house years ago. It is really something.

    Hi, Mellie! I LOVE the Lizzie Borden story and watch special on it whenever I can. Haven't been to her house, but would love to one day. Weird about the coffin in the flood! ~brrrr~

  15. Sounds interesting! I'd say coming from Minnesota the weather makes it pretty distinct.

  16. Hi, Lissa! How are you? I've only been to Minnesota once and it was in January and Minneapolis. The snow was very pretty, but it was very cold. I'd love to visit during the summer some time. :o)

  17. Hello Minnette!

    I am trying to catch ya but I do miss you some days due to whats going on here at home... Had a chance to catch this blog..

    My home town has alot of civil war history in and around it. The Antietam Battlefield is right down the road along with Gettysburg not that far up the road.

    It's a small town but big town feel lately... we have alot of people moving in from the "city".

    Hope you do come to town (Nora Roberts) for a signing one day! Would love to meet ya!

    Good luck on the blog hop and I will keep trying to win... :)

  18. Thanks, Vanetta - I would love to visit Gettysburg some day! I've seen lots of shows about it and a very good friend of mine (Sean McLachlan) writes amazing books about the civil war and that area. I've also seen some very beautiful pictures of Penn. One day, DH and I will take a road trip out there. Maybe I can do some signing! Hey, we can write the whole trip off! Yeah! :o)

  19. Sounds like a plan! :) Come on down! :) You could always come to the local Borders and do a signing if you can't get into Nora's! :)

  20. Minnette, I haven't met any stars, although I hear of them all the time in the local papers and from friends. I think it's because they look so "normal" - dressed down with a baseball cap, I wouldn't know even if I did.

    Your lucky kids, they must have had a lot of fun working on a movie set. I love all these topics and can't wait to see what you talk about next :)


  21. Minnette, Denver is enchanting, some of the best places though are outside Denver. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is great for Ghost Lovers, (plus the salt-water taffy made there was divine.) Royal Gorge is a couple hours away, outside Canon City, Tiny Town is maybe a half hour away. Bent's fort is down in the right corner (by Oklahoma) and Mesa Verde and 4 corners are on the lower left (Arizona, Utah, New Mexico.) I've been to them all, plus there's the great sand dunes, rifle gap falls, as you can tell I could go on and on. I miss Colorado, but I don't miss the snow. LoL


  22. Hi Rachel, Hi Minnette. I'm intrigued about your Portland world building. I'm over on the other side of the mountain, I go to Portland to play quite a bit.

    We have lots of special things over on this side, mtns, rivers, lakes. We even have a haunted mansion. They say they even have a picture of her, I think it was in a high school football team photo if I remember right. One of those "see her in the window" things. Spooky.

    Great post. I'll have to check out your book. Good luck with the tour. :)

  23. Sounds heavenly, Christiana!

    Thanks, Amara - Are you talking eastern Oregon or Idaho? Most beautiful natural parks anywhere! :o)

  24. Ohh that's a difficult question for me... Right now I live in a city that connects to like 5 other cities.. really close together.... I'm originally from Nevada :D and that state would have been easier.. because the town was only so big in each direction.. mountains everywhere, desert, Lilacs (god how I miss those, why they can't grow out here but they can in a desert is beyond me?) And then of course Lake Tahoe is by all that too so you have the gorgeous trees/mountains/water up there :D

    Florida is nice too but its a different kind of nice.. its a palm tree kind of nice so it feels different than a "town" does :D If that makes any sense at all!

  25. Hi! *wave* Ive been to Portland and its beautiful. You live in an awesome city. Unfortunately, i didnt get to tour any haunted places. Maybe next time. Theres nothing special about my town. Its super small. Theres about half a block of shops, half of them closed and the other half rediculously expensive. theres a few haunted places but thats about it.

  26. I live in the DC suburbs, but b/c of the way the roads go my town is cut off a bit. It makes it nice b/c we get some of the small town feel w/o being too rural and still close to everything.

    jacobjunk at verizon dot net

  27. Great excerpt. Looking forward to reading more.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  28. I love any book with succubi - isn't "horny succubi" redundant?!
    mara AT earthlink DOT net

  29. Thanks, guys! I LOVE these stories! M:o)

  30. I live in Montreal (Canada), a city that was founded in 1642. Montreal is a mix between an ancient and a modern city. It would be a wonderful set for a ghost story! In the Old Montreal, a company offers a ghost walk and a ghost hunt at night. It's a great activity!

  31. My hometown has a Rhododendron Festival every year with a parade. There were only 4000 people in the city when I was growing up. It was so fun being in the marching band and marching in the parade every year!

    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  32. I live in a small town in wisconsin not much history I know!I remember every summer I would come visit my grandparent!Thanks for sharing great post.
    tishajean@ charter.net

  33. @Minnette: Central Oregon actually. :)

  34. My town is considered small and a cute place to raise the kiddies. What I have always loved is that we have such easy access to so much. New York, Atlantic City Casinos and Philadelphia.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  35. Wow! Sounds like you had a lot of fun researching for this book :-) Can't wait to read it!

    smaccall AT comcast.net

  36. Good to know about touring Portland areas when I visit!



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