We are very happy to welcome Elizabeth Noble to our blog today. She has brought an interesting guest post about changes for you and will introduce her upcoming Dreamspun Desires book ‘High Test’. To make this even sweeter for you, she has brought a wonderful excerpt, so you can get your first taste of the story and she has brought one (or more) local giveaway(s). After you check out her guest post and her new book, leave a comment below for your chance to win a backlist eBook. If there are at least 10 commenters, 2 winners will be drawn. More info below. Good luck!
Changes Make a Romance Novel by Elizabeth Noble
Hello, I’m Elizabeth Noble and I’m so glad you stopped by today. Thank you to Marc and everyone at Rainbow Gold for offering me a showcase spot.
Life brings changes, some welcomed, some that sort of suck.
Romance novels are, at their core, all about change. By the end of the book the change is a happy one. The journey taken isn’t always filled with pleasure. Like any changes sometimes there are struggles, disagreements and outside challenges.
It’s all these elements, along with others such as a trope, that combine to create a fluid plot. The genre of a book doesn’t matter, the basics of any plot is there is a situation in the beginning of the book. Changes take place, there might be resolution or not, but all these will culminate to create the book’s end. Because I write romance, a happy ending is required. Even if I didn’t write romance, I’d need a happy ending because that’s my personal preference.
In High Test, two men, Hayden and Neal, meet. There is a twenty-something age gap, cultural and religious differences as well as opposite financial status. They are in two different places in life. Hayden is a young PhD student from a middle-class family just beginning a career. Neal is old money, and lots of it! He’s well established in his career and a leader in his family business.
When they meet their lives are changed! However, it’s not that magical sort of change that simply flows along without a hitch. Hayden and Neal face a number of obstacles and both must learn to look at life (and themselves) differently and make this change stick.
Changes are big, but the journey into love is worth it.
What are some of your happy changes?
Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company—no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing, older Neal Kirchner, a successful architect from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.
The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.
He was busy enough for the next fifteen or so minutes to barely pay attention when another group of people walked in. It was getting to be that time of day when people on their way to work would come in groups. The faces started to blend together, and Hayden didn’t interact any more than he had to with the customers.
Finally there was a lull in the rush. People were taking their expensive leather briefcases—packed with whatever they did for work—their bags of pastries, and their cups of coffee and heading out. Hayden took a rag and wandered among the tables, picking up garbage and wiping spills from the surfaces.
As he worked he let his mind wander back to the night before. Maybe he could get a look at the list of who’d been invited and figure out a way to contact Neal. Steffie turned the radio on, and Hayden started singing under his breath.
“You have a nice voice.”
Hayden turned around, horrified. He hadn’t heard the bell over the door jingle. “I… um… th-thank… you.”
Neal burst out laughing. He leaned against the closest table and folded his hands in front of him. “I didn’t mean to startle you. I’m sorry.”
“N-no, you didn’t—” God, could he simply stop stuttering and maybe make some sense?
“You really do have a lovely voice.” Neal paused and tilted his head, giving Hayden another appraising look. Somehow Hayden had the idea Neal approved of what he saw despite the crappy barista outfit. Nodding at Hayden’s polo shirt with the store logo on it, he asked, “Keeping an eye on the business the old-fashioned way? I approve. What do you have that’s good?”
Hayden nearly swallowed his tongue. If he opened his mouth too soon, he’d stutter and stammer and nothing he said would make sense. Instead he ran his hands through his hair and pushed his glasses up his nose. For distraction he turned and took a few steps toward the glass case next to the counter. Steffie offered Hayden a silly little smile and went to work cleaning the coffee makers.
“Well… um….” Stop with the um. You sound like an idiot! Deep breaths, Hayden reminded himself. This was simply a customer asking for assistance in making a purchase. “I guess it depends on how you feel about stimulating…. I mean, caffeine….”
“Honestly, I can’t believe my good luck running into you here,” Neal continued. “We really are lucky. I’ll have to give extra thanks to Lakshmi.”
“Who?” Hayden had heard the name, but wasn’t sure of its connection to Neal.
Neal grinned. “She’s the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity, and good fortune.” If he’d noticed Hayden’s panic, he never let on. He glanced around the shop. “These are very nice stores. I love all the merchandise for sale.” Neal meandered to the shelves near the counter. He examined some of the items and picked up a package of coffee beans. As his long fingers grasped the paper bag, he looked sideways right at Hayden.
Hayden turned and retreated behind the counter, having to make a conscious effort not to sprint.
Neal’s suit, Hayden noticed, was perfectly cut and showed off his build nicely. He still remembered how the material of Neal’s clothes felt against his fingertips. The color of his suit and shirt accentuated his hair and eyes in a way that Hayden thought was nothing short of stunning. Neal looked just as good in his business attire as he had the night before. He was a man with style and taste and had the body to show it off.
Hayden looked away quickly, hoping he wasn’t caught staring. Then again, maybe being caught wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. Two other customers came into the store and beelined straight for the counter, forcing Hayden to shift his attention away from Neal.
Neal took his place in line with a few selected items in one hand. He winked when Hayden smiled and asked, “May I take your order, sir?”
What are some of your happy changes?
Comment below for the chance to win an ebook from Elizabeth’s backlist!
If 10 or more people comment on this post, a second winner will be chosen.
(published 2016 or earlier, bundles and anthologies excluded.)
You must be 18 years or older to participate in this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Etc.
This giveaway ends on November 24th at 11:59 PM CST. GOOD LUCK!!!
Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with others is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.
Elizabeth has three grown children, two grandchildren, and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed-breed canine princess and her sidekick tabby cat. Elizabeth lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening and winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!) and stargazing all year long. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.
Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.