Hi, everyone! I want to thank The Novel Approach for hosting the
Dare To Love Forever Blog Tour!
Dare to Love Forever is my second published novel, and I’m excited to share the story with you. Also, enter to win some great prizes at the end of the tour!
Check here for links to all of the blogs in the tour.
TNA: Hi, JC, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start off by having you tell us a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, things we don’t know about you that you’d like to share with readers?
JC: Thanks for having me. Let’s see, I have 3 children, a grandson and a granddaughter on the way. I’m a Behavior Analyst in real life. I obviously like to write M/M but I also love to read it. I was a reader of the genre before I was tried my hand at writing about men in love. I am going to GRL in October and I hope to meet the many people I’ve met online.
TNA: What was your first published novel? If you could go back to the point you started writing the book, with the benefit of the experience you have now, what advice would you give yourself?
JC: My first novel was Curiosity Killed Shaney. My advice to my newbie self would be to ask more questions of my publisher, editor, cover designer, etc. As an author new to publishing, I didn’t know what was happening at times. Since these people didn’t know where I was lacking knowledge, they often didn’t supply it. Not their fault. So questions…lots of questions.
TNA: Let’s talk a little bit about your new novel Dare to Love Forever, a book you wrote during NaNoWriMo. How long did it take to pen the story? Do you feel having the challenge of NNWM made it easier or more difficult on you from a writing standpoint? Did you have moments of anxiety, fearing you might not finish on time, or was that deadline a great motivation?
JC: Yes, NaNoWriMo. What an awesome month. I wrote around 52,000 words on DTLF during the month of November and then I put the story away because I was finishing up Shaney’s story. Once I completed that story, I had to study for my certification exam, which was in February. After that, I had about 23,000 left to write and that probably took a few weeks. By March 9th, I had it to my editor for editing before submitting to Amber Allure.
NaNoWriMo helped me to write the story definitely. One of the issues I have when writing is going back and editing and overthinking a story. The story just needs to get on the paper for the first draft. The rest can wait. I also sprint with other MM authors on FB where we write in 30 – 45 min burst. During that time, we are to ignore all distractions and just get the words on the page. Very helpful. Deadlines are very motivational to me. I work better with clear cut deadlines.
TNA: Tell us a little bit about your heroes, Carson and Lincoln. What would you say makes them click? What would you say is the important factor, or factors, in their chemistry?
JC: Carson is naive since he’s been sheltered at home all of his life. He had a horrible experience with his first love and is reluctant to put anyone else in danger by loving them. Because of what he is, a Tabula Rosa vampire he is dangerous and feared but also the target for others. Lincoln is a larger than life character, strong and proud, but inside he is loving and caring. He’s shut that side of himself away because of events in his past. He is instantly attracted to Carson, sees the vulnerability in the man that he sees in his own mirror. Carson sees Lincoln as someone who has lost in the past because of who is as well. I think their chemistry comes from the fact they are alone, and fighting their pasts. In each other, they see understanding and what they need.
TNA: What would you say are some of the things that make your vampires unique? Does their mythology follow Stoker’s Dracula at all, or did you go a completely different direction with your vamps?
JC: I said I would never write a vampire story because they have been overdone. That being said I did write one, but I tried to challenge some of the Stoker mythology for this one.
In this story, Vampires are a subset of the human species that have simply evolved with the need to drink blood. No immortality. No living dead. No bursting into flames in the sunlight. Of course, they still have the fangs because those are hot!
Vampires are known by humans and are policed by their own by the New Vampire Justice police force.
Getting bit HURTS! Unless you’re a pain slut. Biting humans is also illegal outside of supervised, specialized clubs for that purpose only. Doesn’t mean my MCs don’t get some hot biting on.
Vampires eat real food, however there is a component in blood they need for their bodies to function properly. Mainly vampires live on synthesized blood.
Vampires must buy their synthesized blood from specialized markets called Vampire Blood Markets (VBM). Most vampires have grown up on the “cup.”
There are subsets of vampires with qualities that are supernatural. MC Carson is a Tabula Rosa vampire. With one bite, he can wipe clean another vampires mind, creating mindless drones. MC Lincoln is a Sanatore vampire. His blood has the ability to heal other vampires but with the possible side effect of physically and emotionally bonding with the vampire.
TNA: What’s your definition of a great protagonist? Do you think your heroes need to be deeply flawed to be interesting?
JC: A great protagonist…hmmm. I think the greatness of the protagonist has to do with how the author writes them. When I read, I want to care about the protagonist, want to root for them and go through their ups and downs with them, stay on the ride to the end. There aren’t any specific characteristics I can think of that sets one protagonist apart from the others. I do like my protagonists to have real emotions and issues and problems on top of all of the paranormal, supernatural crap I put them through.
I think deeply flawed is subjective. What may seem to be deeply flawed to one reader may be a walk in the park for another. Emotions are what connect us to one another and to the characters we read. My characters tend to have suffered in life so they have more angst and anxieties and pain. My motto is “More Emotion.” While common experiences can create a kinship between people, it’s the emotions that really allow us to empathize with others. This applies to characters we read.
TNA: If I were to ask Carson and Lincoln to describe each other in a few sentences, what would they each say about the other?
JC: Carson about Lincoln : Lincoln is lionhearted, so loyal and trustworthy. He feels he doesn’t deserve to be love after what happened with the last person he loved, but he is more than worthy. He loves me with his entire being and when he walks into a room he takes my breath away.
Lincoln about Carson: Carson is my heart and my soul. His huge heart and loving nature make it safe for me to love him. When he smiles, my stomach flips and those tattoos are damned hot!
TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Dare to Love Forever with us?
Carson Locke is a Tabula Rosa vampire—a dangerous rarity in the world of vampires. With one bite, he can wipe clean a vampire’s mind, creating a mindless drone. Because of this, Carson has spent his entire twenty-three years sheltered at home. That changes, however, when his entire family is murdered.
On the run and near death, Carson meets Commander Lincoln Samuels, a beautiful vampire who tries to heal him. In doing so, Carson is bonded to Lincoln and turned into something the vampire world has never seen.
Lincoln is a Sanatore vampire with the ability to heal other vampires. He heads a team in the New Vampire Justice police force in Utica, NY. Late one night, he’s called to a local Vampire Blood Market where a starving Tabula Rosa vampire is about to be executed by one of his officers. Feeling a strong connection to Carson, Lincoln wants to heal the broken man despite knowing the risk in doing so—it could destroy Lincoln and cost him the chance to love again. And he soon discovers there’s a greater evil threatening to take Carson from him.
Can two vampires who have loved and painfully lost in the past learn to trust one another, defeat the evil rising against them, and dare to love forever?
Genres: Gay / Dark Fantasy / Vampire / Action / Adventure / Series
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novel (67k words / TBD paperback pages)
Excerpt: “Are you cold?” Lincoln placed a hand on Carson’s leg.
Carson shook his head, staring at the strong hand, the nails trimmed short, the black hairs on the base of the fingers. Without thinking, Carson reached out and laid his hand over Lincoln’s. Carson’s hands were small, the fingers long and thin. His skin was snow white against Lincoln’s darker skin. Carson would guess Lincoln had some Latino ancestors. He’d never met anyone of any origin other than his homogenous family.
The muscles in Lincoln’s hand twitched, but he didn’t move away. Carson continued to stare down, refusing to look into those blue eyes. His attraction to the man was growing, expanding under his skin, as he touched Lincoln. Carson had been kissed and groped and sucked by Justin, but he’d never been penetrated with more than his own finger, and he’d never fucked anyone else. Twenty-three and a virgin. If the incident with Justin hadn’t happened, Carson was sure they would have gone all the way. They’d been in love. Then Carson had destroyed everything.
Carson sucked in a deep breath and looked right into those pools of blue. Once he told Lincoln the horrible things he’d done, he’d never get to touch the man again. Lincoln would never look at him again with that rare softness and—was that need or desire—again.
Carson pulled himself up onto his knees, moving closer to Lincoln. The man squinted at him but said nothing. Carson’s breaths were shallow and his nervousness squeezed tight around his chest. He had to do this one last good thing, because after he spilled his secret, he was going to die one way or another.
Carson leaned closer to Lincoln. The man was still, his eyes searching Carson’s, questioning. Carson licked at his lips, drew in and released a deep breath. He hadn’t been this close to a man—ever. He’d been close to Justin, but they’d only been sixteen, just boys. The closeness was intoxicating, the smell of the man thrilling. Carson slowly lifted his hand to Lincoln’s chest, giving the man time to dodge his touch, but Lincoln remained still. Carson’s fingertips brushed the black T-shirt stretched tight over his chest. Gaining confidence, Carson rested his palm over Lincoln’s left pec. The muscle twitched. Carson held his breath as he ran his hand over the muscled chest, tingles filling his palm. He groin ached and his dick filled. The combination of the touch, the heat, the manly smell, pushed Carson forward.
He caught the hitch in Lincoln’s breathing, but Carson kept his eyes down. If he looked into that face, he’d lose his nerve. He would go as far as Lincoln would allow. Visions of making love to Lincoln bombarded Carson. Lincoln behind him, beneath him, over him… Carson’s breathing increased as he ran his hand over Lincoln’s hard stomach. The man must do hundreds of crunches a day to get that hard.
Speaking of hard—the sight of the bulge in Lincoln’s jeans thrilled Carson. Shit, Lincoln was turned on, hard from Carson’s touch. That reaction spurred Carson to move lower. A hand grabbed his wrist and he gulped, fearing he’d gone too far.
The grip on his wrist wasn’t tight but firm. Lincoln raised Carson’s hand and rested it against his cheek. His dark beard scratched at Carson’s palm. Carson raised his chin, met hooded, lust-filled eyes. Butterflies the size of crows beat against Carson’s stomach. Lincoln’s tongue came out and licked at his own lips. Carson’s eyes flicked down to watch the erotic motion. Gods, he wanted to taste those wine-colored lips.
Maybe Lincoln was reading Carson’s mind because Lincoln lifted his other hand and laid it on the back of Carson’s neck. The skin-to-skin contact raced a shiver through Carson’s body all the way to his toes. His cock was so hard and aching, and he wanted to touch it but he refrained, waiting…breathing…yearning, as Lincoln continued to stare right into him.
The hand on his neck tightened and pulled Carson closer, leading him to Lincoln’s lips. Time stopped as he traveled the short distance to those moist lips. Just before they touched, Carson closed his eyes. Lincoln’s hot breaths hit Carson’s face and then their lips came together tentatively, as if they were both waiting for the other to make the move. The electricity sparking from just that touch zipped straight to Carson’s groin and he surged forward, turning his head and opening his mouth while wrapping his arms around Lincoln’s neck. Lincoln’s hand tightened on Carson’s neck and the other wrapped around Carson’s waist and pulled him hard against Lincoln’s chest.
Oh gods, the taste of the man was heavenly, and Carson attacked his lips, teeth clacking, and a moan rising from one of them. Lincoln turned his body and pulled Carson onto his lap. Instantly, Carson humped against Lincoln’s stomach. A scorching heat rose from within and Carson’s control held by only a fragile thread. Lincoln grabbed one of Carson’s hands and placed the palm against his erection. Carson gasped, squeezing Lincoln’s hard shaft, eliciting a rumbling groan from deep within the man’s chest.
Lincoln pushed his groin against Carson’s hand and Carson wanted so much more, wanted to touch every part of Lincoln’s body, wanted Lincoln’s hands to touch him. Carson pulled away from the kiss and reached for the button of Lincoln’s jeans. Their frenzied pants filled the space between them. Lincoln reached under the hospital gown Carson wore, access easy given that Carson wasn’t wearing underwear. When the rough hand closed over Carson’s shaft, he cried out from the pleasure of a hand other than his own touching him. He was going to come too soon.
“S-stop, please…I’m gonna…” Carson couldn’t catch hold of a single racing thought, couldn’t concentrate with the gorgeous man’s hand stroking the head of his dick.
“Yeah, you are,” Lincoln growled and pushed Carson back onto the bed.
TNA: If you could bring one of your characters off the page and into the real world, whom would you choose, and why?
JC: How can I choose one! I want them all! Okay, while not in this book, I would choose, Shaney from Curiosity Killed Shaney. He’s a riot and never boring!
TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs with us?
JC: Currently, I am finishing a demon story about Owen, who is inhabited by an Incubus and didn’t know it. The story revolves around his fight to stay alive and a hunter, Turk, who hunts demons and may just help Owen.
Also, I have an MPREG story (1/2 done) which was written at the request of my best friend. Jerricho, is a demon prince and, in the royal line, the men bear the children. Marriages are arranged and the twist here…Can you say oops, I got pregnant by someone other than the man I was arranged to marry?
TNA: And finally, would you share with us all the places we can find you on the internet?
About JC Wallace: JC Wallace started writing from a young age, but took a break for marriage, kids, and college (in that order). He recently rediscovered his passion and ventured out into the brave new world of publishing with his short, Waiting for Snow, and his first novel, Curiosity Killed Shaney. At night and on the weekends, JC writes about all things men, believing there is nothing hotter than two men finding and loving one another, whether for a night or forever. An avid reader of M/M romance, JC loves a good twist of a plot, HEA, HFN, or tragic ending. He also writes what his bestie calls HUNK (Happy Until the Next Kidnapping).
In his daytime hours, JC works with individuals with autism and behavior problems. He is owned by three kids, one grandchild and one on the way, two dogs and one cat. He lives in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains in Northern NY.