BLOG TOUR – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – Melting for You by AM Arthur – #Excerpt #Giveaway #Interview

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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author AM Arthur to Stories That Make You Smile! AM is here today celebrating her shiny new book, Melting for You. She’s generously brought along both an excerpt and a giveaway, and took the time to answer a few questions for us. Pull up a chair and read on to discover more about AM’s writing, her new book, and what she’s working on now! 🌟

Melting for You by AM Arthur

Welcome to Neighborhood Shindig, a friendly place where you can snack on a lamb kebab while getting your hair done, pick up your favorite herbal tea blend, and then go listen to live music under the pavilion. We’re happy to have you.

Series: Neighborhood Shindig (book #1)
Publisher: Briggs-King Books
Cover Designer: Sloan J Designs
Release Date: June 13, 2019
Length: 137 pages
Pairing / Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance

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Blurb

After his father’s heart attack, Isaiah Morrell gave up cooking in his own high-end Atlanta restaurant to return home to Reynolds, North Carolina, in order to help his father Thomas heal and to keep an eye on his business Neighborhood Shindig. A collection of food trucks and other small businesses, Shindig is a popular destination in this college town, but Isaiah longs for the fast pace of a big-city kitchen. Until he meets Joel…

Joel Fisher has been out of commission from a serious illness for the better part of a year, but now he’s ready to reclaim his life—except his apartment has been sublet, his partner is missing, and their shared food truck is stripped of everything not attached. In short, Joel has nothing. After an uncomfortable night sleeping on the food truck floor, Isaiah and Thomas Morrell give Joel an offer he can’t refuse: a rented room in their house, as well as their help creating a new food truck concept. Joel hates accepting charity, but he’s hit rock bottom and has nowhere to go but up.

Working with seemingly uptight Isaiah is actually pretty fun, and the pair bonds over a challenge to create a unique grilled cheese sandwich. Light flirting melts into a deeper connection neither man expects, but Isaiah isn’t in Reynolds for much longer, and Joel can’t get attached to the gorgeous professional chef. As Isaiah’s feelings for Joel strengthen and grow, he entertains the idea of staying in Neighborhood Shindig for good—but Joel hasn’t asked him to…

Welcome to Neighborhood Shindig, a friendly place where you can snack on a lamb kebab while getting your hair done, pick up your favorite herbal tea blend, and then go listen to live music under the pavilion. We’re happy to have you.

Excerpt

Joel found a parking spot near his building and got out, grateful to stretch sore, aching limbs. Long car rides were more difficult for him now, and he’d tried to stop as infrequently as possible, so eager to surprise Steve. Joel scanned the lot for Steve’s hatchback. It was midday on Tuesday, so the Shindig lot was closed—it gave not only the small business owners who rented pods, but also the owner/manager one full day off a week. Didn’t mean Steve had to be home, though.

Their unit was on the fourth floor, no elevator, and Joel hated that he was panting a bit by the time he got there. Definitely needed to start working out more, get back into shape. He was already tall and lean, but he’d lost about fifteen pounds of muscle this past year.

Excitement rolled through his belly as he put his key into their unit’s lock and turned—except it didn’t unlock. He double-checked, but yeah, right door and right key.

That’s weird.

Maybe Steve had needed to change the locks for some reason? He pushed the doorbell and waited, trying to fight back a big smile. The knob rattled and a chain slid back. The door opened about a foot and a dark-haired woman stared at him. “Can I help you?” she asked.

Joel blinked hard. “Um, does Steve Winslow live here?”

Don’t I live here?

“Not since the first of the month,” the woman replied. “He had to move suddenly, so I’m sub-leasing it through the end of the month, until my place is ready downstairs. Who are you?”

“Joel. I live here.”

“Oh, right, you’re the ex he mentioned.”

“Ex?” Ex what? He’d texted Steve yesterday about frivolous things, and Steve hadn’t said a damned thing about sub-leasing their place. A place Joel had paid this month’s rent on. “What do you mean ex?”

“He said you guys broke up, so you moved back to live with your parents in Virginia, and he’s moving…somewhere, I don’t think he said where. But your stuff is still here. He packed it up and left it in the hall closet.”

Joel did not understand what was happening right now. “We didn’t break up. We have a business together for God’s sake. I don’t understand.”

“Listen, do you want to come inside and sit? You look pale.”

“Um, yeah, thanks.”

The apartment was small, one-bedroom and only about six hundred square feet. It had come furnished, so none of the big stuff was his, and he’d taken clothing and his electronics with him to Virginia. Those personal things were in his car right now, waiting to be unpacked.

He sat on the familiar sofa, legs suddenly trembling, and tried to wrap his brain around what was happening.

The woman appeared with a bottle of water. “Here. I’m Emily, by the way.”

“Joel.” Had he already said that? “Steve never told me he moved out.”

“Oh, wow, that’s harsh. He ditched your place without telling you?”

“At least the lease isn’t up until August.” It gave him time to plan, even if it meant a strange female roommate for a few weeks. He couldn’t really afford the place on his own, and he still had no clue what was going on with the food truck.

“Um…” Emily chewed on her bottom lip. “The lease is month-to-month. It’s over in, like ten days, and I have a document with the landlord stating I’m the tenant.”

Joel gaped. “But…this is my place.”

“My place, dude, and no offense, but I do not know you, and I make it a point not to live with strange men.”

“How the hell can he change the lease without me…signing…? Fuck.” Because he dealt with college students, the building’s manager had multiple lease options. Year-long, which is what Joel always signed, but also college-term leases that lasted the length of the college’s school year, and then month-to-month options for the summer, or for temporary tenants. When Steve said he’d renewed the lease last summer while Joel was sick, Joel had assumed he’d done another full-year contract.

Joke’s on me.

“If you don’t believe me, I can get a copy of the lease,” Emily said.

“I believe you. I just don’t understand why he’d do this. Why he wouldn’t at least call and tell me he was leaving, or that if I came back I’d be homeless.”

☆ Author Interview ☆

Welcome, and thank you for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.

Hello! I’m A.M. Arthur, and I’m an author of mostly contemporary LGBT romance novels, with a bit of menage and some Omegaverse as well. I love telling stories about broken men who find love, lonely men who find families, and people who never stop fighting for their dreams. I’ve been writing fiction for about twenty years now, and I’ve been published in MM romance since 2011. I live alone with two fiesty cats, and I love food, as evidenced by my newest series centered around food trucks.

Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?

Is it weird to say my favorite aspect of the new series is Neighborhood Shindig itself? It’s a community within a community where no one is judged for their sexuality, race, or beliefs. And it’s simply a fun place to be. The first three books in the series follow the romances of various food truck tenants, but as the series expands, I plan to utilize even more characters who’ve popped up. So far, I think my favorite character is Joel Fisher, and not just because he’s the first POV character of the series. He’s fought so hard to be where he is, and he continues to fight throughout the series. The series itself is as close as I’ve gotten to “low angst” so that has been a lot of fun to explore, since I’m known for drinking the tears of my readers. *grin*

Did your story turn out as you’d originally planned, or did it veer off in another direction?

Strangely enough, this story did turn out exactly as I’d hoped it would. I wanted low-angst, cute, and novella length, and Joel and Isaiah completely cooperated with me. Sure, there are a few slightly tense moments, but I truly enjoyed writing this story, and I loved meeting the various supporting cast members, especially Isaiah’s dad. Overall, Melting For You was a lot of fun to write and a breath of fresh air compared to my higher-angst stories, and I hope readers enjoy this change.

Choosing from among your own stories, who is your favorite character? Why?

I go back and forth on this sometimes, but I almost always circle back to Tristan Lavalle (The World As He Sees It). Tristan was a secondary character in The Truth As He Knows It, with a traumatic brain injury that destroyed his short-term memory. But Tristan refused to be silenced, and he got his own epic romance in World. He fought hard and won, he has such a big, kind spirit that I love writing him again whenever I can.

Tell us a little bit about your work(s) in progress!

I am toying around with two different WIP’s right now. One of them is the fourth Neighborhood Shindig story, which will feature the owner of a used book store, as well as a side character you will meet in book three. I haven’t gotten too far into that one, because my attention is constantly stolen by the first book in my Omegaverse series spin-off, which takes place years later in the same universe. It’s been fun exploring a whole new generation of characters as they grow and find their own HEA’s. I used to very much be a “sit down and write this until it’s done, then move on” person until the last six months or so. Now I just let the muse jump me from project to project. But I never lack for works in progress!

What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?

Honestly, I read across the board, depending on my interest at the time. I definitely love reading MM romance (mostly ebook there), and it’s usually my go-to if I want something to devour quickly. But I also go on reading binges of different things, like true crime, or memoirs, or m/f urban fantasy. Ebook or print just depends, because I love to hit thrift stores or library sales, so it’s easy to get super cheap print books to binge. But I also follow a few people on social media who regularly post sales and freebies on MM ebooks, so…balance? LOL.

What is your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I would say “What You Own,” a short, stand-alone novel I recently got my rights back to from Dreamspinner Press. This book is my love letter to Broadway musicals, and it never really got the attention I believe it deserved. It also originally came out over five years ago, so I look forward to re-releasing it and giving it new life later this summer. If you’re a fan of RENT and second-chance romance, this is the book for you.

Describe your book in one tweet! “Two young chefs’ hearts melt into one over gourmet grilled cheese in Melting For You, the first novella in the new Neighborhood Shindig series from A.M. Arthur!”

Meet the Author

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Carina Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.

When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

eMail: am_arthur@yahoo.com

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