April Kelley has a new mm paranormal romance out, Wingspan Book 4: “A Little Unsteady.” And there’s a giveaway.
Nigel wouldn’t mind if Asher called him Daddy if the age-gap didn’t bother him so much.
Nigel Blackburn has lived a full like as a private investigator. His job means he travels solo a lot, which is something he enjoys. He’s a grouchy, stubborn dragon shifter who is better off alone. The last thing he wants is a mate and certainly not one so young. It doesn’t matter that he finds little bobcat shifter, Asher Burkhart, sexy. But all Nigel’s dragon wants to do is protect, which is good because danger drives into town.
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By the gods, Asher looked young. How young, Nigel didn’t know, but he needed to find out.
No one would mistake the age difference. Nigel had life etched into his skin. Not all of it bad. Sun and laughter did their best after he hit his prime.
He shook his head and ran a hand down his face. The kid made him feel every damn year he’d lived, and all Nigel had to do was look at him. Considering he was a dragon shifter, there had been many.
“Are you asking me if I’ll let you find your brother?”
“You’re not a damn prisoner. I’d rather you didn’t wake them, though. They’ve all had a long day and need the rest. So do you, for that matter. Why don’t you lay back down and try to sleep?”
Asher darted his gaze to the closed bedroom door. “Can I have clothes, please?”
Nigel stood and walked over to the dresser. He opened the second drawer from the top and pulled out one of his t-shirts before closing it again. Sweatpants were in the third drawer down. Nothing he had would fit, but that wasn’t the point. He wouldn’t have the kid thinking he had to stay, not after being held captive in the panel room and then at that lab. Somehow, Nigel thought the hostage situation with Terrance caused the most damage. Still, Nigel would follow the kid around like a pet dog before letting him believe his captive status extended to Nigel’s home.
He’d never have to go through anything like that again.
Nigel carried his bundle to Asher, handing it over. He sat on the bed next to him. “The sweatpants have drawstrings.”
Asher nodded and held the clothing to his chest. His eyes shifted to his cat, and his teeth dropped down. Despite the physical response, he sat there as if scared of Nigel.
They were strangers, so the uneasiness made sense. Still, he didn’t like it. “My name is Nigel.”
Nigel smiled. “I know yours. Leaf talks about you often.”
“How old are you?”
Asher narrowed his eyes and met his gaze. To say Nigel was surprised by the sudden change of emotion was an understatement. It made him question his assessment of Asher’s earlier behavior. “I could ask you the same thing?”
Nigel lifted his eyebrows and tried not to smile again. “I would answer that I’m a lot older than you.”
The corner of Asher’s mouth turned up in a half-smile. “Fine. Then I’m a lot younger than you.”
“Are you over the age of eighteen?”
Asher smirked and rolled his eyes. “I can even legally drink alcohol. Imagine that.”
“How many years have you been able to drink alcohol legally?”
“Two.” Asher covered his mouth with the back of his hand when he yawned. Some of the tension in his shoulders disappeared.
“Just a kid.”
Asher shrugged and lay his bundle of clothing on the bed beside him. “Compared to you, probably.”
“Was that an old-man joke?” Nigel stood, taking the clothes and placing them on top of the dresser.
Their age difference might bother Nigel, but talking about it eased Asher’s tension enough that fatigue washed over him. Asher forgot about being guarded. Nigel could tell by the way he lay back down on the bed. “Will you talk to me until I go to sleep? Leaf does that back at home.”
Nigel pulled the covers up around him before turning back to his chair. If he stayed too close, he’d push the kid into bonding. His dragon already roared in protest that he hadn’t mated Asher yet. Nigel sat down, keeping the room between himself and a kid who seemed far too traumatized by the last few months of his life. “What do you want to talk about?”
An Interview with April Kelley
Which book, of yours, touched you the most?
The short answer is each book is an emotional journey but for different reasons.
The long answer: Writing is therapeutic. Often, I don’t even know where my problems lay until I do rewrites. My internal dialogue goes something like, “Oh! I guess that is an issue.” For example, the Pickleville series is all about maneuvering a small town. Each character has his own issues with the town itself. In my little neck of the woods, it’s all a bunch of small towns within a few miles of each other. That whole series explores some of the issues I have with small towns and my family. As A bisexual nonbinary person, ‘fitting in’ hasn’t been easy. The series is my way of exposing these issues to myself and solving them in my own mind.
The overall theme in Saint Lakes and Wingspan is basically about what happens when a group of people’s way of life is threatened. Discrimination hurts everyone, including the discriminator. I wanted to walk down this road and see where it led. This broad theme is where I’m taking both series’ plots. I’m carrying the theme over into a new series set in the same universe when Wingspan and Saint Lakes concludes.
I find each book is a way for me to get out some of my frustrations regarding my own experiences and observations. The series explores the broad theme, but most of the books narrow the theme in some way.
My intention for Wingspan, when I started New Addiction, was to tell a romantic story in a traditional manner. Writing it was a way for me to learn my craft in a very specific way. During rewrites, I realized I explored something much more personal, and that was my own introverted nature and how it sometimes holds me back from being adventurous.
Sometimes, it’s the character. In The Journey of Jimini Renn, Jimini will forever be a favorite because he leaves his comfort zone and safe place to save his brother. The courage it takes to put yourself in danger for someone else is something that touches me.
In A Little Unsteady, Nigel was fun to write because he didn’t want to want Asher. He knew it would change his life if he attached himself. The trope of the story, besides the age gap trope, is fated mates, so it’s a losing battle, which is something he knows right from the start.
What are you working on right now?
So right now, I’m writing two different stories set in the Saint Lakes/Wingspan universe. One is Morgan’s story. Morgan is a secondary character in A Little Unsteady and Solid Ground. I wanted to explore Morgan’s relationship with Asher a bit more and give him a happy ending. His book is called Christmas Cookies.
As the title suggests, it’s a short Christmas novella and comes out mid-December.
The other books I’m working on is about 20k finished, and it’s called Blackwing. It’s a MMM romance set in a vampire coven town called Blackwing-hence, the book’s title. If you’ve read Uncovering the Dark, the eighth book in the Saint Lakes series, you’ll know all about Blackwing. The story follows two secondary characters from book eight, Kellam, who is a member of the Blackwing Coven, and Bailey, who is Damian’s brother. The third main character is a dragon shifter truck driver named Trace. All three are fated mates, but Trace is a lot older than his other two mates. Their age gap isn’t a problem compared to their other issues. Those other issues prove to be dangerous.
I intended for the story to be novella size, but it’ll be novel-length. I’m not sure of the release date yet. I’m shutting for spring 2021. Maybe April or May. I have at least one Saint Lakes short novella I’m releasing in January, one longer Wingspan novella a month or two after, and the next Pickleville books before this one.
What’s your favorite book written by someone else?
My favorite of all time is a book of poetry called Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. For those that don’t know, Walt Whitman is an American poet who lived in the 1800s and was considered controversial because he wrote about men loving each other. I read it like it’s my bible and have more than one copy of the book. My best friend bought me a copy of it for my birthday this year.
In the LGBTQ+ genres, I like anything by KC Luck. She writes lesbian fiction. Her Darkness trilogy is probably my favorite. JL Langley is also a must-read. She writes MM Romance. I particularly like her Sci-Regency series. I’ll read anything LGBTQ+, though.
April Kelley is an author of LGBTQ+ Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more. She’s a main contributor at Once and Books.
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