The Rainbow Connection, Vol. 1 by BJ Sheppard Blog Tour & Giveaway!!!!
As the romance burgeons between Liam and the Mail-Manny of his dreams, each article he writes proves to uncover something new and never realized about himself, namely that all the one-night-stands in the world could never give him what he truly wants; love. In a slapstick commentary through the eyes of the world’s most hypersensitive journalist, watch as Liam’s story unfolds in the most ridiculous of fashions, leading him straight into the arms of love, via The Rainbow Connection.
SO many good things happening here today. Did you read the blurb? Sound like fun so far?? Well, it is! We've got a blurb, an excerpt, questions answered, a little BJ bio and a GIVEAWAY!
Just leave us an awesome comment and we'll put your name in to win a copy of BJ Sheppard's The Rainbow Connection Vol. 1.
*flailing Kermit arms*
Enjoy the following excerpt from The Rainbow Connection . . .
If I were to take a meat cleaver to the brain and infuse my cerebrospinal fluid with strychnine, then attach my eyes to car batteries and gargle with gravel, still it would not be enough to emulate how bad I was feeling that morning. Turns out a gallon of ice cream and the trifecta of mismatched wines in the three for $10 bargain at 7-11 was not the greatest of ideas. In fact, I would claim it to be somewhere near the bottom of the list, as every jerky movement of the elevator threatened to set me to vomiting again, after only having stopped briefly an hour before. With my work shirt fastened like a noose and my Bono-esque indoor shade wearing antics, I zombie walked from the sliding doors and down the corridor, passing Lourdes’s office for fear the pitch of her voice would have my head explode like a rotten grape.
Safely tucked inside my office, I bolted the door (by lying down in front of it) and groaned loudly, like by groaning I could exorcise the demon of my classily acquired wine hangover and liberate myself from the tyranny of my own sorry state of being.
In amidst the multitude of phallus related e-mails from Marie, I clicked on one from Lourdes, bile rising in my throat at the thought of having to expend a single second more writing about the topic that had essentially ended my social life. As the window blared to life, all the tension left my body, sinking from every nerve, tendon and extraneous piece of sinew as I read the in depth analysis of my previous days effort.
Not what we discussed. But it does read better than a who’s-who of dick dives.
P.S Don’t fuck around with the brief again or I’ll castrate you. You might be my favorite employee and wine companion, but if I have to read another of your therapy sessions in this magazine, I’m likely to take us both down in a murder-suicide that will rock the ages.
Even through my impending aneurism, I still managed to laugh.
In the twilight of my most painful working day ever, with little to do but swallow ineffective painkillers and gradually rehydrate to the point of drowning, I began to look back over what had happened with Manny. If I ignored the fumble with that muscle bound shower rapist, then everything was fixable. Surely he would understand if he just heard me out, right? Or not, I guess. At that point I was singing in the clowns, knowing that boys like me don’t get our happy ever afters’, when Lourdes sauntered into my office, for some unbeknownst reason wearing a kimono, and dragging behind her the man of my dreams/the biggest fuck up of my adult life. Manny seemed to be struggling in the tiny woman’s grasp, something that made me reassess the sheer terror that resided in the booze-addled editor (*note to self: tread carefully with that one). When she had dumped the much larger man down in front of me, she smiled as if she were Santa Claus, and she was bringing the best present ever in the form of a pissed of mailman.
“Liam, you smell like the floor of a college bar,” she hissed, as I sniffed at my underarm, the hints of au de sauvignon tickling my nose hair and threatening to recommence the onslaught of my vomitty ways. Though he wasn’t looking at me, it was impossible to miss the slight smile as it escaped his mouth, try as he might to contain it. “If you’re going to become a lush, well you know I’ll be there every step of the way, but try to salvage some kind of dignity before you drag us all down.” I frowned at the woman; wishing looks could kill as she turned her attention to Manny. “And as for you Mr. Collins,” she chided, completely oblivious of the fact that his surname was Jacobs; “if you want to stay in my impeccable graces, then you will sit down and listen to what the boy has to say.”
Both of us feeling like we had just been put on probation seemed to satisfy the old dragon, as she nodded her head once, closing the door behind her as she swept away in a storm of well-meaning arrogance and Channel No.5. Manny sat down in the seat across from my own as I shyly sunk down into the leather of the chair, hoping upon hope that now would be the moment the earth would open up and swallow me whole. I gave it a second, then two, and when it seemed like the earth’s appetite was not for skinny white boys, Manny opened his mouth.
BJ answers some questions . . .
Hi, BJ, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out with you telling us a little bit about yourself?
Well, in all honesty, there is not much to say. I discovered post-its. Also, I am a Disney character. I was cursed by a gypsy in my younger years to never find love as penance for my dead, black heart. Luckily that ugly old crone didn’t bank on me becoming a writer. I make love in different ways.
Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what?
No. No music. One of my WIP’s contains an entire verse from ‘Bitch’ by Meredith Brooks and I can’t find where it is. I need silence. Total, total silence. And horrendous, GI-tract-destroying levels of caffeine.
Was there someone who inspired and encouraged you to begin writing creatively?
Well my folks have always been very creative. Dad is a musician and Ma can make anything she wants with a yard of fabric and some thread, so I had a good start. When I decided to start writing properly, then John Goode, author of the Tales of Foster High series basically gave me all the tools I’d need to believe in myself and get going. He’s like Obi-Wan, Gandalf and Dumbledore, all rolled into one.
How much of Liam is you?
Only the bitchy stuff. The rest of him is just the kind of person I would want as a best friend. I sat down one day and dreamed him up, and all of a sudden he was this complete person, and he hasn’t shut the hell up since.
Do you know a Lourdes?
Ha. Yes. Lourdes is actually me. People always assume I based Liam on myself, but I am the Lourdes. It’s gotten so bad that when I write her into the stories, I usually try and match her, drink for drink. My editor has her work cut out for her when Lourdes appears on the page.
Why did you start writing M/M romance?
I think this genre is really important in the fight for equality. These stories are just that; stories. They are normal people, with normal problems, living normal lives. They aren’t any different from het fiction stories and so I believe it’s a really great thing they exist. Secondly, particularly with YA books, I think they can help people come to terms with their sexuality; to ease them into it one gentle step at a time. I know that if I had had these books growing up, I might not have had such a rough time of coming out.
The Rainbow Connection is basically about an office romance. Have you ever had a relationship with a co-worker?
Now, that would be telling…but no, I haven’t. But I’m still young. There’s still time to play desk buffer with a hot office temp.
How much input do you have in the design of your book covers?
I do it all myself. I’m poor, so it helps. I’m getting better though. I’ve stopped trying to do it on MS Paint at least.
Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have a favorite? If so, who and why?
My favorite character that I have written is from one of my WIPs. He’s a shy author with a heart of gold, and life doesn’t treat him fairly. He has a lot of problems and he makes bad choices, but I really admire his heart. Plus, I wrote him librarian-chic sexy. Which is hot.
If you could sit down to dinner with one person, past or present, who would it be and what’s the one question you’d love to ask?
Joe Manganiello. I would ask him if it’s as big as I think it is.
If life really were like "The Breakfast Club" (and let's face it, we all know that it is), which character would you be?
I always had a weird affinity with Allison. I just didn’t have the hair to make it a perfect match.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I have a career? This is pretty much the pinnacle so far. That, and signing a contract with Wilde City Press for a novella that they are releasing later this year.
Last movie you watched?
X-Men: Days of Future Past. They really need to stop making those movies now. Enough is enough. There is only so much milk you can drain from that cash cow before it keels over and dies.
Favorite band or musician?
Too many to mention. I’m very much into middle of the road American Pop-Rock circa ’96.
Your top five recommendations of gay films please.
Okay, everyone always goes with ‘Shelter’ but that’s not even in my top ten.
Here we go:
1) ‘I Do’ (2012)
2) ‘Strapped’ (2010)
3) ‘Weekend’ (2011)
4) ‘Monster Pies’ (2013)
5) ‘Breakfast With Scot’ (2007)
If you haven’t seen any of those films, then you must watch them all, right now.
I'd empty my bank account and take out a loan to have sex with____. Why?
Well my bank account is perpetually empty anyway, but if I had to donate that 17c to having sex with someone, it would probably be Kyle Chandler. I’ve had this weird obsession with him ever since I watched ‘Early Edition’ as a child. Man of my dreams.
What song do you have to hear only once to get stuck in your head for an entire day?
Katy Fucking Perry – Rawr. That song has been driving me insane for months now. She has a lot to answer for, I tell you.
Where can our readers find you on the web?
X-tube mostly. Or follow the links below.
X-tube huh? Yeah, us too.
About BJ . . . .
It’s always difficult to write about yourself, especially when, like me, you have no idea what you’re doing most of the time. I have always loved to write, from a very early age with some rather extravagant dinosaur fairytales to more recently when I found my writers voice and finally put it to good use. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to write a book, and since finding a genre I am comfortable in, the ideas have been pouring out of me. I hope it never stops.
In my spare time I like to hang out with my friends, write and record music and read all the books I can lay my hands on. I currently live in the south of England, but from here on out, who knows what will happen. Each day is its own.
These books are hopefully the first of many, and while there are readers enjoying my work, then there will always be new things for me to say. If you want to know any more, please feel free to contact me at any of the links above.
My name is BJ Sheppard and all at once I found myself an author. Such a strange sensation to actually feel you deserve the thing you had aspired to for many years. After all, all it took was computer access and an inner world that reads like a Sheryl Crow song to pound the keys and translate my crazy ideas onto the page. I feel like I could have business cards printed. Maybe wear a black roll neck and perch my glasses on the tip of my nose. I could drink whisky and smoke a cigar and do all those really stereotypical things I imagine all writers do. Perhaps I could get laid a little more? This is not the end. Nor the beginning. Hell, it isn’t even about me. My boys write themselves; I really don’t have that much say in the matter. As long as my characters need a voice, I have two chubby typing fingers and a need to please— watch this space: there is more to come.
Don't forget to leave the awesome comment for a chance win your very own copy of The Rainbow Connection, Vol. 1. You can also get a copy from any of the links below:
Barnes & Noble
It will be available on Apple iBooks and Amazon on release day.