The Mad Tara’s Champagne Party
Happy Birthday, Amber! Thank you for inviting me to share my thoughts on the Birthday Party I’d throw for myself. I actually asked my honey what he thought I’d want. He summed it up. Champagne, cheese, and presents! Yep. Champagne is my drug of choice, I’ll eat cheese before most any other food, and I love the suspense and festivity of surprises.
So I imagine something just shy of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Every place setting has a different variation on a champagne drink – a Kir Royale, a French 75, a Mimosa, a Bellini, etc. – and a special cheese snack with veggies or fruit or crackers or something. All the guests enjoy the goodies at each place setting then – move down!
The guests, of course, are most important. Since Amber asked for fictional guests only, a lot of mine would be men. It would be hard not to invite all my heroes but if I have to choose I’d probably err on the side of sparkling conversation.
That means, of course, I’d invite Shaz Phillips from Knight of Ocean Avenue. He’s not only bright and witty, but he’s deeply familiar with Biblical scripture and loves discussing spiritual topics. I’d love to see Shaz meet Jory Keyes, Mary Calmes’ hero from the Matter of Time series. Jory doesn’t know a stranger and would keep the party going. I’d also invite Snake Erasmo from High Balls. Snake’s unlikely combination of interests would enliven any party. Then, of course, there’s Paris Marketo, the snarky panther shifter from The Pack or the Panther. Maybe if I spoke sweetly, he’d dance for us – on his pole! I’d invite Dr. Llewellyn Lewis from the Case of the Sexy Shakespearean since he’s such a fascinating scholar and delver into mysteries, but he probably wouldn’t come. Too shy. And I think I’d have to invite all the heroes of my new 2019 series, Superordinary Society, to the party – Jazz, Dash, BeBop, Carla, Khadija and Fatima. They’re too young to drink, so we’ll need some sparkling cider.
Rats! I can’t really cut down the guest list – it goes on and on. It’s going to have to be a VERY big table, but that’s okay, because I’d like all my readers to come too.
To thank people for coming to celebrate Amber’s birthday, I’ll give one winner their choice of any ebook from my Dreamspinner titles (which is all but a very few books). You can pick one you think might include a great birthday party guest!
How can you be twenty-five and not know you’re gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy’s life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor’s license he so desires, and fear of his mother’s judgment blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.
Then, in preparation for his sister’s big wedding, Billy meets Shaz—Chase Phillips—a rising-star celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he’s ever wanted—stalwart, honest, brave—but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he’d get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?