Monday, December 14, 2015

Tour Stop & Giveaway for Laura Stone's Bitter Springs

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win either a $25 Interlude Press Gift Card, First Prize: One of five e-copies of 'Bitter Springs' from the author. Contest closes on December 23rd. The tour is sponsored by Pride Promotions.

Talking with the author:

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing LAURA STONE author of BITTER SPRINGS.

Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you for having me!  I'm a full time writer, although not necessarily for my own novels. I ghostwrite, run a media blog and write for an advertising company when not writing for myself.  Bitter Springs is my love letter to my home state of Texas, and to the trailblazing Tejanos, the Native Americans and the black emigrants who shaped both Texas and the Wild West, the folks who often don't get credit for having done so, especially the LGBTQ and Two Spirits who made up a notable percentage of those communities.

Talk to us about your characters in this book. What makes them unique?
I jut love Renaldo Valle Santos so much. I love that he's a twin, I love that he adores his twin sister Calandaría, and I love how much he admires his brothers. He's a guy who grew up believing his family was filled with amazing people, and he's not wrong. So often Westerns have a drifter type, the guy who moves from town to town, never putting down roots, and that's the opposite of Renaldo. He loves the open land, and loves that his family is there with him. When he's finally given the chance to consider more than just that narrow definition of family, it's pretty fortunate that he meets someone who shares those loves, as well.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in getting your book from start to publish?
How long the entire process is! It makes sense: my books go through a series of three or four edits, then you have a typesetter (which means you have to go back and maybe change a word or add more to make the page look right) and all the little choices that come with that. Special fonts? Use fleurons? And I love knowing that there's actually a word for the glyphs that sometimes break up sections or head chapters!

Have you ever gone to a convention? If so, how was it? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to do in the future?
I have, and they. Are. Awesome. The best convention hands down is the Romantic Times convention, because it's for everyone: publishers, authors, bloggers, and most especially the readers. Last year was in Dallas (my home town) so it was a blast meeting so many folks and spending a full week doing nothing but talking about the books we love. 2016 will be held in Vegas, baby, so that is a week that I am eagerly anticipating. Be sure to come find me if you go, and we can talk about our favorite books while heading over to the craps table. I mean, me? Gamble? Erm.

Would you like to be a full-time writer?
I actually write for my living currently, although not strictly my own works. Ghostwriting and copy editing pay the bills, and while it's not necessarily glamorous, I get a lot out of it. The dream, of course, is to write enough novels that readers enjoy to be able to devote all of my time to it. Or, you know, find a rich benefactor with a weak ticker. Anyone know how to hook up with one of those Billionaire Werewolf Businessmen the Scottish countryside is evidently lousy with?

Design the ultimate pizza.
For this beauty we're ditching the marinara and going with a white sauce. (Make a roux, whisk in some milk, parmesan, garlic, olive oil salt and pepper until it coats the back of a spoon. Do not stand over the stovetop and eat it with a spoon. Wait, you know what? You do you. I'm not here to judge.) So we have  our dough stretched and waiting, schmear some of that white sauce on there. Layer some thin slices of salumi, fresh basil leaves, some onion, spinach leaves, and strips of roasted red pepper. Put your cheese on this to hold it all together (I like Parmesan and a little Wisconsin cheddar because it melts so nice). Toss some banana pepper slices on there, pop it in the oven until the dough starts to get really brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Alternate fave pizza: Olive oil, Prosciutto slices, spinach leaves, roasted figs and goat cheese. Okay, who's coming over to dinner? I think I know what we're having.

Now let's check out Laura Stone's Bitter Springs....

Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Collen M. Good
Release Date: December 3, 2015

In 1870s Texas, Renaldo Valle Santos, the youngest son of a large and traditional family, has been sent to train with Henry “Hank” Burnett, a freed slave and talented mesteñero—or horse- catcher—so he may continue the family horse trade. Bitter Springs is a sweeping epic that takes themes from traditional Mexican literature and Old Westerns to tell the story of a man coming into his own and realizing his destiny lies in the wild open spaces with the man who loves him, far from expectations of society.

Pages or Words: 302 pages

Categories: Fiction, Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, Romance, Western/Cowboy


The day before the wedding, a visitor arrived at Vista Verde an entire week early. Renaldo, ready to wash up and eat dinner after a long, hard dayhis side ached from roping cattle as a part of Paloma's training, his hands were full of bits of raw hemp from the stock lassos, and one of the calves had kicked him high on the thighwalked back from the barn using his hat to slap at the dust on his chest and thighs. He noticed a tall, striking young black man standing at the door to their home speaking with their father. They didn't see many black men this far from civilizationwith the Civil War ending so recently, many were staying close to where they'd been forced to live, were heading far out west where there were more opportunities to make a new life or were going north seeking less hostile society. Who he could be?
He was about as tall as Renaldo, maybe an inch or two more, broad-shouldered and whip-thin, dressed in well-worn, simple clothes. He had a close-cropped beard, but instead of hiding the shape of his jaw, it accented its sharpness. His light eyes, almost luminescent even at this distance and glowing like amber, were ringed with thick lashes, nearly to the point of being girlish, but there was nothing feminine about the man. With his lean but strong-looking chest, muscular arms and curved backside, he managed to carry himself with a confident air while standing idly; his body was still, but in a way that made Renaldo think of a raptor sitting on an abutment, watching and waiting.
Oh, here he is,Estebán said, motioning for Renaldo to join them, saying, Señor Burnett, allow me to introduce to you my son, Renaldo.
This? This was the legendary mesteñero, Henry Burnett? He couldn't be much older than Renaldo, who realized his jaw had dropped. He closed his mouth quickly and moved toward them as if drawn like metal shavings to a magnet.
Burnett, however, looked amused, as the edge of his mouth quirked up. Pleased to meet you,he said, his voice deep and husky.
Renaldo couldn't look away, shocked that his expectations couldn't have been more wrong. This was a vibrant young man. But... this was the man he would be alone with on the prairie for months? His stomach twisted at that thought, and at how unexpected it all was, causing his heart to race and face flush. Yes, it was unexpected. That Burnett had come so much sooner than they'd expected had to be why Renaldo couldn't find his voice and felt so upended.
Mijo,” his father said sharply.
Renaldo shook himself slightly, and then nodded, saying, Señor Burnett, it's very good to meet you, finally. Please forgive my shock, as I don't believe we expected you so soon.
Burnett laughed, a rolling, melodious sound, and replied, Well, then just imagine my shock when I come here all the way from Nacogdoches expecting one Valle man, only to find him gone and you in his place.He smiled. Your padre seems to think you're a better match, so that works for me.
That smile, bright teeth framed by full lips, eyes crinkled at the corners, helped lessen some of Renaldo's shock and, if he was being honest, some of the worry that he carried about spending a lot of time with a hard, taciturn man Renaldo knew he would be unable to please. At the realization that this was who he would be with on the plains, just the two of them with no one else for weeks on end, Renaldo became excited, finally looking forward to this task. A young man with an infectious grin wouldn't be such a chore to be stuck with after all.

Buy the Book:
Interlude Press Web

Tour Dates & Stops:

Meet the author:

Laura Stone is a born and bred Texan, but don't hold that against her. She's a former comedian, actress and Master Gardener, and currently keeps busy as a media blogger, ghostwriter and novelist when not busy raising her three children. They're not fully raised, but then, neither is she.
She lives in Texas as proof that it's not completely populated by hard-line right-wingers. And because that's where the good tamales are. Her first novel, The Bones of You, was published by Interlude Press in 2014 and was named a finalist for two Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Award. Laura Stone at and on Facebook at

Where to find the author:
Twitter: @stoneyboboney

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1 comment:

Laura Stone said...

Dawn, thank you so much for having me! I appreciate it. Good luck on the Raffle, y'all!

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