Sneak Peek: Appearances by TM Smith – Preview and Giveaway

Hello everyone, Tams here (TM Smith) let me start by saying thank you to all the bloggers that are hosting me today for this special event! 

Welcome to the Appearances pre-release blog hop, sneak peak and giveaway! Today I’m going to share the first two chapters of Appearances with you, a little behind the scenes while writing this book as well as going over my process for choosing some of the names in the series. And, there might be a little giveaway, maybe. The best part is, this is an all day event on Facebook as well, so be sure to join the event and check back throughout the day as I’ve lined up some pretty amazing authors and bloggers to help me host who will be having giveaways of their own. {click here to join the event!}

Schedule (all times are CST central standard time zone)
Author TM Smith: 8-10AM CST
Charlie Cochet: 10-11AM CST
Alina Popescu: 11AM-1PM CST
Angel Martinez: 1-2PM CST
Author TM Smith: 2-3PM CST
Lucien/Raven: 3-4PM CST
J. Scott Coatsworth: 4-5PM CST
Crystal Marie: 5-6PM CST
Author TM Smith: 6-7PM CST
Carly Rose: 7-8PM CST

Lets start with the book that started it all, Opposites.

Opposites is an adult dystopian majorly M/M series set a few centuries in the future in a society where to be gay/lesbian is the norm. To be straight labels you an Opposite and makes you the outkast.
Opposites, book 1 is available now through Amazon, ARe and Smashwords.
The Library, an Opposites novella, is available now through Amazon, ARe and Smashwords.

*WARNING* Opposites is an Adult Dystopian series that contains explicit sexual content and relationships between gay, lesbian and straight couples.

 

Something that I’ve been asked a lot over these last couple years, “How did you come up with the names for your characters?” I knew straight away that this was going to be an epic sort of story, even an author friend that read an early draft commented it was like a gay Game Of Thrones. So I knew that with all the names I’d have to remember already, I did not want to use last names as well. In that aspect, I took on a Dune quality where as everyone is known by their name and their house.

Another question I’ve gotten is why so similar. I thought I was helping readers with that as well, but it may not have come across accurately. Take House Gaeland for instance. Fathers; Rian and Cirian. Mothers; Amaya and Amelia. Children; Aiya and Aiyan. There is a similarity in the names that made me think, these are all from the same house. I guess it didn’t translate as well to some of my readers, sorry about that.

I also tried to use names that were specific to that culture for certain characters. I researched popular and historic names of each culture and that is how I came up with Nadi, Kaden, Theresa, Taryn, Tanis and a few others. There were some names I knew I wanted to use before I even started outlining the story. I chose the name Aiya after hearing it on a sci-fi movie many years ago, it always stuck with me. Adding the ‘n’ to it for her twin brother was easy. Rian was a spelling I’d read in a book and I loved the uniqueness of it. One of my favorite movies is ‘In A Child’s Name’. The mom in that movie was Theresa, with an ‘h’, no one ever really spells Theresa with the ‘h’ anymore and I’ve always liked that more classic spelling.

I wanted to pay respect to my family name, grandparents things like that somewhere as well. Gilley was my late Irish grandmother’s maiden name, so it was a given that the house in Ireland or that part of the country would be called House Gilley. Dr. Anthony Smith… my grandfathers, Robert Antony and William Smith. I write under the name TM Smith not because I don’t want people to know that Tammy Middleton is the author, but because it’s the name my parents gave me. Tammy Michelle Smith is way to long to print out so I shortened it.

{For a listing of names, Houses and their meaning, head over to TTC Books and more}

And now, meet the guest of honor today, Appearances…

Appearances, can be deceiving.Raven and Tanis are trying very hard to merge their vastly different lifestyles, but Tanis’s issues with his own past could prove to be more than their fragile relationship can handle. Is their love for each other strong enough to weather the oncoming storm?

Aiya and Sawyer have fought hard to be together in a world where Opposite relationships are generally forbidden. Yet, they are still forced to keep their relationship a secret while they are outside the walls of House Gaeland.

Everyone assumes that the only threat lies outside their walls, the group of rebels led by Cillian. But something is happening within House Gaeland, something that hasn’t happened since GWI. And with all the attention focused on that, their guard is down. An evil that was under their nose all along strikes, and someone will make the ultimate sacrifice to save another.

At the end of Opposites Cirian shared a secret with his children, the identity of the person known to them as Gorilla Man. Everyone was coming to terms with the relationship that was developing between Aiya and Sawyer, and Tanis proposed to Raven.

Now it is time for Aiya and Aiyan to travel to their spouses homes and meet their people. But that is more the backdrop of this story, as this book concentrates more on the ever growing relationship between Raven and Tanis. The Priest from House Gaeland and his warrior from House Orion. Raven is wise but slightly naive. He never gave much thought to a family or a husband, not that it’s forbidden, he just never thought he’d share his heart with anyone but God. But the inked upped, muscled upped man from Greece that Raven describes as all attitude, muscles and ink… well he rooted his way in there under the radar.While the relationship between Raven and Tanis doesn’t seem to be moving any faster than the twins, in actuality it is. Aiya and Aiyan have known about their matches for years, they know them even if only on paper. These two young men are learning about each other as they go. And once they get to Greece, Raven learns that the description of his fiance from before they met, “A man in every port”, well there wasn’t ever a truer statement. Tanis had always been promiscuous, and now it may come back to bite him in the ass, so to speak.

More secrets will be revealed and a new threat will emerge. But the root of everything that keeps these people and these relationships strong, their love and faith in one another, is the constant that will keep them all alive.

I’m still hoping to release Appearances on August 31st, but right now that is a tentative date. I’ve had some personal issues these last several months, one of those being Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I’ve now had the surgery on both hands, but it has set me back quite a bit with my writing. So I wanted to let you all know that I am moving forward as fast as my body will allow, and also share the first two chapters with you. An appetizer, if you will. Do remember that this is still a work in progress and while it has gone through BETA and a round of editing, there is still some clean up to do before release. So ignore any mistakes and enjoy this exclusive look into Appearances.

Excerpt

[blockquote style=”1″]Aiyan walked through the garden, violin case in hand, heading toward the bench that sat in the center. Sitting, he removed his violin and stroked the strings. He hadn’t played in days and needed to feel the instrument in his hands as he poured his pain into the music. It was the only outlet he could think of at the moment that wouldn’t cause someone else bodily harm.

His life had changed drastically over the past several months. He met and married his match who, thankfully, turned out to be his soul mate. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loved Kaden like no other almost from the minute he laid eyes on him. He realized just how much and how much he stood to lose when Kaden was kidnapped by his uncle. An uncle he didn’t even know he had until after they’d rescued Kaden and brought him back home where he belonged.

He heaved in a deep breath and brought the instrument up to rest on his shoulder, running the bow across the strings a few times to adjust the tone. Then he closed his eyes and let it all go, let all of the pain and anger flow out of his body and into the music. He thought of Kaden inside the palace, in their room packing for their impending trip to House Devi. He thought back to the first time they’d made love after the incident. How loving, tender and gentle he was with his husband; who was still broken and bruised from his captivity.

For a moment he felt the anger seeping back into him as his thoughts strayed to Gorilla man, his uncle, and the violin screamed out a note in agony. He released a breath and regained his composure, moving his thoughts back to Kaden and how they’d leaned on each other in those days and weeks when they first returned to the palace. The melody leveled out as Aiyan stopped trying to control the emotions and just let them flow freely, the insanely beautiful whine of music filled the night air.

***

Kaden closed the last suit case and lifted it off the bed, carrying it over and sitting it by the door with the others. He stood upright when he thought he heard a shrill cry coming from outside their bedroom window. Their bedroom was just off one side of the garden when you looked out the window, which made sense as the garden was Aiyan’s favorite place to be. Kaden walked over and threw the window open, closing his eyes and smiling when he realized what it was he’d heard.

Kaden quickly made his way out of the palace and out into the garden, hell, he would have just jumped out the window to make the trip quicker if he thought he could do it without hurting himself. Kaden rounded the corner and stopped, soaking in the sight of his husband, completely oblivious and completely sexy.

Aiyan’s eyes were closed and the tip of his tongue just barely escaped his mouth, as his head jerked to the side
occasionally with certain notes of the song. Kaden could see how relaxed he was surrounded by the things he loved most. The garden that captured so much color and beauty, and his violin that shared not only the color and beauty inside of Aiyan, but the talent he held as well.

Every emotion Aiyan was feeling played across his face as he felt them, Kaden just stood still and watched. The
emotions blended flawlessly with the notes; anger brought on a loud shrill note and a scrunched up face; happiness brought on a flowing, sharp squeal and a slight smile; and then sadness was the lightest note of all as a tear trickled down Aiyan’s cheek.

Aiyan’s eyes opened when he heard a low crack as Kaden moved toward him, stepping on a twig. “Oh, sorry, I was just letting off some steam.” Aiyan said, moving to put away his violin.

Kaden moved quickly over to him, “No, please… don’t stop. It was beautiful my prince, please play more for me.”

Kaden slid onto the far corner of the bench, smiling slightly as Aiyan smiled back at him.

“You like to beg, don’t you?” Aiyan said playfully, that crooked grin taking over his face. It was true, Kaden had said those exact words to him the night they met, here in the garden, the first time Aiyan kissed him. “No, please… don’t  stop.” Aiyan put his instrument away and then just sat there, silent, staring at the ground. Kaden could not only see, but feel the war of emotions raging inside him. The bond they had seemed to have been there since that first meeting, when they saw the same vision of them kissing on the bed. And it only grew stronger when they were separated. Truth be told, their bond had saved Kaden’s life when Gorilla man had thrown him down that well.

Kaden reached up and pushed Aiyan’s hair back behind his ear, stroking the lobe with his fingers softly as he did. “My prince, tell me what troubles you.” Aiyan didn’t speak, didn’t look up at him, he didn’t even flinch. Kaden scooted a little closer and ran his hand down Aiyan’s arm, joining their fingers together. Still, Aiyan didn’t so much as squeeze his hand back, not even acknowledging Kaden’s attempt to placate him. Kaden brought himself around in front of Aiyan, wedging himself on his knees on the ground between Aiyan’s legs, staring up at him, refusing to be ignored.

They stared into each other’s eyes for several long, intense moments. Kaden toyed with the right words to say, and decided words weren’t what was needed right now. He leaned up and kissed his husband. He just held his lips to Aiyan’s briefly, not attempting to deepen the kiss. When he pulled back Aiyan’s eyes remained closed and he took a few shallow breaths.

“Don’t shut me out Aiyan, not now, we’ve been through too much for you to give me the silent treatment.” That crooked grin was trying to make an appearance Kaden thought, as the corner of Aiyan’s mouth twitched slightly. “There is nothing you can’t tell me. I know you want to deal with these emotions and this anger you feel on your own, but that is the problem Aiyan. Have you thought that the reason you can’t get past this is because you are trying to do it alone? You aren’t alone Aiyan, I am here, right here in front of you, begging you to…….” Kaden didn’t get the rest of his sentence out before he was grabbed and hauled up into Aiyan’s lap. Aiyan’s lips came down on his hard and fierce as Aiyan attempted to tongue fuck him right there on the bench.

Aiyans fingers dug into Kaden’s shoulders and he poured everything he was feeling into the kiss. Kaden moaned into his
mouth and melted into his touch as the kiss ignited a fire inside him. The combination of his own hunger coupled with Aiyan’s left his head spinning. Aiyan pulled back, gasping for breath, when he opened his eyes Kaden saw that they’d turned gold around the rims and he smiled. Aiyan leaned forward until their foreheads were touching, still breathing heavy.

“Okay Kaden, okay. Let’s go back to our room and talk.” He panted out between breaths.

“Just talk?” Kaden whispered. Aiyan barked out a laugh and smacked his ass, which caused Kaden to yelp. They barely made it into their room before Kaden quickly divested them of their clothing. He pushed Aiyan back against the door and climbed up him, devouring his mouth. Aiyan spun them around as he lifted Kaden up off the floor, and slammed him up against the unyielding wooden door. Kaden wrapped both legs around Aiyan’s waist and thrust his hips up.

Aiyan threw his head back and gasped when Kadens thick, hard cock rubbed up against his own. Aiyan kissed him again, his lips as unyielding and hard as the door Kaden was pressed up against. Then he proceeded to fuck Kaden into oblivion, right there up against the bedroom door.[/blockquote]

Did that wet your whistle? Anticipating the full story? Well just you wait! As it is right now I’m at 26 chapters (52000 words aprox) and there is still a bit more to add. So, again, I’m hopeful I can still bring this to you on August 31st, but I will definitely keep you all up to date on the official release date.

Thank you all for stopping by today and continuing to support my efforts with this series. And a huge thank you to all the bloggers that are posting this today, I couldn’t do it without all of you! Be sure to stop by the event today on facebook, I’ve lined up some pretty amazing authors and bloggers to help me celebrate and they are giving away some goodies throughout the day as well. And above all, remember, Love is Love!

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A pleasure to meet you! I’m Alina Popescu, an author, traveler, and hopeless coffee addict. I write urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and sometimes even contemporary stories. A significant number of my books are LGBTQ fiction and romance.

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