Saturday, November 25, 2017

Author Saturday Spotlight: Jamie Fessenden #Interview #Giveaway

I am so excited to have Jamie Fessenden here today as our Saturday Spotlight! He wrote one of my favorite books of 2017, The Rules, so having him here is a real treat. He's been writing for awhile now so if you haven't read him yet you need to make this happen and if you're familiar with his work you understand how exciting this is. We are going to chit chat, look at his work, and there's a giveaway at the end. Get comfy folks.

A Cop for Christmas:


Mason Collier isn’t big on authority figures. When Officer Steve Coleman pulls him over and gives him a speeding ticket, he doesn’t react well. He’s even less happy when he discovers the cop lives next door to his parents’ house.

No matter where they turn this holiday season, Steve and Mason keep running into each other, and whenever they talk for more than a minute, they piss each other off. But from wayward dogs to Christmas tree hunts to maple syrup festivals, it proves impossible to avoid each other in the small town. 

If Mason can see the good man behind the badge, he might just get a cop for Christmas.

The Rules:


WHEN HANS BAUER, a college student in New Hampshire, accepts a job as a housekeeper for an older gay couple, he soon learns the reason they've hired someone with no experience is that professional agencies won't work there. Thomas is a successful businessman whose biggest goal in life appears to be giving his husband anything he wants. Boris is a writer who immigrated to this country from Russia, and suffers from depression and PTSD because of the things he endured in his native country.

He also refuses to wear clothes—ever.

While Hans is working alone in the house with Naked Boris all day, things start getting a little weird. Boris gets flirtatious and Hans backs away, not wanting to come between him and his husband. So Boris calls Thomas at work and asks permission.

At that moment, The Rules are born—rules about touching and kissing and pet names that the three men use to keep jealousies at bay, as they explore the possibilities in a new type of relationship....

WARNING: This story deals with themes of sexual assault and past abuse.

Bigfoot Hunters in Love:


When Stuart bought a house in the country, he thought he’d have some quiet time to write. The last thing he expected was to be chased through the forest in the middle of the night by something massive and hairy that can run on two legs. When he literally runs into a ranger named Jake, he learns the bizarre truth: he’s just had a Bigfoot sighting. 

Jake rescues him, but Stuart soon discovers he hasn’t seen the last of Bigfoot. There’s a family of the creatures out there, and Jake has been tracking them for years through the state parks of New Hampshire. Soon Stuart finds himself caught up in Jake’s quest… and in very close quarters with the handsome ranger himself. 

A Viking for Yule:

Sequel to A Cop For Christmas

Amazon link: (pending)


After Sam's grandfather nearly died in a blizzard one year ago, Sam has panic attacks in snow storms. So where does his friend Jackie propose they spend the holidays, as the last stop on their trip around the world?
Iceland. Of course.
But there's more in Iceland than snow. When Arnar, a handsome Icelandic man, offers to escort Sam on a several-day tour of the beautiful countryside, they soon find themselves drawn to each other. But Arnar is firmly rooted in his native soil, and Sam has to return to the US in a week to care for his ailing grandfather.

Suddenly, yule can’t last nearly long enough.


Thank you, Jamie, for hanging out with me today. I’m a huge fan of your work so it’s always exciting to talk with authors I admire. I’m going to pick your brain.

The holidays are coming. Last year you wrote A Cop For Christmas, and I hear you have another holiday book coming that has some relation to that one. Care to talk about it?

I’d love to! This year, in A Viking for Yule, I wanted to follow up on something I planted the seeds for in A Cop for Christmas—the budding friendship between Sam, Steve’s lonely ex-boyfriend, and Jackie, who is a bit like Rosalind Russell’s Auntie Mame. We run into them a year later, at the tail end of a trip around the world. Sam is now more self-confident, after being flirted with in several different countries and having visited Japanese and Russian baths. When Jackie more or less abandons him on their tour of Iceland, during the Yule season, a young man named Arnar steps in to show Sam around. Together, they explore the rugged countryside of Iceland in December.

Do you see even more of a continuation of this series for holidays to come?

Possibly. I’ve been wanting to show Mason’s younger brother, and how he came to be in a triad. Kade was pretty popular with readers last year, and I find him a fascinating character, but since he’s involved with both a woman (Bethany) and a man (Jared), it wouldn’t be a MM Romance. So it’s unlikely to be the story I put out for Christmas next year. Perhaps another story during the summer….

What would you say is the easiest part and the hardest part about publishing a book?

Self-publishing, you mean? So far, the hardest part has been formatting for paperback. That was a nightmare. Not only do you have to worry about the way the text looks on the page, but you have to know how many pages it’s going to be, so your cover artist can get the thickness of the binding right. Otherwise, the cover will be misaligned. Then, if you want to include images (which I generally do), you have to get the dpi and the dimensions correct. That took forever. My pictures kept sliding off the page, or ending up being too tiny. Then when I thought it would be neat to have one color image in the back, the price Createspace put on the book was astronomical, so I had to convert it to grayscale. Ugh! I’m hoping the next one is easier.

The easiest part? Probably the cover design. Easy for me, anyway. The cover artist works very hard at it, I’m sure. But all I have to do is approve the design elements, pay (very important!), and wait for the finished product. Incidentally, I strongly recommend hiring professionals to do cover art. Nothing kills interest in a book faster than a bad cover.

Talk to me about self-publishing vs using a publisher. You’ve done both. What are the pros and cons?

It’s easier with a publisher. Much easier. You have to go through edits and (if you’re lucky) approve cover design, but the publisher takes care of everything else. When you self-publish, you have to hire an editor and a cover artist, which can be daunting if you don’t know any. Once it’s edited and you have a cover, you either spend a few days fighting with formatting for Kindle or *shudder* Smashwords (Why Smashwords is so difficult, I can’t fathom) or Createspace, if you’re releasing a paperback. Then you have to figure out all the cryptic parameters when you upload and set pricing.
On the other hand, you tend to make more money self-publishing. This might not always be true. Books listed on a well-known site might sell more. But especially after you have some books out and have built up a reader base, self-publishing simply pays more on the dollar, because the publisher is no longer taking a percentage.

The Rules. I love this book. It’s easily a favorite of the year. How did this story come to be and what research did you have to do?

There were basically two things that converged to create The Rules: my love of Russian language and culture and my fascination with poly relationships.

My love of all things Russian goes back to the mid 80s, when I was a college student and Ronald Reagan was insisting Russia was the “Evil Empire.” I was irked by the way so many Americans blindly assumed Russians were evil, without knowing anything about them, so I set out to learn more about the country. I enrolled in Russian language courses and got to know some Russian immigrants. After college, what little I’d learned of the language slipped away from me—it’s a very difficult language for Americans to learn—but a few years ago, I learned there were tutors available in the area, so I began learning the language again. I’m as appalled as anyone else by the way LGBT people are being treated in that country, especially Chechnya. But things had been going pretty well for LGBT rights before the anti-gay legislation passed by Putin, and there are still well-known gay bars in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I think it’s important to remember that no country is homogenous. Not everybody is anti-LGBT, even there.

Side Note: several Russian readers pointed out I’d made some errors in the language, so I had to re-publish the files, after making changes. One of the hazards of writing about someone else’s culture.
I know a lot of people who are in poly relationships, and it seemed to me they weren’t being represented much in MM Romance. There are some good MMM books, but the list wasn’t extremely long. So many were being marketed as “hot, hot, hot!” and “taboo.” (I do not appreciate having gay relationships—my relationships—being referred to as “taboo,” and I doubt many poly people like that either.) So I was determined to write about a poly relationship that focused on love and forming a family—not how kinky the sex is. I want to emphasize that mine is not the first to do this. I read several very nice MMM stories that depicted loving relationships. But this is what I wanted to see more of. As it turned out, the nature of the story required me to have a lot more sex scenes than I usually do in my stories, but that just arose organically from the idea of three men testing their boundaries and learning what did and did not work for them. It’s also what suggested the title, after I’d gone through several that just didn’t fit like “Throuple.”

Will there be more of these guys?

As characters in someone else’s story, perhaps. But I’m not sure that there’s much left to their story, besides settling down comfortably together. Someone once told me (paraphrasing), “The problem with a sequel to a happily-ever-after story is that you have to damage the happy ending of the first one in order to reintroduce conflict. Then you’d better make the new ending even better than the first, or you risk damaging the warm fuzzy feeling readers had about the first one.” I absolutely believe that. So if we see Boris, Hans, and Thomas again, it will be in passing, and they will be very happy together.

Can you tell us what you are currently working on?

In addition to polishing up A Viking for Yule to put out next week, I have a few chapters left to write for a Dreamspun Desire about a pianist who injured his hands and goes back to the small town he grew up in to recuperate. He immediately comes into contact with the town handyman—his first crush in high school—and sparks fly between them. But both know the pianist will be leaving soon to go back to his career. It’s currently titled Small Town Sonata.

How will you be spending the holidays?

We visited my in-laws for Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, and possibly might do the same for Christmas. If not, I’ll make a turkey dinner at home—for me and the dogs. Erich doesn’t eat meat, so he just eats the vegetables. My brother and his wife have a long-standing tradition of hosting a Christmas party in mid January, and that marks the end of our holiday season.

How can readers follow your work: Website, FB, twitter, etc…?

I’m very active on Facebook, and will accept friend requests from anybody who isn’t in their underwear in their profile picture:
I’m also moderately active on Twitter:
And my official website is here:


Coffee or tea? Coffee
Favorite color? Burgundy
Best place to write? On the front porch, during warm weather
Hero or villain? Hero
Favorite comfort food? Mashed potatoes and gravy
Leftie or righty? Righty
Favorite time of day? After midnight, when the rest of the world is asleep

Thank you so much for talking with me! 


Jamie is gifting A Cop For Christmas to three
people!!! Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance
to win!

Contest will end December 1st!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I’m a new reader to this author!

  2. I have most of Jamie's books "Billy's Bones" is my favourite.

  3. Congrats, Jamie, on getting the spotlight, and thanks for all your good books. My fav is also Billy's Bones. -
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  4. Not a new author for me but I haven't read anything but his short stories I think my favorite might be The Meaning of Vengeance.

  5. I have not read any stories by Jamie. I love the sounds of the first one.

  6. Jamie is a new writer to me. I'm looking forward to reading these stories

  7. "The Book of St. Cyprian" was one of the lighter stories of Mr. Fessenden's that I've read. I've read the Gothika stories and "The Meaning of Vengeance." "A Cop for Christmas" sounds like a lighter book than some of his, and I tend to be a fan of more fluffy books. :)

  8. I really enjoyed Billy's Bones