T.A. Chase: Thank you so much, Sasha for interviewing me today. 🙂 It’s wonderful to be here.
Sasha: Thanks for stopping by CABR 🙂
Tell us, what’s Home Sweet Home all about?
Home Sweet Home is about Yancey MacCafferty and Juan Romanos, who fell in love as teenagers. Their families convinced them to follow their dreams before committing to each other. They go in different directions, but always know where their hearts lie. Finally it’s time for them to be together for the rest of their lives. The book is about that coming together, and fitting each other into the lives they’ve created as they grew up.
HSH is book five in your Home series, but this book is someone’s intro to the series, will they be able to follow the story properly?
I think they would be able to. You meet a lot of the characters from the other books, but without having read their stories, you would still understand what is going on in this one.
(Photo: TA is the woman in yellow on the right)
Did Yancey or Juan surprise you while you were writing their story?
A little. I thought it would be harder for them to figure out how to fit the other one into their lives, but they just slid together like a hand into a glove. It was amazing to see that.
Did you struggle to write a particular scene? Tell us about it.
Hmm…I think my favourite scene is one where Juan is training with his horse, Jekyll. I love horses, and show jumping is one of my favourite sports as well. So I really enjoyed writing this particular scene.
(EXTENDED EXCERPT at bottom of post)
Will you be attending any book conventions or signings this year?
I attended the Romantic Times convention in Kansas City earlier this year (RT13). I’ll be going to Atlanta in October for the GayRomLit conference. Those are the only two conventions or book signings I’m doing this year.
Coffee or tea?
I guess if I had to choose, it would be tea. I like Chai tea the best.
Favourite type of book to escape reality with?
I like fantasy books or historical mysteries for a nice change of pace after I’ve been writing all day.
If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?
That’s a tough question because I rarely want to be anyone but myself. LOL. But if I had to choose, I’d pick Albert Einstein because I’d love to see what it’s like living with his genius and what it was like living in his head.
Thank you so much for the awesome questions, Sasha. I appreciate you taking the time to invite me to your blog.
Aww 🙂 Feel free to come back anytime TA
CONTACT T.A. Chase:
HOME SWEET HOME excerpt:
Juan loosened the reins, letting Jekyll gallop out a few strides before he gathered him back in. He circled back to where Edward stood just inside the arena, arms folded and a slight frown on his face.
“What was wrong with that? He didn’t fight me, and we cleared the fences. Not even a rub.” Juan brought Jekyll to a halt next to Edward, then allowed Jekyll to relax. He patted his gelding along his mane, scratching at the one spot Jekyll loved.
“I know, but your position in the saddle wasn’t perfect. You looked a little unstable, like if Jekyll had refused or run out, you would’ve gone off his back.” Edward squinted up at him. “How did you feel?”
“Pretty solid, man. I would’ve stayed on if Jekyll acted up, but I knew he wasn’t going to. What jump should we do next?” Juan glanced around at the jumps set up at what looked like random intervals in the riding paddock.
“Take him over the liverpool while I raise the height on the combination. It’s not nearly as high as you’re going to need to jump at the Hampton show.” Edward gestured towards the imposing water jump.
Juan grimaced, but after lifting his reins, he nudged Jekyll into a trot, then a canter as they rode past the obstacle. They made two more passes as Juan tried to ensure that Jekyll had seen the water.
Jekyll was a giving horse, and would jump anything Juan pointed him at, but the horse has a deep distrust of water. Juan wasn’t sure what had happened to make Jekyll feel that way—horses had their own quirks just like humans.
After swinging back around so they were lined up with the jump, Juan rose to crouch over Jekyll’s neck, balancing on the balls of his feet rather than with his hands on Jekyll’s neck. His right ankle ached a little, giving him a short reminder of the spill he’d taken last year when he’d ended up breaking it.
He shoved the memory out of his head so he could focus on getting Jekyll over the jump. Juan could tell the instant the gelding spotted the water. Jekyll’s head came up slightly, and he slowed down. Juan wasn’t having any of that because the liverpool was wide and long. The only way they were going to get across without fouling was with speed.
Tapping Jekyll once on the flank with his crop, Juan reminded him to keep moving. Jekyll signalled his displeasure by laying his ears back, but didn’t try to stop. In fact, he sped up, and suddenly Juan had to worry about going too fast for the jump. There was a small wall obstacle seven strides beyond the liverpool. If they cleared the water with too much momentum, Juan might not have enough time to collect Jekyll and get him positioned right for the next jump.
Juan slowed Jekyll as much as he could without losing any of his forward movement. Just as he thought they’d run right into the jump, Jekyll rocked back on his hocks to fling himself in the air.
As perfect as Juan thought his seat was, he was thrown backwards when Jekyll took off, then forwards when the horse landed. Pain shot through his mouth when he bit his lip, but he didn’t have time to worry about the injury. He only had a few seconds to get Jekyll under control enough to hit the take off point for the next fence.
They hit the mark Juan wanted—Jekyll had been listening to Juan. They got over the jump with inches to spare, and without knocking any of the blocks that made up the wall down. It wasn’t the prettiest or most technical jump, but it worked.
Sitting back in the saddle, he gathered up the reins and brought Jekyll down to a trot. Juan went over to where Edward leaned against the first fence of the triple. He took the handkerchief the man held out to him.
“Got a little rough over that one, huh?” Edward commented, a smile on his face.
Juan pressed the scrap of fabric to his lip. “I still haven’t figured out what freaks the dumbass out so much, he practically comes unglued when we have to jump water.”
“The thing is, he’s fine jumping a fence that has water under it, but give him an open pool of water to go over, and he completely loses all sense of composure.” Edward patted Jekyll on the shoulder, and the gelding huffed into the man’s hair.
After unbuckling his helmet, Juan pulled it off. He let it dangle from one hand while he checked Edward’s handkerchief. There wasn’t a lot of blood, so that was a good thing. He wouldn’t have to go to the doctor for stitches or anything. He’d just have to be careful kissing Yancey for the next day or two.
Edward tapped his knee. “Take him over the triple again. The rails are higher, so make sure he’s got enough to get over them.”
He tossed the linen square back to Edward before putting his helmet on again. Juan rode Jekyll around the outer part of the arena, keeping the horse’s attention on what Juan wanted. He knew the gelding was getting tired, and wanted to go back to the barn for his evening meal, but Juan needed him to focus.
“Just these last three jumps, Jekyll, then you can go back to your stall and eat. You’re such a chowhound. I’m surprised you aren’t as roly-poly as a pony,” Juan murmured, keeping up a steady stream of chatter to make sure Jekyll was listening to him.
The fences were higher, but nothing they hadn’t jumped before during competition. Again, he collected Jekyll, shortening his stride and giving the horse a chance to see the fence. Jekyll’s ears perked up, letting Juan know he’d spied the obstacles.
Like a well-oiled machine, they took the three fences without a stride left out or a rub on a rail. Juan let Jekyll gallop a few strides after the last jump, then slowed him to a walk. He dropped the reins, and Jekyll lowered his head almost to the point where his nose touched the ground as they strolled around the arena.
Juan kicked his feet out of the stirrups, dangling his legs along Jekyll’s side. He unhooked the chinstrap on his helmet, but didn’t take it off. Juan didn’t worry about steering Jekyll. The gelding wasn’t about to take any of the fences of his own accord, not after the workout they’d just had.