Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Sam E. Kraemer – Sam grew up in the rural Midwest before moving to the East Coast with a dashing young man who swept them off their feet, and the couple has now settled in the desert of Nevada. Sam writes M/M contemporary romance, subgenres: sweet low angst, age-gap, cowboys, mysteries, and military/mercenary. Sam is a firm believer in “Love is Love” regardless of how it presents itself and a staunch ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Sam has a loving, supportive family and feels blessed by the universe every day for all that has been given. Sam’s old enough to know how to have fun, but too old to care what others think about their definition of a good time. In their heart and soul, Sam believes they’ve hit the cosmic jackpot!
Get book one in Sam’s Lonely Heroes series free here: mybook.to/Ranger_Hank
Thanks so much, Sam, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Sam E. Kraemer: I was at GRL in 2019, and that question was presented to a panel I was attending. I laughed at the answer one of the writers gave: “I read reviews until I see the first bad one. Then I stop.” I have taken that to be my motto. I’ve seen many better authors than me say don’t read them—they’re for the readers. Of course, I don’t look away from a car wreck either!
JSC: What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?
SEK: First, I curse my damn luck, then I put notes into my phone that I usually don’t understand when I reread them.
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
SEK: I’ve tried to be a plotter, I really have. It appeals to the organized side of my brain, and If one scene is giving me trouble, in theory, I should be able to skip it and go back. That’s what I’ve read, and it’s appealing, BUT… I just can’t do it. The stories I’ve actually sat down and plotted never end up where I think they’ll go, and I get flustered and freak out. I’ve finally embraced the pantser in me, and I enjoy going along for the ride!
JSC: Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?
SEK: I can honestly say both. In “The Secrets We Whisper to the Bees,” Mrs. Wickersham and her honeybees came first, and she’s not an MC!
I had a flash of a little New Englander who is independent and a tough old bird, but she has a kind heart when she sees Jex sleeping on her beach property in a tent. She’s drawn to the respectful way he treats her property by cleaning up after himself and always taking away his trash when he goes to work. I could see the large Victorian style home that had become a B&B, and then the MCs and their love story grew from there.
JSC: What is the most heartfelt thing a reader has said to you?
SEK: It was seriously just the other day. I was checking email, and I got a note from a reader. It was two lines. “I just finished reading Ranger Hank with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing this story.” That made me cry, too.
JSC: How did you choose the topic for Guardian gabe?
SEK: The series starts in Book 1, which is about an Army Ranger who is getting out of the service to live the civilian life – secrets and trauma included. I have family members who had two different experiences in the military, and it inspired the series. This book, Book 2, is about a brother-in-arms and his life after he leaves the military as well. Two different men—two different experiences.
JSC: Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?
SEK: Arden O’Keefe of KSL Designs did the covers, and they’re fantastic! The books are rereleases because they weren’t edited the first time around, but the stories were great (IMO), and I wanted to give them a second life. Arden embraced my wishes after I sent him my “Bible” with inspirational pics for the series, and he asks questions and sends me mock-ups until its exactly what I want. (Thanks @Arden!)
JSC: What’s your drink of choice?
SEK: Margaritas and beer!!
JSC: What food fuels your writing?
SEK: Rice Crispy Treats!!!
JSC: What are you working on now?
SEK: I’m starting a new series about baseball! I just finished a book, and I decided there was still a lot to explore, so I’m going to grow it into a series. I’ve been brainstorming with a friend, and there’s one character who will have a very unconventional presence in the books if I do it right!! Stay tuned!
JSC: How does the world end?
SEK: Happily Ever After, Scott!
And now for Sam’s latest book: Guardian Gabe:
“Mr. Torrente? You need to come down here.”
My receptionist isn’t one to make demands, so I hurry down the stairs to see what all the fuss is about. Little did I know, the moment I walk down those stairs, my life is going to change in ways I can’t begin to fathom.
The boy and girl seated in the lobby come as a surprise, but the man bursting through the front door moments later has me nearly swallowing my tongue. He’s beautiful, funny, and infuriating. He says he’s a dancer with a job lined up on a cruise ship, but he’s crazy if he thinks I’ll admit to being the father of these two adorable kids I’ve never seen before in my life. His name is Dexter Carrington.
What the hell is happening to my once serene life?
A call from my mother informs me that she has my niece and nephew for the summer because my sister, a mediocre hairstylist from Jersey City, has decided to take a job that requires her to travel.
The unexpected call a few weeks later telling me my mother passed away is devastating, and a social worker says my niece and nephew will have to go into foster care, which only compounds my problems. I’m able to work out a deal to take the kids until my sister is found or their father is identified. Should be easy since I have a photo of him, right?
The handsome man I meet claims to be a wedding photographer, but when I catch the flash of a gun holster while he’s kneeling down to talk to my niece and nephew—who he looks nothing like—I have the impression there’s a lot more to him than he’s letting on. He’s unlike any man I’ve ever met, and his name is Gabriele Torrente.
What the hell is happening to my once dull and peaceful life?
This book is approximately 103,000 words in length and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. It is the second book in the series entitled “The Lonely Heroes Series.”
As I made my way through the club, I noticed a guy in green satin briefs on one of the lighted boxes. He had a magnificent ass and watching him humping the floor in time with a Ginuwine song caught my attention—both heads. He seductively stood and removed the riding helmet he was wearing, holding it in front of his crotch, seeming to fuck into it before he put it back onto his head and strutted around the lighted box.
I was drawn to him because I hadn’t seen anyone sexier in my life—well, not since I’d seen Dexter Carrington. As he began moving again, my eyes were laser focused on the finger he had in his mouth that trailed down his chest before he touched the tip of his satin-covered cock and bucked his hips twice in time with the music.
He then turned to the audience and did a backbend, flexing his hips like nothing I’d ever seen in my life before he stood again and dropped his ass to the floor, bouncing on his legs as if he were riding a cock. He was grinding his hips, and I was sprung.
I reached up with a fifty and touched the back of his thigh. When he turned to wink at me, we were both surprised. I didn’t hesitate one second. “Oh, fuck no!” I pulled him off the stage and began carrying him out of the bar, him protesting the whole time. There was no way Dex Carrington was going to dance like that in a goddamn bar if I had anything to do with it.