Many thanks to Book Reviews & More by Kathy for hosting me on my blog tour for my new release, Illumination, from Riptide Publishing! It’s a great opportunity for me to talk about the book and the characters that populate it. Because it’s all about the characters, right? And one of the real characters in Illumination is a little lady named “Grace.”
Grace is Miles’s Congo African Grey Parrot. She’s twenty-six years old, about half of her lifespan. She has lived with Miles and his family since she was hatched, and Miles and Lisa think of her sometimes as a particularly dumb little sibling.
But Grace is not dumb. According to Miles, she has quite an extensive vocabulary, of both words and sounds. She also, surprisingly, understands what she’s saying, and has been known to play tricks on Miles deliberately. Little beast has a sense of humor!
Grace and Adam had a period of adjustment that was sometimes kind of uncomfortable. She’s too tidy and well bred to do things like poop on Adam’s stuff, but there was a bit of kerfuffle when she’d try and perch on the neck of his guitar—usually when he was trying to play. And, as she points out below, he’s a little intimidated by her powerful beak. It’s a good thing to be afraid of—they’re designed to crack hard nuts, and can bite nearly through a human finger!!
Like most African Greys, Grace needs a lot of attention, so both Adam and Miles spend time each day playing with her and talking to her. She has a cage full of toys, and the guys will sometimes find some of their own “toys” in with hers. While she is tidy, she’s also a large bird, so things can get messy. The guys have to keep the cottage pretty clean so her spilled seed doesn’t attract bugs. They also have to be careful to keep Miles’s paint supplies out of her way when she’s loose, as he works with some poisonous materials, and Greys are very curious creatures!
But enough of me talking about Grace. What does she have to say for herself? Here she is!!
Grace pretty girl. Miles say. Miles one hot cootchie papa. Adam say. Grace love Miles. Miles give Grace goodies. Miles give Grace kiss kiss.
Adam pretty. Adam give Grace goodies. Adam scared of kiss kiss. Scared Grace bite off nose. Adam funny.
Grace love Lisa. Grace give Lisa kiss kiss. Lisa no scared of kiss kiss.
Miles make stinky pot and Bad Stuff. Say “Grace, no!” if Grace look at Bad Stuff. Grace smart girl. No eat Bad Stuff. Grace no like stinky pot. Stinky. Miles say stinky pot is for pretty pictures. Grace like pretty pictures. Miles say Bad Stuff for pretty pictures.
Miles say “Don’t eat brushes, Grace!” Miles dumb. Grace only taste!
Miles with Grace long long. Many longs. Grace love Miles. Miles little. No pull feathers.
Good Miles. Pretty Miles. Miles big. Give Grace kiss kiss. Give goodies. Good Miles.
Grace house lake. Pretty lake. Go walk Miles pretty days. No walk Adam. Adam scared Grace fly away. Adam dumb. Grace no fly away. Grace no dumb. Got kiss kiss. Got goodies. Grace stay house lake. Pretty house. Pretty lake.
Grace happy girl. Grace pretty girl. Pretty girl, Grace!
Me again. I just wanted to tell you about something pretty amusing, at least to me.
My baby brother got married shortly after I started writing Illumination. About a year later, he and his wife had a beautiful baby girl, and named her Grace. I didn’t tell them I had already named a parrot that in a book…
And then just this year they had another girl—this one named Evie. And… you guessed it—there’s a character named Evie in this book.
I’m starting to get paranoid…
Available from Riptide Publishing September 30, 2013
Title: Illumination by Rowan Speedwell
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, M/M
Length: 307 pages/Word count: 80,200
Adam Craig is burned out. Lead singer of the hard rock band Black Varen, he’s tired of the empty life of groupies, paparazzi, and hotel rooms. Worse, a life in the closet. After the final concert of their latest tour, he flees the afterparty, pursuing memories of lost summers and carefree days, until he passes out on the patio of a shuttered lake resort.
Miles Caldwell is a brilliant artist, tied by agoraphobia and social anxiety to his family’s lodge. Alone but for his parrot, he spends his days illuminating manuscripts and hiding from the complexities of life. When he discovers Adam asleep in a deck chair, he’s furious but intrigued. Adam soon charms his way into Miles’s bed, and they lose themselves in a summer idyll, safe from the compromises and claims of reality.
But Adam’s life, with all it demands, is waiting for him. And Miles, uncertain of Adam’s true feelings, is battling demons of his own. Somehow, the man who’s never home and the man who never leaves it must find the strength to fight for a future together.
You can read an excerpt and/or purchase the book from Illumination at Riptide Publishing’s website, here.
Click HERE to read my review of Illumination.
Rowan Speedwell lives in a tarpaper shack in the North Woods, without so much as cable TV to keep her warm. Compared to her, J.D. Salinger is an extrovert. She is allergic to publicity and loathes marketing, so her books only sell one or two copies. If you have one, she thanks you, as your purchase enables her to buy cat food for her diabetic feline companion, Kimball O’Hara.
She does have internet, when she hikes to the top of the mountain and fires up her PC Jr., so visit her website or follow her on Twitter at @rowanspeedwell if you need to request a refund for the one book you did buy.
One lucky commenter will win a book from Ms. Speedwell’s backlist (WINNER’S CHOICE). Leave a comment on today’s post by Sunday October 6 along with your e-mail address so Ms. Speedwell can contact you if you’re the lucky winner!