Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Just The Way You Are by EE Montgomery

I asked EE Montgomery what makes her story different than other contemporary M/M Romances. This is what she had to say:

I don’t think I do anything different than other writers when writing a story. I write what I know, I research what I don’t, and I ask “what if?” a lot.

My aim with the Just Life series was to write vignettes of real life happenings. The beginning scenes in each of the books actually happened to someone. A lot of other scenes that follow on in those books also really happened. I’ve just changed the people and some of the circumstances around them… and exaggerated a little… and added a few other things in. You know—turned it into a story that someone might find interesting.

I think a lot of authors also bring something of themselves into their stories. We all write from experience, whether ours or someone else’s. I do the same thing. Every one of my stories has something of myself in them: something I’ve experienced in my life, or something I’ve learned.

My experiences come through in snippets, changed so all the surrounding prose makes them unrecognizable to anyone else who was there, but the core is there. The core might be someone else’s response, or it might be an emotion, or it might be a lesson learned, but it’s in there somewhere.

Other people could have very similar experiences to me but no two people are going to respond to the same action in the same way. Sometimes my sisters and I reminisce about our childhood. We all grew up in the same house, went to the same schools, had the same neighbours but even significant events in our lives are remembered differently by each of us. Our perceptions of the events are different, our understandings of the meaning of the events are different, our reactions to the events are different.

I bring the same sort of thing to my writing. My own experiences, perceptions and reactions to everything are different to what anyone else would have. I show a unique viewpoint and make it belong to my character.

It’s that personalization that will make my stories different to anyone else’s, because no one else will have exactly my perceptions, realizations or reactions to the same events. (Of course, it’s exactly that, that makes everyone else’s stories different to mine.)

Just the Way You Are is at once the least real story of the series and the most real. It’s the least real because only the very beginning (perhaps the first page or two) is an actual real-life event extrapolated and retold. It’s also the most real because Jonathan lived in a primarily emotionally abusive relationship for a very long time. The insidious nature of emotional abuse is something that’s very real to me. I actually had a lot of difficulty teasing out Jonathan’s reactions to living with Anthony, leaving him and being stalked by him. It’s incredibly difficult to be aware of what you’re feeling and how you’re reacting to things and why, when you’re in the middle of a situation like that. So much of what you do is reactionary and fear-filled, with only one goal in mind: survival. There’s very little deep thought and self-awareness happening at that time.

So that’s why my stories are different to anyone else’s. They all contain part of myself.


After ten years in an abusive relationship and a near-fatal knife wound, Jonathan Watson is finally free. Unused to being able to make even the smallest decision and smothered by family and well-meaning neighbors, he’s floundering in the real world. Jonathan is afraid of falling into another relationship too quickly and realizes he needs time to rediscover who he is before he attaches himself to another man.

He never counted on meeting Ben Urquhart, though. Ben tempts Jonathan to forget everything and take a leap.  For Ben, it's love at first sight, and he doesn't want to take it slow. He wants to build a life with Jonathan, free from harm and full of laughter. But before they can take the next step, they must protect Jonathan from his possessive, threatening ex. Jonathan must find the courage to confront him and break the chains of his past before he can be truly free to build a future with Ben.
Pages or Words: 70,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Chapter ONE
JONATHAN SHIVERED in the early morning air but not from the chill. He wrapped his arms around himself and groaned as his wound tugged against the movement. He relaxed slowly as the pain eased. From where he stood, he could see between the two apartment blocks to where the sun glinted off the Brisbane River. Five years ago he used to watch the ferries puddle their way up and down the river, dropping passengers here at Hamilton and across the way at Bulimba. He’d missed that view for a long time. He wondered if he’d miss the house now that he was leaving it.
The house was gray—morning gray, Anthony had called it, but it had always looked like unwashed, neglected underwear to him. The lines of the house were precise and symmetrical, unlike the yard. The front lawn bore scars, just like his chest. They were from his Cruiser skidding to a stop the night Anthony had sent him to kill Mark. His eyes burned as he thought how close he’d come to doing what his boyfriend told him to.
At the time, he didn’t think he had any other choice. It was kill or be killed. Literally. By the end of that night, Mark had been the only one left uninjured. Liam’s leg had thankfully healed quickly where Anthony had stabbed him. Anthony was still in hospital with a self-inflicted knife wound to the stomach, and Jonathan… Jonathan was done with that life. Anthony’s knife in his chest—so close to his heart it was clearly intended to be fatal—had cured him of whatever delusions he’d held onto that let him believe he was in love with the man. Even Anthony’s assertions that Jonathan was responsible for him being in a wheelchair since the car accident two years before wouldn’t get him to stay.
He was out of it now, or at least he would be as soon as the removalists came and took his stuff away. Then he could begin to heal. The first step had been to learn to breathe again after his lung collapsed when Anthony stabbed him. The next step… he didn’t know what the next step after this was. He wasn’t going to admit it to anyone, but he was just as terrified now, starting a life of his own—on his own—as he was when he thought he was going to die.
The trembling began again. Dizzy. Couldn’t catch his breath. He leaned beside the front door and forced himself to bring his mind back to the here and now and looked around again. There was a new section of fence now, and the Cruiser had been repaired and sat at the curb, waiting for him. His cousin must have had the damage repaired while Jonathan was in the hospital—learning how to make his lung work again after his boyfriend had tried to kill him. He shook the thoughts from his head. He had to stop thinking like this or he’d go mad.
Sleep last night had been impossible. The house had been cleaned, but nothing was going to completely remove the blood splattered on the white carpet. His blood.
A low rumble burbled through the air, and a truck turned onto the street. Jonathan’s heart raced. “You can do this,” he whispered, although he wasn’t quite sure which part of “this” he was talking about. It could be dealing with strangers on his own, or it could be leaving Anthony—finally. He pressed the heel of his hand over the dressing on his chest. Staying with Anthony was no longer an option.
The truck stopped and turned to reverse into the driveway. The high-pitched beeping made Jonathan jump and, to calm himself, he focused on the two men sitting in the cab. The driver looked young and blond, the passenger older and shriveled, his hair sticking out in unkempt tangles.
“Two people. Not Anthony. You’re outside, everything’s marked. You don’t need to go inside with them at all if you don’t want to. You can do this.” He counted his breaths in and out. The beeping stopped, the engine cut out, and the driver’s door opened.
Long, well-formed legs slipped from the cab, by-passing the step completely as a muscled body slid to the ground. Khaki cargo shorts bunched enticingly around a spectacular package before settling loosely around slim hips as the man’s boot-clad feet landed on the ground and he stood away from the truck. Jonathan moved his gaze up the body. The worn T-shirt did nothing to hide the trim stomach and prominent pecs and the sleeves framed the rounded deltoids perfectly. Jonathan sighed as he lifted his focus higher to see the man’s wide smile.

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About the author:
E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.
Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.

Where to find the author:
You can contact E E Montgomery at eemontgomery11@gmail.com; on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ewynelaine.montgomery; on Twitter: @EEMontgomery1; or at her web site: http://www.eemontgomery.com/ and blog: http://www.eemontgomery.com/blog.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Tour Dates & Stops: April 20 – May 1, 2015










Rafflecopter Prize: One copy of the each of the first three books in the series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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