The guys welcome GayRomance.Show: The MM Author Podcast to the gay romance podcast neighborhood and recommend everyone check it out. They also discuss the films Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Skatetown U.S.A.

Jeff & Will review the new Netflix series The Politician. Will kicks off a month of paranormal reviews with The Vampire’s Club Book 1 by X. Aratare.

Jeff talks to Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn about Goalie Interference. They discuss the real-life players and situations that inspired the books in the Hat Trick series and why the diverse characters in Goalie Interference are important to them. We also find out how they become hockey fans, what’s up next in the Hat Trick series and how their writing partnership works.

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Show Notes

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Interview Transcript – Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

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Jeff: Avon and Piper, welcome to the podcast. It is so awesome to have you here to celebrate the release of “Goalie Interference” and the start of hockey season.

Piper: Yay. Thanks for having us.

Avon: Yes. Thank you.

Jeff: So I adored Goalie Interference so much. I mean I reviewed it last weekend, kind of was just like all gaga over it.

But for those who maybe missed that, or need to hear it from you guys, tell us what this book is all about in your words.

Piper: When we were writing Off the Ice. We really both love goalies. Like it’s just a thing. We have goalie love and we wanted to write a rivalry between two on the same team and it was just like that was the initial idea, the kernel that started it all off.

Yeah, that’s where the initial idea came from and we just work to develop it from there, figuring out at firs,t like do we want them on the same team? Do you want them on opposing teams? How’s that going to work? And it just made more sense to put them on the same team – the time that they would get to spend together.

It kind of just went from there in the characters – Ryu, of course introducing off the ice then Emmitt developed, you know as we were plotting and we loved them both right away and their chemistry in their banter and everything else. And yeah, it was just a lot of fun to kind of take it and run with it.

Avon: We liked making Emmitt from the minor leagues because I love when goalies get their big break and get to move up from like AHL. I really wanted it to be this like Hotshot. Goalie who was coming in with a lot of confidence, but also have like not a chip on his shoulder, but something to prove and was really just gung-ho about being a team starter kind of against the more like level-headed guy who’s already been there.

So that adds some nice tension

Jeff: You build so much tension in this book in so many ways. How did that manifest while you were plotting? How many stress points are you trying to come up with for these two?

Avon: They did it.

Piper: I think so because when we initially plotted obviously we knew who’s going to be the starter.

What’s going to be the big point of contention between them and then eventually we had to make the decision of you know, what happens during the playoffs and go from there. And so those were the two big things that we initially came up with while plotting and everything else just kind of happened, you know, organically as we wrote.

Jeff: And I love how you handled time in this book because it’s a standard, you know word count/page count romance and yet you covered the hockey season here.

Avon: It’s nice to have an idea of how much time needs to pass but it’s also kind of stressful because we would be like, wait a minute…

They haven’t played hockey in like 3 months. What are you doing? Or like wait, where are they right now or had a holiday just happened because it goes by so fast. I think when you’re playing it or when you think about the season it’s you know, it’s only so many months, but then to write out the plot points of somebody getting in a relationship often doesn’t happen in that small of a time period.

Piper: Yeah, and we had to go back through the manuscript and mark timelines, like okay right now we’re in October, and right now we’re in November and just mark the significant time periods. Otherwise she said we’d be like, oh, wait. When are we in the season? What’s happening to Christmas and Thanksgiving?

You know what I mean? That had to be something that we had to be aware of and kind of track throughout the writing of the book because we wanted it to be the over the course of the season because kind of close to what we did for Off the Ice to obviously that one started a little earlier because of the summer classes and stuff.

But you know, the whole meat of the book happened mostly throughout the season itself. So we kind of wanted to keep that as a theme too.

Jeff: I love the diversity that you got here between Ryu and Emmitt also. It’s something we don’t see enough in romance. Persons of color in these lead roles, but honestly, it’s also not that common in the NHL either to have persons of color. What was your origin for the pairing? As you noted, Ryu came from Off the Ice, but then in developing Emmett?

Piper: Well, you know, I’m Latinx and I consider myself a person of color and I as a hockey fan – I mean it’s hard to deny that the league is extremely white. Like there are very few players of color and they’re few and far between and you’re lucky if you get two on the same team and sometimes even one.

And we wanted two because hockey romance in general tends to be very white and I see very few characters of color. And so we wanted to focus on that. We wanted to make sure that we included some of the men of color that are actually in the game and playing and that who have played historically in the game.

We wanted to just do a little nod towards them and also just because I am a person of color my whole family is made up of brown people, you know, various shades of brown and we’re beautiful I think and I just wanted to spread some of that love and get some of that representation in there. So, you know Ryu had already, we had already decided he was Japanese American in the first book and then Emmitt.

Yeah. He just kind of – I don’t know when we decided that he would be a black man. At one point while talking and plotting we decided to go for it. And then you know the whole conflict with his father and the football aspect and all of that other stuff just kind of developed from there, then we just went for it.

We just really wanted to focus on two men of color in the sport, especially because next book, it’s once again back to two characters that are white. That was our main motivator, just to get some representation out there in a league that you don’t see very many people of color playing in.

Avon: Ryan Reaves is one of my favorite players and he’s black and then I was thinking of the Blackhawks goalie. Was it Ray Emery? Yeah him and Ryan Reaves especially and Evander Kane were a couple of the ones I was thinking of. So we definitely wanted to introduce something a little less white.

Jeff: I liked a lot what you did with Emmitt and his dad as well and that whole dynamic actually overall. I really like what you did with the parents in this story, both having their own things going on with what their kids were doing.

Avon: Yeah, we definitely wanted there to be a conflict that made sense for them. I think when you’re someone who’s a professional athlete it is so hard to do. I mean, it’s just impossible to like make it with the odds. It seems like there’s so many hockey players, but really if you think about all the kids playing hockey like to even get there you have to be super dedicated and the idea of being that dedicated without entirely all the support was interesting to me.

And also having somebody understands sports but then wanting you to play a different sport. I just like the idea of that kind of parental conflict with them, where it was” I want you to do what I did because you’re a great athlete but why do you want to do this sport that I don’t like”. Like I just thought that was interesting we both did.

Jeff: You’re both hockey fans. What research did you have to do here? Because this was beyond the game itself because you really delved into a lot of training stuff that I, as a fellow hockey fan, really enjoyed reading.

Avon: Piper is really good at that. I have to tell you they were finding like links and putting it in the document for the head. What was that called Piper like…

Piper: The head trajectory stuff.

Avon: Yeah.

Piper: like I said earlier, we love goalies. I’m also kind of anal retentive and I like to research things.

That’s just my personality. So even before we started working on this story, I had done some reading about Devan Dubnyk who plays for the Wild as their goalie and he had talked in a couple of interviews about how he went and did this head trajectory stuff and how it helped improve his game so much.

So I read a couple articles about that and just started looking into various ways that goalies train and what they do and how they try to improve over time yeah, I wouldn’t say that it was like totally intensive research, but I did do some reading and research into it to see like what would be going on with them behind the scenes and what would a goalie try to improve upon and all of that stuff.

Avon: And a lot of the whole tandem thing was something one of my teams – I’m a Bruins fan and a Blues fan – one of the things that Blues did a couple years ago was that’s how they were trying to figure out who their starter was through the whole season.

They would do a tandem and they’d switch off. The player is sort of like Jake Allen. He’s gotta win to start the next night. And if he didn’t get a win then the other one started and we thought that was really interesting because you’d think that would ruin a team’s mojo, but it actually was interesting how that affected their team and how they would go forward and play that way. I think we liked that idea for trying to get both of them like starting time.

Piper: It just made me wonder, how do you get chemistry going if you’re constantly switching goalies? Like how does that work? And it did seem to work pretty well for them, you know throughout the season and that seemed like a good way to kind of ramp up the tension between our characters as well.

Because if one of them to had just been the starter from the get-go where would the competition be? So yeah, it just seemed like the most ideal scenario to have them actively competing with each other but also against each other throughout the season.

Jeff: I like how you take some of the workplace tropes we’ve seen in the past where you might have somebody in the corporate world vying for a position with the person that they’re romantically linked to, but to see it in sports which is so hyper-competitive.

Anyway, it just really amped the whole thing up and how they work too. Build a relationship while all this stuff is happening at work.

Avon: Yeah. Yeah, that would stress me out. There’s no way right. Nope,.

Jeff: It also made for some of the best scenes in the book to which I’m not going to spoil, but that some of that push-pull as they kind of root for each other, but then want it for themselves and some of their internal dialogue on that is just epic.

Avon: Thank you.

Jeff: Now for those who missed “Off the Ice,” and shame on them if they have, tell folks a little bit about Tristan and Sebastian’s story because we see more of them in “Goalie Interference.”

Avon: Tristan is a NHL player who has decided to take some classes in case he needs a career after hockey, in case of injury or just retirement earlier.

Hockey players don’t tend to play super long. And so he’s taking some classes at a local College in Georgia and he ends up in a sociology class taught by Sebastian Cruz and then they kind of end up having the hots for each other, but don’t do anything until Tristin’s done with the class.

And so it’s kind of like Tristan’s romance with a not even understanding sports, has never been to a hockey game, professor of sociology and how they sort of fall love.

Jeff: And it was so sweet how Sebastian got to figure out hockey?

And we have to give some kudos to Kirt Graves in all this.

Piper: Oh, yeah,

Jeff: He’s the voice of the “Hat Trick” series so far. His “Off the Ice” performance was excellent and I’ve heard the preview of “Goalie Interference” with him. Part of me wishes I hadn’t read the book and had him read it to me instead.

Piper: Oh, I love that sample so much. I was super excited to when they sent us that link. It sounds so good. Sometimes I get weird about listening to audiobooks of my own work because it gives me like the second-hand embarrassment kind of thing. I don’t know, but I do love his voice so much that I probably will listen to that audio book just to hear it and hear how he narrates the story.

He did such a great job on “Off the Ice,” so I’m excited.

Avon: I can listen to mine, but I can’t listen to any of the sex scenes, which is ridiculous because I wrote them, but like the second somebody starts reading one that I have written, I can’t handle it. I remember the first time I ever listened to one, which was for “Breakaway” and I was legitimately hiding under a blanket. I could not handle hearing him talking about them kissing.

I don’t even know why. I can listen to other people’s audiobooks that have sex scenes and I’m totally fine, but my own, nope.

Jeff: With “Goalie Interference” in particular the thing I want to hear is how he does the banter between Ryu and Emmitt – from the angry stuff to the sweet stuff to some of the bedroom talk. I’m going to end up and just listen to it anyway, because I’m addicted to Kurt’s voice.

Avon: And he’s just so nice. He did my favorite things. He did “Whiskey Business” one of my books which all these puns about. Gallows Grove was named the town. So they were like death puns and his last name is Graves up and perfect like that.

He just managed to have like an a perfect Kentucky accent and I don’t think he’s from there, but he did such a good job. Yeah, I love how he makes every character sound totally different and yet recognizable and how he does that, that’s just so impressive to me.

Jeff: Is there more “Hat Trick” coming? I think I heard you say a little something about another book as we were we were talking who gets to pair up, or can you tell us?

Piper: We can tell you because we talked a little bit about it on Twitter. So we’ve talked about it and it’s Daniels book we’re mid writing it right now.

He pairs up with a character that has not been introduced. Basically it’s him reconnecting with his childhood sweetheart that he had a crush on – he’s about 13 when he moved away to join like a hockey developmental League up north, he’s originally from Florida. So he reconnects with a boy he knew, and that was his best friend when they were kids, and that they had their first kiss with it, you know age 13, then shy first crush/first love sort of thing going on.

And they reconnect as adults, yeah goes from there. There’s dolphins involved because Mica works for an aquarium and it’s not your typical aquarium. It’s like rehabbing animals that are hurt, you know, sea turtles all that kind of stuff – dolphins. They rehab and re-release if possible. So, he’s a marine biologist and that’s what he does.

And yeah, it’s probably to date going to be our sweetest story. There’s a very different dynamic between them than there are with them Tris and Seb and also Ryu and Emmitt. It’s just very sweet and fun and you know, they’ve got this whole like, oh we were friends before and we’re reconnecting as friends, but we’re also falling in love like that whole thing’s going on.

So it’s been a joy to write them and a lot different than writing the other two books for sure.

Avon: We wanted there to be a whole mix of different kinds of stories and you know, and this one is so – it’s like so cute.

Piper: It’s really cute.

Jeff: It sounds just adorable. I mean somebody who works in an aquarium with dolphins. I love second chance stories. Sign me up. When does this come out?

Piper: It’s August 2020. So yeah, it’s almost a year away. But you know we’re working on it.

Yep. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.

Jeff: So does “Hat Trick” get to go beyond three, or are you stopping at a trilogy?

Piper: Um, well never say never. I mean we do have the “Hat Trick.” It was originally applied to be a trilogy obviously, had the hat trick is the whole three goals by the same player thing. So that was our initial plan. Um, but you know, over the course of writing these books, we really, really fell in love with Morley so much.

Mr. Trevor Morley. We love him and I’ve seen some early reviews of “Goalie Interference” and people eagerly talking about they hope book 3 is about Morley and we’re kind of like don’t currently have a plan to write his book. You know, that’s not outside of the realm of possibility and it could just be a spin-off standalone title that we decide to do eventually. So yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see.

Jeff: I can see a Morley book. I’d like to see somebody to come in and try to tame him just a little bit.

So, how did your writing partnership start?

Avon: Well, we became friends when I started publishing and then was on Facebook and I had read some of Piper’s books and then we became like Facebook friends, and then I realized they like hockey and we made a bet you remember this Piper? And I lost and I had to have a Blackhawks icon for like a week. It was terrible. They beat the Blues.

That was kind of how we started. That’s kind of how we started like talking about writing. Like I love writing hockey books, wanna write a hockey book? And then we just kind of went from there.

Piper: I was new to hockey. I was just brand-spanking-new with my training wheels on and didn’t know a thing and I just suddenly decided I want to write a hockey romance and it isn’t even prior to the conversation with Avon that we should work together. So, you know naturally when the subject of us working together on a hockey romance came up.

I was very much excited to do so. And Blackhawks were the team that got me in the hockey. They’re the first team that I fell in love with, I’ve been to so many games. I have multiple jerseys. I’ve been to their practice arena like, I love them. I have a vial of the melted ice for when they won the Cup the last time.

Eventually I moved away from them, Avon likes to say the team finds you, you know the team of your heart finds you, and that is how it happened with me with the Wild and then also the Blues. I really love them and actually “Off the Ice” and we’ve talked about this in promo for “Off the Ice” before was inspired by a Blues player Colton Parayko who was, during the playoffs one season, going to school studying for finals and we were just like so inspired by the idea of this hockey player, like bringing his book along everywhere – on the planes, on the buses, as they’re going to games. He’s studying in the dressing room. Like all of that was just really inspirational to us. We thought it made for such a good premise. So that’s how “Off the Ice,” the original idea even began was we both like the Blues.

Well, we both love Colton Parayko and we loved what he was doing. It was just – I thought, like just what dedication does it take to do that? So that’s how the character of Tristan came about we went from there. We just plotted it out and then “Off the Ice.”

Jeff: What got you into hockey Piper? I mean five years ago isn’t that long. What was the turning point for that?

Piper: Okay, so this is kind of weird, but I got a weird start in the hockey. I used to be on Tumblr all the time and basically I started falling in love with a couple of players through like hockey RPF in that sort of thing and like memes and interview clips. So one of those players was Jonathan Toews, of course captain of the Blackhawks. And so when I was reading some of these stories, I suddenly just had this like – I want to write hockey romance.

I can do this. I want to do it and then I had the moment of like, but I don’t know anything about the sport. I’ve never watched a game. I don’t have a clue. So my husband’s a longtime fan of hockey. The Red Wings have been his favorite team since he was a kid. He loves Steve Yzerman, I told him I want to write a hockey romance and so you need to teach me about hockey and so it kind of went from there. We started watching Blackhawks games and he started teaching me about the sport as we were watching. Like what’s icing, what’s this, you know, like I didn’t have a clue. So he started teaching me and what started off as just kind of like a research endeavor turned into me falling so hard for this sport to the point that now I have a like two hockey related tattoos, jerseys and all this. Like I said, I’ve been to arenas in multiple states have been to hockey games in Missouri. I’ve been the hockey games just all over. I just fell completely and utterly in love with the sport. I became a fan because I wanted to write it.

Jeff: I love that wanting to write the book got you into the game. Avon, what’s your origin story on that? I think I’ve heard it before but I don’t think we’ve talked about it on the podcast.

Avon: Okay, so my I’m from the south, where no one plays hockey, and when I moved to Missouri my now husband was my then boyfriend, took me to a hockey game. I think I’ve told this story where I kept asking him what would happen if the ice cracked, he was like, well they bring out the Zamboni and he’s telling me and I said well, but like what happens if it like really cracks and he’s like, I don’t understand.

Saying and then finally he looked at me and he’s like, “You think there’s a swimming pool under there don’t you?” I thought that there was water underneath the ice. I was 19 which is probably real dumb of me, but it’s true. So I went from that to being able to tell you what like a Corsi Statistic is, but I have a very good friend who is Canadian and she used to work late night shifts, and she would text me.

And say can you tell me the score of the Canucks games? Like she was a big Canucks fan. And so I would like text her the score and she’d be like, okay tell me who scored a goal and so I would tell her and so then she’s like you should really watch the she’d probably really like it.

And so I started watching Canucks games to give her updates of what was happening with her team while she was at work and I started getting really into it. And then she’s like well, you’re going to have to pick a team because you have to have one and being someone from a crazy sports family. So I understand over-investing in sports completely. So I’ve never been able to like choose my own team. So I’m like, okay. Well who’s the team everybody hates? And at that point they’re like, it’s the Bruins so I said, okay and that’ll be my team and so then that’s the year the Bruins beat the Canucks.

And the Stanley Cup Final so I think I’ve come full circle. But also she’s never quite forgiven me for that. Yeah, it’s really weird. It’s like just by trying to be like a nice friend and like give her some updates and then I really like the sport because it moved super fast. I liked the rivalries. One of the reasons why I became such a big Bruins fan is I love the historical rivalry with the Habs is why I mean, I just love that kind of stuff.

I started writing minor league hockey, which I really like and we have a team here and I would go a couple times to see them. I loved the idea of people playing this really fast dangerous sport for like five hundred dollars a week in these tiny arenas with these ridiculous names, and then in the South. I was just fascinated by that whole thing and that’s why I ended up writing “Scoring Chances”, because I was so into minor league hockey.

Jeff: So we’ll swing it back around to writing. Now, as you got together to work on these books, what’s been your process around figuring out the plots and then who’s writing what and how that meshes together ?

Piper: The first thing we normally do with any new idea that we have is basically talk out the whole story. We do like a broad outline of the entire story from start to finish, and then from there we usually break it down into smaller chapter outlines, then decide either who’s writing what chapter, who’s writing who, and the way it’s worked out for us so far is that we’ve each – for each book – taken on a specific character.

So in “Off the Ice,” I wrote Tristan and then in “Goalie Interference” I wrote Ryu and we just write our chapter, pass it on to the other person, they read and give feedback and we continue until we’re done.

Jeff: Was there any discussion who would write what character or did they just end up speaking independently to you and saying write me, write me?

Avon: I think it was that.

Piper: With “Off the Ice” I was like, oh my God obsessed with Colton Parayko, and this whole idea, and I really wanted to write him and we decided that Seb would be Puerto Rican and you know, you think it would make sense that the Puerto Rican person would write the Puerto Rican character.

But since Avon has a background in academia and stuff like that, I felt she would be a better fit for the professor character, and so they kind of just each called to us and their own ways. And then because I wrote Tristan and Ryu was around during his scenes mostly, it just kind of naturally happened that I would write Ryu for the second book.

Jeff: Is there a scene or part of a scene that the other one wrote for Goalie Interference that you love?

Avon: I love all of Piper’s scenes. But one of my favorites in that book is the one where they go to the party. They’re having like the backyard pool party and Ryu’s just not having it with Emmitt, and then Morley’s being his Morley self. Piper writes the banter with the the team really wel l. One of the earlier chapters in “Goalie Interference” – I just love that whole thing where they go and Sebastian is like, you will call me Sebastian not the names are going to come up with for him. Cruisy, I think someone tries to call him.

Piper: And this one is pretty far into the. book but there’s a scene where Morley and Emmitt have a whole conversation about bisexuality and labels.

And what does it mean? What does it mean if this – and they’re discussing, you know, just like relationship issues and like I said labels and Morley’s trying to figure himself out and all this other stuff and I loved that entire scene so much, everything about it from start to finish. That’s probably my favorite scene of Avon’s in the book.

Avon: thanks friend.

Jeff: What is it about hockey than it actually attracted both of you to writing about the sport?

Piper: I don’t really know much about any other sports. I’ve been tempted to write a football duology and I’ve kind of got a tentative idea for that. But again, this is another sport where I’d have to like learn it in order to write it because I’ve watched games with my husband and I never know what’s happening.

Like I said, for me, I came to the sport because I liked some of the players and I was drawn to just wanting to write about these players that played this game that they happen to be playing and so once I started watching the game, I got into it.

It’s fast. It’s stuff is always happening and unlike baseball where it’s like you’re sitting there for a long time where nothing is happening, hockey’s just like Bam Bam Bam start to finish, and that just appealed to the part of my brain that’s easily distractible, because I’m very easily distracted and so a game, in order to hold my attention, has to be very rapid pace and there’s got to be a lot of stuff going on. And I just I don’t know, I fell in love with it and it was the first sport that I ever wanted to write.

Avon: I think mine is I grew up watching college sports, football and basketball, and what I liked about hockey was because hockey isn’t as super popular as it is like in Canada, I didn’t know the players, but I knew the teams and I’m so used to cheering for teams as like the name on the you know, the Jersey not the player that for some reason hockey just spoke to me about in that same sort of way.

So I really liked the team aspect of it. Even though I saw it’s almost like the opposite because I didn’t know the players. I like that, but then agreed I liked it that it was super fast. And also there was fighting, but there was fighting with rules and like respect and so people would like get in a fight and then laugh about it and smile afterwards and there was just, I found something delightful about taking out aggression and like having rules of conduct.

That was all very light. No, no, we’re going to do this but then afterwards I’m going to give you a pat on the back, like this absurd and this kind of like wonderful way, and I think we always sometimes at our jobs that we could just deck someone and then have it be okay to.

Avon: Everybody should watch “Ice Guardians.” it was on Netflix, but it’s a great documentary about hockey enforcers and it will really make you think about fighting in hockey and like what it came from and I mean, I’m a Bruins fan so obviously I like fighting in hockey.

Piper: Oh, it’s great. We actually have matching friend tattoos of a quote from that documentary.

Avon: Yeah, we sure do.

Jeff: What’s the quote?

Piper: “With a little more fire.” It makes sense when you actually watch the documentary, but the first time I ever heard it I cried, again when you see it in context. I would highly recommend that you check that out. It’s great.

Avon: It’s a great, great documentary.

Jeff: I’ll look that up and we’ll link in the show notes as well. So what’s coming up next for you two together and separately? We talked a little bit about the next “Hat Trick” book, but what else is in the offing from both of you?

Piper: Well, I have some books that I need to re-release. I do have about like 10 or 11 books that need to be revised and put out there again in the world so that I have my back list back up and running. Aside from that I was asked to take part in a cool shared universe thing that I can’t share too many details about but it involves cowboys, I can share that much, and I’m really excited and hoping that I can manage to get that story done and be a part of it, because everything that I’ve read about the world-building and everything that’s involved so far has me really pumped for that. So there’s that and then Avon and I have a couple different projects, not any official starting dates, but we have a book about a couple of bakers that we want to write, then we hope to get to the sequel to “Permanent Ink” at some point because we did have two additional books planned in that series.

So hopefully we can get to that eventually and that’s all the major stuff on my end right now.

Avon: I have the “Ballad of Whiskey Jacks” which is the sequel to “The Love Song of Sawyer Bell” that I am working on. The sixth “Scoring Chances” book, which one day I will finish. I am working with my friend Emily Rossman and we are writing a kind of ridiculous, but fun, second chance ex-Coast Guard/tour guide fall in love in a small town in Alaska book, that we’re actually done with, so we’ll be seeing what we want to do with that when it’s finished – and that’s I think about all I could think of. I’d love to do something with like professional wrestling. I got into that a lot. So I’m trying to drag Piper into writing some stuff with me about that.

Jeff: I want to read all that. The Alaska book in particular sounds kind of fun and I’m super excited to know that there’s a sixth “Scoring Chances” book out there.

Avon: It’s a Xavier’s book. I’ve started it and stopped it a couple times and I think I have it finally figured out.

I say this for the fifth time, but I have been going back and forth on what the plot is. I know everything that happens in his story. It’s just this the other half and I think I’m finally getting a handle on it. So that’ll be good because I’d love to get that done and have that out there to have that complete.

Jeff: And what’s the best way for everyone to keep up with you two online so they can know when this stuff is coming?

Piper: I’m @pipervaughn on Twitter and that’s probably the place I’m most active, although I’ve been taking breaks because, you know, all of the doom and gloom news in the world. This is kind of a lot to take a Twitter sometimes.

So I have to take breaks. I really love Instagram and I’m around there a lot to I’m I think Piper dot Vaughn there and then I’m on Facebook, just search the name and you can find me.

Avon: I’m also on Twitter @AvongGaleWrites and I take breaks because I get stressed out by Twitter. Not it like just by the world being on Twitter and everything.

I just re-launched my website, which is and I do have a newsletter which I think the signup should be on my website, but Twitter is normally the best way to find me yelling about video games and hockey.

Jeff: Awesome. We’ll link to all that in the shownotes. Thank you to so much for being here and best of luck with with the “Goalie Interference” release. It’s such a good book, everyone needs to go pick that up.

Avon: Thank you so much.

Piper: Yes, it was fun.

Book Reviews

Here’s the text of this week’s book reviews:

The Vampires Club Book 1 by X. Aratare. Reviewed by Will.
Will: I decided to go paranormal for the month of October and the book that I read this past week was called “The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare. This is the first book in this particular series. It focuses on a guy named Lucas and he’s sort of a down-on-his-luck 20-something and he’s looking for work in the town called Arkham.

It’s the end of the day and he hasn’t had much success when he notices a place that he supposedly had walked past before but he’s just noticing for the very first time. It’s this enormous old building that takes up an entire city block and it’s called Club Dyavol. He’s somehow compelled to go inside and search out a job. He’s thinking “maybe I can be a barback or maybe I can bus tables” something like that.

Meanwhile inside is our vampire hero, a guy named Konstantin and he runs the club. The only problem is is that he’s been cursed. His senses have been heightened, which means that he feels everything incredibly intensely to the point of pain. So he essentially has sequestered himself and his tiny little office where there’s very little light and very little sound and he watches the club down below on a series of monitors.

His sort of like right hand woman is a little vampire girl named Lizzie. She might look 11, but she’s actually quite old and actually very, very smart. They’re watching the security feed outside and Konstantin notices this human standing across the street and it seems like he’s looking at the club and paying attention to it. That shouldn’t be the case because the club is actually protected by a series of spells to keep it hidden from prying human eyes.

Lucas trots right up to the front door, comes on in and attempts to look for work. Now seeing a human inside Club Dyavol isn’t all that rare or peculiar because vampires bring in their human friends, people who provide companionship and, of course, blood.

So Lucas tries to fill out an application, but Konstantin quickly has him swept away by security before he can cause any problems or suspicions among the other vampire guests. He’s taken downstairs and made to take a shower. The reason being is that because of Konstantin’s heightened senses. Even a human who smells normal is going to be particularly smelly and overwhelming.

So once he gets all scrubbed down he’s taken to Konstantin’s little office and they sit down and they have a chat. Konstantin is drawn to him. He’s partially worried. How did this human first of all know the club was here and how did he get past security? But he’s also drawn to him and intrigued by him. What makes this guy so very special?

But, poor Lucas. He’s utterly clueless. There was a little voice inside his head that told him to go inside. But other than that, he really has no clue what’s going on. So they sort of banter back and forth until Konstantin finally decides that he’s going to have to suck this kid’s blood in order to figure out what his true deal is. Do you remember in “True Blood” where vampires could drink the blood of a human and get like their entire like backstory and life history?

Jeff: Oh, yeah, they did that a couple times.

Will: So this is kind of like that situation. Konstantin bites Lucas’s neck, but strangely enough he doesn’t get any read at all from him. But what’s also very interesting is that Lucas has a strange unique taste to his blood and his blood actually reduces some of the pain that Konstantin’s curse causes.

So gosh, this kid, he’s he’s a he’s a mystery. Konstantin’s companion Xavier, who sort of serves as a vampire historian, is incredibly worried because there’s a lot of politics going on behind the scenes with Club Dyavol and a bunch of other highfalutin, high-powered vampire people coming into town for a yearly meeting.

I’m really describing it poorly. It’s actually much more intelligently world built in the story.

Jeff: And did the world building work for you because we know historically that world building, at times, is not your favorite thing.

Will: It actually worked really, really well because the writing in this particular book is actually very detailed and really interesting. So, no the world building did not annoy me.

Jeff: Excellent. Kudos to the author for that one.

Will: So Xavier wants to keep Lucas essentially prisoner in order to figure out all the different things going on with him but Konstantin doesn’t feel that way. He doesn’t want to keep this young kid as a blood slave. So essentially they glamour him and when Lucas wakes up, he’s on a train ride home and he remembers a very odd situation sitting at a booth in the club. They’re feeding him cookies and juice and he’s trying to answer questions during a job interview.

This poor kid.

Once he gets off the train, he’s a very excited because the next day he’s going to go back to the club for his first day on the job.

What the author managed to do in this particular story… Since it takes place in such a condensed time frame, it just happens over the course of a single night and it really pulls you in to Lucas’s experience and Konstantin’s POV.

And like I said, there’s a lot of detail going on in a relatively short amount of time and sets up the rest of the story. It should be noted that this is only book one in a series. It’s a continuing series, which means that each one ends on a cliffhanger. So I really recommend this book. I think it’s a really terrific start, really intriguing start. If paranormal is your thing, I highly recommend you check it out. Book 5 is going to be releasing on November 12. And as far as I can tell it is not the end. It’s going to keep continuing.