A little bit of history on my behalf. All M/M authors will have a story on how they came to write M/M. Me – I wrote my first M/M novel because I was reading M/M, and that’s how all the ideas in my head were manifesting. How I came to read M/M was that I heard the term “bromance” mentioned and was intrigued. This was back in the dark ages before I had a kindle, so I was buying all my books in paperback.
The first book I purchased was Promises by Marie Sexton. The second? Bringing Him Home by Penny Brandon. If I look up from my desk, I can still see this book sitting there with its other M/M friends I ended up buying because I adored the genre.
So if you like my writing, you will need to thank Penny and Marie for making me fall in love with M/M in the first place.
Penny: Hi Renae. Thanks for having me on your blog, and thanks even more for admitting I may have influenced you in writing M/M. (Even if it was only a little bit).
Renae: So thanks for popping along, Penny. You’re here to promo your new book First Kiss (The Looking Glass #2). Let’s take a look at it.
The second Brenn saw Joey’s image in the magic mirror, he was hooked. The moment he saw him in real life, Brenn knew Joey was going to be his forever. Joey was flirty, and fun, and he had the most gorgeous smile, but then Joey told him he was dying. Though devastated, Brenn didn’t want to give up on Joey, so he offered to look after him and make his last few days as comfortable as possible, but was that going to be enough when all Brenn really wanted was for Joey to live.
Brenn was everything Joey could have wished for; strong, built, and with amazing eyes, and Brenn was in love with him. That would have given Joey something to live for, if it hadn’t been too late. He had about three weeks left, but that didn’t seem to matter to Brenn. Brenn wanted to take him home, and Joey was willing to go with him, but on two conditions. He wanted Brenn to make love to him before he died, but no kissing.
Renae: Oh, no, oh, no… Please tell me? Is this story going to break my heart at the end?
Penny: Would you honestly think I’d do that? It was hard enough for me to write about Joey being sick; it would have killed me if he’d died. Thankfully Brenn saved him and we get our happily ever after, but sorry to say there is a fair bit of anguish along the way. Brenn obviously doesn’t want Joey to die, and Joey realizes too late there isn’t anything he can do about it.
Renae: Phew. Okay – for those unfamiliar with the series, can you explain the concept of the mirror to them?
Penny: There is an ancient magic mirror that, at the moment, resides in an antique shop. A select few who look upon its surface are shown their one true love. Simon is the mirror’s keeper, and it’s his job to explain to those who may have trouble believing what they’re seeing that they have to give that love a chance. He doesn’t know the how or why, but he does know it’s real.
Penny: For Joey, kissing was the most intimate act of all, and he’s been determined to save that part of himself for the man he falls in love with. Though he knows Brenn loves him, Joey is too scared to love him back, fearing it would hurt Brenn more when he finally dies. Fucking though? That’s what Joey does best and he desperately wants to experience it one last time, so when Brenn promises to do what he can, Joey jumps at the chance, but with that one condition.
Renae: In book one, Choices, we got Marc and Liam’s story. Are Brenn and Joey connected to these two?
Penny: Only by the mirror. It picks out those who need help finding the one who will make their life complete. Marc would never have found the right person for him if he continued to keep dating women, though he wasn’t sure if being with a man would necessarily be any easier, considering he was straight. Brenn saw Joey in the mirror and was instantly smitten. It was his love for Joey that gave Joey the chance to live. In this story, it was Joey who needed Brenn to find him. It doesn’t matter who finds who, as long as they end up finding each other.
Renae: Does the reader need to read Book #1 in order to read this one?
Penny: Because Simon is the mirror’s keeper, he explains the magic to those who see their true love’s image, so if you’re reading the second book First Kiss first, it won’t matter. All the stories in this series can be read as a standalone, but of course I’d love the readers to read all of them. However, I warn you. Simon has been waiting years for the magic mirror to find his one true love, so you won’t want to miss his story.
Renae: It sounds devastating – to find your life’s love, only to find out they don’t have long to live. What made you think of this story?
Penny: I generally get a scene in my head, and then create the story around it. For Brenn and Joey, the scene that came to me was the hospital one. It was so heart-wrenching I had to know what brought the two men there, and would it all end well for them. Luckily I was writing the Looking Glass series, so I could give them a magical ending, which may not have been the case otherwise.
Renae: I’m thinking of all the things I would be doing if I only had three weeks to live – among them would be writing letters to my family and getting my papers in order as to not leave a mess for my loved ones. I can’t imagine taking time out to fall in love. Where is Joey’s family?
Penny: He has no idea where his mother is, though he had tried to contact her. She had abandoned him at his Grandmother’s, and it was his Grandmother who brought him up. She died of a very familiar sickness, and it was the way she’d clung onto hope until her dying breath that made Joey decide to just live for the moment. He didn’t want to fall in love because that would have made him want to keep on living, and he thought it was too late for that.
Penny: Of course! There’s Simon’s story, which is next, but the mirror still has to keep helping those who need it. I can’t say too much about how that happens because I can’t reveal what happens to Simon when he finally finds the one, but I hope it will keep the readers involved and wanting more.
Renae: Where can people buy this story?
Penny: My publisher Loose Id, have all my books for sale on their website, but you can also purchase from Amazon, All Romance E-books, and places like Barns and Noble etc.
Renae: What are you working on now?
Penny: Two stories at the moment. Simon’s story, as I’ve mentioned, but also my Voodoo Doll book. This one is a little off the norm. Steve finds a voodoo doll on his bed. It looks like his neighbour Nathaniel. And it moves. From there both Steve and Nathan begin a journey of struggle and discovery, all while trying to stop the doll from killing them. I’ve just finished this, and hope to have it out within the next few months. So definitely keep an eye open for it.
Renae: Where can people contact you?
Penny: My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’d love to hear from readers.
You can also check out my blogpage. www.pennybrandon.blogspot.com.au where you can find my FREE short stories to read, or you can friend me on facebook. www.facebook.com/penny.brandon.3
Renae: Thanks for visiting, Penny! I hope you’ve had a lot of fun. My TBR pile has just grown by another book. **wink**
Penny: You should see my list with all of yours on it. **smile**. I’ve really enjoyed being here, so thank you once again for inviting me to be with these other amazing authors. (Including yourself of course).