Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (Dreamspun Desires line)
Digital ISBN: 978-1-63533-964-2
Library of Congress Control Number: 2017908743
Published December 2017
Cover Artist: Bree Archer http://www.breearcher.com
Dreamspinner Press eBook: http://bit.ly/2yH5uWe
Dreamspinner Press Paperback: http://bit.ly/2xSyKKu
What’s in a name?
A big thank you to the kind folks at We Three Queens Book Blog for having me here today.
The first impression of a book comes from its name. Names are important to many things for a multitude of reasons. Titles—the book’s name—is important. A book’s title needs to say something about what’s between the covers. It needs to speak to the reader, pique their interest and give them a hint about what is to come. It’s that very first ‘hook’ presented to the world of readers.
High Test is a title with multiple meanings and represents the layers of this book. There are the characters and what it says about them. Hayden is a PhD student, studying engine design for high-performance cars. The term ‘high test’ represents a type of engine fuel.
Hayden is a barista in a coffee shop where Neal often visits him. As Neal tells Hayden—more than once—he prefers the ‘high test’ coffee. No decaf for that man! Neal also owns a high-performance car.
Of course, no one is really going to realize how the title ties into some of the smaller details in the story until they read it. Titles are objective. What might attract me to a book won’t have much of an effect on the next person.
I’ve never been able to write a book that didn’t have a title. Often that’s one of the first parts of the story that comes to me. How important are titles to you? Comment to be entered into a drawing for a free eBook from me. I’ll give away one book from my backlist (published 2016 or earlier), anthologies and bundles excluded. I’ll leave the contest open for one week.
Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company—no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing, older Neal Kirchner, a successful architect from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.
The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.
Ushering Hayden with him, Neal walked fast toward the exit. Once they were outside and heading across the parking lot, he sighed. “I’m sorry. She’s Mirabel’s granddaughter. I love Mirabel to death, but Maeve doesn’t get it. I’m not ever going to be interested in her. I wasn’t when I was thirty-five and definitely not now that I’m forty-five.”
“No worries. It seems there’s one of those in every crowd.” Hayden stopped beside the Aston Martin and waited for Neal to unlock the car. As soon as he heard the little bleep from the remote, he got in and settled into a seat that was more comfortable than his furniture.
Neal leaned forward as he drove and peered out the front window at the sky. “I hope we don’t get rained out.”
“Me too,” Hayden agreed and took out his phone. “Storm warnings, high winds possible, sort of the normal stuff.”
Neal nodded. He maneuvered the car onto the highway and glanced at Hayden, then snickered. “Watch out for the cops.”
Once they cleared the on-ramp, Neal opened the car up. The traffic wasn’t heavy; in fact there was very little at this time of day.
“Zero to sixty in under four seconds,” Neal bragged good-naturedly.
“Two twenty top speed,” Hayden added. “My classic cars have nothing on this baby.” Even with the cloudy sky, the light shone off the car’s exterior brilliantly and generated hues of blues, silvers, and purples. The ride was incredibly smooth, and even when accelerating, the engine purred. Hayden might not have noticed the shifting gears if he weren’t so tuned in to vehicles and their different types of engines. He leaned over far enough to get a glimpse of the speedometer. “You ever open it up and go top speed?” They were doing a little over 125 mph now.
Neal shook his head. They came up on a part of the highway with more cars. He lifted his foot off the gas pedal, and the car slowed. Hayden paid very close attention and caught the sound of downshifting gears and the change in the engine’s hum.
“Not on public roads. I have a house and property not far from here, and I have
gone top speed there. I don’t think you simply get a ticket for going that fast on a highway. I’d probably be executed or something,” Neal said.
Hayden burst out laughing. “I doubt it’d be that bad.”
Elizabeth Noble Bio:
Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire.
ELIZABETH NOBLE started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.
Elizabeth has three grown children, two grandchildren, and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed-breed canine princess and her sidekick tabby cat. Elizabeth lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening and winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!) and stargazing all year long. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.
Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.