Blonderbatch and a decided lack of gay

After a month of watching the dust gather on my blog, I HAVE RETURNED.

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Well, sort of. I’m sure I’ll be back to haitus-ing before long, though I don’t want you to blame yourselves, dear readers. My absence has nothing at all do with my love for you, which grows deeper and stronger and mushier by the day.

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Actually, my lack of updating is a good thing, as I’ve been using my non-trolling-tumblr-for-gifs time to WRITE!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been hard at work on the second book of Chosen, which has actually turned out to be a prequel about Mr. Lucas Defrin, Nicholas’ father and Kaine’s teacher and mentor.

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(Portrayed in the movie-of-my-mind by Blond Benedict Cumberbatch, or Blonderbatch, as he shall henceforth be known.)

Said prequel takes place when Lucas is 13 or so and the Fael War is still raging on. He and his family are living in a small town in the Borderlands, as far from the fighting as it’s possible to be, but nowhere is really safe for Lucas because of that whole glowing-mark-on-chest, strange-powers-condemned-by-holy-text thing.

Lucas keeps pretty much to himself, afraid that he won’t be able to hide his powers if he spends time with people, but when he sees a girl being attacked by a group of bullies, he knows he has no choice but to fling his scrawny-gangly self into the fray and use his powers to save her. (Despite the fact that she was doing a pretty decent job of kicking ass before he showed up, but eh, whatever.)

Said girl turns out to be Hema (also known as Kaine’s mother from Book I), and she and Lucas form a friendship which would be called “unlikely” if I weren’t trying to avoid the use of obvious¬†clich√©s in this mini-summary.

Anyway, writing about the two of them (and Kaine’s dad, who shows up in there as well) is great fun, and working on a story that takes place more than 20 years prior to the events of Book I means I’m actually figuring a lot of things out re: the world and how it came to be as it is in Kaine’s time. And as it turns out, actually knowing stuff like that? Kind of helpful.

One odd thing, though: All the main characters in this prequel will eventually end up in male/female romantic relationships. There’ll be LGBT side characters, of course (and I’m thinking Lucas might have a male love interest at some point before he meets Elisabeth, his eventual wife), but the main relationships are all straight. (!)

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I’m not at all used to writing straight couples, and it’s weirding me out a bit. I shall attempt to be strong, however, and console myself with the fact that Nicholas and Kaine are so very, very gay, and that will perhaps make the burden easier to bear.

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Anyway. Until next time, friends~~~

In which tea is necessary (on your shirt).

You know what’s absolutely necessary?

tea

Tea.

And you know who needs to know that?

the-world

Everyone.

“But T.J.,” you may say. “I am but one person. How can I possibly spread the holy word of tea unto the ignorant masses all by myself?”

Well, random internet person, I am here today to answer just that question.

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Visitors with Sherlock-levels of observation may have noticed that there’s a new tab at the top of the site now, with the mysterious moniker of “Store.” Whatever could that mean?

Allow me to enlighten you. Today, I’m pleased to announce the official opening of the T.J. Baer Shop over on CafePress, for all your merchandise-related-to-my-books needs!

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http://www.cafepress.com/tjbaershop

What’s available at present is a line of T-shirts featuring a quote from Mr. Defrin in Chosen, regarding the vital importance of tea in all human endeavors. A tea-tee, if you will. (Or even if you won’t.)

The front:

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The back:

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Show your support for tea, me, and Chosen (as well as the wise and wonderful Mr. Defrin) with your very own “Tea is always necessary” T-shirt. Because if we don’t tell the world of the true and mighty awesomeness of tea, how are they ever to know? (Also, if you don’t walk around with the URL to my blog on the back of your shirt, they may never find their way here to this mad little block of gif-filled cyberspace, and that would be a tragedy indeed.)

So, yes. In conclusion: Buy my shirts. And my books. Or just send me a wad of cash in the mail; whatever would be most convenient.

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In other news:

The weather in Chicago has taken a turn for the dismal as of late, going quite suddenly from sunny, eighty degree days to gray, cold, depressing weather that makes me wonder if there even is such a thing as the sun. I’m bearing it as best I can, though the fact that two days of gray weather has put me into such a major funk is probably not a good sign for the winter to come.

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/autumn angst

On the plus side, my apartment is warm and has a cat in it, as well as an impressive supply of tea. And tea, as I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned before, is pretty great.

If only there were some sort of T-shirt available to express to the world my true feelings about tea, while at the same time shamelessly pimping my upcoming novel and this site…

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http://www.cafepress.com/tjbaershop