Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Grey here today talking about Setting the Hook, his latest story and the inspiration behind it. Welcome, Andrew.
On Inspiration and Setting the Hook by Andrew Grey
Labor Day weekend I had the opportunity to fish on the gulf for the first time. It was an amazing experience and I had an incredible time And as you can guess, I looked out over the water, fishing, talking, laughing, and the entire time my mind is running though how I could use all the experiences in a book. I stored them away until the idea for Setting the Hook started developing in my mind. I do have to tell you that while the situations were different, that weekend we did experience many, of the things in the story, including the hurricane, catching the sharks, as well as meeting some amazing people who left an impression on me. I can’t wait for my next fishing trip so I can see what comes out of that. ~ Andrew
It could be the catch of a lifetime. William Westmoreland escapes his unfulfilling Rhode Island existence by traveling to Florida twice a year and chartering Mike Jansen’s fishing boat to take him out on the Gulf. The crystal-blue water and tropical scenery isn’t the only view William enjoys, but he’s never made his move. A vacation romance just isn’t on his horizon.
William Westmoreland escapes his unfulfilling Rhode Island existence by traveling to Florida twice a year and chartering Mike Jansen’s fishing boat to take him out on the Gulf. The crystal-blue water and tropical scenery isn’t the only view William enjoys, but he’s never made his move. A vacation romance just isn’t on his horizon.
Mike started his Apalachicola charter fishing service as a way to care for his daughter and mother, putting their safety and security ahead of the needs of his own heart. Denying his attraction becomes harder with each of William’s visits.
William and Mike’s latest fishing excursion starts with a beautiful day, but a hurricane’s erratic course changes everything, stranding William. As the wind and rain rage outside, the passion the two men have been trying to resist for years crashes over them. In the storm’s wake, it leaves both men yearning to prolong what they have found. But real life pulls William back to his obligations. Can they find a way to reduce the distance between them and discover a place where their souls can meet? The journey will require rough sailing, but the bright future at the end might be worth the choppy seas.
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Dean got his bag and began slathering himself up. William already had, and he smelled of coconut and the rich, almost sweet scent that Mike would know anywhere. He kept his attention where it needed to be, but William kept tugging at his senses.
Mike knew he was attracted to William. He’d figured that out the first time William had showed up for a charter. Mike had taken one look at his broad shoulders and small waist hugged inside a tight T-shirt that might have been one size too small and his heart had raced. Mike still had fantasies about that white shirt that showed off the ripples in William’s belly and the way William’s nipples stuck out the perfect suckable amount. It had been hard for Mike to keep his attention where it needed to be, and now, even after four years, it wasn’t any easier. William was the kind of guy Mike could fall for. But that wasn’t going to happen. The list of reasons was so long, it could reach to the bottom of the Gulf.
William was a sophisticated man from the Northeast who worked in the family business, making engine parts for tractors, cranes, bulldozers, and all kinds of specialty engines. He lived outside Providence and was highly educated. There wasn’t any way a guy like him would be interested in someone like Mike. Besides, Mike saw him two times a year for the better part of a day when William came fishing. Their lives and worlds couldn’t have been more different, so whatever interest Mike might have in William was going to remain that—interest. Not action, and certainly nothing more than friendship of a sort. The fact that William got Mike’s motor running faster than the one on the boat was immaterial. He lived in Apalachicola, a town of two thousand people who made their living on the Gulf and where most people had family going back generations. There weren’t gay people in town as far as he knew, and Mike had no intention of being the one and only so folks could look at him differently.
“Mike,” Gordon called, pulling him out of his thoughts. “Are we getting close?”
“Yup.” Mike verified their position and turned on the fish finder, slowing down and checking out what was underneath them. “Go ahead and drop.” He slowed their speed even more, and Gordon released the anchor.
They came to a stop, the boat rocking on the waves as they got the guys ready. Mike let Gordon do his thing, and soon both Dean and William were reeling them in.
“I got a huge one!” William cried, his line whizzing out from the reel.
“Mike!” Gordon cried. “It broke the reel.” He hurried over as the line came to the end, nearly jerking the pole out of William’s hand.
Mike come up right behind him, taking hold of the rod as well, pressing to William’s back. “Get the large line spool. We can roll it onto that by hand.” He didn’t want to move but put space between them anyway, grateful for the distraction. Whatever William had was strong and large. Gordon passed him gloves, and he yanked them on, then pulled in more and more line. Foot after foot the line was retrieved, and William’s catch got closer to the surface.
“Shark,” Dean cried, pointing as a large yellow-gold body appeared from under the water.
“It’s a nurse shark,” Gordon said. “Odd to catch one during the day.”
Mike nodded his agreement. “I’d guess it’s about six feet.” He pulled back as the shark broke the surface right near the boat. “Someone snap a picture.” He held the line still, and Gordon got some pictures. So did Dean. Then Mike cut the line, and the shark took off back down into the water.
“Do you think it will survive?” William asked.
Mike shrugged, watching the waves, and thankfully the shark didn’t make an appearance as a floater.
Dean returned to his line, got a bite, and hauled in a really nice-size grouper, which went into the box with more ice.
“Let’s move on.”
Gordon hauled in the anchor, and they went in search of another location.
The morning passed with some nice catches. Dean and William ate lunch in the shade as Mike tried to locate a spot he’d had good luck with before. Out of habit and because of his mother’s warning, he checked the weather reports once again.
“Wind on the Gulf is still expected to diminish, as are the waves. However, Hurricane Marshall is continuing its fast pace toward the Space Coast, showing no signs as yet of turning north, has picked up speed, and will likely make landfall near Daytona Beach. It is now expected to turn north and ride up the center of the state and into Georgia.”
Mike sighed and took off his headphones. The weather wasn’t threatening, but he’d check in another hour for another update. Mike wasn’t so concerned about getting caught in the storm itself as much as the storm entering the Gulf and stirring up the waves.
He found a good location, and Gordon threw the anchor. While the guys fished, Mike ate his lunch and then switched with Gordon so he could eat as well, and William offered them whatever they wanted from his overflowing cooler.
The next few hours fell into a routine for Mike and Gordon, interrupted by Mike’s occasional daydreams about William. Mike checked the weather every few hours. The next check had little new information, but the report at two was disturbing.
“Hurricane Marshall made landfall at Daytona Beach and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. The eye is currently twenty miles north of Orlando. It continues to move west-northwest at twenty-nine miles an hour and is now expected the enter the Gulf as a tropical storm, but could strengthen once it gets over water. Stay tuned for further advisories.”
Mike’s stomach clenched and he looked to the east. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the storm was hundreds of miles away. Usually Mike stayed out until six and then headed back to the marina.
About the Author
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)