Ty & Zane Are Back in Ball & Chain! Visit with Abigail Roux (Inside Info and Amazing Contest)

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Welcome to the Ball & Chain virtual tour! If you’re following along, you’ll be able to win yourself some goodies that might just save your life! I’ve got five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can, perfect for traveling and hiking or taking with you to remote island weddings where people might be dying. And I’ve got five sets of trading cards with original artwork and character work-ups for the less adventurous readers!Ty & Zane Survivial Kit

Contest: Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing to win one of five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can or one of five sets of trading cards with original artwork. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on April 1 , and winners will be announced on April 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.

 

STRW: Abigail Roux was kind enough to answer some of the questions I have been dying to ask her since I found Ty and Zane in the Cut & Run series and about her latest novel, Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8). Let’s get started….

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STRW:  I know you (Abigail) always do extensive research on the locations for your stories.  Ball & Chain is set in Scotland.  Where you able to travel there?

Abigail Roux:
I was! I went to the UK and Ireland last summer and spent almost three weeks traveling with two friends. I post about my research travels on a Tumblr I made specifically so people could follow along. You can find it at abitravels.tumblr.com. It follows my adventures, and the adventures of Nelson the om nom, who goes everywhere with me. I like to share those adventures with readers; it makes the process even more hands on.

STRW: • What was your inspiration for setting the story in Scotland?

Abigail:
Originally the book was supposed to be set in the Caribbean. After a little research, though, I realized it would never work for my purposes. So I did a Google search for isolated wedding locations, and the name that caught my eye first was a place called Knoydart. We actually traveled there to scout it out. It wound up not being right for the book either, but I was able to see enough of Scotland, which is absolutely breathtaking, to create an amalgam of the things I needed. So the book takes place on a fake island, but everything about it is as authentic as I could make it.

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STRW: • What was the biggest challenge to writing this penultimate story to the Cut & Run series?

Abigail:
Oh gosh. It’s so stressful. I want these last two books to be worthy, and I want them to be memorable and perfect and I want readers to end the series on a high note. And that’s going to be so very hard to do. It keeps me awake at night. But when I got into this book and started writing, all that slipped away and it was just about the story and the characters again. So the biggest challenge is compartmentalizing it to keep me from freaking out!

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STRW:• So many people have fallen in love with Nick and Kelly; did you find it hard to balance out the readers’ devotion to Ty and Zane with our need to see more of Nick and Kelly when putting them in the same story?  Especially this story that we have been waiting for-the reunion of Ty and Zane?

Abigail Roux:
I didn’t find it hard, no, because Nick always had a huge role in this book. He’s actually the driving force behind a lot of the tension and drama. Adding Kelly to him was no trouble at all because Kelly is an easy character. He doesn’t make waves, basically, because he just rolls with it. I don’t think they take away from Ty and Zane, and they certainly don’t subtract from Ty and Zane’s romance or their tale. I know some readers have been worried about Ty and Zane sharing page time, but at this stage they have to or the books would be all about them hiding under the covers refusing to answer their phone.

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STRW:• Do you think you will be able to let go of Ty and Zane at book 9, or will the series continue?

Abigail Roux:
The series will definitely end at book 9, whether I like it or not. That’s always been the plan, and there’s no reason to change it now. I will miss them terribly, because at this point they’re both a part of me. But I have surprises for readers coming in the Sidewinder Series. No one will have to say goodbye to Ty and Zane until I kill them off!

STRW:• Is there a Ty and Zane wedding to look forward to?

Abigail Roux:
Well, someone does get married in Ball & Chain . . .

STRW: Now that’s just evil…
• Both characters have undergone so much growth over the series.  It has been wrenching to read about at times, joyful at others. Is there one special scene that is your favorite with the men?

Abigail Roux:
My favorite scene between Ty and Zane will always be in Divide & Conquer when they dance in Ty’s living room. It wasn’t planned as we were writing; it was just something Ty did almost without my permission. It made it feel very authentic, even to me, and I love the quiet romance of it.

STRW:• Ty and Zane are definitely an A List couple.  People are mad for them.  Why do you think they have such staying power for readers?

Abigail Roux:
I wish I knew so I could bottle it! I think both men are so flawed, people can relate to them easily, but they also do things most of us don’t’ allow ourselves. Zane is hard on himself and he lets his past and fears dictate his actions, and that’s something a lot of people do and can sympathize with. They root for him to pull past that. Ty is impulsive and fun and frankly kind of crazy, and that’s a luxury a lot of people aren’t allowed in life. Ty and Zane offer us a combination of pieces of ourselves we recognize, and pieces we wish we had. I think people have latched onto them because they see a bit of themselves in one or both characters.

You can contact Abigail Roux at:

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???????????????????????????????????????Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8): Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

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Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

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With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

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You can pre-order Ball & Chain from Riptide and get it two days early!

Contest:  Abigail Roux is giving away five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can, perfect for traveling and hiking or taking with youTy & Zane Survivial Kit to remote island weddings where people might be dying. And I’ve got five sets of trading cards with original artwork and character work-ups.Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. . Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on April 1 , and winners will be announced on April 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.

A Very Special Book and the Week Ahead in Reviews, Author Spotlights and Contests

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Grand Adventures Anthology

On  Monday, March 31st, Dreamspinner Press is releasing a very special anthology titled Grand Adventures.  All proceeds from the sale of Grand Adventures will go to TJ Klune and Eric Arden, who are starting off on another stage in their adventure together. Eric is being released from the hospital and both men will move into their new house, although under circumstances neither one would have ever imagined.  These men are my heroes.  Their bravery and courage is amazing as is their love for each other.

So many great authors have lent their talents and stories to this anthology. In addition, the cover by Paul Richmond, which is beyond amazing,( that’s Eric and TJ in the rearview mirror) is being offered up in two sizes of prints for a limited time.  I have included the link to that information as well.

Whether you know TJ and Eric personally, or from their hilarious vids, or their books, so many people have been touched by their talent, their outsized warm personalities and their amazing love story.  And they need our help. Donations are still being taken at the Eric Arvin support fund linked on this website but here is another great way to contribute and you get wonderful stories to boot!

On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.

The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.GrandAdventuresPrints_DSPsite

One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric Buy it here at Dreamspinner Press.

  • Prints of the cover are available until April 30th in 2 sizes, buy linkhere

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Now for this week’s schedule of reviews, author guest blogs and contests:

  • Monday, March 24:            Angel’s Hero by Liz Boreno
  • Tuesday, March 25:           Author Spotlight and Contest with Katey Hawthorne
  • Wed., March 26:                 When All the World Sleeps Book Tour and Contest
  •                                                    with Lisa Henry and JA Rock
  • Thursday, March 27:        Artist’s Touch (Guild #1) by Kerry Adrienne
  • Friday, March 28:              Cut & Run with Abigail Roux on the Ball & Chain Book Tour
  •                                                     and Contest (Ty and Zane are back!)
  • Saturday, March 29:         Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux

Not What I Expected and This Week’s Reviews

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Doctor__NeedleSo, there I was lying on the hospital table waiting for the fluoroscope to start up and the doctor to appear to give me an injection. With a very long needle.  One the size of the Empire State Building. And of course, the first words out of his mouth are “well, this shouldn’t hurt very much” and my heart sinks.  Because between you and me, I have a long history with that phrase (as I am sure most of you do as well) and it isn’t a good one.

I can remember various dentist offices and dentists themselves saying that just before annihilating my mouth in a frenzy of drills and numbing injections that never seemed to work.  I remember vaccines and pops of cotton that, yes indeedy, hurt, even though the doctors swore up and down they wouldn’t.

And then there were the injections I received for rabies (8 of them at the time) that alternated sites, left, cheek, right cheek (not the face mind you), left arm, right arm, stomach…well you get the drift.  Oh the perils of being a park naturalist.  There have been ones for the flu, tetanus, and during anaphylactic shock, epinephrine.  I have had ones for antibiotics and ones for steroids.  Lots and lots of shots over time and always with the same result.  Shot then pain.

And you know what?  Each time, the doctor assured me it shouldn’t hurt very much.  And  each time it most certainly did.

drag queen sharon needles

knitting needlesNow I don’t have a problem with needles themselves.  I even adore certain needles, like my mahogany knitting needles or knitting needles of any type.  I also think the drag queen Sharon Needles is pretty darn awesome.  I even have a certain fondness for sewing needles even though I am hardly proficient with them.  They have repaired many a beloved teddy or tiger and for that I am grateful.

But medical needles, long, long medical needles?  I think not.  True they are necessary but I don’t have to like them and once more here I was waiting to be injected.  But first they had to find the right spot….yeah, topical anesthesia  doesn’t help there.  And yes, I felt that needle going in…and in…  and the doctor asked me…wait for it…did I feel it and did it hurt?  He’s lucky all I shot him was a glare. Cause yes I did feel it and yes, it hurt.  Argh.  And I am not, repeat not a baby about these things and I have a high tolerance for pain. But yeesh….they need to find something different to say…cause I am telling you that has truly gotten old.

So here I am, my hip is throbbing.  The doctor said I should feel better in a day…if the shot works.  Sigh.  Sometimes life is a crap shoot.  Sometimes you role doubles and sometimes snake eyes. And by now I really should know to stick to the needles I like when given a choice, and leave the others alone.  Because here is something I have learned over the years….when someone tells you its not going to hurt, run, run like the wind in the opposite direction, it’s going to hurt like hell.

Now for the week ahead in reviews.  It’s one terrific book after another this week.   There are two guest blogs on our schedule. One by the fabulous Abigail Roux for the release Shock & Awe.  And the other by an author whose books have always appeared on my must read list, L.B. Gregg and her latest release How I Met Your Father.  Added to that are two new books in series I just love, R.J. Scott’s Texas Family and Kate McMurray’s The Stars That Tremble and this will be a stellar week indeed!

Twas the week before the week of Thanksgiving…..

Monday, Nov. 17:   Texas Family by R.J. Scott
Tuesday, Nov. 18:   The Stars That Tremble by Kate McMurray
Wed., Nov. 19:         Guest Blog by L.B. Gregg for How I Met Your Father
Thurs., Nov.20:      Guest Blog and Contest by Abigail Roux and Shock & Awe release
Friday, Nov. 21:       Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux
Sat., Nov. 22:           How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg