Tour: Curved Horizon by Taylor Brooke (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

Title: Curved Horizon

Series: The Camellia Clock Cycle, Book Two

Publisher: Interlude Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): March 8, 2018

Subgenre:

Romance: LGBT, Contemporary, Science Fiction

Content Warnings: Interlude Press posts content warnings for new books on its web site at interludepress.com/content-warnings

Order now:

Interlude Press: https://store.interludepress.com/collections/curved-horizon-by-taylor-brooke

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2EoGBWw

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/curved-horizon/id1324716366?mt=11

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/curved-horizon-taylor-brooke/1127627874?ean=2940154649688

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/767407

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/at/en/ebook/curved-horizon

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Curved-Horizon-Taylor-Brooke/9781945053542/?a_aid=InterludePress

Book blurb:

Curved Horizon picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of Fortitude Smashed with Daisy Yuen and Chelsea Cavanaugh, whose Camellia Clocks are drawing close to timing out. Navigating the ins-and-outs of love is hard enough as strangers destined to be soul mates and proves even more complicated when Daisy shares dark, ugly secrets that linger in her and Aiden’s pasts.

Meanwhile, Shannon and Aiden continue to explore their own, new relationship. Fall brings them an unforgettable one-year anniversary, but when Shannon suffers a life-threatening accident on the job, Chelsea, Daisy, and Aiden must find a way to let go of the past to make room for their future.

Dive deeper into the world of the Camellia Clock—a world of soulmates, secrets, and the healing power of love.

Exclusive Excerpt :

Three hundred sixty-five days.

It’d been one year: one autumn, one winter, one spring, and one summer. It’d crept in on him in his sleep, stirring Shannon into bolting from his dreams. He sprang up, gripped his knees, and inhaled a shaky breath. It’d been one entire year.

How they both allowed it to slip by without paying any attention was marginally embarrassing, but Shannon wasn’t thinking about that. He dismissed the thoughts spinning in the back of his mind and focused on everything that was right in front of him.

“What’s wrong?” Aiden said, suddenly alert. He reached for Shannon’s wrist and curled his fingers around it. “Bad dream?”

Shannon coughed over a laugh and pawed at his eyes, shaking his head leisurely from side to side. “What’s the date?”

“What?” Aiden spat. He groaned and curled into Shannon’s side, nudging his forehead against the edge of Shannon’s shoulder. “It’s two in the morning; go to sleep.”

“It’s October second. We missed our own anniversary.”Shannon looked at Aiden and found Aiden looking back. “Put your eyebrows down, I’m serious,” Shannon added.
Aiden’s brows dropped, and he lifted onto his elbows, measuring

Shannon with calculating, sharp eyes. On most occasions his inability to sleep made Aiden into one of two things. One, he was a corpse. There was no waking him when he had finally fallen asleep, and if he was awakened, he was only half-alive. Two, he was this, awake as if he’d never been asleep, awake as a shark or a hungry nightmare, awake as an addict. Shannon saw his cheek cave in, sucked between Aiden’s back teeth.

“Yeah,” Shannon said. His accent made everything sound sweeter. “What’re you thinking about?”

“I never considered tonight our anniversary,” Aiden said. Shannon tilted his head and waited. Aiden obviously wasn’t finished talking, but he paused, giving

Shannon a moment to absorb his statement. It wasn’t until it’d been said twice that Shannon realized how odd it was. Anniversary. It had always been a stupid, juvenile thing to him. Anniversaries were for movies and flowers and dinner at a restaurant with candles on the tables. The only anniversaries he’d ever celebrated were with Chelsea. They went to the fanciest Italian place in Milford, which wasn’t very fancy at all, and after dessert pretended they knew what they were doing in the bed of Shannon’s truck for a whole twenty minutes.

This, he realized, was a first of firsts. “Get your keys,” Aiden said. Shannon wasn’t sure what the silence between I never considered tonight our anniversary and get your keys meant, but he imagined it meant something. He didn’t bother trying to figure out what Aiden was getting at or arguing with him, so he asked, “Where are we going?”

“Wherever you want,” Aiden said.

They dressed quickly and clumsily, bouncing off each other as they tugged on their shoes. Aiden pulled on a black beanie and Shannon ran his hands through his hair, attempting to tame it. Shannon was awake, but the world turned slowly enough to be dreamlike. He handed Aiden the keys, slumped into the passenger seat, and ignored his seatbelt. The twilight sensation of being awake and asleep at the same time was something Shannon rarely experienced, but as he watched Aiden from his side of the Jeep Cherokee, he found himself wondering if this was the kind of universe Aiden wandered in: being awake but not fully and asleep but not fully, stepping halfway out of a dream.

Aiden glanced over. “Where to?”

“You choose.”

“Turn on music,” Aiden said, and Shannon did.

Laguna Beach passed by in intervals of palm trees, dark buildings, darker streets, and the darkest ocean. Shannon noticed how alive everything was at night with the wind snapping at the windshield and fog clinging to the shoreline. He’d almost forgot what the dark was like when he was a part of it rather than an outsider trying to look in.

About the author:

After fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures as a special effects makeup artist, Taylor Brooke turned her imagination back to her true love—books. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she’s traveling, hiking or reading. She writes Queer books for teens and adults. She is the author of Fortitude Smashed (Interlude Press ’17) and is represented by Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services. 

Connect with Taylor Brooke: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Author Website

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Giveaway Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZmJiNzg2ZGU1OGZjNTQ3N2M3NjcwYmIxZjU5YmI1OjEwMg==/?

Taylor Brooke on Inspiration and her latest novel Fortitude Smashed. (guest post, excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke
Interlude Press
Published September 21st 2017

 

Purchase Links:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Taylor Brooke here today talking about the inspiration behind Fortitude Smashed.  Welcome, Taylor.

Somewhere Else – The Story Behind The Hollow by Taylor Brooke

Fortitude Smashed is full of Laguna Beach staples – Main Beach, The Whitehouse, The Saloon, The Koffee Klatch. These native hot spots are routinely visited by locals and tourists alike, supplying cocktails, appetizers and daily doses of caffeine. However, there is one place that lives in the pages of Fortitude Smashed that most people will probably give my imagination all the credit for. I mean, how could a giant treehouse be hidden in Laguna Canyon?

Surprise. The Hollow is real.

A friend of mine found it after deviating from an established hiking trail and bush-whacking his way through the dense Laguna Wilderness Park over spring break. I didn’t believe him at first, or I guess I didn’t know what to believe. I asked myself how a treehouse that big, how something that cool, could’ve hidden from us all this time. The answer presented itself when he tried to show me where it was: Make it almost impossible to get to.

The Hollow was a place that demanded to be stumbled upon, and stumble we did. There really was a fence with a hole to crawl through, though, and there really was a game trail that led through a break in the tree line. When we finally got to it, my friend said, “I told you so,” and I said, “Who else knows about this?”

The tire swing dangled by a frayed braided rope that would obviously snap if someone tried to play on it, and the rusted car was littered with cigarette butts, beer bottles and Del Taco salsa packets. The Hollow was magnificent, though. Despite the questionable rigging and the litter left behind by partiers, the cluster of treehouses tucked away in the forest seemed like a promise fulfilled. To me, it proved that magic was real. It was a secret place that we could claim, and claim it we did. We fixed the tire swing, carved our names into the biggest tree and spent many nights howling at the moon, doing things we weren’t supposed to, in a place that wasn’t supposed to exist.

We didn’t know if anyone else knew about it. But whoever did happen to know was never there at the same time we were. We found clues – cigarette packs that weren’t ours, liquor bottles we hadn’t left, new carvings in the tree with names we didn’t recognize. Being a teenager was like running with a pack of wolves. I had my pack, others had theirs, and we shared one magical, strange hideout that blurred the lines between reality and somewhere else.

I live in Central Oregon now, and I have to admit, I miss somewhere else. I wonder if it’s still there.

Here is a deleted scene from Fortitude Smashed. Aiden, Shannon, Daisy and Chelsea take a trip to The Hollow the morning of Aiden’s twenty-third birthday:

The Hollow was a place for secrets.

There were flourishing lakes of wide awake flowers, luminous yellows and tangy oranges, lavender and periwinkle, and heartbeat reds. The trees, full and overpowering, reached every direction with long, leafy arms. Copper leaves danced with springy ferns, and cat tails swayed alongside bristled cacti. Secret upon secret upon secret transformed with the seasons. The muted leaves that crunched beneath their feet in winter had been replaced by lively moss and long grass. The rusted car, crowded with weather-worn party favors, was home to vines climbing the hood, looped through the glassless windshield.

“It’s gorgeous.” Chelsea sighed. She stared up at the tree houses, the rope ladder, the deck, the tire swing, and shook her head. “Is it safe?”

“Yeah, it’s safe,” Shannon said, sipping on a large 7-Eleven soda.

Daisy picked through a bag of mixed nuts and held it out to Chelsea.

Chelsea tossed a cashew in her mouth. “Look at that,” she whispered, taking long strides toward the carved-up tree, branded with memories. Daisy trailed after her.

Shannon watched Aiden circle a bushel of honeysuckles. His blue vans looked strange, such a startling replacement to his combat boots. But that might’ve been the only startling thing about him now. The rest of him, black tank and dark washed jeans, sharp edges and clever eyes, were pleasant familiarities.

Aiden sat in a patch of light that beamed between trees, plucking honeysuckles and sucking on their stems. Shannon took slow steps, drawing out the image in front of him. Aiden’s camera around his neck, his gaze flicking from the flower to Shannon, and his smile, warm and comfortable, parting as he said, “What’re you looking at, Detective?”

 

FORTITUDE SMASHED ~ SUMMARY 

After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. Fate is now a calculation.

But loving someone isn’t.

When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.

FORTITUDE SMASHED ~ EXCERPT

Shannon’s first instinct was to call for backup. It’s what he should’ve done.

Instead, he slid his hand around the door and pulled it open; his other hand rested on his holstered gun.

The scent of oil paint and clay wafted strong in the stillness. The room was too open, a wide space with nowhere to hide. Shannon took a step, another, and glanced at the desk, where abstract patterns swirled on the screen of a hibernating computer next to a dimmed, decorative lamp.

Movement. Footsteps, heel to toe, slow and quiet, behind him.

Shannon swung around. Someone—the thief—gasped. He grabbed the fabric of a shirt and shoved whoever was wearing it against the wall.

“You’re under arrest,” he growled. The body, a man, squirmed and cursed. The one time he didn’t play it safe and call for backup was the time he might need it. Shannon forced the thief’s hands against the wall. “Spread your fingers.”

The thief complied. “Of fucking course.” Shannon heard him rolling his eyes.

“Breaking and entering is a crime, you understand that? So is taking things that aren’t yours.”

“I didn’t take anything. I didn’t get the chance to.” Whoever he was, he was unapologetically bored with the situation. Shannon spotted a bold tattoo on his side where his shirt was bunched up from their abrupt collision. The man sighed. “Can I have my hands back now?”

“No, you can’t, because—”

Shannon’s entire being screeched to a stop. His spine straightened; his knees locked. He couldn’t breathe. Beneath his glove, warmth spread from his right thumb into his wrist. The Camellia Clock vibrated, gentle but convincing, a purr that alerted him to the 00:00 that now read in glowing numbers under his thumbnail. Saliva pooled in his mouth. Heat coursed through him. Blood rushed—high speed traffic in his veins. His heartbeat, steady and then not, pounded in his ears.

He stared at the hand spread out on the wall. On the thief’s right thumbnail, the same numbers glowed 00:00. Shannon squeezed the man’s wrist a little tighter.

A shaky breath quivered from the chest in front of him. Apparently, Shannon wasn’t the only one surprised.

He swallowed, and his grip tightened again before he let go and ripped his hands away. Eyeing Shannon carefully, the burglar spun. He had a straight nose and a sharp jaw; he was all angles and edges and pale skin. His skittishness reminded Shannon of a deer—maybe not a deer. The stranger’s lips twitched into a straight-toothed grin under hooded dark eyes. Yeah, maybe not a deer. Maybe a wolf.

A breathless chuckle trickled past a clever smile. The thief gave a slow shake of his head, disbelief and curiosity stitching a genuine expression across his face that Shannon hated. “Aiden Maar,” he said, too confidently to be taken lightly.

Shannon’s jaw was set so tight it ached to open his mouth. “Detective Wurther.”

“Pleasure’s all mine, Detective.” The rasp in his voice made Shannon’s stomach jump.

Before Shannon could yell, or grab, or get another word in, the thief—Aiden—was gone, darting past him and out the door. His head swam. Still reeling, he couldn’t have caught Aiden if his life depended on it. But he was going to have to, because, according to the Camellia Clock, Aiden Maar was his future.

According to Shannon Wurther, the Camellia Clock was wrong.

* * *

Fortitude Smashed will be published by Interlude Press on September 21, 2017. Connect with author Taylor Brooke at taylorbrookewrites.org; on Twitter @taysalion; and on Facebook at facebook.com/taylorbrookewrites.

About the Author

After fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures as a special effects makeup professional, Taylor turned her imagination back to her true love—books. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of tea, planning her next adventure, and fawning over baby animals.

* * *

Fortitude Smashed will be published by Interlude Press on September 21, 2017. Connect with author Taylor Brooke at taylorbrookewrites.org; on Twitter @taysalion; and on Facebook at facebook.com/taylorbrookewrites.

Giveaway

Book Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway:
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Fortitude Smashed// Five winners receive the multi-format eBook

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

A Free Dreamer Review: Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. Fate is now a calculation.

But loving someone isn’t.

When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.

The idea of a sort of inbuilt clock counting down to Day X isn’t exactly a new idea. Usually, Day X marks the person’s death. In “Fortitude Smashed” the Camellia Clock counts down to the second when you meet the love of your life, your soulmate. I think that was an interesting take on things.

With the whole Camellia Clock and personalized chip set-up, I’d expected a Science Fiction story. What I got, however, was a contemporary story set in  present-day California.  I must admit, I was a bit disappointed by that. It almost seemed a little bit lazy to me, as if the author didn’t want to bother with coming up with a whole new world. Instead, she opted to set it in the present day and just added the Camellia Clocks. Consequently, there was very little worldbuilding involved. I would’ve liked to know how the whole Clock thing actually works and if there is a way to opt out of having that chip implanted.

Considering Shannon is a cop and Aiden is a thief, I’d expected lots of tension there. So I figured, even if there’s no SciFi plot there, at least there’s still gonna be lots of conflict. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t. Aiden stops his thievery pretty soon and the tension between the two is the usual romance-tension. I will say that I’m normally not a reader of contemporary romances, because I always feel like I need a little more than “just” a love story. And that’s just what “Fortitude Smashed” is: Just a contemporary love story.

I liked that both Aiden and Shannon had their issues. Especially Aiden struggled with mental illness and Shannon was wonderfully supportive. Neither of them was exactly perfect but they still worked together really well.

There were plenty of sex scenes and they were really hot, without being overly explicit. Taylor Brooke definitely has a way with words. All her descriptions are wonderful, no matter if she was writing about the landscape or body parts. She definitely also has a sense of humour and I found myself laughing out loud a lot.

Overall, “Fortitude Smashed” was a bit of a disappointment to me. I’d expected SciFi but got contempary. I’d expected a crime plot but got a “normal” love story. I guess I mostly just had the wrong expectations. As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of contemporary romance novels and I probably wouldn’t have picked this up, if I’d known it wasn’t Science Fiction.

Still, this book did have its moments and I’m sure lovers of contemporary romance witha bit of a twist can and will enjoy this book. It just wasn’t for me.

Cover: I really like the cover. It looks very summery and is a nice change from the usual covers of M/M romance. And it matches the feel the story gave me.

Sales Links:

Amazon

Interlude Press

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository 

Book details:

ebook, 346 pages

Expected publication: September 21st 2017 by Interlude Press

A Free Dreamer Pre Release Review: Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. Fate is now a calculation.

But loving someone isn’t.

When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.

The idea of a sort of inbuilt clock counting down to Day X isn’t exactly a new idea. Usually, Day X marks the person’s death. In “Fortitude Smashed” the Camellia Clock counts down to the second when you meet the love of your life, your soulmate. I think that was an interesting take on things.

With the whole Camellia Clock and personalized chip set-up, I’d expected a Science Fiction story. What I got, however, was a contemporary story set in  present-day California.  I must admit, I was a bit disappointed by that. It almost seemed a little bit lazy to me, as if the author didn’t want to bother with coming up with a whole new world. Instead, she opted to set it in the present day and just added the Camellia Clocks. Consequently, there was very little worldbuilding involved. I would’ve liked to know how the whole Clock thing actually works and if there is a way to opt out of having that chip implanted.

Considering Shannon is a cop and Aiden is a thief, I’d expected lots of tension there. So I figured, even if there’s no SciFi plot there, at least there’s still gonna be lots of conflict. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t. Aiden stops his thievery pretty soon and the tension between the two is the usual romance-tension. I will say that I’m normally not a reader of contemporary romances, because I always feel like I need a little more than “just” a love story. And that’s just what “Fortitude Smashed” is: Just a contemporary love story.

I liked that both Aiden and Shannon had their issues. Especially Aiden struggled with mental illness and Shannon was wonderfully supportive. Neither of them was exactly perfect but they still worked together really well.

There were plenty of sex scenes and they were really hot, without being overly explicit. Taylor Brooke definitely has a way with words. All her descriptions are wonderful, no matter if she was writing about the landscape or body parts. She definitely also has a sense of humour and I found myself laughing out loud a lot.

Overall, “Fortitude Smashed” was a bit of a disappointment to me. I’d expected SciFi but got contempary. I’d expected a crime plot but got a “normal” love story. I guess I mostly just had the wrong expectations. As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of contemporary romance novels and I probably wouldn’t have picked this up, if I’d known it wasn’t Science Fiction.

Still, this book did have its moments and I’m sure lovers of contemporary romance witha bit of a twist can and will enjoy this book. It just wasn’t for me.

Cover: I really like the cover. It looks very summery and is a nice change from the usual covers of M/M romance. And it matches the feel the story gave me.

Sales Links:

Amazon

Interlude Press

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository 

Book details:

ebook, 346 pages

Expected publication: September 21st 2017 by Interlude Press