Jay Hogan with an Exclusive Excerpt from Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1)

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Exclusive Excerpt

Her gaze narrowed as she slumped against the couch cushions. “You screwed up, didn’t you?”

I shook my head. “I didn’t screw up. You know damn well I’m in no position to date.”

Dana’s eyes popped. “Whoa on there, handsome. Don’t you dare put words in my mouth.”

“Our mouths,” Carly piped up. “And yeah, what she said.”

Dana arched an eyebrow. “We know no such thing. There’s no reason you can’t date….”

For fuck’s sake. “We’ve been over this. There’s a million reasons—”

“Hey.” She stabbed a finger at me. “I’m talking here, which means you shouldn’t be. Got it?”

Jesus Christ. Save me from stroppy women with protective instincts the size of fucking Australia and mouths to match. I shut up.

Dana’s expression softened. “You know we love you, right?”

I felt a “but” coming and nodded anyway.

“And we would never say anything to hurt you, right?”

Oh yeah. Definitely a “but.”

“But you have Crohn’s disease, not bloody end-stage terminal cancer, you dipshit.”

And there it was.

“Other people with equally vicious chronic illnesses manage to have a life and even a family. Get over yourself and give people a chance.”

“Easy for you to say,” I bit back. “When was the last time either of you turned down a date because there wasn’t a close enough bathroom on that romantic walk along the beach or that invigorating bush hike? Or because you were in too much pain that day or simply too fucking exhausted, or knew you couldn’t eat any of the food at the restaurant he wanted to take you to and rada, rada, rada?

“When did you last have to explain that you didn’t want to stay over because you currently needed to sleep on towels for the night sweats? Or even worse, explain in advance the possibility of an inconvenient ‘accident’ that might happen at any time but especially during sex and especially during a flare-up. Not to mention that any sex at all might be off the table for weeks or even months at a time if things got really bad. A real selling point, that one.

“And what about how all of that might just put a downer on any and all dating, let alone your libido and sexy times in general. Not to mention the being gay part, where that particular piece of anatomy is kind of a crucial component in sex and means needing to have these conversations pretty damn early while being scared shitless you’ll frighten the guy off.

“What if he’s a preferential top, and I can’t bottom for him as often as he’d like, let alone as often as I’d like, if at all. Jesus, guys, do you have any idea what it feels like to finally take a chance on someone you really like and then watch their attraction to you dissolve into distaste and a million other excuses to clear the fuck out of it because they can’t deal with your disease? ‘Don’t call me, I’ll call you.’ Do you?

“It takes all the energy I have to get through an average day without adding a ton of relationship angst to the pot, and hey, I’m one of the lucky ones. My Crohn’s mostly sits in the mild to moderate range. I’ve pretty much lived in remission over the last ten years with only a few major flare-ups but who knows when that will change, like last weekend for instance after ‘you know who’ fucking arrested me.”

I ran out of steam and an awkward silence rushed to fill the vacuum. Carly shuffled in her seat, picking at a thread on her cushion, but Dana’s level gaze never wavered once from mine.

“I take it there’s a point in there somewhere?” she asked benignly, keeping a straight face. “I mean, far be it from me to interrupt you on a roll.”

I stared at her for a few seconds, then snorted and shook my head. “Jesus Christ, woman, come here.” I pulled her over for a hug and buried my face in her shoulder. “God, I love you guys,” I said, my voice rough with emotion. Seconds later, Carly joined in the hug from the side.

And I did love them. God knows most people didn’t want to even mention my Crohn’s other than offer helpful “suggestions” they’d read somewhere or seen on television or the internet, as if I hadn’t researched that fucker to death over the last ten years. But these two women not only accepted and talked openly about it, they called me on my shit as well, pun fully intended.

And it wasn’t like I didn’t know I was being a fucking scared rabbit about the whole dating thing, it was just that living with this bloody disease was bad enough without being rejected by guys again and again because of it. Better to not want and wonder, better to put a lid on that shit fast. Easier all around.

It’s not that Dana and Carly were ignorant of what Crohn’s had cost me. Hell, they lived with the impact of it on my life on a day-to-day basis, covering for me when I was too sick to move and couldn’t make my appointments. If anyone had a right to front me, they did.

Dana pulled back, her eyes red-rimmed and wet. She reached for the ever-present box of Kleenex always on my table and helped herself to a fistful. “We don’t mean to be jerks,” she apologised, glancing back at Carly, who nodded in agreement. “We know you’ve been dealt a crap hand. God, those fucking puns.” She laughed and pressed a kiss to my cheek. “But you’re too damn good to put yourself on a shelf. You deserve a real life and a guy who’s gonna love everything about you.” She sat back down and eyed me seriously. “You do know that, right?”

Did I? I wasn’t sure I could even afford to entertain the possibility. I wiped her damp cheek with my thumb. “Maybe. I’m just not sure I’ll survive another disappointment like Jared. Walking out like he did nearly fucking killed me. You know that, you were both there. I was in hospital for two months.”

To be honest I didn’t totally blame Jared. Hell, I’d walk out on me too, if I had the choice. Still, I’d genuinely loved him, and we’d been together for nearly two years before he left, though to be fair I’d been in remission for the first eighteen months of that so he didn’t really know what he’d signed up for. But then I was hit with a major flare-up, and one too many cancelled dinners and a life that revolved around my health was suddenly more than he could deal with.

It hurt like fuck at the time and the flare-up, coupled with Jared’s rejection, sent me into a depressive tailspin that had taken some deep digging to get me out in one piece. Little wonder I’d given up on dating. Was I lonely? Fuck, yeah, I could admit that now. But Grindr and the odd hookup when I was well enough ticked enough boxes to keep me going… most days anyway. Not that I’d even done that in a long while.

 
Length: 340 pages
 
 
Cover Design: Kanaxa
 
Blurb
 

A Digging Deep Story


Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.


Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.


But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

 

Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense and fantasy. She has travelled extensively and has lived in quite a few countries. She has a BA degree in Nursing and in Theology, and in another life, she was an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Lecturer.


She is a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing – pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing -absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee she’s had.


She has complex boys telling stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward and even surprise Jay. She does her best to plot things out ahead of time but those pesky characters seem to have a mind of their own. Go figure.


You can find Jay at:
https://www.facebook.com/JayHoganAuthor
https://twitter.com/jayhoganauthor
jayhoganauthor@gmail.com

 

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A Stella Review : Digging Deep by Jay Hogan

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

A Digging Deep Story 

Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.

Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.

But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

I picked this new release by Jay Hogan because as soon as I read the blurb I was intrigued. First of all I think I have never read about a male midwife in the mm genre, sure never about a character with the Crohn’s disease, which sadly I know very well. So I was curious and quickly finished it.

Both main characters caught my interest, they were both greatly defined, so positive and brave no matter what. Of course Drake took my heart, how careful and tuned with his body he was, ready to understand each little sign he felt. The way he acted, during his work days, or with his friends, the way he felt to protect himself with a new lover, all seemed to me very real. I think it wasn’t easy to portrait a character who had a very important and disabling disease like Crohn’s is, the author did an amazing job, she wrote with a gentleness every little real aspect of this disease. Plus, I liked how Caleb was depicted too. Apart from the beginning, where he acted as an ass, ignoring and not listening to Drake explanations, I loved how he soon understood where he did wrong. Once he set his eyes on the other man, he tried to learn everything he could about the disease, tried to be ready to every necessity. Still there were doubts and little accidents that could happen, but he seemed ready to face his life with the love of his life.

I can’t wait to read the next installment in the Digging Deep series, I deeply loved the homonymic new release, don’t miss it, it’s engaging, packed with emotions, I shed a couple of tears and a lot of laughs, it’s not a shallow story, I was engaged till the last word. I feel to recommend it.

The cover art by kanaxa is awesome like everything this artist does, I like it so much.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK |  | Universal Link

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 1st edition, 354 pages

Published August 6th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781644054192

Edition Language English

Series Digging Deep #1

Check Out the Review Tour and Giveaway for Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep

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Length: 340 pages
 
 
Cover Design: Kanaxa
 
Blurb
 

A Digging Deep Story


Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.


Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.


But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

 

Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense and fantasy. She has travelled extensively and has lived in quite a few countries. She has a BA degree in Nursing and in Theology, and in another life, she was an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Lecturer.


She is a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing – pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing -absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee she’s had.


She has complex boys telling stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward and even surprise Jay. She does her best to plot things out ahead of time but those pesky characters seem to have a mind of their own. Go figure.


You can find Jay at:
https://www.facebook.com/JayHoganAuthor
https://twitter.com/jayhoganauthor
jayhoganauthor@gmail.com

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A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1) by Jay Hogan

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

In an unfortunate series of events, Drake meets Caleb. This is meeting the right person in the wrong circumstances–or maybe not! It starts with an enemies to lovers vibe. Frankly, I didn’t quite feel the attraction during the hate phase, but once it gets going I was really rooting for these two. This takes place in Auckland, so there is use of New Zealand vernacular. It alternates first person POV in different chapters. I am hoping this is a typo and will be removed before publication, but it breaks the fourth wall in Cal’s thoughts, “and yeah, you heard what I heard.” It is only one sentence, but I didn’t like it.

This is an honest look at two people who meet and are attracted to each other, but will have to be mature and put the work in to maintain a relationship. This is flat out real in the way most romances are not. Sex is awkward, at times difficult, messy, and painfully vulnerable. This story explores all that. Many people say they hate it when the characters have issues because they just don’t talk to each other–here is your book where they have no choice but to communicate if they want to make this work. Medical issues are no joke and either one or the other of them could chicken out and run away without confronting the details on a daily basis, but they don’t. Neither does this book slap a label on it and call it a day, the reader gets the full nitty gritty about Drake’s illness and profession. This is all seriously intense; they barely date and then they are in it for life, and yet it still feels really believable. I am worried people won’t give this story a chance, or will give bad reviews, because of the discussions about bodily functions. This story is very good. Thankfully, there is plenty of humor also.

These families are loving, accepting, and have ribald moments of fun. These friends do not let the characters have rose tinted glasses or lie to themselves. This is what friendship looks like to me–people who will tell you harsh truths, not to hurt you, but to help you and still support your decisions, even if they think you are wrong. However there is also a great line in Caleb’s thoughts about making sure to not let your friends define who you are, “the first mistake I’d made was believing that Leanne’s version of me was maybe all there was.” I love that there is a wide and varied cast with representation of different cultures and sexualities. The epilogue takes place six months later and is heartwarming, taking them into the future together.

The cover art is by Kanaxa. I think it shows Drake and all I could think of was that expression “in the weeds,” which seems apropos.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner | Universal Link

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 354 pages
Expected publication: August 6th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644054192
Edition Language English
Series Digging Deep #1

Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1) by Jay Hogan

Standard

 

 
Length: 340 pages
 
 
Cover Design: Kanaxa
 
Blurb
 

A Digging Deep Story


Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.


Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.


But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense and fantasy. She has travelled extensively and has lived in quite a few countries. She has a BA degree in Nursing and in Theology, and in another life, she was an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Lecturer.


She is a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing – pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing -absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee she’s had.


She has complex boys telling stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward and even surprise Jay. She does her best to plot things out ahead of time but those pesky characters seem to have a mind of their own. Go figure.


You can find Jay at:
https://www.facebook.com/JayHoganAuthor
https://twitter.com/jayhoganauthor
jayhoganauthor@gmail.com

Giveaway

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

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