Andrew Grey on the Top 5 Type of Romance he Likes to Write and his new novel Fire and Agate (Carlisle Deputies #3) (guest post and excerpt)

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Title: Fire and Agate

Author: Andrew Grey

Series: Carlisle Deputies #3

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: Nov 6 2018
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey here today.  Andrew is on tour for the next story in his Carlisle Deputies series, Fire and Agate.. Welcome, Andrew.

✒︎

I wanted to have some fun, so I thought a top 5 post would be in order.  Here are my Top 5 favorite types of romances to write.  I must say that I read and write a wide range of characters, but these are some of my favorites in no particular order.
Andrew Grey’s Top 5 Favorite Types of Romances to Write
1)  Cops – given the title that we’re celebrating, that’s probably a no brainer.
2)  Firemen – Hunky guys in fire pants sometimes sleeping in the same room together.
3)  Rural – I spent part of my childhood in the country, so I know first hand those boys know a lot about the birds and the bees.
4)  Cowboys – They’re iconic and can be stunning, cantankerous, and a lot of fun to write.
5)  Discovering love – There’s something that feeds the soul about writing a character that is really just discovering that they are worthy of being loved.

 

Blurb/Synopsis:

When Chris Anducci is moved off jail duty and into the sheriff’s office, he doesn’t expect his first assignment to be protecting a witness against a human trafficking ring. Knowing the new sheriff doesn’t abide screw-ups, Chris reluctantly agrees to work the case.

Pavle Kasun has spent the last four years of his life at the mercy of others. When an opportunity presented itself, he took it, resulting in his rescue. Now the safe houses he’s placed in are being threatened and he needs protection if he is to have any sort of chance at a life.

Chris opens his home to Pavle, but he doesn’t expect Pavle and his story to get under his skin… and stay there. Soon they discover they have more in common than either of them thought. Slowly Pavle comes out of his shell and Chris finds someone who touches his heart. But as the men looking for Pavle close in, they will stop at nothing to get him out of the way. But even if Chris can keep him safe, he might not be able to protect his heart if Pavle moves back home.

Genre:M/M Contemporary Romance/Law Enforcement

Excerpt 

Slowly a figure, curled up and small, made an appearance from around the side of the dresser. The first thing Chris noticed were the biggest, brownest eyes he had ever seen, filled with the pain of years of hurt. They blinked, and then Pavle stepped farther into the light. Even standing, he looked half hunched over.

“This is Deputy Chris. He’s here because he’s going to help keep you safe.”

Pavle raised his head slightly, his black hair, long and uneven, falling to the sides of his face.

“Hello,” Chris said, mimicking the soft tone the others had used. “I’m Chris. They told me you needed help, so I’m going to protect you so no one hurts you anymore.” In that moment, he made up his mind to do whatever was needed to help this man, and if that meant moving him into his home to protect him, so be it.

“I’d like it if you went with Deputy Chris. He is a good man and will not hurt you,” Marie explained slowly and gently.

Chris didn’t expect Pavle to believe her or to agree to come. “It’s okay if you don’t want to,” Chris said, crouching down so he was at the same level as Pavle. “This is your choice.”

“Choice?” Pavle asked in a raspy voice that tore at Chris’s insides, looking at him and then back to Marie.

“Yes. You can choose to stay here or go with Deputy Chris. We want you to be safe, but we aren’t sure how well we can protect you here. If you go with Deputy Chris, he will protect you. Keep you safe.”

“INS?” Pavle asked.

“No. He is good man. Caring. He will help you.” Marie seemed to have infinite patience.

Pavle blinked, standing still, then nodded and walked to Chris. It seemed as though he either didn’t understand or thought he didn’t have a choice, even though he was being given one. Chris held out his hands, palms up, to show that he wasn’t going to hit him. When Pavle looked at him with those huge eyes and the face of an angel, he looked much younger than the twenty-four listed in his file. Maybe that was his previous owner’s fetish. Still, after all he’d been through, Pavle’s handsomeness and light shone through, with soft features and an almost delicate frame.

“I’ll gather his few things,” Annette said.

Marie extended her hand to take Pavle’s gently. He went with her in silence. She led him out of the house, and once they were in the sun, Chris got a better look at him. Pavle was pale, probably from years of being inside. Chris reminded himself to ask Marie about any past injuries. He suspected that Pavle had been treated very badly in the past and he needed to know if he was okay physically.

“Thank you for doing this,” Marie said once she had opened the door to Chris’s car and gotten Pavle settled in the passenger seat. He sat without moving or looking to either side. “You have to keep him safe. He is the main witness against the man who held him for nearly two years. We need to get that man and then trace back to the people who sold Pavle to him. We’re pulling each thread to see what we can unravel.”

“Okay. I will do my best, I promise you.”

“I’ll follow you to your house and help Pavle get settled.”

As Marie got to her car, Pavle reacted for the first time.

“She’s just riding separately. She will be back in a few minutes.”

Chris drove the short distance to his house and pulled into the garage. He didn’t want Pavle to be seen, and yet he also didn’t want him to feel like a prisoner again by being hidden. He got out and waited, hoping Pavle would get out on his own. After a few moments, Pavle opened the door and climbed out of the car. Chris opened the door to the yard and motioned for Pavle to go ahead of him.

Marie came though behind him, and Chris closed the garage doors and joined the two of them in the yard. Pavle looked around, saying nothing. Chris wished he would say something… anything. He was way too quiet, and that worried Chris because he had no idea what he was thinking, and damn it all, those eyes still held buckets of fear.

“It’s okay. This is where you are going to stay.” Marie gently coaxed Pavle toward the house, and he shuffled along, looking at the yard. Hopefully he liked what he saw. Chris had spent too many hours working out stress for the garden to be unappreciated.

Chris opened the back door, went inside, and turned on lights, letting Marie bring Pavle in the kitchen, motioning toward the living room. Maybe this was the biggest mistake of his life. He wasn’t equipped to handle someone as fragile and frightened as Pavle. Chris had no clue what he needed or even how to get through to him.

“I sold?” Pavle finally asked barely above a whisper.

Chris caught Marie’s gaze, and his heart twisted in his chest. God, this was going to wrench his guts six ways from Sunday.

“No. This is where you are going to live. You are not going to be sold to anyone any more. Deputy Chris is here to help you and nothing more.” She patted his hand and took Pavle through to the other room.

Chris got three glasses of water and put some cookies on a plate. He needed some sugar if he was going to get through this in one piece.

Marie and Pavle were talking softly on the sofa when Chris handed each of them a glass and offered them cookies. Marie took one, and Pavle stared at the plate as though it were a foreign object. Finally, he took one and ate a small bite before shoving the whole thing in his mouth, chewing and swallowing like he hadn’t eaten in days, then he drank the entire glass of water.

Chris offered him another, and Pavle took it in disbelief, ate it quickly, and then rested his hands in his lap.

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.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter@andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Dreamspinner Advent Story Roundup – Part II and List of Story Recommendations

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This post will finish up our Dreamspinner Advent Story Roundup started on Saturday, January 4, 2013.Aunt Dee Dee's Holiday Check

A Charming Idea by Alex Mar

Rating: 4.5 stars

DSP: Having fallen on hard times, London-based wizard Evan keeps his charms shop open on Christmas Eve. When he finally gets home, he finds his neighbor, Kian, languishing with a wound that hasn’t healed properly. He takes Kian in and they share the Christmas roast from their neighbor, Mrs. Halfpenny—neither suspecting the magic in the marinade that will make their holiday especially merry.

Alex Mar has written a real charmer of a story in A Charming Idea.  I loved everything about this tale, from the characters to the enchanting descriptions of Evan’s Charm shop to the pixies in his apartment.  I so wished I was able to actually appear in his shop and be able to see for myself the tiny reindeer prancing and peering about the other charms on the old wooden shelves or see the snow butterflies lighting up the firefly glasses.  Even the angel on top of his Christmas tree snored lightly in her sleep and fluttered her wings while dreaming. Entrancing doesn’t even begin to cover it.

The characters themselves were as magical and magnetic as their surroundings.  Evan with his wild mop of red hair and Kian, the mysterious neighbor with his  black cloak and quiet,somewhat menacing demeanor filled me with delight and anticipation.  I couldn’t wait to see how Alex Mar was going to bring them together and Mar didn’t disappoint me.  In fact, my only quibble with this story is that it is far too short.  I wanted to know more about Kian with the phoenix tattooed on the side of his face marking him as a Wizard Guard.  And I wanted to know more about those Wizard Guards who patrol the area.  And Evan’s father whose stags would have been sent to bring Evan home for Christmas if he hadn’t needed to keep his shop open.  There are so many delicious details here that cry out for a larger narrative that I almost couldn’t believe it when the story ended.  Alex Mar, if you are listening, please revisit this wonderful universe you created and give us the story it is meant to have.  Really, if you love fantasy, you will absolutely adore this story.

Aunt Dee Dee’s Holiday Check by Joel Skelton

Rating: 4.25 stars

DSP: After his Aunt Dee Dee sends him a windfall, Ethan decides to bail on the family holiday drama and go on a college skiing trip instead. Then a reservation snafu lands him in the same room as Henry, another student on the trip, and Ethan stumbles onto a bonus present of another kind: one that could last through Christmas and beyond.

Joel Skelton, where you been?  I loved this story and both Ethan and Henry grabbed me from the start.  At 65 pages, it is a longer story than most but Skelton uses that length to slowly build up Ethan and Henry’s backstories as well as give us a slower climb into a relationship.  Skelton’s characters are marvels, more than just sketches, we get fully fleshed out human beings on every level of the story, not just the main characters. I especially loved Ethan’s Aunt Dee Dee of the title.  She is a lesbian who the family disowned and now she is trying to reconnect with them. Aunt Dee Dee, along with her partner Agnes, sent Ethan the check that changes his life.

This is how she describes herself and Agnes:  ”

“We’re day traders by profession, lunatics by disposition, and we like to drink.” Agnes spelled it out. “And smoke,” Auntie D added with a snort.”

How do you know love these two and want to seriously party with them?  The whole story continues in that vein.  It’s funny, heartwarming and is never overly saccharine. Nor does it fall into the trap of instant love for Henry and Ethan, just a lovely romantic weekend with the future of more  waiting them.  Perfect.  This is the reason I loved getting the Dreamspinner Advent stories.  New authors to look up and the possibility of new stories to discover.  If I hadn’t gotten the entire package, I would have missed out on this author  and many others.

The Christmas Snoop by Jean Wolfe

Rating: 3.25 stars

DSP:  After going on a present hunt while his boyfriend, Matt, is in the office, James finds several things he didn’t expect, including photos of Matt in a Christmas jumper, an old teddy bear, and several letters to Santa Claus—one of which states that Matt doesn’t need anything for Christmas because he has James. It seems Matt has been a very good boy this year….

This is one very cute story about a snooping boyfriend, looking around for his presents and finding much more than his expected.  It was sweet, nicely written and a lovely present to find on my computer that December morning.  The characterizations were well developed and the short story  about two men who love each other was completely angst free.  While I don’t feel any need to reread this story, I certainly enjoyed the time I spent with Matt and James.

Rudolph by Sam C. Leonhard

Rating: 3 stars

DSP: Crotchety and cranky Rudy—aka Santa—is in a foul mood every Christmas season. He talks to lots of children and even more parents but not with guys looking for dates. Only when his best helper makes him a very special gift does he meet someone to his liking. Kind of. Because that someone is made of flour and spices—and to impress him, Rudy seriously has to work on his seduction skills.

This is a story that you are either going to dislike it or love it, depending upon how you feel about your Christmas figures.  This will not surprise anyone who has been following my reviews of the holiday stories, but I am coming down on the side of not liking Rudolph.  Here is Santa (son of Santa) who is cranky, hates Christmas and all the trappings, rude to children, with the patience of a pouting child.  It is not spoiling things to tell you that someone decides to gift this curmudgeonly Santa with his own cookie man for Christmas to teach him a thing or two.

Really, someone has to create a man for Santa? Sigh.  The only reason this story has three stars is because despite my dislike for the subject matter, the story is very well written, the characters crystalline in form, and the ending open and full of possibilities.   Some people will adore this story.  So I will recommend it and let you make up your own mind.

This is the second time I have gotten the entire month of Advent stories from Dreamspinner Press and have exactly the same reaction as I did the first time around, that you end up with a mix grab bag of stories.  Most are wonderful, some very nice, some forgettable and a few that resembled lumps of coal.

So I am sure you are wondering, is it worth the price to buy them all or should you wait and purchase them one at a time?  Well, after some thought, I think that it is worth the price, even with the uneven quality in the stories.  I did love getting a new story every morning, that was fun.  And I found some new authors I might not have discovered any other way.  I shudder to think that I might have missed out on Cardeno C’s Eight Days or Kim Fielding’s A Great Miracle Happened There.  The Colors of Pastor Saul by SA Garcia made me think and The Ghost of Mistletoe Lock by Amy Rae Durreson  brought back memories of Christmas ghosts past.  Amy Lane’s Turkey in the Snow can make me laugh just thinking about the scene that produced the title and Andrew Grey’s Snowbound to Nowhere was full of holiday delight and wonder.  And then there was Alex Mar and Joel Skelton too.

So many gifts were received this Evergreen Advent month that I heartily recommend you try it next season.  But don’t wait until then to read these stories, pick them up now and capture the glow of Christmas past!

Here is the list of the stories I loved in no particular order:

Eight Days by Cardeno C

Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane

Snowbound to Nowhere by Andrew Grey

A Great Miracle Happened There by Kim Fielding

Aunt Dee Dee’s Holiday Check by Joel Skelton

A Charming Idea by Alex Mar

The Ghost of Mistletoe Lock by Amy Rae Durreson

Traditions from the Heart by Bru Baker

The Colors of Pastor Saul by S.A. Garcia

Wish List by J.J. Cassidy

Lessons Learned, Wishes Earned by Cassandra Gold

Just a Quick Reminder!

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October is one of my most favorite months.  Autumn is in full swing by then, bringing with it all the colors associated with Fall.  Rich reds, all shades of orange and yellow, with white, and purple mixed in.  This October will bring some marvelous book releases as well from Andrea Speed’s Infected: Lesser Evils, the latest in the outstanding Infected  series to But For You by Mary Calmes.  This is Sam and Jory’s last  book.  You may remember them from A Matter of Time (4 books in all) and the sequel  Bulletproof.  If you love them as much as I do, this is for you. Another I am looking forward to would be Sean Kennedy’s Tigerland, a sequel to Tigers and Devils, a great book.  And the one to start off October for me? That would be My Regelence Rake by JL Langley.  This is her long awaited sequel to The Englor Affair and the next in her Sci Regency series that started with My Fair Captain.

So all next week, from Monday to Sunday, I am running a contest to give away a copy from Samhain Publishing of My Regelence Rake to one person who comments during the week.  I will be recapping the previous books and talking to JL about Sci Regency, a term she coined.  So much is happening around here that I can get a little scattered.  So mark this down, please.  I look forward to hearing from you all.  And what  books are you looking forward to?  New ones I don’t know about?  New authors you have fallen in love with?  Give me a shout and fill me in!  TTFN!