A MelanieM Review: Where the Grass is Greener (Seeds of Tyrone #2) by Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

DMRO_WTGIG_533x800Mistakes were made, that’s for sure. But was it the night of passion? Or walking away afterward? That’s the question Seamus Williams must face when he gets a late-night phone call from someone he never expects to hear from again.

“I miss you, Shay.”

Chancey Bo Clearwater is a cowboy through and through. He spends his days finding work on whatever ranch will take him and his nights at the pool hall. He’s always done what needed doing and never thought much about what he wanted. ’Til that drunken night with Seamus.

A world of problems now stand between Seamus and Chancey exploring what might have been, the least of which being the Atlantic Ocean. On one side, there’s Chancey’s daughter who mood swings from angel to demon in two seconds flat; on the other, there’s the new lodger, hogging Shay’s telly and his cornflakes, and making private Skype time hard to come by.

Is this relationship doomed before it ever begins? Or can a surprise announcement from Seamus’s brother be enough to help the two find their second chance?

Several things drew me to Where the Grass is Greener.  I was familiar with Raine O’Tierney, one of the authors and loved her writing.  It involves lovers divided, a favorite trope of mine, and one of the settings is Ireland.  Be still my heart!  Where the Grass is Greener pretty much fulfilled my expectations for the story, the romance and exceeded it for the characters. Oh those wonderful characters.

Where the Grass is Greener by Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney is the sequel to Leaving Flowers, a story I haven’t read and didn’t need to.  This novel really does work as a standalone.  Having said that I will go back and read the first story.  I am curious to see what parts it fills in here.  At the start of the story, the story’s initial framework leaves a new reader open to so many questions.  All of which could be made more substantial by laying in a little more history.  Chancey Bo Clearwater is a divorced father of one, a ranch hand by job description, doing what he has to keep himself and his thirteen year old daughter afloat. Irishman Seamus Williams,temporarily in the States, was another ranch hand on the same ranch.  They dance around each other during the duration of Seamus’ stay, each being in the closet, have a night of passion, and then Seamus returns home to Ireland full of  regrets, leaving Chancey behind full of the same.

This section of the story feels fleeting and their relationship up to then hard to get a handle on.  Then that phone call comes.

“I miss you, Shay.”

The men slowly reconnect through a serious of shaky phone calls and Skype sessions, sometimes hilarious, full of misunderstandings, bad signals, raw emotions, and frustrations.  Especially of the distance they have put between themselves.

The authors give us duel points of view, necessary when you have men on two continents.  Chancey dealing with his country singer ex wife and his thirteen year old daughter along with his love for Shay in Ireland.  And Shay in his small village in Ireland, in his falling down cottage, trying to figure out his life and where he belongs, now that Chancey has come back into his life, at  least in a long distance way.  Shay’s village life is vibrant, alive in the way that small town “in every body’s business” life can be.  Especially if you grew up there and are now trying to reintegrate yourself back into village life and still be gay.

The picture we get of Chancey’s life is more focused, down to his family unit of father and  daughter and their troubled dynamics.  His self centered wife sees only herself and her career, the daughter is at stressful age, poised between child and grownup, with emotions going haywire.  Chancey becomes someone we can understand, even connect with because he’s trying so hard to protect his daughter, be the “good dad”, even if it means giving up on love, remaining stuck and alone.

McGowen and O’Tierney build a strong relationship between Chancey and Shay based on conversation and yes, Skype sex.  The authors string threads of connections throughout the story from reader to the men’s growing relationship, to Michael, the young Irishmen thrown out by his family when he comes out as gay, to Chance’s daughter, Dee, so fierce and amazing to other secondary characters so strong and supportive you can’t help but wish for more of them as well.

Where the Grass is Greener is a novel that gets gains in depth and heart the longer it goes on.  The narrative moved back and forth from the States to Ireland, gathered up more characters, picked up steam and got better as it headed towards the end until I just wanted to say, no, you can’t end it here!  I  had fallen completely under everyone’s spell and now I wanted to know how it all turned out.   I want more.  I want book three.

McGowen and O’Tierney have really hit on something here.  They have a cast that has so much heart and staying power, and the ability to bring in others around them that can realistically move out into their own stories. So that I hope that more novels will follow, specifically Michael’s.

Now I plan to head back and pick up Leaving Flowers and see where it all started.  I will let you know what I find.  Until then, do what I did, and grab up Where the Grass is Greener.  Get to know Chancey and Seamus and Dee.    Its a wonderful story and I think its only the beginning, one I highly recommend.

 

Where the Grass is Greener is book two of ‘Seeds of Tyrone’ and features characters from Leaving Flowers , but can be read independently.

 

Cover art by Debbie McGowan is perfect for the story and characters,I loved it.

Sales Links:  Beaten Track Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 310 pages
Published September 28th 2015 by Smashwords Edition

Coffee Sip & Book Break: Where the Grass is Greener by Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney (excerpt and contest)

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Where the Grass is Greener by Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney
Release Date: September 28, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Debbie McGowan

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Buy the book: Beaten Track Publishing | eBook | Paperback | ARe |

Amazon | Amazon UK | Smashwords

My Mini Interview with Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney authors of Where the Grass is Greener!

Hi Debbie & Raine, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little something that will let your readers get to know you all a little better.

Hello! We’re Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney, two halves of a fantastic writing whole. We started collaborating early in 2015 and we’ve been writing recklessly together ever since! Our new book is Where the Grass is Greener (book 2 of The Seeds of Tyrone)–in addition, we’re working on book three, have almost completed a new humorous intrigue book, and are about halfway into something dark and mysterious. Any time our queue gets low, we just add things to the pile! Oh, we haven’t tried this…

  • What hobbies do you have for when you’re not writing?

DM: Hobbies? Ah, alas all my hobbies have gone by the wayside. I probably should do something about that. So…assuming I still do have hobbies…I’m a mediocre musician. My instrument is the concert flute, but I can also get a tune out of most brass instruments (with the exception of the French horn and trombone). I can twang chords on a piano, and if I had a sax I could probably play a passable Baker Street. I also have a few geek hobbies—making 3D characters and video. Sometimes I listen to music, and of course, I read. In fact, reading is the only hobby that seems to have survived my present work-sleep lifestyle.

RO: Okay, I did not know my collaby could play Baker Street (passably or otherwise!) I friggin’ LOVE Baker Street. Now I’m singing it… Oh, hobbies. I play video games, huge gamer nerd–most any console you can think of and handheld. I draw sometimes! I “collect” dachshunds and snuggle on them. Um…I write, oh damn! No! What I do when I’m not writing… I can also play the flute, though not well. I love anime and appreciate a sweet yaoi manga from time to time. Ooh! And I like to do grid logic puzzles and collect weird/alternative Christmas music.

 Now on to Where the Grass Is Greener….

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Blurb

Mistakes were made, that’s for sure. But was it the night of passion? Or walking away afterward?
That’s the question Seamus Williams must face when he gets a late night phone call from someone he never expects to hear from again.
“I miss you, Shay.”
Chancey Bo Clearwater is a cowboy through and through. He spends his days finding work on whatever ranch will take him and his nights at the pool hall. He’s always done what needed doing and never thought much about what he wanted. ’Til that drunken night with Seamus.
A world of problems now stand between Seamus and Chancey exploring what might have been, the least of which being the Atlantic Ocean. On one side there’s Chancey’s daughter who mood swings from angel to demon in two seconds flat; on the other there’s the new lodger, hogging Shay’s telly and his cornflakes, and making private Skype time hard to come by.
Is this relationship doomed before it ever begins? Or can a surprise announcement from Seamus’s brother be enough to help the two find their second chance?
Where the Grass is Greener features Seamus Williams – the older brother of Patrick from Leaving Flowers.

Pages or Words: 75,000 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Western/Cowboy

Excerpt

“You’re quiet today, Seamus. What’s up?” the landlord asked.
“Just tired, is all. Got a leaky roof and the fecker was drippin’ all the damn night. And didn’t I get up this morning and kick the bucket?”
“You look alive and well to me, so you do. I say well…you look like shite.”
“Yeah, thanks very much. Think I’ll go join the lads, see if I can’t get a few more insults thrown at me.”
Seamus gave the landlord a wry grin and went over to the others, who were already well into the first of the three games they got in every lunchtime. He watched one of them take a bad shot and accidentally pot the black, the clunking of the ball as it rolled its way through the machinery of the table setting Seamus’s teeth on edge. John was right: he was dog-tired and probably did look like shite. He’d barely slept after the missed call, trying to decide whether to return it or not. His mind played tricks on him, one minute convincing him it was urgent and he should call back, the next telling him to stay strong. He’d made the move. He’d come back to Ireland. That’s what he’d wanted all along.
He had wanted it. Ever since Mam died, his sights had been set on coming home. He’d only stayed for Paddy’s sake, and now Paddy had Aidan there was nothing to keep Seamus in the States, although he was no further away from his brother now than he had been in Kansas. Never mind that he’d already made the decision before he knew Aidan even existed. No. It was a good decision. He was just—
He already knew, before he pulled his phone from his pocket: same Kansas number, same caller. His thumb hovered over the red button. Reject the call. Reject the call.
He answered.
“Seamus Williams.”
“At last! I thought I was calling a wrong number. Man, it’s so good to hear your voice.”
“Er, yeah. Yours too. What’s up? Has something happened?”
“Nothing new. I just…”
The rapid-hard thump of Seamus’s heart filled the pause, two seconds, three, four, and more. He drew breath to speak, but there was nothing to be said. Or nothing he should say.
“I miss you, Shay.”
***
The first call had been a drunk dial. Thank the heavenly father that Seamus Williams hadn’t picked up. Lord, the shit that might have come tumbling out of Chancey’s mouth. Now he was dead sober, but only slightly more composed. Had he really just said he’d missed Seamus? He tried for a laugh. It sounded as fake as it felt. Well he had missed Seamus. Nothin’ wrong with that.
“You gonna say somethin’?” He knew he was putting on the accent. Drawing out his vowels, droppings his g’s. His grandmother—who was from south Texas and who had an accent so deep it was digging itself a hole to the centre of the Earth—used to yell at him when he’d get lazy with his words.
You jus’ sound ign’rant, Chancey Bo Clearwater. Full name, cue snickering cousins, and young Chancey sank down low in his chair, ashamed at the way he sounded despite the fact they all talked just alike. The accent followed him when he moved to Oklahoma, where he picked up a whole set of strange ‘O’s, and even having lived in Kansas now for the better part of his life, it was still there underneath, just waiting to crop up in stressful situations.
“I didn’t expect to hear from you, that’s all.”
“Surprise.” He was trying for friendly, for calm. Trying to keep the I wanna put my fist through the wall and did you really mean to let me find out through Lulu? out of his voice.
“Isn’t this call costing you a million dollars?”
“Skype. On my phone. I bought minutes, y’know?”
“Is that right then?”
“But I didn’t think. It’s probably charging you too.”
“It’s fine.”
Is it? Seamus sure as hell wasn’t saying much. There was a long pause as Chancey considered his next move. He’d called because he’d wanted to talk. Not talk. Not like that. Nothing to say on that front. Seamus had made it all as clear as crystal dropped in the mud when he’d left his parting message with Lulu down at the pool hall, Rack ’Em. In a last-ditch effort, Chancey said the only thing he could think: “Boss Tina asked after you the other day when I went around for work.”
That got a laugh out of Seamus, which gave Chancey more relief than he cared to admit.

RC

Meet the Authors

  • DEBBIE McGOWAN is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven, realist fiction, celebrating life, love and relationships. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at seventeen, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At twenty-five, she went back to college to study social science— tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can.
  • RAINE O’TIERNEY wants to change the world…one sweet story at a time.
    Known as “The Queen of the Sweetness” (well, a few people have said it anyway!) Raine loves writing sweet, character-driven stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and…friskiness? In addition to her solo works, she’s one half of a collaborative team with author Debbie McGowan.
    When she’s not writing, Raine is either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. She believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers.
    Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or discussing which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

Where to find the authors:

Debbie’s Social Media Links
Twitter: twitter.com/writerdebmcg
Facebook: facebook.com/DebbieMcGowanAuthor and facebook.com/beatentrackpublishing
YouTube: youtube.com/deb248211
Tumblr: writerdebmcg.tumblr.com
LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/writerdebmcg
Google+: plus.google.com/+DebbieMcGowan
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/4401329.Debbie_McGowan
Website: debbiemcgowan.co.uk

Raine’s Social Media Links
Homepage: Raineotierney.com
LGBT Author Interviews: raineotierneyhatparty.blogspot.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/RaineOTierneyAuthor
Twitter: twitter.com/RaineOTierney
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/7770350.Raine_O_Tierney


Tour Dates & Stops:

28-Sep – Jessie G. Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Full Moon Dreaming

29-Sep – Velvet Panic, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My

30-Sep – All I Want and More Books

1-Oct – Amanda C. Stone, Michael Mandrake, Bayou Book Junkie

2-Oct – Divine Magazine, Mikky’s World of Books

5-Oct – Love Bytes, V’s Reads, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

6-Oct – It’s Raining Men, Happily Ever Chapter

7-Oct – Louise Lyons, Hearts on Fire, Molly Lolly

8-Oct – BFD Book Blog, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Prism Book Alliance

9-Oct – My Fiction Nook, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, MM Good Book Reviews

 

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: e-copy of one Debbie McGowan title and an e-copy of one Raine O’Tierney title (winner’s preference of file type and title).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the authors and Pride Promotions.
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