Saturday, November 17, 2018

Re-release of Memories Follow By S.C. Wynne


Good morning!

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving. I literally can't believe it's almost Christmas! Why does time fly so quickly? I remember time going much slower when I was just a kid. Although, I must say, I do love the holidays. I love the colder weather and rain. I really, really hope we get some rain this winter. I live in California, and we need it.

I re-released Memories Follow last week. This is the story I wrote for Felice Steven's Kindle World launch. I borrowed her characters Rafe and Alex from One Step Further for my story. I loved writing in her world. It was a wonderful experience.

I thought I'd let you have a taste of the story. The book price will go up Monday November 19th, so if you're interested, grab it while it's on sale.

Blurb:

Scottie Kinland works as the Kennel Manager for the Paws For Care veterinary clinic. Spending his days with animals is the only way he can feel safe. He has first-hand knowledge of how cold and calculating humans can be. How could he ever forget? He wears the scars on his face and his heart.Lance Franklin likes to play the field. Still reeling from a lying cheating fiancĂ©e, he’s plowing through men like aspirin; only the pain of betrayal still stings. When he takes his mom’s dog in to the Paws For Care clinic, he’s immediately drawn to the quiet loner Scottie. But Scottie wants nothing to do with Lance.Lance persists and he manages to forge a fragile relationship with Scottie. But just as both men begin to believe perhaps fate has something beautiful in store for them; the past collides with their future in a shocking way.

Excerpt:


I’d been nervous enough about taking over the front desk for Patty without that good-looking guy coming in and getting me all rattled. Jesus, I was sweating like a pig, and he kept staring at me which only made me fumble around even more.
When the phone rang I pounced on it, grateful for anything that would distract me from the guy holding the little Chihuahua mix. I focused on booking appointments and greeting patients until Dr. Hazelton buzzed me to let me know he was ready for the next patient.
I called the next person’s name and led them to the office door. When I opened it, Dr. Hazelton was standing near the examination table. “Thank you, Scottie.” His voice was warm. I would always be grateful to him for taking a chance on hiring me to manage his kennel.
“No problem.” I dropped my gaze and stood aside for the customer to pass.
“Patty has you on the front desk again?”
I grimaced. “Yeah.”
“I’m sure you’ll do fine.”
I grunted and closed the door and returned to my seat at the front counter. When I glanced up, that dark-haired guy was watching me again. I touched my scar self-consciously, wondering if that was why he couldn’t stop looking at me. I felt ugly and conspicuous when I met his gaze again because he was really good-looking. I’d noticed that the second he walked into the clinic. He had a nice body and glossy chestnut hair that brushed his collar. His eyes were a honey brown that had made my pulse speed up whenever he held my gaze.
It had been a long time since a guy had made me feel interested sexually. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to have my cock warm and hard between my legs. But something about that guy got to me. I had little doubt he was only staring at me because I was acting so odd. I’d barely been able to get a word out when I’d signed him in. I was well aware I’d been less than charming to him. It hadn’t been intentional. My antisocial behavior rarely was. But he’d still been nice and polite to me. It had been kind of sweet the way he’d tried to reassure me I was handling the front desk well. We both had to know he was full of shit.
The clinic was busy today, and I couldn’t wait for my hour on the desk to be over. Patty had said it would be good for me to run the front while she was gone. She was always trying to help me get out of my shell. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it wasn’t just that I was shy. I had a real reason for not trusting mankind. It was best I stuck to my dogs. They loved me and I loved them. We understood one another in a way humans rarely could.
My heart began to bang in my chest when the dark-haired guy stood and approached me. “Can I help you?” I was annoyed when my voice wobbled.
He twisted his lips. “I can see you guys are super busy today. Do you think maybe I should rebook and come back another time?”
I looked down at the big appointment book. “You’re next.”
He glanced at the clock over my head. “It’s just that I have to get to work by five thirty and it’s four forty-five now.”
“Well, it’s your choice.”
He sighed. “I guess I’d better. Pinky’s only here for a checkup. It’s not like she has a disease or anything.”
I looked at the dog, noting her bright eyes and wet nose. “She looks healthy to me.” He smiled and my stomach did a somersault at his sexy dimples. “Not that I’m a doctor.”
He put his hand on the appointment book. “Is it okay if I make a different appointment, then?”
His fingers were tanned and long. I couldn’t help but wonder what they’d feel like on my skin. I shook myself, embarrassed at my stupid reaction to him. Jesus, I was acting like I’d never met a nice-looking guy before. “Do what you want.” My tone was way snippier than I intended.
He pulled his hand away and gave a short laugh. “Okay. Can you book me another appointment for this week, maybe earlier in the day so I can get to work on time?”
“Sure.” I searched the register and found a few openings. “Two o’clock Thursday?”
“Sounds good.” He smiled at me again.
“What’s your name?” I felt my face warm. “Never mind. I’ll just put your mom’s name again.”
“Either. My name’s Lance by the way.” He held out his hand.
My heart banged against my ribs as I stared at his hand. I wanted to touch him. I wanted to feel his smooth flesh against mine so much it was ridiculous. But I was afraid my hand would be sweaty. In fact I knew my hand would be sweaty since I felt like I was having a panic attack.
He surprised me when he leaned closer and took my hand. A spark traveled up my arm straight to my chest. He grinned. “You’re cute.”
I just stared at him, embarrassed that my crotch was bulging and grateful for the counter that hid that fact.
He still held my hand, and he swept his thumb over my tingling skin. “Will you be here next time I come in?”
I shook my head. “God, I hope not.”
He frowned. “That’s not very flattering.”
Heat filled my cheeks yet again. “I mean I don’t like working the front desk.”
“Ahhh.” A flirty gleam entered his brown eyes. “That’s okay, then.”
I pulled my hand from his and stammered, “You’re all set. Two o’clock on Thursday.”
“Trying to get rid of me?” His full lips curved in a smile.
“No.” I was certain he was aware of how much he affected me, and it was getting painful trying to act normal. Normal-ish.
“I’m just teasing.” He twisted his lips. “So I’m all set for Thursday at two?”
 “Yes. I guess we’ll see you then,” I said quietly. “I mean… I probably won’t because I’m usually out back.” I swallowed. “Anyway…” God, had I always been this lame around other guys?
He gave me another one of his sexy grins. “Maybe Thursday I’ll come out back and say hi.”
I opened my mouth to speak just as there was a loud growl and one of the dogs behind him lunged for another smaller dog. The owner of the bigger dog was taken completely off guard. She was a thin, frail-looking woman who didn’t have a prayer of holding the huge Rottweiler back from the smaller yellow Lab. Without thinking, I raced around the counter and got between the two dogs.
The bigger dog had the lab by the throat, but he hadn’t really latched on very well. With my heart pounding, I grabbed his jaws and tried to pull them open. “No! Let go.” My voice broke as anger got the best of me. “Let go, now.” The lab yelped, sounding panicked and scared, and the Rottweiler pushed against me, trying to get a better grip on the Lab. I elbowed his muscled chest and strained to open his mouth. “Stop,” I yelled.
Miraculously the Rottweiler suddenly obeyed and sat back on his haunches still growling but eying me warily. I breathed hard as I wedged between them completely, shielding the Lab with my body. “You’re okay, boy.” I stroked his head, and he whined and pushed his face into my chest.
I was surprised and relieved to discover Lance had moved to help restrain the bigger dog. His hand was latched on to the dog’s collar, keeping Pinky safely tucked on his other side. “I’ve got him.” His jaw was tight as he held the huge animal.
I spoke to the owner of the Lab. “Follow me. Let’s get him somewhere safe so he can calm down.”
The examining room door was flung open and Dr. Hazelton raced into the room. “What’s going on?”
Still panting after my tussle with the dogs, I tried to get the words out. “Rottweiler attacked the Lab. I broke it up.”
His eyes dropped to the Lab. “Is he hurt?”
I shook my head. “Don’t think so. There’s no blood.”
“Thank goodness for that.” He stood back as I led the Lab into one of the examination rooms. He followed and stroked the Lab’s head. “You’re a good boy.”
I met Dr. Hazelton’s gaze. “Is it okay if he stays in here until his turn? He’s shaking.”
“Of course. I’ll see him next so we can get him home ASAP.” The doctor narrowed his gaze and then said, “You need to be careful getting between two dogs in a fight.”
“I had to do something.”
His brown gaze was admiring. “I know. I just don’t want you getting hurt. You did a good job, Scottie.”
“Thanks.” I flushed at the praise.
He patted my shoulder. “That was enough excitement for one day.”
“Yeah.”
He left me and returned to his other patient, and I lifted the dog onto the examination table. The poor Lab was still trembling and uneasy.
“Thank you so much,” the owner of the Lab said. She was an older woman with white hair and steely blue eyes. “I thought Robbie was toast. I didn’t know what to do.”
“That woman has no business with a big dog like that,” I muttered, stroking the soft fur of the Lab and feeling his neck for any broken skin.
“You were very brave,” the Lab’s owner said softly. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
I grimaced. “I didn’t do anything anyone else wouldn’t do.”
She laughed gruffly. “You were the only one who jumped between them.” She frowned. “I was too frozen with terror.”
“Me too.”
When Lance spoke behind me, I twitched uneasily and faced him. “I didn’t know you were here.”
“I wanted to see if the dog was okay.”
My pulse spiked as I met his pretty brown eyes. “Thanks for your help.”
“Of course. But I didn’t do much.”
“You did more than you know.” The skinny owner of the Rottweiler had been like a paper doll on the end of the leash. I’d felt much better once Lance had stepped in.
I checked over the Lab thoroughly, making sure he wasn’t hurt. The dog was nervous, but he seemed unharmed. I patted his fluffy head. “Poor thing. You were just sitting there minding your own business, weren’t you, boy?” The dog licked my face and I chuckled. “Awww. I like you too.”
Patty opened the door of the room and peeked in. “Everything okay?” She bit her lip. “I mean other than the dog fight in the waiting room.”
“Sorry.” I held my hands stiffly at my sides. I was embarrassed that a dog fight had broken out on my watch.
She frowned. “I’m not blaming you, silly. You were the hero in the room.”
Scowling, I said, “No. Not even close.”
“You’re my hero.” Lance had a big grin on his face.
My heart fluttered and I shoved away those sappy feelings. The guy was way out of my league. I was stupid for even talking to him. I met Patty’s gaze. “Can I get off the desk now?”
She nodded with a sigh. “Yes. Run away back to your animal pals.”
I started to leave, and Lance grabbed my arm. “Hey, mind if I come out back?”
“What?” I frowned. “Why?”
He twisted his lips. “Um…” He brightened as if an idea had come to him. “Well, if anything ever happens to Pinky and she has to spend the night here, I want to know what the facilities are like.”
I squinted at him. “Are you just making that up?”
Patty laughed and addressed the Lab’s owner. “Mrs. Brown, I need you to sign a few papers about the incident with that other dog. Can you follow me?” She guided the other woman out of the room with a little smile on her face.
Lance waited until they were gone, and then he asked, “Is it against the rules to give a customer a tour of the facilities?”
“No. But I thought you had to hurry off for work?”
Smiling coyly, Lance said, “I have some time.”
I didn’t like how nervous he made me. I preferred to be left alone in my little bubble. I felt safer that way. I didn’t want to know him better. I didn’t want to know anyone better.
“M… maybe another time.” I took a step back from him.
His mouth turned down at the corners, but he pressed closer to me. I caught a whiff of his spicy cologne and my body responded again, my crotch warming. His gaze fell to my mouth and he licked his lips. He was so close I was self-conscious about my scar. I put my hand over my jaw and swallowed uneasily.
“Do I make you nervous, Scottie?” His voice was husky.
I wasn’t the type of person who picked up guys or got picked up while out shopping or running errands. I knew a lot of people thought nothing of meeting people that way, but that wasn’t my style. And I definitely didn’t pick up guys at my work. Not to mention how mystified I was that anyone like him would be bothering with a guy like me. Even before I’d turned into an antisocial weirdo, Lance probably would have been out of my league. It was obvious the guy had money. His clothing was all designer labels, while I was wearing the same ratty jeans I’d owned for years. Was he just messing with me? The idea of that made me pissed. I hated fake people who toyed with others’ emotions. I hated them with a passion.
Apparently unaware of my inner turmoil, Lance winked and said, “Come on, take me out back.”
I sucked in a big breath and said, “No.”
He frowned. “Why not?”
“You don’t really want a tour.”
He grinned. “Sure I do.”
I kept my hand over my scar, feeling inadequate and grumpy. “I’m working.”
“Aren’t you ever spontaneous?”
“No.” Not anymore.
He pouted his lips. “You’re no fun.”
“I’m not here to have fun. I’m here to work.”
He leaned closer. “All work and no play makes Scottie a dull boy.”
That annoyed me even more. Did the guy have no boundaries? I needed this job. It didn’t matter how good-looking he was, making out with customers in the back would get me fired. I wasn’t about to fuck things up at work because this guy got his jollies flirting with the help. “What exactly do you think is gonna happen here?”
He laughed. “I don’t know. Maybe we can go out back and see how good of a kisser you are? Or maybe I can get your number and we can have a little casual fun one night.”
“Oh really?”
“Sure.” He frowned. “Did I read the signals wrong? Are you straight?”
“No.” I was mortified I’d apparently been giving off signals of some kind. “But that’s not the point.”
“What is the point, then?”
I felt like my face was on fire. “We just met.”
“Even better.”
“Seriously?”
“Sure. Why not? You’re cute.”
Irritation flushed up my neck. The more he talked, the more I realized what a shallow jerk he was. Did guys usually just roll over and stick their asses in the air for this routine? As anger rolled through me, I turned and lifted the Lab to the ground. His owner would be back in a minute, but I didn’t want him falling off the table when I left the room.
“So what do ya say? I can see you’re kind of shy. Can I at least get your number?” Lance’s voice was velvety and coaxing.
I faced him and I could feel the veins bulging in my neck as I spoke. “No way.”
He looked completely floored. His eyes widened and he laughed. “Why not?” He touched my arm softly. “I can tell you’re attracted to me.”
I pulled my arm away and glared at him. “I don’t know what kind of stupid game you’re playing. But I’m not interested.” I turned around and left the examination room, shaking with anger.



Hope you enjoyed that snippet! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrate the holiday, and stay safe! :)

S.C.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

AudioBook Listeners Awards


This week, we have the special privelege of speaking with Paul stokes, head of Audio Book Reviewer, and founder of the AudioBook Listener Awards.  We were able to help sponsor the awards program this year for the 2019 awards,  and we hope it will continue to grow and be a great opportunity for independent authors and audiobook producers, as well as to everyone .who loves good audiobooks!



Paul, thank you so much for speaking with us.  I know this is a busy time for you.  First things first, what is your coffee house beverage of choice? 
Mocha Frappuccino. Not much of a coffee guy, but when there's a need.

Can you talk a little bit about your professional background? What are some of your favorite
projects you've worked on?
You're going to laugh. My professional life started when I was 13 and my mother was the office manager at a landscaping company. She thought it would be a good idea for me to work there during the summers. I got hired for seasonal work at $4.25 an hour. Somehow I stayed in the trade for 17 years. Over the years I started selling junk on eBay and realized that there was a secret code that would allow me to make my ads standout. I started taking night classes. I ended up taking a class with a couple of employees of the company that I work for now. Today I am a Project Manager for an abstract collection company, and at night I manage audiobookreviewer.com and record and edit the Audiobooks After Dark and The Audiobook Bums podcasts.


The ABR Audiobook Listener Awards; what inspired you to get this started, and what’s different about this award? 
The ABR Audiobook Listener Awards really started out of a resentment, initially. At least that is what started the fire under my butt. I wanted there to be an award where the independently published audiobooks could have a shot of getting recognized for how amazingly good they can be.

The deadline for submissions is coming up on January 1st 2019.  Who is eligible to submit audiobooks for consideration?
Any independently published, this does include the smaller publishers, audiobook that was published to the audiobook format between November 1, 2017, and December 31, 2018, is eligible to enter.

What are some of the categories that will be awarded? I hear we have new categories this year!
We have structured the categories to allow for the maximum coverage of genres. This year we added Contemporary Fantasy (Urban Fantasy), LGBTQ+, Apocalyptica, Best Male and Female Narrator, Indie Audiobook of the Year, and Champion of Indie Audio. The last two you cannot enter directly into. Additionally, we have categories for Romance, Erotica, Horror, Game-Lit, Science Fiction,
Paranormal to name a few.

How will the books be judged?
The selection committee will use the following to make their choices: Cover artwork design/readability, Audio sample, Publisher's summary. That's it. Yes, all three of these items matter. Chances are if these three are really well done the rest of the book will be too.

In one portion of the process, listeners can weigh in for their favorite book. Who can vote, and can they vote more than once per category?
Anybody will be able to vote. It will be limited to 1 vote per category per person. So make your vote count by choosing the best one!

When can we expect to hear more about the books being considered? 
The finalists will be announced in April 2019. The delay here is because the selection committee has to weigh in and make the final selections.

Anything else you’d like to share about the ABR Audiobook Listener Awards?
I want to add, besides the major blurb below. That all of the members of the selection committee are volunteers. They come from a wide range of audiobook love. From Librarians to bloggers to reviewers and more. 


The ABR Audiobook Listener Awards™ aim to celebrate the wealth of talented independent authors and narrators who are creating exceptional audiobook content and selling on all major audiobook platforms.

We believe that independent producers working in a range of genres that other awards ignore deserve recognition, and therefore we are the first mainstream audiobook award to include niche genres like Horror, Contemporary Fantasy, and LGBTQ+.

We see ourselves as a hybrid of Sundance and the People’s Choice Awards because those who vote for the winners are actual listeners of audiobooks.  In giving the listeners a voice, we discovered just how passionate they are about following their favorite Indie authors and narrators and giving them votes.

The ABR AudioBook Listener Awards™ are taking the Independent audiobook community by storm!


Find the AudioBook Listener Awards and Falcon Sound Company on Facebook, or at https://audiobookreviewer.com/

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Happy Happy! By S.C. Wynne


Good morning all!

It has been a stressful time. My husband had hernia surgery and we had the mid-term elections. Both those things happened on the same day. I'm happy to say both turned out pretty well. My husband is on the mend and the election went as well as expected.

With the dems taking back the house, I finally feel a small glimmer of hope that maybe things in our country will move back toward a more sane direction. There has to be checks and balance in our system because for too long we've counted on the people in power doing the right thing. I don't think we can trust that anymore. I'm astounded by how little our representatives seemed to care about the will of the people these last two years. How can we have a democracy when our representatives only care about their donors?

I don't tend to talk about anything political on this blog, but I've been depressed ever since the antiquated Electoral College made it so that a person who received three million less votes took over the office of the presidency. I think a lot of us on the left have felt shell shocked at the level of lying and rudeness spewing from the White House. It's been terrifying to watch.

I truly hope our country can eventually get back to being respected by our allies. I really hope we can return to a more civil society. I definitely believe in the strength and inherent goodness of our country, and I trust we will get back on track.

S.C.
www.scwynne.com


Friday, November 9, 2018

I'm Still Here! by Felice Stevens


I've been horribly neglectful of this blog and for that I apologize. I was dealing with a terrible muscle strain in my leg for over a month that made it painful to even walk Once that cleared up I was at GRL and on the last day did something to my right shoulder lugging a box of heavy books and almost three weeks later it STILL hurts to move my arm. 

As a recap, GRL was FABULOUS. Fo me, it's all about the people. I get to spend time with my second family and even though we chat every day, there's something about the face-to-face, being able to say "Hey meet me downstairs and we'll have a drink" that I love. People who on line said they were introverted and too shy, were some of the ones I saw having the best time laughing it up, surrounded by newly-made friends. 

I have been a busy little bee. I have had the fourth book in the Man Up series, Cort—Unbreakable, come out in audiobook, narrated by the wonderful Kale Williams whose voice sounds like melted chocolate...so smooth and rich. It's available on Audible, Amazon, Kobo, Google Play and other venues. I'll give you the links to Audible and Kobo. Take a listen because he does a cowboys like WHOA.
Audible: http://bit.ly/CortAudible
KOBO: http://bit.ly/Cortaudiobook



I also have put my Memories series into Kindle Unlimited, so if you've never read Memories of the Heart, One Step Further and the  holiday story The Greatest Gift, now you can borrow it for free.

Memories of the Heart: http://amzn.to/2syZYoz

One Step Further: http://amzn.to/2rCuppL

The Greatest Gift: http://amzn.to/2sFxaeO 




Oh, and I also have a holiday story coming out in December called Two Daddies for Christmas. You can add it to you Goodreads shelf here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42732953-two-daddies-for-christmas


The blurb will let you know who this story is about and I can't wait for you to read it. The story is sexy, sweet and a little poignant. 
Ok! that's a wrap! I promise to get back to more regular posting. Have a great week and happy reading!!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Exciting Adventures at GRL Portsmouth 2018!




Happy Thursday at the Cafe! This week, we have a special report from narrator Nick J. Russo about his fantastic experience at GRL. Enjoy!


Exciting Adventures at GRL Portsmouth 2018!


Another year, another great time at GayRomLit! A week filled with meeting authors, fans, and other narrators alike, I had such a blast getting to know some amazing and talented people. Spending most of the year in my dark booth, it’s so wonderful to travel and socialize with the people that hire you or listen to your work.

A new tradition has come in the form of my GRL bff LA Witt, Anna Zabo and I finding the local spot in town for Pho. Prior to GRL2017, I had never experienced this mouth watering cuisine, but lo and behold it was AMAZING. This year we went to one of LA Witt’s personal favorites, ‘Pho 79’, and let me tell you, it lived up to the hype. If I’m ever in Portsmouth, Virginia again, I will be a repeat customer! During this meal we were joined by the talented Greg Tremblay, and it was such a pleasure to get to know him better.

Another highlight of the trip was sharing a drink with one of my favorite authors and now favorite people, Lane Hayes. I’ve been recording her series, “Leaning Into”, for the better part of the past year, and I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed it doing so. During our meeting we got to know how we each got into our respective fields, what inspires Lane to write, future projects, and concluded with a few selfies with some fans and other professionals alike.

I also got the chance to stretch my singing chops during the karaoke session! In honor of the 80’s theme for the upcoming party I sang “Don’t You Forget About Me”. Such a fun night!



This GRL also marked the first time I got to meet one of my favorite people, Amy Lane, in person for the first time! Having read her books and interacting on social media for years now, it was the first time I’ve formally met someone without it feeling formal in any shape or form. Amy, don’t change a thing!



It was also a delight to meet T.M Smith in person, after gushing over her reviews in the past and recently narrating two of her books, Survivor and Lover. It was an absolute pleasure reading an excerpt of the former with her during a Friday Author’s Lounge session, and also getting to know her better over some excellent seafood later that day.



Saturday brought the narrator panel and hot damn I have some talented colleagues! Personal shout outs to Kirt Graves, J.A Rock, Kale Williams, and Greg Tremblay on fantastic reads. For mine, I read an excerpt from “Leaning Into Forever” by Lane Hayes, specifically a scene early on between Geordie and Levi. There were laughs, there were tears, and since it ended on a particularly emotional note, I succeeded in bumming the room out. Success!







My last event for the trip was the tubular 80’s party. I wasn’t prepared last year for the cowboy themed party, (special shout out to Amelia Vaughn for providing me with a cowboy hat for that one), but this year I came prepared in my finest members only jacket and pastel shirt! I loved seeing the variety of costumes out there! We have some very creative attendees amongst us!






Overall, I can’t even describe how much fun this experience was. If I have it my way, I’ll continue attending for years to come. See you next year in ABQ!


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Coming Soon - Fire and Agate


I'm thrilled to tell you all that Fire and Agate is releasing on November 11.  This is the third in the Carlisle Deputies series.  You'll get to visit a number of old friends as well as meet new ones.  I hope you enjoy this sneak peek!




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.


Book Links




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.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

GRL First Time Experience By S.C. Wynne


I survived my first GRL experience. :)

It was everything I expected and even better than I hoped. I spent a lot of time with friends socializing in the bar, and got to meet readers and other authors during the week long event. I was definitely nervous about going. Mostly because I'm a relatively shy person. But overall people were really friendly, and the ones that weren't were probably just feeling insecure, and not at their best.

The author signing was fun. That was where we got to sell our books and talk to readers. It was also intimidating because unless you're super well known, you won't necessarily have a huge line of people at your table. But the flow of readers was steady the entire time, and I enjoyed the experience over all.

It was interesting to me which books sold. Some I thought would move faster didn't, and ones I hadn't thought would sell were grabbed up eagerly. Just shows what I know, right?

I shared a panel on the Arc of Romance with Felice Stevens and Josh Lanyon. That was fun! Answering questions and just getting to talk about writing is always enjoyable. The three of us also had a reading with one of our favorite narrators, Kale Williams. He was amazing. He brings such warmth and personality to the books, it was fantastic getting to see him in action.

I'm probably going to GRL 2019 if I can get a spot. I suppose we will have to see what life is like in October 2019. Maybe we'll run into each other?

S.C.
www.scwynne.com