Guest Post and Giveaway: Hanging the Stars by Rhys Ford

Today I am so pleased to welcome the fabulous Rhys Ford to Joyfully Jay. Rhys has come to talk to us about her latest release, Hanging the Stars (Half Moon Bay #2). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Rhys a big welcome!

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Thank you for following the Hanging The Stars blog tour! I was very excited to return to Half Moon Bay and well, deliver West Harris his comeuppance. For this tour, I wanted to share a bit about the relationships the characters have with one another and just a bit of every day stuff as they prepare for their Christmas holiday.

As I am sure many of you are preparing for your holidays.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet because well… there’s a bit of story beneath this. But I do hope you stop by Half Moon Bay and catch up with West as a bit of his past returns in the form of Angel Daniels…the one man who broke his heart and took the pieces with him.

And be sure to enter this blog’s Hanging The Stars giveaway! The winner gets a $25 dollar gift certificate to the online vendor of their choice!

Half Moon Holiday 7

The ocean was a choppy, icy silver crumple stretching from Half Moon Bay’s sheer cliffs to the thin dark thread of clouds laying claim to the horizon. A cold wind, scented with salt and seaweed, rushed up over the sands, its harsh kiss scraping the last bit of warmth from West Harris’ cheeks. With the sun clinging to the sky, the beach below should have had at least a few of the local diehards making good use of the remaining light despite the chill in the air.

But it was Christmas Eve and Half Moon had already rolled up her shores for the coming stretch of holidays.

“You’re going to be late, boss.” For a large man, Marzo should have made a racket stepping across the gravel and broken shells lining the cliff’s edge but he was a sneak at heart, silently approaching West from behind. West was used to his bodyguard-driver-slash-friend’s stealthy ways but he’d barely caught his start of surprise when Marzo’s voice boomed in his ear. “And don’t look at me like that. You hate being late.”

“I’m looking at you like that because I hate being called boss.”He gave the ocean one last look, drinking in its chaotic darkness. Up until a few weeks ago, West would have said his life was going exactly as he’d planned it. So the uneasiness eating through his thoughts perplexed him. “Why do we do this, Marzo? What’s the point of shoving ourselves around a table to share a meal with people we either see all the time or hardly at all?”

“Really? You’ve got to ask that? Sheesh, you’re more screwed up than I thought, West.” His friend…one of his few friends… loomed over him, a stupid grin pulled over his broad face. West waited, letting Marzo stew in his own thoughts. “You know, I didn’t know your dad but I’ve got to say, he didn’t do you or your brother any favours. You need what Lang’s got… a good guy and a nice family to come home to.”

“Can you really see me with an auto mechanic?” He lifted an eyebrow, daring Marzo to challenge him.

“Maybe that’s what you need then. Someone who’s had to worry if they’ve got enough eggs to feed everyone that morning.”As usual, the other man quickly rose to the attack and West kept a smile from stretching over his face. “And don’t go all Cheshire cat on me. I’m serious. Your biggest problem is that the only thing you’ve had to work for are relationships and you suck at them.”

“Then why do you work for me?” The conversation went serious as Marzo sighed heavily.

“Because for all the shit-ass things you are, deep down inside you’re an okay guy. You just make some shitty decisions and then act all high and mighty when everything goes to crap around you. Sure, you can make a buck like it was as easy as breathing but do you have anyone you really want to spend all that money on?”

“You don’t spend money, Marzo. You make it work for you,” West corrected. “It’s a stepping stone to bigger and better accomplishments.”

“Really? Because after knowing you?” His friend snorted. “It’s less of a staircase and more of a wall you’ve built to keep people out.”

***

It was odd standing in his grandmother’s living room and not seeing her holding court in the massive red wingchair by the room’s river rock fireplace. The chair was still there but instead of an imperious looking grand dragon of a woman directing her grandsons on what they should do with their lives, a different kind of dragon sat cross-legged on the plump cushions, reading a thick book to a pair of disgruntled looking cats.

Okay, West studied his niece, so the cats are the same and if he took everything he knew about his grandmother and Zig, the dragons were as well.

“Um… Lang went out to grab some peas,” Deacon said from the doorway. “We kind of had an incident. Should be back soon. Where’s Marzo?”

“He went to one of his sister’s place… or maybe his cousin’s. I can’t remember.” He tried to piece together the conversation he’d had with Marzo before they pulled up to the house. “Truthfully, he’s got a huge family. I think they just all find the nearest stadium, throw down a few hundred picnic tables and eat until they pass out. He said he’d pick me up tomorrow.”

His carry-on sat in the hallway behind Deacon and West blinked, realizing he didn’t even know where he’d be sleeping that night despite having practically grown up there. He tried explaining away the pang in his chest as heartburn or even a virus. Anything other than regret his grandmother handed Lang the keys to everything important in her life without giving West a second thought.

“She liked him better than you, asshole,” he muttered to himself. “You reminded her of Dad and wasn’t he her biggest regret.”

“Let me take this up. Lang said to tell you you’re in the blue room.” Deacon’s expression flickered between confusion and resignation for a second. “Don’t understand why he calls it that. Room’s painted something I’d call celery.”

“It used to be blue. Well have blue wallpaper. Grandma hated it so we took it down one summer.” She’d let him choose the colour for the walls, assuring him he’d always have a place—that room—in her home if he needed it. “Lang had the one down the hall. That was purple before we got to it.”

“Yeah, he’s still…we’re in that one.” His brother’s husband hefted the suitcase up before West could stop him.

“Don’t worry about the bag. I’ll take it up,” he said softly. “You don’t have to wait on me.”

“I’m not. Heading upstairs anyway. Hell, you know this place better than I do probably and just to keep things straight, you’re not a guest. To me, you’re a part of Lang that broke off and drifted away for a bit so don’t think you’re getting out of dishes or anything.” Deacon screwed his mouth up into a grimace. “Okay, maybe not putting you to work but you can keep the kid entertained and out of my hair. She’s got opinions about everything, including what goes into dinner.”

“Considering her favourite food is canned peas with mayonnaise. I’d not trust her culinary suggestions.” West drawled. “I shall go do my due diligence and entertain the niece.”

“Thanks. And for the record…” Deacon paused at the foot of the stairs. “We’re glad you’re here. It’ll be nice to have you this week. Lang’s really looking forward to it.”

The cats didn’t even look up when West entered the room but Zig broke into a wide smile, scrambling carefully out of the chair to launch herself at her uncle. He endured the hug, squeezing her briefly then letting her go to study her very serious face.

“What’s the matter? Did the Wicked Witch of the West forget to send you a flying monkey for Christmas?” He rubbed at a bit of something on her cheek. “And who taught you how to eat? There’s crumbs all over your face.”

“Bah, I had some of those puffy mints. They’ve got like chalk on them or something.” Zig tugged on his hand. “Come here. I’m finishing up the book. You can listen to the last chapter.”

“What are you reading?” West sat down in the chair opposite of her, shaking his head at Zig’s scowl. “Don’t make that face. You look like Deacon and you don’t want to go through high school with that kind of ugly on you. Now, book….reading…what?”

“The Princess Bride.” She picked up the book after settling down again between the slumbering cats. “It’s about true love. And well, stabbing people.”

“Neither of which I know anything about,” he confessed. “And probably never will if I’m lucky.”

“It sucks when no one loves you. I know.” Zig studied him, her gaze peeling back layers of his emotional armour until West felt like he lay bared soul before her then she murmured, “And you should get a boyfriend. Maybe you’ll be happier because right now, you kind of suck.”
_____________

Hanging the Stars Blog Tour Stops

Nov 30: It’s About the Book (http://itsaboutthebook.com/)
Dec 1: Boy Meets Boy (www.boymeetsboyreviews.com)
Dec 2: Love Bytes (http://lovebytesreviews.com/)
Dec 3: Prism Alliance (http://www.prismbookalliance.com/)
Dec 4: Sinfully Gay Romance (http://sinfullymmbookreviews.blogspot.com/)
Dec 5: The Novel Approach (http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/)
Dec 7: Joyfully Jay (http://joyfullyjay.com/)


Blurb

Hanging_The_Stars_Book

Angel Daniels grew up hard, one step ahead of the law and always looking over his shoulder. A grifter’s son, he’d learned every con and trick in the book but ached for a normal life. Once out on his own, Angel returns to Half Moon Bay where he once found…and then lost…love.

Now, Angel’s life is a frantic mess of schedules and chaos. Between running his bakery and raising his troubled eleven-year-old half-brother, Roman, Angel has a hectic but happy life. Then West Harris returns to Half Moon Bay and threatens to break Angel all over again by taking away the only home he and Rome ever had.

When they were young, Angel taught West how to love and laugh but when Angel moved on, West locked his heart up and threw away the key. Older and hardened, West returns to Half Moon and finds himself face-to-face with the man he’d lost. Now, West is torn between killing Angel or holding him tight.

But rekindling their passionate relationship is jeopardized as someone wants one or both of them dead, and as the terrifying danger mounts, neither man knows if the menace will bring them together or forever tear them apart.

Purchase Hanging the Stars (Half Moon Bay #2) at: Dreamspinner, Amazon, and ARe .


Bio

Bioheadshot_Rhys-Ford

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people

Rhys’ Blog: www.rhysford.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhys.ford.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rhys_Ford

Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com), DSP Publications (https://www.dsppublications.com/) and all major online book stores.


Giveaway

gift_CertificateRhys has brought a $25 gift certificate to the online site of the winner’s choice give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, December 11th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.

Comments

  1. Thank you, Rhys – this has been a wonderful blog tour. Now need to grab copy of the book. :)

  2. Thank you for this wonderful tour!  I really enjoyed reading about the Half Moon holiday.  And it was perfect ending with West’s POV.  I think I am going to like Marzo. 

    Plus, Zig speaks so much truth:  “It sucks when no one loves you. I know.”

  3. Inez Garcia says:

    I have a book hang over from Hanging the Stars. Love West, Angel and Roman. Maybe next book Justin will get his HEA.

  4. My nieces love peas and mayonaise, like Zig.  Is it even edible?  I love Zig.  

  5. Another wonderful snapshot.

    I finished Hanging the Stars a few days ago and ? it, even if it (like always) ripped my heart to pieces before stitching it back again! I ? you, Rhys!

  6. Wow, can’t believe it’s the lat stop and that the book was released. It’s in my TBR list.

  7. Elizabeth Marshall says:

    Thank you for the chance to win a gift certificate – it’d go straight to books. Lol. Sad this is the last snippet – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the rest of them and cannot wait to get around to reading this release! Congratulations again on your release! 😀 x

  8. Elayne Young says:

    I’m sorry to see the tour end, the snippets have been delightful. I’m so glad I can now say I loved West and Angels story. Have a wonderful Christmas.?

  9. Carlene McLaughlin says:

    Great blog tour, as always. Now I’m ready to read the book.

  10. i’m so behind! still need to read book 1 but after reading these definitely gonna try to get to book 1 before end of year so i can read book 2 😀

  11. What an enjoyable scene from your book, Rhys. Congratulations on the release of Hanging the Stars!

  12. you always do such amazing blog tours <3

  13. You’re the reason I started reading bog tours. Thanks again for extra joy!

  14. Kendra J Patterson says:

    Nice addition to the story. Love your blog tours. ?

  15. Loving these scenes….such a great series!

  16. gamistress66 says:

    enjoyed the peek into West in this one, and of course Zig, that little wise one, hit the nail on the head as usual.

  17. Lisa Sullivan says:

    I’m on chapter 2 and I already can’t put it down! Only I had to because, you know, life. I’m going back in later though!

  18. Judy Stone says:

    I’m delighted you for the scene with West’s POV. It was the perfect ending for HtS blog tour.
    Congratulations on the release of Hanging the Stars. It’s on my wish list.

  19. I’m always excited about a new Rhys Ford book. Kai Gracen series is my all time favourite urban fantasy. I can’t wait to read Hanging the Stars.

  20. It has been a wonderful tour; thanks for all the excerpts you are sharing with us, Rhys. Congratulations with the book :)

  21. I’m about 70% through Hanging the Stars and loving it!! Very glad it’s nearly the end of the evening and time to snuggle up and finish it… x

  22. Thanks for the tour!!

  23. We still call our rooms by old colors/names too! Zig is awesome. Almost steals every scene she’s in. I can’t wait to watch West’s walls come a-tumblin’ down. Thanks for this story and best wishes on Hanging the Stars, Rhys!

  24. I loved the first book. I’m so looking forward to reading West’s story!!!

  25. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    I enjoyed the excerpt the book sounds so good and it’s great to catch up with the family.

  26. I finished it yesterday! I really enjoyed it. Is Justin next?

  27. Fish Stick Fridays is one of my favorite books! Can’t wait to read this one.

  28. Thanks for the snippet, I greatly enjoyed the tour. Leave it to Zig to be so brutally honest. I love that girl!

  29. This story was wonderful! I read through it in just a few hours! I’m glad to know that West had redeeming qualities.

  30. I love her books. I look forward to reading this one.

  31. It’s been such a great tour and the story <3

  32. Wonderful short hope it will be available for download like the others.

  33. Loved this last short. Now I can read Hanging the Stars:))))))

  34. Paige Blair says:

    I’m loving Hanging The Stars and this blog tour!  Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  35. Thanks for a wonderful blog tour! Great ending with Zig speaking so much truth.

  36. It’s been a great blog tour! I’ve really enjoyed it. :)

  37. Annette P. says:

    *giggles* Go Zig – Telling West the truth to his face. I hope she has more zingers coming :) Sad to see the blog tour ending. It was fun to read all the little bits!

  38. Haha, Zig. She sure is blunt, isn’t she? 😀 I enjoyed this blog tour. Thanks for the excerpts!

  39. Zig is pure awesome!

  40. Loved the snippet blog tour :) Seasonal Greetings and thank you for the giveaway chance

  41. I pre-ordered but can’t find time to just sit down an read. I’m at about 1/3, and enjoying it. :-)

  42. The tour’s been fantastic!

  43. Thank you for a great tour

  44. Leave it to Zig to tell you like it is. I love the image of Zig and her wild hair, holding court in a wing back chair next to the fireplace with her loyal subjects feline and human, hanging on her every word as she reads the story.

  45. Purple Reader says:

    Congrats and thanks for the post.This sounds like a great series that I need to get started on. Glad I found it here.

  46. I love this book – maybe even more than the first one :-O Wonderful tour and I do hope we got to visit Half Moon Bay again :)

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