Guest Post and Giveaway: Tramps and Thieves by Rhys Ford

Today I am so pleased to welcome Rhys Ford to Joyfully Jay. Rhys has come to talk to us about her latest release, Tramps and Thieves (which I reviewed yesterday and loved). She has also brought along a great vi Please join me in giving her a big welcome!



One of the best things about being a mystery writer is that there are always murders to solve so I get to revisit a fantastic-to-write couple like Rook Stevens and Detective Dante Montoya. There are endless possibilities and plot lines for the characters, the city and their circumstances that I cannot wait to explore over the years. With the second book coming out, I wanted to do a blog tour that was just a bit of fun so in this serial, I welcome you to join Rook and his cousin, Alex, on what should be an estate sale of macabre curios but what awaits them is something neither of them planned for.

So sit back, be sure you read the whole story AND please enter the blog’s giveaway! One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a $20 USD gift certificate from the online store of their choice!

I hope you enjoy this small jaunt as the cousins set out on their quest and be sure to pick up Tramps and Thieves, the sequel to Murder and Mayhem. Published by Dreamspinner Press, it will be out on September 18th on the DSP portal, Amazon and other fine book stores.



If there was an inch of the front foyer that wasn’t covered in blood Alex couldn’t find it. Okay, that was possibly an exaggeration but it was difficult to tell because of the shadows and the color of the enormous Spanish tiles stretching down the hall and seemingly throughout the house. A sea of drying red fluids was horrifying enough, the distinct trails of hands dragging through the sticky brown mass left him speechless. His tongue swelled in his mouth and the cry for help that he had in his throat was stuck behind the terror shutting his brain down. He didn’t know if he should turn around and run away, screaming at the top of his lungs for Rook or call ahead to psych ward in preparation of his breakdown.

Caught on the threshold, Alex was about to step out to leave the scene intact when the storm reached the edge of the house. It moved in quickly, swallowing up the sun and sucking the light from the sky and when the rain hit, it struck with icy cold fingers. The water was sharp and thin, driving sharp needles into Alex is exposed skin. Thunder shook the house as the storm front hit the valley’s hot air and the lightning strikes folded into the cloud banks reached out to strike the hills.

He heard shrieking from the backyard and chills ran down his spine, chasing away what little warmth he had left in his body. The dust on the ground plumed when hailstones struck, pinpricks of ice barely noticeable at first then becoming a carpet of white dots across the sandy, beige landscape. Alex needed to find where the scream was coming from and what the hell happened to Rook.

It didn’t take long before he found out the answer to both of those questions. A few seconds later, his cousin came running around the corner of the house, his hands held above his head to ward off the pelting hailstones. If it wasn’t for the blood behind him, Alex would’ve found it funny to see is normally implacable cousin running for dear life. Teasing Rook was an iffy thing at best and it was never something Alex is particularly good but it seemed like too good of an opportunity to let go to waste. There are number of things that popped into his head, sarcastic remarks that he’d heard from his employees as they took verbal jabs at each other during the workday but nothing that came to mind seem to fit the situation. He wasn’t going to go for the tried-and-true of screaming like a girl because innately that offended him and everything else that came to mind sounded like something a three-year-old would say.

He was just go with laughing when he noticed the enormous mountain lion hot on Rook’s tail.

The creature do not look friendly. It did not look like somebody’s pet it would gotten loose and simply hunting down a cuddle. There was nothing domestic about the large, healthy puma rounding the corner at the far end of the house.

“Get inside the fucking door!” Rook yelled, dodging around the palm that the desert colored wildcat failed to avoid. “Move! Move! Move!”

“We can’t—”

There was no arguing with Rook. Actually, there was never any arguing with Rook. He, like all Martins, came preinstalled with a stubbornness software set to its higher most levels. Alex would, if pressed, admit to being a little headstrong at times, but not to the extent of his cousin. Rook also had the physical advantage of being extremely strong and possessing a forward momentum Alex could’ve stopped on a good day.

Considering the mountain lion that was little more than 10 feet away, it was not a good day.

Rook pushed him through the open front door. His cousin’s hands fumbled around the handle for a brief second, trying to get a grip to slam it shut behind them. Alex, however, only caught a glimpse of a fanged furry face through the long window on side of the door and then his feet hit the foyer, its sticky floor catching at his sneakers and throwing him off balance. He landed hard, rattling his teeth and for brief second he thought he broke his nose, judging by the snap of something giving way When his vision went blurry and not crack appeared across his right eye, he realized his glasses took the brunt of the damage.

He tasted blood and wasn’t sure if he was looking that up off the floor or if it was coming from his own bitten tongue. Either way the salty metallic taste wasn’t something he could easily swallow, certainly not around the slick saliva his fear brought up to coat his throat.

Whatever Rook it done seem to pissed off the mountain lion because the large cat wasn’t giving up its prey. It clawed at the door, growling loud enough to drown out Alex’s thundering heartbeats.

“Jesus, do you see the size of that thing?” Rook took a step back from the front door and before Alex could warn him, he stepped into the sticky drying fluid covering the tiles. When he lifted his sneaker, maroon threads clung to its sole, a viscous weave binding him to the floor.

Shaking his foot, Rook fought to break free while keeping one eye on the cat and another on Alex. “You okay? What the hell is this shit?”

“I think it is blood,” Alex muttered, struggling to get to his feet. His glasses hung from one ear and one of his lenses definitely a crack but other than the small schism through his world, they were going to have to do. “There’s so much of it here, somebody had to been killed. But that’s the least of our worries.”

“I drop my phone somewhere back there. Give me yours. How can a murder be the least of our worries? ” Rook made a face then glanced at the door. The wildcat’s aggressive scrambling and growls fought with the growing storm. It was getting harder and harder to hear and the roof sounded as if it was being torn apart by the hail sweeping the valley. “Forget I said that. There’s a mountain lion outside wants piece of my ass, we might have a dead body somewhere in the house, and all that’s missing from the storm outside is a bunch of flying monkeys and a little girl with her dog. Which one of those things is the least of our worries?”

“I’m not saying all of those things are important but they’re not the worst of our worries,” Alex sighed. “Don’t kill me, but I think I locked my phone in your car.”


Be sure catch the entire story on the Tramps and Thieves Blog Tour and enter to win the giveaway featured on every blog!

14 MMGoodbook Reviews
15 Love Bytes
18 Sinfully Gay Review
19 Joyfully Jay
20 NDulgent Bloggers
21 It’s About the Book
22 The Novel Approach
23 (Epilogue)


Tramps and Thieves Cover

Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.

Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.

For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.

When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.

Tramps and Thieves by Rhys Ford
(Book 2 of the Murder and Mayhem Series)
Release Date: September 18, 2017


Rhys Ford Bio Shot

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 and a 2017 Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Awards for her novels Ink and Shadows and Hanging the Stars. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal. Rhys shares the house with two cats, Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo and Tam, a diabetic black shorthair, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. She is also responsible for the care and feeding of a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.

Rhys can be found at the following locations:


Rhys has brought a $20 gift card to anyone online store to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, September 22nd 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.


  1. I’m really enjoying the story.

  2. Kimberly Curington says:

    It’s clearly not safe to go anywhere with these guys!

  3. Kendra Patterson says:

    Now it’s getting juicy! ?

  4. That scared the heck out of me!! Life’s never boring with these guys, eh?

  5. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Wow what can they do! Each decision is turning out to be a bad one and then the phone is left in the car aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! shirleyann2400 (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Eric Alan Westfall says:

    Fascinating as usual.

  7. Nicole Eakins says:

    OMG this is awesome! I loved Rook before, but he’s just impervious isn’t he?

  8. This sounds great!

  9. The visual of Rook being chased by a mountain lion was awesome. Looking forward to reading the next installment.

  10. Can’t wait to read Part 5 tomorrow!

  11. Anne Marie Crookes says:

    Well now, this is getting interesting!

  12. Ooooo.  The plot thickens.  Can’t wait for the next instalment.

  13. Cherry Starr says:

    I must be a horrible person. They are standing in blood and all I can do is laugh.

  14. James Escol says:

    Hole-y moly! That was freakin’ scary as sh*t! I wouldn’t have known what to do if I was in any of the character’s positions.

  15. A mountain lion I didn’t not expect!

  16. Definitely foreboding, yikes!

  17. LOL Poor Rook and Alex, always stepping in something, literally and figuratively.

  18. Heather Rawlins says:

    Ooh, blood, it’s getting exciting. Can’t wait to read the next installment.

  19. Oh my gosh! These guys can’t go anywhere without winding up in big trouble. A puma? Really? Rhys, you know how to ratchet up the tension. Talk about misadventures. How the heck are they going to get outta this? Loving it, of course, and can’t wait for the next installment.

  20. Love this series can’t wait for more.

  21. I’m excited! I need school to leave me alone for a couple days so I can read.

  22. Whoa! I’m read to read more! Congratulations, Rhys, on the release of Tramps and Thieves.

  23. gamistress66 says:

    oh my, when it rains it roars? 😉 looking forward to seeing how they get out of this one

  24. Never a dull moment with these two…lol.

  25. Jillian Too says:

    Even when I’m sure I know what’s coming, I’m always surprised.

  26. D’OH! Well now we know why they went in the house anyway!

  27. At this point, I really would not be surprised if flying monkeys did appear! These guys have the worst luck!

  28. Hey, what do you know.  There IS something Rook fears more than being arrested. 

  29. The blog posts are wonderful. Thank you!

  30. Congratulations on another book release, Rhys…

  31. Paul Wilgus says:

    I’m sorry but all I could do is laugh. holding your hands up to block hail and running from a mountain lion is just too funny. T

  32. Oh noooooooo!!!!!! 🙂

  33. Linda Mantz says:

    Oh boy more Rook

  34. ‘I locked my phone in your car’… worst words ever!!!

    I’m loving this Rhys!

    • LOL, how about “locked keys in the car with toddler and infant children inside”? Asking for a friend…

      • Your “friend” has a lot of company…I used to work in a pediatrician’s office and I can’t tell you how many times we had to get the fire department out because a mom locked her baby in the car. 🙂

        • LOL, ok that makes me feel better! I was on the phone with my husband all “I’m going to break the car window” and my husband is screaming “no!”. Or, my friend was…

  35. Whoa, quite the blood pumping installment.

  36. I knew it was not a good idea to cross that door… Although on second thoughts, the mountain lion would probably be worse… I’m afraid there is more trouble inside the door. Let’s see if they find a working phone! 😉

  37. Eeeh the suspense is killing me!!!!

  38. My favorite part of a Rhys Ford blog tour is the short story she usually brings with her! Can’t wait for this – almost through rereading Murder and Mayhem to get ready

  39. Inez Garcia says:

    This is getting good.

  40. Elayne Young says:

    Better and Better. 

  41. I waaaaant!!!!!!

  42. Hey at least the phone is charged and not broken like Alex’s glasses. Loving this short.

  43. Wow. Rook is trying to one up Cole’s animal shenanigans, lol.

  44. Purple Reader says:

    Congrats, Rhys, and thanks for the short. I loved Book 1, and have waiting expectantly for the new one. – Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  45. Bonnie Herbert says:

    They sure can get into some trouble. 

  46. The only thing that would make this scene funnier is if Rook split his pants and that’s how his phone was lost.

  47. Thanks for the post, I’m enjoying it.

  48. This caper keeps getting better!

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