Today I am so pleased to welcome AF Henley to Joyfully Jay. Henley has come to talk to us about Wolf, en Garde (Book 2 of the Wolf series). Henley has also brought along a tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!
We’re almost at the end of the blog tour and giveaway for my newest release, Wolf en Garde, and I’ve been having way too good of a time with these posts. And why not, right? I’ve been granted the chance to share with the friends I made on previous tours, meet some new ones, and had the opportunity to spend some time with the characters in the novel again. See, for anyone joining the tour for the first time, that’s what I’ve been doing: introducing and re-introducing the characters and places found in the story through tiny teasers from the novel. At least, I have been up to now. Now I’d like to introduce you to a non-character.
I know… what’s a non-character? Well, first off, I can promise you that I’m not referring to a code point that is permanently reserved in the Unicode Standard for internal use and is made up of exactly sixty-six characters (thank you, Google). Because I don’t even understand what that means. What a non-character is to me, is a character that doesn’t really exist in the story, but who comes into play through the memories or thoughts of someone else.
There are a lot of studies, papers, and musings that go on about how our memories identify and/or express the kind of people that we are. The reason for this is that memories are not actually fixed, unchanging possessions of our mind. They fade, brighten, modify and morph as the brain processes them. A memory can become a complete lie with enough time. And a memory experienced in a dream is even more likely to carry fabrications or modifications. How one person’s mind stores, develops, and experiences a memory tells us far more about that person than it does about what happened in the past.
Before I present the teaser, though, I want to remind you that in appreciation for you joining me, I’m running a giveaway that will get one lucky winner their very own signed, print copy of Wolf en Garde, a sterling silver (nickel and lead-free) Howling Wolf Bangle, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market! Be sure to read to the bottom of the post to find out how to enter. I would also like to take this opportunity to offer up a huge thank you to Joyfully Jay for hosting today. It’s an honour and a pleasure to be back on your site and I can’t thank you enough for doing what you do to help authors and readers alike. And a great big thank you to you, my friends, for reading and joining me. Best of luck with the giveaway!
Now, with great pleasure, I finally present to you a peek at the former…
Tiny Teaser: Introducing – Mrs. O’Connell
The idea that he was dreaming wasn’t something Lyle questioned in the least. The odor of fetid water and decaying rodents was nonexistent. The lights flickered, as they always did, but the dampness wasn’t making his bare skin bump up with goose flesh, and the soles of his feet were dry and warm even on the litter-slicked, mold-spotted surface of the concrete. He also wasn’t following the anxious pleas of a… well, whoever it had been that Lyle had heard earlier that morning in the tunnels. He was following a song. Sung by a woman. In a voice he knew.
I left my darling lying there, a-lying there, a-lying there; I left my darling lying there among the swaying grasses…
The lines were sung very quietly, and the echoes that followed the words seemed to dance around him like the gentle puffs of fresh air through an open window. He remembered real wood paneling, the smooth back and forth of a well-loved rocking chair, and a pair of arms that were both smooth to the touch and yet strong enough to lift him off his feet even though he’d been “such a big boy for his age.”
I followed o’er the otter tracks, the rabbit tracks, the possum tracks; I followed o’er the many tracks all through the swaying grasses…
Years… it had been years since he’d heard that song. That voice. The patient, soothing, perfect voice of his mother. And why, oh God and glory, why would her voice be in suck a dank and desolate spot?
The walls here, similar to the real-life version, were decaled and bedazzled with stickers and graffiti but they no longer read that Washington = Conspiracy, that It IS as bad as you think it is, or encouraged him to Suck a Dick for Jesus. These were much more pointed. Philosophical, even.
The truth remains the truth no matter how gilded the lie.
Do not rest when you can crawl, crawl when you can walk, or walk when you can run.
A false prophet is the servant of evil.
“But he who follows is the slave of ignorance,” Lyle mumbled. The quote was only half there, but he recited the rest from memory. And where had he heard that before? A teacher? A textbook? No, his father. Maybe?
A dream slipped inside his dream, a combination of memory and illusion, as most dreams that recalled childhood seemed to be:
Lyle sat on the parking lot beside the playground, clutching his bleeding knee and trying to will away the tears that kept spilling out of his eyes. “But he said that it was okay. He said all the other kids do it all the time!”
His mother knelt, cupped his chin and forced him to look up. Away from the blood and the stones imbedded in his skin, and up, up, up into her eyes. She’d been angry. Why was she angry? He was the one who was bleeding and hurt!
“Just because someone says something is right doesn’t mean it is right, Lyle. Today you jumped from the shed. Will it be a bridge tomorrow?”
“But he said—”
“Then he lied,” his mother said, her voice dry and her tone crisp and sharp. “And you followed that lie without question. A false prophet is the servant of evil. But Lyle—” She stared at him until he stared back. “He who follows is the slave of ignorance.”
As if he’d never left the first dream, Lyle turned his head. The tunnel once again appeared around him and the soft singing continued to bounce off the walls.
I found my darling lying there, a-lying there, a-lying there; I found my darling lying there among the swaying grasses…
And suddenly Lyle didn’t want to hear the last line of the song. It was sad, he remembered. Painfully, horribly sad, about dead loves and too much time passing.
He called out, “You! You there singing. Show your face!”
Wolf, en Garde Excerpt
© AF Henley, 2016
Three years ago Lyle made a mistake that cost him his freedom, and almost his life. Now, sick to death of watching his father love the man that Lyle wanted, Lyle accepts an offer to leave Wolf, WY behind and see what life in Washington, D.C. can do for him instead.
When Lyle comes across a seductive, attractive stranger with a fascinating yet terrifying view of humanity, he’s more than intrigued. It doesn’t take Lyle long to realize that Arius isn’t just playing games, though, and when Lyle runs across a secret in Arius’ lair he has no choice but to flee, even knowing his actions will enrage Arius.
On the run, with only a psychic’s second sight and his own instinct to help him, Lyle has nowhere to go but home. The only question is, will they have him when he shows up.
Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Notes: Wolf, WY contains some explicit and violent content
Book 2 in the Wolf series
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.
For more information, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.
On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a sterling silver (nickel and lead-free) Howling Wolf charm bangle, a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Wolf, WY.
For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.
** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.
- 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.
I need to start this series soon. Congrats on the book release and thank you for the giveaway chance. 🙂
Thank you, Didi, for your kind comments and for reading and commenting! <3
Best of luck with the giveaway and I hope you like Wolf once you get into it. 😀
Aw, this sounds amazing! Possibly my favourite extract yet <3
Thank you, Sylvia! I’m honoured. 😀
Best of luck with the giveaway and thanks for being part of the tour! <3
This scene is mesmerising and so wonderful! I can not even begin to imagine how hard it was to write something so dreamlike and yet so relatable. It is so beautiful that you focus on Lyle’s mom here and that Lyle has such fond memories of her. 🙂 I love it that even he has grown into a troubled young man, we can see a glimpse of him being a little boy and that this part in form of his memories is always with him.
And that quote ”A false prophet is the servant of evil. He who follows is the slave of ignorance.” could really be the motto for your awesome novel. 🙂
Thank you for another great post on your exciting blog tour, buddy!
Well, you know me, buddy. I love moms! 😀 (Most moms, anyway.)
Although that quote is an old one, for sure so I can’t take credit for it.
Thank you very much! <3
Morbid. That’s the word that comes to mind for this post, not because of Lyle or his mother or the dream, but the whole setting and what you wrote about how memory is a constantly altering thing. And this… makes me think of a dream I had last year *counts* around the time Book 1 was released. Involved was my deceased maternal grandmother, an aunt I loved who is still very much alive, in a time period that predated me, and in a city that I know neither has ever been to before (not even me) in a home I don’t think existed at all. They were there, having afternoon tea. My alarm woke me before I could finish the dream, but waking left me in a bit of a confused bind over reality and dream.
And it feels almost like this little excerpt right here. I never figured out what it was trying to tell me, just that it was supposed to tell me something.
Like I said. Morbid. Add curiosity to the mix and Mrs. O’Connell.
Love it. <3
Aw, I’m sorry to bring bad memories to the surface. Or morbid or frightful ones, anyway.
Thank you very much for reading and commenting, though. And best of luck with the giveaway! <3
It was only morbid in that I hoped my grandmother and my aunt being seen together in my dream wasn’t an omen. The dream itself wasn’t bad, just all-over-the-place weird. 🙂
Old diddies like that are always depressing in the end. The one that always got me was El Gato. A cat who recieves a letter from his girlfriend agreeing to marry him. He leaps with joy, falls off the roof, and dies. it’s like “Thanks teacher, that was a close one. Almost felt happy for a second.”
Same thing with literature in High School. “Now that you’re older and more capable of handling hard topics that you only sung about in grade school, and now that your hormones are making you mentally unstable, let’s read about this guy who dies in a gang fight. This one who dies of cancer. This one who dies from being stoned to death for the sake of tradition. Oh it’s going to be a fun year.”
My memories are always perfect, though. I’m awesome like that. It’s my family’s memories that change. I always have to correct the on the details. My father will one-year tell everyone I did something and then later attribute it to my younger brothers. My older brother barely remembers most of his childhood. I tell my nephews stories and they turn to him asking “Dad is that true?” He just shrugs his shoulders.
I like Mrs. O’Connell’s version of “If everyone jumped off a bridge would you?” It’s less mocking and more reasoning.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed! And thank you for sharing that story with me. Creepy though it may be. XD
I’m glad you’re still following the tour, my friend. Good luck with the giveaway! <3
I enjoyed the teaser even if it was a bit creepy! Isn’t always the way when you are young someone tells you to do something you have too. “Just because someone says something is right doesn’t mean it is right, Lyle. Today you jumped from the shed. Will it be a bridge tomorrow?”
“But he said—”
“Then he lied,” his mother said, her voice dry and her tone crisp and sharp. “And you followed that lie without question. A false prophet is the servant of evil. But Lyle—” She stared at him until he stared back. “He who follows is the slave of ignorance.” I’m looking forward to reading the book.
Thank you, Shirley! And I can’t tell you how many times my mother said that to me as well. XD
I’m glad you enjoyed it, and sorry for creeping you out. (Mostly. 😉 )
Good luck with the giveaway! <3
What a wonderful scene and great quote from Lyle’s mom. I also enjoyed your intro about memories. I have some old memories that I am no longer sure are actually my memories or stories I was told when I was young and I converted them to “memories” in my head.
I agree, I’m pretty sure we’ve all done that at one time or another. Sometimes the memories are better that way. 😀
Thank you for being part of the tour and good luck with the giveaway! <3
Thanks for sharing your excerpt, Henley, and discussing non-characters. I learned something today! Best wishes with your writing and thanks for offering the giveaway.
You’re very welcome, Kareni! Thank you for being part of it and for the kind comment! 😀
Good luck with the giveaway. <3
Lovely scene between mother and son. Life lessons like this are things we don’t usually see in books at a young like Lyle was but it sure is something I think you’ll take on to remember later on life.
True enough, H.B.! Thank you very much!
Good luck with the giveaway! <3
Congrats on the release and thank you for sharing an excerpt.
Thank you! And you’re very welcome. Best of luck with the giveaway and thanks for reading and commenting! <3
Congrats on your new book. I love gay paranormal and urban fantasy, and this sounds great.
Thank you very much, Purple! I hope you enjoy if/when you get a chance to get into it! 😀
Good luck with the giveaway and thanks for taking part in the tour! <3
Sometimes those who are gone have the biggest impact it seems.
I absolutely agree with you, Ashley. It’s kind of nice to know that, isn’t it?
Best of luck with the giveaway and thank you for reading and commenting! <3
For a non-character, it sure packs a punch! I think dream sequences are fun to read (even if they are creepy), but I can imagine they’re also interesting to write. I mean, they get included to tell the main character about something, but you get to go really out there or basic with them, just a lot of leeway that maybe isn’t there in the “real world.” Thanks for sharing with us!
Absolutely, Carolyn. And you’re very welcome, I’m glad you’re enjoying the posts! 😀
Good luck with the giveaway and thank YOU for being part of the tour! <3