Today I am so pleased to welcome Amy Lane to Joyfully Jay. Amy has come to talk to us about her latest release, Fish Out of Water (which I reviewed here and really enjoyed). She is sharing a deleted scene and has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Amy a big welcome!
Okay—I have to admit, one of my favorite moments of our lovely Miss Jay was when she was on a podcast with Smart Bitches and said, “The vagina is not a bomb—we shouldn’t need trigger warnings for girl sex in a book!”
(Amy gives a happy sigh.) Oh, Jay, I adore thee. And I hope that the folks at Joyfully Jay don’t mind if I focus on a female character for my blog tour!
Jade is a character in Fish Out of Water who, until the opening of the book and their final break up, has been very close to Jackson Rivers. I wanted to write a lot of Jade, because I like her. She’s a no bullshit woman, and that’s one of my favorite kinds. But you have to write clean and close to the bone in murder suspense, so adding extra scenes with Jade in them was not a good idea.
That didn’t mean I didn’t want to see more of her—particularly her surprise romance with Jackson’s friend and tenant, the eternally awkward and socially inept Mike.
This is a deleted scene featuring Jade—it’s got some ****MAJOR SPOILERS**** for Fish—so read at your own risk.
But if you’ve already read the book, and want to know more about what happened? Well, this might be of interest to you—because Jade is important to Jackson, and hopefully, Jackson gets to be important to us!
She watched as Mike laid Billy Bob gingerly on the corner of his couch, closing her eyes against the cat’s incessant painful yowl.
“Let’s get changed,” Mike said heavily. “We can take him to the vets as soon as the ambulance is gone.”
For a moment she forgot her seething anger and she and Mike locked glances like lifelines.
“He’ll be okay,” Mike said, and the words were empty because Mike didn’t know just like Jade didn’t know, but he bothered to comfort her, and she had to take that.
“Sure,” Jade said hollowly, trying not to see the blood behind her eyes. She’d seen it eight years before, it had been all over the hospital room, and she and Kaden and Rhonda had watched the doctors running around and heard the machines code. They shouldn’t have been anywhere near the scene, but Kaden had forced his way in, and they’d seen it, and it had been just like the living room, just like the place she’d walked by blindly, and everything behind her eyes was blood and the cries of pain. Jade swallowed. “I’ll go get dressed.”
But the anger didn’t go away. They got into the truck before the ambulance pulled out and Jade saw Ellery in the driveway shirtless and angry. He was talking to one of the policeman who had shouted at her when she’d been barefoot in Jackson’s kitchen. Billy Bob yowled in the box on the seat between her and Mike, and she absently stroked the battered cat between his ears.
“Motherfucker,” she swore lowly.
Mike glared at the cop. “Damned straight.”
“I was talking about you!” she snapped, not sure if it was true or not but pissed just the same. “’Get the lady out of your hair’—is that what you said?”
“They were yelling at you!” Mike returned, his voice harsh. “He was screaming in pain and those assholes wouldn’t give you a fucking break! Do you think I wanted you to be badgered anymore by the damned cops!”
“You didn’t have to make me sound like I couldn’t take care of myself!” she snarled, hurt and pissed all over again. “I can take damned good care of myself—me, Kaden, Jackson—“
“Rhonda—yeah, I fuckin’ get it.” Mike stopped at the light, his touch on the brake gentle—probably so the cat didn’t rattle around in the box. “Which vet are we going to?”
“Make a left on J, there’s one down by Fulton,” she said, not sure if it was the closest or not. It was the only one she knew about, and that’s where they were going.
“You have Ellery’s info?”
“Why?” God, fucking lawyer, strolling around in Jackson’s house all smug and gooey eyed at Jackson. Jackson, heaven help them, didn’t have the sense God gave a fucking bird—always leaving himself open like that, ready to get his ass blown to kingdom come, Jesus Christ on a—
“So he can answer questions about the cat,” Mike said patiently. “Did you see him, wrapping the damned cat up in the kitchen? Jackson’s going to want Ellery in charge of the cat.”
“Oh,” Jade muttered, shaking out of her righteous path of anger for a moment. Yeah. Jackson had someone else in his life now besides their little gang of four.
And so did she.
“Still,” she said, sighing as they came to a stop at Howe—it looked like it would take a couple of lights before they got through. “You shouldn’t have made it sound like I was an idiot. I know I was being a bitch, but they fucking deserved it!”
“Yes,” Mike said, moving his giant truck a few feet up. “Yes, you were being a bitch, and yes they deserved it. They deserved a kick in the nads, and they were doing it because you were a black woman trying not to lose her shit in a crime scene. I don’t know what to tell you, Jade—you weren’t doing anything wrong and they were. I just wanted you the hell out of there.”
“I can handle myself,” she muttered.
“I know you can.”
“You don’t need to make me sound like a child.”
“I’m not an idiot—you practically got on their side.”
“I know you’re not, and I’m sorry.”
“Are you really? Are you really damned sorry?”
“Of course I am! I just wanted you out of there—I didn’t care how it happened. I didn’t think about your feelings, and that was stupid and I’m sorry!”
Jade took a big breath and wondered how many men out there would have heard her—really heard her—when she cut loose the way she just had. Mike was kind—she’d said that to Jackson just minutes before… before… oh God.
“He’s going to be okay,” she said, her voice as close to tears as she ever let it get.
“Yeah,” Mike said, sounding certain. “You know Jackson—he’s a tough kid.”
Sure. Jackson was a tough kid.
Jade remembered the soft way he’d looked at Ellery not more than an hour ago, and how the hardassed ex-cop PI had simply melted away. In his place had been the sweet boy who’d taken Jade’s virginity when they’d been fourteen, and who had somehow made it not suck, when they’d both been dumb as a box of rocks.
“He’s not so tough,” she said, wiping under her eyes with the back of her hand.
Mike risked leaning over in the extended cab of the big assed truck, just so he could squeeze her knee. “None of us are,” he said.
She covered his hand and squeezed. “I’m sorry too.”
“You don’t need to be,” he told her. “You wanted me to have your back, not protect you.”
“Yeah, well, you’ll learn.”
He pulled his hand back because he needed it to steer, but she watched his face and saw the ghost of a smile pass his features. “Thanks, hon. I really appreciate that.”
Billy Bob yowled again, and Jade closed her eyes. “Yeah, yeah, you ragged assed animal, we’re getting you there.”
She couldn’t do anything about that morning, or about Jackson, or about the way she and her family were changing. But she could do something about not hurting the guy next to her, and fixing Jackson’s goddamned cat.
She was going to have to take that and run with it—right now it was all she had.
PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.
Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.
Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.
Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
Amy has brought two ebook copies of Fish Out of Water to give away to two lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, August 9th at 11:59 pm EST.
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