Today I am so pleased to welcome C.L. Etta to Joyfully Jay. C.L. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Heart and Home. She has also brought along a great giveaway! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks to Jay for hosting me today and giving me this opportunity to promote my newest release, Heart and Home. This is the second book in the Beyond Heartache series. It continues the stories of Kevin, Raphael and Robbie introduced in my first book Heartache and Hope.
In this excerpt Kevin has left Raphael’s in a huff, upset with Raphael’s insistence to continue living his life closeted. Kevin and his partner Robbie, are returning to Las Vegas where they perform as Layona Beach, Queen Extraordinaire and guitarist Robbie Rhythm.
Heart and Home is available for download from Pride Publishing and becomes available for general release on December 5.
Rocketing across I-40 and crossing into Arizona, I grimace when I spy the flashing red and blue lights of one of Arizona’s finest in my rearview mirror. I know the drill—license, rental car paperwork, pathetic look—oh yeah, I’ve been stopped before. I sign for my generous ticket and thank the officer over his concern for my welfare before pulling back onto the interstate. I decline Robbie’s offer to take over the wheel, to which he shakes his head in that ‘I know better than you’ way I hate almost as much as liver. Instead, he focuses on his tablet to continue working on a song he’s writing.
Soon, I’m back in the driving zone and lose myself in my tumultuous thoughts, which, of course, leads me to not paying attention to the pesky digital speedometer on my finely equipped rental car, and I’m once again caught going ninety outside of Flagstaff. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
“Shit!” Pounding my hands against the faux wood steering wheel of my rented, all-too-fucking-fast Honda Accord does nothing to relieve my exasperation. Robbie startles when I swear, tears himself away from his tablet, and gives me a ‘you should have let me drive’ expression, complete with raised eyebrows and sardonic grin, to which I sweetly mouth, “Fuck you”.
“Oh yeah, baby, any time. But, first, you’d better pray you don’t go to jail. After all, this is your second violation in”—Robbie peeks at his shiny new watch, a gift I don’t know why I gave him for Christmas, but am regretting more each moment since the TAG Heuer keeps impeccable time—“eighty-two minutes.”
“Great. Just fucking great.” Officer Cool-As-You-Please in his reflective Top Gun glasses sidles up to the door and taps on the window, indicating I ought to roll it down and let hell swoop into my air-conditioned cabin. This is Arizona in the middle of the summer—there’s no such thing as comfortably warm. Hell, even fully engorged cocks wilt in the inferno that is Arizona.
I peer out the window to hand Officer Cool the requested paperwork. Instead, I meet Officer Cool’s cock, tightly ensconced in his Arizona Highway Patrol khakis. Unconsciously, I lick my lips, not because I’m imagining taking his zipper between my teeth and lowering it like some bad porn video, but because it’s like nine hundred degrees in my rented Honda Accord with the wide-open window letting in the mother of all siroccos. Robbie’s snarky snicker in the background returns my lust-addled—no, heat-addled brain back to business.
“Driver’s license and rental papers, please.” Where have I heard that before? Do these guys all use the same inane script right out of Adam-12? Wilting fast in the heat, I hand him the requested items, hurriedly close the window, and wait patiently while he runs the license for wants and whatevers.
“He’s kind of cute, don’t you think?”
Robbie’s only asking to irritate me. He saw me licking my lips as I tried in vain to moisten them in the blazing inferno formerly known as my too-fucking-fast, rented Honda Accord. Drumming my fingers against the steering wheel, I refuse to answer. I prefer to stew and pray that I don’t go to jail. I’m so not into inmate sex, preferring instead to top my cheeky, pain-in-the-ass travel companion.
At last, Officer Cool returns, and once again the heat sweeps through the open window. O.C. leans down and rests his elbows against the window frame, gracing me with an uninhibited view of his bulging biceps. I lick my lips. <em>Trying to moisten them.</em> He peers over the top of his glasses before addressing me. My heartbeat accelerates as I imagine him jerking me from the car and cuffing me before carting me off to the slammer.
“You’ve had quite a day here in Arizona, Mr. Monroe. By rights, I should haul you in for criminal speeding. I clocked you at ninety-four miles per hour, and I see you were cited less than two hours ago for excessive speed.”
“Yeah, I’ve had a really bad week. I buried my dad yesterday and—”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Monroe, but that’s still no excuse for breaking the law—twice.”
“I’m sorry, really I am,” I start to beg forgiveness and think better of it, knowing it won’t help. Instead I mutter to Robbie under my breath, “Damn, we should have flown back to Vegas. I’d have been better off going back to Queens of the Night rather than driving.” Robbie gives me a compassionate smile which melts me a little, and Officer Cool clears his throat, reminding me he requires my attention. To Robbie I say, “I just needed to get away for a while, clear my head. You know?” I turn to O.C. and ask, “Do I have to go to jail?”
O.C. tilts his head from side to side and takes a long, close look at Robbie. He removes his reflective sunglasses and hooks them in his shirt pocket, calling my attention to his gymrat pecs. Bastard! His eyebrows rise, and his eyes widen with what I read as excitement. It appears O.C. has the hots for my red-haired, freckle-faced, pain-in-the-ass partner.
For the past two years, Kevin Monroe has lived his dream, performing alongside his partner, Robbie McMaster, as noted Las Vegas drag queen Layona Beach.
Raphael Delgado’s love for Kevin made it easy to set aside his dream of becoming a teacher, to care for Mr. Monroe and his own disabled mama. Now Mr. Monroe is dying, and Kevin is coming home.
Raphael’s inadvertent refusal to publicly hold Kevin’s hand is the catalyst for a chain of events that answers these questions. Will Kevin go to gay inmate prison? Will Robbie end Layona Beach and Robbie Rhythm? How does Raphael become accidentally engaged?
Within its themes of family obligations, unrequited love and acceptance, Kevin, Robbie and Raphael discover that heart and home are synonymous.
With a shriek heard from sea to shining sea when her first book, Heartache and Hope, was accepted for publication, C. L. began her journey into the world of storytelling. Having raised a husband and three children, C. L. spends her free time reading and enjoying her life. After acquiring a wealth of experience in consumer and mortgage finance, software support, and nursing, C. L. is ready to nurture her creative muse.
A self-described romance novel junkie who considers tequila a food group, C. L. began hearing voices and was alarmed until she realized there was a cast of characters banging around in her head, demanding their stories be told. Not wanting to let them down, she keeps her laptop nearby and her thesaurus handy.
C.L. has brought a $20 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, November 15th at 11:59 pm EST.
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