Today I am so pleased to welcome Kelly Jensen to Joyfully Jay. Kelly has come to talk to us about her latest release, Counting on You (Counting #3). She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Kelly a big welcome!
Counting on You is the third and final (probably) story for Henry and Marc, and when I look back over all the posts I’ve written for release tours, Marc always gets a lot of the attention. I think it’s because Marc isn’t my usual sort of character. I tend to write quiet guys who slip through life without leaving much of a trail. Marc isn’t that—not at all—and it’s been really fun getting to know him. But when I started this journey, Henry was (and remains) the character closest to my heart.
Henry is typical of my guys—he’s a little shy, a lot reserved, and has a few interesting quirks. He’s definitely his own man, though. While he might back away from confrontation, he doesn’t shy from the road less traveled. Henry is out—quietly—and comfortable with his sexuality. He might be cautious, but he knows who he is. He’s also ambitious. He might not step on the hands of others on his way up the ladder, but he’s sure of where he’s going.
I sort of envy him these two things: his certainty of self and his direction. What I love most about Henry, though, are those little quirks. The counting, his obsession with survival books, and his placid practicality. I love, love, love that he carries a Leatherman tool and is prepared for any situation. It’s the perfect balance for those anxious moments when he tries not to freak out.
Marc proves handy in those moments too, as evidenced by the following excerpt.
If you haven’t met Henry and Marc yet, the first two novellas of the Counting series are discounted through the end of November at all retailers.
Thanks for following my tour! At the end of every post, I’ll be asking a question. Leave a comment with your answer (and your email address), and complete the Rafflecopter to enter!
There was something subversively soothing about traveling by train. The pressure of Marc’s thigh against his definitely wasn’t soothing, but the gentle rock of a car inspired thoughts of longer trains and longer journeys—winding through the Alps, across the graceful arch of rail bridges, whistling through tunnels. The regular pattern of humanity unfolding along the side of the tracks: the blank expanse of trees at night, dotted lights of houses, the brighter spread of towns, more houses, more trees and… signposts.
Henry had been counting the signposts and signals, and the growing tallies formed happy and reliable bubbles in his thoughts. Add in the man next to him, thigh shifting against his in a measurable rhythm, and Henry couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt so relaxed, even while optimistic butterflies fluttered through his middle. Traveling with Marc. Working with Marc. Being with Marc.
God, stop, you’re twenty-four, not twelve.
Still, he felt giddy and happy and maybe just a little bit anxious—about the work part, and the being with Marc part while doing the work part. Stop. He needed to be more like Marc. Not shy, not overly cautious. Instead he should be planning out how they were going to make this work.
We are going to make this work. All of it.
Better. Much better.
He still felt giddy, though.
Snorting, Marc jerked awake, his thigh pushing more insistently into the tenuous embrace with Henry’s before shifting away as he sat up and scrubbed at his eyes.
“How long was I asleep?” he asked.
“We just passed New York.”
“God, so over two hours. Sorry.” Marc stretched and slumped, leaning companionably against Henry’s side. “I tried to sleep on the plane last night but probably didn’t do more than doze.” He checked his watch and frowned. “Yep, that was still last night. Or very early this morning. Something.” He muttered unintelligibly before stretching again. “Anyway.”
“You’re kind of cute when you’re all frowsy.”
“Frowsy? What’s that?”
“All in the name of a glass rectangle.”
“One day I’m going to be sitting on the other side of Shelly’s desk, pushing folders at hapless young up-and-comers like me.”
“We’ll sleep then.” A lascivious grin took over Marc’s mouth. “Or maybe not.”
The giddy feeling returned. He always forgot how “on” Marc could be. Being the center of all Marc’s attention could be as unnerving as it was amazing.
All of this was for him?
Marc put a hand on Henry’s thigh. “Everything okay over there?”
“This is going to be the most amount of time we’ve spent together.”
Henry hadn’t actually meant to say that out loud, but as the words passed his lips, he realized that’s where his thoughts had been headed. The next five days constituted a test on two fronts: their ability to work together and keep it professional, and their ability to work together in a more personal sense.
“Are you worried?”
“I’m always worried,” Henry admitted.
Marc frowned, but he didn’t move his hand. Instead he squeezed Henry’s thigh. “Count something.”
“I am. There have been three hundred and forty signal posts since—”
Leaning in suddenly, Marc cut him off with a kiss, his lips demanding and sweet at the same time. He pulled away just far enough to whisper, “Still counting?”
Henry and Marc can’t seem to catch a break. They’ve had two disastrous dates—the first trapped in a car during a blizzard and the second locked in a basement—followed by nearly two months apart. Even though they work for the same firm, their relationship is held together by flying visits, phone calls, and text messages. A joint assignment in Washington D.C. might be more togetherness than they can handle, however.
Henry is still battling insecurity, and this assignment is too important to his career to mess up. Marc is committed. He’s falling for Henry and looks forward to having him permanently on his team and at his side. But the real test isn’t the assignment. When Marc finally lays his heart on the line, can he count on Henry to be there for him, in every way that matters? And can he do the same for Henry when Henry needs it the most?
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.
Kelly has brought some great giveaways. There are two prizes, both available internationally. One winner will receive $15 (US or equivalent) to spend at the Dreamspinner Press store. A second winner will receive the entire Counting series in ebook format, gifted through the Dreamspinner Press store. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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