Today I am so pleased to welcome Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt to Joyfully Jay. Irene and Liv have come to talk to us about their latest release, Harrowed. They have also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving them a big welcome!
After a long hiatus – like, 2 ½ years long – Irene Preston and I are back with the second book in our Haunts and Hoaxes series. Harrowed is here! Yay!
I’d like to start by thanking Jay for having us as guests. The blogging landscape has changed a lot since Irene and I published our first book, and I appreciate the work Jay does to keep this site active and engaged.
Funny story…the reason we decided to work on Harrowed 2 ½ years ago, rather than the next book in the Hours of the Night series, is that our Haunts and Hoaxes stories were supposed to be lighter, fluffier, a mash-up of Supernatural and The X Files with naughty bits. At the time, we needed the break.
So, we set Harrowed on a Louisiana plantation and built in a legend about an enslaved woman who ran to freedom and the man who loved her. We threw in a descendent of that woman whose family history doesn’t match the legend, and a Historical Society that would like to keep the past in the past, thank you very much.
Apparently, we have an aptitude for issues.
We still have Adam and Noel and their tangled emotions (!!!) and there are still naughty bits. (To see how the relationship started, you can check out Haunted, the first book in the series, which is FREE for the next little while.) There’s also a seasonally appropriate ghost story, with our prickly psychic Noel at the center of it. Adam, the resident historian for the cable ghost hunting show Haunts and Hoaxes, is still torn between exploring Noel’s gift and keeping his boyfriend safe.
Because yeah, by the end of the book they’re actually saying the B-word. Boyfriends. They’re also set up for more spooky adventures. They have a lot to learn about Noel’s gift and about each other, and we hope you’ll come along for the read!
We’ve got an excerpt to share, and a giveaway for a $25 gift card! Harrowed is $3.99 or FREE with KU! Thanks very much, and happy reading!
(In which Noel has seen….something….and now has a nasty hangover.)
“What?” Noel sat up fast, clutching the sheet. Screams echoed and the pounding in his head rolled his stomach. He sank back slowly, heartbeat thudding in his ears, mouth so dry he could barely unstick his tongue.
“Where the hell…?” He pried open his eyes, or his right eye, anyway. The room was dark except for a thin gray light from the window. Streetlight, or maybe dawn. He was in that shabby chic nightmare of a room Adam had booked.
Adam. Was he…?
A snorting snore answered his question. Adam was beside him in the bed, a big, warm, security blanket. Noel tipped his head up against the pillow. His mouth tasted like he’d been eating tree bark, but bitter and ugly. What the hell had he done? He drew circles on the sheet, trying to retrace his route to this moment in this bed.
He’d started drinking early, spiking his water bottle with gin before he’d picked Adam up. Then…more drinks at the hotel, plus a Xanax because this whole little adventure had him so strung out.
Then…fuck… Had he ordered a double at the restaurant? He’d needed it. Adam’s friend… What was his name? Noel couldn’t remember much, except the guy had been dangerously sexy, and he and Adam had a lot to talk about.
The second double had been the bridge too far. After that, everything went a little nuts. He started breathing faster, except it made his head hurt, so he forced himself to slow down. Water. He needed water. Slowly, mindful of the heavy thudding in his head, he turned toward the nightstand. A bottle of water sat there, with two white tablets beside it.
Tylenol. Sweet. Raising himself onto his elbows, he picked up the pills one at a time. Something—either the pain in his head or the thoughtfulness behind the gift on the nightstand—had his eyes burning with moisture. He tossed back the pills, downed about half the bottle of water, and eased himself onto the mattress.
He’d appreciate the relief as soon as he was sure his head was going to stay attached.
Adam’s gruff voice set off pain of a different kind. Noel couldn’t have made a bigger ass of himself if he’d set out with a checklist. Why was Adam even here? “Yeah.” His voice cracked and sagged. “Just don’t ask me to move, because it might kill me.”
As if called to attention by his words, pressure built in his bladder. Fantastic. They lay together, the room’s hushed quiet enveloping them. For his part, Noel didn’t have a fucking clue what to say. Dinner had been a disaster, so bad, Noel couldn’t even remember the other guy’s name. And then…and then…
Cold. The kind of cold that made him forget he’d ever seen the sun. A cold fueled by rage and by despair, defiance, and hopelessness.
And he could never give in. Never.
“I’m pretty sure we’ve got stuff to talk about, but—”
“Dude.” Noel’s groan reverberated in his head, and he hissed against the pain.
“Later.” Adam rolled up on his side, edging closer to Noel.
Noel slid a hand in Adam’s direction. Adam’s hand found his, their fingers interlacing. “Later,” Noel whispered. He drifted off, dozing until the Tylenol kicked in, and then he slept.
There’s nothing scarier than the truth…
Noel’s got issues. Like, he doesn’t know what to call his lover. Are they boyfriends? A fling that got out of control? Something more? Even worse, he may sometimes get waylaid by a random ghost or two.
Or else he’s losing his mind.
Now Adam? He’s stable and solid and warm; the kind of guy Noel never knew he wanted. He’s also the historian on Haunts and Hoaxes, which gives him a professional interest in Noel’s “special talent”.
When the ghosthunting crew turns up something weirder than normal at a Louisiana plantation, Adam convinces Noel to check it out. Instead of finding a haunt, they uncover a mystery. Noel used to be a cop and he grabs the chance to investigate something real. DNA is evidence. No matter what Adam says, the ghosts don’t prove anything.
But the past is done hiding and the spirits are going to have their say. Noel better figure out how to listen, because Adam’s job, their relationship, and even his sanity are at risk.
About Irene Preston
Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one. As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses
Where to find Irene:
About Liv Rancourt
Liv is a huge fan of paranormal romance and urban fantasy and loves history just as much, so her stories often feature vampires or magic or they’re set in the past…or all of the above. When Liv isn’t writing she takes care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether she’s at work or at home. Her husband is a soul of patience, her kids are her pride and joy, and her dogs – Trash Panda and The Boy Genius – are endlessly entertaining.
Where to find Liv:
Liv and Irene have brought $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble to give away. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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