Monday, July 24, 2017

Blog Tour: Treading Water by Jessie G

Treading Water
Forgotten Soldier #2
by Jessie G
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 18, 2017

After devoting eighteen years of his life to the US Navy, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker is struggling with the very real possibility of becoming unnecessary. If he doesn’t make Chief Petty Officer before his twenty—and it doesn’t seem likely that he will—he’ll be retired from active service and placed on the Fleet Reserve list until his mooring lines are officially cut forever. While it would all be very honorable and ceremonial, he simply wasn’t civilian material.

Before even swearing-in, Julian Brand knew he wasn’t cut out to be a soldier, but refusing wasn’t an option. Generations of Brand man made careers in the military and the expectation of every Brand son was to follow in those prestigious footsteps. Though the prospect of being rolled back dodged his every step, somehow he made it through boot camp and did his time. Six years after not reenlisting, Julian still struggles to find familial acceptance as he fights to live life on his terms.

On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but when Jared Ramos calls, neither are capable of refusing. If they can find a way to work together, they might be able to save a wounded warrior and each other in the process.

NOTE: The first story in this series is a 6K word short story originally written for an anthology. While it's a different couple, I'm happy to provide that to reviewers as they have a brief appearance in the new book and are central characters to this benefit series.

Julian ducked his head and found himself staring down at their joined hands. Somehow, without his being aware of it, both of his had wrapped around Shane’s. He should have been mortified to find himself clinging so desperately, but Shane offered. Twice. This man who should have felt like a stranger was giving him something he hadn’t had in so long. Comfort, connection, and the promise that it would be there whenever he reached for it.

The sob took him completely unaware and Julian honestly didn’t know what he was crying over—Sean’s accident or the first person to touch him with kindness in too many years. Another sob escaped him and Julian instinctively tried to curl into himself. Of course, he knew that he was allowed to cry, but years of having his emotions mocked made the defensive move automatic.

“Hey.” Strong arms engulfed him and it barely registered that Shane would have had to pull off the highway to do it. Julian knew he should be telling Shane to drive. Sean needed them in Jacksonville and indulging in this breakdown on the side of the highway wasn’t going to get them there. Only, every time he opened his mouth, another sob escaped. And instead of doing what was right for Sean, he allowed himself to be hauled across the bench seat and into the safety of Shane’s embrace. There was no shushing or unrealistic promises just to get him to stop. Shane simply held on, taking the weight that often felt tremendous, and Julian finally let go.

In that haven, he rode the wave from anger to total despair. Logically, he knew it was an accident—wrong place, wrong time, and all that bullshit—but someone was responsible for putting Sean there. Jared had suggested that it didn’t matter and he was probably right. That didn’t mean Julian couldn’t be angry at them for nearly killing Sean. Just the idea of life without that vibrant, fearless, crazy bastard was devastating. What would he do without his cousin?

Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I'd begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it's a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it's been amazing to have made this dream my reality. 

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I'm a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you'll find throughout my books.

10% of royalties earned from this and future books in the Forgotten Soldier series will benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation, but I'm not content to stop there. I've set up a fundraising page directly on the Foundation's website and I'm asking for your help in reaching (and maybe surpassing) my goal. Every donation of $10 equals 1 entry to win signed books. If you donate more than that, every multiple of 10 will be an additional entry (so $20 = 2 entries and so forth).

1 Grand Prize Winner will receive all my paperbacks signed (8 books)   (RUN THROUGH TOUR)
4 Runner Up Winners will win a signed copy of Treading Water