Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Want to win a copy of Breathe? Comment, please!

Thanks for inviting me by the blog today, Jadette! I love reading the behind-the-story details from other authors and am excited to share about my latest release, Breathe, an m/m erotic romantic suspense.

I am often inspired by the world around me. An overheard conversation. A couple walking by my house on a stormy afternoon. Or something I see on television or while dining out. The smallest detail can have me asking all sorts of questions in my mind, and before long I have the basis for a new set of characters and a journey that I must follow them on.

Several years ago there was a tragic car accident a few miles from where I live. A young woman was killed in the crash as well as her unborn child. Her young son and husband who were also in the car were both injured but survived. It was such a sad story, and my heart broke for this family that was left in pieces.

Sometime later I was working on my laptop when I looked up at the TV and saw footage on the local news of the man who had accidentally caused the crash. He was in the courtroom for his hearing and was apologizing to the woman’s family. I only caught a bit of what he was saying, but the look of misery and despair on his face was genuine and something I’ll never forget. He was going to have to live with that guilt and despair for the rest of his life.

Naturally I felt horrible for the family that had lost so much, but I also couldn’t get the other man out of my mind. Would he ever be happy again? Ever smile? Laugh? Love? Ever be able to forgive himself?

Tragedy can define a single moment and change a life--can change a person for ever. But maybe it doesn’t have to mean the end of happiness and joy--the end of really living.

Not long after that night, I had several pages of notes about Lincoln McCaw and Jacob Miller from Breathe.

I wanted to create two characters who were decent, caring guys stuck in an impossible situation. I wanted them to learn to accept that forgiveness and love were powerful forces and could make a difference in their lives. I wanted them to learn to love again.

The more I wrote about Jay and Lincoln, the more I had to follow them to their happy ending.

Book Link:   http://www.loose-id.com/Breathe.aspx

Website Link:   http://www.sloanparker.com/


Lincoln McCaw lost everything -- his home, his job, his partner -- after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive…before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has.

Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But how can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything -- a friendship and a love that could save him? He may not have time to make the choice before someone else destroys it all.


“You watching the game? Who do you think’s going to win?"
Lincoln lit a smoke and ignored the questions. The kid had sat one stool away from him twenty minutes earlier and ordered a beer he’d downed in two gulps. Same guy Lincoln had seen outside the other night. Young. Gorgeous. With a sadness in his eyes a little too familiar. Probably a regular who had started coming in while he was at the jail. Lincoln had readied himself to find another seat if the kid talked too much. Damn regulars always felt the need to talk even when no one was listening.

Instead, the kid had ordered another beer and stared at the television set hanging over the bar, not even glancing away at the commercials, until he asked about the game. Lincoln didn’t offer an opinion. It wasn’t like he even knew who was playing.

The bartender stopped by, and Lincoln gestured for another beer. He gathered the new bottle in his hands and stared down the mouth at the liquid. He wanted a whiskey, but the beers would let him get his ass to Nancy’s. He’d start in on the pint of Jack there.

The kid reached for a bowl of nuts in front of Lincoln, picked up a peanut, and took his time smashing it between his fingers, freeing the nuts from their shell. Lincoln silently cursed himself out as he watched the kid chew the nuts and lick the salt off his lips.

Damn. Maybe he should make a trip to the Forge sooner rather than later, find himself a nameless blowjob. If assholes like the ones from earlier caught him staring at good-looking straight guys in Sonny’s, he’d get a pounding on the walk back.

Laughter erupted from the table of bowlers behind him, and they belted out a chorus of “We Are the Champions.”

“Must have won the league championship.”

Lincoln rolled his eyes and took another drink. Great. The kid was a talker after all. Lincoln grunted. There. He wasn’t ignoring the man.

The bartender brought the kid a new beer and said, “Nope. Five years in a row they came in last place. Not this year. They were second to last.”

“Oh.” The kid turned on the stool and glanced at the men in bowling shirts. “Should I tell them champions doesn’t mean ‘we suck, but hey, at least we don’t suck the most’?”

Lincoln huffed out a short laugh, almost choking on a mouthful of beer. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Don’t laugh while you’re drinking,” the kid said. “Beer up the nose burns like hell.”

Good-looking and funny. At any other time in his life, Lincoln would have been seriously interested.

The kid slid onto the empty stool between them. “Can I bum a smoke?”

With the back of his hand Lincoln slid over his pack of Marlboros.

“Thanks.” The kid picked up the smokes. He dug one out and placed the pack next to Lincoln’s beer. “Uh, you got a light?”

The guy was really killing his buzz. Lincoln fished the lighter from his pocket and tossed it to the kid, who fumbled the catch but saved the lighter from hitting the wood floor. Good thing. Lincoln’s grandpa had given it to him. He didn’t need it scuffed up.

He also didn’t need the kid sitting so damn close. He smelled clean, refreshing after time spent with the jailhouse inmates who weren’t sure how to work the showers or the sinks. The kid held out the lighter, his eyes wide, his lips parted, his chest rising with each shallow breath as he stared at Lincoln.

Lincoln accepted the lighter, as well as the slight press of the kid’s thumb to his palm.

Oh, hell. He’d never had someone come on to him in Sonny’s, not in any local establishment for that matter. Public propositions for gay sex didn’t go over well in a town the size of Edgefield.

Had the kid heard those fuckers from earlier?

Maybe he was toying with him. Maybe he was friends with those guys, and Lincoln was about to get his ass kicked out behind the bar. But it didn’t feel like the kid was fooling. It felt good. To be touched. To be wanted again. His hand clenched as he set the lighter with his smokes.

The kid was staring at the TV again and made no attempt to move back to his previous stool. He played along the length of the cigarette with his fingers before he took another drag. His hands were a bit beat-up, rough, the hands of a man who worked for a living. Yet the kid treated the cigarette as if it were made of delicate tissue paper until his last puff. Only then did he crush the butt into the ashtray with the push of his thumb.

Would fucking the kid involve the same mix of tenderness and roughness?

Lincoln’s dick had hardened more with each play of the long fingers over the roll of tobacco, with each drag between the kid’s lips. Damn. He hadn’t gotten hard that fast in a long time. Not from one look and a touch of hands. This twentysomething kid brought to life needs he’d learned to bury. Would it be so bad to just give in? To feel again?

He wanted a fuck, but could he let himself have even that much of a release?

No. Too soon to feel good. To feel anything.

At the next commercial, the kid said, “Did you know those guys from earlier?”

The man’s low whisper had Lincoln’s dick begging for a hand, a mouth, anything. Why couldn’t his body listen to his head…or his heart? “If you came in here to talk, I suspect you sat by the wrong person.”

Before the kid said anything more, Lincoln downed the last of his beer, grabbed his smokes, and headed for the door.

It didn’t mean anything that the kid watched him go. Did it?


lrhubble said...

This sounds like a very good book. I love the premise that these two guys don't know each other but their lives have been profoundly touched by one incident in their lives.


Sloan Parker said...

@Jadette: Thanks again for asking me by your blog. I love this story and it's always a treat to share more about it.

@Larena: Thanks so much for checking out the post. So glad the premise sounds interesting to you. It was an emotional book to write but also very rewarding.

SJ said...

This sounds like such a wonderful, angsty, heartfelt romance. I really have been wanting to read it. Please enter me to win??? Would love to read and review for you. Hugs! ~Sam

Eden Glenn said...

Sounds amazing. Great Job.

Sloan Parker said...

@Sam: Thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you think so. I sure enjoyed writing Jay and Lincoln’s story.

@Eden: Thanks! Appreciate you checking it out.

Pender Mackie said...

It's great to hear what triggered the story. Especially this particular story. I've seen the book before and thought it looked good but now after the excerpt I really want to read it.

Cindi said...

After recently reading "More" and totally loving it, I can't wait to read this book. Especially after reading the inspiration behind it. Most books of this type are a few pages of nothing but just sex, without much of a story. It's nice to read books from an author who not only has the great sex, but a great story as well. That's very rare with this type of book.

Feliz said...

I've wanted to read Breathe ever since I saw it reviewed at jessewaves. LOVED "More", and Ive been a huge fan of Sloan Parker's ever since.

Sloan Parker said...

@Pender: Thanks! I was happy to have a chance to share the inspiration, especially for this story. It was a powerful one to write. If you get a chance to check it out, I hope you enjoy Jay and Lincoln’s story.

@cklyn123: Thank you for the lovely compliment! So glad you enjoyed More. I loved writing about those boys and hope to revisit them before too long.

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, Feliz! That's so very kind of you. I had such a great time writing More. If you get a chance to read Breathe, I hope you enjoy it as well.

Jadette Paige said...

What a wonderful turnout for Breathe, Sloan! Thanks everyone for stopping by.

Arlene Thompson said...

If I didn't already have a copy, I'd try for one, but I would like to encourage everyone else to do so. It's a touching love story with lots of depth. Hum...now I want to go read it again...

Damon Suede said...

Oh SLoan... You know how much I love this book; thank you for sharign the behind-the-scenes on this one. I HAD wondered about the inspiration and (instinctively I think) had grokked the pivotal part that apology had played int he storiy's structure. Funny when real reactions can geenrate a fictive world.

I have and love this book, so no contest for me, but I just wanted to thank you again for writing it!



Elisabeth Staab said...

I've read Breathe (twice!) so I don't need another copy, but I loved reading about your inspiration behind the book. It was such a beautiful love story and I definitely rank it as one of my faves. :)

Sloan Parker said...

@Jadette: Thanks again for letting me share with everyone.

@Arlene: Hi there! You’re always so very kind and supportive. Thank you for taking the time to share!

@Damon: Very kind of you to say. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it that much. I certainly enjoyed the experience of creating these characters and their story. It is funny about what can inspire us as writers. I’m always looking at everything and everyone in the world around me and playing “what if.” I think that’s why I’m never really bored.

@Elisabeth: I’m touched you read it more than once. So happy it meant something to you. Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

Anonymous said...

The inspiration for your story was top notch. After reading the excerpt, I just know I am in for a wild rollercoaster ride of fun and excitement. Even if I don't win, I am still buying a copy. This book defintely has me enamored and breathless with anticipation for the day I hold a copy whether it be actual paper or e-book. Thanks for sharing this book with the readers of the world.

Sloan Parker said...

@rdhowell71: Thanks for stopping by and for the lovely comment about the book and excerpt. I hope you enjoy Jay and Lincoln's story!

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks again to Jadette for hosting and to everyone for your lovely comments and interest in my stories. Using random.org Feliz was selected as the winner of a free copy of Breathe.

Congratulations, Feliz! I'm sending you an email now.

Eden Winters said...

Darn, I'm too late to enter, but this story sounds like a real winner, Sloan.

Sloan Parker said...

Hi Eden! Thanks for checking out the post and for the lovely comment about Breathe. So sorry you missed the giveaway.