Keep Me In Mind Tour: M/M ~ Heart on the Run by Lee Brazil & Havan Fellows ~ (Review, Virtual Trip to Parkerburg, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Author Name: Lee Brazil & Havan Fellows
Book Name: Heart on the Run
Series: Hearts of Parkerburg
Book: Two (can be read as a standalone)
Release Date: November 16, 2015
Charles Darwin Millsworth, Chaz to one and all since infancy, has no wish to live up to the grandeur of his name. Fortunately, his Southern belle mama isn’t at all inclined to push her son into a career that won’t make him happy. She thinks he needs to loosen up and enjoy life. After all, that’s the whole point of being independently wealthy, isn’t it?
Chaz can see her point, but his father died in his forties as did his father before him. As far as Chaz is concerned, he has limited time on this earth to make his dreams come true. And he refuses to leave anyone weeping over a wasted life.
Sprocket Moretti is a simple guy. He loves his job, enjoys college, lives in his beloved childhood home—why worry about the little things when the big stuff looks so good. Unfortunately one of the little things he tries not to stress over is a broken friendship with a very hot and bewildering sous chef. They were pals, hung out and had fun. But one night they stepped over that invisible line, and the next morning Chaz kicked Sprocket out of his bed and his life.
Now, no matter how much Sprocket tries to charm Chaz, the guy has no desire to return to their pre-sex playful bantering ways. And if Sprocket stays true to his motto, this little thing—Chaz—should be written off and never worried about again.
If Sprocket had known one night of reality altering orgasms would endanger their easygoing friendship… How do you finish that sentence when all your mind wants is its friend back and all your body wants is another taste?
Pages or Words: 59,000 words
Sprocket grabbed the grande hot chocolates—with a dash of his favorite flavoring, pecan—and reached the gazebo with five minutes to spare, per the clock tower.
He set the drinks on the bench of the gazebo so he could spread the blanket across the floor.
“Wow, that’s a huge blanket,” Chaz stated as he took the three step up to stand at the edge of it.
“Never took you for a size queen.” Sprocket winked as he handed him a cup of steaming goodness. “So, what’s for lunch?”
“Oh, well…” Chaz held the basket close to his chest as he slipped off his shoes and situated himself in the middle of the blanket. “Not much.” He pulled a thermos from the basket. “I made homemade tomato soup and chicken salad sandwiches.” He set the thermos down and pulled out wrapped sandwiches, a bag of croutons, a plastic bowl with a translucent red lid, and a small stack of china dishes in rapid succession.
“My grandma used to make me tomato soup and grilled cheese all the time. Except she’d actually grill the cheese before putting it on the sourdough toast. I tried to make it once…didn’t end so well.” He laughed as he shook his head, settling down next to Chaz on the blanket.
“But I’ve heard you and Mason talk; you cook most of the time between the two of you.”
Sprocket accepted the sandwich handed to him and nodded. “Yep. Well you know, we both can cook, but neither of us gets much fun out of it.” He unwrapped the sandwich and picked up half, biting into it. He couldn’t suppress his moan. Damn that was good, and Chaz put nuts in it for crunch, walnuts and pecans. How did he know pecans were Sprocket’s favorite? A part of him wanted to believe maybe Chaz had asked around. Anyone in Craft Time would know and Prudence did too.
Not that it mattered either way. Nothing strange about a friend—and only a friend—knowing something as mundane as that. He quickly chewed and swallowed. “And we definitely don’t do fancy. Unless you count roast, but even then I sprinkle the seasoning on it and throw it in the oven. No fuss, no muss.”
With his next bite, something popped in his mouth, making him want to gag. He held it back, and while Chaz gazed out over the park at the kids running in the playground Sprocket lifted the toast to see what he bit into. Grapes. He grimaced as he quickly plucked the halved grapes out of the salad and dropped them on the napkin by his leg.
“You don’t like grapes?”
Sprocket jumped. Fuck…busted. “I like them fine. I like them right off the vine, frozen, even mashed up as wine…don’t like them so much with seeds, though.”
“Or in a sandwich, apparently.” Chaz noted, gesturing to the evidence on the blanket between them.
“Well…” Sprocket jammed the rest of the sandwich in his mouth and chewed slowly, biding himself some time. While he was trying to break down the enormous amount of food in his mouth, he grabbed the other half of the sandwich and proceeded to pick the grapes out of that also.
Chaz raised an eyebrow at him, and he shrugged. He’d already been caught, no use faking it up now.
Reaching over, Chaz snatched Sprocket’s wrist and guided it to his mouth. Sprocket gulped the food in his mouth down, his stomach somersaulting either from the partially chewed lump it just received or because of the man sitting across from him on the blanket.
This wasn’t what friends did. Friends didn’t use their friend’s fingers as utensils. Still, he probably could’ve gotten past this moment if there hadn’t been a smidge of mayonnaise on the tip of his nail. Chaz spotted it, and while staring Sprocket in the eye, he put that spot right in front of his mouth. They sat like that for an eternity. Sprocket could feel his heart pounding fast, wondered if his pulse alerted Chaz to his extreme interest in the man’s next move.
He wanted to shout at Chaz to lick him. Do it now. Put him out of his misery. There was nothing Sprocket wanted more than to experience the wetness of Chaz’s tongue as it cleaned the white stuff from his finger. That was a lie. Sprocket wanted them to make more white stuff that had to be cleaned off, the kind you couldn’t purchase in a store. Well, maybe you could purchase it…but he really didn’t want his brain to go off on that tangent.
Finally—finally!—Chaz licked the condiment off. Before he could move back and call an end to this little episode, Sprocket broke free of his grip and hooked his hand behind the other man’s neck, holding him there, unable to move away.
When their lips met, it wasn’t gentle and coaxing. Sprocket wasn’t in that kind of mood. He wanted bad and he wanted now. Fuck friends. That whole concept was overrated if it kept him up all night in need. Anyway, this wasn’t his fault. Chaz started this shit; Sprocket would finish it.
And this time, he’d be better prepared. When Chaz kicked him the fuck out of his life, it wouldn’t tear him apart. Because no matter what, he’d make sure there wasn’t a spot in his heart for Chaz. Sprocket willingly would give up half his bed for the man, but nothing more.
While diving his tongue in Chaz’s mouth—reaching far enough back he could say with great certainty Chaz no longer had tonsils—Sprocket damn near convinced himself that he could do that, too.
Then Chaz whimpered, his hand pressing against Sprocket’s chest, right over his heart, and Sprocket knew he was a goner.
*** ARC provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review.***
Chaz and Sprocket were friends until a fateful night when they crossed the line and rocked each other's world. Chaz ran away after it happened though and cut all ties with Sprocket, even if they continue working and seeing each other from afar. Sprocket had no clue what happened and Chaz wasn't willing to volunteer that he has a death sentence hanging over his head or at least that's how he sees it since his father and grandfather died in their forties.
Having to work together to organize a party for Alimentaire (the restaurant Chaz works in) and Craft Time (the craft shop where Sprocket works), makes them grow closer again and inevitably fall into bed. This time Chaz is determined to make it work, but there are more things than just his penchant for running away when things aren't what he expects them to be going against them.
I loved Chaz, he was such a lovely character. Kind of shy, but determined to make things right after running away the first time. I was on the fence regarding Sprocket a lot of the book, because I felt Chaz was the one giving more in this relationship. Even with Mason, Sprocket's best friend, he couldn't see Chaz's point until later in the story and I just wanted to shake him a bit and make him see what a good thing he could have if he stopped hiding. Once he did, though, he grew up on me, and I ended up rooting for them to get their (hopefully) HEA.
All in all, it was a very good collaboration, the writing flows well and it's a fast, interesting read, filled with great characters and some twists that kept me at the edge of my seat. Very recommendable!
Rating: 4.5 Stars!!
Take a Virtual Trip to Parkerburg
Bayou Book Junkie and their friends are visiting Parkerburg for the day…
Well good morning and hello! Aren’t you all the cutest crew? I’m Mable Farmworthy, president of Parkerburg’s Welcome Wagon. I understand some of you are considering moving to Parkerburg, and I thought that’s a mighty fine idea. Parkerburg is the place to be!
Most of our citizens start their day behind closed doors… and well… you know. I can’t really tell you much about that except… *leans close and whispers* Love is in the air here. Anyway, over here… everyone please stay in the crosswalk. We’re heading to that divine little coffee shop on the corner, Prudence Perks.
*whispers* That Prudence is the dearest woman. What she did for that boy… Well, my lips are sealed. Sealed, I say. I am not a gossip. Ah. Here we are. Ning! I’ve brought a busload of folks to see what your dear, dear Grandma has perked up for today. *raises voice to man in back* You there! In the baseball cap! It’s no use ogling that one, dear. That’s Craig Gilchrist, our battalion chief and well… *leans forward and lowers voice* He’s “otherwise engaged”.
Everyone have coffee? Excellent. Oh, you went for the chestnut flavoring, I love that. Now, after coffee we like to stroll around the square. Thanks to the hard work of all the local business owners, it’s become such a beautiful, friendly place. Did you know that Maple Street is so popular we have regular visitors from the tri-county area. That’s right, people drive from all the neighboring cities—some as far away as fifty, sixty miles—to enjoy the fine foods and quaint shops alike.
As you can see, there are also a few empty storefronts...nothing to worry about, trust me. We are in the peak of our growth spurt. New places are coming to our little town’s square and they’ll enrich it just as much as the older ones. There is a strict BOA (business owner’s association) and they hold true to the rule of no corporations or franchises allowed on the square. It helps to keep the charm of the town, if you ask me. Not that I voice my opinion, I’m happy just to be a wallflower.
Oh, look where we wandered. This is Craft Time, a sweet little shop that caters to all the people of Parkerburg. If they don’t have the fabric you want, or the materials you need, you can rest assured that the proprietor Shawna Turner will do her best to get it for you. But...well between you and me...the best thing she did for her business was invite her friend Xander Leahman to come manage it.
Now don’t get me wrong, Shawna’s a delight and smart as a whip...but when it comes to personality, hardly anyone can match Xander’s sparkle in his eye and sun in his smile. He even...oh dear, I’m afraid I may speak out of line here...but he even managed to tame the Grinch of Maple Street, he put Christmas in His Heart for sure.
The Grinch would be the owner and head chef of Alimentaire...Dermot Alasdair. When it comes to a first class eating experience, this is it. Right here at Alimentaire. That’s him over there… the dark haired skinny man. Yes, yes, I know… who ever heard of a skinny chef? But I promise you… well, just go on in and let Macy seat you. We’ll have some lunch here and then continue on around the square.
Over there on the other side of the park you can see the courthouse and other city buildings like the post office. After lunch, we can walk over there and then everyone can split up to check out the shops. I know you’ll see some under construction, but there’s treasure at Ethel’s Attic, and Between the Pages is just a divine little bookstore… Oh… here’s our lunch now. Let’s eat then everyone can do their own thing, and we’ll meet up at Rosy’s, on the corner for a drink before you get back on the bus.
Oh here you all are...did you enjoy walking around this fabulous square seeing all the quaint shops? Well, we have just enough time to get a beverage from Rosy’s before the bus steals you from my grip and hauls you home. But I dare say that once you’ve visited Parkerburg you’ll want to return numerous times...which is good, I venture, because Havan Fellows and Lee Brazil plan to write more and more *cough cough* visitor books about our humble little town.
So here we are at Rosy’s, and behind the bar serving up the popular beers found in New England is the proprietor himself, Rosy. Oh don’t be silly, that’s not his birth name… Rosy is a nickname derived from his last name, Roswell. He had it ever since he was just a boy, and quite frankly I couldn’t imagine our cute little bar being called anything else.
Oh no…I really don’t drink…barely touch the stuff myself. If you all insist, just tell Rosy to give me my regular.
Ahh, that is refreshing, isn’t it. And look, perfect timing...here comes your bus right around the corner. Please remember to come back as often as you like, our residents love visitors, as do the proprietors of all our eclectic businesses. You know, there is definitely a market for the big cities with the two story malls and whatnot...but once in awhile it is good to slow your pace and take a leisurely stroll down Maple Street too...bye bye now. *blows kisses*
Thank you Bayou Book Junkies for allowing us to show you around our quaint little town. If you’d like to read more about Parkerburg please check out our visitor books Christmas in His Heart and Heart on the Run…with more to come too! Because the Hearts of Parkerburg are enough to make you go woo woo.
Meet the authors:
Somewhere in a small town in up-state New York are a librarian and a second grade teacher to whom I owe my life. That might be a touch dramatic, but it’s nevertheless one hundred percent true.
Because they taught me the joy of reading, of escaping into worlds crafted of words.
Have you ever been nine years old and sure of nothing so much as that you don’t belong? Looked at the world from behind glasses, and wondered why you don’t fit?
Someone hands you a book, and then you turn the page and see… There you are, running from Injun Joe in a dark graveyard; there you are fencing with Athos; there you are…beneath the deep blue sea- marveling at exotic creatures with Captain Nemo.
I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now. It’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.
If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and I’ve come to realize that’s the best thing in the world to be, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.
If I hadn’t learned to value the stories between the pages, who knows what would have happened? Certainly not college…teaching…or writing.
I annoy, love, respect, scare, seduce, hurt, anger, infatuate, frustrate, flatter, envy, amuse and tolerate everyone. I just do it better in writing thanks to a little thing called…edits.
Okay no, seriously…I'm a simpleminded person who enjoys the escape from real life through a book. I write with the group Story Orgy and hope to continue doing so for a long time. I also am privileged to be with the Pulp Friction writers, creating intermingling books in a world all our own.
I recently took the drastic step of quitting my EDJ (evil day job) and am now living in the gorgeous desert in Arizona making a go at this writing stuff full time…and I can’t see me regretting this decision ever.
Just like every other red-blooded human—I get a little bouncy when I get mail (any kind too…email, comments, private messages…you wanna do it, do it with me *winks*). So feel free to drop me a line—whether it's on my blog, twitter, PInterest, or you track me down on FaceBook or Google +…it's easy to catch someone who wants to be caught.
Where to find the authors:Lee Brazil:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/leebrazilauthor
Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/qBhBb
Twitter - @havanfellows
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/havanfellows/
FB group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/crawlinbedwithlee/
Publisher: Appleton Publishing Avenue
Cover Artist: Author.Services
Publisher: Appleton Publishing Avenue
Cover Artist: Author.Services
Tour Dates & Stops:
24-Nov: Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings,
3-Dec: TTC Books and More
12-Dec: My Fiction Nook
17-Dec: Jessie G. Books
19-Dec: The Day Before You Came
22-Dec: QUEERcentric Books
24-Dec: Prism Book Alliance
Rafflecopter Prize: Kindle Fire with books from Havan Fellows & Lee Brazil