Author Name: Heloise West
Book Name: Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses
Series: Heart and Haven
Release Date: April 19, 2016
When Hunter and Alex are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.
There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends.
But their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.
Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.
Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.
Pages or Words: 83,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
“Ready? Take the beach bag. I’ll grab the chairs,” Alex said. “Did you get enough to eat?”
“Yeah. What’s the time?” Hunter slung the bag over his shoulder.
Alex shrugged. “Who cares? Have a cocktail. You know, to hydrate and pace yourself for a long day in the sun.”
“Let’s set up camp. Maybe a nap first.”
Their bare feet slapped against the sun-bleached boards of the footbridge, some of the flowering rainforest clinging to its edges for the hundred or so feet from the breakfast patio to the pool. The beach chairs were striped canvas and wood, chaise-style. Alex had grabbed a matching umbrella for when the sun was directly overhead. He left it closed, as they had a few hours yet before noon, by the arc of the sun in the unbelievably blue sky. The poolside held a half dozen chaise lounges and couples of various ages. They returned languorous, sun-soaked greetings in English, Dutch, and French as Alex led them to a spot he deemed worthy for their day in the sun. When the chairs were side by side, the canvas beach bag between them, Hunter sighed with pleasure, though he was soaked with sweat. He pulled off his T-shirt. “Do you want to swim first?”
“I’m dying to.” With a wicked grin, Alex slid his shorts down, the T-shirt hem falling to below his hips.
“Tell me you didn’t get a thing-thong!” God, they’d laughed together at the online models wearing bathing suits with pockets for their cocks.
Alex laughed. “No, a Speedo. For you.” He shrugged out of his T-shirt with an elegant, mouth-watering play of muscles and skin, and some of the lounging women whistled and clapped for the navy-and-white-striped Speedo he revealed. Hunter mock-growled and reached out to grab Alex, but he dashed away and ran along the side of the pool, blond hair streaming, long, muscular legs eating up the distance to the deep end. He dived like a happy dolphin into the water. Hunter ran after him and followed with a hurried, sloppy dive, shocked at the sensation of water as warm as bathwater. He wanted to melt into it. When he came up for air, hands beneath the water gripped his calves, and he grabbed a breath before Alex yanked him under. They wrestled briefly, then surfaced.
“Fantastic!” Alex shook his head briskly to whip the water from his hair.
Hunter shoved him, threw himself on top of him, and they went under again.
When they surfaced, Alex said, “We can rent a sailboat. Or a rowboat and paddle around in the bay. Or fish if you want. Do you think your leg will hold up to snorkeling?”
“Snorkeling, maybe even scuba.” He’d swim to the moon to keep Alex happy.
“I was born underwater,” Alex said, surprising him. “I even had those infant swim lessons.”
“You’re a natural,” Hunter replied. “Aqua Boy.”
Alex shoved him again; Hunter let himself fall backward into the water with a huge splash.
They swam for a while, joined by the other sunbathers when the heat got too intense. Hunter pulled himself from the pool and sat on the edge, watching Alex do laps. He shaded his eyes against the fierce touch of the sun. It pressed against his skin despite the water-resistant sunblock, and he splashed water up and down his arms, chest, and neck to cool off. Maybe he should have gone tanning like Alex had, because it hurt to touch his skin already. The water reflected and intensified the sun. He wasn’t that kind of redhead, but the tropical sun made him feel like one. Tanning had seemed kind of frou-frou…not for him…but he didn’t want to look like a strip of bacon at the end of the day either. Sucked it up and endured the tanning bed.
Alex swam over and pulled his gorgeous body out of the pool to sit on the edge beside Hunter. “I’m ready for some reading and napping. Lunch buffet is open until four… What are you laughing at?”
“We must be on vacation if we’re planning the day around the next meal.”
Alex smiled. “It’s about ten now. We can eat something light at eleven when they open.” He leaned in close. “If we go up to the room by noon, we’ll have time to screw our brains out until about two and have lunch again.”
Hunter nodded. It was all he could do.
“So it’s not meal times we’re planning for, right?” The sparkle in Alex’s eyes wasn’t about ham sandwiches and fruit salad. “Did you see the awesome mirror on the ceiling?”
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Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Heloise West, author of Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses.
Hi Heloise, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Heart and Haven is a series concept born of the first novel Hitting Black Ice. Love on the run, romantic suspense as danger tightens around the two main characters. Once Alex and Hunter begin to recover from the trauma in the first novel, they find that the repercussions from the past still have a hold on them. The gift of a vacation in the Caribbean is meant to bring them together so they can do more romancing and relaxing in safety. I love the movie Key Largo and took inspiration from that for the story.
My background? Reader, English major, writer. I’m boring. I garden, live with cats and boyfriend in northern New England, and work in Healthcare. All the action and excitement is in my head.
- How do you develop your plots and characters?
Usually the characters start talking to me, telling me what's going on, what they're thinking or doing, and maybe a little back story. They haunt me until they get anchored in to--whatever place they go to put down roots and grow. Once I have the opening line (subject to change), the first few moments of the character's life, and few points to hit, the plot unrolls. I pants for as long as I can, but eventually I do have to stop and plot to get my bearings or my brain turns to jello.
- Who doesn’t love a good hero? Tell us about your protagonist. Was there a real life inspiration behind them?
Alex and Hunter are strictly out of my head. Hunter started out as the single protagonist in Hitting Black Ice, a damaged man struggling to keep himself together emotionally and avoiding getting close to anyone. Along comes Alex (Shawn is his alias) who also has a desperate need to avoid emotional entanglements. But when they get together, the only thing that matters is staying together.
- What real-life inspirations do you use when world building?
From Hitting Black Ice, the city of Delingham is fiction, but the type of city and placement north of Boston somewhere between Lowell and Lawrence is a real space. I grew up outside of Boston, so it's a familiar landscape. For the winter run sequence, I also lived in that area of the White Mountains for about 20 years. I moved some towns around for the purposes of the story.
For Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses, I started off again in Delingham, but Hunter and Alex have a chance to go on a tropical vacation to the island of Saba in the Caribbean. It's a tiny volcanic island in the Lesser Antilles, that long spine of smaller islands from north to south. I've been to the Caribbean many times, Jamaica being my gateway island. I've never been to Saba, but past island experience and lots of research helped inform the writing of the setting. Though Saba is significant as it's the first and one of the only islands to have marriage equality and that the cruise ships don't stop there because the island is surrounded by a rocks.
- Did you learn anything from this book and what was it?
I learned a lot about hurricanes! I loved dipping into the history of the Caribbean, though much of it is tragic. Two books I highly recommend about hurricanes is Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson and Sea of Storms by Stuart Schwartz.
- It’s your last meal on earth. What do you choose?
Eggplant parmesan forever :D
Meet the author:
Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8188216.Heloise_West
Publisher: Loose ID
Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone
Tour Dates & Stops:
27-Apr: V's Reads
29-Apr: Alpha Book Club
2-May: My Fiction Nook
6-May: Molly Lolly
10-May: Inked Rainbow Reads
11-May: The Novel Approach
16-May: Prism Book Alliance
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