Foster An Author hosted by Jo&Isa Love Books Day Three ~ A Solitary Man by Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy ~ (Excerpt + Giveaway)
Hi, I’m Aisling “Ash” Mancy! I’m lucky enough to have been adopted by Bayou Book Junkie this week for Jo&Isa Love Books Foster an Author week! I love my new parents! I’m headed to Gay Rom Lit Retreat this week and I’ll be sharing these posts every day. Be sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway!
Any of you who know me and my writing, know that I place a tremendous value on humor. We’re familiar with the adage that laughter is the best medicine. Taking nothing away from it, it’s only a symptom. The true best medicine is good humor. Good humor is the motivation for laughter. It allows us to feel camaraderie, to identify with others, to see things from new perspectives, and to tease good-naturedly—ourselves and others. But most importantly, good humor is a new experience for a victim of abuse, and usually the first happy experience they have; the first good feelings they feel.
Xav is a conservative ex-FBI agent having moved from California to North Carolina to become a deputy sheriff. He and Chance (Mr. Fairchild), an assistant district attorney, are hot on the trail of drug and child sex traffickers determined to put them away for good. In A Solitary Man, Xav teases almost constantly, makes fun of things and people, he isn’t afraid to do the inane, all while he maintains calm and aplomb. Xav not only has trouble with southern ways, but the vernacular has him laughing his ass off most of the time. And it goes to show each of us that we can be fun and funny no matter how serious life is or we may need to be at times. I hope you enjoy the below excerpt as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Thanks for joining us in celebrating Foster an Author week on Bayou Book Junkie!
An hour later Xav had hauled the box of files on the missing boys back to the office. He turned at the front glass doors and backed through one of them with his hands full. When Twyla Fay saw him, she came to his rescue. Together, they carried everything to his desk.
“Thanks,” Xav said.\
“My pleasure,” she said formally.
“You okay?” he asked.
She gestured nonchalantly to the kitchen. He nodded and she walked away. Hardly anyone was in the office, so he wondered why she had a need for secrecy. He organized a few things on his desk and headed to the kitchen.
He entered and she quickly slid the pocket door home. “We got trouble,” she said quickly.
“Tell me,” Xav said as he reached for his mug and poured a cup of coffee.
“Ryan called and said Mr. Fairchild stopped by the coroner’s office yesterday morning to get the preliminary report on Winter Haverty’s autopsy.”
“One of the clerks at the coroner’s office.”
“Did he give the report to Mr. Fairchild?”
“He did, and Sheriff is not goin’ to be happy about it,” Twyla Fay said in a huff.
“Why would he give it to him?”
She gave him a curious look.
Xav looked at her, having no idea what was on her mind. “Am I missing something?”
“Am I allowed to talk about, um, well, you know….”
Xav raised his brows in query.
“Gayness,” she whispered fiercely. “’Cause, I mean….” She flushed crimson and turned away. The dirty mugs in the sink suddenly needed washing. “Y’all know I don’t mean to be rude, right?”
It was all Xav could do not to burst into laughter. “It’s okay to talk about gayness with me. I believe everyone in the office knows that I’m gay,” he said gently.
“But is it okay to talk about it?”
She was distraught, and Xav felt bad for her. “Others may mind it, but I don’t. You can talk to me about it anytime.”
“Oh, thank God. I was so afraid I’d upset you.”
Xav shook his head once. “Not at all. Is Ryan gay?”
She turned from the sink and reached for a paper towel to dry her hands. “He is and he’s made no secret about likin’ Mr. Fairchild. Why, at last year’s Christmas party, it was plain as day that Mr. Fairchild was not happy about Ryan’s behavior. Worse yet, one of our deputies had to drive Ryan home ’cause he was drunker than Cooter Brown and—”
She pursed her lips. “He was drunk! What’d y’all think I meant?”
Xav was dying inside trying to keep a straight face. “Got it. Go ahead,” he said patiently.
“That’s what y’all get for not bein’ from around here. Anyway, he was drunk and all he did was talk about Mr. Fairchild! Imagine that!” Her whisper was harsh.
Xav chuckled. “Ryan has a crush on Mr. Fairchild?”
“Now, I’m not sayin’ Mr. Fairchild is gay, you understand, but yes, Ryan likes Mr. Fairchild.”
“I understand. And Ryan gave Mr. Fairchild a copy of the medical examiner’s preliminary report on Winter Haverty’s autopsy. Do I have it right?”
“Yes. And Sheriff’s going to be mad about it.”
“Why would Ryan call here and tell you about it?”
She gave him a sardonic look. “That’s just it, isn’t it?”
“He’s been rebuffed by Mr. Fairchild and wants to get him into trouble?”
“Yes. He is not a nice man, and Mr. Fairchild is a nice man. It’s as simple as that,” she said adamantly.
Xav made a mental note to stay the hell away from Ryan.
About A Solitary Man
Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare's Landing's newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.
Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the eleven-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in the heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.
Read the prologue and chapter one here.
A Solitary Man is now available from
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About Aisling Mancy
Ash is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Ash writes adult fantasy, science fiction, adult romance, and fiction for gay young adults as C. Kennedy.
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Ash doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Ash contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Ash can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. Ash does respond to emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader.