Monday, August 31, 2015

Blog Tour: M/M ~ Uncommon Valor by Rachel Ravenheart ~ (ARC Review, Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Blog Tour: M/M ~ Uncommon Valor by Rachel Ravenheart ~ (ARC Review, Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Title: Uncommon Valor

Author: Rachel Ravenheart

Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing

Cover Artist: Louis C Harris

Length: 167 Pages

Release Date: July 22, 2015

Blurb: “Lil’ Bro,

If you’re reading this, then something obviously happened and I’m not going to be around. I wanted to let you know how much I love you, and you don’t have to tear yourself up over this. I’m the one who chose to enlist, and I believe I’ve served proudly for the last few years. I know this won’t ease your mind any, but I believe I’m probably in a better place now. Please don’t be sad. I died doing what I loved, fighting for my country. I wish I could be there for you when you tell Mom and Dad about you being gay. Just know that I am with you in spirit. Look to Chase for guidance. I know he’ll be the big brother for you I can no longer be. The guys will be a great support for you, and they won’t care that you’re gay. They’re a great group of guys, and they’ll treat you just like I would. They’ll be a support system for you when Dad blows up, and you know he will. Be safe and know I will be watching out for you from the other side.

Love, Sam.”

Uncommon Valor is not just a story of a gay man, it is the fulfilling story of a young man who is on the verge of discovering his true self and he has the perfect prop to do that. He is also about to become a Dad. Will he pull through as a gay man and a Dad? Or will he fall upon the wayside and reject his newborn child, and in so doing, also reject the man of his dreams?

Last weekend with the platoon was great.

I met a ton of new people, and the guys were really supportive when I told them. I hadn’t heard anything from my Mom, so I wasn’t sure what to think about that, but I’d decided I wasn’t going to worry too much. I was on cloud nine from having spent time with people who didn’t care I was gay and treated me like one of the guys even though I wasn’t a Marine.

That all came to a halt when I ran into Tina in the dining hall on campus during the week.

Tina uses her beauty to her advantage. She’s medium height with red hair and green eyes. Whatever she said was right and she was of the opinion that no one could outsmart her. Personally, I tried to stay away from her if I possibly could.

But, she had a crush on me.

I never got the chance to tell my brother that during a night of drunkenness I had slept with her. There was a part of me that always felt something else had been involved, but I couldn’t prove it. I didn’t even know if we did anything. All I knew was I woke up the next morning in the same bed with her and both of us were naked. It wasn’t something I was proud of, and I honestly hoped I would never see her again. Unfortunately, we were both in law school together, so I knew that wasn’t going to be an option.

I’d almost completely forgotten about the incident because it had happened at the end of the semester and I had taken the summer off. The new semester had just started, and I had been lucky enough to not see her in any of my classes or around campus.

I was shocked to see her with what I would consider a baby bump, but I didn’t want to make any assumptions. I pretended to not see her, but she saw me.

“Jason! I need to talk to you,” she said, and grasped my elbow from behind.

“What do you want, Tina?” I yanked my arm out of her grasp with a snarl.

“It’s a private matter.”

“We can talk at my house, but that’s all that’s going to happen.” I turned and walked away, expecting her to follow me to the parking lot. As it turned out, we were parked fairly close to each other, and I motioned for her to follow me as I got into my car.


We arrived at my house and I was still trying to figure out what she wanted to talk to me about. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like it.

Inside, she headed for the lounge. “Would you like something to drink?” I asked. When I turned to face her she held her stomach in a protective manner.

“Water would be nice.”

“Have a seat and I’ll be right back.” I said, placing my bag on the floor by the door.

When I returned, she was standing in front of the bay window looking out over the park. “Here you go.” I held out a bottle of water to her as she turned around.

“Thanks, Jason. I’m sorry to put you out like this, but I needed to talk to you and I didn’t want to do it with people around.”

“What’s going on? I haven’t seen you since the end of spring semester.” I walked over and took a seat on the couch and waited to hear what she had to say.

“I went home for summer break and some surprising news came up just before I came back to school.” She came over and sat down next to me.

“Spit it out,” I said, frustrated. I just wanted her gone; something about her really irked me.

“The thing is, just before I came back I realized that I had missed my period so I went to the doctor and took a pregnancy test. I’m pregnant.”

“What’s that got to do with me?” It felt like I had been punched in the gut.

“Well, I hadn’t been with anyone for a while before you and I hooked up at the end of the semester.” She licked her lips and wrung her hands.

“We didn’t hook up. I got way too drunk and don’t remember anything until I woke up the next morning with you by my side and naked.”

“Why do you refuse to believe that what we shared was something special?” she whined. “You know you love me, you only need to admit it and we’ll be happy together as a family.”

“It wasn’t special. What do you want from me?”

“I want you to be a father to our child. I want us to be a family.” She tried to put her hand on my arm. I pulled away.

“We will never be a family. What the HELL were you thinking? Obviously you weren’t; that’s the problem.” I walked over to the bay window and glared out. “If the child is mine I’ll support it and even take custody of him or her, but we will never be together. As soon as the baby is born I’m going to fight for custody and before I commit to anything there needs to be a paternity test, until that time you are nothing more to me than a pregnant woman. Until you have further information, I think this is all we have to talk about.”

“We’d make good parents together. Why are you refusing to admit that?” she cried.

“I have no doubt that we will be good parents, but we won’t be a couple. I’m gay and will not be in a relationship with any woman. Now, if there’s nothing else, I think that it’s time for you to leave. Let me know when you set up the paternity test and I’ll be there. We’ll talk more after the test results come back.” I opened the front door and waited for her to leave. I was being mean and harsh, but I was pissed about what had happened, mostly at myself because I let myself get wasted at that party. I wished I could remember what happened that night.

She stormed past me and went out to her car mumbling under her breath. Part of me hoped I was the father, but there was a greater part of me that hoped I would have nothing more to do with her.

Tracy's Review:

3.5 Stars

*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by author/publisher via Creative Minds in exchange for an honest review*

There were things that I loved about this story, and things that just didn’t work. I struggled with how to rate this story, so here goes.

 After losing his older brother, the only person besides his best friend Alex who knows he is gay, Jason is heartbroken. He meets Chase, one of his brothers Marine buddies at his brothers funeral and it’s instant attraction The two start seeing each other, but this book is set before the repeal of DADT, so we know this is going to be a problem right off the bat. 

I loved the togetherness of this couple. They were there through the good times and the bad for one another. They supported one another, and worked through their issues together. This couple shared a good chemistry and love, even if is was VERY close to instalove. The main characters were well developed. The story was fast paced, but some of the scenes were choppy and felt incomplete. Some scenes ended much too abruptly and jumped ahead to the next scene.

Chase’s Marine buddies were well developed as well, and served as a good support system for the couple. 

The plot was intriguing and the premises was good, but the story fell short. I wanted more emotion from the story. More struggle. Solutions to the MC’s situations came much to easily for these characters. I wanted to see sadness and anger and I just didn’t get the emotion I was looking for. Reading this story should have had me in knots, sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, and this just didn’t happen. 

I love rearms of endearments in books, if they are used correctly and spaced apart. Jason and Chase discovered the word “babe” and forgot they had names. Terms of endearments are fine to use, but not multiple times in a paragraph, when you are the only two in the room/house, because who else would you be speaking to?

All in all it wasn’t a bad read, it just needed more emotion, and some scenes needed reworking.

Author Interview:

Hi Rachel, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

1) What inspired this story? 

It started off as a writing prompt that was inspired by a friend and how it feels to love your best friend who died serving our country. Besides, men in uniform can be very hot.

2) What are your favorite qualities about each of these main characters? 

Hmm, my favorite qualities about Jason are his ability to see past an unfortunate event and still accept the results of it, as well as his strength to continue on his path after the loss of his brother who was his best friend. For Chase my favorite qualities are his devotion to Jason through everything and his compassion.

3) Is there a message in this book you would like readers to grasp? 

Even if your family is against you, you still have those that are your family by choice.

4) Can you share the project(s) you are currently working on?

I am currently polishing up one of my earlier stories to submit for publishing. It’s a werewolf story about a young man who is abused and runs away to the only family that loves him.

5) If you could have dinner with any person in history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you want to talk about? 

If I could have dinner with any person it would be my best friend and little brother by choice. We would talk about his passion for mining and our shared passion for books.

Ms. Ravenheart is new to the literary world, but has had the desire to write since junior high school. She moved from a small town in Iowa in time to start high school in Louisiana.

Rachel lost sight of writing as she got bogged down with sports and school. Her dream of being a writer forgotten as she looked to the future to study Political Science with the hope of going to law school when she moved to Texas.

To make her way in the world she got wrapped up in the field of nursing when she got a job as a C.N.A. and soon even her dream of law school was forgotten. Strangely, thanks to an injury, she was at home recuperating and was bored when she remembered her love for writing. Never thinking she would ever get published, she began.

It was writers like Rob Colton, Mann Ramblings, and Alicia Nordwell that inspired her creativity. She found and after some encouragement she decided to post her first story. With the enthusiasm of readers her confidence grew and she took the step to send off her first story to be published. Hopefully, the first of many.

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Winner’s Prize: E-copy of Uncommon Valor.


  1. This is a new to me author. I read the blurb, I read the excerpt, and the review and now I'm looking forward to reading the book. It sounds like an emotional book and with the unwanted pregnancy on Jason's behalf it makes it more mysterious to know what comes of that.
    Thanks for sharing and much success to Rachel!
    taina1959 @

  2. Congratulations on the new book!

  3. Congrats on the new book =) This is a new author for me and I look forward to checking the book out.