Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Virtual Tour: Detour by Reesa Herberth and Michelle Moore (Reviews, Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway)

We’re Michelle Moore and Reesa Herberth, and if you know our writing, you probably know that we’ve won awards for our science fiction and mystery romance.  (That was the same book, for the record.) What you might not expect from us is a New Adult rom com… but that’s exactly what our new book, Detour, is.  Sort of.  Mostly? Definitely, yes.

Detour is the book of our heart.  It’s a story we’ve always wanted to tell- and one we’ve been telling each other, in some fashion, for as long as we’ve known one another.  It’s pretty funny in some places, and sad in others, and delightfully quirky throughout. It’s the story of Ethan and Nick, two strangers on a summer road trip.  One of them is running from ghosts, and the other is looking for them. Somewhere along the way, they find themselves in love, and in possession of a plush Titanic.

But not necessarily in that order.

About Detour

Ethan Domani had planned the perfect graduation trip before tragedy put his life on hold. Smothered by survivor’s guilt and his close-knit family, he makes a break for the open road. He doesn't know what he's looking for, but he's got the whole summer to figure out who he misses more: his boyfriend, or the person he thought he was. It’s just him and his memories . . . until he almost runs over a hitchhiker.

Nick Hamilton made some mistakes after his younger brother died. His violent ex-boyfriend was the most dangerous, and the one that got him shipped off to Camp Cornerstone’s pray-the-gay-away boot camp. His eighteenth birthday brings escape, and a close call with an idiot in a station wagon. Stranger danger aside, Nick’s homeless, broke, and alone. A ride with Ethan is the best option he’s got.

The creepy corners of roadside America have nothing on the darkness haunting Ethan and Nick. Every interstate brings them closer to uncharted emotional territory. When Nick’s past shows up in their rearview mirror, the detour might take them off the map altogether.


Ghost trains, lost cars, and terrible blowjob puns- just another evening for Ethan and Nick on their epic road trip.
“Hey, Ethan? Do you know where the car is?”
Ethan waved a hand in the general direction of behind them. “Yeah, right back there,” he said, obviously distracted. “I wish they’d been a little more specific about where the guy got run over by the train. I don’t want to go too far and miss it.”
‘Back there’ sounded entirely too much like it was going to leave them stumbling through the dark trying to get back to the car. It would be one thing if all they had to do was follow the train line back, but they’d walked at least a mile before even getting to the tracks.
Nick sighed. “They also said you could get the same effect by standing in the bathroom in the dark and chewing Wint-o-Green Lifesavers. And it wouldn’t involve getting lost in the woods with bears and mountain lions and moonshiners.”
“We’re not lost. And if makes you feel better, we’ll hit a 7-11 and get some Lifesavers before we stop for the night. Or…” Ethan trailed off dramatically, “we could camp out here tonight, rough it and stuff.”
“No!” Nick caught himself. “If you want anything approaching sex, it won’t be out here in the fucking wilderness.”
“Not a fan of campfires and marshmallows and sex in sleeping bags?”
Nick shook his head, squinting into the trees. “Not a fan of trespassing charges on private property in Arkansas, but sex in sleeping bags is right up there. Too hot, too crowded, and smells too much like feet.”
Ethan sighed, and Nick almost relented. Except really, there was no way he was spending a night sleeping in the woods ever again, no matter how much he wanted to fuck the guy he was with.
“Fiiiiiine. We’ll hang out until we see the light, then we can go find a motel. Since some people can’t handle roughing it. Pissing in the wild, eating bugs for breakfast, sleeping on piles of rocks…”
Ethan had stopped to gesture wildly, and Nick used the opportunity to poke him in the stomach. “Not selling it, dude.”
Nick turned away, scanning both sides of the tracks for Ethan’s creepy light. Heavy footsteps crunched on the gravel behind him. He appreciated that Ethan had learned better than to sneak up on him.
He turned around to find Ethan standing a couple feet away, and smiled in his direction. “Hey yourself.”
“What about making out under the stars?”
Nick rolled his eyes, closing the short distance between them and curling a hand into the front of Ethan’s faded Captain America t-shirt. “Better, but there aren’t any stars out.”
Ethan puffed out his chest, bumping against Nick’s fingers as he pointed at the large star on his shirt.
“The only thing under that star is your dick, and this was a really long walk for a terrible blowjob pun.” Nick leaned in, the word “blowjob” practically whispered into Ethan’s mouth before they kissed. He didn’t let go of Ethan’s shirt, pressing his free hand under it, finding the bare skin he was looking for above Ethan’s hipbone.
They kissed long enough to leave him light-headed when they broke apart, resting his temple against Ethan’s shoulder for a second while he recovered some equilibrium. They’d shored up each other’s balance while they made out, unconsciously shifting position until Ethan’s leg was pressed between his, and one of Ethan’s arms was wrapped around his lower back. Nick finally looked up, peering back over Ethan’s shoulder, and laughed.
“Dude, we found your creepy light.”
Ethan jumped away so fast that he almost tripped. “Where?”
If he hadn’t been laughing so hard, Nick was pretty sure he’d have felt insulted. “Way to ruin a moment. Right over there.”
A soft bluish-white floated at eye level about ten yards away. Ethan drew a deep breath. “Fuckin’ A,” he whispered. He started to take a step toward it, and Nick reached out to grab his shirt.
“Whoa, big boy. Don’t chase it off.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Ethan fumbled in his jeans pocket for his phone.
The click of his camera sounded unnaturally loud in the suddenly silent woods. Suddenly, ominously silent. The light held steady in the same position for several more seconds, then started moving toward them. The hair on the back of Nick’s neck went up as a train whistle, faint, like it was miles off, echoed down the tracks.
“Oh, hell, no.” Nick’s feet made the decision for him, as he grabbed Ethan’s hand and started running.
Laughing and stumbling, hanging onto each other to keep their feet, they made it maybe a quarter mile back up the tracks before they had to stop.
Ethan smiled wide, teeth gleaming in the growing dark as he leaned against Nick. “That was fucking awesome!”
Nick’s heart pounded in his ears, but the warmth in his chest had nothing to do with how hard it was to gasp for breath and giggle like a hyena at the same time. That was all Ethan, blond and grinning and looking like he’d won an award for Most Adorable Geek.
“If I get murdered by a ghost train, you are going to owe me so big.” It took him three sucking inhalations to get all the words of dire warning out.
“I promise I’ll sacrifice myself for you. I’ll throw myself in front of it before I let you get run over by a ghost train.”
“That’s weirdly sweet.” Nick looked behind them, but there was no light to be seen, no oncoming train, dead track worker, or angry landowner left behind in their mad dash. “It would be even sweeter if we’d run toward the car.”

4.25 Stars 

Ethan has had an epic road-trip across the country planned for a long time. His boyfriend, Scott was supposed to accompany him on the trip, but Scott was tragically killed, so now Ethan, a newly graduated 18 year-old, sets off on his own. Upon leaving, he almost immediately breaks one of the most stressed upon promises to his parents, not to pick up a hitchhiker, but hey, he almost ran Nick over, so that changes everything, right?

Nick, also 18, is on the run from the pray-the-gay-away camp he’s spent the last year and a half at, as well as from his abusive ex, who is partially responsible for Nick’s stay at the camp. Ethan and Nick set out to together explore the country and along the way build a friendship that eventually turns into more.

This wasn’t always an easy read, both Ethan and Nick are a bit broken, but as they travel across the country and get to know one another, they slowly start to open up and build a trust, as well as begin to heal. Nick and Ethan form a beautiful friendship that eventually leads them to love.

This was a lovely, yet heartbreaking story of hurt and healing. It’s well-written and flows well. I enjoyed traveling across the country with these two young men, and although Ethan and Nick visit some spooky places I’d never even think about visiting, it was enjoyable all the same.

This story is packed with so much emotion and it brought me to tears more than once. While I would have liked a more solid ending, I have faith that although Ethan and Nick are young, they’ll have a long and happy future together. This was an enjoyable and recommendable read!

*copy provided from author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

4 Stars!

After graduation, Ethan starts the one-month-long trip that he's been planning for years and that he was supposed to take with his boyfriend, who died tragically. He's dealing with panic attacks and survivor's guilt and he's not sure he's actually going to make it until he almost runs over a hitchhiker a few hours into his trip and breaks his promise to his parents that he won't pick up hitchhikers on the road.

Nick, having just turned 18, checked himself out of the school/pray-the-gay-away camp his parents had enrolled in and is escaping from his past, even if he's not ready to really cut the strings that tie him to his abusive ex.

The two of them hit it off, striking an easy friendship that slowly morphs into more as they learn to trust each other while traveling through the country and visiting all sort of places, while they work on their issues. However, Nick's past might be getting too close for comfort and there's only so much running he can do, until it catches up with him.

This was such a delightful coming of age, hurt/comfort read! Both Nick and Ethan were adorable and my heart broke for all that they had gone through at 18, and maybe because of that, they both felt a bit more mature than your regular 18-year-old. I loved the progression of their relationship, from strangers to friends and finally, to lovers. They had amazing chemistry and their conversations were a thing of beauty.

This is my first book by these authors, but I really liked their writing style. It flowed well and the story was well-paced and interesting, perhaps a bit slow in the middle, but still intriguing enough to keep me wanting to find out what would happen next. Very recommendable!

*** Copy provided via NetGalley for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

About Reesa Herberth

Reesa Herberth grew up in Hawaii, tried Arizona for a few years, and eventually settled in the D.C. area, where they have trees and rain.

She’s held a variety of crazy writer jobs, including book and video store manager for a defunct chain of music shops, office goddess for an artisan ice cream maker, cheese-cup scrubber at an organic goat dairy, high school secretary, and dye-stained proprietress of a small yarn and fiber business.

When not writing, she can usually be found reading, gardening, cooking, or spinning yarns of another sort entirely. She often resents her need for sleep.

With Michelle Moore, she is the author of the Ylendrian Empire books, including The Balance of Silence, the award-winning space opera caper, The Slipstream Con, and Peripheral People, a sci fi thriller with psychics and squishy feelings, coming soon.

Connect with Reesa:

About Michelle Moore

Michelle Moore has a well-documented obsession with travel, television, frappaccinos and flamingos. These, however, come in a distant second to her love of writing. Most evenings she can be found huddled over her laptop at the local Starbucks, dividing her time between actually writing and pretending to be a barista.

While Michelle would like to claim child prodigy status, the truth is that she’s only been scribbling words on paper since she was six.  However, she’s moved beyond those initial Dick and Jane story knock-offs to the Ylendrian Universe, a much more rewarding and enjoyable choice of subject matter.

Connect with Michelle:


To celebrate the release of Detour, Reesa and Michelle are giving away a $20 gift card to the Ripped Bodice! If the winner is outside the US, it will be a $20 Amazon gift card instead. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 12, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. I'm eager to read this!


  2. Thanks for the reviews!
    jlshannon74 at

  3. I would love to read more

    debby236 at gmail dot com

  4. sounds like a great read..congrats
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  5. Thank you for the excerpt and review!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  6. Congratulations on the release, and thank you for the excerpt! It sounds really good

  7. Thank you for the double review; and for sharing excerpt from the book. I’m really intrigued!!
    puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com

  8. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt, thank you!
    nikolina1812 @

  9. I can't wait to read the whole book!