Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Blog Tour: A Broken Promise (Loving Again Series #3) by Mel Gough (Guest Post+Excerpt+Review)


January 25, 2019 - A World Apart

February 22, 2019 - A New Life

March 22, 2019 - A Broken Promise



Book Title: A Broken Promise (Loving Again Series, Book 3)

Author: Mel Gough

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Black Jazz Design

Genre/s: Contemporary romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 127 print pages

Release Date: March 22, 2019

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited


Ben and Donnie are happier than they've ever been. Zac's adoption went off without a hitch, their new home is tranquil and the perfect place to build their future.

But Donnie can never catch a break. An old affliction flares up again and as a result his physical condition is more precarious than ever. Helen is nervous about the environment to which Ben subjects their daughter, and Ben struggles to keep everything ticking over.

Then he meets Paul, an enigmatic, handsome journalist who is more than a little interested in Ben. In equal measures flattered and disturbed by the attention, Ben finds himself on the brink of a decision that might shatter the happiness he's worked so hard to achieve



How could they have so much stuff?

When Donnie and Ben had moved into the duplex just over six months ago there had been ten boxes, eight of which had been Ben’s. Donnie had had a ruthless clear-out of his and Floyd’s little house, and had thrown away most of his meagre possessions.

Of course, adding a baby—toddler now—to the mix meant a lot more stuff, and it all needed packing up.

Still, fifteen boxes in the bedroom alone seemed excessive.

Ben straightened and wiped his brow. He surveyed the result of three hours’ hard labor. Only a small suitcase remained open, with a couple of changes of clothes for each of them. The living room and kitchen were equally crammed with boxes, though they’d held back packing the crockery so far. The kitchen was chaotic enough with all of their different dietary requirements without having to hunt around for plates to eat from, too.

The new house, a find of Arthur’s just like their condo had been, was less than a mile from the apartment. Ben and Donnie had both come to love Ormewood with its quiet, leafy streets. The small bungalow had two bedrooms, which they’d badly need. The smaller one was going to be the nursery, with a second bed for Laura. Unlike the condo, the house wasn’t freshly decorated, but the road it stood on was quiet, and they would have a large yard at the front and back, where flower and vegetable beds had already been in good use.

The front door banged shut. “Evening,” Ben called, but there was no response. He put down the parcel tape and scissors and went into the hall.

Donnie stood by the front door gripping the doorknob hard, his head lowered. His breath came in painful-sounding gasps. Zac, who stood by Donnie’s side, looked around. The confusion on his round face cleared as he spotted Ben. “Pa!” He came running, and Ben picked him up. Fear churned his gut at the sight of Donnie’s bent-over form.

Hoisting Zac onto his hip, he asked, “What’s the matter?” In response, Donnie lifted his head and Ben’s question was answered at once. His face was white as chalk. “Whoa,” Ben exclaimed. “You look terrible.”

“Some kids got the stomach flu, and… shit…” With a low moan, Donnie staggered past Ben into the bathroom and shut the door.

“Dadda?” Zac asked tentatively.

Ben stroked his back. “I think Dadda’s not feeling so good. We gotta be nice, all right?”

Zac nodded, looking scared.

Ben hugged him. “It’s gonna be okay,” he whispered into the little boy’s dark curls, as much to reassure himself as Zac.

Donnie reemerged a long few minutes later, seemingly on the verge of passing out, his face ashen and sweaty. Ben hurriedly stood Zac on his feet and took Donnie by the elbow, his own heart hammering. “C’mere.” Donnie leaned his head against Ben’s neck, breaths ragged, his forehead burning. They stood still for a moment until Donnie began to shiver. “Let’s get you horizontal,” Ben murmured. Zac trailed them into the bedroom.

Ben struggled getting Donnie out of his shoes and pants. He had sweated through his shirt so Ben got a fresh T-shirt from the open suitcase. Great timing.As if moving wasn’t stressful enough already.

“Here, stretch out.” Ben pulled the blankets back. Donnie curled up, shuddering, his hands pressed hard to his stomach.

“You sure it’s just flu?” Ben asked, dread twisting his insides.

Donnie buried his face in the pillow. “What else?” His voice was tense and despondent.

“Could be your pancreas again?” Ben swallowed, dismayed at the thought. He sat on the edge of the bed and put a hand on Donnie’s neck, which was clammy and hot.

“Daycare kids’re sick,” Donnie insisted. “I just picked up their virus¾”

“Even if that’s true,” Ben interrupted. “We need to get you looked at, have your T-cells checked¾” He broke off as Donnie groaned and struggled to sit up.

Ben helped him to his feet, but Donnie pulled away. “Can manage.”

To distract himself and give Donnie some space, Ben went into the kitchen to locate a basin in one of the boxes. He was on his way back to the bedroom when Donnie reappeared, looking even whiter than before. Ben took him into his arms and Donnie clung on hard.

“Feeling any better?”

“Not really.” The hands went back to Donnie’s belly. Fear gripped Ben like an icy fist, but he said nothing.

Zac had somehow managed to climb into their bed. He looked at them with a serious expression on his little round face. “Dadda,” he said and stretched his arms out.

Donnie stopped dead. “He’ll get sick, Ben.”

“If he’s going to catch this it’s already happened,” Ben said. “But I’ll call Arthur, ask him if he can take Zac until you’re over the worst. I can’t look after you both, not with the move, as well.”

Donnie’s face creased. “I don’t like it when he’s away,” he whispered. “But you’re right. I’m real sorry, Ben.”

“It’s okay.” Ben hugged him and kissed his temple. “For now, give bub a cuddle. You need it.” He helped Donnie back into bed, and Donnie pulled Zac close, curling around him with a whimper. Ben watched them a moment. Donnie shivered and shifted around. With a sigh, Ben went to find his phone which he last remembered seeing in the chaotic living room.

When he returned to the bedroom Donnie had fallen asleep. Zac was stroking his face, but when he saw Ben, he started to wriggle free. Ben extracted him with care. Donnie sighed and turned over without waking. Ben put Zac in his cot, then, phone pressed to his ear, he started to pack a bag for Zac’s visit to Arthur.

What are your 5 favorite things about writing the Loving Again series?

1. That it was my first story.

I remember sitting in a café with my boyfriend and telling him about this excellent idea for a fanfiction I had. It must’ve been sometime in late 2015. The story was really gritty and angsty and I was looking forward to doing the research for it. I’d never written a story that was as involved as this one would be, and because it was going to be an AU story in the Walking Dead universe I knew it would take a lot of original ideas to make it work.

By the time I’d finished Part 2 (which became A New Life) I knew that I wanted to write original fiction and get it published. I wrote a rough draft for Part 3 (now A Broken Promise) while at the same time starting to polish Part 1. Getting the books out there wasn’t all plain sailing. Going with a publisher first seemed the right thing at the time, and I’m glad I did that. But I think ultimately it’s a better story because I had full control over the second attempt.

2. That I managed to get it finished.

The third book was always going to be the hardest. The fanfic version of it was much too short, and all over the place. Expanding it into a novella with a coherent story was a huge challenges. As I was editing it I managed to lose 40 pages of edits by saving over the wrong version. I don’t give up easily, though, and I’d already committed to the release date, so I just did them again.

In many ways, Book 3 is the saddest. I think it’s also the most real, but I know that some people will hate it because of the cheating. But it was the story I had to tell. There’s a HEA but it’s one that’s really hard-won, just like in real life.

3. That I got to self-publish all of them now.
I mentioned having full control with the series was fantastic, but it’s more than that. The stories have been with me through my entire writing development. I’ve grown as a writer, and have found my stride with the self-pub business thanks to them. I’ve learned about marketing and about how to make this business pay off. I’m probably not the best one to give write-to-market advice, but seeing reactions to Book 1 when it first came out has helped me make the story better. And I’m more mindful now of how to tell a story that makes my readers happy.

4. That it’s putting me on the map for M/M romance

A series is great because it gives you the opportunity to get people hooked (I sound like a drug dealer now). If they like the first book they’ll come back for more, and after a couple it’s almost like meeting old friends when you see people react. I’ve made wonderful connections with other writers, with book bloggers and promo people, and of course my audience. Here is to many more stories that we’ll share!

5. That it’s a HEA story.

It might not always seem that way, but happy endings are my jam. I like putting my characters through the wringer, and I think a bit of realism and gloom in romance can only help. But there’s something very satisfying about wrapping it all up in a happy pink bow of love. That’s why it’s fiction. If it was exactly like real life all the time then we wouldn’t bother, would we?

3.5 stars

This book was tough. I love Donnie and I just wanted him to get a break and he absolutely did not get one in this book. I wanted more light in Donnie and Ben's story! Zac was a super cute addition; even with all of the angst and sadness, he made things a little bit better.

I was a little confused by some of the timeline and there were some details that did not add up. There is also something that happens in this book that is a hard no for a lot of readers and this was my first time reading this situation. I found myself resenting the direction the story took. I can understand why to an extent and I felt the realness in the actions by some of the characters but it was hard for me to read. While there are many struggles and obstacles for this family to get through in this book, there were also a few successes that I was happy about.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. *** 

About the Author

Mel was born in Germany, where she spent the first twenty-six years of her life (with a one-year stint in Los Angeles). She has always been fascinated by cultures and human interaction, and got a Masters in Social Anthropology. After finishing university she moved to London, where she has now lived for ten years.

If you were to ask her parents what Mel enjoyed the most since the age of six, they would undoubtedly say “Reading!” She would take fifteen books on a three-week beach holiday, and then read all her mom’s books once she’d devoured her own midway through week two.

Back home in her mom’s attic there’s a box full of journals with stories Mel wrote when she was in her early teens. None of the stories are finished, or any good. She has told herself bedtime stories as far back as she can remember.

In her day job, Mel works as PA and office manager. No other city is quite like London, and Mel loves her city. The hustle and bustle still amaze and thrill her even after all these years. When not reading, writing or going to the theater, Mel spends her time with her long-time boyfriend, discussing science or poking fun at each other.

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