Monday, May 11, 2015

Virtual Tour: Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney ~ (ARC Review, Guest Post, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Virtual Tour: Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney ~ (ARC Review, Guest Post, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Book Information:
Author Name: Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney
Book Name: Leaving Flowers
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Buy The Book:


Shy and awkward since childhood, Aidan Degas is now a man lost. His twin—Aidan’s other half, Nadia—died tragically young, leaving him with nothing to get him through his days but his job at the prestigious Grand Heights Luxury Apartments and the flowers he lays upon her grave. When Aidan is assaulted on the job by a tenant, it’s the graveyard he turns to for strength and solace.

Patrick loves being assistant groundskeeper at the sprawling cemetery where he tends graves and offers a bit of comfort to mourners. When he sees a sad young man lingering over an old grave, his curiosity is strangely piqued for reasons he doesn’t understand. He’s never done this—struck up a friendship with a mourner. But soon that friendship blossoms into a romance.

It’s not going to be easy for the pair. Aidan is so damaged, like petals crushed in an angry fist, and even with Patrick’s warm heart and Irish charm, it might not be enough to bring him back from the edge.

Pages or Words: 67,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance


Somehow, in spite of the need to go home and shower off the grottiness of digging earth for half a day, Patrick didn’t feel he could take his usual subtle approach. Nadia’s passing was not recent; her grave was not new; yet here was this young man, kneeling at her feet, his eyes closed, hands resting in his lap, oblivious to the sun’s slide from the sky, the increasing briskness of the breeze, Patrick’s presence…

“Hello there,” he said quietly, stopping on the path a few feet away. The man was too far into his own mind to startle. Instead, he slowly came to, his shoulders lifting slightly as he twisted to see what had disturbed his meditation. Patrick smiled. “I’m afraid we’re locking up for the evening.”

“So soon?”

“It’s going on for seven o’clock, sir.”

“Seven…” The man’s voice petered away, his expression indicating he had no idea how long he had been kneeling there. If he doubted Patrick’s word, the confirmation came when the man tried to stand, and staggered, numb-legged. He automatically reached out to steady himself, catching hold of the front of Patrick’s coveralls, and then almost collapsed again, unable to bear his own weight.

Without a second thought, Patrick quickly grasped the man by the forearms to steady him. “There’s no rush now. You just take your time. All right?”

The man nodded and swallowed hard. “Thank you. I only came to leave the tulips.” He gestured toward the vase of closed tulips in front of the grave and in the midst of the red and white carnations.

Patrick kept his hold on the man and looked down at the flowers. “They’re beautiful,” he said. “Really lovely.”

“Thanks. Nadia loved flowers so much.” A glimmer of a happier time lit up the man’s features for just a second, before it was blotted out once more by the heavy cloud of sorrow.

Patrick felt that sorrow in his heart. He wanted to offer comfort, warmth, security, to soothe with his touch, his kiss… Oh my—no, no, Patrick. You’re way over the line. You’re standing at the grave of this man’s wife, and all you can think of is kissing him? But it wasn’t that sort of kiss he had in mind. It wasn’t about passion, or lust; just a desperate desire to take away the pain.

The man seemed a little more steady on his feet and Patrick gently released him. “OK now?”

“I think so.” He took a long, deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Thank you for your patience. I’m sure you’re eager to go home. It can’t be fun working here.”

Patrick shrugged and smiled. “I love my job. Fresh air, peace and quiet—”

“But it’s a cemetery.”“Well, yeah,” Patrick said, the slightest hint of a chuckle in his words. It was enough to prompt the other man to lift his head. For the first time, his eyes met Patrick’s, and something bloomed inside, a heat radiating from somewhere he couldn’t quite pinpoint. It rose up through his chest, into his throat, filling his mouth and his nose, as he gazed into those incredible steel-gray eyes. There was so much pain there, and loss—anger—and yet there was more, so much more, that Patrick could almost hear the emotion, like a distant cry for help from someone who was drowning.

Tracy's Review:

4 Stars

*copy provided by author/publisher via Pride Promotions in exchange for an honest review*

I LOVED Patrick, but if I'm honest I didn't connect with Aidan. He kind of got on my nerves and I found him annoying. I loved Patrick's parts of the story so much more.

The relationship moved WAY too fast. It practically moved at warp speed. I would have loved the main characters to get to know one another better. I would have loved things to move a little slower, and more naturally.

It was too sugary sweet at times and because it moved so fast, practically love at first sight, it wasn't as believable. I'll be honest and say I found myself wanting to skim in places, the story just didn't hold my attention.

The characters had a good chemistry and I felt the love that Patrick felt for Aidan, but to me Aidan's love wasn't always as clear.

**Spoiler Alert**
I felt there were unresolved issues, one in particular. WHY didn't they throw out Mrs. Ashworthe? Evict her!!!! WTF?!?!?!

Authors Guest Post:

We are happy to have Debbie and Raine here today, to talk about what's it's like to collaborate with another author.

Can you talk about the process and also the challenges you face when collaborating with another author on a project.

RO: I’ll be totally honest, the biggest challenge of working with Debbie McGowan is… never wanting to stop working with Debbie! We both tend to get overly-focused on our collaboration when we’re writing together (to the exclusion of all our other projects). See, Debs and I always promise the collab will be a side-project, sort of a chill thing that we write on when we’ve got a break. What ends up happening is this insane back and forth chapter flinging that overwhelms us both and leaves other projects (with deadlines!) lying in the dust.

DM: Yes, indeed. What Raine said is so true. And the thing is it starts with the greatest intentions – one of us will write a chapter and send it to the other, not with the express intention that they get right on it and write the next bit, but…secretly wishing they would, and then the foot-tapping, time-checking begins. Eventually (like, two hours later ;) ) the next chapter arrives and we do it all over again! It’s like the most hugely creative and productive form of procrastination, ever! The other challenge, though it doesn’t happen often, is where we have slightly different ideas about where the story is heading, and these will only become apparent when the next chapter arrives. What do we do? We head off in the new direction! It’s all good!

RO: Oh, definitely agreed. I probably am ridiculously guilty of doing this to Debbie. Like, suddenly there is a hippo in the story. (Spoiler alert: there are no hippos in this story…) And I probably leave her so baffled. But she is the master of hitting the curve ball and she keeps pace with all my hippos. All of them!

About the authors:

DEBBIE MCGOWAN is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven, realist fiction, celebrating life, love and relationships. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at 17, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At 25, she went back to college to study social science— tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can!

RAINE O’TIERNEY lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow author, Siôn O'Tierney. When she's not writing, she's either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers! Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on gay romance) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you're interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!


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