Thanks so much for joining me today to celebrate my new release. I’m stoked about Where There’s Smoke being my longest novel to date. For those who know me, I usually write shorts. I’ve got a few novels under my belt, but I’m all for quick hitters.
Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!
This one was different because these characters grabbed me more than the others. Jonas, Santiago, and Myles are one of a kind muses that bludgeoned me over the head with their thoughts and how they wanted things.
Talk about abuse!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the heck out of this book. There’s a couple of twists and turns, but it is a contemporary. Hope you’ll stick around for the ride!
Thanks to Kimi-Chan for hosting me today!
Chicago nearly destroyed me, but moving to Cobalt, I found everything I needed to put my life back together. Or…almost everything. I have an amazing man, a job I love, and a budding career as an author. Why does it feel like something is missing?
Being a gay firefighter in a small town like Cobalt is tough, but the day I met Santiago in a coffee shop, all the struggles in the world wouldn’t keep me from his side. I’m ready to give him everything, including a white picket fence home filled with all the strange antiques he could ever want. But first I have to clear the path to our future, by digging through the wreckage of his past.
I’m no stranger to heartbreak, but I’m a man who knows how to get what he wants. Chaos in my life stole the man I love. Between my Fortune 500 company, my mother’s failing health, and my sister abandoning her daughter for drugs, I barely have time to breathe. But I rise above it all to give my niece the family she deserves. Which means getting my man back, no matter what—or who—tries to stand in my way.
Three men. Three different lives. And a chance at love just out of reach.
TRIGGER WARNING: Flashbacks and mentions of rape. On page violence.
This one is a good exchange between Myles Greyson and his partner at the firm, Garrett Barnes.
After an hour or so of watching and recording Macy’s baby acrobatics, I drove to my financial firm I co-ran and owned with Garrett in the west loop. With the help of his parents, we bought this building three years ago, free and clear. Then Garrett’s dad brought in his team of hardhat professionals to rehab the structure for free and turn it into a modern, functional office. The success of Greyson, Barnes, and Associates had quickly risen, making us one of the top ten minority owned financial firms in the United States. Apparently when talking about money, few saw the colors of our skin as a detriment. They only cared about sound advice on how they could protect their financial futures.
“Good morning, Diana.” I greeted our executive secretary the minute I stepped off the elevator.
“Morning, Myles. Remember, meeting at eleven and then a lunch with Gleason Jarvis.”
I recalled the meeting, but not the lunch with one of the biggest homophobes this side of the United States. He was one of our top clients though and to his credit, he barely flinched when he moved his fortune to us, from a bigger firm downtown. However, that didn’t stop him from barraging me with insults about my “choice” of orientation. I had to grin and bear it for him because the advice we offered was very profitable.
Attempting to hide my oversight, I smiled at her and nodded. “Right. I believe we have reservations at his favorite restaurant, Toureg Café?”
“Yes, at one p.m. Do you want me to call and…”
Diana seemed to detect my apprehension about this meeting. “Oh, no, that won’t be necessary. Little of what Jarvis said would make me unhappy.”
I changed the subject. “Did you know Macy started rolling?” I leaned over her desk, still in disbelief.
Diane gasped. “Really? Congrats on that. She’s such a doll. When are you bringing her back so we could swoon over her more?”
“Soon. No worries there. I love bringing her in and making Garrett do most of the work,” I chuckled. “I’ll show you the video before we leave for the day, because it is truly precious.” I slapped her desk and walked towards my office just down the hall.
Turning the knob, I waltzed in to my office, taking in the amazing view of the downtown area. Someday we would expand and move closer in the loop to take one of those high rises, but I was in no rush because I truly loved this building.
I looked up from my desk and nodded at my business partner. “Hey. Did you sleep well after that meal for two?”
Garrett walked in with a huge grin. “Sure did. You missed a good one. And the wine tasting was great too.”
“Sorry. I wasn’t in the mood for socializing last night. I’m better today, but I’d much rather go home to my little niece than be around a bunch of stuffy people.”
“Listen to you being all fatherly and stuff. One thing I will say, little Macy has grounded you a lot. You’re less of an arrogant prick and more caring. No offense.”
I cocked an eyebrow. “None taken. Tell me how you really feel, Garrett. Don’t hold back. It’s only your best friend you’re talking about.”
“Aw, Myles, you know I’m right. When you lost Pierre, you were pretty miserable. Then Santiago made you somewhat happy again. When he left, you went back to becoming Jekyll and Hyde. At least now, with Macy, you keep your bipolar tendencies in check a little more. When she’s not around though, ooh boy. I’m just glad I’m not your man.”
I turned up my lips and leaned back in my chair, crossing both arms over my chest. “And you claim to be my bestie.”
“Man, I am. If I didn’t love you like a brother, we wouldn’t be running this firm together. Remember what you always tell me. Your best friends are honest with you no matter how bad it hurts.”
“That’s true. While we’re at it, let me get a list together to tell you about yourself.”
“Haha. That’s okay. I can be hard to live with. Sherri tells me that all the time. You both love me regardless, so…”
“Yeah. I suppose that’s true too. Anyway, did you need something or just to tell me what an insufferable bastard I am.”
“There is that, and I wanted to invite you out on Saturday.”
“Where to this time? Another wine tasting with queer professionals?” I asked with a cocked brow.
Garrett sighed and shook his head. “For the record, it wasn’t that. It was for professionals to mix and mingle and it said all people were welcome. We took it to mean for gays and straights to network and drink.”
“Uh, huh. Anyway, what is it you’re talking about Saturday? I’m pretty sure this will be nothing I’m interested in.”
“See? Look at you acting like a douche.”
“Well, according to you that isn’t hard for me,” I answered with a smirk.
“Nope it isn’t. Again, before I was so rudely interrupted, this is a gathering for financial professionals. Lewis Dempsey is the speaker and I know how fond you are of him.”
“I’m about as fond of him as I am of cancer.”
“Yeah, but you gotta admit he knows his stuff. And since he’s gay too, I thought it good for you to meet other gay professionals and find a new partner.”
“Mhmm. And I suppose you’re sending me to this place alone.”
“No, no. I’m going too for moral support, but the minute you make a connection, I’ll make myself scarce. I’ll hang out by the punch bowl or something. Shoot the shit, make golf games. Hey, I got no problem with making myself fit in with any crowd.”
Garrett was right. He didn’t have all those hang-ups about queer people some other straight men of color seemed to have. He was one of a kind, which was why we’ve been friends for ten out of my thirty-eight years.
“So…” Garrett stood in one spot, regarding me and awaiting my response.
I supposed I could humor him and have a night out on the town with my best friend.
“Yeah, I guess. I’m really not interested in hooking up with anyone. However, it would be good for networking. And even though he’s a blowhard, Lewis knows financial strategies.”
“Now you’re talking.” Garrett clapped his hands then rubbed them together. “So, it’s a night then. I’m picking you up at seven, just in case you go home with anybody. And Sherri said she’ll watch Macy to give Sarah a night off.”
“I’m sure Sarah would like that. Still, I don’t intend to go home with anyone. I will allow you to be my designated driver though in case I overdo it.” I told him, then looked at my phone that pinged with a message.
That was so great. You must come down here so I can play with her very soon!
Noticing Santiago’s reaction, I smiled to myself, knowing I would be making that trip, a lot sooner than later.
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Bio: BLMorticia entertains her readers with hot and smexy sex, humor, and lots of swear words. She attempts to incorporate metal music or the military in most of her works. Nothin’ sexier than metalheads or military servicemen and women!
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Website – https://blmorticia.wordpress.com/
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