Author Name: Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney
Book Name: Leaving Flowers
Release Date: May 1, 2015
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
“Quit then. It sounds a horrible place.”
“I can’t quit.” Aidan closed his eyes and left them closed, letting out a long, low breath. “The Grand Heights is all I have.”
He felt Patrick move, felt as he shifted across the center console, close into Aidan’s space, but he did not open his eyes. He was expecting the hug—longed for it even—and as Patrick’s arms wrapped around him, Aidan melted into the feel and warmth and smell of Patrick. Then he felt Patrick’s lips on his neck, so gentle he almost wasn’t certain he felt it at all. He was tenderly kissing the spot where Mrs. Wright had left such an ugly mark.
“I wish I could make it disappear.” Patrick’s voice was hypnotizing, the sound of rain on a tin roof. Aidan turned his face, just a little, so that Patrick’s lips caressed his cheek.
“All of it.”
Their lips met and Aidan died a little, right there, in the parking garage. It was nothing at all like when he’d awkwardly kissed his prom date goodnight, his teeth knocking against hers. Nor was it like Ms. Ashmore and her almost suffocating kisses. And it sure as hell wasn’t Mrs. Wright clawing into him, sucking on his neck like a vampire with a blood-soaked appetizer.
“I’m sorry,” Patrick murmured against his lips. “I don’t know what I’m thinkin’, kissing you like this. I just can’t stand to see you sufferin’, Aidan Degas.”
“Oh.” Idiot, Aidan berated himself as he pulled back. He inhaled deeply and let it out on a chuckle he hoped sounded natural and not hurt. He’s feeling sorry for you. God, you always read so much into everything. “Well, I am feeling much better now.”
Patrick didn’t look convinced.
“I promise,” Aidan said, way too brightly, and turned back to the window. “I wonder if we’re ever getting out of this garage.”
INTERVIEW WITH DEBBIE AND RAINE
What show from your childhood would you love to bring back?
RO: Dood. Eerie, Indiana. Does anyone remember that? It was so quirky and great. This kid moves to this town where all these totally bizarre things happen and he and his best friend are the only ones who seem to realize it. It only ran one season. Sigh.
Debs. Did they show that in England?
DM: Yep! We had Eerie, Indiana too, and watched all one season of it. That’s always the way, isn’t it? They cut the great series and leave the rubbish ones running forever. From my childhood, though…there wasn’t much TV (three channels and they shut down overnight), but I think probably Starsky and Hutch is the one I’d love to bring back, just for the car! (Totally didn’t have a full-on crush on Paul Michael Glaser when I was eight, nope, not me…) J
If someone gave you a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
RO: Why, I think I’d have to stop by Burscough, Lancashire and visit a certain collaborator and her family. AND EAT SCOTCH EGGS. Ahem.
DM: See, it’s nothing to do with me. You’re only coming for those lil eggs in blankets. I’d have to head States-wards, definitely (though not at the same time Raine comes this-a-way, or else we’d only get to wave at each other as our jumbo jets pass by), mosey on down to K.C. and say hi to Raine and Siôn and Klaus and Catface, followed by a bit of a road trip, methinks, to see the other authors I work with who are dotted all over the country. I plotted their locations on GoogleEarth. It would be one helluva trip!
Which of the four seasons suits your personality?
RO: Summer, I think. Sometimes I’m hot-blooded (passionate about life!) but sometimes I’m like a summer rain…
DM: Spring. It’s my favourite season and I absolutely LOVE the English spring. Long, long days, delicately warm sunshine, so many colours and scents. Cherry blossom, honeysuckle—it fills my writerly brain with all kinds of wonderful ideas.
Describe your favorite reading space (photo if you like)
RO: I literally would send you a photo if I could find my phone to take a picture! I don’t know how this happened, there must be a black hole in my bedroom, but my phone just, poof! Disappeared.
My favorite place to read is on my new couch or in bed with the windows open and a nice, cool breeze coming in.
DM: Anywhere! I take my Kindle wherever I go and I just read and read. I do love my half-hour or so of nighttime reading especially, but if I have to choose one place, it’s the, um, reading room. I won’t take a picture, but I’ll tell you it has a porcelain seat, a handbasin and a long roll of tissue that’s perfectly positioned for the real tearjerkers (take that how you like 😉 ).
How did you come up with the title of your book?
RO: There’s this incredible song by The Offspring called Gone Away and part of the lyrics go… Leaving flowers on your grave, show that I still care, black roses and hail marys, can’t bring back what’s taken from me. I reach to the sky, and call out your name, and if I could trade, I would. And it was just so utterly perfect for what Aidan was feeling and what he was doing—going to the graveyard over and over again to “speak” with his lost twin, leaving flowers on her grave.
The “hard” part was convincing Debbie that should be the title. I think I:
- Named the file Leaving Flowers
- Sent her the song
- She said, “This is absolutely perfect, it stays.”
DM: Oh, yes! I’d totally forgotten that, but I’ve got this thing for first titles, so, even though out of habit I always begin a new story with “Draft title: Whatever It Is”, invariably the first idea is the best, and without a doubt that was true of Leaving Flowers.
Beaten Track Publishing (Paperback): http://www.beatentrackpublishing.com/shop/proddetail.php?prod=leavingflowers
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!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebbieMcGowanAuthor and http://www.facebook.com/beatentrackpublishing
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!
LGBT Author Interviews: http://raineotierneyhatparty.blogspot.com/
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25176624-leaving-flowers
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Tour Dates & Stops:
Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon gift card