We’re so pleased to welcome author Garrett Leigh to TNA today on the virtual tour for her latest release, and the most recent novel in the Porthkennack-verse, House of Cards. We’ve got an exclusive excerpt from the book to share today, and there’s also a giveaway below, so be sure to check out those details as well.
About House of Cards
Calum Hardy’s life has unravelled. Reeling from the betrayal of a man he once loved, he boards a train heading south, with no real idea where he’s going except a world away from London.
Brix Lusmoore can hardly believe his eyes when he spots one of his oldest friends outside Truro station. He hasn’t seen Calum since he fled the capital himself four years ago, harbouring a life-changing secret. But despite the years of silence, their old bond remains, warm and true—and layered with simmering heat they’ve never forgotten.
Calum takes refuge with Brix and a job at his Porthkennack tattoo shop. Bit by bit, he rebuilds his life, but both men carry the ghosts of the past, and it will take more than a rekindled friendship and the magic of the Cornish coast to chase them away.
Tea in hand, he returned to the living room and stoked the fire, remembering what Brix had taught him about stacking logs to give out optimum heat. The flames were hypnotic, and he was half asleep when he remembered the phantom boxes in the garden.
Reluctantly, he forced himself away from the fire and outside, shivering in the bitter wind that blew in from the sea. At first he saw nothing except the usual garden scenery, but then the stacked crates took shape, though they weren’t as tall as Calum had imagined when he’d seen them from the window. In fact, the stack seemed half the size it had forty minutes ago.
The discrepancy was enough to drive Calum forward to lay his hand on the crates and be sure they were solid wood, not made of the fog of his overactive imagination.
Calum jumped a mile and spun around. At first he saw no source of the muttered exclamation and heard nothing over the stampeding tattoo of his own heart.
Then Brix stepped out of the shadows, his eyes dark and hooded. “What are you doing out here?”
“Erm . . . looking for you?” It was halfway true.
“Why are you looking for me?”
“Because you’re not in bed. I thought I heard something, so I checked your room. When you weren’t there, I—”
“Fuck’s sake.” Brix ran a hand through his wild hair.
“Sorry, mate. I was just a bit worried.”
Brix said nothing. Calum stared at the ground, wishing it would swallow him up. Pissing Brix off was the last thing he wanted to do. Why the fuck didn’t you stay inside?
Two fingers under Calum’s chin made him jump for a second time. Brix’s face suddenly an inch from his own startled him even more.
“Don’t do that,” Brix said fiercely.
“Look down like you’re the fucking problem. You surprised me, Cal. I don’t hate you.”
Brix likely meant well, but the anger in his tone made Calum’s heart pound louder. Or maybe that was down to Brix’s proximity, or the heat of his fingertips on Calum’s chin. Who knew? Not Calum. All he knew was Brix’s gaze was so intense it left him dizzy, until their cold, damp surroundings made themselves known again.
Brix shivered and let his hand drop. “You shouldn’t be out here. You’ll catch your death.”
“I’m not going to get any colder than you are.”
“True.” The barest hint of Brix’s crooked grin briefly lit up his face. “And I’m fucking freezing.”
“Then you should come inside.”
“Wish I could.”
Calum wanted to ask why he couldn’t, but something told him Brix wouldn’t answer. Instead, he turned his attention to the boxes. “What are these?”
“Dunno. Haven’t looked.”
“’Cause they’re not mine.” Brix sighed and his faint grin disappeared. “My aunt dumped them here because she’s too tight to pay her gang to lug them up the cliffs to the family caves. Reckons I’ll get pissed off enough to do it for her . . . and she’s right.”
The cliff-top cave Brix had disappeared into a few weeks ago flashed into Calum’s mind. If Brix was talking about the same one, it meant he’d be lugging the stacked crates up the highest cliff in the town. Calum eyed the crates. “You’ve already moved some, haven’t you?”
“How can you tell?”
“Because you’re knackered, and there’s less crates than when I first saw them out of the window. You must have been and gone while I was farting around with the fire.”
Brix nodded slowly. “This isn’t me, you know that, don’t you? I have no idea what’s in them, or where they came from, I just . . . can’t have them here. I’m not part of that world.”
“I know,” Calum said, and he did. Despite all he’d yet to learn about the Lusmoore clan, he knew without a shadow of doubt that there wasn’t an ounce of bad in Brix. “Wait here. I’m getting my coat.”
About the Porthkennack Collection
Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.
About the Author
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
To celebrate the release of House of Cards, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 22, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!