Please join us in welcoming author Rhys Ford to TNA today, on the Hanging the Stars blog tour, book two in the Half Moon Bay series. She brought a sweet little holiday ficlet to share with you, as well as a great giveaway, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below for details.
Thank you for following the Hanging the Stars blog tour! I was very excited to return to Half Moon Bay and well, deliver West Harris his comeuppance. For this tour, I wanted to share a bit about the relationships the characters have with one another and just a bit of every day stuff as they prepare for their Christmas holiday.
As I am sure many of you are preparing for your holidays.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet because well… there’s a bit of story beneath this. But I do hope you stop by Half Moon Bay and catch up with West as a bit of his past returns in the form of Angel Daniels…the one man who broke his heart and took the pieces with him.
And be sure to enter this blog’s Hanging the Stars giveaway! The winner gets a $25 gift certificate to the online vendor of their choice!
Half Moon Holiday 6
“Somewhere, there’s a dinosaur missing its leg,” Zig droned mournfully, her chin resting on the kitchen counter. She sat on one of the million bar stools ringing the granite-topped island, slumped over and watching Deacon painstakingly pick his way through the recipe Lang left out for them to follow. “It’s hobbling off somewhere. Trying to get to its family and—”
“Zig baby, I love you but you’ve got to stop with the dino thing. It’s beef. This came from a cow. So quit with the limping lizard thing,” Deacon muttered at her. Pushing his glasses up the length of his nose, he read off the next item of the ingredient list. “It says three cloves of garlic. Does that sound right? Just three?”
“I can’t even stay up past nine. What do I know?” His daughter’s shrug was sarcastic. It made no sense but Deacon could feel his daughter’s tiny shoulders throwing her resentment at him in protest of her established bedtimes.
He was not looking forward to high school.
“Look, kiddo, Ten’s stretching it on the weekend with you and nine’s on school nights. You know that. I know that. I can give you a million reasons why you can’t stay up past ten but it pretty much comes down to because I said so.” Deacon stared her down, meeting her disgruntled gaze with as much authority as he could muster. “You’re a mess if you don’t get enough sleep and I’m not going to spend my mornings fighting with you to get out of bed. So that’s the rule until you can wake up on your own and get yourself out of the house for school.”
“Rome can stay up—”
“Rome’s full of shit.” Deacon cut her off. “We all talk, Z. Me, Angel and Lang. If Rome’s telling you something different than nine, he’s yanking your chain. Bedtime’s solid. The garlic isn’t. Smash out three cloves of garlic and chop them up. We can see what that looks like.”
“Fine. But three sounds kind of wimpy.” She reached for the cloves with a sullen look on her face but it quickly disappeared when she broke the garlic cloves open using her hand and the flat of a chopping knife. “We don’t suck at cooking, right? I mean, we’re going to have to eat this.”
“We try not to suck. Can’t promise more than that, kid.” Deacon nodded towards her hands. “Watch your fingers. We can probably stretch it to five but let’s not get too crazy. Remember what happened last time?”
“It was red!”
“It was cayenne pepper. Not paprika. You can read, Z. Now I’m stuck with West thinking I tried to poison him.” He chuckled. “Now hurry it up with the garlic. That’s the last bit I need then we throw this in the oven and pray.”
“The house smells good.” Lang snugged up against Deacon, sliding his chilled hands under his husband’s shirt and over his stomach. Grinning at Deacon’s surprised yelp, he held on, refusing to let Deacon wiggle away. The kitchen was warm from the oven and Lang’s stomach rumbled at the delicious aromas in the air. Deacon made another attempt at getting away but Lang tightened his grip. “Stop that. I’m trying to get warm.”
“I’m trying to coax my butt to unclench. Did you shove your hands into ice before you came in? Let me turn around, dork. It’ll be easier to get you warm if I can hold you.”
Deacon never failed to take Lang’s breath away. It was more than the hard length of his muscular body pressing Lang back into the kitchen counter or the power in his arms as they wrapped Lang into a fierce, protective hug. There was something beyond the shy dimple in his cheek or the dark scruff covering his strong jaw that simply touched a part of Lang’s heart. He’d never felt more at home than when he was in Deacon’s embrace, cradled and intertwined with a man who’d taught him how to love, laugh and live as fully as he could.
He also smelled incredibly good when Lang buried his nose into Deacon’s neck.
“Shit, even your nose is cold. What the hell?” Deacon shivered. “Weather bad out there?”
“A bit of hail. I was in the driveway when it started coming down. Surprised you didn’t hear it.” Lang lifted his head. “But it’s pretty quiet in here.”
“Kitchen’s kind of soundproofed. Which is a great thing or the neighbours would have called CPS on us when Zig started tossing a fit about her bedtime.” Deacon kissed the frown lines forming on Lang’s forehead. “Don’t worry about it. We had a talk. It’s all good.”
“By talk you mean what exactly?”
“Pretty much went, no. And again, no.” A timer went off and Deacon looked over his shoulder at the oven. “That’s supposed to turn off by itself. I don’t trust it. Meat’s got to sit in the oven for two hours while it cools down.”
“We need a remote control oven. I don’t want to let you go but fine,” Lang grumbled, releasing Deacon. “Thanks for cooking. I wasn’t expecting to cover the store today but Marcia’s mom’s being sick really screwed things up for her.”
“Not a problem. Gave me and Zig some bonding time. And it meant she couldn’t moon over Angel and Roman not coming for dinner tonight.” He’d offered a place at the table for the Daniels but Angel declined, murmuring an apology too raw around the edges for Lang to ignore but he couldn’t press for more as much as he’d wanted to. “I told him it was going to be small. Just us, West and probably Marzo.”
“If Marzo’s smart, he’d toss West out and head back to SF for a quiet meal with sane people.” Deacon lifted a pot and poked at what was inside with a fork. “I have no idea how to check if potatoes are done. Fork goes through. Is that good enough?”
“That’s fine. I’ll mash them. I’d hoped to get West to sit and talk with Angel. Maybe work out the motel thing if they could meet face to face.”
“Can’t see that, babe.” Dumping the potatoes into a colander, Deacon shook his head. “West is just going to tell you it’s nothing personal but sometimes, I think half the shit he does isn’t just business. It’s like he’s trying to outdo your father as world’s biggest asshole.”
“Oh no, Dad had that locked in by the time I was ten. I just worry about him…well, both of them. Angel’s stretched too thin and West—”
“West is colder than your hands were.” Deacon finished.
“I don’t want that for my brother.” Lang sighed, kissing Deacon’s shoulder then retrieving the butter from the counter. “I want him to be happy. I want him to have what we have.”
“Well, babe…” Deacon cracked a wry smile. “The only way that’s happening is if your brother grows a heart because honestly? I think you got all of it when you two were dividing up your pieces.”
About the Book
Angel Daniels grew up hard, one step ahead of the law and always looking over his shoulder. A grifter’s son, he’d learned every con and trick in the book but ached for a normal life. Once out on his own, Angel returns to Half Moon Bay where he once found…and then lost…love.
Now, Angel’s life is a frantic mess of schedules and chaos. Between running his bakery and raising his troubled eleven-year-old half-brother, Roman, Angel has a hectic but happy life. Then West Harris returns to Half Moon Bay and threatens to break Angel all over again by taking away the only home he and Rome ever had.
When they were young, Angel taught West how to love and laugh but when Angel moved on, West locked his heart up and threw away the key. Older and hardened, West returns to Half Moon and finds himself face-to-face with the man he’d lost. Now, West is torn between killing Angel or holding him tight.
But rekindling their passionate relationship is jeopardized as someone wants one or both of them dead, and as the terrifying danger mounts, neither man knows if the menace will bring them together or forever tear them apart.
About the Author
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.