We’re so pleased to welcome author Rhys Ford to The Novel Approach today, and to be closing out the Dirty Heart blog tour with the ninth and final Dirty Bit. And, not only are we bringing you the last scene from Jae’s point of view, but there’s also a special Surprise Giveaway to bring the tour to a close, in addition to the tour-wide giveaways, so be sure to check out the details below.
I’ve written the start of this post about five times and I still don’t know what to say. Some writer, huh?
How do I put into words the whole of this journey? This series was the start for me. These characters—Cole and Jae—have taken me to places I never thought I’d go, met people I am so very thankful to have known and most importantly, enriched my life beyond measure.
So how do I say goodbye to the beginning?
I can’t. And honestly, I won’t. As this story arc ends, I am grateful for so many readers joining me along the way. I can promise that as we close out this series, Cole and Jae will be back some time in the far future. But for now, this is goodbye.
And yet a hello of sorts… to a happiness and a life these characters deserve to have.
Because God knows, I’ve run them through the ringer.
So please enjoy this final Dirty tour as I present short scenes from Jae’s POV. Many are from instances in the books and a couple are in-betweens, but I tried to find places where Jae really needed to speak. I hope you enjoy them.
And a tour cannot be a tour without a giveaway! So…. Here goes.
Click on the Rafflecopter widget below and be entered to win a $20 gift certificate from an e-tailer of your choice, BUT that is not all. From these winners, I will randomly select ONE person to be a character in my other Los Angeles series, Murder and Mayhem. So hit up every blog, enter to win! ONE winner per blog!
In addition, as an exclusive Final Tour Date Giveaway, one reader will also be in the drawing for the chance to win all SIX PRINT books in the Dirty series—Dirty Kiss, Dirty Secret, Dirty Laundry, Dirty Deeds, Down and Dirty, and Dirty Heart—autographed and shipped worldwide (none of those pesky residency restrictions apply).
Don’t I sound like I’m trying to sell you a used Buick? *grins*
Most of all, and please know this comes from the bottom of my heart where I keep my love for coffee and music, thank you. Thank you for reading the books and thank you for supporting me along the way. I cannot come up with the words strong and deep enough to express my gratitude.
Dirty Bits 9
If there was one thing Cole McGinnis was good at, it was squeezing his way out of tight spaces.
Considering he and Bobby were trying to get an antique armoire I’d bought in San Diego up the Craftsman’s main staircase, he was going to need every bit of flexibility he could muster. Especially since it looked like Bobby had him wedged up against the top post. There was a lot of swearing, nothing I hadn’t heard before and oddly enough, it was comforting to hear.
They were brothers in their own way. A brotherhood I never had. Not until I’d met Cole’s younger brother, then suddenly I understood. There were people you loved with all of your heart, and soul and then there were people who simply were a part of you because where else would they be?
“They’re going to break the stairs,” Claudia muttered under her breath as she passed behind me to get to the kitchen. “Then they’re going to break their fool heads open and it’ll be matching ambulances to the hospital.”
“Pretty sure he gets bonuses or something. Like other people have airline miles, Cole gets ambulance points.” Ichi wrestled his way through the front door, carrying a box of my equipment. “Where do you want this, Jae-chan?”
“In the back. Through that door. Cole’s converted it to a studio for me.” I eased out of the way just as Mike wiped his feet on the stoop. His box was marked kitchen and for the life of me, I don’t know why I’d marked everything in hangul. “Those are pans. I’m hoping the stove won’t die in shock at being used every night.”
“The stove?” Mike chuckled, a deeper version of Cole’s playful laugh. “Cole’s going to die from the shock of eating actual food every day. He’s made up of Twinkies and pizza.”
“And burgers!” Cole shouted from his pinned in position. “Bobby, swear to God, you’re going to cut off my dick with this thing if you shove it again. Move it to the right.”
“Does this really have to go upstairs?” Bobby complained for the tenth time. “What’s wrong with the living room? Or the foyer?”
“Upstairs,” Cole and I said at the same time. He winked at me and mouthed I love you before grabbing the armoire again. “To the right, Dawson.”
“This better be worth it.” Bobby grunted, putting his shoulder into lifting the armoire up over the stair. “I expect food and beer.”
“I’ll put the ribs on the grill as soon as you are done,” I promised.
Half an hour later, the smell of grilling ribs filled the back yard and I was sharing a wicker love seat with the man who’d showed me how happy felt. He was listening to a story Scarlet was telling about a hairy man in pink high heels trying to dance the salsa, laughing heartily when she pantomimed the faces of the firemen who’d shown up to extract the man from the wrought iron railing rods he’d somehow gotten stuck in.
It was odd to be leaning against a man who held me at night, loved me body and soul and held my hand out in the open where everyone could see. It was hard for me to be touched but Cole’s touch…Cole’s hands… Cole’s mouth… felt right on me. I knew in that moment of sunshine, cut grass and sweet smoky pork aromas, I’d found where I would live forever…in Cole’s heart.
We would grow old together, probably in the same Craftsman house he’d rebuilt after his own life crashed and burned. He would hold me during every storm and laugh when my heart jumped in shock at the crash of thunder against the sky. There would be days when we would sulk at one another before one of us would seek the other out, wrapping around each other as if nothing happened because our lives were too short to be spent apart.
I would feed him food he wouldn’t want to eat but would anyway because I made it, and he would insist I tell him where I was going on a shoot so he’d know where to go if I needed to be bailed out for trespassing. He would be at my side during any of my shows, a sleek beautiful creature in a black suit and smiles, and I would always remind him khaki and bright green did not go together.
I looked forward to the mornings where I would be kissed awake or shoved out of bed with a gentle plea for bacon and coffee. Our lives would be spent together, knitted into one another and our odd, patchwork family and I would never ever have any regrets answering the knock on my aunt’s door because I hadn’t truly lived until Cole breathed life into me with his kisses.
And I would one day find him forever asleep in a chair, silver haired and wrinkled but with that damned smile on his handsome face, always beckoning me to take another step forward with him. I would cry on that day. It will break me, but that single moment would be nothing compared to the star field of memories we’d have already hung in the sky.
“Whatcha thinking about, babe?” Cole whispered into my ear. “Ready to make everyone a plate of food and kick them out? Or would that be rude?”
“Very rude,” I conceded. “But doable. They wouldn’t mind…much. If we gave Bobby the ribs, he would go willingly. Maddy’s already said all she wants is the potato salad.”
“Hey, salad’s mine. So’s the pie.” He cocked his head, green eyes slightly out of focus. “Okay, they can order pizza when they get home. They get none of this.”
“We promised we’d feed them,” I reminded him. “Promises are never to be broken, Cole-ah. Remember?”
“Yeah, I know.” He gave me a playful grimace then sighed. “Besides, it’s kind of nice to just sit here, you know. Being here is kind of…everything. Like these little moments make up the best part of life, and I kind of like having everyone here with us. Today. With us.”
“Here is to the us, agi,” I murmured, toasting him with my beer bottle. “May we have many more of these little moments.”
Cole kissed me, hard enough to steal my breath then he said, “And everyone to share them with.”
Dirty Heart: Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.
Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.
As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.
Follow the Dirty Bits Tour at these fantastic blog sites:
Mar 16 — Boy Meets Boy
Mar 17 — Love Bytes
Mar 18 — MM Good Book Reviews
Mar 20 — The Blogger Girls
Mar 21 — It’s About The Book
Mar 22 — Sinfully Gay Romance
Mar 23 — Joyfully Jay
Mar 24 — Prism Book Alliance
Mar 25— The Novel Approach
About the Author: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.
My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law