Many thanks to author Amy Lane for dropping by on the virtual tour for book two in the Fish Out of Water series, Red Fish, Dead Fish.
Terribly Terrific Tere
Okay folks—so, I’m here today to promote Red Fish, Dead Fish, my latest story in the Fish Out of Water series. Now, usually in a blog tour, we talk about ourselves and our newest book until we can’t hardly stand it—but this time out I decided to do something different. I’m going to talk about other people’s books—because I know some amazing romantic suspense authors, and I wanted to celebrate them instead. So Red Fish, Dead Fish is out on Amazon, it’s the second in the series, and I think you’ll like it very much a lot! That being said, let’s talk about Tere Michaels!
Tere Michaels is a legend in the gay romance community—the author of the hugely successful Faith & Fidelity series, she’s the original angst girl, the one who looked at a male/male relationship and said, “This would make a beautiful love story—but let’s make it real.”
Of course, I was a fangirl from the beginning, but she’s become a friend as well—I even knitted for her, and yes, she still wears that shawl at conferences. * preen*
And then, to cement my adoration, Tere went and did like, my FAVORITE TROPE.
Tere wrote me a Batman. No—not a canon Batman, but a vigilante who has a respectable job by day and kicks ass by night, one who has put his entire personal life aside to take care of his responsibilities and who is so hungry for touch that a simple caress of his cheek sends him over the emotional edge.
That character, and my God I love him so.
Tere’s Vigilante Series is set in a dystopian near future, and it is gritty and noir and shivery, with moments of breathtaking tenderness and heartstopping action. I think you’ll enjoy it!
Q: Tell me about body counts–seriously. How many corpses make a good suspense novel, and why?
Tere: Writing a suspenseful superhero series, I knew there would be a body count which made me a little nervous. My darlings aren’t my words necessarily – they are my characters! In “Who Knows the Storm” I had some moments, in big action scenes, of nervously looking at all the characters present. Who was going to get the big yank of death!?
Body counts have to have MEANING, in my humble opinion. Death, like any other plot device, loses meaning if you are doing it for distraction or shock value. So whether it be one or a hundred (or zero!), each corpse has to have an emotional component or they are just a name on the page.
Q: When you read outside your genre, what’s your candy? (I ask everybody this–I think it’s fascinating!)
Tere: I am currently emotionally compromised by Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series. It’s YA and…magic alternative reality sort of? I don’t even know how to classify it beyond Read This Series, You Won’t Be Sorry. Her world building and characterization are absolutely top notch; I’m breathless through every page.
Also I stalk Deborah Harkness on Twitter to find out when there will be more in the All Souls Trilogy. Witch Librarian, Doctor Vampire, Time Traveling and big sprawling families, also danger – things I will never write but want to read!
It’s interesting to me as a writer that I have zero interest in writing paranormal but will read sprawling epics in the genre.
Q: Have you ever freaked yourself right out by writing a suspense scene? Which scene, and do you think it made the book better?
Tere: There is a life and death struggle scene between Cade (one of the protagonists in Who Knows the Storm) and a bad guy that really stressed me out. Cade is not a killer, not an aggressive person but all his choices in the matter are taken away. He’s trapped. And that honestly freaked me out; I added in all the stuff that scares me (the dark, locked doors, no changes of anyone coming to help) and put Cade there. It turned out to be a great scene with long reaching repercussions but gosh, it made me jittery to write it. To this day, I skip over it when I reread the book.
About Red Fish, Dead Fish
They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.
Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.
Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.
Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.
About Fish Out of Water
PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.
Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.
Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.
“Ellery, hand me my phone,” Jackson mumbled. “It’s ringing.”
“You’re not back at work yet,” Ellery slurred. “You have two more weeks.”
Jackson rolled over on top of him and then yelped as he reached unwisely for the phone Ellery had strategically put on his own end table. For a moment, Ellery was covered with tense, warm man, and then he shoved Jackson off.
“I’ll get it!” he snapped, officially awake. “Jesus, what in the—”
“It’s Mack’s ringtone,” Jackson defended. “I told him what we were looking for.”
Ellery tried not to roll his eyes. Mack. This was the same Mack who had helped Jackson out when Jackson had wrecked the car unofficially helping Ellery with an investigation.
At the time, Ellery had been so happy to get Jackson back in one bruised piece—and on a plane to somewhere he could rest without incident—that he hadn’t questioned this Mack’s existence. Once he found out that Mack Flanders had been Jackson’s bedmate a few years ago, he’d been irritated but unsurprised.
Now that Mack was calling them in the whore of dawn’s sweaty crack, Ellery wanted to kick him in the balls.
“Cottage Park, near the outbuilding. Yeah, I got it. There’s a way to get in there, right? I’m not climbing the fucking fence. Of course there’s cops and crime scene tape. That’s not what I’m asking.” The voice on the other end spoke patiently, and some of Jackson’s defensiveness seeped away. “Okay. Thanks, Mack. Owe you another one. No, sorry—told you. Not paying favors that way anymore, but it’s nice of you to ask.”
“God in heaven,” Ellery muttered.
“Yeah, okay. I’ll be there in half an hour.”
“We’ll be there.” Ellery rolled out of bed and headed for the shower. Thirty seconds to run some soap under his pits and pack a suit for court later that day. He could do it.
“Crap,” he could hear Jackson say as he closed the shower door. “We’ll be there. Thanks.”
Five seconds later, Jackson stepped into the shower with him and grabbed his own shower gel from the corner of the tub. They’d had some nice times in there together—particularly when Jackson was still healing from his gunshot wound and his shattered scapula and needed Ellery’s help.
They’d had a few after that too, but not today.
“Body?” Ellery asked, not really needing confirmation.
“Yeah.” Jackson scrubbed his pits with care but not vigor—moving was still painful and probably would be for a little while. He’d gotten out of the hospital less than six weeks earlier. By all rights he should still be chilling in the fall sunshine, maybe swimming in the pool at the gym—but not Jackson.
Ellery had needed to haul him to San Diego to give himself time to recover.
It was even more infuriating that he was right today. There really was no time to rest.
Jackson shook the water from his dark blond hair and squinted at Ellery through eyes as green as bottle glass. “We have a kind of dead body? Most couples just go with favorite song.”
Ellery soaped his hair efficiently. “You know what I mean.”
Jackson grabbed the shampoo. “Yeah.”
Jackson, the private investigator at Ellery’s defense firm, had gotten shot helping Ellery bring down a ring of corrupt cops. They’d put the ringleaders in prison—but one of the underlings had gotten away.
Turned out he was the one the police should have been chasing all along.
“Young,” Jackson said, ticking off items on the list. “This one’s Hispanic. Male, but slender. Recent involvement with drugs. Maybe a week of turning tricks.”
“Dirty pretty,” Ellery confirmed grimly. They had been Scott Bridger’s words, actually, one of the men they’d brought down, to describe the kind of person who had disappeared on his partner’s watch. Gender hadn’t mattered, nor race. Just a little bit of street dirt and some physical beauty.
Tim Owens liked to take the “dirty pretty” ones and make them not so pretty anymore.
“Mack says there’s something new about this one,” Jackson said, stepping in front of him to rinse his hair.
Ellery wasn’t sure why he did it, except it was not yet four in the morning and he and Jackson were naked together, and that wasn’t something he’d learned to take for granted yet.
He wrapped his arms around Jackson’s shoulders and kissed his neck, softly, gently, with just enough tongue and teeth to make Jackson regret they weren’t making love this morning but going to work instead.
Jackson tensed for a moment, probably caught off guard, but then he relaxed into Ellery’s arms and leaned his head back.
“What?” he asked suspiciously.
Well, Ellery had been known to be an autocratic bastard—that was probably warranted.
“Just….” Ellery couldn’t find words. Or he could find words, but neither of them had said the words yet, and you just didn’t spring those words on a guy whose entire life had been an act of insufficient self-protection.
With a sinuous movement, Jackson turned his head and caught Ellery’s mouth, something he couldn’t have done a month ago, something that felt huge and necessary now.
“Don’t worry about me, Counselor,” Jackson said cheekily, pulling away. “But the cuddle was downright friendly.”
Well, sure. Friendly. Just two friendly lovers getting out of bed extra early to go catch a serial killer. Nothing strange about that at all.
“Just be careful,” Ellery said, trying not to sound bitchy or officious and failing. “He’s got your cell phone. You know that, right?”
“Well, he had it for a couple of hours before it got deactivated,” Jackson said. “And yeah—fuck me for owning an Android with the shitty security. Thank you so much for the iPhone, Ellery. Now I am safe from serial killers everywhere.”
The snark in his voice was the only thing that kept Ellery from conking him over the head and tying him to the bed in a completely non-kinky way.
About the Author
Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
Follow the Tour
July 28 – MM Good Book Reviews ~ Amy Lane
July 28 – Alpha Book Reviews (Just a little about Jackson in Fish Out of Water)
July 31 – Open Skye Book Reviews ~ Andrew Grey
August 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed ~ Kim Fielding
August 2 – My Fiction Nook ~ Rayna Vause
August 3 – Tammy’s Two Cents ~ Ava Drake
August 4 – Happily Ever Chapter ~ Melinda Leigh
August 7 – Long and Short Reviews ~ Karen Rose
August 8 – Love Bytes ~ Charlie Cochet
August 10 – The Novel Approach ~ Tere Michaels