Thursday, May 28, 2015

Author Of the Month - Andrew Grey - Grand Finale




Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the exceptionally talented





Today we're bringing you all the info about the Farm series, plus our Q&A with Andrew, and one final chance to win one of his awesome books!




First up, LOVE MEANS...NO SHAME



Blurb:

Geoff is in the city, living the gay life to the hilt, when his father's death convinces him to return to the family farm. Discovering a young Amish man asleep in his barn, Geoff learns that Eli is spending a year away from the community before accepting baptism into the church. Despite their mutual attraction, Geoff is determined not to become involved with him, but Eli has discovered that Geoff shares his feelings and begins to court him, neatly capturing first Geoff's attention and then his heart.

Their budding relationship is threatened by closed-minded, gossipy relatives and the society at large, a whole new world to Eli, and he must decide whether to return to the community, his family, and the world and future he knows or to stay with Geoff and have faith in the power of love.


Excerpt:


Geoff had to be at his office by eight on Monday morning, and he was nearly late. Unlike most of the past few weeks, he’d slept well and hadn’t spent Sunday night trolling for men. Arriving just in time, he quietly put his things away and booted up his PC, getting right to work. He’d gotten this job right out of college, working as a staff accountant for a chain of retail stores. He liked the work, and the people he worked with were nice, but most of them were older, and it was difficult to make friends. The one exception had been Raine. He’d met him the first day on the job, and they’d become fast friends. Unfortunately, he was the only real friend Geoff had made. Oh, there were acquaintances and people he went out with, but Raine was his only true friend, which made for a lonely life.


He was busy working on the accounts payable ledger, trying to find an imbalance, when heard a soft cough. “Geoff, Kenny would like to see you in his office.”


Kenny was the head of accounting, and when he summoned, you hopped to it. He was a nice guy but demanded punctuality from all his people, and being late when he called was viewed as a sign of disrespect.


An hour later Geoff returned with more mysteries to solve. This was what he loved, really loved. Numbers sang to him, and he had a talent for digging in and finding mistakes and imbalances no matter how small. In a very short time, he’d developed a reputation as someone who could locate small errors before they became big ones.


The one thing he didn’t like about his job was that it tended to be very solitary. He spent most of his days working with numbers and very little of his days working with people. He’d really like to do both.


At noon, Raine came to his cubicle, and the two of them had a quick lunch before heading to the company fitness center to work off some of the weekend’s excesses. Once they’d changed, they each got on a treadmill and started walking. The room was empty except for them, which was normal.


“I’m thinking of looking for a new job,” Raine mentioned.


“Why?” The thought sent chill through Geoff—what would he do without seeing Raine every day?


“I’m not going to go anywhere here. Kenny doesn’t really like me, so nothing is gonna happen for me.” Raine had been there a year longer than Geoff, but Geoff seemed to get better assignments and more recognition. Geoff didn’t know what to say, so he kept walking, increasing the pace of his machine. Raine must have seen the worried look on Geoff’s face. “Don’t worry, we’ll always be friends.”


“I know… it’s just that this place will be so dull without you.”


“Not that Kenny will see it that way, but it probably will be.” Modesty wasn’t one of Raine’s personality attributes. “You going out tonight?”


“No. I decided I’m going to cut back and find other things to do.” He’d been drinking way too much lately, and his liver and budget could both use a break. “Maybe tomorrow night.” One could stay inside just so much.


Raine started laughing. “You had me worried for a second.” They both laughed companionably and finished their workouts.


The small locker room was empty when they got done. Geoff stripped off his sweaty clothes and headed for a quick shower. He’d just started the water when he felt a snap on his butt. “Jesus!” His ass stung where Raine had towel-snapped him. Geoff twisted his towel and snapped it in retaliation, but Raine ducked out of the way. They were both laughing as Geoff climbed in the shower and rinsed off, rubbing his sore cheeks.


Getting out of the shower, he dried off and got dressed. Raine was waiting, and together they walked back to their work area.


Geoff went right back to work, combing the ledger for the error he knew was there… somewhere. He could hear the room buzzing, soft voices talking animatedly, but paid no attention. Rumors flew through the place with the speed of a bullet, but he made a special effort to stay out of the rumor mill.


He’d just found the error and was logging into the system to correct it when he heard a soft knock on his cubicle wall. It was Angela, the director of accounts payable.


“Geoff, I want to introduce you to Garrett Foster, the new AP manager.” Geoff stood up and greeted his new boss, extending his hand and looking into the man’s eyes. Jesus Christ… he almost pulled his hand back but restrained himself, checking that he was keeping his expression even.


“Good to meet you, Garrett.”


The tall blond flashed a brilliant smile, “Looking forward to working with you, Geoff.” Taking Geoff’s hand, he held it a little longer than he should have and then let go. Geoff had to stop himself from shivering. Then, with one of her bright, fake smiles, Angela led Garrett off to meet the rest of the team.


Geoff collapsed back into his chair, and a few minutes later Raine was standing in front of his desk. “Was that…?”


Geoff nodded slowly. “Mr. Vain himself, yup.”


Raine started to chuckle and covered his mouth with his hand to keep from laughing out loud. “Your boss is Mr. Vain.”


Geoff held his head in his hand. “Oh God, I knew this was going to catch up with me someday.”


Raine leaned close. “Who knew it would be so soon?” Raine gave him his best sympathetic look. “Sorry, man.” Then he was gone.


Geoff tried to concentrate but couldn’t. His new boss, Garrett Foster, was a guy he’d gone home with about a month earlier. They’d had a reasonably good time, but Garrett—at the time, his name was Phillip—had been a rather selfish lover. His bedroom was covered with mirrors! He and Raine called him Mr. Vain because the song was so about him. The man never passed a mirror he didn’t like. Geoff wasn’t interested in seeing him again, and Garrett being his boss was an added complication Geoff didn’t want.


At quitting time, Raine was at his desk right away, and Geoff packed up his things so they could leave as quickly as possible. “Wanna go for dinner?”


Geoff didn’t really feel like going anywhere. “I’m just going to go home.” You get what you put out.


“Then let’s get a pizza delivered and veg out.” Raine knew what Geoff needed, even if Geoff didn’t.


“Okay.” They made their way out of the building and back to Geoff’s place, where they ordered a pizza. They’d just finished eating when the phone rang.


“Geoff, it’s Len.” The man sounded choked up, and Geoff stiffened. “It’s about your dad.”


His father had been fighting cancer for a while, but the last time Geoff had spoken to him, he’d said he was feeling really good. “Do you need me to come home?” Geoff asked.


“Yes.” Len’s voice broke. “Geoff, he passed away.” He heard tears coming from the other end of the line, and he felt his own well up in his eyes as a huge lump swelled in his throat.


“I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Geoff hung up and turned to Raine, his lower lip quivering as he tried to maintain control of himself. “It’s my dad. He passed away this afternoon.” Raine pulled him to his chest and hugged him, letting Geoff cry on his shoulder.


Once the tears subsided, Raine spurred into action. “You need to get home. Are you gonna drive or fly?”


Geoff wiped his eyes on his sleeve, “I’d better drive. It’ll be just as fast.”


“Then we better get you packed. And don’t worry about work; I’ll talk to Kenny in the morning and tell him what happened. You can call him when you get a chance.” By the time Raine left, Geoff was packed, and the car was loaded. All he needed to do was call Len back and start driving first thing in the morning.




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Second in the series, LOVE MEANS...NO BOUNDARIES



Blurb:

Joey Sutherland has found a home with Geoff Laughton and his partner, Eli, living and working at the farm that has become a refuge after a motorcycle accident left him with a scarred face and a lot of insecurities. When Geoff's aunt Mari convinces them to take in a musician from the National Youth Symphony, Joey is reluctantly roped into picking him up, already anticipating the disgust he'll see on the man's face. But Robert Edward Jameson surprises him: he's outgoing and friendly, he's willing to try just about anything around the farm, and he's blind, which goes a long way toward easing Joey's nerves. Joey and Robbie become inseparable and discover the beginnings of love. But summer is coming to an end, and Robbie will return to his home in Mississippi, where his family and servants see to everything he could want or need. Joey can only hope Robbie will take a chance on love and escape the boundaries that have shaped his sightless life.



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At number 3, LOVE MEANS...FREEDOM



Blurb:

Spurned by his father and driven from his home, Stone Hillyard is struggling to find shelter in the Michigan winter when he lucks upon the horse farm run by Geoff Laughton and his partner Eli. They take him in, warm him up, and give him a job working with their No Boundaries therapy riding program.

A drunk driver left Preston Harding unable to walk, and after months of hard work, his therapist recommends Geoff and Eli's program. But Preston's anger and arrogance nearly get him kicked out until Stone intercedes on his behalf, despite Preston's insults. It's a small act of kindness that helps open Preston's eyes.

Stone and Preston will support each other as they face their families' disapproval and fight old secrets. They'll learn-sometimes the hard way-just how love can mean freedom for them both.



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Fourth in the series, LOVE MEANS...NO FEAR


Blurb:

Raine Baumer is living the party life in Chicago, indulging in short relationships with little emotional commitment. But after he's severely injured in a gay bashing, close friend Geoff arrives to take him to the country to recuperate. There Geoff and his partner Eli treat him like part of the family, and Raine meets Jonah, Eli's brother, who is exploring life in the world outside his Amish community. Jonah and Raine's mutual attraction draws them together, but they may not have a chance to explore it. Jonah's father is making ultimatums, and the police believe that the attack on Raine may not have been as random as it initially appeared. Raine and Jonah will have to face what they fear most in order to have any chance at a life together.


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Coming at number 5, LOVE MEANS...FAMILY


Blurb:

Four months ago Robert Edward “Arie” Hawkins lost his sister and the rest of her family in a plane crash. Now his parents have decided it’s time for him to marry and carry on the family name. Arie knows it’s most likely the grief talking—especially from his mother, who’s taken to putting more than ice in her iced tea—so to escape Mississippi, Arie calls his best friend, Robbie, and arranges for a visit.

Life is always changing at the Michigan farm where Robbie lives. Owner Geoff Laughton and his partner, Eli, have started a therapeutic riding program and adopted a little boy, creating a family. It’s while feeding Jakey that Arie meets Officer Hunky.

Officer Hunky’s real name is Deputy Duane Keenan, and he has troubles of his own, but not enough to stop him from pursuing Arie. But Duane’s and Arie’s families are pulling them in opposite directions. Trying to build a connection to support their mutual attraction may prove to be more than difficult… it may be impossible.




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And sixth in the series, LOVE MEANS...NO LIMITS



Blurb:

Bart van Andren, aka Spider, has been running away from life with a lot of chemical help. When he wakes up in a hospital, he discovers he’s picked up a champion. Duane must see something in Bart no one else ever has, because he finds Bart a job at Laughton Farms, where the people show Bart kindness and patience. He might even kick his drug habit with a little help from his new friends Geoff, Eli, and especially Tyrone.

Tyrone Jackson works at the farm despite the disapproval of his traditional black family, who find it suspicious that he works with gay men. Tyrone knows he’s gay, and until now, he’s kept his home and work lives separate.

Though Tyrone resists his feelings for Bart as long as he can—he’s seen enough of the drug culture to last a lifetime—he can’t deny their attraction forever. But before he and Bart reach for more than friendship, Tyrone has to face his family and Bart has to close the door on his past—a past that could put Tyrone, the farm, and everyone he’s come to care for at risk.



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Seventh in the series, LOVE MEANS...PATIENCE



Blurb:

Years after his discharge from the Marines under “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” Cody Culver lives in a PTSD-induced world all his own. On a mission, under misconceptions that Geoff and Eli are the enemy, Cody breaks into their farmhouse but is quickly brought back to his senses by a frying pan to the head. After receiving much needed help in the hospital, Cody has nowhere to go. Luckily, kindhearted Eli knows just where to turn.

When Eli asks former Marine Brick Hunter to help, Brick isn’t sure he wants to get involved. But Brick has worked through his own PTSD, and like it or not, he owes Eli a favor. With Cody struggling to rejoin the real world and Brick agreeing to take him in, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought possible.

Though Cody tries to stay in the here and now, he sometimes flashes to unexplainable traumatic events—events that don’t fit his usual war zone delusions. As the “delusions” grow more frequent, it becomes apparent they might not be delusions at all. Cody may have actually witnessed a murder.


Sandra's review:





Not my first by this author, but my first from this series, an oversight I need to rectify.

Love Means... Patience starts out firmly inside the PTSD-confused mind of Cody Culver, a discharged soldier, who thinks he's executing a secret mission. When he breaks into the farmhouse of Geoff and Eli (a couple from a previous book in the series), he's stopped short by a frying pan to the head, taken to a hospital and finally gets the help he needs.

With no place to go for Cody, Eli turns to his neighbor Brick Hunter, a former Marine, who has the skills it takes to get Cody back on his feet.



Of course, it's not easy. From the start, there's an attraction between the two men, and the reader knows that romance is in the air, but there's also self-doubt, Cody's continued issues with PTSD and getting lost in his mind, and a possibly murder mystery based on something Cody saw while he was "on his mission" in the woods.

Love Means... Patience is a heartwarming romance between two ex-soldiers, but realistically conveys the struggles of soldiers after the horrors they experience in combat zones. Patiently and carefully, without ever letting his story drag, Andrew Grey showcases how someone with these horrific memories could get lost in his own mind's delusions, and how difficult it is for the character to determine what's real and what isn't.

It's a quiet love story between two men of few words, who discover they have more in common than they thought, and who find just what they needed in each other.

It's about the strength of love, the support of friends, and the power of hope.

Beautifully written, with organic dialogue and moving scenes, this was a pleasure to read. And while I may have gotten confused on occasion with the side characters, it's my own fault for not having read the previous books in this series.

This is a standalone novel, and can be read as such.




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And, for now, the final book in the series, LOVE MEANS...ENDURANCE


Blurb:

Together for over ten years, Geoff and Eli built a fulfilling life. Their love and support helped raise their adopted son. Their hard work and dedication grew their farm from raising cattle and boarding horses to expanding into therapy riding sessions. Surrounded by a loving circle of friends, Geoff and Eli couldn’t ask for more. Until driven Eli loses his energy, and the doctor gives them the dire diagnosis of cancer.

Caught up in never-ending doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and treatments, their world turns upside down. With so many people dependent on them, they must pull together to put on a brave face, continue living as best they can, and care for their family. Geoff fears Eli, the love of his life, while a fighter, may not endure this battle, but neither is willing to consider succumbing as an option.



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Andrew has also written a prequel called LOVE MEANS...COURAGE



Blurb:

Len Parker is laid off during the recession in the early eighties and decides to go back to college at home in rural Michigan, where he reconnects with his best friend from high school, Ruby. He's overjoyed when she marries Cliff Laughton and overcome with sorrow when she dies an untimely death, leaving behind her husband and two-year-old son.

Out of work again, Len finds a job at Cliff Laughton's sorely neglected farm. Cliff is still mourning his wife, struggling to raise his son, and has little enthusiasm or energy left for work. Len immediately begins to whip the farm—including the two Laughtons—into shape. Working side by side, Len and Cliff grow ever closer, but loving another man takes a lot of courage. They'll have to stand together as they face faltering business, threatening drought, misguided family, and Midwestern prejudices to protect what might be a lifelong love.




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Additionally, there are a few in-betweens to catch up with Eli and Geoff:


        





We asked Andrew some hard... uhm... difficult questions:



1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?

Just about everything in the world around me. I get inspiration from art, news stories, the internet, people I meet, just about anything. My family no longer tell me their stories because they’re afraid I’ll use them in a book.

2. What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?

I’m very much a seat of the pants kind of guy. I get an idea and go for it, no holds barred. I do have an amazing group of people that I bounce ideas off of, but mostly I rev my engines and go.

3. Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?

I think it has to be Geoff from the love Means... stories. I’ve written him as a child and an adult. I feel he’s as close to the person I’d like to be as any I’ve ever written.

4. Which character is your least favorite, and why?

That’s very hard to say because I love all my characters. I spend so much time with them that they become real to me. Though if I had to choose, Bull’s mother from Inside Out comes to mind. What a witch.

5. If you could go back into one of your books and change one thing, what would that be? And why?

That is a hard question. But I think I’d add more tension in Love Comes Home and change the focus of the story just a little to better center on the main characters.

6. What's next for you? What amazing book are you working on?

I just finished a story called Between Loathing and Love. I have also started a second persona, Dick Greyson, to write romantic adventure and Paranormal. Dirk’s first book, Day and Knight, released May 4.

7. Anything else you'd like to share with your readers?

Be on the lookout for Fire and Ice, the follow up to Fire and Water, coming in late May.




Thank you, Andrew!!



More about Andrew Grey:

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and now writes full time.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


    





Giveaway:






Thanks for celebrating with us!! We hope you found a few new favorites to add your TBR. Until next time, happy reading!











7 comments:

  1. Great post-- huge fan of Andrew Grey! Thanks for the chance.

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  2. I loved it because it gave an interview plus excerpts from all the different novels.

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  3. Great post. Andrew Grey is an auto buy for me. He has great characters and believable stories. I have never met him in person but he is always gracious and nice on line.

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  4. Angela:
    Thanks for another great post. I read a lot of books by Andrew Grey and i just started on the first book in Range serie, and so far i love it :)

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  5. Another great post for a great author. I loved Love Means Courage and read it first, which made Love Means No Shame particularly hard to read. One day I will finish all of these. I think I'm only about half way through, but have so many waiting on my TBR list. :)

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  6. Another fabulous post. I love hearing which characters are favorites and less liked by the author. I have started this series, but I haven't gotten past the first book yet.

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  7. I enjoy the author of the month posts, especially finding out a bit more about favourite authors and their writing processes. I would find it hard to say which is my favourite book or series, the Range series perhaps as they were the first books I read of Andrew's but there also many others, so thank you for a chance to win one more book to add to my collection.

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