Please welcome Sarah Madison with
The Sixth Sense #1
Special Agent John Flynn is everything Jerry Parker is not: dangerously handsome, coolly charismatic, and respected by his peers. Special Agent Parker is dedicated and meticulous, but his abrasive personality has given him a reputation for being difficult. When new information on a cold case appears, Parker is assigned to work with Flynn, and the sparks fly as their investigative styles clash. Contact with a strange artifact changes everything when it bestows unusual and unpredictable powers on Flynn… and the two men must learn to trust each other before a killer strikes again.
Jerry abandoned his conversation with Flynn to look for the owner of the voice from his past. His heart squeezed painfully to a halt at the sight of Derek standing on the sidewalk behind him, only to restart at double-time.
Jesus. Talk about running into your ex.
Derek wore a brown blazer over a tan turtleneck, with a brightly colored scarf carelessly thrown around his neck. Jerry had a momentary spurt of irritation for the affectation and then felt his heart sink. There was no way he could avoid speaking to Derek without looking churlish, and he didn’t want to give him that satisfaction.
“What are you doing down here?” Derek’s voice was inappropriately coy as he raised an eyebrow in Flynn’s direction and gave him the once-over. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”
His sun-bleached hair was overly long and curling at the collar, and Jerry was secretly amused that it appeared to be getting thin on top. Derek had creases at the corners of his eyes as well. Too much time in the tanning booth, no doubt.
He must be having a cow over that.
It must be harder now for Derek to catch the attention of some sweet young ass, unless the young thing was desperate for a sugar daddy.
“Derek Collins,” Jerry said smoothly, “my partner, John Flynn. We’re here on business, Derek.”
This is the guy that I thought I loved once. Boy, was I an idiot.
“Partner?” Derek glanced swiftly at Jerry’s left hand and then gave a little laugh. “Oh, partner,” he repeated without explanation, shooting a sly smirk at Flynn.
Jerry felt Flynn go rigid with tension, like a dog with his hackles up.
Relax. Gayness isn’t catching.
Flynn shot him a wounded look, and Jerry felt ashamed when he realized Flynn wasn’t embarrassed by Derek’s innuendos, he was pissed off on Jerry’s behalf. That was just…. Wow. Warmth suddenly flooded him, and he was both embarrassed and comforted at the same time.
Inexplicably, Flynn’s face relaxed, and a lazy smile appeared. “Yes, partner.” He practically purred as he placed a hand on Jerry’s arm. “Come on, Jer. We don’t want to be late for that interview.”
He guided Jerry away with a decidedly possessive hand on the small of his back.
“What was that about?” Jerry hissed as they left Derek openmouthed behind them.
“That asshole,” Flynn growled. “I can’t believe he cheated on you with a twinkie.”
Jerry stumbled and then laughed. When he quickly glanced over his shoulder, he saw Derek staring at the two of them speculatively. He laughed even harder and clapped Flynn on the back.
“It’s ‘twink’ if you really want to be cool,” Jerry corrected him.
“Asshole.” Flynn repeated the epithet for good measure, sounding pissed off again. “I wanted to punch him, but then I realized what would jerk his chain.” He appeared insufferably pleased with himself.
“You’re an idiot,” Jerry said with amusement. “A nice one, but an idiot all the same.” It’ll be all over town by this evening that I have a hot boyfriend. He fixed a sharp look on Flynn to check his reaction, but Flynn merely whistled innocently. “Come on,” Jerry sighed, not knowing what to make of the gesture. “We’ve got work to do.”
Get the book:
Someone asked me to explain the unbelievably smirky expression on John Flynn’s face on the covers of the Sixth Sense series. What can I say? When I decided to approach Dreamspinner Press with the idea of expanding Unspeakable Words into a full length novel, so as to match the other stories in the series, they not only thought it was a good idea, they suggested new covers for the relaunch. Somehow, artist L.C. Chase managed to capture the essence of Flynn based on my descriptions alone. I think it helps a lot that I’m well into the series now, and have a much better feel for the characters and where they are headed than when I first started, but Chase’s covers are simply brilliant.
See that raised eyebrow? That look of smug superiority? SO John Flynn. On the surface, the world has always been his oyster. He’s the FBI agent others envy—the one with the impressive record, who is also a hotshot athlete and can charm the socks off almost anyone. Only those who know him better—and that list is very short—know that he blames himself for the abduction and murder of his sister when he was a teenager, and that his drive to be the perfect agent stems out of that guilt. Another man might have acted like he had a stick up his ass, but not Flynn. If anything, he likes to rattle other people’s cages as a means of deflecting them from his own. So the mocking smile, the uplifted eyebrow—that’s his trademark.
Which is why he is thrown for a loop when a chance encounter with a strange artifact ‘gifts’ him with special powers. Overwhelmed and feeling out of control, he turns to Jerry Lee Parker for stability while the two of them seek answers to his situation. Uptight, by-the-book Jerry is exactly what Flynn needs to stay grounded while he adjusts to his newfound abilities.
Flynn eventually finds his equilibrium again, in no small part due to Jerry’s influence in his life. Watching their relationship evolve over the course of the series has been one of the best parts of writing it. Flynn has learned how to lean on someone else while Jerry has come to accept that he can be loved for who he is.
That’s not to say their relationship isn’t constantly being tested, or that it will all be smooth sailing from here on out. Those who know me well realize I believe in making the main characters work for their happiness. Truthfully, conflict is the meat and drink of storytelling to me. Without it, the story feels insipid and flat, especially if the conflict seems contrived. I love complicated, adult relationships, and that’s exactly what Flynn and Jerry Lee have.
I confess, I’m drawn to snarky, smart-ass characters. Snappy dialog with verbal stingers are like crack to me—it pulls me in every time. What I love about Flynn and Jerry Lee’s relationship is that Jerry Lee gives back as good as he gets. Flynn respects that, and trusts it much more than the usual fawning hero-worship he’s received in the past.
I also love writing ‘opposites attract’ stories, so I’m going to frequently pair the confident with the insecure, or the boldly outgoing with the introvert. Partly because it’s just plain fun, and partly because it makes for great conflict in the story, but also because I like exploring the pros and cons of such characteristics. Being charming has its drawbacks, as does being a jerk. I like seeing if the two halves of the opposites come together to make a better whole.
The revised and expanded version of Unspeakable Words will be re-released on March 10th, 2017.I’m currently working on the fourth and final installment in the series, tentatively titled Deal with the Devil. Current release date sometime in 2018. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the relaunch of the series, or coming to the party for the first time. I think you’ll enjoy it.
About the author:
Sarah Madison is a writer with a little dog, a big dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she's not out hiking with the dogs or down at the stables, she's at the laptop working on her next story. When she’s in the middle of a chapter, she relies on the smoke detector to tell her dinner is ready. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy. Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013, 2015, and 2016 Rainbow Awards. The Boys of Summer won Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Sixth Sense series was voted 2nd place in the 2014 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Mystery series, and 3rd place in the 2105 PGR Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series. Fool’s Gold was voted best M/M romance in the 2016 PRG Awards.
If you want to make her day, e-mail her and tell you how much you like her stories.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.