Today we're kicking off our month-long celebrations for the amazing
In today's post, we'll talk about the Sinners series, plus take a look at Rhys' favorite things. All the way at the bottom is also a chance to win one of her books.
First up, Sinner's Gin
There’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.
After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears Death isn’t done with him yet.
Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved — provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.
It’d taken him long enough, but Kane finally recognized the dog’s owner. The first time he’d seen the man, he’d been plastered up on one of his sister’s bedroom walls, wearing leather pants and a come-fuck-me snarl. Several of the man’s CDs were in Kane’s truck, and he sometimes popped them in when he needed a good kick of bluesy rock to keep him awake after a long night.
“Son of a bitch, you’re Miki St. John.” Kane whistled. “You’re the singer from Sinner’s Gin.”
From the expression on St. John’s face, someone would have thought Kane had kicked him in the balls. The man recoiled, sliding away from Kane. He slid along the wall, still unable to hold himself up on his right leg, but he didn’t appear to care. If anything, Kane recognizing him seemed to drive him back into the house.
Not the typical reaction Kane expected from a musician, even one who’d disappeared off the face of the earth. Then St. John turned violently green, and the man’s fears were the farthest thing from Kane’s mind.
“Don’t throw up in here,” Kane ordered. “Turn your head. Aim for inside the house if you’re going to do it.”
Shock bled the man’s skin to a deathly white, so the sickness taking him over was a quick wave of cold sweats and ashen pallor. Shaking, St. John bent over and heaved. Kane grabbed at him, trying to drag him out of the garage so he didn’t ruin any evidence, but it was too late. He retched, losing everything he had in his stomach.
Which, to Kane’s eyes, didn’t appear to be anything more than water.
St. John clutched his stomach and retched again, more air than anything else. His eyes were wide with distress and more than a little bloodshot. The heaving didn’t appear to help his color any, and Kane kept half an eye on the door, hoping the dog wouldn’t decide to trot out and track through the watery vomit.
“Damn it, you’re going into shock,” Kane grumbled. He quickly shed his jacket, then hissed when a cold wind whipped through the open garage. If he was cold, he couldn’t imagine how St. John felt. The man looked barely strong enough to walk, much less ward off a freezing San Francisco wind. He leaned down and wrapped the warm leather jacket around St. John’s shoulders and checked his phone again. “I’m going to have Dispatch send out an ambulance. You look like you need one.”
“No, I’m… fine. What the…?” St. John didn’t finish. Instead he tried to get to his feet again, bracing himself against the wall with one hand. His eyes never left Kane’s face, although they shifted once in a while to look at Kane’s holstered gun. “Do you know who killed him? How…. Fuck….”
“No, but I want to know who did,” Kane replied, tapping the badge he wore on his belt. “How do you know him? How’d he end up here?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t kill him,” the young man said. He shook slightly, a barely perceptible shiver under his skin, and his eyes remained fixed on the carved up remains of the body draped over the car seat. “If you find who did it, I want to thank them something fierce.”
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Next in the series, Whiskey And Wry
He was dead. And it was murder most foul. If erasing a man’s existence could even be called murder.
When Damien Mitchell wakes, he finds himself without a life or a name. The Montana asylum’s doctors tell him he’s delusional and his memories are all lies: he’s really Stephen Thompson, and he’d gone over the edge, obsessing about a rock star who died in a fiery crash. His chance to escape back to his own life comes when his prison burns, but a gunman is waiting for him, determined that neither Stephen Thompson nor Damien Mitchell will escape.
With the assassin on his tail, Damien flees to the City by the Bay, but keeping a low profile is the only way he’ll survive as he searches San Francisco for his best friend, Miki St. John. Falling back on what kept him fed before he made it big, Damien sings for his supper outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier, and he soon falls in with the owner, Sionn Murphy. Damien doesn’t need a complication like Sionn, and to make matters worse, the gunman—who doesn’t mind going through Sionn or anyone else if that’s what it takes kill Damien—shows up to finish what he started.
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Third in the series, Tequila Mockingbird
Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.
No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.
Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.
Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart.
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Book 4, Sloe Ride:
It isn’t easy being a Morgan. Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.
Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ bad boy friend and the man who broke his very young heart.
Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt, until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.
When Rafe hears the Sinners are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself, but as a crazed murderer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.
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And last, but not least, Absinthe Of Malice
We’re getting the band back together.
Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.
And we’re going on tour.
When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.
As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.
But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.
“Since we’re back on the road… after such a fucking long time,” Miki purred. “We want to take you all with us. This one’s called ‘Whiskey and Rye.’ Sing along with us if you know the words. But dance the fuck along with us even if you don’t.”
Damien no longer heard the crowd. The shuffle of feet, slap of bodies, and hoarse cries fell away, an orgy he heard in passing through an open window slowly being closed by the band’s music. He felt the moment Sinjun hooked his soul, belting out a song they’d fallen into without Damien even realizing he’d started the first chord.
“Miles of black, whiskey and rye,” Miki growled into the mike. His foot was on one of the risers, knee crooked and his body bent over the churning crowd. Hands reached up out of the blackened pit, touching the light pouring off of the stage. “Keeps the band warm, and our damned souls dry.”
There were more words. Most of them shouted back at the stage in a soup of voices he only heard while playing a gig. In every town, and no matter where they played, that voice—that singular meshing of sound—was the same. It was something magical they’d found under every hot light and in front of every thumping sound system, a voice that followed them—followed every musician, really—the echoing hoarse, slightly off-key voice of the crowd joining in to sing their hearts out.
“A million miles to go, a million miles to get right here. We’ve drank from every bottle, and more than our share of beer,” Sinjun crooned, pulling out their voices, challenging the crowd to match his unearthly sweet bawl. “At every single show, on yet another stage. We find you in the dark. Ready to rock and rage.”
Sinjun’s pale face glistened under the light, rapturous and seductive, and Damien laughed when a red bra came flying up onto the stage. Rafe hooked his boot tip under a bra cup and flicked it up over one of the mike stand legs. Forest didn’t skip a beat, his expression both beatific and humble. He mouthed the words along with Miki, a song written in another time when Sinjun needed to remind himself why he was up on stage.
Written in the dead fatigue of a three a.m. pancake breakfast at a diner with more roaches than grains of salt in the condiment shakers, he’d poured his heart out onto white napkins and children’s menus while they’d waited for their driver to finish banging his waitress girlfriend in the back of their bus. They’d gotten drunk after that, drowning in Jack and a half-full bottle of Prichard’s, all the while complaining their seats smelled too much of sex and not enough of rock and roll.
Rafe and Forest were here with them to change all of that. Rafe’s husky purr slid under Sinjun’s lower range, giving their singer a platform to jump off of. Forest thundered on, picking up the bass line and weaving a trill in between the chorus and Damien’s solo. It was a light tease, something he did to poke at Damien’s ego, and Forest winked when Damien shot him a fake scowl.
Their drummer wasn’t intimidated one bit. But then it probably was hard to intimidate a guy whose lover could crack Damien’s head apart like a walnut with two fingers and have the whole family—including Damie’s Sionn—forgive Connor because it was, well… Damien.
The solo flew by, a crunchy blues riff he’d cobbled along to go with the sweet of Miki’s ode to their life on the road. Bokeh spangles formed on Damien’s eyelashes, the hot spotlight on his face grabbing at the sweat, then falling away, a rain of hexagons and spots as he twisted about to shout the chorus. Sinjun slid over, nesting into Damie’s shoulder, and sang—pure, simple, and sweet—of debauchery on the road and the bond between four souls up on stage.
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Rhys' Favorite Things:
- Muscle cars
- Books (that’s kind of a duh moment). I love digging through other people’s words.
- Favourite Cities: Venice, San Francisco, New Orleans
- Dragons. I was born in the year of the dragon.
- Tattoos. I have many. Probably will have many more.
- Playing with sticky world building
- The weird pink thing Ursula Vernon gave me. His name’s Pludwhump, The Leader of the Wool Tribe. I love him to pieces.
- Music. All the music.
- I have a few favourite restaurants but mainly Golden City, Convoy Tofu House, and Big Joy Family Bakery in San Diego. An honorable mention to Leung’s in Hilo and a mournful shout out to a long since closed fave in its original spot, Mun Cheong Lau. There will never be an oyster chicken like Mun Cheong Lau’s.
More about Rhys Ford:
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.
Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press, DSP Publications and all major online book stores.
Thanks for celebrating this fabulous author with us. Come back next week for more of Rhys' books, five little-known things about her, plus another chance to win.
Until then, happy reading!!