Welcome to our second week of celebrating the amazing
In today's post, we'll look at the Healing Hearts series, plus five little-known things about Nicky. There's also another chance to win one of her books.
First up, No Regrets
Life makes no promises, and sometimes, you draw the short straw.
Landon Johnston’s life came to a grinding halt seven months ago when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
With the encouragement of his grandmother, Landon worked his way out of his slump and tried to live life while he still could.
Deciding he didn’t want to drag anyone else down his morbid path, Landon gave up all friendships and denied himself love. It was better that way, because all he had to offer was eventual heartache and sadness.
While traveling the world, Landon meets Abel Matheson, a free-spirited, unedited, and nerve-grating man who was supposed to only be a one-night-stand. Despite Landon’s insistence that he can’t form a relationship with his current diagnoses, Abel is persistent and will not be ignored.
Fighting against all his ingrained urges to run, Landon finds himself drawn down the road he swore he’d never take.
Intimacy grows and bonds form…
Only… Abel doesn’t know Landon is sick.
How can anyone love a man with no future?
Telling him might cause him to run, but staying silent means living a lie. A lie which will only reveal itself in time.
The silence returned as we continued with our drinks. Abel was the one to break first when he slid his empty cup aside and leaned in, talking in a hushed voice. “So, Landon from Canada, computer nerd, and Spiderman wannabe. I’m gonna cut the shit and be blunt.”
“You mean more blunt?”
“Yeah, more blunt, so brace yourself. You’re incredibly hot, and I wanna find a room somewhere and fuck you senseless.”
Who the hell says shit like that?
“There is a pub a block down. Let me buy you a couple of drinks and help you relax because you’re all stiff and uptight. Then, what do you say we find somewhere private after that?”
I had to search for my words because they’d fallen into a gaping chasm of disbelief. “You’re awfully presumptuous.”
“I can be. But, you haven’t told me to fuck off yet, so I’m guessing you’ve been considering it too.”
Yeah, I’d been considering it since he stood in line for drinks twenty minutes ago. Is that how these things worked? Hey, wanna fuck? Sure, let’s go.
Swallowing the dry lump from my throat, I pinned him with a glare, doing my best to show confidence even though I trembled on the inside. “Maybe I am. Only, I don’t drink.”
More like I couldn’t drink, at least not with the massive array of medications I took. It was something I had to give up long ago. What I wouldn’t have given for a beer to calm me down. He was right, I was wound tighter than a spring.
“A twenty-six-year-old, non-drinker. You just get more and more interesting. I’ll have to find other ways to get you to relax then. I can be creative. Are you here with anyone?”
“No. I umm… I came alone.”
“Do you have a room nearby?”
“What about your friends? Won’t they be looking for you?”
He chuckled. “Nah, they’ll be drinking themselves stupid half the night and won’t even know I’m not there.”
My gaze dropped to the table once again. My blood pressure rose with each slam of my heart against my ribcage. Why the hell was I so nervous? It wasn’t like I was some virgin or anything. I took a deep breath and tried to rein in the suffocating emotion before it got out of hand.
Shifting my gaze to my notebook, I saw my list in my head again and heard my grandmother’s words.
If I died tomorrow, I’d have no regrets. Can you say the same thing?
I was sure this wasn’t what she meant. Sorry, grandma.
Time to tick off another one.
“Fuck it. Yes, I have a room a block down the road.” With another shaky breath, I pushed my half-empty mug aside and grabbed my notebook. “What happens in China stays in China, right?” Standing, I glanced back at him.
His grin was facetious as he sucked the corner of his bottom lip into his teeth. “It’s not Vegas, but I think it applies.”
Get the book:
Book 2 in the series, New Beginnings: Abel's Journey
**TRIGGER WARNING**(self-harm, depression, anxiety, substance abuse)
Life is beyond our control. It can bring joy, laughter, and happiness, then turn around and rip your heart out of your chest without warning.
Abel Matheson received a cold dose of life’s reality six months ago, when the man he loved most, lost his fight against cancer. Free-spirited, easy-going Abel, doesn’t know how to cope with the rotting, festering grief growing inside him. What was once an easy life, has become a struggle to put one foot in front of the other.
His grades are slipping, his job is suffering, money is tight, and the nightmares plaguing his sleep are relentless. Something has to give. He can’t keep going like this.
Desperate to end his suffering, Abel falls back on old habits. Self-destructive habits he knows are wrong. Every time he tries to stand, he ends up face-first in the mud.
On the advice of a counselor, Abel makes attempts to find a support system to help him handle his grief. Unexpectedly, during his quest toward healing, Abel makes a connection with the most unlikely of people.
His mind wants to rebel against the man who stands before him. Run far and fast in the other direction. But his heart forms a bond that annihilates his fear.
Why this man of all people?
Sometimes you find help and love where you least expect it.
Get the book:
Book 3, The Escape: Soren's Saga
Dancing, loud music, drinking and sex…
Who wouldn’t love a job that entailed all these things?
After giving up on school and being cast aside by an unsupportive family, Soren Matheson figured he’d landed every young man’s dream job.
But… there is a catch.
Not everything is as it seems and at the end of the day…
Maybe even dream jobs don’t exist.
Remy Moretti lives in a world of precision and order. When a chance run-in with a sassy, sarcastic blond one evening upsets his structured world, Remy needs to find out who he is.
What he discovers makes his hair stand on end.
The defeat and fear hidden behind the young man’s eyes gives him nightmares.
Someone needs to get to the bottom of this.
Until then, Remy will need to do whatever it takes to keep Soren safe.
Get the book:
And book 4, Lost Soul: AJ's Burden
What does rock bottom look like to you?
AJ Silva is about to find out. His life has been spiralling the drain for the past year, and if he doesn’t find a way out soon, he may die on the streets of San Francisco. Drowning in a severe drug addiction, battling every day to survive, AJ doesn’t know where to turn. His past haunts him in more ways than one, and leaves him both grasping and begging for change, while fearing his future. All AJ knows how to do is chase one problem away with another. How can you win the war when your enemy is yourself?
Trystain Larsson is an addict. Five years ago, he discovered rock bottom first hand. Since that dreaded day, he’s worked his recovery with everything he has. Helping others who’ve fallen victim to drugs gives him hope for a better tomorrow. If he can save even one person from that life, it will mean victory.
When AJ lands at his doorstep, Trystain gets more than he bargained for. Not only is AJ at the end of his rope, but there is something darker going on.
Coming off drugs is not an easy task, and with AJ, Trystain has his work cut out for him. During their time together, a bond that goes deeper than friendship grows.
Will mistakes from the past be barriers for the future? It’s hard to move forward, when you can’t stop looking back.
**TRIGGER WARNING** This book deals with addiction and has on-page drug use.
Fighting to center myself, I opened my eyes and examined what I’d found. I didn’t need light to make out the rainbow of colors which formed around an equal sign resting inside a heart, and I certainly didn’t need to read the words “love wins” underneath them to understand what I was looking at.
The man at my doorstep was completely fucked up on drugs and gay. The combination scored my heart in a way it wouldn’t most people, and instead of connecting the call to 911, I pulled up my buddy Blake’s number and hit send.
“It’s been less than an hour, you miss me already?” He chuckled, throaty and raspy, a sound similar to a man overcoming a rough bout of pneumonia, only that wasn’t the case.
“Do you know where we sit for space?”
There was a pause and shuffling. His humor evaporated. “What’s going on, Trystain?”
Eyeing the man sprawled out across the top of the stairs, I threaded fingers through my dirty blond hair. “I just got home. There’s a guy literally blocking the path to my front door, completely strung out. I mean he’s fucked. Bad.”
The silence on the other line expanded. Blake was a thinker and carefully constructed his thoughts before expressing them. It was something I’d learned from day one. “I need more.”
Licking my lips, I examined the man’s partially exposed face. His eyes had fallen shut. A film of perspiration glistened across his forehead and upper lip. “I don’t know much more. He’s gay. He needs help, Blake.”
“He was out of it when I got here.”
Blake sighed. “We help kids who come looking for it, not ones we drag in ourselves off the street. They need to want help, remember? If he’s in danger, call him an ambulance.”
“But what if—”
“You can’t save them all.”
Clenching my fist, I spun and paced. Burning apprehension simmered to life in my core, and my heart responded, racing alongside my thoughts.
“Call him some help. It’s the best you can do.”
“You know how that shit goes down, Blake. In less than a week, he’ll be right back—”
“On the street doing drugs. But if he was truly reaching out for help, he’ll come back.”
“Let me bring him in. Let him at least be lucid so we can ask him.”
Blake tsked and there was more shuffling. “Can you pin an age on him?”
Turning back to the man, I studied what features I could make out in the darkness. His pants were loose fitting and hung low on his hips. The black t-shirt covering his rail-thin body was worn and ratty. Approaching, I squinted at his face. Thick stubble covered a distinctive squared jaw. His eyes were hollow pits, and one was partly covered by his disheveled dark hair, which hung longer on top.
He wasn’t a teenager, that much was clear. But could he pass for one?
Bending down, I put my phone on speaker and placed it beside me so I could roll him to his back.
“Trystain, if you’re searching him right now—”
“I’ll be careful.”
On his back, the concavity of his stomach was more pronounced. His bone-thin arm fell beside where a hip bone jutted to the sky. He didn’t register the movement, and I watched his chest rise and fall with rapid intakes of air before continuing.
Cautiously, I patted each pocket first to ensure I wasn’t going to stick my hand in and find a poorly covered syringe or any other sharp object that might impale me. Satisfied, I fished two fingers into his front pocket where I’d felt the bulk of a wallet. When I’d removed it, I pulled out the first piece of ID that caught my eye. Not a drivers license, but a plastic city ID card with photo and information clearly imprinted on the front.
“His name is Andrew Jordyn Silva.”
Shifting my eyes to the date of birth, I calculated but knew immediately he was far outside the parameters of Blue Haven’s guidelines.
“What if we—”
“How old is he, Trystain?”
“Call an ambulance. That’s the best help you can be.”
Ignoring Blake, I placed the wallet on the ground and rooted through his other pocket. From within, I removed a small clear zip-lock baggie, a little over half-full of a crystallized white substance. I pinched the rocks between my fingers, rolling them and feeling them.
A deep-rooted memory surfaced, flashing broken images of a time I barely remembered through my mind. Fractured and forgotten impressions due to the intensity of my usage, but the lingering pull and desire never truly departing, even five years down the road.
“He’s carrying. Meth. Little over an ounce.”
“Okay, I’m on my way.”
“No,” I snapped, not intending to sound harsh. “I’m all right.”
“Make the call. Go inside, have a shower, and relax. Music. Meditation. Maybe cook—”
“I need to help him.”
Pinching a larger crystal between my thumb and finger, I shook my head. “I can’t do nothing. I can’t. This was me, Blake. What if I can—”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. At least let him come down so I can offer him help… If he wants it.”
Get the book:
Five little-known facts about Nicky:
- This one might get me shunned. I hate Disney. Not that I haven’t suffered through my share (I have a child, it was in the contract) but I find them grating on the nerves. The songs get stuck in my head and won’t go away. I never had princess fantasies as a child and always rooted for the bad guy. I admit, I have attempted to watch Beauty and the Beast at least a half a dozen times in my life and I never make, either I walk away or I fall asleep. Can’t do it.
- I have severe middle child syndrome. I am the middle child of seven girls. Yes, ALL girls. My mother was a stay at home mom, and our house never had less than a small army of children running about. My parents fostered children as well, and my mom ran a home daycare. So on top of the crazy amount of siblings, there were also dozens more kids running about all the time. Oh… and one bathroom.
- English was my worst subject in school. Many teachers told me I would never be an author because I couldn’t spell to save my life. I’m glad I was able to prove them wrong.
- I played the flute through high school. I’d never played an instrument before I started grade nine but in the five years I was there, I leveled up so quickly that my music teacher tried to encourage me to continue my education in music because I had a natural talent and picked things up so easily.
- I sneak a lot of personal bits about me into my books. If you look closely, you’ll find me all over the place in my stories. Such as: Taboozing (New Beginnings HH#2) That little tale Kieran tells is 100% my true story. Aspen in Rocky Mountain Refuge talks about how he got poison ivy in his bloodstream which has made him ultra sensitive when exposed. Yup, that is 100% my story too. Keep your eyes peeled and you can learn a lot about me from my books.
About the author:
Nicky James lives in the small town of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada and is a mother to a wonderful teenage boy and wife to a truly supportive and understanding husband, who thankfully doesn't think she is crazy. Nicky has always had two profound dreams in life; to fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world, not bogged down by technology and to write novels. Since one of those dreams is impossible, she decided to make the other come alive on paper. Nicky writes mm romance novels of many varieties. She is a strong advocate for mental health and likes to advocate and spread awareness through her books.
Thanks for celebrating this fabulous author with us. Come back next week for more of Nicky's books, a personal story she's chosen to share, and another chance to win!
Until then, happy reading!