We’re so pleased to welcome author AF Henley today on the We Three Kings blog tour. We’ve got an exclusive teaser from the book for you, and there’s also a great giveaway, so be sure to check out those details below.
Welcome back to the We Three Kings Mini Blog Tour and Giveaway! I am extremely pleased to be here at The Novel Approach for the tour’s final post. Thank you so much for having me, TNA – it’s always great to be here!
Today I’ll be sharing the last of my exclusive excerpts from We Three Kings, and also the last of the site specific giveaways that I’m running along with them. Be sure to read through to the end to get in on the Rafflecopter for a shot at today’s giveaway: a $10 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market, and your very own eBook copy of We Three Kings. One winner from The Novel Approach is guaranteed.
Thank you so much for joining me throughout the mini blog tour, and I hope you enjoy today’s excerpt:
We Three Kings – Exclusive Excerpt
“You, sir,” Jimmy pauses to laugh and shake his head. His temples are damp but his eyes are shining. “Can rock Springsteen like nobody else I’ve seen.”
I shrug. “It’s a boss thing.” I rub both palms on my chest and huff a satisfied, albeit totally put on breath of confidence. “I was born into it.”
From out of nowhere Stacy appears beside me and drops an arm over my shoulder. She’s tipsy. “So glad you came. You have to do it again. You’re actually pretty fun outside of the suit.”
I put my arm around her waist and squeeze her. “I’m always fun, you liar. Be careful going home.”
“Stephan’s driving,” she tells me, letting go and stumbling a bit to the side.
I give her my hand and steady her until Stephan takes over. “Yeah, I know. But don’t pick up any hitchhikers along the way.”
“Pfft,” she huffs. “I could take ’em.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” I say with a smile.
We’ve shut the bar down, and then some, forcing the final two staff members to practically escort us from the building. So the sky is dark, the streets are damp, and as Stephan and Stacy drive away, the area gets strangely quiet. I turn to Jimmy, who has his head up and appears to be watching stars that nobody can see but him. “You all right to drive?” I ask him.
“Oh, yeah,” he replies. His voice is soft and dreamy. I look up at the sky and wonder what he’s thinking of. “You?”
I slowed down on the beer an hour or so ago. I probably still shouldn’t drive, but I’ll be okay. “Yep.”
Jimmy doesn’t say anything, and his silence draws my attention again. “You checking for aliens?” I ask him. “Or… ?”
He snorts his amusement. “Nah. But you gotta admit, that would be kind of cool.” He clasps his hands in front of him and pulls his shoulders together in an odd self-hug. “I was just remembering the sky back home.”
A sick feeling rises in my stomach. If he’s calling that place home I swear to all the gods I can name that I will throw up right here and now. “Home?”
Jimmy nods. “I lived in Iowa when I was little.”
“Oh?” I say, even as my internal me insists on calling him a liar.
“My parents had a farm there before they lost it to the bank,” he says. “It was awesome. Everywhere you looked, there was grass and sky. My dad and I spent hours watching that sky.” He laughs. “At least it felt like it. That’s the thing I remember most, you know? In the daytime we’d watch the clouds and at night it was the stars.”
Jimmy cocks a hip to the left, puts one hand on it, and then shakes his other hand at the street. “Jimmy Rose, you get yourself in here and you get to bed.” He snorts at the sound of his own voice and turns to look at me. “My mom. Always. Like, every night. And every night Dad would say the same thing back. ‘Just five more minutes, Mary. Five more minutes.'” Jimmy drops his hand and it falls against his thigh with a thud. “It’s almost like he knew we wouldn’t get enough time.”
I should say something, but I can’t think of a single thing that would work in the moment. Jimmy doesn’t ask me to. Instead, he lowers his voice and his eyes. “I miss them. People don’t think I should because I only had them for six years. But I do. I can’t remember their faces so much anymore, but I’ll never forget how it felt to lie beside my dad and look at the sky, or how my mom would tuck me into bed afterwards.”
I’m jealous. I was dumped at the home by what the authorities assume was my single mother when I was still in diapers. A genuine baby in a basket, sans magical amulet or letter of endearment. Six years would have been a lifetime.
I wonder if I should ask him more; if I should pretend that I want to hear what happened next. I could cluck my tongue while he tells me about the living conditions of where he was placed once he lost his parents, and vocalize about how well he turned out even though he had to deal with living with the assholes that he did, but I’m not sure I can pull it off. Instead, I tell him, “That sounds amazing.”
“You know,” he looks at me and even in the dark, I’m struck by the naiveté in his expression. “I was thinking about what you said at the interview.”
I frown at him and shake my head. “What did I say?”
He starts to walk toward the street and I follow him. “Well…”
He stops beside an AMC Hornet that I have to assume is his. It’s probably a ’75, maybe ’76, it’s mud brown and truly a godawful car. When I start considering the idea of a raise with a heavy implication to look into a newer, more reliable vehicle, I take a breath, shove the thought aside, and prompt him to continue. “Well?”
He leans his back against the passenger door of his car. “About whether we get chances to redeem ourselves, and if we did, should we accept them.”
My hand slides across my stomach and rubs at the knot forming there. “Oh?”
His eyes drop to watch my hand work and he says, “That would be cool, is all. If we did. If we got a chance to try and fix the things we wish that we could have done. A do-over, kind of.”
A chill runs up my spine. “What do you mean?”
Jimmy doesn’t say anything. He steps forward. He puts both hands on my shoulder and I’m too overwhelmed to move away. “Boss?” he asks.
I can guarantee that the garble I give him in reply has no recognizable words in it.
“I need you to forget that you’re my boss for like…” His face is close enough that I can feel the heat of his breath. “Two minutes.”
A dozen different negations come to mind but not a single one gets voiced. Then we’re kissing and the error of the situation doesn’t even matter. His tongue is wet and sweet, and his lips are dry and soft, and I can’t even justify the way the taste of him wakes my body up. His waist draws my palm like we’re both magnetic, and I can feel the shape of his torso underneath his shirt. I push him back against the car and ignore my inner-self when it tells me not to lean against him. My God… he’s perfect.
He doesn’t stop kissing until I pull back for air, but it’s enough to break the spell. I step back, then again, and my hands fall to my sides. He smiles and nods. He pushes off of the car door.
“We can blame it on the beer,” he says. He makes his way around the car to the driver’s side and lifts his hand in a lackluster wave before opening it. “See you Monday, Eric.”
We Three Kings
Copyright © 2017, A.F. Henley
About the Book
Chicago 1982 is a goldmine for the construction industry, and Eric and his two business partners are thriving. Once nothing more than orphans in a Catholic boys’ home, they’ve overcome poverty and abuse to obtain success. Now living the lives they once only dreamed of, they’re sure of one thing: they will never look back.
Then the past returns, by way of a cheap polyester suit and a smile Eric has never forgotten—and all the dark memories come crashing back. Lucky for him, Jimmy has no idea who Eric is, or who Eric used to be…
Genre: Gay, Contemporary Romance
Notes: contains some explicit content and references past abuse. This story also includes brief flashbacks of graphic violence.
About the Author
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish. Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.
Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $10 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market, and an eBook of We Three Kings in your preferred format.
For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.
There will be one winner only. Contest ends March 9, 2017.