Welcome to the official cover reveal of author Jackie Keswick’s Swings & Roundabouts, book four in The Power of Zero series! And enjoy this exclusive fictlet to go along with the reveal!
About the Book
Genre: Contemporary M/M Suspense
Length: 100k Words
Release Date: 13th May 2018
Pre-order Links: Universal Links || Kobo || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon CA || Amazon AU || Amazon DE || Barnes & Noble || iBooks
Blurb: Jack Horwood. Vigilante, hacker, security specialist. Partner to Gareth Flynn. Adoptive father to their two teenage boys. Happily juggling long days and short nights.
Gareth Flynn. Ex-army officer. Ace negotiator. Righter of wrongs. Family man. Away from home more often than he likes.
Desperate for a relationship reset, Jack treats Gareth to a romantic getaway and Sweden’s frigid peace gives them the break they both need. But Jack’s a trouble magnet and the next dead body just a wild skidoo ride away.
Can love, teamwork, and trust survive the troubles that follow them around? Can Jack save what’s become so important to him?
Expect action, drama, and hot romance in book 4 of the Power of Zero series.
From the Author
Hello, everyone, and thank you to Lisa and the crew from The Novel Approach for hosting the cover reveal for Swings & Roundabouts, the fourth book in the Power of Zero series. I’m delighted to be here, and glad I get to talk about Jack again, since it’s been a while.
Jack and Gareth have been with me for a very long time and with every book they’re inching a little closer to their HEA. I’ve always known the main steps on their journey, but I’m enough of a pantser to let the Muse take over the reins in between the big, showstopper scenes and surprise me along the way. It happened in Job Hunt, when Gareth went back into the club to rescue Daniel and Nico, and again in Ghosts, when Jack suddenly decided he wanted to become the boys’ legal guardian.
Daniel Sears and Nico Rivers are now an integral part of Jack and Gareth’s lives, and Swings & Roundabouts is set against a backdrop of the four of them learning to work together as a family. Trust each other, help each other, and sort out problems together when they arise.
Falling in love is great, but I believe the real work starts after my characters realise that fact. Watching Jack go all domestic, Gareth pull out his BAMF routine, Nico struggling with his past and Daniel wade in swinging… that’s fascinating to me.
Swings & Roundabouts fits with my love of endings that are new beginnings – and to celebrate today’s cover reveal and the book (finally!) going up for pre-order – I’ve brought a short story, and a book bundle to give away.
House Hunt ends in early October, Swings & Roundabouts starts in the middle of January and in between there’s Christmas, Nico’s birthday, and some momentous news. Let’s start with that news, which totally deserves the label “new beginning”. Have fun reading and – thank you for your company!
When Hope Has Teeth and Claws
A Jack Horword Ficlet
Aidan called while Jack was in a meeting. Jack saw the call come in, not sure whether he should be glad or annoyed he couldn’t answer. The lawyer wouldn’t stoop to sending a text, of course—if he even knew how—but at least he deigned to leave a message.
“Death and taxes,” Jack groaned as he dumped his tablet on his desk two hours later. “I’m sure that’s what they told us in the army. Never talk about death and taxes. And definitely not in the same meeting.” He hit the speed dial key for his voicemail and put the phone to his ear.
The message was short.
“It’s done,” Aidan Conrad stated in his usual bald way and hung up.
Jack scrubbed a hand over his head, annoyed when he felt hedgehog prickles instead of the long strands he used to be able to grab and yank when someone irritated him. He had three ongoing projects that Aidan could have been calling about, and a clue was clearly too much to ask for. Jack had no choice but to call the man back before he could do what needed doing. And the conversation wasn’t fit for an open-plan office.
Frazer had come out of the endless meeting equally glad it was over and had settled down to work right away. Didn’t mean the man was oblivious to happenings around the office. Not anymore. Jack touched Frazer’s shoulder, held up his phone and pointed to one of the small conference rooms.
“Knock yerself out,” Frazer mumbled and resumed his work.
Jack closed the door and, knowing himself undisturbed, called Aidan’s chambers. “What’s done?” he asked as soon as he had the barrister on the line.
“The end of your life as you know it.”
Jack wished the bloody man would speak English. He was about to ask whether Aidan had dined on cryptic crosswords the night before when it hit him. “The courts agreed?”
“I have the paperwork on my desk if you’re desperate to see it, but…yes, it’s done. If either of you wanted to change your minds, it’s now well and truly too late.”
“Have you told anyone else yet?”
“Why would I?”
“And you’re coming tomorrow?”
“Horwood.” The note of warning in Aidan’s voice was funny.
“Just getting my own back,” Jack replied. “Nico’s birthday barbecue, remember? I’m thinking that’d be the perfect time to tell him and Daniel. Stops Daniel from feeling left out, too. When can they move in with us?”
“Whenever you want. They’re legally yours and Flynn’s.”
“Day after tomorrow, then. Excellent.” He hung up as abruptly as Aidan usually did, wondering for half a second whether the lawyer even noticed.
His next call was to Gareth’s mother. She’d been fostering the boys since Gareth had rescued them from the club and Goran’s clutches. She’d endorsed his and Gareth’s guardianship application, and Jack reckoned that she’d have been the first to hear about the court’s decision.
“Have they told you?”
“Hi, Jack. And good morning to you, too.”
The tips of Jack’s ears heated, but he didn’t apologise for his lack of a proper greeting. They were well past that, he and Roz Flynn. “Afternoon, actually. Have they told you that our application has been granted?”
“I was in court with Aidan’s associate,” she confirmed what Jack had guessed. “It’s all sealed and done, Jack. Congratulations.”
“Have you told Daniel and Nico yet?”
“I wouldn’t spoil your fun. Tell me, did you really promise to buy Nico as many books as he can carry?”
“I… what? Why not?”
“Jack? You sound… strange.”
Concern laced Roz’s voice, and Jack realised his hands were shaking. His knees weren’t entirely steady, either, and he lowered himself into the nearest chair. What the fuck was wrong with him?
“Yeah, I’m… I’m here.” The words came out strangled. “I think it just hit me. Sorry.”
Silence on the line. A thoughtful silence, rather than an accusing one. “You never believed it would happen, did you?” Roz asked softly in the end. “What you told Daniel and Nico… that hope can be scary when you never had any… that applies to you as well. Doesn’t it?”
Jack focussed on breathing, on getting his racing heart to slow down. He would not lose his shit over something he’d started, something he’d wanted ever since Gareth had put the idea into his head. He. Would. Not. “I don’t know,” he found words after a while. “I don’t put great stakes on governmental logic, I suppose. I wanted the courts to give us the boys. But I wouldn’t have stepped away if they hadn’t.”
Roz chuckled and the sound cheered Jack. “No need to apologise as long as you’re not having second thoughts.”
“No way.” Jack had never had a moment of doubt about wanting Daniel and Nico in his and Gareth’s lives. “They’re ours. I’ll be over in—”
“Jack? You’ve not told Gareth yet, have you?”
“Then will you listen to me? Come and get Nico tomorrow morning to take him book shopping as you’d planned. Take tonight for yourself and Gareth. Celebrate. Just the two of you.”
Jack wanted to argue. He had a family. Officially. Irrevocably. He wanted— Then he thought of Gareth who growled every time he caught sight of Jack’s short hair or the healing cuts on Jack’s chest and he realised this was something they should settle first. An ending, before they started on their new beginning.
“You’re right,” he agreed. “I told Aidan we’d tell the boys tomorrow afternoon, when everyone is there. No reason to spoil the occasion.” He took a deep breath as excitement started to unfurl and warm him from the inside out. He had Gareth. Tomorrow, he’d have a whole family. And between now and then lay… one last night of freedom.
About the Author
Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.
Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.
And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.
For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops, or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places:
Website || Newsletter || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram
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