We’re so pleased to have author RJ Scott stopping in today on the tour for her latest release, Daniel: The Third Legacy. RJ is chatting a bit about secondary characters who end up needing and deserving their own stories, and there’s also a giveaway so be sure to check out those details at the end.
Thank you for having me, Lisa :)
Daniel is my latest book, the third of my Legacy series, which is an offshoot from my Texas series. The story of how the Legacy series came about is because I have this terrible habit of hating to say goodbye to my characters.
In Texas Fall I wrote about a court case featuring four boys who had all suffered at the hands of a serial abuser on a ranch. We met Liam who was one of the main characters in that particular Texas book, and found out how much what happened to him had impacted his life. There were three others in court with him, and I described them like this…
The first victim on the stand was the young man in the jeans, the one who looked like he’d tried his hardest to scrub up in the right way. He was stoic but looked tired, and he didn’t cry even though the defense attorney tried every single thing to get him to retract the story of systematic abuse over the past two years. This was Hank’s most recent victim, and Jack’s stomach turned when he heard the young man was only sixteen and another throwaway just like Liam had been. Jack resolved to make sure he was okay, made a mental note to check if he had a job or at the very least somewhere to go.
The well-dressed young man was next, although up close Jack could see that under the confidence was another child who’d been destroyed by what had happened to him. His testimony was the same, but when he was pushed by the defense to explain details of one particular attack, he cried.
Jack added another name to his list.
“Are you hearing all this?” Robbie whispered. “These are kids, Jack.”
“I wish Liam didn’t have to go through this,” Jack answered just as quietly. He glanced behind himself again. Still no one, no family or counselors or, hell, anyone. What happened to the three men when they left the ranch where so much had happened to them?
The young man in the suit a couple sizes too small silently moved into the room with his eyes downcast. Jack could sense the change in the room. The prosecution exchanged worried glances that Jack could see, and the defense straightened in their seats. Even the jury sat forward in their seats.
“Kyle Braden,” the witness spoke his name shakily, and the prosecution began a series of questions. After five minutes or so, Kyle appeared to relax, and he even lifted his chin a little. He was brutally honest about what happened, and his words went from shaky in their delivery to crisp and matter-of-fact. He was the oldest of the boys, twenty-five and he admitted there had even been boys before him.
Thing is, they stuck with me. Why did one of them wear an ill-fitting suit, why did one cry so hard, why was one silent. I knew I had to give them their own stories, and the first one was Kyle, followed by Gabriel (the boy who cried) and Daniel, the one in jeans.
When you write a book and the characters stay with you when you’ve finished, you know you have to give them the respect of their own stories. This series was the hardest I’ve ever had to write, and none of the boys have stories where they are magically healed, or where finding the right man made them whole. They find love, but it is a deep and powerful, intense, love that helps them to begin to heal, and to give them all their own happy ever after’s.
The entire Texas series (8 books) and Legacy (3 books) are all in Kindle Unlimited so you can get them free with your subscription or buy them through Amazon.
When you read books do you wish that you could have longer stories for every character? Or, if you are you a writer? Do you have characters that demand their own story?
About the Book
Length: 51,000 words approx
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Blurb: Daniel worked hard at college, using coping strategies to shut himself off from any situation that might hurt. But, persistent nightmares and fears for his future drive him to revisit the past. Now Legacy might be the only place to give him a chance at peace.
After the tragic loss of his parents, Corey is head of the family now, and the welfare of his three younger sisters are what matters the most. Corey is desperate to find Daniel, tell him the truth and somehow convince him to keep secrets. Even if this leads to heartbreak.
When the world crumbles around Corey, and Daniel is running scared, Legacy ranch is their only hope.
A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas.
Eight years ago
I want to go home.
Daniel Chandler trudged miserably down the long black ribbon of road, tears burning his eyes, and hopelessness tightening his chest. The heat of an August Texas day had subsided to a slightly cooler evening, and the sky was a brilliant mass of stars, but he couldn’t bring himself to look up at them anymore.
How had everything gone this badly wrong? Brett had promised that he would take Daniel somewhere far away from his foster family, but one weird question from an inquisitive cashier at a gas station and Brett had panicked. He’d refused to go any further, and said he was going home.
Daniel didn’t want to go back to San Antonio. He wanted freedom, and the ability to decide for himself where his life was going. He’d overheard his foster parents talking about how he was a liability; that he costed them more than they made, and he knew it was only a matter of time before they got rid of him anyway.
So he refused to leave with Brett and got out of the car.
Brett didn’t care, and he drove away, leaving Daniel stranded.
Daniel kicked a stone, stumbling a little when he misjudged the curve of the road. He’d eaten the cereal bars that Brett had tossed him and used up all the water. Which left him in the heat, without food or drink, and carrying a backpack with limited clothes. He also had books—his favorites, and a wallet which contained nothing more than a couple of hundred dollars he’d saved from his gardening job. The only official thing he had in the bag was his ID.
He’d left his most recent home at six-thirty a.m., with no real idea of where he was going or what he was doing, only knowing he wasn’t going to spend another minute in a house where he wasn’t wanted.
Hunching his shoulders against the weight of his backpack, he carried on. Sometimes he hummed to a song in his head. Other times he counted the steps he took, but most of the time he stared ahead, not counting or humming at all.
A car pulled up alongside him. No, a truck, and at first his heart leaped. Brett was back. He’d changed his mind and returned to help Daniel.
A female voice called out. “Can we give you a lift somewhere?” she asked through the open window.
Daniel saw she wasn’t much older than he was, long blonde hair swept up into a ponytail, her smile wide, her expression kind. A man sat in the driver’s seat, but he was in the shadows, and at first, Daniel couldn’t make out his face until he leaned forward. The first thing Daniel noticed was the dog collar, then the same kindly smile as the girl. They were clearly related, both fair, with light eyes and an angular balance to their features.
“Hello, young man. My daughter and I are heading to Laredo. Would you like us to take you?”
He smiled at Daniel, this man in black with the white collar. This was an average family. They probably thought he was a hitchhiker and were offering genuine help. If Daniel couldn’t trust a man of the cloth traveling with his daughter, then who could he trust? He scanned the road behind him, waiting for Brett to suddenly appear and pick him up, but he was tired, hungry, and verging on desperate.
“Thank you.” Daniel opened the back door. He’d never hitchhiked before, didn’t know what the etiquette was, but he felt like he should offer to pay. “I can cover gas,” he said.
“No need for that,” the dad said and extended a hand awkwardly over the seat, which Daniel shook. “Father Frank Martins and this is my daughter Andrea.”
Andrea glanced back at him and grinned again. “Hey.”
“Daniel,” Daniel replied, as mute as usual around a girl as he was with boys. She turned back to the front, and Frank put the truck in drive.
“Buckle up,” he said.
Daniel did as he was told. Then settled back for the ride.
“Where are you from?” Frank asked after a few moments of silence, filled only with the soft sound of tires on blacktop.
“San Antonio,” Daniel answered.
“Really? What brings you this far south?”
Andrea shushed her dad, “Stop asking him questions, Daddy.”
Her dad huffed a gentle laugh. “Sorry.” He used the mirror to see Daniel. “You like music?”
Daniel nodded, thankful to Andrea for running interference.
Frank fiddled with the stereo. Country music filled the cab, and Frank hummed along. Andrea was on her phone, as evidenced by the glow of light as screens changed, and Daniel regretted leaving his phone at home. In his mad, stupid, anger, he’d wanted no way for his foster parents to keep tabs on him, but right now, he kind of wished he could phone them. He should pluck up the courage and ask Andrea to borrow hers. Maybe give his foster-parents a quick call, apologize, get them to pick him up, or at least arrange a bus.
They would help him. He didn’t doubt that. Even if he’d been an idiot and they wanted to hand him off to the next family, they would never leave a fourteen year old kid stranded miles from home.
“You thirsty?” Frank asked, and before Daniel could answer, Frank had unlocked the glove box and pulled out a bottle of water, passing it back to Daniel.
He took it with grateful thanks and downed a third of it in thirsty gulps. They reached the outskirts of a small town, and the car slowed to a stop outside a cookie-cutter house, a pretty place with manicured lawns.
Andrea turned around to look at Daniel.
“This is where I get out,” she announced. “Nice to meet you, Daniel.”
I thought they were both going on to Laredo?
Frank turned around as well. “I can take you all the way into the city. It’s only another ten minutes or so to the bus station or somewhere like that? A hostel?”
“I’m not sure—”
Frank interrupted, “Or you could stay the night here or a motel. We have one a few blocks down from here.”
Andrea shut the door and jogged up to the house, vanishing inside.
“Could I just borrow your phone?” Daniel asked.
Frank smiled, nodded, and pulled out his phone, tutting as he did so. “Oh my, the phone’s dead. You want to use my house phone? Or shall I just get you to the city? The bus station, right? They have public phones there.”
So many decisions. So many difficult choices, he thought and yawned.
“Yeah.” Daniel just wanted to get home.
“Yeah, what?” Frank prompted.
Daniel blinked at him. He was tired, and everything felt kind of hazy. “Yeah, home.” Back to his pretend parents and his pretend family, but back to a warm bed.
“Come on. Get in the front here.”
Daniel did as he was told, his limbs feeling heavy, and his coordination shit. Finally, he was belted in the front, and he closed his eyes briefly, exhaustion washing over him.
“That’s a good boy,” Frank murmured. “You sleep now.”
The country music got quieter, Frank’s humming was louder, and the journey to the city took a long time, the car swaying, and Daniel’s head thicker, full of softness and a weird kind of peace. He saw fields and signs, but none of them made any sense. Finally, he couldn’t fight the overwhelming lethargy, so he slept.
And woke up in hell.
About the Author
RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.
RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.
She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.
Follow the Tour
June 23 – Xtreme Delusions, The Way She Reads, OMG Reads, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, Abbey’s Fully Booked, June 25 – Love My Reads, June 29 – The Novel Approach, Making It Happen, MM Good Book Reviews, The Geekery Book Review, Cupcakes & Bookshelves, RAM PA Group, July 2 – Mirrigold, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Gay Media Reviews, July 4 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Lelyana’s Reviews, July 6 – Jim’s Reading Room, July 11 – Padme’s Library, Wicked Reads, July 13 – Lillian Francis, Virginia Lee