We’re so pleased to have author Neve Wilder stopping by today on the tour for her latest release, Center of Gravity, book one in the new Nook Island series. She’s here to chat a bit about the inspiration for her characters and is also sharing an excerpt from the book as well as a giveaway, so be sure to check out all those details below.
Thanks so much for having me! I’m excited to introduce these characters who hounded me for months to tell their story.
I didn’t just decide to sit down and write this story—there was a long process involved—but Rob was fleshed out almost immediately after I got the inkling of an idea for a romance between a guy on a moving crew (Alex) and the person (Rob) he was helping move.
I always love hearing other authors talk about their inspiration or how their characters came to be. And honestly, Rob just sort of appeared out of nowhere while I was thinking about what a pain in the butt it is to move. I caught a glimpse of him in my mind’s eye: this guy in his mid-thirties, somber in appearance, his finger holding down the slat of a blind as he watched a moving trunk lumber down the road toward him. From there, questions arose: where was he moving? Or maybe he wasn’t moving at all, maybe he was fulfilling a duty—and a depressing one, at that? How had he gotten there in the first place? Did he set up the move himself? What was he doing before that moment when I saw him at the window?
The questions kept unfolding and with each answer, his character was shaped: a guy dealing with some hard knocks, just trying to do the right thing and then get on with his life. Not perfect by any means, but working with what he’s got, and aware somewhere in the back of his mind that he’s been sort of sleepwalking through the past six months of his life.
And then, out of nowhere, a splash of cold water named Alex arrives to revive him.
In this excerpt, Rob has come to the awkward realization that one of the guys on the moving crew hired to help him pack up his parents’ house is in fact a guy he’s met before. In a club bathroom. Rob can’t remember his name, so he internally refers to him as Cracker Jack, since the guy was eating a box of the stuff as he got out of the moving truck. More awkwardness ensues. Winslow is the Jack Russell Rob inherited after his father’s death.
My pulse thundered in my ears as Cracker Jack’s attention turned from Winslow to me. His eyes were a striking hazel, indecisive in coloring and flecked with green and gold, that raked me in a quick once over before coming back to linger as recognition dawned. He frowned and his lips twitched as if he might be about to say something. An amused brightness lit his eyes. And though his look did nothing to ease the tempo of my pulse, I attempted a neutral expression. One fair eyebrow arched up, and then his gaze darted to his coworker before dropping to Winslow’s archaeological dig at his feet.
I blew out a breath that didn’t feel as much like relief as I wanted it to.
“That a Jack Russell? My little sis would flip,” Cracker Jack said casually, as he tucked his clipboard under one arm and lowered to a crouch, reaching for Winslow before I could warn him off.
“Something like that. I think he’s the defective version.”
Instead of flipping out as I expected him to, Winslow nuzzled into Cracker Jack’s extended palm, then licked it. No doubt it was the draw of caramel there.
And then he nipped him.
“Ahh shit.” Cracker Jack yanked his hand back and gave it a shake. “I should’ve known better. We’ll try again later, buddy.”
“So,” he straightened. “Robert Macomb?” The corners of Cracker Jack’s eyes creased a little as he hesitated over the name written on his clipboard. Then he leveled that gaze on me, brows rising. And that was the other thing about that night in the club. The name I’d given him, the one that was on my Grindr profile, wasn’t my own. For reasons. None of which seemed very good right now.
Brunet smirked, then extended his hand. “Tom,” he said. He was laced with brawn and beefy, well-defined by muscle where Cracker Jack was more whipcord lean. I tried to concentrate on Tom even as my memory supplied the sensation of Cracker Jack’s body against mine. A dull warmth slithered up my spine.
“Interesting,” Cracker Jack murmured.
I released Tom’s hand and nodded, too distracted for something more eloquent. It had been months since I’d experienced even the vaguest twinge of real desire for another man. I thought, perhaps, that in addition to me, my ex had also given my libido the pink slip. Most of the hookups I’d had since my ex had felt more like masturbation than actual interest. But it seemed now that it had just been on an extended vacation, because this guy had everything in my body taking notice. And the timing couldn’t have been worse.
“I’m Alex,” Cracker Jack finally offered with a smirk that said, since you forgot. He consulted the clipboard and his eyes rose to mine again. “So Mr. Macomb—”
“Rob,” I interrupted. Fifteen years behind a desk crunching numbers for corporate America had no doubt bled into my appearance, but I didn’t want to be a Mister to him. I didn’t want to be a Mister to anyone, but especially to a guy who’d once been on his knees before me with my cock in his mouth while I’d given a very explicit voice-over of exactly what he was doing and exactly how much I liked it.
“Rob,” Alex amended before continuing. He appeared to be the more socially astute of the two. Tom had slid out of the gate again and was opening up the back of the truck. “We’ve got you down for some packing, dumping, donation, and storage. That sound right?”
“Correct,” I said and trotted up the steps, gesturing him inside, eager to get on with the packing. Winslow followed close at Alex’s heels.
About the Book
Buy Link: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 346 Pages
Cover Design: Jay Aheer
Blurb: When life comes apart at the seams, love is the only thread that can repair it.
Accountant Rob Macomb has a stable job that he’s good at and… that’s about it. A year of nothing but heartache leaves him seeking refuge from loneliness and grief behind spreadsheets, punishing daily runs, and the occasional anonymous tryst. He wants only to bury the past and focus on his career, but he has one last task to complete: pack up his parent’s quaint beachside house and put it on the market.
Alex Andrews is a budding artist with a penchant for Converse, Cracker Jack, and piercings. Family turmoil sidelines his dreams of finishing art school and building a career in three-dimensional design, and now he’s doing whatever he can to keep everyone afloat.
When Alex shows up as a part of the moving crew hired to help Rob clean out the house, what should be a simple move becomes far more complex. Because it’s not the first time they’ve met, and their last encounter was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
The attraction between them is undeniable and intense, but Rob’s hell-bent on pushing everyone away, and Alex is on the verge of spinning out of control. Can a grumpy accountant and a bootstrapping artist find their center of gravity together, or are they on a collision course to heartbreak?
*An emotionally-charged, slow burn m/m romance featuring an age gap, hurt/comfort themes, and a hard-won happily ever after. This is the standalone first in the Nook Island, Georgia series.*
About the Author
Neve Wilder lives in the dirty South, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes cold. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.
She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.
She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she’s always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.
And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.
Newsletter: You can keep up with Neve’s future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download the free Watch Me, Extracurricular Activities #1 short story. The series continues exclusively for newsletter subscribers HERE.
Facebook Page || Facebook Reader Group || Website || Goodreads || Amazon Author Page
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the Tour
October 4 – Bike Book Reviews, OMG Reads, October 5 – Love Bytes Reviews, October 6 – Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, October 8 – Sexy Erotic Xciting, October 9 – Mirrigold – Mutterings & Musings, October 10 – Megan’s Media Melange, October 11 – Jessie G Books, October 12 – The Novel Approach, Lillian Francis, Bayou Book Junkie, October 13 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, October 16 – Joyfully Jay
Hosted by Signal Boost Promotions
1 thought on “Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Center of Gravity by Neve Wilder”