Cate Ashwood, L.J. LaBarthe, and Raine O’Tierney’s Piece Us Back Together

I’m so very excited to have three lovely authors join me today. Two of these fine ladies have visited here in the past. The third is brand new to the blog, and me, and I’m glad she wasn’t scared away. I got to sit down with all three and boy was that fun. Be sure to check out the interview I did and the laughs we had. After the hilarity, be sure to check out all three books in this set because they sound AMAZING! I cannot wait to read all three. There’s also an excerpt from L.J. LaBarthe’s story that has some interesting characters, elephants! At the very bottom enter for a chance to win a copy of each story.

Amanda C. Stone: Good morning! I’m so excited to have y’all here!
All three: We’re so excited to be here. Thank you for hosting us!
Amanda: What would your mafia name be?
Cate Ashwood: Oh, that’s a hard one. I’m terrible at names (and titles for that matter). Shifty Candy Rizzo. Full disclosure, I used a name generator.
Amanda: Ok that’s a seriously fun name.
Raine O’Tierney: Mondadori. This was originally going to be my writing name until I let my boss talk me out of it 🙂
Amanda: Mondadori is a completely epic mafia name. It’s got a nice mafia ring to it.
L.J. LaBarthe: Oh boy. I too, will now consult a name generator. I appear to be named Slick Alice Romano. Like the cheese.
Amanda: I’m a fan of cheese so I approve of this name. You are traveling with The Doctor (or any other time traveling person). Would you visit the past or the future?
Cate: Is it David Tennant? I’d go just about anywhere with David Tennant.
Amanda: Of course! LOVE me some David Tennant!
Cate: If I had to choose between past or future though, I’d choose past. Definitely.
Amanda: What about you Raine?
Raine: Well dang, if I’m traveling with the Doctor, there’s a good chance we’re totally going to overshoot (or undershoot) our mark — so I think I’d just go along for the adventure and not really care where we ended up. It’ll be fun regardless!
Amanda: Agreed. No matter where we wind up, it’ll be good times.
L.J.: I’d ask him to aim for the 12th century court of France, but as Raine said, given he often over- or undershoots the mark, I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself in the middle of the battlefield in 1066.
Amanda: Though, the battlefield in 1066 would be an interesting place to wind up. I’m sure there’s some kind of plot that would need foiling while you’re there. You are on a deserted island and can have only one book with you. What book would it be?
Cate: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I’ve taken this one with me every time I’ve been to Hawaii. I listen to the audiobook while I’m “tanning” in the shade on the beach (I cannot tan. I go from pasty, to lobster, and then peel back to pasty. Tropical vacations are all about the shade for me). But seriously. You should read this book. It’s fantastic.
Amanda: So glad I’m not the only one that goes “shading” instead of “tanning”. I’m going to have to check out that book next time I do.
Raine: The Dhammapada. This work has kept me sane at the worst of times and since I don’t do “alone” so well, I think deserted island would definitely be one of those worst of times situations.
Amanda: Oh, I bet that would help keep things pretty relaxed. Or at least as relaxed as possible.
L.J.: Just one?! I can’t pick just one! Nooooo! Ahem.
Amanda: Sorry. I know it’s hard to just pick one book.
L.J.: I think it’d be the “Tangle XY Edition” anthology published by Blind Eye Books. Just a terrific collection that has stayed with me since I first read it. It’d be great to read it again.
Amanda: Oooh! That sounds like a fabulous anthology! Name 3 things on your Bucket List
Cate: 1) Travel (SO MUCH TRAVEL), 2) Learn to swing on a trapeze, 3) Meet all my online friends in person
Amanda: That trapeze sounds like a fun plan. I may just have to borrow that and find like a circus camp to try out.
Raine: Learn to make artisan chocolates, spend a goodly amount of time cloistered in a Buddhist monastery, and write the obligatory “daddy issues” story that’s been gnawing at me for 20 years 
Amanda: I will gladly be your artisan chocolate taste tester! What about you L.J.?
L.J.: 1. Travel (like Cate, there is SO MUCH TRAVEL), 2. See Avenged Sevenfold play live. 3. Get to GRL. 4. Take my mum all around our home state to see the things she’s only heard of.
Amanda: I would love to see Avenged Sevenfold live as well. Oh man that would be amazing. Last question! If you could snap your fingers and have an invention to do anything you want, what would you want it to do?
Cate: Something that could pluck the ideas out of my head and put them down, as fully formed books. I have so many ideas and just not enough time to get them all written.
Amanda: Yup, I’d use the heck out of that if it existed.
Raine: Oh, definitely The Replicator from Star Trek TNG. Hmm… or the Holodeck also from TNG. Can I have two inventions? 
Amanda: If you share, I’ll gladly let you have your two inventions!
L.J.: Electric, robotic car that drives for me and runs on solar polar so I don’t have to pay high fuel prices. Then I could go anywhere I wanted around the country and it would give me so much more freedom of movement.
Amanda: Mind I join you? I’d love a self driving car so I could not have to worry about driving. Thank you for stopping by! I loved having you!
All three: Thanks so much for having us! 

Life can seem bleak for people suffering devastating injuries or illnesses of the mind and body, and every day can be a struggle. But sometimes, when hope seems in short supply, they find a reason to keep up the fight. The men in these stories face some of the most difficult challenges imaginable, but fortunately they won’t be facing them alone, because when everything seems darkest, a point of light appears. With compassion, understanding, and love, these hurt souls have a chance to piece the broken parts of their lives and themselves into something strong and beautiful. Love might even be able to mend the most serious wounds of all—those of the heart.

Carter McClintock’s life is uncomplicated. For the past five years, he’s spent so much time in hospital scrubs that one day bleeds into the next, and that’s just the way he likes it. That is, until he meets Matthew Nolan. Carter has never had a patient affect him the way Matthew does. During Matthew’s stay in the hospital, the chemistry is unmistakable, and once he is discharged, Carter asks him out.

Despite the obvious attraction between them, Matthew’s HIV status keeps him from handing Carter his heart, refusing to believe anyone could ever truly want him. When Matthew’s past comes to light, their budding relationship is threatened before it has even begun. But Carter isn’t one to give up without a fight and he will do anything to show Matthew the lengths he will go to keep them together.

After suffering a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, Garrett believes his life is over. Depressed, bereft, in pain, and unable to return to the career he loves as an arborist, he sees no hope or future for himself. But a trip to Havelock Island in India turns his world upside down. He meets Jai, an Indian nurse, and becomes smitten with him. Near the end of his trip, while swimming with an elephant, he tells Jai how he feels.

After Garrett returns to Australia, he wonders if he can ever be healed of all his pain—physical, emotional, and mental—and fears that love and romance will never be his again. But then Jai turns up in Perth and brings with him astonishing news.

Perhaps they could develop a deeper friendship at the very least, and maybe Garrett could come back to India to see Jai. There were a lot of possibilities, after all, and Garrett preferred right then to think of those rather than anything negative.

Baju joined them, his trunk brushing over Garrett’s back and Garret laughed, unable to help himself. “That tickles,” he said to the elephant.

Jai laughed as well. “He is saying hello.”

“He’s awesome. I hope you know that you’re awesome, Baju.” Garrett turned in the water and rested a hand on Baju’s shoulder. “Thank you.”

“He has helped to heal your soul,” Jai said.

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s exactly it. I feel so much happier for having had this experience.”

“There are many kinds of healing,” Jai said. “Some of them cannot be put into words.”

Garrett nodded, feeling peace wash over him once more. Here in the warm sea water, touching a large Indian elephant and feeling the elephant’s trunk on his shoulders, beside a man he had feelings for, he had found his little piece of pure joy, and nothing and no one could take this away from him. It would be a memory he would treasure forever.

Beau Bell is a former Olympic hopeful, left paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident. He has every reason in the world to be pissed off and miserable, yet he’s training for the Paralympics Men’s 100m—S6 division. The chair? Just a part of who he is now. Beau’s attitude is golden. If only he could contend with this one little issue: errant erections and no way to relieve them!

Nikša Meríc is a lonely scientist and really bad poet living underneath the old building where he does his research. Every night he watches his neighbor through his basement window as he undresses in his wheelchair. Although there is no apparent reason for Nikša to be unhappy, he’s struggled with depression his whole life and has tried to kill himself on multiple occasions.

When Beau proposes that his “voyeur” come over and help him experiment with the erections he can’t actually feel, the relationship they build is a sexual one. But the relationship they need is one that will heal each other’s heart as well.

About The Authors:
Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her brand new little boy, and her two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.
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Raine O’Tierney lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Siôn O’Tierney. When she’s not writing, she’s either asleep, or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers! Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on M/M) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

Buy Links:
Piece Us Back Together Anthology
Dreamspinner Press:

All That Shimmers
Dreamspinner Press:

Swimming With Elephants
Dreamspinner Press:

Red Runs Through
Dreamspinner Press:

Tour Stops:
6-May: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
7-May: Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, MM Good Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie
13-May: Amanda C. Stone, Bike Book Reviews, Hearts on Fire
14-May: Carly’s Book Reviews, Molly Lolly
20-May: Decadent Delights, TTC Books and More, Prism Book Alliance
21-May: Inked Rainbow Reads, Love Bytes, BFD Book Blog, Chris McHart

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