Vasquez and James Road Trip Blog Tour: Lou Sylvre’s Saving Sonny James (Book 4) out 10/18 from Dreamspinner Press!
Hello, I’m Lou Sylvre, and I’m grateful to Lisa and The Novel Approach for agreeing to host me and my characters from the Vasquez and James series yet again. Last time we visited, Luki Vasquez cooked for us, and while we sat around the table, he and Sonny and some other characters from the series answered a bunch of questions from readers. We all had fun, except for perhaps Luki, who seemed a little put upon. (See below for a link to that conversation if you’re curious.)
This time, I’m excited to invite you to the TNA kickoff of the Vasquez and James Road Trip Blog Tour. The fourth book in the suspense series, Saving Sonny James, is officially released today. There’s a blurb and a cover here, the publisher’s buy link, and even a brief excerpt, which I hope you’ll find tantalizing. And there are prizes to be had. Here! Now! Just comment below and your name goes in the hat, and I’ll announce the winners right here and elsewhere on the 25th.
First prize: Signed paperback (e-book if you prefer) of Saving Sonny James and a $15 gift certificate for Dreamspinner Press.
Second Prize: Saving Sonny James e-book.
So, you ask, “Why a road tip?” If you’ve read the series (or even the blurbs) you know already that these two sexy men are always off on some adventure, but most of them are not by choice. This time, having survived the most horrendous near-calamity yet, Luki and Sonny decided it was time to take a vacation of their own design. Well, mostly Sonny’s design, because he’s a Mustang driving, engine-loving, road trip kind of guy, and Luki does whatever Sonny wants. He’s smitten, still, and it doesn’t look like that will be changing. This will not be just any road trip, though: they’ll cross the Atlantic and the South Seas, roam the USA, venture into another world, and possibly even attend Bent Con in Burbank, California… oh my!
After coercion, the husbands (yes, they got married in book 3, Finding Jackie) have agreed to allow me to ride along in the back seat. What they don’t know is that the backseat is an awful lot like one of those fantasy phone booths that a seemingly infinite number of people can crowd into, so there’s plenty of room. Please, pack a bag and come along! We’re starting the trip in France, because… well, that’s where Saving Sonny James ends. To explain, here’s the blurb:
Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.
Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.
France turned out to be a pretty scary place, complete with tiny token Lesbian gendarmes, tunnels filled with bones, and an old flame of Luki’s (who is also hot and ginger, and kind of badass, too). But that’s their location when the story ends—France, and getting across the English Channel to visit former Vasquez Security agent, Brian Harrison in London. (Yes, this is the very same knitting young badass you met if you read the earlier books.) Early this morning, they left the country house they stayed in while the embassy got Luki out of trouble and Sonny got healthy, headed for Paris, where they breakfasted on café crème and pastries, then headed for the station to board the train for Coquelles, near Calais—about 150 miles from the City of Light. From there, they’ll board a Eurostar train for the trip under the sea to London.
Luki doesn’t really want to do this. As often is the case, he’s agreed to it only because Sonny is fascinated by the train and the idea of a tunnel beneath the sea. Here’s a bit of what is transpiring as they wait on line to board.
“Sonny, you are so kissable right now!”
“What? Did you see this, Luki? They say the trains run on electricity. I suppose that’s cleaner.”
“I don’t care, sweetie. I don’t even want to get on that train.”
“What are you talking about now, Luki? I know you’ve been a lot of places, but for me this might be a once in a lifetime chance. I can’t wait.”
“Yeah, but that tunnel reminds me of the catacombs—I mean, only because it’s underground, but still.” Luki let that lie, but Sonny said nothing in response, only crinkled up his brow as if wondering what kind of creature Luki really was. So finally, Luki added, “Baby, I had to run through those tunnels under Paris on my way to find you. It was awful. The only blessing was I wasn’t alone and I was so busy thinking about saving Sonny James that I hardly had time to quake in fear. There were bones, and rats, and… I think there might have been fish. It was horrible.”
“I’m sorry you had to do that, husband.”
“I’d do it twenty times more if I had to, Sonny, but that’s why this tunnel idea doesn’t seem like a fun thing. But I do like watching you—all excited like a little kid.”
“Little kid! Take that back, and I’ll let you kiss me as we cross the border from France to England.”
“Ah, now there’s an interesting offer,” Luki said, and started pensively chewing his bottom lip. He brought Sonny’s hand to his lips for a quick smooch and made a counter-offer. “We may have a deal, baby, but only if I also get to touch you inappropriately if it’s possible to do so surreptitiously.”
“Yes, surreptitiously. I went to college.”
Sonny put his hands on his hips and said, “Husband, anything inappropriate you can manage surreptitiously in that tunnel—you’ve got a green light to do it.”
Luki took a deep breath and sighed. Under his breath, he said, “Fuck! It’s going to be awful hot on that train.”
I, Lou Sylvre, am not getting on that train either, mostly because I don’t want the guys to embarrass me with all that inappropriateness. So I’m catching a shuttle flight, and I’ll meet them in London. You can meet us there, too—please do!
Here’s a link to my blog, where you will find a rundown of the planned stops on this road trip blog tour: http://www.sylvre.com. And here are the other links I promised:
The link to Sonny and Luki’s previous visit on TNA: http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/2013/06/13/look-whos-come-for-a-visit-its-lou-sylvre-and-shes-brought-some-special-guests-with-her/ .
In the meanwhile, here’s a brief excerpt from Saving Sonny James. Remember to put your name in the hat for the prize drawing! Enjoy the excerpt!
TWO days later, Sonny hoped maybe a chance had come to try to talk to Luki, as Kaholo had suggested. He could hear Luki brushing his teeth—something he didn’t always do on days when he had no therapy appointment. It spurred Sonny to take a chance. “Luki,” he called through the bathroom door. “Honey?”
“Yeah,” Luki said, his husky voice monotone, disinterested. But at least he’d answered.
“I’m going to sit outside to drink my coffee. Shall I bring you a cup?” He waited. Nothing. “Will you join me?”
Nothing… two… three… four….
“Yeah, sure. Thanks.”
Sonny’s knees nearly failed him right then and there. Could this be a turn of the tide? Could there be a flicker of hope? He had to fight his urge to wait right there by the door and make sure Luki came out, but he won that battle. “Okay,” he said, hoping he sounded casual. “I’ll see you out there, then. How many tons of sugar today?” That’s it, Sonny, make it normal, like nothing ever happened… but….
Luki was quiet. But then, like something magical was happening, he chuckled, and joked. “A half ton’s plenty, baby.”
So they sat together on the driftlog that had seen so many of their previous conversations, even their first fight. This time there was no gun, and no cigarettes, so that was a little different, but once again Luki was clad poorly in a pair of Sonny’s ill-fitting jeans, wrapped in a blanket, his chestnut curls swirled this way and that like the finger painting of some childish god. Sonny passed him his coffee. He drank, said, “It’s good.”
Sonny nodded, but found now he didn’t know what to say or do, or for that matter what not to say or do. He had too many hopes that had been lifted too high by this one little gift: Luki had come outside for coffee.
How could Sonny speak without dashing it all to the ground? What could he say that would be safe?
“Sonny,” Luki said, just loud enough to be heard over the small sounds of the straits in endless motion and the light September breeze. Sonny looked at him with something close to alarm. Luki met his gaze—something he hardly ever did these days. Then he licked his lips and said a little louder, “I love you. That hasn’t changed.”
Sonny was left speechless. Time went by, and ultimately Sonny did stretch around his fears and answer as expected. “I love you too, Luki. Lots.”
“I know that. When are you leaving?”
“Sonny, I’m crazy, not fucking deaf or blind.” Luki suddenly sounded angry, but what he said pissed Sonny off enough that he didn’t—for once—spare worry for Luki’s feelings.
“You’re not fucking crazy!”
“You only say that because you can’t get inside here!” Luki jabbed at his temple. “Maybe you can’t see it, but believe me, some crazy-ass shit’s going on in there.”
“Then why won’t you go to the psychiatrist, or the therapist? Why won’t you make even the slightest effort to fix whatever the fuck is wrong….” Sonny trailed off. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Luki gathered up his blanket and his coffee mug. “Don’t be,” he said again and trudged back toward the house.
As Luki walked away, kicking up small clouds of fine gray sand in the breeze, Sonny stripped and went to the water’s edge—his almost daily habit. But this time he stood staring at the watery September morning sun. “No,” he said and then shouted, “No! You fucker,” though he had no idea to whom the comment was addressed. “You’ve taken everyone I’ve ever loved from the time I was a little kid! You can’t do this!”
Oh fuck it, he thought and ran into the low rolling waves of the Juan de Fuca current.