Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Tripping Over the Edge of Night by Layla Dorine - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Author's Guest Post


Going home had never felt so wrong.

When Derrick received the phone call informing him of his mother’s death, it felt like the bottom had dropped out of his entire world. Gone was every hope and ideal he’d left home with, replaced with the bitter realization that he’d run out of time, run out of plans, and was desperately close to running out of give-a-damn.

It doesn’t help to come face to face with his older brother, Ray, who’d spent much of his childhood either ignoring him, ditching him, or complaining about his very existence. It’s enough to send him right back on the road again, or at least, it would have been, were it not for a house, a cat named Slash, and Mason, his best friend-with-benefits, now the head librarian in town and hot as sin.

It was hard enough leaving Mace in the first place, but a second time? He didn’t think he had it in him to be so heartless. Twelve years ago he’d slipped away under the cover of darkness, without even a single goodbye. Now, standing on the edge of night, looking down at the tiny town he’d fled, Derrick is left with one burning question:

Can the door to the past ever be closed enough to allow space for the future?

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Derrick placed the batteries and zip ties on the opposite side of the table from the food, folded the bag, rolled up his sleeves, and started hacking at an onion rather than respond.
“Helps to peel it first,” Mason muttered. Stilling his hand and retrieving what was left of the mangled onion. He peeled it before returning it and taking a step back, no doubt out of the way of flying onion bits.
“I guess I could walk, not like it’s much safer, but I see what you’re getting at,” Derrick said as he started massacring the onion a bit slower this time. “I hate driving that car, but I don’t want to risk wrecking the bike if someone skids into it.”
“How about not risking wrecking you ’cause that was the part I was worried about?” Mason grumbled as he moved around to the other side of the table and fiddled with the zip ties Derrick had left out. “Do I even want to know what you were planning to do with these?”
“Huh?” Derrick glanced up to see Mason shaking the zip ties at him, before a sharp flash of pain made him drop the knife and shove his finger in his mouth. “Ow, fuck,” Derrick growled around the bleeding digit as he turned away from the cutting board to rummage around on the top of the fridge for the first aid kit his mother had always kept there when he was young. Sure enough, it was still there, shoved almost to the back.
“Let’s see what the damage is.”
Shivering at the low, rough voice in his ear, Derrick turned his head enough to see Mason watching him intently.
“It’s fine,” he muttered, shuffling away so he could run his finger under the tap. Before he could fish out an alcohol wipe to clean it, Mason tugged it over, so he could inspect it.
“A little deep, but nothing that needs stitching,” Mason remarked, reaching for the wipe himself and cleaning it. “You’re lucky you didn’t take half of it off, the way you were going to town on that onion. You don’t cook much, do you?”
Grimacing, Derrick turned toward Mason with a sigh. “Not particularly, but I found a recipe that looked easy enough to follow. Figured I couldn’t screw it up that much.”
He held still as Mason smeared a bit of antiseptic cream over the wound, then covered it with a band aid.
“So, what is this supposed to be?” Mason asked, gesturing toward the table.
“Pan fried potatoes and chicken wings.”
Derrick watched Mason scratch the space between his eyebrows, attention going from the table to Derrick and back again. “Okay, tell me you have recipes for both.”
“Yeah, umm, side of the fridge,” Derrick replied as he washed his hands. Scooting up beside him, Mason did the same, before they stepped up to the fridge to read over the recipes.
Mason was tapping a finger to his nose. It was an old tick, something he’d always done when he was thinking about something.
“How about I take over the chopping, if only to insure we don’t end up in the ER tonight with severed body parts, and you take the chicken? Not that I cook often, but I can at least cut things up without risking serious bodily harm.”
“Wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been waving the damn zip ties around,” Derrick grumbled. “And to answer your question, I was planning to use them to bundle up extension cords neatly, so I could hang them from pegs in the garage. It’s a pain in the ass to untangle them every time I need one. Noticed a couple broken shower curtain rings too, so I figured I could use a few of the smaller ones there as well, least until I can manage to go get a replacement set. Nearly lost the lid to the recycle bin, so I thought to secure it to the bin like I’d done the trash can lid. One morning of chasing it up the street was more than enough. Besides, it can’t hurt to keep them around, they make pretty good drain snakes in a pinch.”
“Practical,” Mason replied with a slight chuckle as he cleaned the knife Derrick had nicked himself with and went back to cutting up the onions. “Not quite what I had in mind, though.”
Snorting, Derrick pulled out a large bowl and dumped in a cup of flour. “Yeah, and what did you think I was gonna do with them?”
“Well between them and the batteries, I figured you had one hell of a night in mind.”
“Huh?” Again, Derrick forgot to pay attention to what he was doing but at least the only result was shaking the garlic powder a few times before realizing he hadn’t opened it. “What that’s supposed to mean.”
“Take a moment, and think outside of the box, Derrick,” Mason remarked as he continued to chop.
Derrick tried as he added pepper, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper to the flour and stirred them together with a fork. “I still don’t get it.”
The only response from Mason was a laugh as he set about washing the two large red potatoes Derrick had purchased.
“I tell you what, after dinner I’ll show you what I mean.”
Derrick cocked an eyebrow at him, huffed and shook his head, before putting the bowl aside and moving to get out the wings. “Not sure I wanna know.”
“That’s up to you.”
The steady thunk, thunk, thunk of Mason cutting up the potatoes filled the room, as Derrick patted the wings dry and dumped them in the flour, turning them over and over to get them coated in the seasoning mix. Recipe said to set them aside in the fridge for twenty-minutes to and hour, so he shoved them in and went about lining two baking sheets with foil and preheating the oven.
“Seriously?” Mason remarked without even looking over. “What did you do to yourself now.”
“Nothing. Just can’t stop thinking about the damned zip ties now, thank you very much.”
“You’re welcome,” Mason remarked, snickering as he continued to chop.

Hi and thank you so much for hosting me and my latest novel, Tripping Over the Edge of Night, on Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews. Like so many of my other books, this one ended up with a rather unique playlist of songs that I tended to play on repeat while I was writing the story, only with this one, I deviated from my usual collection of classic rock and alternative, and drifted into acid rock, likely because it seemed to be Derrick’s favorite thing to listen to. I guess it helped that in inheriting his childhood home he also ended up inheriting his parents rather eclectic music collection, ranging from the more easily recognizable Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd to the lesser known Blue Cheer, The 13th Floor elevators, Country Joe and the Fish, Moby Grape and Strawberry Alarm Clock.

It was wonderful reconnecting with music I hadn’t listened to consistently since before I headed off to college, in addition to discovering a few bands I’d never heard of. It took me back to those days of sitting up in my attic loft listening to the albums my father had given me on an old record player, the scratchy rough tones filling the room as I drew and daydreamed. I still have those records, the player, however, didn’t survive the years, which is actually where the scene of Derrick in the garage trying to fix his mother’s old record player stems from, right down to the mention of the album left on the turntable when it died.

Kenny Roger’s The Gambler was my mother’s favorite album, and while it didn’t fit the psychedelic theme of the other music Derrick was listening too, it was a nod to my own mother’s favorite album, just as mention of the brothers going inside to watch the their mother’s favorite movie, 9 to 5, was also a nod to my mom. Whenever I write, I draw from the moments of my life, however small, like these. It gives me a deeper connection to the characters and besides, its rather difficult to write something I’ve never experienced. Imagination can only take me so far, but the wonderful part about this writing journey has been all of the things I’ve gotten to go out and do in the name of crafting a believable scene.

Though I must say that while some of those experiences have been amazing, others, like dancing in neon lights in a cage over thirty feet off the ground was a bit scary at first, but I think, in the end, it will be well worth it when that novel comes out. 


LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla is the author of Guitars and Cages, Guitars and Choices, Gypsy’s Rogue, Desolation Angel, …And All Shall Fade to Black, Midnight musicals and Coffee Ice Cream, Roadhouse Reds, Serpent’s Kiss, Racing the Sky, Broken Prince Mismatched Eyes, and Burning Luck.

Layla Dorine can be found at:

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