Monday, February 10, 2020

Halfway to Someday by Layla Dorine - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Author Interview

Rocker Jesse Winters just wants to be left alone. If he could melt into oblivion he would and bid farewell to the wild child of rock n’ roll so many have dubbed him in recent months. Truth is, there was never anything reckless, wild or even deliberate about most of the things that had happened on Wild Child’s last tour, but had anyone cared to listen? No! Which was precisely why he was sitting in a cabin high up in the Colorado mountains, hoping the incoming blizzard would bury him forever.

Ryker Jorgensen left the VA hospital with a bunch of prescriptions and pamphlets on how to deal with reentering the civilian world, not that he’s in any hurry to do so. His nightmares still keep him up at night, and every new limitation he discovers gives him more reason to believe that he’s hopelessly useless now. Better to drive up to his cousin’s cabin and lick his wounds. Come spring, maybe, he’d look into being around people, if only for long enough to make the kind of money he’d need to buy his own secluded place.

The last thing he ever expected to see was the man whose face had been plastered in his footlocker and his dreams for the better part of the past six years, but Jesse Winters is nothing like he imagined. When trying to leave Ryker out in the storm doesn’t work, Jesse resorts to ignoring him. But two wounded souls trapped in a snowed in cabin have little choice but to reach out for one another when emotions get frayed. His only hope is that Jesse will trust him enough to let him drag him back from the edge before he’s just another burned out star in the legacy that is rock n’ roll.

Warnings: Flashbacks of domestic abuse, and combat situations, suicide ideations
Heat level: Nonexplicit (though there is frottage at the end)
Tags: self-harm, cutting, stalking, PTSD, domestic abuse survivor, musician, ex-military, insta-love

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The winds whipped against the truck so hard, it rocked, throwing him out of the past. A mercy, despite the violence of the storm. He took that as his cue to get out, grab his duffel bag, and head for the door. Every step took effort. The snow was piled high, and some of the drifts were well past his knees. How easy would it be to lie down and go to sleep in it, never to wake again? He forged a sloppy path to the door, complete with an outline of his body when he face-planted inches from the steps. He didn’t want to think of how painful that misstep could have been had he actually struck the steps, or perhaps it would have made life easier for him to give himself over to the cold. Instead, he gripped the handrail and climbed the steps, coming to stand before the door of the cabin.
Knocking loudly, Ryker shivered, pulling his coat tighter around him as he waited. He was about to knock again when the door swung open to reveal wary green eyes in a too-pale face framed by dark, cascading waves of blond hair. Ryker blinked, stunned at the outright hostility that pulled the man’s lips down into a scowl, his trim beard and mustache only serving to emphasize it more. His wrinkled long-sleeved T-shirt was backward and inside out, and it twisted near the waistline, revealing a swath of pale abs. It looked as though he’d hastily donned it on his way to the door.
“Pretty sure you’re at the wrong cabin,” the guy growled, moving to shut the door in Ryker’s face. Slamming his hand against it kept Ryker from being left out in the cold.
“Even if it’s the wrong cabin, which I don’t think it is, there’s a storm coming, in case you hadn’t noticed, so I think I’ll just come in out of it, thanks.” Ryker took a step forward and trying to wedge through the opening. The other man held firm, however, and they stood there glaring at each other.
“Look,” the man snapped, “you could be a psycho or a serial killer for all I know, so you ain’t getting in here. I’ve got enough problems without accidentally ending up dead.”
Ryker felt the impatience radiating off the other man, which was fine by him; he was getting pretty goddamned impatient and cold himself.
“You look—” Ryker retorted, studying the guy more intently through bleary, snow-clouded eyes. Something about him looked really damned familiar. “I’ve been on the road for hours. It’s fucking cold out here, and it’s snowing buckets. I’m supposed to be at my cousin’s cabin, which the GPS says is right here. So here I am, and I’ve got no intention of driving anywhere until the shit lets up. My cousin’s name is Kyle—”


Jesse couldn’t believe this shit. When he saw Kyle, he was gonna choke him to death with his own bass strings.
“Morrison,” Jesse finished with a sigh.

Halfway to Someday Author Interview 

What was the first book to make you cry? The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, for several scenes. When Ponyboy and Darry have the argument that leads to Ponyboy running away. The poetry and conversations at the hideout in the old church, and of course, the final few scenes, after Ponyboy and Johnny saved those kids, and had to face mortality, twice, were certainly ugly cry moments then and now.

If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be? Never give up. Never let anyone tell you what you should be doing. Take your gap year and start working on your first book instead of going off to a college you had no interest in. Don’t be afraid to show your poetry to others. Don’t be afraid to stand up on stage at an open Mic night and read pieces you’ve written. Sign up for as many writing workshops as you can. Join writing groups, real, human ones, not just the online ones. Dream big and experience everything your heart desires.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Two completed unpublished novels, one a paranormal and one a urban fantasy. Over the years I have given consideration to revising them and submitting them somewhere, but new stories and new characters are usually dominating my mind and time. I also have three half-finished manuscripts I am currently working on, in the hopes of releasing them this yeah. One of them is an MMM wolf shifter story, the second is a roommates story, and the third is the second sequel to my first book, Guitars and Cages.

What did you edit out of this book? Half of the original first draft actually. It turned out to be two different stories, so roughly 50,000 words were dropped into a separate word file which will become a stand alone book somewhere down the line. The 48,000 words that remained were expanded into Halfway to Someday, with one character’s positions in the story being adjusted to downgrade them from main character to supporting cast with little page time. In the end, I was very pleased with the results and I hope readers will be too.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work? Musician, either a guitarist or a singer, or perhaps a digital artist and graphic designer, which I’ve gone to school for. One thing I know for certain is that it would be something creative. I could never see myself taking part in any profession that didn’t allow me to use my imagination and explore a wide variety of ideas.

Are you working on anything at the moment that you’d like to share with your readers?
Absolutely, it’s currently called Experimenting with Love and the premises is basically that these characters took part in a phycology experiment that paired them, as complete strangers, to live together for a year, no warming up process, no none of that, just here is your move in date and some journals to keep track of feelings and experiences in.

Excerpt: going to move out you certainly could have done much worse,” Kenji’s father remarked. “So, do we get to meet who you’ll be living with? I’m curious to see how this matching process turned out. I, for one, will be eager to read the journals if Professor Pierce manages to get his results published. I don’t see why he wouldn’t, this is a marvelous idea.”
“Yeah, its, something anyway,” Kenji said with a sigh. “Not sure about you guys meeting Koda though. He doesn’t seem very interested in interacting.”
“Not everyone is as outgoing as you Kenji,” His father laughed. “I believe if you put your mind to it you could befriend a porcupine if you put enough effort into it.”
“We might finally have the opportunity to find out,” Kenji muttered.
“Don’t be that way, son. It’s a good thing you’re doing. It feels like you are finally willing to move forward from the accident. Why don’t you go and ask him to come out? Could be he’s just shy and needs a bit of encouragement.”
“All right. I’ll try but I don’t promise anything,” Kenji remarked, heading once more for the door at the end of the hall. Along the way he found the laundry room, pleased that he wouldn’t have to cart his things home to get them cleaned. Rapping on Koda’s door, he expected a verbal answer, not the sight of a scowling Koda in a t-shirt that read My dragon can beat up your unicorn. He had fuzzy slippers on and a screwdriver in his hand.
“Hey, um, my parents would like to meet you, see who I’ll be living with for the next year,” Kenji hurried to explain as Koda’s scowl only grew deeper.
“No thanks,” Koda moved to shut the door, but Kenji shoved his prosthetic hand against it to hold it open. He could see the shock in Koda’s eyes as he stared from the hand to his face and back again.
“You’re being extremely rude,” Kenji remarked. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask …”
“You know what’s rude?” Koda cut him off. “Expecting others to react the way you think they should. I said no. I even said thanks. I meant both. Now, can you leave me alone for the rest of the night?”
“With pleasure,” Kenji huffed before turning and stalking back up the hall. He found his family in the kitchen with the freezer door open, his mother staring into the depths with a frown on her face.
“You can forget about meeting him today,” Kenji informed them.
“Half of the freezer is filled with boxed dinners,” his mother replied forlornly.
“Don’t worry Mom, I plan to cook my meals, I promise,” he assured her before pulling her into a hug.

Author Bio:

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. Currently she has seen forty-nine of the fifty states, with plans to visit her final one, Alaska, in the upcoming year. Every journey is an inspiration and every shred of inspiration gets sprinkled into her tales.

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 it’s 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, a kitty on her lap, and her dog, Jinxx, by her side.

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Other novels by author:

Guitars and Cages
Guitars and Choices
Roadhouse Reds
Gypsy’s Rogue
Desolation Angel
…And All Shall Fade to Black
Serpent’s Kiss
Broken Prince, Mismatched Eyes
Midnight Musicals and Coffee Ice Cream
Racing the Sky
Tripping Over the Edge of Night
Dust Trail Blues
Burning Luck

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