I would like to thank Libby Drew for stopping by to talk about her latest release, Paradox Lost, and give you guys a little taste from the book. Also don’t forget to check out King’s Wench’s review.
Thanks for having me! Today I have an exclusive excerpt to share from Paradox Lost and a chance to win a copy of the book.
I love time travel stories, but they can get complicated pretty fast. That’s why I designed Paradox Lost with a unique set of time travel rules. I wanted to send my protagonists on an adventure, but I also wanted to give them a love story. Not the slow, drawn out, dinner and flowers kind. The visceral sort. The type of love story that punches both characters in the gut the moment they lay eyes on each other. One where the intensity never lets up.
Both Saul and Reegan have their demons, but they also possess the ability to heal each other. They simply need to bend the laws of time and space to do it. Even in their darkest hour, they find moments to offer comfort and solace.
Despite everything, they make time to fall in love.
Excerpt from Paradox Lost
Saul used a cotton swab to spread antiseptic over the cut bisecting Reegan’s cheek. “You’re lucky.”
“Now that’s funny. You just don’t understand why.”
The gentle touch withdrew, and a clean bandage appeared. Reegan gritted his teeth while Saul pressed at the adhesive edges. He’d offered to tend to the cut himself, had insisted on it, but Saul had ignored the request, stopping only to wrestle the rollaway cot from the coat closet before manhandling Reegan into the bathroom, stripping off his bloodstained shirt and pushing him onto the seat of the commode.
“I mean this could have been a lot worse. A few inches one way or the other, and you’d be dead.”
“Is this a pep talk? Because it’s atrocious.”
He scored a lopsided smile in answer. One by one, Saul repacked the medical supplies into his first-aid kit. Bandages. Alcohol. Cotton swabs. He took his time, swaying into Reegan’s personal space every few seconds, passing close enough for Reegan to feel the gentle whoosh of displaced air and catch a whiff of Saul’s aftershave.
He endured the routine with rising frustration, and as soon as Saul stopped fussing and stepped back, Reegan escaped. He might have been injured, exhausted and on the run for his life, but none of that tempered his reaction to having Saul’s hands on him or his face inches away. Not once while he was playing doctor had Saul given the impression he wanted to engage in the more energetic version of the game. Focused, hands steady, he’d tended to Reegan with cool professionalism. It chafed that Reegan had trouble controlling his impulse to touch when Saul obviously didn’t.
His original plan, upon being forced back to Saul’s office, had been to accept a Band-Aid and get out. But the sight of the rollaway bed leaning against the far wall, pile of linens on top, undid all his good intentions. He stumbled over and pressed his forehead against the stack of cool, clean sheets. “Hello, bed.”
“It’s pretty comfortable, believe it or not.”
Reegan turned to see Saul lounging in the doorway, a clean white T-shirt in his hand. He stepped forward to offer it to Reegan.
“Thanks. Where do you sleep?”
“Pullout couch. In there.” He jerked his chin at the inner office as he dried his hands on a dark blue hand towel.
Even through Reegan’s exhausted haze, he looked delicious. Rumpled. Concerned. Annoyed. And down one bottle of vodka, though he hadn’t made mention of the loss since it’d happened. He looked to be missing it now. Reegan missed it now. Anything to lighten the burden he was carrying. “Thinking about a drink?”
The reference took a moment to penetrate, then Saul blinked and straightened off the doorway. “No.”
It was a baldly honest answer. Reegan didn’t bother asking if he meant it. “We all have our weak moments.”
He’d struck a nerve. Overstepped. He sensed it the moment Saul gave a nonchalant shrug and crossed the room to help unfold the bed. The mechanics were simple enough once Reegan saw them in action. The frame peeled apart, then snapped into place. Saul rolled it into the open space between the waiting room chairs where it languished, looking stark white and out of place next to the silk ficus. As exhausted as he felt, Reegan wouldn’t have cared if they’d set it up outside on the sidewalk. “Thanks.”
Saul shook out a sheet. It billowed onto the thin mattress. He’d lit one small desk lamp when they’d come in and had twisted the mini-blinds closed. With no light filtering in from the street, the weak halo of illumination threw long shadows into the corners, turning tiny objects into giant ones, but the shadows on Saul’s face stemmed from something different altogether. Whatever was haunting him, he did a poor job of hiding it.
What kind of professional investigator took on a client at midnight and then left himself unprotected from that client while he slept a few feet away? One far too trusting. Or one who didn’t care. Which category did Saul belong to?
Up until now Reegan would have chosen too trusting, though that didn’t sit so well after the few conversations they’d had. The idea that he didn’t care was absurd. He’d disproved that at every available opportunity, tending to Reegan’s wound and worrying over his well-being. He’d latched on to keeping Silvia safe. The disquieting thought that the man held no care for himself made Reegan clutch the sheet in his fist. Maxie had said Saul’s business only lasted eighteen months. What had happened?
Reegan took the blanket from Saul when he started to unfold it. “I’ll get that. Not scared I’m going to rob you blind while you’re sleeping?”
Saul pressed his palms to his eyes as he laughed. “If you can find something valuable, it’s all yours.”
Reegan was starting to feel like he already had. Before second thoughts stilled his hand, he hooked two fingers in the waistband of Saul’s jeans. He didn’t pull, just rested them there. An invitation.
Saul stared down at them, crooked smile pulling at his lips. His expression held a lifetime of regret. “That wouldn’t be very ethical of me.”
Ethics never had been Reegan’s strong point. He gave an experimental tug and Saul’s hips tilted forward. His energy might be sapped, but his desire for Saul hadn’t eased. He felt it beating in his blood, subdued for the moment, but ready to boil over at the slightest sign. Already it simmered at the memory of how Saul felt in his hands. “What part feels unethical in particular? Me blowing you or you fucking me through this thin, shitty mattress?”
Saul’s pupils flared, dilating even more in the low light. “You have a way with words.”
About the Author
Libby glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school’s fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.
Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.
Libby’s State of Mind received rave reviews for being fast, clever, and relentless and was nominated for a Bookie Award for Best M/M Novel of 2011. 40 Souls to Keep, Libby’s third novel, has been described as intense and heart-poundingly good and was praised by Publishers Weekly for maintaining a high level of suspense.
An avid supporter of gay rights, Libby donates her time to the Trevor Project and organizations that work to support marriage equality.
Where to Buy
Libby Drew has graciously offered 1 lucky commenter their own copy of Paradox Lost.
Contest ends 11 Feb @ 7pm CST. Must be 18 or older, void where prohibited, etc.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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