Prism Book Alliance would like to thank ZA Maxfield for taking the time to talk with us today. Don’t forget to check out our review of Home the Hard Way.. There is also a Giveaway, so don’t miss that.
Title: Home the Hard Way
Author: ZA Maxfield
Cover Artist: Amber Shah
Hi I’m Z.A. Maxfield! First and foremost, thanks to the Prism Book Alliance for letting me talk about my latest release, Home The Hard Way. Readers, you’re going to want to follow along the whole blog tour, Here. There will be Rafflecopter blog tour giveaway with plenty of opportunities to gain points to win, so stay tuned!
Today I thought it might be fun to share a scene I edited out of the book. Even my editor never saw this! I took this out when it became clear that it was the only scene I had from Lyddie’s point of view, and past the part I’m sharing here, it went on to reminisce about her high school days and her first time with a man, (who coincidentally grew up to be Chief Deputy Vicenzo!!! Yikes!
Okay, since I knew I wasn’t writing her story, I had to cut the scene, but you get to learn a little more about Aunt Lyddie, here. She’s one of my favorite characters. She never got married, never had children of her own, but when her sister got pregnant out of wedlock, she raised her sister’s son like he was her own, and filled him with all the love she had to give and then some…
In the book, Finn talks about his aunt. She’s the mother of his heart, and as he watches her illness progress, he has to prepare to let her go.
Lyddie’s Lost Scene::
“Hey Lyddie.” Lyddie glanced up and saw former Chief Deputy Vicenzo heading up the walkway. He was still a fine man, even in his late sixties, silver haired and trim, wearing jeans and a flannel shirt. His blue eyes crinkled at the corners when he smiled up at her from the bottom of the porch steps.
“Chief, how are you?” Lyddie fumbled with her Slanket, aware that she’d seen better days, that the only conclusion anyone with eyes could come to was grim.
She suffered a painful jolt of desperation while she tried to think of a way to appear more presentable, but gave it up as a lost cause. She settled on laying her hand flat across her chest below her exposed collarbone in a futile attempt at modesty — the classic flail of a flustered femme fatale.
At least she wasn’t high just then. Small mercies. If she’d been toking, she’d have giggled a little kid.
“I’m good.” Vicenzo nodded. Once a cop, always a cop. She figured he missed nothing as he scrutinized her. “I was sorry to hear about your illness.”
Lyddie nodded, then grinned. “Me too.”
“Maybe I can sit with you?”
“Sure.” Lyddie didn’t have to move over. She didn’t take up enough room anymore to matter.
“Someone ransacked your place, honey.”
Lyddie nodded. “You think kids are sniffing hairspray again? They were probably pretty disappointed we don’t use aerosols anymore.”
“Whatever it was about, I’m sorry. Seems like someone’s heaping shit on a bad situation.”
“Well. I don’t suppose it did any lasting damage. Finn was tired when he went to work this morning. I’ll—” she shrugged. “I was going to say I’ll live, but—”
“Ah, jeez, Lyddie.” Tony didn’t meet her eyes.
“Sorry.” She chuckled. “People hate my sense of humor these days.”
“You’re my…friend. No one wants to see bad things happen to good people.”
“Is it possible the break-in had something to do with Candy Shepard’s death?”
Vicenzo shook his head. “I don’t see how it could be.”
“What did the Captain say?” She nudged him with a bony elbow. “Don’t tell me he isn’t keeping you in the loop.”
“Candy Shepard’s death was natural causes Lyddie. We’re all on the same page.” He hesitated. “The thing is, I saw Dare Buckley last night. He was asking about it. And about his dad’s suicide.”
Lyddie nodded. “I can’t imagine why that might still be on his mind.”
“Was Dare with Finn last night?”
“They went out for a beer, I think. I’m pretty sure that got cut short because Finn had to clean up my place.”
“Are you sure it’s such a good thing for them to talk over old times?”
“Exactly what do you mean by that?” she asked.
“Dare’s been drinking. He’s in a free fall after the mess in Seattle.”
Lyddie nodded her head, but her insides felt like ice–even more than they usually did. “So you’re just protecting my boy from trouble like you always have.”
“I haven’t forgotten what those kids did to Finn at the school, Tony.”
Vicenzo stiffened. “I’m the last person who’s going to forget the past. I remember every single detail of that godawful day like it was yesterday. I had to arrest the children of some of my best friends.”
“Yet their files are permanently sealed and Finn is going to live with his limp forever.”
“Aw, damnit Lyddie, you know how it works. We’ve got to follow the law. It protects juveniles in–”
“They’re just lucky I didn’t go all Ellie Nesler on their asses. And you—” she poked his chest with her bony finger. “You protected the wrong damned juveniles and you know it.” She struggled to wrap her blanket around her bony frame. He reached over to help her so tenderly the act brought tears to her eyes.
“I know. I’m sorry. I swear it.”
“What do you want from us?”
“Dare isn’t going to find it easy to become part of the department. And if he spends his time with Finn…”
“You know Finn. He’s in your face about his lifestyle. He’s—“
“Dare will be tainted by his acquaintance with a known homosexual? Is that why you came here, Tony Vicenzo? To tell Finn not to fuck things up for Dare Buckley?”
“Not only that, I came to see you. To talk to you. But yeah. Dare’s on probation here. Finn was his friend once, you’d think he’d care if–”
“This is the year 2013, and you’d better get the hell off my porch.”
“Aw. Come on Lyddie, you know what I’m saying. This isn’t San Francisco and Dare’s a cop, for Christ’s sake.”
Lyddie’s jaw worked but nothing came out. Sometimes it happened that way. The meds made her slow, and her mind seemed to just hang there, motionless above her while her body, cast off, forgotten, lay there like an abandoned marionette.
“Off. My. Porch,” she finally got out. Tony nodded and stepped down the porch stairs as carefully as he’d come. The dumb son of a bitch. Did he think she was stupid?
She closed her eyes and counted. Maybe the numbers weren’t quite in order anymore but she didn’t expect the ghost of any dead mathematicians would appear before her to call her on it.
The Tonys of the world would never change.
Maybe that’s why when she’d had the chance, she’d let him love her because that was oh…so good.
She’d awakened as a woman in his arms.
But for some reason, simply awake hadn’t been enough for her, and when he’d come to her with a ring and the promise of forever, she’s said no and walked away.
Her sister was the one that needed a man. Lyddie’d wanted something…more.
She didn’t know if she’d gotten it.
Then she thought of Finn and smiled as she drifted back to sleep.
Dare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.
Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.
In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.
About the Author:
About the Author – Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.
If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”
ZA Maxfield has kindly offered There’s two ways to win today! Comment below for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist AND you can also…
Contest will end 7 days from original posting date (or as stated on the Rafflecopter) at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
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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