Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Ethan Stone for stopping by today.
Title: Blood & Tears
Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, M/M Romance, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
The last thing Gabe Vargas wants to do after nearly dying is to leave his young son. But that’s exactly what FBI Agent Drew Bradley is asking him to do. According to Drew, the only way to protect Gabe and find his wife’s killer is to fake Gabe’s death.
With an already established adversarial relationship, protecting a hothead like Gabe isn’t exactly a picnic for Drew either. But Drew lets his guard down and a desire for Gabe leaves him confused. Before the crime can be solved, Drew will have to risk more than his life. He’ll also have to risk his heart.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2011.
Even if You’ve Read it Before…
Even if you’ve read it before you need to read it again.
Blood & Tears may be officially considered a re-release but in my mind it’s an entirely different book. Even if you’ve read it before, I still urge you to read it again. Hopefully you like it better, I know I do.
The chance to re-write this one was one of the main reasons I was thrilled to re-release the entire Flesh series. I was never entirely happy with how Blood & Tears turned out. It was the first book I wrote in third person, which as it turns out, was not the best choice. Third isn’t my strength, I can accept that now.
There were many things wrong with the book but most of all I just didn’t understand the concepts of third person. I had the characters’ point-of-view changing without clear delineations, sometimes in the same paragraph. Major no-no.
One of the first things I did with the novel was to re-write in dual first person with the point of views changing at section breaks. I believe this made for a much clearer and easier to follow story. I was able to develop Gabe and Drew’s personalities and emphasize their differences this way.
The best way to show the improvements is to show the same scene from the original and the re-write.
First up is the original version:
Gabe grabbed Drew and pulled him into a powerful kiss. Drew didn’t resist, but he did take control of the kiss. He pulled Gabe’s body close to his own, so there was more contact than just their lips. Their actions were a mix of anger and hatred, reluctant respect and friendship. And lust—overpowering lust.
Lips pressed and hands groped. They were grinding and rubbing and tearing clothes off while trying not to lose contact. Getting their shirts off was challenge enough, and they didn’t bother getting their pants and underwear totally off. Down to their ankles was far enough for the contact they both craved.
The body won out over the brain. There was no logic; it was all sex. Testosterone filled the air as their cocks rubbed against each other. Gabe used both hands to stroke the shafts together. Fast and slow. Hard and soft. Make it last—make it quick. Hurry—slow down. Gabe’s thoughts were conflicted.
And so were Drew’s.
Gabe stroked their dicks, with his under Drew’s shaft. Pre-come slicked their lengths. There were grunts and moans. Both Gabe and Drew knew they should stop, but they were both too far gone. They couldn’t stop, didn’t want to stop. Drew was taking short, deep breaths while Gabe was holding his breath. Don’t let this moment end, Gabe thought. They began to breathe and moan in unison, like they were one person. Then they both held their breath as they went over the edge. Gabe felt Drew’s seed on his cock, and he loved it. He took in the feel and scent of it. Drew felt another man’s come on his balls, and it felt good, so damn good for a moment, and then he felt… scared, terrified, and guilty. Shameful, dirty, and guilty. The guilt was overwhelming.
“Oh my God,” he murmured as he backed away and broke the physical contact between them.
“Yeah, that was awesome,” Gabe said before he saw the look on Drew’s face.
“Oh my God,” Drew repeated as he took another step back. He covered his flaccid cock with both hands, then brought a hand back up and saw it covered with Gabe’s seed.
“Oh my God!” he said with more vehemence. He tried to stop himself from retching. He turned and fled to the bathroom, pulling his pants partially up his legs so he could move faster. He wished he could run further than the bathroom. He wanted to go far away or, better yet, back in time to stop it from ever happening. His stomach lost all control, and Drew vomited food and bile into the toilet. When he finally stopped, he flushed and wiped his mouth. “What have I done?”
And now the new version:
Suddenly Gabe grabbed me and pulled me into a powerful kiss. I didn’t resist, but I did take control. I yanked Gabe’s body against mine so there was more contact than just our lips. My emotions were all over the place. A mix of anger and hatred, reluctant respect and friendship. And lust—overpowering lust.
Lips pressed and hands groped. We ground against each other, caressing and tearing clothes off while trying not to lose contact. Getting the shirts off was a challenge, so we didn’t bother getting our pants and underwear totally off. Down to our ankles was far enough for the contact we both craved.
The body won out over the brain. There was no logic; it was all sex. Testosterone filled the air as our cocks rubbed. Gabe used both hands to stroke the shafts together. Fast and slow. Hard and soft.
Make it last—make it quick. Hurry—slow down. My thoughts were conflicted.
Gabe stroked our dicks with his under mine. Precome slicked our shafts. There were grunts and moans. I should’ve stopped, but I was too far gone. I couldn’t stop, and honestly, I didn’t want to stop.
I took short, deep breaths while Gabe held his in.
God, please don’t let this moment end.
We breathed and groaned in unison, like we were one person. We both inhaled as the wave crashed into us, pushing us over the edge.
Another man’s come was on my testicles. For a moment I loved the sensations. But in the next instant, fear possessed me. I was terrified and guilty. Shameful, dirty, and guilty. The remorse was overwhelming.
“Oh my God,” I murmured and backed away, breaking the physical contact between us.
“Yeah, that was awesome.” Gabe eyed my crotch, then scanned upward, and we made eye contact.
I darted my eyes around, unable to see anything without feeling disgust. “Oh my God,” I repeated and took another step back. I covered my flaccid length with both hands, then brought a hand back up and saw it covered with Gabe’s seed. “Oh my God!” Bile rose in my throat, but I forced it down to avoid retching. I spun and fled to the bathroom, pulling my pants partially up so I could move faster.
The bathroom wasn’t far enough. New York wouldn’t have been far enough away. Why couldn’t I snap my fingers and go wherever I wanted, or, better yet, back in time to stop it from ever happening? My stomach lost all control and I vomited food and bile into the toilet. When I finally stopped, I flushed and wiped my mouth. “What have I done?”
I think the new version in Drew’s POV is much stronger. It was his first time with a guy so he was the one with the more powerful emotions. The first scene is all over the place, trying to cover how both men are feeling. The new scene is focused and I enjoyed writing it, and reading it, so much better. Hope you do too.
One lucky commenter will receive an ebook copy of Blood & Tears.
About the Author
Ethan Stone is an out and proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life, the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad, he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather, three times over. A way too young grandfather.
Ethan has returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mt. Dew and beef jerky addictions.
Readers can find Ethan online.
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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