Lou Sylvre talks Vasquez & James and 10 Favorite Characters ~ Guest Blog, Excerpt, Giveaway, Rafflecopter

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Lou Sylvre for taking the time to talk with us today. There is also a Giveaway, so don’t miss that.


Title: Vasquez & James
Author: Lou Sylvre
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

10 Favorite Characters from Books by Other Authors:

Before getting into my list, let me thank Prism Book Alliance for featuring my books and giveaway today, and asking me for this list! It was a fun exercise to put it together. The characters here are from a variety of genres, from books I’ve experienced at different times in my life. There are many, many more I love as much, and even these are not necessarily in any order of preference. (Anyway, if nothing else, the list will show I can be a bit odd. ☺ )

Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)

Sherlock is a mystery man, in my view, because so much about him can’t be known—partly because the author keeps mum, but also one gets the sense that he has hard, heavy secrets that he goes to great lengths to avoid thinking or talking about, and we only get hints as to what those might be. To me, that’s a fascination. I’ll admit, though, that I didn’t really fall in love with Sherlock until I watched the 1980s BBC/Granada series starring Jeremy Brett, who also played Holmes in theatre productions. The series, I’ll admit, was pretty cheesy, overacted in a remarkably obvious way (especially characters that were American), but I found Brett’s portrayal of Sherlock’s brilliant brokenness a cut above. Interestingly, Sherlock’s decline over the course of the series mirrored Brett’s own failing health—which liberal makeup couldn’t cover—and he died not long after the series ended. I saw an interview clip with him on a British talk show of some kind, and the host asked him what he thought of the series. He said, “Not much.” (!)

Gandalf the Gray/White (J.R.R Tolkien, Lord of the Rings)

Um. What’s not to love? Good god, people, he’s ancient and wise and kind and smart and badass and magical and he talks to butterflies and rides eagles and has the best horse in the history of the world. And. I want to have his babies, damn it!

Remee/Romeo (Suki Fleet, This is Not a Love Story)

What a fabulous character this is! A homeless teen who incorporates tender naivety with hard won street smarts, constant fear with a sometimes flagging yet persistent determination, and resilience—or at least the ability to keep his nose above water in the flood. Having at one time lived a life not too different from his on the streets, I will tell you this, he is real. This is a case of fiction carrying more truth than fact. His happy ending is a bit unlikely, but possible and perfect and so needed for a reader like me.

Percival Whyborne (Jordan L. Hawk, Whyborne and Griffin series)

Here again, it’s the mix of traits that makes this character resonate with me. He’s self-effacing and a bit of a bumbler, a bookish type, but man, when the chips are down he comes through with the heavy magical ammo. He doesn’t give up, and he grows without changing at his core. He’s physically beautiful but doesn’t know it, and… um, Griffin is lucky. This boy likes the smexy stuff.

Lord John Grey (Diana Gabaldon Outlander series and other titles)

Imagine being a gay man, a second son of an aristocratic family, and a soldier in the 18th century. Imagine having lost your first real love to battle, seeing him die. Imagine being relegated to remote and unrewarding—even horrifying duty in order to prevent the scandal of your same sex love from getting around town. He’s deeply sad, but still optimistic. He’s smart, and he’s loyal, and he hangs on to hope that love will come, someday—which gets him trouble. He’s something of a sleuth when need arises (as it does in all his stories), and he’s a soldier’s soldier—an officer who leads from the front, never puts his men in the path of danger he’s not willing to face himself. And, in my mind at least, he’s pretty easy on the eyes.

Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher, Dresden Files series)

Okay, Harry. Well, he’s tall, relatively strong, pretty smart, plays with guns and sanctified swords, runs with the good bad boys (and girls), has a half-brother who’s a vampire—a white one, which means he’s the kind who feeds off of people feeling good. Harry is skilled with snark, regularly outsmarts demons and the fae, and is listed in the Chicago yellow pages as a wizard. And he has a skull that houses a spirit named Bob, a cat named Mister, and a holy dog. Right? But I admit I like the live version of Harry tons better than the ghost version.

Tayo (Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony)

This book and this character will always live for me. Tayo is of the people known to most as Pueblo, a veteran damaged by war. But his injuries go deeper than that. He embodies what Eduardo Duran (PhD) calls the “soul wound,” which develops when each successive generation inherits, by a number of mechanisms, the psychic wounds of their elders. Tayo is not easy to love, but he’s hard to let go of, and as lost as he is and despite successive new losses, with the help of others he finds the way forward. The story does contain ceremony, but it also is ceremony, as is the life of Tayo, and the lives of others like him—both in fiction and in life.

Gregor (Suzanne Collins, Underlander Chronicles series)

This is actually a children’s chapter book series! (And yes, that’s the author who later wrote Hunger Games, etc.) Gregor is such a cool kid! He comes from a fairly impoverished, hardworking family, and gets little chance to be a kid. He takes care of his little sister—in the lovingly resentful way of siblings, and works for the older woman down the hall in his building. One day he’s downstairs doing laundry and falls through to another world, only to find he’s someone special down there. It’s a fantastical place full of both wonder and danger, and Gregor faces it all with such courage and a strong sense of what’s right. He also messes up quite a bit, in an endearing fashion. I can’t really explain why I love him so, I just do.

Professor McGonagall (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series)

Oh, come on. She’s the best! I love her tartan, and she has one of my two favorite lines in the whole series, “Not today.” (The other goes to Ron Weasley, “Why couldn’t it be follow the butterflies?”

Henry Fitzroy (Tanya Huff, Blood Books series)

Let me put it this way: If I ever really meet a vampire, I hope it’s Henry Fitzroy. Oh, he drinks human blood all right, but he doesn’t kill for it, and he makes sure the donor is feeling good. He’s the bastard son of Henry the VIII no less, and living in contemporary Toronto, where he sleeps by day (of course), but solves all sorts of monstrous crimes by night, saving his favorite mostly blind police detective on a regular basis. He’s bisexual, or bi-blood-ual if you prefer, and what does he do for a living? Writes romance novels!


Loving Luki Vasquez

Single Whip led into White Crane Spreads Its Wings, the name of which made Sonny adorably… all right fine, adorably happy. The sequence involved motions that at first felt counterintuitive. Like probably every student in the centuries tai chi had been around, Sonny needed help with it. As he would with any other student, Luki stood behind him, using his own hands to guide Sonny through the move. He wondered if he could get away with teaching him all the rest of the moves in just that way. Perhaps for hours. Every day. For a long time.

As he was teaching and wondering and probably even almost smiling, a wind rose up, splashing spray and sand and whipping Sonny’s long hair at Luki’s face and right into his mouth. On the word “open,” appropriately enough.

Sonny spun around, gathering up his luxurious baked-earth red hair. Before Luki had a chance to close his mouth, Sonny kissed him. A passionate, seeking sort of kiss. A kiss that Luki instinctively returned, though kissing wasn’t a large part of his intimate life, and especially not kissing on the beach.

As suddenly as he started it, Sonny ended it, leaving Luki bereft… frustrated and bereft.

Sonny turned away, refusing eye contact. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I shouldn’t have done that.” Without any further explanation, he stepped away.

Luki knew fear, could spot it from afar and pick it out in a crowded room. Right now, it ran hot through Sonny’s veins. He reached for Sonny’s arm. “Sonny, what….” What are you afraid of? He ended the question silently. Sonny had already gone.

Delsyn’s Blues

As he wandered through his bare rooms, Luki traded the perfect, flawlessly tailored clothing he usually wore even at leisure and donned tattered jeans and a faded flannel shirt. Just what Sonny would have worn, and it helped keep Sonny alive in his mind, a man rather than a thin shade. He’d look a lot better than me wearing this, he told himself, padding over the hardwood floor to the only room in the house he ever smoked in, wondering on the way when the floor had become so cold. Once he got there, he switched on the silent fans and the omnidirectional heat, sank into the leather of the only easy chair in the house, and lit up. In his mind, he could hear Sonny clearly, as if his lover stood right next to him. Or sat by him on their love seat. Or sat on the floor at his knees making drawings for a tapestry he would weave so resplendent the world would probably weep. “You should quit,” he’d say.

Luki knew he should quit. Knew that cigarettes… cigarettes and hamburgers were the only flaws in his otherwise perfect health regime. Smoking would someday, probably soon, take a toll. Perversely, when he met Sonny he’d started smoking more than ever before, just because Sonny’s existence in the world nudged him off his solitary perch, the place where he seemingly rose above the world of emotion and let other men into his life only occasionally to practice his skills at cold but perfectly executed sex. With Sonny? Anything but cold. Although still close to perfect. He smiled at the memory of Sonny’s surprised looks when Luki showed him something new, something that, in all his gay years, he’d never felt.

“Luki, please,” he’d say.

Finding Jackie

“You know what, Titus? I don’t want to kill him.” Marcone swept a hand against the cool silk-soft wood of his desktop, thinking of Nadia’s skin. His heart had started beating faster. “I want to show Vasquez why he shouldn’t have been part of anything that screwed with the Marcone name, why he should have made haste to take his fag lover far away the minute he saw there were Marcones involved. This isn’t the first time we’ve opposed one another, but this is the first and will be the last time he’s deliberately involved himself in smearing shit all over my name. I’d have forgiven him everything that came before he realized who Richard and Marina were, if only he’d gone east at that point, instead of racing back west to stick his guns in where they didn’t belong. And I want him to keep remembering, keep feeling the pain he earned with that fuckup, keep that pain with him for years. For the rest of his life.”

“Yes,” Titus breathed, his voice gone low and distant.

“And that won’t be hard either, Titus. I’ve been doing my homework—keeping a watch on him through a variety of sources. He’s got people, and for all his hardass ways, his heart’s like a sponge.”

Titus took a quick breath, and spoke without inflection. “I love people like that.”

The DA’s brows rose, and he smiled. “I know you do, my man. I know you do.”

Saving Sonny James

Almost whispering, breathing in fearful sounding gasps, Sonny said, “Luki, I want you to fuck me…. No. No, I want you to make love to me.” He looked away then back to meet Luki’s eyes, brow lowered with worry. “Luki, I know—”

“Sh! Hush, baby.” Luki kissed the tender arch of Sonny’s foot—the rest of him being out of reach. He looked at Sonny and nodded. “Yes. I want that too.” […] With all the power of his mind, he blocked out the things that would get in the way of him loving Sonny—had been getting in the way for weeks. And with all the power of his heart, he focused everything on his husband, his love. His breath beginning to come faster, biting his lip for stability, he rose on one knee and moved toward his husband.

His hands wanted to wander over Sonny’s skin, and he let them. Let them follow the long slender curves of Sonny’s legs, his inner thighs. When he reached his sex, he framed his husband’s familiar and much-missed cock and balls with his hands, but he didn’t touch them. He let Sonny see the smile in his eyes as he instead moved his hands up over hip bones and belly and abs and pecs with their hard puckered centers of dark, sensitive flesh. Once he reached the chiseled shoulders, he lifted Sonny and pressed him against his own chest. And then he took his lips in a kiss like fire.

Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella)

[Luki] woke up in profound darkness, aware of Sonny still beside him, but held rigid now while small, strangled noises escaped from deep in his throat. Even if it hadn’t been for the give-away sniffle, Luki would have known. Sonny was crying. Not that “I’m sad” kind of crying that was more a glorified pout. No. Sonny fought for all he was worth not to let a sob fly loose. His heart had a great big, hurting hole in the middle of it, and Luki had put it there, and still Sonny tried to protect him. If he couldn’t stop from crying, by God at least he’d do it quietly and let Luki sleep. But he and Luki had loved too long, too deep, too close for Luki not to hear it anyway, to register it even in his sleep, and understand. And feel it, too, like what Sonny felt.

Luki rolled over and put his arms around the man who, when all was said and done, he loved and would love forever.

Because of Jade

Later, while Sonny and Jade lay on the floor in front of the fire, and Sonny read Merry Christmas, Mr. Snowman! over and over, Luki paced. He stopped occasionally to look out the window, and just as the sky began to lighten he saw that snow had begun to fall, big flakes touching down soft as feathers to cover the lumpy, frozen ground near the house.

Luki turned around to share the wonder of snow with his family, but they had at last fallen asleep stretched flat on the floor on their stomachs—Jade because of her injuries and Sonny because of his aching back. Luki shook his head and smiled, surprised at how much he loved them even though he knew. He threw some wood on the fire and banked it and fetched a light but warm down comforter and a pillow from the bedroom. Laying himself down next to them, he covered them all three, let his head fall to the pillow, and found first peace, and then sleep.


Vasquez and James Series Blurb

Professional badass Luki Vasquez and weaver Sonny James meet for the first time in Loving Luki Vasquez, and they might make a sizzling couple if they can ever get past the impulse to run the other way every time romance comes into view. Then again, they have to stay alive if they’re ever to see their wedding day, and tribulation, cruelty, and greed has a way of demanding attention at all the worst moments. Together, they pack a lot of resources to fight for love. If they can hold out, they just might win the enduring love and family they were meant to share.

Loving Luki Vasquez – (Vasquez and James Book One)

Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.

While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.

Delsyn’s Blues – (Vasquez and James Book Two)

Sonny James and Luki Vasquez are living proof that the course of love never runs smoothly. Ambushed by grief, Sonny listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. While revisiting the sorrows and failings of his past, in the here and now he puts up a wall against love. Just when Luki chips through that barricade, the couple becomes the target of a new threat from outside: an escalating and unexplainable rash of break-ins and assaults.

Thoughts of infidelity rise between them, a threat that may strain their newly mended love past its limits. To come through the trials alive and together, Luki and Sonny will have to unite against enemies who were once friends and overcome crippling hatred and overwhelming fear. If they succeed, maybe then they can rekindle the twin flames of passion and love.

Finding Jackie – (Vasquez and James Book Three)

Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James finally have their Hawaiian wedding, and it’s perfect, almost. But their three-phase honeymoon is riddled with strife. Luki’s status as a working badass spells discord for the newlyweds. A former informant from Luki’s days with ATFE brings a troubling message (or is it a warning?) from a Mob hit man. When Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew, Jackie, is lured into capture and torture by a sadistic killer, the honeymoon is well and truly over.

The couple put aside their differences and focus on the grueling hunt, which takes them from leather bars to dusty desert back roads, and calls on Sonny’s deep compassion as well as Luki’s sharpest skills. Their world threatens to fall apart if they fail, but their love may grow stronger than ever if they succeed in finding Jackie—before it’s too late.

Saving Sonny James – (Vasquez and James Book Four)

Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.

Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.

Yes – (A Vasquez and James Novella)

Professional badass Luki Vasquez and textile artist Sonny James have been married for five years, and despite the sometimes volatile mix, they’re happy. From their first days together, they stood united against deadly enemies and prevailed. But now the deadly enemy they face is the cancer thriving inside Luki, consuming his lungs.

As Luki’s treatment proceeds, Sonny hovers near, determined to provide every care, control every thread of possibility just as he does when he weaves. But he can’t control the progress of the cancer or how Luki’s body reacts to the treatment regime. Sonny tries, but Luki dances with cancer alone—until he gets a startling reminder of the miracle of life. With renewed determination and mutual love, the two men emerge from their coldest winter into a new spring day.

Because of Jade – (A Vasquez and James Novel)

Luki Vasquez receives the news he’s still cancer free after five years, and he wants to celebrate with his whole family. He and his husband, Sonny James, take a road trip south, intending to gather at the home of his nephew Josh, Josh’s wife Ruthie, and Jade—a little girl who was still in the womb when she and her mother helped Luki beat lung cancer.

Halfway to their destination, Luki learns Josh and Ruthie have met a tragic death. The horrible news lays Luki low, but he pulls himself together in time to be the family’s rock and see to the dreaded business of tying up loose ends. The most important business is Jade, and when Luki and Sonny head home, they take Jade with them.

Luki and Sonny must combat self-doubt and fear and help each other learn to parent an unexpected child—and they must also nourish the love that has kept them whole for the past ten years. A relative’s spurious claim to Jade threatens the new family, and even if they prevail in court, they could lose their little girl unless they can rescue Jade from evil hands and true peril.

About the Author:

Lou Sylvre hails from southern California but now lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State. When she’s not writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s usually smiling and laughs too much, some say. She also loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, a Chihuahua named Joe, and (in random order) coffee, chocolate, sunshine, and wild roses.

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LouSylvre

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouSylvre

Twitter: @sylvre


Tour Stops:

7/18 – The Hat Party, Kimi-Chan

7/25 – Rainbow Gold Reviews, The Novel Approach

8/1 – Hearts on Fire, MM Good Book Reviews

8/8 – Prism Book Alliance, Tara Lain, Fallen Angel Reviews

8/15 – Smoocher’s Voice, Love Bytes

8/22 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nephylim

8/29 – LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Book Reviews and More by Kathy

9/5 – Amanda C. Stone, Emotion in Motion

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
All Romance eBooks


Lou Sylvre has kindly offered a Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Farewell Giveaway
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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