Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank L.A. Witt for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: Afraid to Fly
Author: L.A. Witt
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Gay, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Romance
Release Date: 01/16/2017
Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.
Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.
Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.
It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.
Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for Afraid to Fly, the second book in the Anchor Point series!
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Afraid to Fly) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 21st. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
It still sometimes amused me—and on bad days, depressed me—how much our office resembled a normal, civilian environment instead of a military one. We even had cubicles, a watercooler, and the odd potluck for a birthday. If not for the uniforms and the framed photos of our uppermost chain of command, it would be hard to tell us apart from a corporation.
Exactly what I’d had in mind when I went to the Academy.
But, hey, at least I still had a career. There’d been some talk of medically separating me back when I got hurt, and I sometimes felt like I had the Forced Medical Retirement of Damocles hanging over my head, so I couldn’t complain. Even if I’d traded my wings for an office and hadn’t worn my flight suit in way too long, I had a paycheck and benefits I couldn’t get anywhere else. If that meant working under fluorescents in a boring, pastel office complete with motivational posters on the wall? Fine.
I carefully twisted and stretched, trying to work out some of the tightness in my back. At least it wasn’t as bad as the other night. Kimber and I had even discussed me retiring yesterday, but just the thought of it made my skin crawl. The Navy made a lot of postcareer promises on paper, but I knew too many people who’d been screwed in practice. When we stopped being useful to the military, the tumble down the priority list could be quick.
So, even if staying in meant working at a desk and making myself run a mile and a half twice a year, it was a job. It was the closest thing I’d ever have to stability.
Shortly before lunch, I was on my way back to my office after a meeting, and passed through the shared area between the training and admin departments. Clint and three of his people were discussing something beside the whiteboard where they scheduled all of their classes.
A few feet away, some of my guys were hunched over someone’s phone.
One laughed. “That’s insane!”
“Right?” Lieutenant Bailey grinned. “It looks even better on a tablet, but still—check this shit out!”
The group with Clint craned their necks.
“What’re you guys watching?” one asked.
“Someone got a video of a terrorist training camp eating shit during an airstrike.” Bailey turned his phone toward Clint and the others.
Clint grimaced and turned away a split second before the thump-boom! came from the phone.
“Aloha snack bar, motherfuckers!” Bailey said, and the group burst out laughing.
Except for Clint. And the petty officer standing next to him who looked like he was about to break a sweat. Or throw up. Maybe both.
“Lieutenant Bailey,” I said. “Don’t you have work to do?”
The red-faced lieutenant shoved his phone into his pocket as the others quickly dispersed. “Sorry, sir.”
I turned toward Clint. The petty officer was still a bit green, but Clint had a hand on his shoulder and looked him right in the eye.
“You okay?” he asked in a quiet voice.
The poor kid nodded. “I’m good. Just, uh, wasn’t expecting . . . um . . .”
“Why don’t you go wrap this up?” Clint pushed a folder into the kid’s hands. “Use my office if you need to.”
The petty officer swallowed hard and nodded again. “Thank you, sir.” With that, he hurried toward Clint’s office, probably grateful for the escape and a moment to himself.
Clint met my gaze.
I raised my eyebrows. You okay?
He nodded subtly.
“All right.” I looked around at the rest of the guys, who were watching me uneasily like some kids who’d been busted fucking off at school. “Everybody get back to work. And Lieutenant—could I see you for a minute?”
“Yes, sir,” he muttered.
I shut my office door shut behind us, cutting off the muffled snickering from his coworkers, and faced him. Leaning against my desk, I folded my hands in front of me. “Listen, if you guys want to share that shit with each other on your own time and your own equipment, be my guest. But let’s not pass it around here, all right?”
“They asked to see it, sir. I was—”
“Yes, I realize that. I was there. But LC Fraser and Petty Officer Vincent obviously don’t enjoy watching or listening to—”
“What?” He laughed and gestured over his shoulder. “Fraser was a drone pilot. He used to do that shit, so what’s he got to be—”
“It doesn’t matter.” I hardened my voice, hoping he caught the warning in my tone that I wasn’t going to stay civil and calm for much longer. “It might just be that he doesn’t enjoy watching footage of people being blown up. I don’t care for it myself, and neither do some of the other people in the building.”
I resisted the urge to sigh with frustration. Sometimes, it was like trying to keep kids in line. “Listen, you don’t object to the policy of not slamming doors in the office, right?” I inclined my head. “Since you know damn well that can fuck with someone who’s been to a combat zone?”
Bailey shifted his weight. “We’re just having a little—”
“Let me rephrase that, Lieutenant.” I looked him in the eye. “No more of that shit in my department, and it’s not up for discussion. That’s an order.”
He stiffened a little, and nodded. “Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.”
“Dismissed,” I said through my teeth.
He gave another nod and left my office. After the door shut, I rolled my eyes and wiped a hand over my face. Sometimes the kinder, gentler Navy tried the hell out of my patience. I didn’t mind seeing some of the abusive disciplinary methods go by the wayside, along with a lot of the hazing that happened in the name of tradition, but there were days when the old Navy really appealed. Like when I wanted to drag someone into my office, get in their face, and scream at them until their vocabulary was reduced to yes, sir and sorry, sir and won’t happen again, sir. When I didn’t want to explain myself or make an attempt to reason with the subordinates who, a decade or so ago, wouldn’t have even thought about questioning a superior officer.
Cursing under my breath, I went around the desk and eased myself into my chair.
As I downloaded my overstuffed inbox, I glanced at the door the lieutenant had gone through. The military’s old model had been effective in its own way, but it had been a hot mess too. Screaming in someone’s face and finding out a moment too late they were irreparably traumatized by something that had happened on the battlefield six months ago—that didn’t do anyone any good. And cultivating a reputation as a leader who screamed in his people’s faces and ruled with an iron fist was a good way to intimidate subordinates into being afraid to approach him when they needed to. I’d learned that a few years ago from a close friend who’d lost a lieutenant commander to suicide.
Sighing, I faced my screen again and started working my way through emails. I wasn’t crazy about coddling my subordinates, but if it got results and didn’t alienate me from my people, then fine.
But just let me bust you doing it again, Lieutenant . . .
To celebrate the release of Afraid to Fly, one lucky winner will receive $10 in Riptide Publishing credit and two books of choice from L.A. Witt’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 21, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About the Author
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
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