Rainbow Snippets #09

Rainbow

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

Today I’m giving another snippet from my WIP, titled To Love and To Cherish, which is a spin-off story from ’Til Death Do Us Part (now available at JMS Books), featuring an important supporting character from the first story.

To Love and To Cherish: Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual way? Now that’s another story entirely.

A little background leading into this week’s snippet:

Nash is a nurse in a hospital. He’s sitting in the cafeteria eating his lunch and his good friend, and fellow nurse, Angela recently joined him. This snip picks up directly after the one from last week, where Angela had just sat down and was about to divulge some gossip, when we were rudely interrupted by that pesky six-sentence limit. Angela is the first speaker, Nash gives the reply.

“This is good stuff. Nothing totally new, but some great, lurid details to an existing rumor. Oh, hell, it’s not really a rumor at this point. Everybody already knows Dr. Burlingham is going through a divorce.”

“Yeah, that’s old news. What’ve you got?”

Darn that pesky six-sentence limit!

#RainbowSnippets

Flash Fiction Friday #05

Flash Fiction Friday

Flash Fiction: There isn’t a standard specific definition for this term beyond “short”, but for the purposes of this “Flash Fiction Friday” post it will mean a precisely 100-word story scene written from a photo prompt.

I’m recycling again, today. This is a piece I wrote in a GoodReads M/M Group thread back on November 30, 2015. Alas, I am hopelessly behind on my Camp NaNoWriMo WIP, so I’ve got to cut corners somewhere! 🙂

Today’s prompt picture is:

“Hey, Ben, I gotta go.”

“What, already?”

“Yeah.” I cocked my head, indicating he should follow me out.

Ben peered warily around the room, but everybody was occupied. They weren’t paying any attention to us. He followed, a slow grin growing on his face.

We walked around to the shed’s opening, on the side opposite the house. We didn’t make it inside. Ben pushed me against the jamb and pressed his mouth to mine. I slid down, level with him, and rested my hands lightly on his hips.

“Come with me,” I gasped.

Ben grinned and nodded. “Anywhere and always.”

If anyone would like to join me in a Flash Fiction Friday link-around, please get in touch. My email address is near the bottom of the “Find Me on the Web” page (see tabs at top of this post).

Review Roundup – ’Til Death Do Us Part

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Excerpt from a Review by Dyllan of “Gay Book Reviews”

4.5 out of 5 stars — “Recommended Read”

Gay Book ReviewsI really, really, really liked this story. The author sets the pace well, and we are able to get to know the characters and how they are dealing with everything since the crash. The day-by-day at the island sometimes cracked me up, and at others had me at a point of tears. Henry, Garret, Devon and Buddy would probably never have met under normal circumstances, but they are all each other got for now, and the only way to stay alive is relying on each other.

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Excerpts from a Review by Camille of “Joyfully Jay M/M Romance Reviews and More”

4.75 out of 5 stars

Joyfully JayI haven’t turned pages so damn hard since Stanford shot Griffin and Alec chose Seregil!!

I recommend this book to everyone! Especially if you’re an angst fiend and love a long, slow burn of a veritable smorgasbord of will-he-or-won’t-he (be it all the survivors surviving, Sam making a choice, Sam making the same choice the reader would, who ends up with that KID?!).

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Excerpts from a Review by Freya of “Sinfully–Gay Romance Book Reviews”

5 out of 5 stars

SinfullyI have to say that the emotional trauma is extremely well done. On more than one occasion, I had a lump in my throat. 

I found this book a pleasure to read and an education. It made me realize how little I know about survival and encouraged me to think about the things I take for granted. Bravo.

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Excerpts from a Review by Bethany of “Rainbow Gold Reviews”

9.5 out of 10 Pots of Gold

Rainbow Gold ReviewsI read this book in oe sitting, ’cause that is how it captivated me, dragging me in and not letting me go till I found out what would happen next.

Rainbow Gold Reviews 9-1:2The writing is fantastic, very descriptive and has great story building. You get glimpses of the past and how Sam and Henry fell in love.

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Excerpt from a Review by Belen of “Gay Book Reviews”

4 out of 5 stars

Gay Book Reviews…in the end this was filled with humor, emotion and hope and I eagerly turned each page to find out what happened next.

Bottom line: I enjoyed it thoroughly and I will definitely be checking out something else by Addison Albright.

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Excerpts from a Review by Dee of “Love Bytes Reviews”

4.5 out of 5 stars — “Recommended Read”

Love Bytes ReviewsReading about the plane going down had me on the edge of my seat.

It held my attention from start to finish. Would I recommend this story as one of love and survival? Hell yes!

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Excerpts from a Review by Meredith of “Diverse Reader”

Diverse Reader

My heart broke a billion times reading this.

I often found myself an emotional mess!

If you love angst then you’ll love this book.

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Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Flashback Scene from Sam’s POV #02 (Chap. 3)

’Til Death Do Us Part is now out in eBook formats through JMS Books, LLC (and all the usual distributors), and will be available in print format on June 30, 2016.

Back on April 17th I posted one of the flashback scenes from ’Til Death Do Us Part, rewritten to be from Sam’s POV instead of Henry’s (in the book, all the flashback scenes are told from Henry’s POV). This was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s. That has motivated me to offer up a series here on my blog doing just that.

The flashback scenes chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. Last time I gave you a scene between Henry and Sam that pre-dates the beginning of their courtship by a few days. The next flashback scene in the book has Henry alone, thinking about how a proposition he’d made to Sam had been rejected, and what his strategy would be going forward. In the rewritten scene, below, I give you Sam doing the same:

“Thanks, but no.”

That had been the polite but decisive and unquestionably short answer Sam had given Henry. They’d been eating dinner when out of the blue, Henry had blurted out something about going back to his room for a drink afterward. Sam had been pretty sure the invitation was intended to be for more than “a drink.” Sam had panicked and declined.

Goddammit.

It was just as well. Mixing business with pleasure was never a good idea. At least, that’s what he kept telling himself. No way was someone as handsome, confident, and personable as Henry interested in him for anything long term. He had a mirror. He knew he wasn’t good-looking by any objective standards. And his personality might as well be non-existent.

Someone like Henry could have anybody he wanted. Sam knew the man’s interest could only be because Sam was convenient while they were here together in the Solomons.

It kind of pissed him off. They still had a few more days to spend together in Honiara, then weeks in close proximity, collecting data on some of the smaller islands. Then they’d be back to rubbing elbows in the biology department at the university. Now with this “offer” hanging between them it was going to be awkward if they didn’t clear the air.

There wasn’t much Sam liked less than having to broach an embarrassing topic of conversation, but clearly it needed to be done. And he needed to stop fantasizing about his co-worker. He’d probably been too obvious, and that’s why the man had thought he’d be okay with a fling while they were here.

That was easier said than done. Sam straightened his shoulders and headed down to the breakfast buffet to meet Henry, and face reality.

I don’t know. I think I preferred Sam’s POV for the first one, but I kinda like the original in Henry’s POV better for this scene. It’s a close call, though.

Rainbow Snippets #08

Rainbow

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

Today I’m giving another snippet from my WIP, titled To Love and To Cherish, which is a spin-off story from ’Til Death Do Us Part (now available at JMS Books), featuring an important supporting character from the first story.

To Love and To Cherish: Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual way? Now that’s another story entirely.

A little background leading into this week’s snippet:

Nash is a nurse in a hospital. He’s sitting in the cafeteria eating his lunch and his good friend, and fellow nurse, Angela arrives to join him.

Angela looked ready to burst as she approached the table, tray in hand. Nash took a quick look around to verify nobody was within earshot, because the look on her face was a familiar one. It was her “you won’t believe what I just heard” look. Generally, it meant a juicy tidbit was about to be divulged at some poor bastard’s expense.

“Spill,” he said as soon as she placed her tray on the table.

She started talking as she slid into her chair.

Flash Fiction Friday #04

Flash Fiction Friday

Flash Fiction: There isn’t a standard specific definition for this term beyond “short”, but for the purposes of this “Flash Fiction Friday” post it will mean a precisely 100-word story scene written from a photo prompt.

Today’s prompt picture is:

Disclaimer: The images used in this blog’s posts are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain and are displayed under the fair use principle. Click the image to be taken to my source for today’s photo prompt.

For the second night in a row Harrison sat straight up in bed, gasping for breath.

Mason groaned and turned to him. “Another muddy pond dream?”

Harrison shook his head. “This time it was a fucking chicken.”

“In a muddy pond?”

“No, you were riding a chicken.”

“I was? Cool. Was I shrunk down, or was the chicken monster-sized?”

“What? Hell, I don’t know. I think it was a big chicken.”

“Hen or rooster?”

“How would I know? Do I look like a farmer?”

“Well, it’s your nutty dream. Can you make it a rooster?”

“Fine. Go back to sleep.”

If anyone would like to join me in a Flash Fiction Friday link-around, please get in touch. My email address is near the bottom of the “Find Me on the Web” page (see tabs at top of this post).

Flashback Scene from Sam’s POV #01 (Chap. 2)

til_death_do_us_part_400x600’Til Death Do Us Part is now out in eBook formats through JMS Books, LLC (and all the usual distributors), and will be available in print format this coming June. I’ve enjoyed reading the blog reviews since they’ve all been complimentary. There are five of them so far (click the cover image for links and quotes), with eight more expected, and feelers out for others.

One of the reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s. I didn’t do this in the book for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted all of those scenes to be from only one MCs POV so as not to be confusing, and two, I considered Henry to be the primary MC, and his POV seemed more relevant to many of those scenes.

That being said, though, the idea is intriguing. Certainly it would be very nice to get Sam’s perspective on these scenes, so I’ve decided to put together a little series where I’ll rewrite each of those flashback scenes and periodically post them here on my blog. I don’t feel like doing so would be any kind of a spoiler for the book, because they are all scenes that happen prior to the action that takes place in the main body of the book. Their purpose is to help the reader get and stay invested in Henry and Sam’s relationship during the stretch of time when they are separated. As Camille at Joyfully Jay put it, they “left me rooting for team Samry.” So success!

The flashback scenes chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. The first one appears at the beginning of Chapter 2. Here it is, rewritten to be from Sam’s POV:

Dr. Sam Greene flinched reflexively as Dr. Henry Miller plopped down in the window seat beside him. Sam hated flying. In fact, “hated” didn’t begin to cover the emotions he felt when he thought about getting onto an airplane. He dreaded his coming reactions. He feared he wouldn’t be able to conceal his irrational anxiety from his colleague.

To make matters worse, Henry wasn’t just any colleague. Like Sam, the man was openly gay, and Sam had been drawn to his outgoing, cheerful personality. Despite Sam’s better judgement, he was strongly attracted to the man’s lovely brown eyes, which always reflected such passion in whatever he was discussing, and to his lithe, lean body, and his gorgeous thick, wavy dark brown hair. In short, he was personable and beautiful, and way out of Sam’s league.

Henry said, “I’m glad you thought to ask for exit row seats. The leg room is great.”

The leg room. Sam managed to avoid rolling his eyes in self-mockery. The leg room had little to do with his obsession for exit row seating.

“Sure,” he replied absently. “That’s nice, too.”

Henry lifted an eyebrow, inquiringly. Fuck. Why had he added “too” to that comment?

Sam felt his face heat up and forced himself to reply with as much composure as he could muster. “I hate flying. I feel better in an exit row.”

“You know, if the plane goes down we’re all goners anyway.”

Sam felt the blood drain from his face, and Henry quickly added, “It’s not going to go down, Sam. Flying is safer than driving, and you drive every day.”

How embarrassing. Well, at least Henry was forewarned, and he wasn’t the type of man to tease about such things.

“I know. It’s just one of those things. Don’t you have anything you’re irrational about?”

Henry didn’t answer the question. Probably because the answer was a resounding “no.” Instead he replied kindly, “Before you know it we’ll be on the beach in Honiara collecting data and soaking up the sun. I promise.”

Oh, dear. Bethany might be right after all. Well, I’ll reserve final judgement until after I’ve redone them all.

Rainbow Snippets #07

Rainbow

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

Today I’m giving a snippet from a WIP, titled To Love and To Cherish, which is a spin-off story from ’Til Death Do Us Part (now available at JMS Books), featuring an important supporting character from the first story. The snip is actually only five sentences long this week. Hopefully that offsets the week I went over?

I don’t have a full blurb for the story, yet, but here’s a brief tag-line: Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual way? Now that’s another story entirely.

A little background leading into this week’s snippet:

Nash is a nurse who’s been sleeping on the couch of his best friend and the man’s boyfriend ever since the breakup of his engagement. Between losing his fiancé, wanting a career change, and being reduced to couch-surfing, his life is in shambles, and he’s at his wit’s end.

The rhythmic squeak of bedsprings coming from the bedroom was “the drop that spilled his glass,” which, Nash ruefully considered, was not to be confused with his “cup runneth over.” Perhaps it would be clearer to think of it as “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Regardless, he couldn’t take it anymore.

He lay on his side on the lumpy couch, jammed a pillow down over his exposed ear, and hummed “Puff the Magic Dragon,” because—fuck it all—the song had become a damned earworm ever since he’d walked Bernie Meacham up and down the hallway while the man softly sang the catchy little tune. Or at least he sang it during the brief interludes when he wasn’t going on and on about the flawlessness of his apparently angelic grandson.

 

Flash Fiction Friday #03

Flash Fiction Friday

Flash Fiction: There isn’t a standard specific definition for this term beyond “short”, but for the purposes of this “Flash Fiction Friday” post it will mean a precisely 100-word story scene written from a photo prompt.

Today’s prompt picture is:

Disclaimer: The images used in this blog’s posts are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain and are displayed under the fair use principle. Click the image to be taken to my source for today’s photo prompt.

Harrison sat straight up in bed, gasping for breath.

Mason sat up next to him and put an arm around his shoulders. “Another bad dream?”

Harrison nodded. “And I’m not even the one who’s pregnant.” He couldn’t blame hormones, but with their surrogate ready to give birth any day, his anxiety level was spiking. “This time our son was drowning in an awful muddy pond.”

Mason pulled him in for a hug. “We’re going to be great parents.”

“I worry about the haters who’ll tease him for having two dads.”

“Me, too. So we’ll do more to help educate people.”

If anyone would like to join me in a Flash Fiction Friday link-around, please get in touch. My email address is near the bottom of the “Find Me on the Web” page (see tabs at top of this post).

Wednesday Words #01 (PT’s #68) – ’Til Death Do Us Part

Wednesday Words - FB-1200x628

I recently started following PT Wyant’s blog, Novel Notes, and stumbled across PT’s post today titled Wednesday Words #68 (4/13/2016). Number 68, so obviously this is something PT’s been doing for a while now. Anyway, the idea is that a few prompt words will be posted just after midnight, eastern time, and followers of the blog are encouraged to write a bit of flash fiction (approx. 500 words) using those words/ideas. This week’s prompt is: an old desk, a dancer, a ship.

I decided I would use this prompt to write a short scene in the head of “Garrett,” one of the side character’s in my recent release, ’Til Death Do Us Part.

This is my short-short (coming in at 436 words) using that prompt:

It was late afternoon, and after an early dinner Garrett plopped down on the sand of the eastern beach. He watched as Henry, Devon, and Buddy—now probably approaching two years of age—splashed each other playfully at the ocean’s edge.

Garrett enjoyed the privilege of watching Buddy grow. The sweet little boy reminded him of his own children. It had been over a year since he’d seen them, and he regretted not spending this kind of quality time with them as they’d grown.

Here on the island, Garrett regularly helped Henry keep an eye on, and entertain, Buddy. There were so many ways a curious toddler could injure himself on an island like this, it was imperative that one of them watch the young boy at all times. They’d learned that the hard way shortly after the child had started walking.

He thought back to when his own boys, Grant and Evan, had been pre-schoolers. They’d come skipping into his office at home where he’d be sitting at the grand old desk he’d inherited from his grandfather and implore him to come play catch with them. “Later,” he’d say. “We’ll do it this afternoon.”

How many times had “this afternoon” never happened? Oh, the afternoon had come and gone, but it had done so without Garrett going out to play ball with his sons.

And how many of his daughter’s dance recitals had he missed, traveling for work? Too many. She’d grown to be a fantastic dancer. He’d managed a few of the recitals—enough to realize that—but he’d missed far too many.

If he was given another chance with his family, things would be different. Instead of living the words of Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle, he’d be the most hands-on father a family could wish for. Family, not his career, would become his number one priority. Even if it meant fewer “things,” because he finally understood. It had taken losing all material possessions for him to realize it, but he now appreciated how unimportant they’d been in the overall scheme of his life.

He stood and began a circuit of the island, scanning the horizon for a ship that never seemed to come. No ships, no sailboats, no fishing vessels, no airplanes, no fucking hot-air balloons. Nothing. This trip around the island was no different from any of the others before it.

Back on the eastern beach he joined the others at the ocean’s edge. Buddy ran to him, splashed water at his chest, and squealed “Got you, got you!”

Garrett laughed and gently splashed back. “I got you, too, Buddy.”

Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses by Heloise West – Release Info

The release date of Send Lawyers, Guns, Roses is April 19, 2016. This is not a standalone novel, but the sequel to Hitting Black Ice (Loose Id December, 2014). It’s part of the Heart and Haven series: https://velvetpanic2.wordpress.com/heart-and-haven-series/

Heart and Haven Series
Book 2

Blurb:

When Hunter and Alex (formally Shawn) are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.

There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends.

Their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.

Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.

Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.

http://www.loose-id.com/send-lawyers-guns-and-roses.html

Continue reading

Rainbow Snippets #06

Rainbow

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

Today I’ll give you one more snippet from ’Til Death Do Us Part (now available at JMS Books), then next week I think I’ll switch over to snippets from a WIP, tentatively titled To Love and to Cherish, which is a spin-off story from ’Til Death, featuring an important supporting character from the first story (because, dammit, he deserves an HEA, too).

A little background leading into this week’s snippet:

Henry, together with two men (Garrett and Devon) and an older baby (“Buddy”) have survived a plane crash and made it to to a small island. Henry is the first-person POV MC in this scene, where they’ve just been discussing how discouraged they are that they haven’t been rescued yet (after 1 week). BTW, Devon is the one replying to Garrett’s comment.

“Doesn’t matter,” said Garrett. “When they widen the search zone to cover our location, they’ll find us whether they’re looking for live people or not.”

“I just hope they find us before they give all my shit away to Goodwill or something.”

We were silent for a few moments after that. Hell, it was likely a legitimate concern that I hadn’t yet considered.

Buddy broke the silence with, “Mamamamamama?”

Today is the final day to save 20% (bonus, you’ll get the full set of formats–EPUB, MOBI, PDF, HTML) by purchasing direct from JMS Books. Click either of the images, below, for all the other buy-links and misc. info.

Promo-Cover-Blurb

Promo-Cover-Reviews

#RainbowSnippets

Flash Fiction Friday #02

Flash Fiction Friday

Flash Fiction: There isn’t a standard specific definition for this term beyond “short”, but for the purposes of this “Flash Fiction Friday” post it will mean a precisely 100-word story scene written from a photo prompt.

Today’s prompt picture is:

Disclaimer: The images used in this blog’s posts are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain and are displayed under the fair use principle. Click the image to be taken to my source for today’s photo prompt.

Harrison rubbed his eyes as he stumbled blearily into the kitchen, then burst out laughing. “What on earth are you wearing?”

Mason looked up from the stove and grinned sheepishly. “It was in that box of stuff your grandma sent last week.”

“Yeah? I thought that was just some of her old cookbooks. So whatchya makin’?”

That’s what you want to know?”

“Okay, what should I have asked?”

“How about ‘What are you wearing under that?’ or better yet…”

“Are you wearing anything under that?”

It was Mason’s turn to laugh. “Why don’t you come over here and find out?”

If anyone would like to join me in a Flash Fiction Friday link-around, please get in touch. My email address is near the bottom of the “Find Me on the Web” page (see tabs at top of this post).

A Great Review and an Announcement

til_death_do_us_part_400x600I’m cautiously pleased with how things are going so far with the release of my new book, ’Til Death Do Us Part. It’s been submitted for review at a number of review sites/blogs, and one has come through so far, but more have been promised.

Dyllan at Gay Book Reviews gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars, and designated it a “Recommended Read.” Here’s a short excerpt from the review:

“I really, really, really liked this story. The author sets the pace well, and we are able to get to know the characters and how they are dealing with everything since the crash. The day-by-day at the island sometimes cracked me up, and at others had me at a point of tears. Henry, Garret, Devon and Buddy would probably never have met under normal circumstances, but they are all each other got for now, and the only way to stay alive is relying on each other.”

I’m also pleased to announce that I’ve just been informed that ’Til Death Do Us Part will be released in paperback form in June! I’ll post more about that with links and a specific date once I have all the details.