Saturday, February 27, 2016

Excerpt & Guest Post The Lone Rancher by Andrew Grey

Title: The Lone Rancher   
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Standalone
Genre:  M/M, Contemporary Romance, Western
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Feb 15 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Aubrey Klein is in real trouble—he needs some fast money to save the family ranch. His solution? A weekend job as a stripper at a club in Dallas. For two shows each Saturday, he is the star as The Lone Rancher.
It leads to at least one unexpected revelation: after a show, Garrett Lamston, an old friend from school, approaches the still-masked Aubrey to see about some extra fun… and Aubrey had no idea Garrett was gay. As the two men dodge their mothers’ attempts to set them up with girls, their friendship deepens, and one thing leads to another.
Aubrey know his life stretching between the ranch and the club is a house of cards. He just hopes he can keep it standing long enough to save the ranch and launch the life—and the love—he really hopes he can have.

Write a “What’s New” post to share upcoming projects. What are you working on?

Right now I am working on a story that I’m calling Awakening.  Though the title may change.  It’s the story of Malcolm, a lawyer, who has spent the last 15 months grieving hard for this lover David who passed away.   Everyone loved David, but people are beginning to see that Malcolm needs to move on a little.  But Malcolm still hasn’t slept on David’s side the bed and he lives part of his life as a zombie lost in routine as an escape.
Malcolm is knocked out of his complacency when he gets a new client, a stunning client, with eyes like David’s.  After the eyes the stunning package of a younger man sets his imagination running for the very first time since David’s passing.
Hans is an author of adventure stories and he lives that life, skiing, diving, rafting, safari and Malcolm wonders how he can possibly compete or keep the interest of a man ten years younger than he is.  Top that off with shakeups at work where Malcolm is thrust into a position he never really wanted, and he’s overwhelmed and more than a little worried.
After I finish Awakening, I’m going to start a story for Dirk.  A western suspense.  It should be fun.  I get to kill people in this one.

Aubrey Klein sat back in his chair with a groan. No matter how many ways he tried to add up these damned numbers, they just wouldn’t come out right. The ranch was doing better, and he’d made a lot of progress in the last six months, but they were still hanging on by a lick and a prayer. The hole that had been dug in over years couldn’t be filled in and wiped clean in a matter of months, he knew. The debt was going down, and if he had to, he could hold on for maybe another six months to a year, as long as he caught some sort of break with the weather. He closed the ledger with a thud and wished his daddy had converted the records to computer years ago. Of course, if he’d have done that, he might have done some of the other things necessary to keep the ranch from ending up on the brink of foreclosure.
“Son, are you done in there? I need your help in the yard.”
“Sure, Dad, I’ll be right there,” Aubrey called. There was work to be done, and wishing the ranch books were in better shape wasn’t going to make it happen. That was going to take hard work and sacrifice. Aubrey cringed as he thought about the sacrifices he’d already made. But if those sacrifices saved the ranch and helped his mom and dad get back on a level footing, it would be worth it.
He got up and left the office. For years this room had been his father’s domain, but now it was his. Aubrey met his dad by the kitchen and followed him outside, where a load of hay for the horses was waiting to be unloaded. Aubrey groaned. “Where did this come from?” He clamped his eyes closed. They already had a barn full of hay.
“John Bridger had some extra, and we always need hay, so….”
“Dad.” Aubrey stifled the urge to yell. It wouldn’t do any good. Diabetes and its complications had slowly robbed his father of the ability to fully think things through, and he now tended to make emotional decisions as opposed to business or rational ones. “The barn’s already full. There’s enough hay to more than last us.”
Dad walked to the barn and peered upward. Aubrey could see his father’s shoulders slump slightly the moment he realized Aubrey was right, and just like that Aubrey wished he hadn’t been. “Sorry, son, I thought….” His words trailed off in a cloud of defeat. “Nothing seems to turn out right for me anymore.”
“Don’t worry about it, Dad. I’ll find a place for it. Just be sure to ask me before you buy things for the ranch. I have things under control, and we’re going to be okay.” Lord, he hoped to high heaven that he wasn’t telling his dad a lie. Things were getting better, and he was close to having the money together to finally pay off the most vicious of the loans his father had taken out. Once that debt was gone, he hoped to be able to start paying down the others and free up some money for improvements. “Why don’t you go on in and see what Mom has for lunch? I need to get this unloaded.” Aubrey looked at his watch and realized he needed to get a move on or he was going to be late.
“Everything okay?” Garrett Lamston asked as he came around the barn. He worked for Bridger and had obviously been the one to make the delivery. “You don’t need this hay, do you?”
Aubrey waited until his dad was inside. “No. I have plenty right now. I know with the drought the past few months that there are plenty of folks who need it. But I—” The last thing he needed was another bill for something he didn’t need.
“Don’t you worry. John offered his extra to your dad because he wanted to make sure you had enough. We have a number of places that will take it.” Garrett smiled, and Aubrey did his best not to let his heart do the little flips it always did when Garrett was nearby. Not that it mattered. He and Garrett were friends—or at least they’d known each other since they were kids. “It’s not a problem.”
“That’s mighty good of you,” Aubrey said with relief.
“I take it things are still tough for your dad.” Garrett lifted his hat and wiped his forehead before dropping the old, once-white Stetson back down onto his head. He’d worn that same hat for years, and it looked as fine on him today as always.
“They aren’t going to get better. All those years on insulin and not listening to the doctors have taken their toll. Mama does what she can, but he’s a stubborn old coot and overdoes it all the time. Last week I found him passed out on the barn floor after he tried to clean stalls and overexerted himself.” He’d had to use glucose injections to bring his father around. It hadn’t been pretty, but he’d done what he had to.
Garrett nodded slowly in that way he had. “Wish there was something I could do to help.”
Aubrey patted the trailer. “You already have.”
Garrett smiled and turned to go. Aubrey watched him as he went, glad he was alone, because anyone watching him stare at that high, pert cowboy ass in those tight Wranglers would know exactly what kind of thoughts and images were running around in his head. He blinked to clear his lascivious thoughts and school his expression as Garrett stopped to yank open the truck door and climb in. While things were changing—maybe slowly in this part of Texas—he wasn’t about to tempt fate and let everyone know which way he swung. With the ranch just hanging on, the last thing he needed were rumors and folks deciding they didn’t need to be doing business with him. That could be the end of everything he’d been working so hard to preserve.

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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