Love Bytes is honored to have author Rhys Ford stopping by our blog for a special extra blog stop to promote her new release “Absinthe of Malice”. Rhys shares a wonderful exclusive excerpt and brought an fantastic, exclusive giveaway to the readers of our blog.
Welcome Rhys 🙂
Hello, this is Rhys Ford and welcome to a very special stop during my Absinthe of Malice promo! By now, the book’s been released BUT in case you haven’t had a chance to read it, I’m including a little teaser from the middle of the book. ALSO!
A GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment below and be entered to win:
A $20 gift certificate to the online store of your choice
See you on the Other Side.
An Exclusive Excerpt from Absinthe of Malice
The woman in heels was gone in a blink, faded off into the chatter around them. It seemed like every other place they passed was a restaurant or a few parking spaces turned into a battle ground for competing food trucks selling everything from octopus balls in teriyaki sauce to tofu tacos with kale chips.
His stomach pointedly reminded him it hadn’t seen a speck of food since a handful of cold fries somewhere in Connecticut. His dick wasn’t helping either. Sex over the past two weeks had been over the phone and his own hand, so his emotions ran high and hard every time he so much as glanced at Miki.
Kane’d dropped back to let Miki take the lead and soon regretted it. Miki’s ass looked great, delectable and firm in his worn jeans. He’d filled out a bit since Kane’d moved in, gaining muscle and weight where he’d gone thin after the accident. Kane’s brain hummed with the satisfaction of seeing Miki healthy. His dick, however, had purely nefarious thoughts Kane didn’t need to hear as he was walking down a busy New York street.
“We’re almost there,” Miki promised for what had to be the tenth time. “It’s down this street.”
“You keep saying that, and then there’s another street.” Kane nearly lost his lover in the shadowy clot hanging over the corner Miki turned down. “Miki love, where the hell do you think you’re heading?”
The road was narrow, larger than an alley, and at least warranted a name. It also looked more like a spot garbage trucks ambled down to pick up dumpsters, a supposition soon proved once Miki jogged them past an alley opening just as a junk truck passed by. A garage did a brisk business to the right of the alley, the attendant sliding vehicles into stacked bays, rolling them up and out of the way. Easing a minivan out to the car park’s entrance, a thick-necked woman in a neon safety vest nodded once at Kane, her hand already flicking the keys to another attendant as she headed toward the back.
The alley wasn’t as long as Kane thought it would be, maybe a few hundred feet or so from the street, widening out at the far end. The building in front was angled and hosted an Italian restaurant behind its black-and-gold-painted storefront. Despite someone’s best efforts, the structure was unable to shake off its birth as a bar during Truman’s days and still reeked of cheap booze and unfiltered cigarettes. The line out the door promised either a good meal or a five-star bowl of bacon foam and gold leaf. And it didn’t seem like they were going to find out which, because Miki shouted at him to get his ass into the alley.
“Here we go.” Miki slid past the Dumpsters, wading through the puddles making soup of the back alley’s debris.
“Go where?” Kane wondered if the softness he stepped in was rotten food or a rat. Deciding he didn’t really need to know, he stomped through a few puddles to get his shoes cleaned off. “Where are you—?”
Once clear of the Dumpsters, Kane got a good view of the alley’s end. Formerly, a small courtyard, it’d been walled off by years of construction until all that remained was a garden space scalloped with deep divots filled with fragrant herbs. A sturdy wooden table stood firm on the brick pavement, its four retro vinyl-and-metal chairs sitting at each of its sides. A pair of novena candles was pushed nearly to the far edge, flickering red and green behind an old glass salt and pepper shaker set with battered steel tops.
They were behind the restaurant, but the aromas coming out of the kitchen were nothing like any Italian food Kane’d ever smelled before. Ribbons of coconut and curries trickled out, splashing a colorful palette of perfume on the slightly chilly evening. A small elderly Vietnamese man stood with his hands out to shake Miki’s, fingers trembling with age, and he cackled with undisguised glee when Miki gave him a quick hug.
“Kane, this is Lanh. He makes the best damned pho bo kho in the world, and I asked him if he’d cook for us… for you.” Miki’s smile was nearly as wide as the tiny old man he had in the crook of his arm. “Lanh, this is….”
Miki’s eloquence was normally reserved for paper and song, and he always struggled to find the words to express what Kane meant to him… who Kane was in his life. It was something Kane was used to, but standing in a rain-soaked New York alleyway, Miki suddenly seemed to find the something he’d been struggling to say ever since Kane moved in.
“Lanh, this is Kane,” Miki said softly, his eyes never leaving Kane’s face. “He’s the love of my goddamned life.”
Absinthe of Malice by Rhys Ford
We’re getting the band back together.
Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.
And we’re going on tour.
When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.
As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.
But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.
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Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.