Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author C.L Etta joining us today for the blog tour on new release “Love’s Tethered Heart”.
Thank you to Dani and Love Bytes for hosting me on the Blog Tour for my latest release—Love’s Tethered Heart. If I look familiar, it’s because you saw me last month during the cover reveal for LTH. I’m glad to be back. This is the sixth stop on the tour and if you’ve been following me you’ve gotten to know a little about me and about Mico and Danny. If not, then let me tell you a bit about Mico. He’s been living isolated in the small town of Algodones, NM for the past two years. Following a savage gay bashing, he was left with ventilator dependent quadriplegia. Danny is the reporter who lives four hundred miles away and is assigned to interview Mico to learn why he won’t name his assailants. The story unfolds through a series of interviews with Mico, his family and friends. Please enjoy this short excerpt:
I arrived at Mico’s twenty minutes early. The sun spread its warmth through the air; ducks quacked and swam in the nearby river; and the cicadas buzzed in the canopy of the treetops. The splendid surroundings complemented our upcoming outdoor visit. As I sat in the car with the window lowered, I took a deep breath, savored the fresh, smog-free air, and waited for ten o’clock.
The sliding glass door that led onto the cedarwood deck squeaked as someone opened it. I appreciated the finely formed butt molded in soft, worn jeans as it backed out from the open doorway. The owner of that tempting, taut ass remained oblivious to my presence. He tugged on something and grunted with his efforts. When he emerged, I realized that he was but a teenager. Not wanting to be labeled a pedophile, I turned my attentions away from his backside and stretched my neck to see him pulling Mico’s chair onto the deck. The voices of the two men carried on the morning breeze.
“Park me there, near the terra-cotta pot. That way I’ll be shaded until at least two o’clock. Though I doubt we’ll be out here that long, Randy.”
“You got it, Mico. You want I should cover your legs?”
“No, I’m good for now. Besides, I can use the sun to give me a hint of color.”
“Whatever you say, dude. You’re the boss.”
“Randy, are you sure the oxygen tank is full? I don’t want to run short. Running out of air will put a damper on any moves I have a mind to make.” I could see Mico’s teasing grin from my car. I could well imagine the glint of amusement in his eyes.
“Are you punning me again, boss? Moves, you’re going to make moves?” Randy scoffed, but his accompanying smile showed he intended no malice. The easy manner and friendly banter were those of brothers.
“Well, Randy, you never know. I might ask Danny out for dinner. He’s smart, good-looking, and he sees me when we talk. Then I might ask him to take me clubbing. I used to love loud music and dancing and haven’t been to a club since… shit, never mind.”
“It’s okay, boss—I can take it. You haven’t been dancing since that night, right? I’m sorry, Mico. You know I’m sorry.”
“Yes I do, and I’m sorry I mentioned it. I realize that’s part of our agreement, not to rub your nose in it. My apologies.”
“Hey, it’s okay. I understand that’s not what you were doing. You were just reminiscing. Now tell me more about this guy—Danny.”
“Oh, Randy. He’s funny, laughs at my puns, and when he’s nervous, he wiggles and squirms. It’s so cute. He’s gorgeous, and he makes me wish I could still move. The things I would do….”
My ears burned, and my chest swelled. I appreciated the admiration. However, I decided it wasn’t polite to eavesdrop any more than I had, though I wondered what “things” Mico had in mind. Besides, I wanted to discover why the kid, Randy, had apologized. And to what agreement were they referring? My curiosity aroused, I opened the car door and strode up the steps to the deck.
Two years ago Mico and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mico a quadriplegic—and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive, with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.
Assigned to interview Mico and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the other man. Mico is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mico is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mico, and he’s determined to show Mico that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mico’s existence.
If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mico will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone—no matter what obstacles they face.
C.L. Etta, a bartender’s daughter, became the apple of her parents’ eyes at her first dimpled smile. Developing a lifelong passion for reading, C.L. spent summers riding her bicycle to the library where she filled the handlebar basket with books. Much to her chagrin, C.L.’s mother often found her under the bedcovers with a flashlight, reading in the middle of the night.
Fast-forward to college, where C.L. spent good times burning bras, working in summer-stock theater, trying out potential husbands, then to her parents’ and in-laws’ delight, finally started a family. Having raised three kids and a husband, and with varied careers as a secretary, credit union loan veep, a software support rep, a mortgage broker, and a nurse under her belt, C.L. decided it was time for a break. So, she retired.
It wasn’t until life had slowed that she heard voices—sexy male voices. Intrigued, she listened. She discovered new friends who clamored for their stories to be told. So, it was back to school where she stood outside the creative writing classroom with students who observed her silver hair and mistook her for the teacher. After completing class and going on a cruise, she sat at her computer and began telling her boys’ stories.
Eighteen months later, C.L. has contracted with two different publishers for four books. The voices in C.L.’s head are as loud as ever, giving C.L. the impetus to keep writing.
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